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Peter E. Z.
I have written of being hurt. Nobody ever read that. I wrote it to explain myself; to explain my actions. I walked away from those I call(ed) friends. It was a foolish thing to do. No the writing but the walking. I never should have done such a rude thing. If I truly valued my friends I would have found a way to stay and not appear to be such a fool. But perhaps a fool I am. I know I have done things when I knew the outcome would not be what I wanted. I needed to hear confirmation.
I keep a box. It's too small now for its purpose but I keep it anyway. I shouldn't. It reminds me of things that never were, never should have been, and never will be. Does such a box do me any good? I think not. Does this box harm me? No. Would disposal of this box be a bad thing? Yes. If I don't remember then it's like nothing happened. I need to know that I was there and I felt. If I didn't really feel then she wasn't real and then what have I wasted so many hours on?
Everyone preaches about his or her own particular causes and beliefs. Is there any point in listening to all of it? I have my opinion and you have yours. My vanity is that I can convince you that I'm right and you should agree with me. If you don't then you're wrong and ignorant. What makes me right and you wrong? Maybe instead of all being preachers more of us should be parishioners and open our minds to what others are saying. We all must make up our minds but in the end we cannot learn with a closed mind.
Every step brings you closer and takes you farther. Is that right? Can something move you in two directions in once? No wonder the human race is torn in two. We want everything at once and can't make a decision. That's also our strength. We can't be stilled. When we have something we need more and yet need no more. But, if we can't have it all we need to learn to be still with what we have and not chase what we want and do not need. To realize what is sufficient and what is lacking must be knowledge.
The world is no place for an introverted man. This unfortunate characteristic is perceived as a weakness when in fact it can just be a manner of making ones way through a chaotic world. Every day the world deluges us with information to process and demands instant response. Unfortunately the world has decided it cannot wait for the introvert to take his or her time. If the world slowed down just a little and waited for the quiet people to make a conclusion the better course would be more evident. Slowly does the quiet man form plans for better days.
I wish I knew what to do. There are times when I can't make my mind focus and the thoughts of this and that flit hither and thither within what seems like a desert in my head. This isn't the sort of idle daydreaming that can be so relaxing; it's the maddening symptoms of cabin fever without the pleasure of winter. The worst part is knowing there are things I should and could be doing but not having motivation to get it done. If I could bring the randomness together and bury it in a corner I'd be much calmer.
When I thought of writing it was never a chore. I enjoyed it. I still do. BUT. But. There are times when I wish I had more inspiration. I should recant. I am rarely without inspiration. It is only that that inspiration is private as are the words it promotes. I have written poetry (not really good poetry but poetry.) I have written letters and missives. I write flashes of "brilliance." But the words that other people are allowed to read are the sanitized musings borne far too often of frustration than happiness and the pleasure of the written word.
Quiet. I can be quiet. I think I've gone entire days without saying a word. It's not as hard as you might imagine. I don't even have to try. I can sit in a room full of people and say nothing for hours on end. Nobody wants to listen. I guess there isn't anything important for me to say. The quiet is like a blanket around me. It can be warm and safe and comfortable. All I need to do is sit. The blanket is knitted around me with every word other people say. Words that are never for me.
My collection is eclectic. It's difficult to pin down exactly what holds it together. Each one lends a special part to the whole that I treasure. If asked to give up any part I would be hard pressed to identify that I could do without. I don't use all of them all the time but that isn't the point. Having them isn't the point. It's also difficult to identify where I would begin if I ever had to rebuild from scratch. Perhaps that is the glory of my collection. It's randomness is a perfect match to me and my life.
Do you listen or do you feel? I find myself sitting in front of the screen with Holst's "The Planets" on the stereo. And I'm not listening but feeling the music. It gives my fingers a little more zing. My head is a little less stuffy. I'm rather infused. I couldn't tell you which selection is on right now but it doesn't matter. The music is going beyond just a listening experience. It's becoming part of me while I let it wash through the room. Quite an enjoyable experience. I really must do it more often. Perhaps Beethoven or Orff.
