Tag Archives: experience

Miracle

The human mind is a miracle that can make something more than it actually is. For example, at first a flower is just a flower, but after your mind grabs hold of it it is love, it is life, it is hope–it becomes a memory, still present even after it has wilted and died.

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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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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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The Snowball Effect

Experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities…

You’ve heard of the ‘snowball effect.’ Something starts out small and starts to gain momentum to the point where it’s either unstoppable or out of control, or both. Fire is another good analogy for something that can start small and grow and grow and grow, but how often does something keep growing forever? I can’t really think of anything, which is why I like the snowball effect. You have to control fire to keep it from spreading. Fire spreads on it’s own and doesn’t take any effort. I’ve never seen an idea spread on it’s own. You need people to spread ideas and you need people to have ideas in the first place.

You can’t put an idea in a museum.

Think about a snowball. You scoop up snow from the ground and pack it into a ball. It takes some molding, shaping, and effort to pack it into a tight ball, because if you don’t it will fall apart. Now look at the ground. There’s a bare spot. You took that snow and turned it into something else. You used that resource, you took advantage of that opportunity, you gained experience, you made a connection, you learned something, you became stronger, you became more successful…

There’s still plenty of snow on the ground so you scoop up a few more handfuls and make your snowball bigger. It’s now big enough for you to push it along the ground and pick up more and more snow, constantly building and improving upon what you already have. You approach a hill and see someone at the bottom trying to gather as much snow as they can, too, by making snowball after snowball, perpetually starting and starting over. They use up all the snow around them and try to move to a new area to gather more snow, but they can’t carry all the snowballs. They can only take a few in their arms so they become removed from their snowballs as they must move to start over. You watch them repeat this cycle a few times until they’ve left piles and trails of snowballs showing where they’ve been, yet they only have a few snowballs in hand to show for it. They have as much snow as you–maybe even more–but they can’t do anything with it.

The beauty of the snowball effect is that you need help. You need people.

You push your snowball down the hill and it gains speed, picking up snow as it goes, growing into something too big for one person to manage, and it breaks under its own weight. It cracks and splits into several large pieces. You waive to the person you had been watching and they come over and start rounding out the rough edges and patching up your fractured snowballs with their little ones, filling in the holes until they are round again. Like them, you initially bit off more than you could chew. You carry on, both pushing your new snowballs along, gathering more and more until the load becomes too much and must be shared by yet another, and so on, and so on.

Keep building — experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities — keep building upon what you have until you can’t build anymore, before the other part of the snowball effect takes over…

melting.

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Life’s a Birch

I was sitting in an office waiting. There was a painting of a forest of birch trees on the wall.

I noticed that birch trees always have so many knots on their trunk, like they’re falling apart and losing branches right and left. Either it’s bad construction, or they’re the laziest trees ever and simply get tired of holding their branches up. If I was a bird I would only build a nest in a birch tree if I was pinched for cash and needed a place to stay. Even the bark has given up and started turning itself into paper. It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways? Yeah, I get it, you’re supposed to grow and get tall… but why? Is there an optimal height that all trees are trying to reach? Because the taller you get, the easier it seems to snap in half in the middle of a storm, or lose your roots in a flood. Why not reach a modest, respectable height, and stop? Are you really going to benefit from being taller if you just keep dropping branches along the way? They are what built you up in the first place, so how do you think that makes them feel? You sacrifice what you consider to be dead weight just so you can sprout a few more leaves closer to the sun.

What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.

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Suitcase

 

A man decided to travel the world. Wherever he went that he hadn’t been before he had to constantly ask questions about where to go, what to eat, and what to do. He carried the suitcase with him on every trip, and as a souvenir he collected a sticker from each new place — but he didn’t stick them anywhere. He kept his suitcase clean and free of markings. One day he put all of his collected stickers on at once, and then people started asking him questions about where to go, what to eat, and what to do, so he started giving advice, even though he had never been there before.

You don’t need to have experience to know how to do something. Sometimes you just need someone to ask you a question.

