Sunday, September 21, 2008

Slichot Thoughts

I once heard what I have since nicknamed the 'Groundhog's Day Theory of Reincarnation', according to which each soul is brought back into the world again and again until it gets everything just right. I don't really think that I believe this on any metaphysical level (of course, I avoid having any beliefs about metaphysics until I am certain that such beliefs make absolutely any difference to my actual life), but there's something about it that just… chills me. Some poor hapless soul- my soul, to be exact- trying again and again over the course of millennia to finally make it count. And to be honest, this life- I can't see it being the one that does the trick.

I did the traditional evaluating my existence thing last night before slichot. I'm generally honest to myself about myself, so I wasn't able to come up with any deep, wrenching guilt. I don't think that I'm a particularly bad person, or that I've been bad this year. In fact, the whole thing can probably be summed up as "Not bad, but not stellar."

Which, in a way, is worse. Because that's hardly what I want on my tombstone. I am coming to terms with getting B's in my classes, because frankly, they don't matter all that much. I don't want to get a B in life.

But the problem with a B, as opposed to an F, is that I can't put my finger on something solid to fix it. I'm not saying that I don't know what areas of my morality I should be working on; I'm reasonably clear on that. I'm just not sure that addressing them solves the basic problem of kicking things up a notch. Mediocrity is hard to cope with, especially because it doesn't leave you with guilt or anguish or disgust. Just a lingering anxiety, a vague sense that this is not all that it should be.

1 comment:

Miri said...

a vague sense that this is not all it should be is, I fear, the lot of humanity in general. If it's not mediocrity, it's futility, and the two tend to cycle round each other viciously. th only thing you can do to make things more stellar is be more stellar. that sounds pretty concrete to me, so why not go for it?