The last time I wrote here I referenced Oz, this time I’m going Matrix.
For those of you who’ve been living under a rock since 1999 here’s the quick synopsis of The Matrix.
I think it is by no sheer accident that I wore white on New Year’s Eve since that was the last night of my innocence. Like a lamb to slaughter, I innocently went out that night thinking my world was perfect, but it wasn’t. Things weren’t as they seemed.
In the subsequent 5.5 weeks I have learned things that I didn’t want to know about myself, my life, and this completely fucked up world we live in.
Painful and ugly things that I didn’t want to know, but now can’t unknow.
Some of those things I so want to tell you about. I want to warn you. I need to warn you.
I want to be a beacon for you–shining in the darkness–illuminating the rocks and shoals that lurk just under the surface ready to dash your boat to pieces. I want to shout at you, “Stop! Pay attention! Look and listen! The world may not be what it seems!”
But I can’t yet.
And neither can I be the Mariah Carrey of mid-life and carry on with my blog as if nothing has happened, shilling shit you probably don’t need, and telling you that if you are just fabulous and can fit in the perfect pair of skinny jeans and use the right skin cream your life won’t fucking fall apart on you. That just isn’t true. It can and it might. At any moment.
As they say, “Ignorance is bliss.”
But is it?
Jesus said that “…the truth shall set you free.”
Unfortunately, somewhere in between the bliss of ignorance and the freedom that comes from the truth comes this dire warning: The Truth Hurts.
And damn it, it does. A lot. The perilous road between bliss and freedom is fraught with pain. But Jesus didn’t come to bring bliss; he came to bring freedom; he came to set the captives free. We cannot grow if we insist on remaining captive to our fantasies and self-told lies.
In the past year, I have struggled with my faith as a Christian to the point of coming close to just chucking it all. Part of my brain shouts, “Just give up! It will all be better if you just give up!”
And I might have given up my faith if just one person I’ve known who converted from Christianity to Atheism ended up funnier.
To a man (or a woman), every last friend I have had who has chucked their faith has seemed to lose their sense of humor. And that I can’t lose. My sense of humor is the only thing I received true and pure from my parents. It is my most precious possession. I won’t give that up for anything.
Yeah, I might not seem funny today, but trust me, I’m fucking hilarious. Just ask anyone who knows me in real life and they’ll tell you, “Chloe is fucking hilarious.”
Like Jacob wrestling with God in the desert, each of us struggles to make sense of this nonsensical world; a world that not only doesn’t give a shit about you, but also seems bent on your destruction. The temptation has been powerful for me to just walk out of the wrestling pit, telling God over my shoulder on my way out, “I don’t see you!”
Because if I don’t see Her then She can’t see me, right? Isn’t that the easiest way to end this struggle? Just walk out of the pit and pretend there is no struggle?
But you can’t walk away. Wherever you go, there you are.
So here I am; Round 532: Cage Match, Chloe versus God. Ding, ding, fucking ding.
There’s a scene in The Matrix after Neo has taken the red pill (that’s the one that opens your eyes to reality) where Cypher (the traitor) sympathizes with Neo’s dawning realization that reality sucks.
Surely it is still January 1st, and I’m cuddled up in bed sleeping it off, right? But it isn’t, and I won’t.
And every day I’m getting more okay with that.
While there are many flaws with the Brothers Wachowski’s Matrix Trilogy (well, the 2nd and 3rd movies anyway. The first movie is just damn near perfect), my biggest complaint is that the real world Neo wakes up into contains no loveliness. There is nothing of beauty in it. All the beauty is in the fantasy world of The Matrix.
But that isn’t the truth. Humans cannot live without beauty. Humans need to believe that somehow beauty can always be fashioned out of the ashes of our lives.
The beauty we perceive in a fantasy world is not real beauty; it’s just a lovely picture we tell ourselves is true. But even the loveliest Monet can not compare to a walk in a real French garden, even if it means you have to slog through great big piles of shitty manure to get there.
Yes, I have swallowed the red pill. I will never be the same again. And this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a new thing. And somehow even though I don’t believe that God is like some cosmic Santa Claus sitting up in heaven with a happy little perconstructed plan for our lives, I do believe that somehow God does make beauty out of the ashes we bring Him.
I hate to give you two video’s today, but here’s today’s song: