Saturday, July 2, 2011

Exercises in Futilility

Exercises in futility - like pissing in the wind - is when something is done despite the fact that it is almost certainly bound to be a failure.  Pissing in the wind is an excellent example - the first (and one hopes only) time a boy does it he realizes that he doesn't want to make it a habit.  Just turn around and voila it works a lot better and drier. 

Today I saw this sand castle - I helped build it.  Building a sand castle on a sand bar as the tide is coming in is an exercise in futility - it is bound to fail.  Sooner, rather than later, it will be swept up by the inevitability of the rising ocean.  All the moats and all the walls will be futile.  The sand will wash everything away quickly or even more quickly.  In the end it will be like there never was a castle.  There will be nothing to show for all the efforts made to make the castle.

Not just to be morbid, but this is in a very real way relevant to life in general and dealing with being gay and married.  Failure is inevitable.  In the end we will die.  Dealing with being married and gay is bound to end in some sort of unhappiness - it is as they say a "less than ideal" situation even if it can be seemingly reconciled.  It is like building a sand castle below the high tide mark or pissing in the wind.

Sort of a depressing thought.

But I had a hell of a lot of fun helping the kiddos build the sand castle this morning.  Sure we knew that in the end the castle would be destroyed by the oncoming ocean.  In the end they helped it along because we had to leave - home from vacation already.  A good part of the joy was in the whole process.

And so it dawned on me, yet again.  Enjoy the process.  Create joy and happiness just where I am now.  In the end there is something to be shown for all the effort.  There is the joy one finds, creates and shares on the journey. 

So, the 6 hour ride with the first 45 minutes in traffic I should have been able to avoid is hellishly long.  Because of circumstances and the amount of crap we bring we take two different vehicles.  At the end I am happy as a lark.  Sure, I'm sore and creaky - proof that I am the last throes of 40-something.  But the ride was joyous.  Getting everything into the house was great.  Running out for Chinese was fun as I listened to music full blast.  Now we'll see how long I am able to keep that attitude.

But the benefit of the blog already is that I can look back and see where I am repeating the same dysfunction and where I make progress.  I can see where I find joy even in an exercise of futility.  I can see where the effort is worth it.  Besides there are all sorts of wonderful sights if one has his eyes open on the journey.


  1. Thoughtful! If only one can be a King Canute and demand the waves to stop at your feet - then you would real power to control anything!

  2. Steve - I love it - I had to Google King Canute. He certainly was lost in the inevitable tide of circumstances beyond his control!! I hope he was able to find joy in his journey.

  3. Hi Jim,
    I just found your blog.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    I am also a married to a women gay man.
    I came out to my wife in '97, I was 45, and we had0been married for 21 years at that time.
    We are sill together. Like you wrote, we get along so much better. I'm no longer conflicted.
    thanks again