 

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Jan 27th

Sunday, January 27th: good news: didn’t end up in Scottland. Landed in Reykjavik as planned, but still without our bags (not as planned). So what that means, is since I like to relax and pack light on the plane ride by wearing slippers and light clothing, my shoes/boots and jacket are still in Seattle. Mumsy was smart and wore shoes and brought her jacket on the plane.

We de-plained and I popped my contacts in and we verified with the elves chich bus to take. We had to wait an hour and got to watch the sunrise before our bus pulled in across the parking lot. There’s something different about the sunrise here… it’s blue. Not orange, not pink, not yellow, not tinted the wondrous hues of pollution, just… blue. There’s something very simple about such a pure sunrise that I can’t help but feel clean and refreshed to some degree, regardless of how I’ve only slept 5 hours of the last 48.

We waddled out into the parking lot. There was some ice on the land. The temperature isn’t too bad, just low 30’s, but the wind is rather biting. I stepped around the puddles with my slippers and knocked on the door of the bus going to the blue lagoon. The driver was sitting where the passengers do with his feet kicked up.

We were the only ones to enjoy the flat drive through an unusual windswept terrain of jagged volcanic rock blanketed with thick green moss, and sprinkled with snow for texture. I’ve heard there was a volcano somewhere and really wanted one of the small hills to blow up and start oozing lava. However we drove by a Subway and a Taco Bell/KFC, which was surprising enough.

I’d say the Blue Lagoon is a mystical place if I was forced to describe it. Amidst this rocky wasteland of untraversable landscape sites a milky, neon blue pool, the same color as the sunrise, steaming with mineral enriched geothermally heated goodness. In other words, it’s nature’s hot tub. Naturally the temperature of the hot springs is actually unbearable, so they have to mix cool water in it to make it livable.

You walk out into the freezing weather with only your bathing suit and slide into the springs. The lifeguard is wearing ski pants, a ski jacket, and a face mask, walking around to stay warm. As long as you don’t pull any wet body parts out of the water, you’ll never get cold and could stay in there all day. I think we were in for about 2 hours. I got really wrinkly, like, puppy shar pei status.

Walking around in the pool every now and then you’ll stub your toe on something, but in one spot I was walking on what felt like slimey pillows squishing between my toes. The springs create a naturally occurring silica mud, which is white in color, and which you’re supposed to put on your face to exfoliate. I don’t even know what ‘exfoliate’ means, but I felt exfoliated. It was the most relaxing experience I’ve had, maybe ever. Our bags had been lost and we couldn’t do anything else, so all we could do is relax. I came out of the springs and slept for an hour on an indoor pool chair facing the sun. Nevermind that earlier statement: sleeping in that chair after being in a warm exfoliate natural hot spring was the most relaxed I’ve ever been. My body had taken the opportunity to remind me what clock I was still following, and I never really snapped out of that sleepy Blagoon-induced relaxation for the rest of the day.

We were driven to our hotel, took a nap, ate some food, and crashed. I don’t usually recommend things out of the blue, but the blue sunrise, the blue water, the blue lagoon; well, it blue my mind.

(next day)

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experience

Malls seem to become magical secular “winter wonderlands” around Christmas time. The only reason there is all this confetti and fanfare around Christmas is because of Christmas. But stores don’t want to offend any of their customers, so they don’t explicitly acknowledge Christmas. However I’m Christian and see all this stuff and feel a little offended that they’re taking advantage of Christmas in this way without at least, at the bare minimum, giving credit where credit is due. But it’s not the stores’ fault. They’re just practicing good business. It’s the people that go to the mall and support the stores during this time that are to blame with the cold secularity of the ‘winter holiday’ season. If less people supported the stores as they prepare for Christmas midway through November, then the stores wouldn’t start decorating so early. You can’t blame anyone but yourself. So if you don’t agree with it, then make sure you have nothing to do with it, because when I walk through the mall I don’t want to hear your hypocritical ass complaining about it and ruining my seasonal shopping experience! I’m trying to enjoy myself here. I don’t need to hear “Seriously, what’s happening to the world?” as I’m cruising the mall. You are free to leave at anytime.

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