Saturday, February 04, 2012

Stripping it down

Today the area outside the building where I work will be cleansed with smoke.
Having given my statement to police I was informed of the identity of the deceased. He was a Yolngu man from a community in North East Arnhem Land. Family and ceremony leaders have already arrived in Darwin and will proceed with the sad task of grieving and cleansing which must happen for life to go on for those of us still living!

Having spoken with the designated liaison for this ceremony I was kind of surprised how calm and organized he was. After all this was quite a shocking and situation, blood had been shed. The people in our workplace were quite horrified by the scene which greeted them on Wednesday morning. But I guess for Yolngu these things happen all to often! Death is always close and so many people live in such unpleasant circumstances, they are forced to deal with situations like this far too often!

I will give my condolences and do what I can as the period of grief proceeds, but something inside me is demanding that I must change my own personal direction in life. What is it that I am supposed to do? 
I have been reflecting on my own world and the limited personal interactions I have with people around me. I find it very difficult to find a single person with whom I can talk, that actually bothers to listen to anything other than what is already going on inside their own head. I watch. I wait for a sign that they are there and far too often I discover nothing more than a childlike demand to move away from the idea or subject and back onto Self! Of course I am also guilty of this but I am finding it harder and harder to stomach. What on earth am I supposed to do with this?
I have attempted to join in community but have found it void of community. When I've been amongst a group of people I cant see beyond a bunch of individuals all scrambling for little bits of attention for themselves. Talking over each other, bragging, showing off, name dropping, pretending to sound clever... On and on it goes and rarely even the vaguest hint that anyone is really there for any other reason than to receive the attention of the others... This environment itself leads me to feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. Maybe I'm not good enough? Maybe they're all so much cleverer than me and I don't deserve to be here... I realize now although many people might be more clever, more witty, more sociable, that's not the actual problem. It's time to realize that in this world, which is full of profound paradoxes. Although we are all in this together and connected by blood and the mystery of the cosmos.... We have to face the fact that in this journey and everything we experience, we walk alone. Why go looking for approval love and understanding from people? They are just caught in the same rat maze seeking for themselves what they think they need, they are lacking and what others can give them... No person can fulfill that empty space, to believe that would be the ultimate in self delusion!

I dropped in on a friend, who once he took a breath from unloading all the amazing things he's done lately, his fears and desires, how he's making all these connections in his own world etc.. etc.. I told him about the tragic event that happened at my work and deep down hoped that there would be some kind of acknowledgement that... well this was a heavy thing, and maybe worthy of a sign of compassion, understanding, concern for the deceased and his family.... Nope! Big mistake. I did get a sense that he was just a little agitated that I might divert the conversation, to start talking about something that might shove his own life experience left of center stage... for even a moment... What do we really care for each other?

Generally when I interact with others, there is a part of me that wants someone to give me some attention! I suppose it's kind of normal but given the state most people I come in contact with it's quite an unrealistic expectation. Is this a legitimate need or just a lot of crap?! It's time to grow up! Time to stop playing these ridiculous and futile games! Have you ever tried to talk to an addict who's strung out waiting for a fix? Or a drunk with the DT's? Or even a smoker who's missed his hourly cigarette! Anything you say is just background noise!

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