Five Short Poems

Pencils, Erasers and Indignation

I feel indignation
Much of the time.
But then I remind myself,
We are just pencil lines
Drawn through infinite space
Soon enough to be erased.

 

The Plastic Clarinet

There is a plastic clarinet
On my dresser.
It is red,
With blue and yellow keys.
It stands there, erect
Waiting
For someone to play.
But I never do.
Not anymore at least.
Childhoods forever gone,
So I wonder why I still keep
The plastic clarinet.

 

Birds and Bicycles

Birds are bicycles
Moving across the sky.
Don’t believe what anyone else says.
When you are lonely
Get on your bicycle and go after them.
You will see what I mean.

 

Short Poem

My penis
Is not
Short,
But this
Poem is.

 

Small Pleasures

It happened once when I was 6 or 7.
Today it happened again.
I was watching a fly,
Resting on a window
With the afternoon sun warming its belly.
I could swear I saw it smiling.

Male Sexuality

I am terribly bored and it pisses me off. This should not be happening to me right now.

There is nothing at all to do. My life is a complete failure.

I don’t want to listen to music. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to do anything. I am unable to feel interested in anything.

I should be doing more. I should have a life. I should be out there in the world pursuing something! Everyone else is.

But I am not. I have failed and it pisses me off. Fuck all of you.

This inability to be interested in anything hurts. The pain is deep and if only I could find a way to do something interesting with my life all of this would change.

Everyone has failed me.

There are so many men out there doing engaging things with their life. I am wasting time. Withering away.

I feel numb.

This is what complete despair feels like. Just wasting away with nothing to do.

And then I take myself into the bathroom and masturbate. There is nothing else to do and maybe this is one way that I can feel a hint of very short lived pleasure. This is one way that I can do something.

I lock the door behind me and I quickly orgasm in the bathroom sink.

Suddenly I feel like sun has broken through dark, dark clouds. A weight is lifted from me and I feel immediately better. Immediate relief. Interesting. I am no longer pissed off. I no longer feel the stabbing pain of boredom. Now I actually want to go and read my book and listen to music. To go enjoy the simple and solitary pleasures of life.

Now I actually feel happy to be home alone on a Friday night with nothing to do.

The Dullness Inside. Conversation #52

I have been in a shitty mood this morning.

What’s the problem?

I don’t know. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I have a lot to do that I am putting off. I had to take my large German Shepherd to the vet to get his stitches taken out.

That must of been fun.

It wasn’t. My wife can’t control the dog. She freaks out. Once we got him in the car he gets hair and crap everywhere. Makes a mess of what used to be a nice car. On the way to the vet my wife is driving so that I can control the dog. She is picking her nose off and on the whole way there. I don’t know if it is a nervous thing or what but it really bothers me. I see her picking her nose and then putting her fingers on the steering wheel after. It is disgusting. Between her picking her nose and her inability to handle our dog it was a frustrating morning.

Did you say anything about her picking her nose.

On the way back from the vet she was doing it again! Finally I had to say something. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I told her it was disgusting and I needed her to stop. Ladies should not pick their nose as they drive. A bit is fine, but enough is enough!

Did she get pissed when you told her?

Of course. She is used to her mother and father telling her how great she is. Anytime I point out a flaw she gets really upset.

Too bad for you.

Its rough. But I don’t think this is why I am pissed off. These things are just symptoms of my pissed-off-ness. I think I feel an emptiness, a boredom that is eating at me. I don’t know what it is.

An emptiness and boredom?

Yes, like nothing happening that is interesting in my life. It is all pretty mundane. Routine. I buy things but this doesn’t even excite me much anymore. I guess I just don’t really feel interested in anything. It all feels forced. I am just buying time. Hanging around. Trying to fill my time doing various things.

Like what?

If I am not at work I listen to records and tapes, I read, I write, I make art, I exercise, I watch films and documentaries, I clean, I post of Facebook and Instagram- stuff like that.

Just passing the time?

Yeah it kind of feels like I am just waiting around for something big to happen. Know what I mean?

I think so. Seems like you are just living a very conventional, quiet life in a way.

I don’t know. I am not interested in spiritual enlightenment or figuring out the nature of existence. I am not really that focused on anything. I am sure I could be a great writer or artist but I am just not interested enough to put in the daily, hard effort it would take. Maybe I have just become apathetic. I don’t know. I love my wife very much but I do think I am bored in my marriage. I look to Instagram or Facebook to give me some meaningful social contact but that doesn’t really work. Maybe I am just bored. Just a lack of meaning. I really don’t know. Sometime the feeling of emptiness just makes me irritable.

