Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On regrouping.

"Reform the line! Reform the line..."

On the battlefield, after a charge or just after a certain amount of time, things tend to get messy. Soldiers tend to go astray in their pursuit of the enemy. If they are allowed to stay like this, it is easy for the enemy to overtake many of these stray soldiers and kill them.

However, a wise leader will call for his soldiers to regroup. Soldiers are stronger in groups and far less likely to die.

Reader, I have been a warring nation. For the past seven years, I have never gone beyond perhaps a month without declaring war; I have always known what I wanted and been willing to try and take it. But I've only ever won a single war. For ten and a half months, I held my ground until I decided that my army wasn't compatible with the land and I abdicated it.

Since that time, things had gone very badly. I doubled my efforts. Tripled them. And still, somehow my charges would be broken, or the enemy would overcome me, or all would be lost in some confusing melee. And when all seemed darkest, I finally declared peace. For nearly 6 months now, I had fought no wars. I have often wrote of this in my blog. Sometimes when I wrote of it, I was happy. Sometimes, I was ambivalent. But at no point did I declare it a bad idea.

Recently, I fought again. Out of nowhere, it seemed, which made it all the more compelling to me. It just seemed right. I had lost a lot of confidence in myself, but I didn't want fear to hold me back. There were some confusing things going on, but even those I set aside, all for the sake doing what seemed natural. I had doubts about victory, and was at times certain that this, too, would end badly, but there were other things that encouraged me and made me certain that I would win this one. "If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight," says the Art of War.

But, as suddenly as it started, the war was over. I lost. And now my soldiers are scattered everywhere, dazed. It's up to me now. I must regroup. I must hold the line. Other people are counting on me to hold everything together, so that bandits don't burn my crops, or kill my people, or pillage my goods.

But it's hard. I wasn't sure that I could handle another defeat. I was sure that another defeat would destroy me for good. But here I am. As I've written before, I'm like the Gunslinger from the Dark Tower. "You darkle, you tinct. May I be frank? You go on." I will go on. Like before.

But to what purpose? Is this what my entire life is going to be? Here the allegory ends, and I will be frank. My job is to help people through their problems and for them to feel better. And among my friends, that is what I do, too. But at the end of every day, I am alone. I have no one. Everyone I ever had has left me behind for greater purposes, and I must accept it. But it just feels like no one really cares about me. For a little while, at least, that seemed about to change. But they're gone too. They have to go. And if they're reading this and not taking a break like I would, I want them to know I'm sorry, too. Maybe someday things will be different. But I don't know when that will be, and I don't care.

I just need to regroup for a while.

There was a dream that I dream, a dream of sure victory.