Saturday, December 3, 2005

Nothing personal

Someone commented once that I don't say anything personal or express excitement and other strong emotions in my journal. The latter is a challenge especially because nothing exciting has happened, and I can't think of anything to be emotional about that I'd want to talk about publicly.

I think it must be close to a year since my team and I went through an exercise to determine our individual work styles. Virtually everyone was a (theoretically) organizer extrovert of varying types, while I was an off-the-scale creative introvert. I'm not sure what the exercise proved, as how we interact has not changed. The only thing that changed for me is that my sense of alienation and isolation deepened. I feel a little like the Spock or Data characters on Star Trek who can never know what it is to be human.

Visually, it would have been humorous to an outsider to see a dozen people spread out over one half of a line, with one individual all the way at the other end.

And the funny thing is that I'm better at organizing than all the so-called "organizers."

I think of people who are leaders not only because they are charismatic, but because they have an exciting, appealing vision of something better. Martin Luther King, Jr. was such a leader. I wonder what I am, since I can be neither leader nor follower. Am I T. H. White's one wise man (The Book of Merlyn? Potentially I have a vision, but I don't want to see it because I don't know what to do with it. It's behind a symbolic door, along with a lot of emotions I don't want to experience. As long as I focus on the ordinary and mundane, the door to the room, with its vision, dreams, thoughts, and feelings, may stay safely secured.

I've been sick for almost a week. Just before I got sick, I had a week of dreams odd enough that I hated to wake up. Once I got sick, the dreams stopped, and now I am tired. Tired but alert. Then this morning I had a dream about an annual contest that usually pitted a very large, sleek, streamlined modern train against a much smaller, quaint forebear; they were supposed to be toy trains, but they were also large, nearly life-sized.

Behind the scenes I kept trying to arrange other trains, switches, etc., so they would always thwart the modern bully. One train was set at what was somehow a blind crossroads, with its nose buried in a mountain tunnel, so that the modern monster ended up slamming on its brakes and hitting it, but not doing much damage. The incident allowed the quaint train to escape. I was trying to minimize the damage to all the old trains, as they were unique and irreplaceable. I didn't not want to sacrifice any of them and spent a lot of time agonizing over what to do.

Someone else intervened on the modern train's behalf with what appeared to be a military train and possibly ships in a harbor using missile launchers. Fortunately, the little old train disappeared into the safety of the underground. At about that point, I started to look for a bathroom from which to do my planning, so it was time to wake up.

The old train took my emotions underground with it, where they are safe from me, and, more importantly, I am safe from them.

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