Tag Archives: why

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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Borrowed

It’s really interesting the cultural shift towards lending out what you don’t use for others. You can rent someone’s house for the weekend, have someone give you a lift in their car, use someone’s place as storage… it’s interesting people are becoming more conscious of maximizing their resources (not being wasteful… is that what sustainability means?), and in the proper American way of “how can I make money off this?” It’s like in cultures where it’s common to have big, close families all the sharing happens within the little ‘tribe,’ but here we seem to not have that, and instead pay for the same service and favors. It’s Iike paying a fee to have that communal feeling of generosity–because it is not expected of us.

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Take Me

Where does wind come from?
And where does it go?
I’m not really sure that the wind even knows.

May I ask you a favor?
When the time is right,
Take me where the wind blows.

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“Life is a game, but the consequences are real.”

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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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What’s on your mind?

Every living creature dies alone. That sort of thing.

That’s not always true. I’ve heard sometimes big groups of people, like in cults, come together and have mass suicides, like a big suicide party–oh and don’t forget about natural disasters. Lots of people die together in those.

Thanks. I feel way better now.

Well don’t drag your shit onto me. I’m feeling pretty good right now and I don’t want to deal with your existential crisis. I’ll deal with it when I get depressed on my own accord.

You could have just said that first. You don’t have to be such a jerk about it.

I was starting to feel bad, so I had to knock you down a few pegs, which made me feel better I gotta say.

Haven’t you heard of sharing the load to make it lighter?

Haven’t you heard about turds in punch bowls? I don’t want your shit in my mouth.

But we never talk about this kind of stuff. No one does.

And for a reason. People want to feel good. Yeah, we all know we’re all going to die, but we’d rather just distract ourselves from it than spend time thinking about it and dealing with it. Why do you think people are always on their phones doing dumb shit when they could have a quiet moment to reflect? Why do you think we distract ourselves from thought in general?

Yeah. I guess we’ve kind of gotten soft. No one wants to do the hard mental work to find true satisfaction; they just want to play fucking candy crush and feel happy for beating the next level or watch some fucking cats doing cute cat things.

Well yeah, that’s just the way it is, so deal with it.

I’m trying.

Well you’re sucking at it. Try harder.

But if I just distract myself it won’t actually change anything.

…I’ll give you some advice that my great grandpa gave me before he died, as long as you promise to shut up.

Ok. Sure.

When you feel like you are going to die — don’t die; and you will survive.

He said that?

Well, I’m translating, but that’s the gist.

Bullshit.

Well it’s what he said. Now shut the fuck up and eat some ice cream.

There’s no way he said that.

He was on the forefront of wisdom, what do you want me to say?

How about what he actually said?

But that is what he said.

I object! You expect me to believe this ill-conceived hearsay?

Why not? Everything is hearsay anyways. You wouldn’t even know how old you are if someone didn’t tell you. Everything can be true or false; it just matters if you believe it. You see, there’s a certain point in life when you realize that you’re not the judge. You don’t decide what happens, so you try to be the lawyer for a while, arguing about why it happens and all the time-consuming, convoluted questions that go along with that. But then you realize that you’re a crappy lawyer and are only confusing yourself, so you take another step back. Your real job is to be the jury, and decide what you want to believe. Because believing is the only choice we have, and the only decision worth giving a damn about. So don’t tell me you’re going to die, and don’t ask me why it will happen; just tell me what you’re going to do about it.

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Okay, so Just lie there. yeah. sprawl out like that.

But I’m hungry.

Uh, here. Have these grapes, and just tilt your head back and slowly dip them into your mouth.

Why can’t I eat them normally?

Because this is art. We have to capture the essence of what it means to eat grapes.

Can’t you just hang some grapes up and then paint me in later. My arm’s getting tired and I’m going to have a sore neck in the morning.

It is essential that you hold them… for the uniformity of the piece.

I still don’t get why I have to be naked. I’m getting cold.

You’re not naked, you’re expressing the vulnerability of mankind.

Then why can’t you just get a naked man?

No! I mean–it wouldn’t be the same. For this particular work of art I need a young female in full bloom; otherwise it won’t work.

You haven’t even set up the canvass yet.

I’m getting there! I told you, I need to visualize. You know… art. Just, just eat the grapes and let me work — slowly.

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newspaper

A man sat down on a park bench and started reading the newspaper. He grew more and more bewildered with each word, not knowing what to make of the news.

A child then came up to him and asked, “Sir, why are you holding that upside-down?”

To which the man replied, “Because I’m illiterate.”

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