Tag Archives: choice

Keep Your Eyes on the Driver

you can tell a lot about a person just by taking a short drive with them. are they safe? do they take risks? are those risks calculated? do they ask you if you are hot/cold? or do they automatically turn the music down/change the station for you (because they’re embarrassed). when you’re cold, are they sweating because they turned the temperature up to make you happy? do they sing along? do they just focus on the road, or do they turn away from the windshield to look you in the eye? do they take the time to notice the sights and sounds? or are they distracted and text while drifting into another lane, and only correcting suddenly when you bring it to their attention? It doesn’t take long to notice that we’re not talking about driving anymore. That much is clear.

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Art

Art is so pointless sometimes. Don’t you think with all the thinking that artists have done over the years that we would have figured out the meaning of life by now?

You know what I think about the meaning of life?

What?

Why would God create us if we are going to die? But not really even that. Why would God create us with the capacity of knowing we’re going to die? Why couldn’t he just have made us live forever? Or at least make us unaware of what death is? That’d save me a lot of trouble. I’d be happy. But you know what? Have you ever seen anything amazing come from an ignorant creature? I don’t think so. Ignorance isn’t bliss, because without knowing what dark is you can’t know what light is. Without down there’s no up. It’s like explaining color to a blind person. Live forever? That’s not the way to go. It’s in the struggle, the fight of knowing that we are going to die, and having the choice to give it our all and fight, and fight, and scrape and crawl and bleed; fight until there is nothing left in us, until we are everything we wanted to be, or become everything we hate, until we see the light and release our last breath saying, “That was all of me. That was everything. That was my magnum opus.” It is that fight that brings out the worst in us, the absolute worst of desperation, greed, malice, jealousy, and wrath. And it is that same fight that we can triumph, love, heal, conquer and live. LIVE. Really live… and that’s what makes it worth it. That’s what makes life worth living. That’s why we are alive. That’s why we were created. But do no mistake the possibility of life with real life. Do not mistake defeat for death, and hope for triumph. It is a fight. Nothing is guaranteed. Many will fail, and many will succeed, but one thing for certain is that all of us will die. You don’t need me to tell you this. It’s not a surprise. You know it’s coming, and so we are left, not even with the choices we make, but just one choice: Will you fight? Will you fight? Will you live?

But why don’t artists just say that? Why does it take them their whole life to figure that out, or maybe even never figure that out?

That IS the art. Art cannot be summarized or broken down or paraphrased without its meaning being summarized, broken down, and paraphrased as well. Art can’t be explained; it has to be experienced. How do you hear music for someone else? You can’t. How do you taste a delicious treat for someone else? You can’t. How are you supposed to live for someone else? You can’t. I could tell you the meaning of life, but it wouldn’t be the meaning of your life. It takes a lifetime of experiences to understand the meaning of life. Not just the meaning of any life; the meaning of your life. Life is the art, and art is life. We cannot live for someone else, but we struggle to, we try to pour our soul into art so that someone might feel a glimpse of the same thing we felt, live a fraction of our lives, and thus keep us alive through art. We don’t need to live. We don’t need to think. We don’t need to do anything; so I ask you this: why do we? …Your life is art, and you are the meaning of life.

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Breathe

“Here’s good.” She said.

A man and his wife started driving off the highway because she wanted to see if they could go somewhere where there was no sound. They drive through a dusty plain until they can’t see the road, and then they get out of the car. No rush of cars, horns, alarms, bells. Nothing surrounds them except a single tree in the distance.

The car’s warm engine crackles and pops softly. She raises an eyebrow at him. He responds with a sigh and he leads her towards the distant tree. It’s hot, and it’s a long walk. He fans the both of them with a used road map. A little over half way the wife sees the tree clearly. A dryness has spread through its branches like a cancer. The husband turns to look back, seeing that his wife had stopped walking. For the briefest of moments they were alone.

“Here’s good.” She lies down on the ground, and he joins her. She rests her head on his chest, closing her eyes, imagining nothing, listening to the only sound in the world; his heartbeat. It was bigger than anything in that moment, it was the only thing she felt, and when she closed her eyes it was all she knew. If she so much as lifted her head, opened her eyes, it would be gone forever. Of course his heart would keep beating, but it wouldn’t be the same. It would never be the same.

Unaware she had been holding her breath, she finally relaxed, and let it go.

“Here’s good.” He echoed. “…Here’s good.” And he closed his eyes.

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What can I start you off with?

I’ll have the wings

Excellent choice

And I’ll have the onion rings

Excellent choice as well, you’ll enjoy them.

And I’ll have the quesadilla

…interesting.

What?

Nothing.

Should I choose something else?

No, it’s just an interesting choice; that’s all.

What’s interesting? Is that bad?

No, not necessarily. Just… interesting.

Should I be concerned?

No.

Would it be better if I got onion rings?

I mean, it depends on you. If you want a quesadilla, I would recommend you get the quesadilla; but the onion rings would be an excellent choice.

…fine. I’ll get the onion rings.

Are you sure?

…not really, but I have to choose something.

Well, you don’t HAVE to choose anything.

But I’m hungry.

So what do you want to eat?

I said I’ll have the onion rings—no wait, I still want the quesadilla.

Okay.

…Okay?

Yeah. Okay.

So it’s okay with you all of a sudden?

Sure.

Good.

Good. I’ll bring those right out.

Fine.

Fine.

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If ignorance is bliss, is it better to have forgotten something or to never have known it at all?

…I don’t even know how to answer that question.

You could start by picking one or the other.

I mean, you’re asking about the loss of knowledge, where if you have experience either forgetting or not-knowing, then by it’s very nature you won’t know what it is you forgot, or never knew, therefore discrediting your own opinion as soon as you open your mouth.

I get what you’re saying, but isn’t it possible to know what you’ve forgotten, yet impossible to know what you’ve never learned?

Hmm, then I suppose yes and no. I know I used to be good at calculus in high school, but if you gave me a double integral I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Not many of us would.

Anyhow, in that sense I know what I’ve forgotten, but that’s just a matter of practice and maintenance of the mind. But for the other half of that, if we want to get real technical, I’ve never learned how to fart–I just know how to do it.

But that’s just a bodily function. That’s like saying you know how to grow your own hair.

No it’s not. You don’t have to make a conscious effort to grow your hair, but you can however make a conscious effort to fart. It’s something you have control over more or less.

I’m still not buying it… what’s that smell?

Nothing — Anyways, I guess it’s just hard to quantify your own loss of knowledge, ergo consciousness.

Like asking someone, “are you asleep yet?”

Yeah, you need someone else to remember for you.

But if we can’t even trust ourselves to remember, how can we trust someone else to?

Hmm, I guess I’ll start taking more pictures.

Don’t forget to smile.

You don’t have to remind me.

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