I understand. Sounds like you are bored. You just don’t have much going on that you are really engaged in. Your work as a psychotherapist provides you with enough money to survive and buy the things you need but it is very unfulfilling work. It is work you do not enjoy and on your days off you are left feeling empty.

I guess. I try and fill in the holes. I try hard. I interest myself in so many aspects of culture and stuff like that but it doesn’t totally work. I try and write but I am not able to put the discipline into that or anything. Yeah, I hate to say it but it all feels very flat. Yesterday I posted something on Instagram that said, “That was fun but I always end up back at home again where the boredom begun.”

I guess the best you can do is learn to live with the boredom.

I suppose. I am trying to befriend it. Trying to get along with it. I’m not leaving my wife or moving anytime soon so I really have no choice. Now that I don’t drink booze anymore I don’t even have that brief period of alcohol induced fun anymore. Is a lot of this a symptom of living in the suburbs?

Could be. We are social creatures. The suburb where you live is very dull. The dullness that surrounds you could be seeping its way into you. I also think that the whole way you are living your life right now is just filling you with this feeling of boredom.

I wish I could figure out exactly what it is.

Lets get into this next time. I have to go and do some things. Talk later?

Ok, sounds good. Thanks for talking.

Sure.

Boredom’s Bite or The Rotting Animal

It has come back to bite him in the ass. And the brain. And the chest. And the heart. And deep down in the penetralias of his soul. This is the thing about boredom. It is not a superficial thing. It may begin that way but as time moves on it goes deeper and deeper. Once boredom is in deep it is almost impossible to eradicate. It gradually ruins a person’s entire life. To eradicate boredom will require either complete self-destruction or obedient self-renunciation. Anything in between just will not work. He has tried.

It has come back to bite him in the ass and the brain and the chest and the heart and deep down in the penetralias of his soul because he never used to suffer boredom’s bite. He was free of boredom and would tell people that if they were bored it was only because they were boring people. Or he would quote the poet Rilke and say that, “If you are bored it is because you are not being poet enough.” He never had gratitude for the fact that he was not bored. He never appreciated not being bored. He just assumed that boredom was a failure of the human spirit and he had not, nor would he ever fail in that way. He was an artist, a writer, a reader and enjoyed going out and having all sorts of interesting experiences. How could he ever be bored? It would not happen to him. Boredom could only infect those who have conformed and given in.

Now many years later he is bored all the time. His boredom may lighten its weight from time to time but it is always present. It is always something he is having to push against. How did this happen? He will try and understand what brought it on in the hopes that he can return it back to where it came. He cannot locate a single point from where it began but he knows it began to germinate when he moved to a suburb where he knows no one, bought a house, started a business and settled in. But how could this be? He loves his home and his wife. He has a nice and peaceful life. He makes decent money, he has a lot of debt to pay, he owns nice things, he has a working fireplace, he is relatively healthy. It is the American Dream right? But he does not like his line of work (even though he feels guilty about not being more grateful for it) or the community where he lives (even though he feels guilty about not being more grateful for it) but how can not liking these things be affecting him so deeply? His daily practice of making art and writing has dissipated. He has no engaging conversations with anyone. He has no friends. He spends a lot of his time cleaning his house. His work is painfully dull and routine. The suburb where he lives is dull. There is no place for him to go outside of his home so he spends most of his free time stuck in his home. Even a beautiful home can become a prison if you spend too much time there.

The problem with boredom is that it generates more of itself. Like cancer, boredom rapidly multiplies until its host is left feeling empty inside. This is the problem with boredom and battling it with alcohol, drugs or marijuana only works for a very brief duration. Naturally one thinks, “Well, just read or listen to records or watch a good film or have an orgy or go into the city and you will not be bored anymore. Just do something! Only boring people are bored.” The thing about boredom is that when left untreated, when allowed to just sit there, it will eventually thaw a person out. It will cause the individual to rot away from the inside out until little life is left on the inside of them. Decomposition and decay often happens way before a person physically dies. Boredom can kill a person while still alive. The bored person loses interest in everything. Even when the bored person does read, listen to records, goes to an orgy, goes into the city, makes art or watches good films- they still feel flat inside.

