I had a bad experience today. It’s affected me pretty horribly. It’s seeped into the rest of my life too. An unhappy evening.
I’m not very good at dealing with disagreement. Ever since the 1990s and the conflicts in the Balkans, I’ve tried to avoid being tribal. My early life was built on a tribalism of an awful nature – a see-saw battle between an atheist father from a socialist background on the one hand and a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Communist Catholic mother on the other.
I really didn’t know where I stood.
I rarely have.
So I find it difficult to embrace tribal certainties. I believe this makes me a figure of suspicion to others who see tribal allegiances as certain routes to a popular acceptance by their peers.
But today I had two experiences which showed me that there is a tribe I must be faithful to.
And that tribe is myself.
In order to do so, and just to let you know, I’m taking a break from tweeting over at twitter.com/eiohel – as well as blogging at this place. I may occasionally add something to http://error451.me.
Then again, I may not.
Paulo Coelho posted a beautiful photo this afternoon on Facebook. In Spanish, it said: “Don’t waste time explaining; people only hear what they want to.” Tearfully, I agree.
My spirit and instincts to communicate openly and honestly are, by now, pretty much broken.
You probably lose very little – if anything at all.
I lose everything I believed in.
I now have to rebuild on firmer foundations. Those foundations will involve me finding people who can agree with me; people who may believe in me; an environment where certain things are unquestionable givens.
I’m not religious – nor, now, will ever return to being so.
But I do need to feel there are particular certainties I can rely on.
We all need certainties to a minimum degree. And today I realise I’m no different from you.