State of Disillusionment

silhouette photo of man throw paper plane

I find myself at a loss as to what to write about any more. The current state of affairs in our world has become too bleak to mention. Too many folks are clearly without hope, and I have no idea what I can say to bring them any joy anymore. I find myself burying my thoughts in relics of the past, old amusements that still have some charm. Yet I find they are lacking in the utility that they once had for a much less developed mind and sense of duty. I feel a deep responsibility as a scribe to bring some light into this quickly darkening world. But I haven’t a clue how to proceed.

It saddens me that people found more hope during the great wars of the twentieth century than they can in an age of limitless creative potential and worldwide reach of ideas. At least then it was clear what was being fought for, even if the motivations were nowhere as pure as they may have first appeared. At least good was still apparent, the better half of human nature was still on regular display. Now a days, we often only see the worst in people. Everything has become a coin flip, and matters are coming up tails more than they ever have. 

I’ve pretty much lost any hope that I will ever write an essay again that will have any meaningful impact on the hearts of the disillusioned. I myself have become so fatigued with politics, histrionics, and media circuses that I fail to even see how a few thousand words from an undereducated, overbearing little Phoenix has any hope of shedding any positive light on anything.

I wonder what little hope remains for humanity’s destiny to reach for the stars. Will we ever venture out into this incredible universe that’s just waiting for us to discover its great wonders? There are a few glimmers of hope in the field of space exploration, but only if there is some commercial potential. Consumerism is the greatest evil of our times. We’re almost all used up before we even get a chance to get our bearings. The youth are getting hammered by unrealistic expectations set by careless fools and greedy capitalists. 

What am I to do with such overwhelming odds against me? No one is willing to look past partisan tomfoolery and antisocial media to find any reasonable way forward. We can keep trying to educate ourselves, but what good is that if we don’t apply our knowledge and insights to bettering our communities, and turning our family and friends eyes and hearts towards productive and enlightened paths? I’ve long believed that by spreading my attentions across all my various curiosities and sharing my pseudo academic pursuits that I may find kindred spirits. I have found a few, but most have abandoned me long ago in their own pursuit of rotten fruits, only to bury themselves deep within endless rabbit holes. 

I want to turn my sights entirely on fiction. I need to present just what a brutal world we’ve allowed to take shape. But I also need to show there is yet another way forward. I don’t know what that is quite yet. What force of personality will it take to get folks to listen? What mask must I wear, what stage must I set? I have so many loose threads to tie up in making sense of my own checkered past. I’ve never been much good at allegory, too entrenched in classic good vs evil tropes. My antiheroes often become flat cardboard cutouts, and even my comic relief stops being funny after a page or two. I haven’t yet discovered quite the formula that works for me to put my best creative foot forward.

Somewhere in these chronicles of Absurdia, there lies a roadmap to the treasures I am yet to discover through my fumbling in verse and prose. I have long tried to find a lyrical way to present the zany wacky characters I’ve dreamed up, but as yet, my attempts have failed spectacularly. I’ve outlined plenty of promising adventures, yet they remain mostly unwritten. I still lack an end goal for my writing. But I have reached that odd age where I’ve produced too much and have much too little to show for all my efforts. All I can do at this point, feeling so burnt out and disillusioned with the art of prose, is to make a greatest hits compilation. Only from there can I rediscover my creative spark. 

I gave up on verse much too soon, I think. I produced and published that book of poetry as a way to close the door on that method of expression. But I think I may have goofed in making that rather uninspired decision. I still dream of musical landscapes, harmonies and melodies are still to be discovered in the cadence of words yet to be written. A few months ago I was on the right track, seeking inspiration in the classic tales in which I grew up, taking literary cues from in the creation of my own creative endeavors. 

But the time of derivative storytelling and hero worship for long dead dynamos of lore-weaving is now passed. We need new tales, new heroes, created for the here and now. I must use all the tools at my disposal, expose all I’ve learned in my recent self imposed exile from worrying about the affairs of the common soul. What I’ve come to understand is very troubling to me; humanity may already be past the point of no return as a species, but I can’t allow that possibility to stop me from trying to light a path forward.

I must be the one to create new legends for this dark age. No one else seems ready or able to undertake such a task. The most fertile ground for telling tales is in the immediate future. Only some names need to be changed and certain aspects of our brutal reality exaggerated for emotional impact. I have a stable of investigators ready to embark on various assignments, and each of them will likely fail spectacularly at making much sense. But at least I’ll have some amusement in going over their reports on the only slightly twisted discoveries of my lovely anthropomorphic private eyes.

The state of disillusionment has reached a boiling point. If I don’t find some way to extract good humor and colorful anecdotes from it, all we’ve accomplished as a foolish, yet intriguing collective consciousness will all be for naught. And if our run on the earth is nearing an end, at least let’s have some fun watching the world burn to the ground.

~ Amelia Desertsong

P.S. This was intended as a private journal post, but the dark humor and sarcasm were poignant enough that I felt it worthy of posting.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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