Boredom is a terrible affliction. In Antiquity doctors referred to boredom as an untreatable disease. They recommended that the patient engage in intensive prayer and deep breathing not to cure the patient but to prevent them from going insane or taking their own life. Only boring people are bored. The problem with this idea is that boredom creates boring people. A person is not born bored. Boredom gradually settles in at some point in a person’s life and then it rapidly multiplies. Boredom feeds on routine and suburbs. These are the places where it grows best. A person who is involved in routine and lives in suburbs must be continually vigilant for the presence of boredom. If they are not vigilant the boredom will settle in and grow, eating away at them from the inside out. Once this process of decomposition begins, it is almost impossible to completely eradicate without engaging in some kind of continual self-destruction or self-renunciation.

He is not able to commit to either of these. Instead he just sits home night after night, trying to involve himself in some kind of book or music. He contemplates engaging in some form of Tibetan self-renunciation but has not been able to do so yet. His sense of self is still too strong and his boredom has prevented him from feeling interested in anything. To his surprise, he has become a rotting animal.

 

 

The Starving Pervert. Conversation #39.

Can I be really honest with you for a moment?

Sure.

First, I just want to say that I love my wife very much and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be with her for however much life I have left, but…..

But?

A pervert lives inside of me and he is starving.

A pervert? Starving?

Yes. The pervert has been there for as long as I can remember. He was there when I was 13 and stole a porn magazine from a news stand in Philadelphia. He was there when I was 15 with my pants down, calling on my dial up phone, 976-GIRLS. He was there when I was 17, obsessed with and sneaking into strip clubs. He was there when I was 19, having escorts come to my house when my parents were away (and paying them with money I stole from my mother’s purse). Now that I am 45, he is still there but growing thinner and thinner with each passing day. If you could see him now you would notice his rib cage sticking out and his legs are bone thin. He is holding out a bowl, begging.

Sounds like a serious issue?

I think so. I don’t think of perversion as being bad or unhealthy. I think of it as a very healthy activity. It is a large part of being a sexually healthy human being. It gives life meaning. It is the antidote for boredom.

Sexually healthy? I am not so sure about that.

Well, that is because you take a moral stance towards perversion. But if you put your moral hang-ups and judgements aside, it is a perfectly normal, healthy and fun thing to do.

Why healthy?

Because to be a pervert means that you are deeply curious and interested in human sexuality. Rather than just being confined to the traditional form of sexuality, 2 people having oral and/or missionary sex in a private bedroom, the pervert seeks out sexual experiences that are far outside the traditional boxes created by religious and other social/political institutions. The pervert seeks out all different kinds of sexual experiences. The pervert is a sexual anarchist who is not just interested in having sex but is also interested in the act of observation.

Observing what?

Observing bodies or parts of bodies, observing sexual activity, observing sexual environments, observing things that one is taught that they should not be observing. It is in this way that perversion can be a lot of fun. But there is also the physical expression of perversion, meaning sexual activity that is not traditional love making. The physical expression of perversion is kinky, transgressive, objectifying, deviant, purely physical. It is so enjoyable because one breaks free from all sexual restraints.

So are you engaging in any of this?

Not at the moment. I want to and am frustrated that I am not. I don’t even watch pornography right now, which may be causing a lot of my sexual frustration. I grew up in San Fransisco (a city that was once all about sexual exploration, but the tech industry and all of its accompanying repression has destroyed that part of SF) and when I was a younger man I spent a lot of time seeking out sexual experiences. The strip clubs in San Fransisco in the 1990’s were not your typical strip clubs. They were portals into alternate sexual fantasy dimensions. There was not your ridiculous muscle men security guards, NO TOUCH policies and fraternal DJ’s spinning obnoxious top forty music like there is now at most clubs. Instead, it was a lawless dimension where you could have a wonderful sexual experience for 20 bucks while receiving a lap dance (and other things) from an attractive young lady. There were various rooms. Rooms upon rooms where anything could happen with a strangers body. You could also observe all sorts of kinky behaviors being expressed. What fun for a young man! There was unlimited sexual potential in those clubs. All that has gone away now, so I no longer bother with strip clubs. I also spent a lot of time with prostitutes, which was always such a pleasurable experience. But now that I am married, I do not do that either anymore. Besides, it is too risky.

Sounds like at one time you lived a very perverted life!

