Tag Archives: death

Window

I found myself with some extra time today. I didn’t really like going for walks, but I convinced myself I don’t have anything better to do. Besides, I’ve been working hard and should relax. It was mid-afternoon and the weather was perfect, or at least how I like it. The temperature was warm, with a very high, thin layer of cloud cover that diffused the bright sunlight.

I came upon a park. It was a large grass field with a circular path around it and people from all walks of life. This park just so happened to sit on the top of a large hill. It was called “Reservoir Park,” probably because of the giant water tank fixed maybe 50 feet above the ground, giving life to thousands of houses below.

I started walking counter-clockwise around the park and noticed a familiar looking view. I’d never seen this particular view before, but I recognized it because it looked out over where I grew up. I stopped and stared out at the hill I grew up on. I used to venture into the woods and climb up a tree high enough so I could stare out into the future, unknowingly looking out to where I was standing today, into a mirror with no reflection. I tried to think about everything that’s happened between then and now, all the success, all the heartbreak, everything that’s gotten me to this point so far and changed me from who I was into who I am, but I couldn’t. Nothing came to mind.

From the outside I’d assume that this would be great cause for concern, or should at least worry me in some sense, but I wasn’t even aware that nothing came to mind (funny how minds work). I wasn’t void of memories, but I was remembering, only instead of thoughts coming to mind it was purely feelings coming to heart; the joy, the pain, the love, the longing. I stayed in that moment for quite some time, and after I began to continue my walk I realized I indeed have grown since a child staring out from the tree tops. Never once growing up did I assume I would end up so close to my original home (at least so far). I always had some lofty goal that I would be extremely successful in whatever I did and move far away to somewhere better, some mystical land, wherever that was. But that was before I came out of the woods and went out to live my life. It’s easy to dream when everything looks so open.

Possibly the most important growth that I have experienced is an emotional one. It may seem super simple for some, but I have always been a logical person, using reasoning, knowledge, and whatever else I could prove or validate in order to come to any conclusion. ‘Emotions’ have not been easy for me. I’d get happy and sad like everyone else, but I never got too attached to anything, and would never say, “I’ve got a feeling about this…” Emotions have more or less been a reaction or side effect, so for me a purely emotional response to something is quite amazing, awakening, and somewhat of a miracle. If I can simply look at a view and feel such a wide range and depth of emotions, then that’s amazing. What good are thoughts and circumstances if we don’t feel anything? Every time I asked myself “what do I want to do with my life?” I’ll come up with an answer, and then ask myself, “why?” I’ll do that a few times and it always boils down to something along the lines of “I want to feel happy, feel good, feel loved,” and a big part of that is making others feel loved as well.

I completed my circular walk and looked back across the park to where I stood saw the view, and I couldn’t see it anymore from where I was standing. The trees hid the view from the street, and I noticed if I hadn’t first chosen, logically, to go on this walk, then I would not have ever seen that view, that narrow window into the past. Of course it’s easy to see now, but how many other opportunities like this have I missed? In how many other ways am I still looking out from the trees, waiting to see a reflection?

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Reality Check

Bessy’s the best pet cow ever!
No, she’s not a pet…

Look! Goldie’s sleeping upside-down.
No, Goldie’s not sleeping.

She said I looked good.
No, she was just being nice.

Everyone laughed at my joke.
No, they were just laughing at you in general.

If I just had enough money.
No, if you just loved yourself first.

She’s the most beautiful girl ever.
No, you’re just drunk.

I want to be famous.
No, you’re just lonely.

I think she loves me.
No, she just said Hi.

I think I love her.
I think you’re crazy.

 

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Speed of Thought

I don’t wanna sound like a wiseguy or anything, and I’m probably not the first to think of this, but I think I figured it out:

I think that how fast time moves is relative to how much you think. Like, the ‘speed of thought.’ Everything is relative (is viewed in a context), and basically you have to filter all of your experiences through your mind in order to even experience them, so from the inside looking out, the whole world is in your mind (“it’s all in your head”). If you’re stumped on a problem or worrying about something, time may pass very slowly whereas if you’re just having fun and just enjoying the moment, or to exaggerate, if you’re sleeping, then time will pass very rapidly. If you dream than you spend more time being asleep. Thinking more slows down time whereas simply reacting skips over time. People have said regarding crazy moments that “it was like slow motion. I never thought it was going to end.” And conversely there exists “driving hypnosis” where you end up at your destination in the blink of an eye because you are so used to taking the same route that you require zero thought to drive it. This line of thought leads to the creation of memories as what allows us to place ourselves in time. Without any memories, there is no time. Babies do not have memories, and thus have no concept of time (and aren’t really much alive yet, like, viva la vida etc…). And they are also really stupid. But on the other end of the spectrum you might have someone with Alzheimer’s who does not have the ability to create new memories, and is, although it’s painfully sad to say, pretty much already dead (from their point of view). So the next time you fall into routine, or order the same thing for lunch, or drive the same way home, or do the same activity with your friends, stop… and think about that. Make a memory.

 

EDIT (3/16/14): I came across this video that has a much more informed position than my generalized curiosities. It’s a fun watch if you have a few minutes, however the title is a bit misleading…

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Life is a one-liner.

No it’s not!

Well it’s not now. Why’d you have to ruin my one-liner? I had a perfectly fine one-liner until you came in with your stupid line. It’s not like we can just take it back. We’re stuck with it.

Well you don’t have to pretend like it doesn’t exist. Without that second line you would have never been able to make that third line. Maybe we ARE stuck in this together, but it wouldn’t kill you to see the good in it.

…Oh, what a mess. look at all these lines. What are we going to do?

We’re going to deal with it.

Can’t we quit without saving, or ctrl+alt+del?

Could you be able to sleep at night?

No… probably not.

I could… I’m scared.

If it’s really what you want then, then I’ll do whatever makes it easier for you. I don’t get much sleep anyways.

I’m going to miss you.

You don’t have to.

I want to.

Ready?

Yeah…

–END TRANSMISSION–

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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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