People deploy this line in Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” in broad strokes. It could mean a lot of things, could refer to just about anything, as long as that thing is coming apart. And because it is only a line, what is easy to forget is that the poem itself – written post-WWI – is a horrorshow articulating what Yeats believed to be the unmaking of the world.
But isn’t it more convenient and maybe less terrifying to take just that line (although “the falcon cannot hear the falconer” has its own cellar door-type of special panache, I think) and apply it to our lives? It is. Of course it is. So let’s paint in broad strokes here.
Graham and I split up. It would be much easier to talk about this breakup if there had been a “Second Coming” kind of situation, some deep and violent apocalypse of our relationship that drove us both to scream and accuse and get the cops called. It would be easier to handle if one or the both of us were angry or hateful. But that didn’t happen. We’re not. We’re just people who were always different but then became fundamentally different and grew apart, and in order to take ourselves out of a situation that wasn’t satisfying for either of us and make ourselves better people, we’re not going to be together. I almost typed “anymore” and then almost typed “for awhile,” but the truth is that I don’t know what will happen. It’s entirely possible that we will find our ways back to each other one day, but also it’s entirely possible that we will discover we are better off on our own. It’s hard to tell right now, as we still love each other, but it’s just not working as is. Things fell apart. The centre could not hold.
So what now? I don’t exactly know. I suppose a lot of trying not to be sad, which doesn’t usually work, and a little of trying to be drunk a lot, which sometimes does. I feel a bit stuck between wanting to be a better friend to the ones I have (and even make new ones, which is either cool or just a way to meet my future murderer) and not being sure how to talk to human beings anymore. And maybe this is fine, like I could just stick with animals for now and start re-building my relationship with humanity from there. So if you see a haunted-looking woman lurking around the local dog park, don’t be alarmed. It’s just me.
I’m also going to Iceland, I think. For a week or so, next month. I’ll go to Reykjavik and wander around and take a gander at the penis museum. I mean, geysers and waterfalls and stuff, too, but mostly the penis museum. Which makes just about as much sense as going to Iceland in October as opposed to going to literally anywhere else that has, like, a beach and blended drinks or whatever, but if nothing else, I am an atypical vacationer.
I will hold it together. The centre may be out of my control at the moment but making everything else fit around it is on me.