Monday, July 28, 2008

so i've been making anything "adult" out to be the opposite of "free"...

Today I talked about revenue and 401K plans and networks and protocols.
2 months ago this would have incited a mild heart attack followed by some childish tears and sulking. I think I’ve moved past this extreme sensitivity to anything that feels overly “adult,” but I still worry from time to time about whether or not I’ve sold out to a standardized life of duty.
I think I’ve landed on a conclusion, however, that will keep me afloat as I ambark on this segment of life where I welcome work as simply another experience that will show me a piece of the world yet unseen; albeit less exotic than Sevilla, Spain, and less carefree than living on a houseboat, but all in all I’m learning that accepting a full-time job doesn’t mean that my life must become characterized only by revenue goals and conference calls. most definitely could, if I let it.. but I’m realizing that if I choose, really I can make this next phase the most artistically fruitful time of my life. I can make the richest and most rewarding investments in relationships, not just in a retirement plan. I can boldly pursue my ideas for a life of adventure, and not just my boss’ ideas for company growth.
So I suppose it comes down to my realizing that everything is about perspective. I spend far too much time fearing what I don’t know, and it’s not until I’m in the thick of an experience that I realize it’s nothing at all like I had imagined. I’m not even gonna thing about how much time and energy I’ve waster being anxious about a fabricated daunting future. I often act as though guessing what the future will hold will better prepare me should it actually turn out that way. But let me say, I’m finding that the only truly effective way to deal with uncertainty is to welcome it. Keep hold of it. Literally wring the life out of it by seizing everything it brings you to…
Fear=stagnancy. Making friends with the ambiguity of being human=movement.
If nothing else, at least be able to say you’re moving forward. All that to say, I’ve decided to move forward, with a bold smile, a pen and paper, and the determination to maintain the ragamuffin, young, artistic side of me despite my wearing professional clothing and acting like a grown-up 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. And who knows, I’m thinking that maybe the very intentional efforts I’m gonna have to make to maintain my carefree nature outside of my professional nature will result in a period of artistic growth more abundant than I’ve yet seen out of myself.
So from 9 to 5 I may be hair pulled back, coffee on the go, contracts and appointments, but before, after, and all throughout I aim to keep letting the world in through rainbow colored filters, and moving about my days and nights as poetry in motion..

Friday, July 18, 2008

Living through a lens?

Almost 2 weeks later and this is just the second entry? Well this is because since I created this thing, I have secretly been whispering to myself “this needs to be perfect before it gets posted. Oh that doesn’t sound right, oh that won’t make sense to anyone but you..” And unbeknownst to me, I was deterring myself, yet again, from the freedom that is found in expression. This internal standard for perfection and logic has been my Berlin wall. Fulfillment, satisfaction, at least some subtle form of freedom lying on one side, my thoughts on the other. Well the good thing about realizations such as these is that I am no longer ignorant to the things I do that inhibit myself. The bad thing about them is that I am no longer ignorant to the things I do that inhibit myself. Good because I am personally challenged to move past any excuses I’ve formulated or aversions I’ve schemed, bad because once you wise up to something, you hold the accompanying convictions and have lost your ticket back to ignorant bliss. Even if I wanted to return to a life unaware of these particular shortcomings, that state of being no longer exists for me (at least in regards to the issue at hand; Lord knows I am still clueless in dozens of other areas of my life) But even if I tried to return to my justifications for why I have other more important things to attend to right now, the fact is that I am now aware of my avoidance tactics and have been forced to lock this thing in as a claimed discipline.
{Sidenote: I do realize I sound like I have dual personalities. I assure you, this is not so. I just happen to have very strong goals and aspirations and instincts, but I also have some insecurities, which I am fully aware of.. but let me tell you, if you allow insecurities to take the smallest foothold, they gain power exponentially. In any case, this is essentially why I tend to articulate my internal thought processes as though it were 2 people rivaling head on.}

That said...