I did. But I think like most things, memory just makes it better than it really was. Maybe. Maybe not. But I am not concerned with the past anymore. It is the present I care about. And in the present, my inner pervert is starving.

Why?

Because I don’t watch porn (although I may start up again). I have a difficult time being perverted with my wife. I don’t go to strip clubs or have sexual experiences with prostitutes anymore. My wife and I occasionally go to sex parties, but these sex parties are often filled with very heavy (fat) and unattractive people so we do not end up doing anything.

Why do you have a difficult time being perverted with your wife?

I don’t know. It is just hard for me. Mostly I think I feel embarrassed. The pervert often acts out their fantasies in complete anonymity. It is difficult doing it with someone you know. Takes a lot of courage. I suppose I am afraid of being negatively judged. It would be great if my wife and I could watch porn together and orgasm all over each other. Or do kinky things in public places. Or do sexually transgressive things in front of other people. Or engage in kindly sexual behaviors with one another when alone. But we stick to the traditional. Oral sex followed by penetration (which, lasts for about 5 or 10 minutes). Once you get stuck in this traditional way of doing things it is tough to break out of the habit. I don’t know if it is laziness, disinterest or feeling embarrassed. Probably a combination of all the above.

Hmmm.

Besides, if you listened to the same song, wore the same pants, ate the same food, did anything that was the same day in and day out you would lose interest in it. Why should this be any different when it comes to having sex with another human being? It is natural that we lose interest. Burn out. We need to seek out new sexual experiences in order to revitalize what often becomes mundane and dull.

But you and your wife don’t do this as much as you would like?

No. We don’t. I am even ok with her having sexual experiences with someone else on her own. My inner pervert would be pleased with this. But she doesn’t. Unless I push, she really does not make much of an effort to engage in anything sexually different. We become comfortable and complacent in our monogamous relationships. But once, several years ago, she gave oral sex to a man she met at a bar (outside the bar in an alley). My inner pervert loved this! He was full (and a bit jealous) for several weeks!

Jealous?

Yes. But jealousy is always a good thing for a person’s sex life. It is a motivating emotion.

I see. You need some jealous to really get off?

I suppose so. I suppose my inner pervert feeds off some jealousy. Keeps things passionate. But my inner pervert is starving.

Isn’t this usually what happens when a person buys a house in the suburbs?

I suppose so. I didn’t think about this at the time but seems to be the case. There is so little sexuality expressed in the suburbs. It all exists behind locked doors if it exists at all. Sexuality in the suburbs is often very unhealthy because being a pervert is seen as such a terrible thing. As a result perversion is not able to be expressed in healthy, fulfilling ways. As a result a person gets sexually constipated and sexual desire gets expressed in messed up ways.

Rape, molestation, porn addiction.

Yes. It is sad but it is a natural outgrowth of demonizing and repressing perversion.

I see. What does your inner pervert want?

It wants knew kinky sexual experiences! Every weekend I try and make something happen but nothing ever does. I don’t want to go to a strip club because I don’t want to spend the money and I think it is a waste of time. No point anymore. I don’t want to sleep with a prostitute because it is too risky. I just want to find slutty women or slutty couples who also enjoy kinky sexual experiences, but they are hard to come by. Most slutty women (and by slutty I just mean someone who is having more fun than everyone else) have been so deeply shamed and oppressed that they are hard to come by. I look into going to various sex parties with my wife but every time we go to one they are filled with really heavy people!

What is it with fat people and sex parties?

Not sure. I know that some people are really into heavier people, but it is not my thing at all.

So your inner pervert is starving. Nothing seems to be happening for him.

Absolutely. Not to mention he is growing older. If my inner pervert dies, I just become a normal, sexually dull and non-explorative person, just like most other people.

What do you mean normal and boring sexual person?

You live in a very tight box.

How?

A person’s sexual fantasy life is 90% fully repressed and 10% of it gets expressed watching porn alone and while in the bedroom (after 8pm) with the partner that they are in a monogamous and sexually dull relationship with. We just end up selling ourselves out sexually in order to maintain a monogamous relationship.

Jeeze. Sounds bleak.

It is. But sometimes I will take my inner pervert out for a walk and we sill sit on a bench and watch attractive ladies walk by. This is always a pleasant way to pass the time.

I bet.

But it has to be done incognito since I do not want to make anyone uncomfortable. Not everyone appreciates a middle-aged (attractive) man sitting on a downtown bench, observing beauty in the form of a female body.

