To put it bluntly, my outlook yesterday was bleak. I not only saw in everything its negative, grim aspects, I was certain that whatever was wrong was my fault. Today, however, the world seems a much brighter place. Everything is still my fault, of course, but for the time being I am willing to share the blame with others if it will make them feel better.

This happens to me occasionally. Where the sudden changes in mood come from, I don�t know. But it as been this way for a great many years, so I am familiar with the ups and downs and prepared to go along for the ride. To me, feeling bad now and then seems perfectly normal, even healthy. I see no reason why I should feel cheerful and good all the time. What even gives me the right, when the world is in the shape it�s in?

Feeling consistently cheerful also seems illogical on physical grounds. The brain is a complicated thing, with its chemical balances and imbalances, receptors, inhibitors, and rapid-fire messages, all subject to the whim of outside forces and various forms of interference. We live in a world polluted by poisonous foreign bodies, noise, and violence. What we make of it and how we react varies from person to person and from brain to brain. There are norms, but just as some people are more comfortable in ninety-degree weather than in seventy-degree weather, the norms often don�t fit.

Personally, I despise norms. Norms are an outrage. Too many people fall in with norms, to the point that one might even say that this activity itself is a norm. It isn�t a bad thing to be normal or predictable in certain basic and ingrained human ways. But I do think it�s a bad thing to worry about fitting in, or to try to feel the same way about life as everyone else, or even to wish it were possible. That whole involvement is an incredible waste of energy.

Not surprisingly, the business, legal, and dogmatic worlds thrive on norms, and threaten grave consequences for those who don�t adhere. To the degree that we buy into this degrading process, and that we embrace the next fad, faith, system, liar, or advertisement, we become consumers and victims that much further removed from our own natural potential. We would be far better off if we would admit that it is a big confusing world out there and that we don�t know what to do about it. At least it would give us a legitimate starting point.

And so I repeat, it seems only natural to feel down once in awhile. To hide from it, or to try to cover it up through various means by which nameless, faceless others profit, is like taking pain medication without trying to understand what is causing the pain. Eventually, the cause catches up with you.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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