Chapter one of Ishmael has proved itself difficult to read. Within the first eight pages I find myself reading what feels like my own personal journal. Phrases like, ” The revolt hadn’t been put down, it had just dwindled away into a fashion statement” and images of a guru “pregnant with the news that all will be well if everyone… would just hug their neighbor” are both ideas that have no doubt sprouted into my head more than once, and I can only assume it’s happened to others as well.
Both of these give way to a larger issue that has plagued me for some time. I was raised in a house of lawyers and nurses. Practicality was of the essence and so to think that something greater than I, that could not be defined by a book on a shelf at a public library was not allowed. The limit to one’s knowledge is what is found in truth. But I feel what this book is already questioning is the notion of truth. I’ve just begun to scrape Ishmael’s discussion on “captivity” and how it has made “humans” look at how we can and can not change the world around us. If we do not see the bars of the cage, then how can we break free of them. This to me is a really interesting concept. And it’s not that I haven’t thought of it before, but it resonates to the idea of ” do not try to bend the spoon, for that is impossible, instead think of it as if there is no spoon.” You know how hard that is? To break free of the convention of captivity?
Every two to three years I find myself “bored” of where I am, what I am doing, and how I am progressing. I have currently been in my present state for a little over two years, and I find myself itching to break free, to assure myself that I am not stagnating, and I also find myself confused by those who settle because it is convenient. Usually, this need for change is sparked by the notion that something is not right in the world and I have to do something to change it. I have no idea what brings it on. sometimes it’s a news article. Sometimes its thinking about a simpler time in my life where I was quite literally living day-to-day, doing what I know to be right. (And perhaps that is another reason for the need for constant change, the idea of right is much more muddied. As Ishmael says, all humans would have to participate for things to change. Not just one or a few) Inevitably, this notion is shot down by more “experienced” peoples around me. Harping on the greatness of my job, the security of where I am, and the safety in staying. I think somewhere along the past two years, I have come to believe this more than I used to. Perhaps it is because I am older, married, and talking the ever so present talk of children. That is also why I find this need to change even more tiring, difficult, overwhelming this time around.
Something tells me that for 270 pages, this Gorilla will be able to quell my anxiety, even if I know, when I’m done reading, I’ll go back to my cycle of captivity.