We fall into routine. We do not establish it no matter how hard we try. With a universe tending toward randomness (Check you thermodynamics if you don't believe me.) we cannot individually create routine and order. You may think that setting your alarm every morning to ensure on-time work attendance is creation of stability and order but that isn't what you feel at 6:30 when the buzzer wakes you from that dream of the wind in your hair and your lover in your arms. Any routine you think you create is merely a random occurrence that has settled on you.
If I wait long enough it all comes around again. But if I wait what will I miss? Just as January 1 arrives every year if I spend my time waiting for it I'll miss January 2 through December 31. Why wait for tomorrow when I can be looking at today. Not to imply that tomorrow is not important or deserving thought. It's just that today is an immediate need and if ignored will fade until today doesn't exist and we are only concerned with tomorrow. We can never have tomorrow,only today, so why do we lust after it?
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Inexorably time passes around us. We devise ways to measure what we're losing and think of ways to capture every single moment.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Day after day we watch our TVs, listen to the stereo, engage in conversation and eat our food. We rush through some tasks and procrastinate over others. Every moment we're doing something even if we're just sleeping or doing the fabulously frivolous "nothing."
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Watch the clock spin. Feel the wash of time and delight it's passage. Embrace past, present and future simultaneously.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Our picture of the world is defined by the frame of our experiences. You watched the Berlin Wall fall and it changed how you saw all walls. When you attend your first funeral you adjust your frame for death. A baby cries and you change the frame for life. Hang a picture upside down and feel what it does to you. Stand on your head and watch birds swim and earthworms soar. Open the window and sleep with the night wind in your hair. Change your frame and paint yourself a new world picture, don't accept what you painted yesterday.
If I write our names on separate slips of paper what have I done? If I care and you don't who cares? If I whisper your name in the night and you don't stir have I said anything? If you and I have each other can we have anything else? Do we need anything else? Do we really have anything? If we look at a picture and feel differently is one of us wrong? Do I care? Do you know? If you and I walk the same road and see the sights together what is most important scenery or walking?
Another day of waiting. But waiting for what? Every day we are forced to wait; for the beginning of the day, for the end of the day, for a phone call. We can't help it. Without the ability to control the universe we are forced to wait. If anticipation is the better part of waiting then dread must be the worst. I don't think we can wait without a balance of anticipation and dread. Even the best possible news is welcomed with suspicion. So all we can do is wait; wait and watch time march toward whatever we're waiting on.
What is the common thread of existence? There must be something that truly binds every human together. We are always searching for it. It's the basis of every peace agreement, every business deal, every family unit. Is it time? Space? Love? Death? In "The Bicentennial Man" Asimov put it forth that the ability to die is what makes us human. Other philosophers no doubt have their own theories. A unifying concept would need to be accepted and understood. Maybe the common thread is more complex and we haven't evolved our minds to the point where we can fathom the concept.
The fact we are each unique is what facilitates our drive to achieve. If we were homogeneous then there would be no point. If my needs are your needs and our needs are the needs of every man, woman, and child on every street in every city in every corner of the world the to solve my problems is to solve the problems of all humanity. That is unacceptable. We prize our individuality and ability to distinguish ourselves. Being able to perform an act with greater skill than others has moved us above and beyond the framework of primitive society.
Start with four walls. Add a ceiling and floor. Do you have a box or a room? How do you define the difference? I say a room needs more. A room needs a window. A room needs a door. But more than that a room needs life. The spaces in museum houses in just cluttered space. There is no life. Furnishings and décor do no create a room either. A room is made by occupation; occupation by someone who is never satisfied. Today the book is on the shelf but tomorrow it sits on the bed. A room is kinetic.
SCREAM! Shout, yell, give voice to frustration at the snail's pace of progress, of life, of forward momentum. Introduce to the universe the primal feelings pent up inside by a society that abhors loss of control. To have to luxury of losing it in a crowded room or a city corner would smooth so many of life's little bumps. Let's install in every office, every public thoroughfare, on every street corner sanity booths; places where you can step aside, rant, rave, and let loose your silenced inner voice. Let it out with control so you may retain control everywhere else.
Our hidden secret selves. The persons we lock up and hide from public. The closet opera star, the silent orator, the caged animal. We secret them away so the world will not know. I don't want everybody in my circle of friends to know that I enjoy in private things that would make them question how well they know me or our friendships. As long as we keep our secret selves no one can know exactly who it is we are. If I hide a little part of me then I can remain me and no one can change me.
