15 October 2008

A Cathartic Exercise

So, here I am. Writing something that I sense is more like a journal entry, or better yet, a conversation with myself that needs to be wrought through the medium of the written word. Probably just because I'm tired of listening to myself inside my own head and figure that putting forth some of my thoughts will help me in some way...

I got divorced this summer (2008). Technically I'm still not divorced yet, but we began the official procedure in May. WE: I still, in my mind and in my speech, refer to myself and my ex-wife as we. After almost 5 years of marriage one gets used to the reality of no longer being a lone individual. Rather, marriage produces the effect of combining two into one, still two perspectives, unique to each, but perspectives that are focused on the same horizon. 

I turned my back on the horizon that we once viewed together. The details of why are fairly simple: two different people, unwilling to compromise to be together. I'll go further: I was certainly unwilling to compromise, she, in the end was willing to compromise. She wanted to try and make it work. I said no. 

In many ways my life has changed drastically over the last few months. Divorce. Being informally excommunicated from the church I attended because I got a divorce (informal, in that I was never a member of said church). Living in San Diego over the summer, crashing on various couches (my mom's, various friends'). Moving to Boston for graduate school. Getting to Boston and having to re-acclimate to a lifestyle that does not include a wife. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm heartbroken. Whatever heartbroken means, I think that's what I am. It is surely how I feel. Even though I am so relieved at not being in a marriage that was not working, I have an unsettled feeling about me that keeps me from, oh I don't know, fulfilling my potential? e.g. I find it hard to concentrate at school, in seminars, at home writing papers, reading. My mind knows that there is something not quite right, that needs to be right, before I can jump back into arguing about epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, etc. with all of my might. My intuition is that this unsettled feeling is something I have as a consequence of ending a profound relationship; and that there is nothing I can necessarily do to change the unsettled feeling. These kinds of circumstances are what often lead to bouts with depression, drug/alcohol abuse, random sexual encounters and the like. And I can see why people would be tempted to try and shake that unsettled feeling away by imbibing in pleasures that make one feel like the unsettled feeling has dissipated. But those things never change the original unsettled constitution, they merely alleviate for a time. 

My bible-thumpin' brethren have told me this: I'll feel this way the rest of my life until I make good with God by re-marrying my ex-wife. The numerous discussions I've had with well-meaning friends (well, some aren't my friends anymore. not because I don't like them, but they refuse to be-friend me anymore because my action of divorce is a defiance of God, and my defiance puts me in a special classification of fallen christian, which means I am not to be fraternized with. of course, not all of my christian friends have taken this line with me, but a surprising number have), have opened my mind to the problematic nature of adhering to beliefs that rely on assumptions. 

This has led me to a deeper investigation into theology. Or rather, a philosophy of theology. I've already been involved within the field of philosophy in matters of theology: studying how theology is used as a political tool, an argumentative tactic, or an attempt at truth. But this is different...my studies before were of an academic nature. My new interest in theology, or again, a philosophy of theology, is personal. 

1 comment:

genzomenza said...

I still love you james. And I'm sorry for everything. I wish we could go back in time sometimes:|
My Dad was kicked out of the Church when he and Mom divorced; I still think its bs because I think that's what started his (steep) downward spiral.
I feel no different about you because your marriage didn't work. I'm going to pray for you, because its all I can do.
But I hope you know how much I care.