Well I hope that you can find a way to figure this out. Maybe you should become a Buddhist?

Why? What would that do?

Maybe just help you to stay more present and accept your situation as it is. Make peace with how your life is now.

Not sure that would work. Even some of the greatest meditation teachers like Chogyam Trungpa were wild perverts!

True, I am just saying that even though your inner pervert is starving, maybe meditation could help you just be with what is instead of always feeling so unfulfilled, irritated and always seeking out new sexual experiences.

This is possible. It could help. It is frustrating always seeking out new sexual experiences and having nothing happen.

Must be.

It is. But I hope there are still lots of perverts out there still having fun. I hope there are perverts not starving and doing all sorts of kinky things! I can find hope and joy in knowing that not everyone has been sexually shamed and beaten down by the rigorous and sexually repressive Christian/Protestant culture that America is now steeped in (America is actually the most religious country in the world! Google it). Just knowing that there are perverts out their having all sorts of transgressive fun, helps me to feel a little fuller inside.

 

Perverts unite!

Don’t be stupid.

Oh, sorry. Just trying to be enthusiastic.

I understand. I just hope the perverts keep having perverted fun. It is the ultimate act of human freedom. These things are important for human health and happiness.

On Being Bored and Dissatisfied. Conversation #23.

You just killed another fly?

I know. I don’t feel good about it but I don’t like flies in my space. Besides it seems to be the only exciting thing in my life right now.

I see.

Sometimes I just don’t care. I can’t help myself. I know its not a good thing.

You in a bad mood?

I can’t help it.

What’s wrong?

Just feel incredibly dissatisfied. Frustrated.

How could that be possible? You just had an expensive dinner at a really nice restaurant. Two gin and tonics. A delicious salmon dish. How could you possibly be dissatisfied?

Maybe I am dissatisfied that I am dissatisfied. I really don’t know. I worked a long day. I am burnt out on listening to other people. I don’t know. Maybe I am just bored. Unfulfilled.

How? You helped many people at work today. You had a nice dinner with your wife and her parents. It was a beautiful summer night. How could you feel unfulfilled?

I don’t know! Jesus! Am I supposed to have all the answers? I was looking forward to dinner all day. It was a nice meal but for some reason now I am in a bad mood.

I think it is the lack of engagement from your wife.

That is probably part of it. She does not really engage with me. Even though if I told her this she would tell me I was wrong. She brought our small dog to dinner and seemed to engage more with it. She looks into her iPhone continually. Yes, I did not feel engaged with her at all. But I didn’t really make any efforts either.

I see. Do you think you are bored with the conversations?

Terribly. The conversations are very boring. I tried to make interesting conversation but no one seemed interested. I am glad to be with a loving family. It’s nice. But yes….I was and am bored.

I think this is a continual theme in your life. I think you are bored with most people in your life.

I am. Especially now that I am no longer watching porn.

Still no porn?

Nope.

Good.

But I am bored.

Maybe you are bored with yourself?

I am. It’s all dull. No real interesting engagement with anyone.

How about with you therapy clients?

At times, but not much. It is me engaging with the clients. I am working hard like a prostitute trying to get their client off. I guess when not working I want someone to get me off. But no one does and I get bored.

Your wife does not engage you at all?

Very little. It is mostly dull. I try and make the best of it but I have seen my wife dulled down by her iPhone. She continually checks it. Not much I can do about it. If I call her on it she becomes angry. I am seeing almost everyone become dulled down by their smart phones.

Even you?

Yes, even me I suppose. When in Rome.

Well, so here you are in a bad mood again. Bored, unfulfilled, dissatisfied and angry. I am sure a part of it is from just having to interact with so many people. You are probably worn out. The hazards of being a therapist. That is why they call it psychotherapist. Having to engage with so many people makes a person psycho. Another part of it is probably just from not feeling engaged by anyone. You are bored. The closest people to you in your life bore you. What are you gonna do?

What can I do? I have to accept it. Make peace with it and have these conversations with you.

I see.

Not even three gin and tonics and a delicious salmon dinner can take away the pain of feeling bored and dissatisfied. Maybe I should of stuffed myself more.

You always over eat. That is not an answer. Short term gain for long term pain. You know that all eating disorders are a result of feeling bored and dissatisfied.

Yes. Well, not sure what else to do.

I suppose like you said, you have to just accept the way things are. Make peace with it. You are bored and unfulfilled. Could be worse. Maybe tomorrow you will feel differently.

