“You are responsible for your own experience.”
From what I’ve been told, this statement is posted at the front gate of any Burning Man event. It is supposed to be an admonition to seize your own destiny and craft the kind of life you want to lead.
To me, it feels like an after-the-fact, regret-filled I-told-you-so. If I am not living as I had hoped, then the burden of blame is laid squarely on my own shoulders. I mean, by this logic, who else can possibly be at fault?
If my own nature casts me as happiest when I am alone, but my desire leaves me unhappy at being alone, then how am I to reconcile this inherent disconnect between nature and desire? Which of them should I lose if they can’t be made whole? Who am I if I can’t rise above this struggle and do something about it?
To appease the “Keep CHRIST In CHRISTmas!” people, and to be fair to all, I’ve compiled a handy list of other holidays in their shortened X form. (Never minding the fact that the X in Xmas is a shortened, easily-writable form of “Christ”, derived from the historical usage of the Greek letters chi and rho to signify the full name of Jesus Christ in both literature and art.)
- NewX – January 1
- Xhog – February 2
- Xtine’s – February 14
- WashX Bday – third Monday in February
- St. X – March 17
- Xster – 1st sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox
- Xfools – April 1
- CincoX – May 5
- MX Day – second Sunday in May
- MemorX – Last Monday in May
- FX Day – third Sunday in June
- 4X – July 4
- LaborX – first Monday in September
- Xbus Day – second Monday in October
- Xween – October 31
- VeX Day – November 11
- Xgiving – fourth Thursday in November
- XFriday – first Friday after the fourth Thursday in November
- Xmas – December 25
- KwaX – December 26 through January 1
- NewX Eve – December 31
Hope this makes things fair for everyone.
Let it be said that when I am at a table by myself with a book, when I am alone in my apartment working on a project, when I am driving a lonesome road with the music, I am truly happy and sufficiently content.
At the same stroke, I am also terribly lonely and mildly discontent at the spectre of being alone every time I am in these happy places.
It is from being around people that I manage to stay grounded in reality, that I somehow retain my ability to talk, to formulate coherent sentences to convey meaning and message without noise or babble. The more I am alone, the less coherent my thoughts become until the conversations are all in my head and you only hear what leaks out.
So how do I reconcile these two polar extremes? What is the middle ground between being happy with productivity and being not lonely?