Monday, February 25, 2008

Life is a battle with the trolls!

"Life is a battle with the trolls!"  --Henrik Ibsen
I've been pondering upon the secret of life and have discovered that Ibsen is correct--life, is in fact, a battle with the trolls!  Granted, I've never actually met a troll, let alone done battle with one.  Heck (how do you like that interjection--straight out of the mountain west), I haven't so much as seen a troll. . . unless, of course, you count drawings from Norwegian artists of the 19th century.  But surely, life is a battle with the trolls.  After all, if there is a battle that lasts an entire lifetime, it would have to be with an opponent that is larger than life, right?  Hence, the battle with trolls.  Trolls are larger than life.  Supposedly they have lived since the beginning of time, are as dumb as a door-nail, and yet they have managed to elude mankind forever!  They are even able to do battle with us without us even realizing that we are doing battle with them--that's amazing!
Perhaps Jonas Lie can shed a little light on the matter.  Lie is quoted as saying, "It is part of my observation of life--this discrepancy between intellectual development and moral ignorance that can manifest itself in one and the same person.  Passion, this wild beast within man, breaks out the moment he least expects it; for he is not practiced in controlling it."  Lie further speculates, "Might there not be a little, exciting and incalculable troll concealed somewhere deep within."  Ah, there is the rub!  We can't see the troll because the troll is within us!  Hence, life is a battle with ourselves.  Our own greatest obstacle in life is ourselves!  According to the folklore, trolls can only be out in the darkness as sunlight will turn them to stone.  So, as long as our trolls lie hidden inside of us, they reap the most destruction, lurking in the darkness of our minds and souls.  It is only when we bring such dark deeds within us to light (in other words, recognizing our own weaknesses, follies, and sins and battling to overcome them) that they are turned to stone and discarded.  
Yes, indeed, the great Ibsen is correct, life is a battle with the trolls!  And the battle commences each day for each of us, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  Have you seen any trolls lately?  If not, you have either achieved perfection or you are losing the battle as you are blind to the destruction that they are wreaking upon you!  
Perhaps I am too serious in this opening blog--too heavy to begin with. . . Hmmm. . . take solace in this one thought, being that I am a teacher by profession:  "Whoever is a teacher through and through takes all things seriously only in relation to his students--even himself."  --Friedrich Nietzsche


Ms. Liz said...

This is a killer opening post. I was being a bit glib with the title but you totally made it work and I think I will remember this metaphor forever. I'm hoping to see as many trolls as possible. Keep writing!

Nicole Bullock said...

This post is exactly why people will fall in love with you and your writing. I love the troll metaphor...I think the troll within me nestles itself right in my gut.

Andrea said...

Hi Brett! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. I agree with Liz, great opening post!

Heather said...

An interesting perspective--thank you! I wonder how many of my trolls are thriving because of my ignorance.

Liz W. said...

This post is right up my alley!

Love the troll metaphor. I think I'm actually going to have to buy a little troll and place it on my desk as a constant reminder to fight the good fight.

Do you know of any good troll shop around the area? Perhaps a website?

I'm serious about buying one. I like visual reminders of the internal struggle.

Rachel said...

Wait, Liz, have you seen Brett's trolls? (I mean the actual trolls, not the personal demons he's struggling with.) They give me the heebs.

Great post, Brett. I totally agree.

Empress of Venus said...

Good grief man, if there's anything to sum up what we wrestle with, it's our ugly and dumb lol. Thanks for this!