Maybe so. Will wait and see.

Yes.

I think I am just going to go to bed now. Tired and don’t feel so great.

Ok. Go get a good night’s rest and we can talk more tomorrow.

Goodnight.

Goodnight.

How To Save Lives

Why do you want to talk about this?

Because I am not happy about it. I just killed a fly and now I feel bad.

Is it really a big deal? I mean it is just a fly.

But I think it is a big deal. It is a living creature. It has life in it and what right do I have to take a life, no matter what kind of form that life may take?

Well, humans and every other creature take lives all the time. Animals do not even think of it. They kill instinctually. It is just what they do. Humans do the same.

Yes, but I think humans have more evolved brains. We have the ability to have empathy and compassion. We have the ability to value and respect certain things.

Don’t you think animals have this same ability?

Yes, I think they do. I just do not fully understand it but when I see animals getting along with creatures that are a different species, this means they must have some ability to value life.

Yes.

So if animals can do it, I should be able to do it.

Yes, but an animal will try to eat a fly that is bothering it. You have seen your dogs continually hunt down and eat flies.

Yes. But still I am not happy about taking a life. I don’t think it is a good idea. My dogs do it because it is just what they instinctually do. They can’t really stop and think, “Hey, this is a living creature. I should try to value and respect it.”

This is true.

I have that ability. This is what differentiates humans from all other creatures. We do have the ability to say to ourselves, “Hey wait. This is a living creature and maybe I should respect and value all forms of life.”

What a different world it would be if we all could do this.

Yes, but humans tend to get bored and angry. When angry and bored humans can be the most uncaring, self-centered and malicous creature on the earth. Boredom mixed with anger and/or fear is a dangerous mixture.

Yes. You could say that the cause of most killings, wars, genocides, religious persecutions is boredom.

Boredom mixed with and anger and/or fear.

Yes. Humans tend to be terrified of boredom. It makes them feel like they are dissolving into nothingness. They lose interest in everything. They feel like they serve no purpose. Everything lacks meaning. Humans are terrified of this. Killing, war, genocides, religious persecutions and all forms of distraction are really just ways to feel fully alive again. They are defenses against boredom.

Humans kill, persecute, wage wars and distract themselves to defend themselves against boredom. Interesting. I have never thought of it like this before but I think you are right.

So if when you see flies buzzing around your writing studio, if you can just learn to tolerate them. You may not get the jolt of being fully alive that comes from hunting down and killing a fly but at least you will be respecting life. You will learn how to tolerate the annoyance that may come from the frenetic activity of the fly. You will value life, rather than taking a life so that you can feel more fully alive.

And not just that. When I kill a fly I feel better because flies really do bother me. They are very annoying.

Yes, but the annoyance of a fly creates the same inner frustration and discomfort that say a Muslim Fundamentalist feels when they think about Westerners. The annoyance caused by a fly is similar to the annoyance that say a Trump supporter feels when they think of a liberal or a democrat. The only way that you will be able to differentiate yourself from all the insanity of human beings who are killing and hating each other, is to learn how to tolerate and respect the annoyance that a fly creates in you. As long as you kill a fly because it bothers you, you are no different from say an American fighter pilot who blows people up because they are a threat to his sense of security and calm. You become just like everyone else you abhor.

By just killing a fly in my writing studio?

Yes. It is the same psychological mechanism at work. You not valuing a life because it bothers you in your writing studio is the same as a Muslim Fundamentalist blowing people up in an airport because they are bothered by their way of life.

Ok. Makes sense. I need to stop killing flies. I see how world change begins at a microcosmic level. It begins in my writing studio. It begins with my very small actions. Even though I believe a massive upheaval is coming, where humans will take the lives of massive amounts of other humans because they are annoyed with one another, I can at least not be a participant in this by respecting and valuing all life.

Yes. If you can respect and value all life in your small, backyard writing studio, maybe this will have a larger effect in the outside world. Maybe not killing that next fly that bothers you, you will be saving the lives of your wife and everyone else you love. Maybe you will also be saving the lives of thousands of people you have never met and will never know.

Just by not killing a fly?

Yes. Just by not participating in the epidemic of killing. Possibly this way you can bring about some sort of change.

Ok. Will give it a shot. Even though there is a fly buzzing around my writing studio and driving me nuts right now, I will leave it alone.

Good. It will be gone soon enough.