The challenge never ends. Every day we must face it anew. The challenge is different for each one of us. Perhaps it's the day you take one less cigarette break. Maybe it's a choice to eat one extra piece of fruit. For you the thing that matters is not necessarily as important to me. But that doesn't make your challenge any less important. Watching others face their challenges is what gives the rest of us courage. I have seen people meet their challenges every day with a smile and it never fails to inspire a reach for bigger and better.
Look at the man on your left. Look at the woman on your right. Look at the others around you. Do you trust them? Do they trust you? Will any of them stand up and be counted when you need them? If I asked you to find the three people who would support you in anything could you find them? We all need to trust the people around us; whether we know them or not. The people in the other cars on the highway, the folks in line with you at the bank. Our lives are always in other hands.
All we care about is order. People cannot exist without it. We are a society obsessed. Every week we listen to the Top 40. We wait to see what movie was in the Top 10. What teams won and lost. We need all our ducks in a row. Our cars need to be lined up. But nature isn't like that. The stream does not care for a straight line. The mountain does not obey a rigid geometric form. The stars do not arrange into rank and file. It is the natural form of chaos that we find so unwaveringly attractive.
Simon says stand on one foot. Simon says walk around the room. Simon says type the next one hundred words. Simon says look out the window. Simon says put your fingers in your ears. Simon says cover your eyes. Simon says hug your brother. Simon says love your wife. Simon says pump up the volume. Simon says sing along, badly. Simon says listen to the wind. Simon says empty the trash. Simon says read the assignment. Simon says open all the drawers. Simon says sleep on the other side. Tell your kids they can eat cake. Caught you didn't I?
Last night I couldn't sleep. Today I can't write. Tomorrow is tomorrow. I don't know if that makes a lot of sense. I feel like abandoning sense today. Maybe I'll write about the colour of my socks. It makes for interesting conversation. Today they're black. That's abnormal for me. I usually wear white socks with grey soles. The soles are grey not because of dirty floors but because that's the colour of the wool. Maybe I won't even worry about my one hundred-word mark. If I happen to run long I'll just cut it off in mid-sentence. That would be
Abandon yourself. Stop the car and let yourself out on the side of the road and then keep going. No more baggage. Let go of today. Send yourself home and enjoy a day as someone else. If you're timid be loud. If you're liberal be conservative. If you're a country boy, rock. Do something you don't normally do. Order the veggie burger instead of the double meaty, bacon-laden grease attack. Let someone else drive. Don't drive, walk. Enjoy the night air on your face. Walking on the wild side isn't reserved for the wild alone. We can all enjoy it.
Gangs as tribes. How long before we see the emergence of tribes as a result of gang culture? Is it happening already? We know that gangs have turves. Currently people not affiliated with any gang occupy area within each turf. These are the innocent bystanders in the news. At what point will a gang demand that all within their sphere of influence be loyal to their "causes?" At that point, when the areas are clearly defined, the gang will probably attain tribal status. They will develop their own culture, beliefs, and rituals. They will create their own set of gods.
Make a list of all the things you like about you. Make a list of all the things you don't like about you. Make a list of things you like about me. Make a list of things you don't like about me. Take all the lists and compare them. Do you see any similarities? If you do maybe you don't know us as well as you think you did. Are you sure you don't like those things? Maybe they're the parts of me that make me attractive. Maybe they're the parts of yourself you see reflected in a dark mirror.
Once in a great while we each stumble across a truth. Everyone. Truth is not reserved for the great thinkers. Truth is not held only by those with advanced education. Truth is not something only found in the high courts. Each man and woman must discover his or her own truths. Perhaps to the rest of us it may not even seem profound. Some may even disagree. But truth survives debate. So share your truth when you find it. Maybe your truth can help the lost in their search. We are all searching. Don't think you aren't. Accept that truth.
Write ‘em down. All the questions you still need answered. Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? What does the wind look like? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Find your answers. Commit yourself to finding the answers in the coming week or month or year. Don't still be in question when you're days are ending. Don't be old and wondering why. If you're aged then start looking now. If you're young so much the better, you can find answers and still ask more questions. Only questions can give us answers.
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