That’s Just Lovely.

July 30, 2010

I am a child in wonder at the constant ebb and flow of our lives.

While the earth revolves in science, humanity revolves in love. It’s a cycle. A circle. A collective pool of all that is good.

Although sometimes it seems hard to tap into this well, if we open our hearts we find some of it always trying to seep in. The more we contribute to this positive energy, the more we get back.

Usually when we least expect it.

At a time in my life where I feel certain about very few things, I find solace in knowing that love is real, strangers are friends, and family is all around. I have seen it, time and again. I feel it. Every day.

All this — this stuff and money, the work and bills, the routines and lines– all of it is made bearable to me only by the smiling faces, the hugs, and the little niceties of others. The sweet gestures, the kind words, and the joy we are capable of bringing into one another’s lives are the spiritual equivalent of sunshine and water. Some days our being may feel wilted, but if we stretch toward the light, nourishment is never far.

Time Turns Elastic

July 23, 2010

I struggle daily with what I believe. It changes by the week, with the stars, and typically without warning.  It is not so much my fundamental or moral beliefs as it is general perspective. It’s as though I can have a whole new outlook in the blink of an eye.

This leads me to believe I am a fickle example of humanity; which is sort of upsetting, although I can’t really seem to pinpoint why.

The tides of time impact everyone differently. I believe some level of personal conflict is derived from my unstable perspective on the passage of time. For me, time is a confusing combination of math and memory. I have difficulty addressing past events in a very accurate sequence unless I write them down. Some seconds feel like decades. Some days like weeks. Some years feel like months.

I often wake up 3 months ahead of myself, convinced I’ve just put in a 9 day work week. Many times, my hour has 83 minutes and my nights last whole lunar cycles. Some days seem to end without starting; and the years shuffle convincingly, like a magician’s well-worn deck of cards.

With the time/ space continuum perpetually in flux, it becomes hard for me to manage reality and my emotions about it. As a result I really try to address things as they happen, and like to resolve things before I blink my eye and discover several years have gone by. When I leave things unfinished, I have a tendency to not come back to them. I need immediate answers. Conclusions help me complete a scenario so I can file it away. The longer situational paperwork sits on my mental desk, the less likely it is to ever find it’s proper drawer.

In some cases, my brain gets stuck in a bermuda triangle. An infinite loop. Time keeps moving but I can’t move with it…

I know only that I am gaining knowledge and that I look differently than I did last decade. These are my primary indicators of progress. Where dates and times seem extremely important to some, I just can’t get them to all stand in line. Some days the numbers on the clock seem to enslave me. Others, they send me into a nostalgic swirl of self-evaluation where I lose my present to the past.

And nobody promises the future.

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.                                    [[HenryTheVI.WilliamShakespeare]]

A Naive Melody.

July 22, 2010

As a person, I like to fancy myself rather astute. I think most people do. We like to believe that our world is as we perceive it. That we know what is going on with those around us, and where we stand in the bigger scheme of things. We like to believe that we know the people who spend their days (and/or nights) with us. That we are being graciously presented a whole picture of the world by our friends, families, and lovers.

Some of the most powerful human emotions are stirred up when one is left feeling ignorant and foolish. When the rug of perception is pulled from right under our feet. Especially when it seems no accident.

Above and beyond the dramaturgical desire to “save face,” it is a severe ego blow to realize that you’ve been kept in the dark, given the run around, or just plain ruse’d by someone you trust. The closer this person is to us, the more complex the emotions which emerge from a major rift in communication.

There is the initial hurt of realizing your world is much different than you thought. The brain scrambles to catch up; make sense of the new information. There are feelings of inadequacy– wondering why the wool was pulled over your eyes in the first place; what you could have done to be more… more trustworthy, more anything to fit into the (apparent) bigger picture. The deeper the lapse in cohesive reality, the harder it becomes to backtrack, untangle, and make sense of it all. It is harsh, feeling like an oblivious dumbass. Plain and simple. There is no sugar coating the cold bite of reality. There are countless poems and songs about these emotions.

Our culture recognizes the revelation of one’s own foolishness as a very real phenomena.

Mama bear always told me that “A lie of omission is still a lie.” And I am the worst liar in the world. Brutally honest to a fault, even. My stories are told in their entirety and in great detail, regardless of who they are being told to. I am coming to realize that not everyone was raised with my mother’s perspective, but how can intentionally glazing over pertinent information (repeatedly) be seen as anything but purposeful deception?

I honestly just want to understand.

The last few months, I have undoubtably driven those closest to me insane with my incessant talk of mediocrity. It has been “mediocre this,” and “meh that.” As a matter of fact, I even declared the title of my unwritten autobiography to be “Accepting Average” … compelling, I know.

In my usual densely-skulled fashion, what I failed to immediately realize is that I was not only sounding absurd and defeatist, but I was probably offending everyone in my life. All the far from mediocre people who enrich my day-to-day. It took my wonderfully patient gentleman caller a hundred repeats of “you can’t be mediocre as long as you’re with me” for me to grasp it… I was getting downright insulting.

Why all the talk and talk of average? Well… I suppose when all was said and done, it was a cop-out for not pursuing more. The past year has been a series of lessons and turbulent growth on my part. This winter, my first booze-free hibernation, marked one of the deepest depressions I’ve experienced in years.

The mediocre declaration was my way of saying “I’ve done nothing noteworthy, probably will do nothing noteworthy, and I am just going to be okay with the way things are.”  On the tail end of some very real change and self- reflection, I found myself confronted with a paradox of sorts.

A friend whose opinion I hold in rather high regard relayed to me, during this whole “average dilemma,” that she considered mediocrity and contentment to be one in the same…

This left me wondering: if being satisfied with your situation leaves you stranded at average; the pursuit of happiness is, therefore, a wholly fruitless endeavor. Do we settle for good enough and be complacent? Or do we remain insatiable, dissatisfied, and working always for something more?

While it seemed a little disheartening and sent me back to the existential drawing board, I’ve begun to accept my friend’s more important message: you are only as mediocre, complacent, and/or irrelevant as you allow yourself to be.

Accepting average, then, is a self-fulfilling prophecy for pseudo-satisfaction. Its the reason seemingly-happy men-in-suits leave their cars running in the garage on some unassuming Wednesday morning. It’s why people have affairs; go sky diving; or spend their life savings on a material whim. Escaping the cycle of monotony. The drone of scheduled encounters, sales at the grocery store, and weekly lawn mowing. People waking up, for only a moment, and saying “this isn’t life!”

So… Perhaps instead of forfeiting the pursuit of happiness and setting up xanax camp in Averagetown, USA, I should keep hiking this trail. While dissatisfaction seems to inevitably linger, I guess when you keep moving, at least it doesn’t get boring, too.

I recently posed the question– after a long overdue ah-hah! moment of my own– Do all good ideas sound silly until they make someone rich?

Like much of my public speculation, this question was partially redundant. The more I think about it, the more I am actually positive that is the case. At least in the modern era of Snuggies, Slinkys, and Social Media Experts.

It takes a lot to come up with something truly revolutionary, and I’m not sure I will be reinventing the wheel in my lifetime, but we live in an era where doing anything on a large scale has become extremely difficult and time consuming (that’s surely not to imply its impossible). Niche markets are on the rise, our economy is on a slight upswing, and I’m thinking that none of us are getting any younger. So I made a list of things I have to offer the world. And the ball started rolling there. Gears clicking. Pieces falling into place.

Of course, I’m not quitting my day job any time soon. And I don’t actually have any solid plans… But Rome wasn’t built in a day.

…And I think I have a good idea…

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. [[AlbertEinstein]]