Saturday, December 27, 2008
and yet, it was perfect
later, i lie on the dimpled asphalt, looking up into the cloud covered night. I could see only the brightest stars, the planets which shone their light to me best. the dark was encompassing and the silence oppressive
and yet, it was perfect
within every moment i saw the beauty of that existence, with every second I could count the joy. truly nothing is perfect, for nothing ever can be, but within that is perfection...in every mistake, in every problem, in every miscalculation there is a room for improvement...when we cease to have that...we have nothing at all. our entire existence is based upon solving problems, upon bettering ourselves and those around us. assuredly my life is imperfect in so many different ways and yet,
it is completely perfect.
for every problem I have faced, my armor has become stronger, my wit sharper, and my compassion wider, and for every problem I face or will face it is not a chance to stumble or fall...although those a certainly a possibility...each problem is an opportunity, a chance to become greater than I was before.
I looked up into the clouded night, I lie on the only spot not still covered by the wet of the day. The stars were beautiful, all of them, and those that shone through the clouds touched my heart.
for a moment, I could see the entire universe
and the perfection it contained.
I regret no choices, I begrudge no situation, for every one has been absolutely perfect.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
how many times do you actually have a conversation with someone?
a real conversation is about the way people feel, the things they want, need, avoid or hate. a real conversation isnt a recap of the things you did during the day...thats a summary. a real conversation isnt an ideological debate about the beliefs you hold, there is nothing wrong with a debate as thats how we learn about the subjects we are discussing but its still not a conversation. a conversation is never a place where you begin with a goal in mind, it is an exploration into unknown territory, places unexplored by you or the person you're speaking with. I've realized that rarely if ever do our "conversations" stray into this territory. when I was younger it was easiest for me to just be the person my parents wanted while i was in front of them. its only natural, every kid keeps things from their parents, but when i got older the same continued. it was easier for me to be the person my friends were entertained by then actually be who i was. its easier to be the guy the girl wants rather than deal with the possible consequences of being yourself. at some point, there is a new face for every person you meet, another mask to take on at every turn...sooner or later, you are bound to forget which face was actually yours...you spend so much time wearing the mask that the face underneath doesnt even feel like your own anymore.
its time for me to change alot of things in my life and this is only a small piece. ive given up holding the masks, trying to keep the many versions straight and keeping them convincing is incredibly difficult but most importantly the denial of your true self is a poison that will slowly creep through your body. it will infect your mind and rot your heart...drive you to madness and lock you in insanity.
i know i am not alone, we are brought up in a world where we are tought not to say what we truly think. be polite, dont complain, its not nice to talk about yourself...how many times have you answered "fine" to the question "how are you?" when you were nothing but? even people in a doctors office answer similarly when obviously it is not true, if it were they would have no need to be there. it is not our fault that we are so eager to deny what we think and feel, it is a consequence of our society.
so i suggest a swift change. put down the mask and try putting on your own face for once. it may not be easy, it may not be pretty and it will almost assuredly be uncomfortable but it will eventually make you happier. tell someone what you want, let someone know how you feel, be yourself...show a frown if it is what you feel and eventually you will want to show a smile. for your own sake, take off the masks, burn them until you do not even remember what they looked like, let your own face become your permanent mask and take a few steps in the real world.
"start saying what you mean to say
all your worries gunna run away
start saying what you mean today"
-Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I realized that one of the few things I am proud of about my college career are the papers I write. I may not put alot of effort into school in general but I do put alot of effort into my papers...and I've written some pretty good ones. Thank god, because it's the only thing that has saved me.
I really care about the things I write and I put what I think into what I write.
Odd that after so long I never considered that it was my writing I cared about most and not what I was studying...
I knew all of these people, probably better than they liked, when we were in highschool. we were mostly inseparable, especially the few of us who really made up our "gang" (a sect within the nerd-herd) really did everything together...we had every class together, cross country after school, we hung out after that...we did alot of things together and I made some good friends when I was in high school.
But all things change
We all went to college, slight dilemma with being in a magnet program, everyone gets into the school of their choice and we mostly went off to our respective corners of the country to make new lives. I was never really one for talking on the phone...the result? I have hardly talked to these people in 4 years.
And now it seems like I hardly know the people who I used to know best...but I think of a line from The Rules of Attraction. Lauren yells at Sean "What does that mean know me, know me, nobody ever knows anybody else, ever!" Maybe she's right. Even the people you know best, do you really know what they think? What motivates them, what causes them to think and act in the ways they do? Did you know in marketing studies people will pick one identical shirt over another most of the time if it's on the right? I think people hardly know themselves what motivates them or influences their choices. People spend their entire lives trying to figure themselves out, I mean fuck, I don’t really know what I want...I may have in inkling but I've spent 22 years trying to figure it out. How can we expect anyone else to really "know" us? It seems like an impossible task.
In the end...it is a troubling thought, but in doing philosophy I've realized that philosophy is the art of answering questions which can’t be answered. You can take comfort in gaining insight into a question, even if we know the "answer" can never really be attained. We may never really "know" our friends, our families or even ourselves but the process of learning about them, and ourselves, is a rewarding one and the insight we gain, although never complete, is always comforting none the less.
Tell people what you really think, ask your friends what they believe, get into your families' heads. Really getting to know someone can be uncomfortable...the uncertain road to knowledge always is, but the place we're going is always better.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I drifted between waking and dreaming...
they were mostly the same...
There is an old saying, Chinese in origin I think, that one who sighs longs for something they do not have. I let out a slow sigh and tried to relax...It seemed to me, in that odd and wonderful moment, that life sometimes has a soundtrack... theme music for your revolution. No actual music required... It follows your cadence and the orchestra watches for your direction. I heard those same notes this night but they felt different to me now. They had the usual character but there was something behind them that was not there before. Then I heard something I hadn't in a long time. It was hope. And hope laid down next to me there as I journeyed to dreaming. The music grew tense, the danger of chaos is never far off, but without that the resolution would be meaningless, and all the while I heard
and the music filled my body...it was the soundtrack to my revolution. I had spent so long looking for happiness I hadn’t noticed that some of the notes were already there. I had forgotten that it is not merely happiness we require it is peace. Peace of mind, of soul, of body, of conscience, of desire and of love. True happiness carries with it its own peace but often you must make your own, the wars we fight are mostly against ourselves. But suddenly it seemed that maybe I would have both. I lay there, listening to the Penguin Cafe, staring at the shadows cast by the textured ceiling. The smile that had spread across my lips wouldn’t budge. Then as old emotions dared to show again, the plaque of years of jaded anger and fear began to break loose. Like a vine slowly growing its way through concrete something was freed again, and I sighed in relief.
Then hope sighed too, and I knew everything would be fine.