You know how when you’re watching a home video of someone, particularly someone that’s not with you or you haven’t seen in a long time, you tend to notice the glowing parts of their personality just bursting from the screen as clear as day? For some reason, I’ve noticed that when I watch a video of someone, or even when looking at a photograph, I see the people in them as much more incandescent than most any time I see them in person. So I’ve wondered a lot in the past why this is so.. why it is that I can watch a video of a friend, and tilt my head to the side, say “awww…” smiling endearingly, and point out every minute aspect of their character that shines like a rare gem. Tiny moments of laughter are heard as a sweet familiar song, minor facial expressions are seen as priceless signs of unique life, sometimes even comments or habits that would in annoy if he/she was sitting next to me appear rather as charmingly unique. It’s just so much easier to get that sort of nostalgic affection when you’re watching someone’s life carry on from the removed perspective of a viewer, and not a participator. This indirect position somehow fosters a perspective that seems to focus less on flaws, and notice more of the tiny fragments of light that are always in existence, yet are overlooked in day to day interaction. This line of thought sparks so many more for me.. *what is is that inhibits us from seeing people in this way at all times? And not just when we are seeing them through a lens. *are we as humans even capable of training ourselves to see the real splendor of the ordinary, or is there a reason that our views of people should be clouded by a number of things, like selfishness, insecurity, laziness, or jealousy? *is this whole pondering just a minor offshoot of the great great challenge that continues to boggle my mind: what are we missing in the present? When you pull back, and look at your life or an aspect of your life in terms of the “big picture” (whatever that may be for you) you can gain a little more clarity as to what matters and what is worth spending your time and thoughts on. Yet when you are living in the moment, you often miss the mark and don’t live accordingly, so what gives? It seems this is analogous watching someone on an old video and noticing the light they possess, but spending the day with them and never stopping to cherish who they are.
Annie Dillard is quoted as saying “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” I just can’t stop thinking about this quote as I sit here writing because it seems so applicable: we fly through so many moments thinking “well I’ll get around to telling him or her this or that when there’s more time, when it’s more comfortable, when I’m less tired etc etc etc blah blah. But that moment, yes that one you just passed on because the conditions weren’t ideal, has gone now and that WAS your life. I think most of us have a habit of writing off moments, days, months, and sadly years sometimes, as “not the right time,” but appease ourselves by saying “oh don’t worry, I’m just waiting til it gets easier, then I’ll really live!” (likely not stated outright as this) But like Dillard so keenly states- the way you choose to utilize this moment, IS the way you are choosing to utilize your life.

this train of thought is quite incomplete. more to follow...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Regretfully, i preface.

Oh the first posting, I’m nervous. Not that I know what I’m trying to start here, but beginnings usually signify so much in setting the stage for what’s to come. Well let it be said that nothing is planned, other than thoughts. Words in my head, turned into words on a page, and eventually, hopefully, turned into a sort of connection to others..
For years now I’ve known this gut inclination to write what i think, yet I’ve been feeling like it’s all just been ending there prematurely.. Writing has been this marvelous channel for me to process my movement through the days, but it’s proven insufficient in itself. Well as it turns out, (logically to most, but this took some time for me to learn for myself) there is an aspect of sharing your thoughts with others that just isn't fulfilled by simply writing down scratch notes in the little pocket book i keep to myself and shield from the eyes of even those closest to me. It’s that external delivery of thought, the throwing out of something that started inside, and letting it just be in the hands of someone else. You see that risk isn’t a present danger when you limit your expression to a private notebook. And that safety, which comforted at first, has now come to stifle.
SO, basically i've been thinking a lot about how i feel like there are things i have to say, and ways i have of looking at things, and questions i have, and sensations i get from all different experiences in life- that i want to share with other people. Being introspective and pensive has its benefits I suppose, but there comes a time, for me at least, when the things you think become the things you need to say. and if you don't say them, give them as a delivery to others (be it through speech, art, writing..) then you feel like there's something inside you that's going to do one of two things: either it will 1. build and build and ultimately burst out in some less-than-preferable way, or 2. it will die inside you. personally, i think the latter is much more tragic.
so here we have the blog- a simple, clear cut 'step 1' in the how-to process of expressing oneself and creating an avenue for others to understand the parts of you that tick madly as the world floats on. I’ve had quite a few, what I like to call, ‘lifey’ moments over the past few years that have all meant something big to me, so I’m guessing this page will become a cornucopia of past scratch notes (typically my most significant thoughts and epiphanies emerged as such), muddled in with current realizations, fascinations, observations, enjoyable words and phrases, and other assorted bits of intrigue. For some reason it never occurred to me before that there are ways this simple to begin releasing your words into the air of freedom that is the world wide web.. but i have this friend who fully understands how golden it is to express thought and perception, and after receiving a message of encouragement from him (of curiously appropriate timing), I felt commissioned in a sense.. to move forward. Because after all I happen to believe that there is very little permanence in life.. so if something feels right and necessary, then it is to be shared, now.

oh and I’ll also try to stop prefacing things so much, it’s just a defense based on insecurity after all. and I think writing, if it accomplishes anything, should aim to cultivate an openness and hunger that makes the defenses crumble at the seams...(So the prefacing thing stops now, I just had to get that first one out of my system.)