I could tell you about my life in the Pacific North West, my youth as a Navy brat and pretentious child who was too smart for anybody’s good, or my adventures around the world (or in other worlds!). But what would that tell you, really? It would tell you where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and which experiences I identify as having been formative to my character. But what you really want to know—even if you don’t know it yet—is who I am, which is something entirely different.
To answer that question I need to tell you not where I’ve been or what fires I’ve come through, but what the fire made me on the other side. Let me tell you what I believe.
Paradigm without paradox is like a play with exclusively static characters. There are absolute truths in life, but they are balanced. We are subject to gravity, but it is only so powerful. We need oxygen, but too much will kill us. We must use our judgement in choosing friends, spouses, business partners, and yet not allow ourselves to be judgmental. We must try to make sense of the harmonious chaos of the general mishmash, yet try to hard and you will go insane. In the words of G. K. Chesterton, we most love the crimson blood and the purity of snow, but hold a healthy hatred for pink—which is a lesser form of both. As a famous pirate once said, “Life is pain; anybody who says differently is selling something.” This is true; life is a gritty, tough, carnal, disgusting mess much of the time and it will kick you in the but if you don’t pay attention. Paradoxically, the only way to survive with our souls intact is to not take it too seriously. If we cannot acknowledge the deepest, darkest pain in the center of our souls, and also soar each morning on the wings of the dawn, rejoicing in breathtaking awe at the colors of the universe, then we are indeed the poorest of wretches.
I believe that love is real; that growing old is as beautiful as being young; and life is made up of trivial moments.
I also believe in double spaces after a period, excessive use of emdashes and semicolons, wearing costumes on every occasion (and that includes formal attire), and that tea, like love, fixes (almost) anything. “Everyone deserves tea” (Jane Bennet, Ep. 87 of Lizzie Bennet Diaries)