Monday, June 28, 2010

Beware the Jabberwock or A Simple Kind of Life

I'm so ashamed, I've been so mean

I don't know how it got to this point
Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life

How'd I get so faithful to my freedom?
A selfish kind of life
When all I ever wanted was the simple things
A simple kind of life

No Doubt- Simple Kinda Life
Lyrics and Vocals - Gwen Stefani

Beware the jabberwock, my child, the jaws that bite, the claws that snatch-Lewis Carroll

Life can be a lot like a jabberwocky- a kind of cage that encloses you in imaginary what ifs. What if I had chosen a different path, what if someone had chosen me, what if, what if, what if. And sometimes you can’t even remember what choice you made that led you here, or what dream you had that disappeared. I often wish I had had bigger dreams for myself as a kid. That someone had had dreams for me. I wish I had had dreams at all. Most of my life has been spent working, nose to the grindstone, and looking up every now and again to realize that I had no idea where the grindstone was rolling to. I have felt trapped in that hardworking, but oblivious persona. And every now and again, when some blinding flash of the obvious hits me, I realize how little time we have, and yet I still can’t seem to use it well enough. I never wanted to be the person who scaled Everest- I simply wanted to see it happen, to know that it could be done. I have accomplished some things in my life, simply by plodding away at them, but I’ve never felt the bursts of inspirational fire that the people I admire have. I will never see in the way of Picasso- in bursts of color and abstract shapes. I will never write in the way of Neruda, cool, honeyed, exotic words. I never wanted to. Then I did. And it was too late. I thought the simple life was all there would be for me and now I find that even the simple life may be beyond me. There are so many things I don’t understand. I want to be inspired by real life, and the imagination both, and find myself existing in one, wishing for the other, and not really feeling either. Where have all the Muses gone? And why did they never touch me? Life can feel a lot like a jabberwocky- a cage that encloses you in neverending “ I wants”. I want to be special. I want to be creative. I want to be loved. The simple things in life. Is there anyone out there who knows the answer to it all? Does anyone have the key? Tell me. I want to know what would happen if only......

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can't Get There From Here or After The Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings and Flew Away

     Desperation has a bouquet all its own. It’s the scent of the hunted, of rage and fear, adrenaline pumping from your pores. Desperation is an outstanding evolutionary culling tool, because it separates the quick and the dead, predator from prey. It sometimes feels like the world is designed to make you desperate, to place you in perilous situations- (the truth is we do it to ourselves, adrenaline junkies, drama queens that we are. We act like it makes us feel alive. By definition you’re alive, dope- the question is whether you’re living. And most of us aren’t.)
       Desperation has a tendency to force you to make choices, to act. It focuses you, makes you more of what you are. If you were smart before, it sharpens your wits, sometimes enough to slit your own throat. If you were (ahem) less than stellar, you tend to get dum ber while under the wire. Desperation is like the Sword of Damocles swinging over your head. Jump one way or the other, you live or you die. Really, you live and you die. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. In life, the thing is, you have to realize that those desperate moments are just that..moments. They can be overcome. Life is like a tunnel and depression is like plaque in your arteries. It can make you sick, squeeze the breath out of you, make you wheeze and shake like a user in rehab. But if life is a tunnel, you are a conduit (to extend the metaphor)- you can expand. Life flows through you and in desperate times, that is when you need most to enbiggen (thanks Simpsons!) yourself, not to seal yourself in. You need to open yourself to the flow, to hope, to inspiration. If the Sword hangs above you, cut through it like Alexander. Trying to force down a big knot of pain, is like trying to swallow one of those horse sized tranquilizer pills that doctors often prescribe for “stress”. It will choke you and it won’t really solve the problem, only exacerbate it. It numbs you and makes you afraid to feel anything- and if you can’t feel anything, what’s the difference between being alive and dead? When you figure that out, it makes all the difference in the world. You can’t get where you want to be in the world by being desperate, or afraid. Desperate rats in a cage may scramble and climb, but they never get anywhere. You are not a rat- you are a conduit, a pipeline for the essence of all things. Don’t close yourself off. Don’t beat your head against the walls. Be still and listen and feel. Then move. Whatever direction you move, you’ll no longer be huddled under the knife. And even if you still don’t know where you’re going, you’ll go straight and proud, walking on the edge.

I do believe that most men live lives of quiet desperation. For despair, optimism is the only practical solution. Hope is practical. Because eliminate that and it's pretty scary. Hope at least gives you the option of living.

Harry Nilsson

Waltz For Life Will Born
I like the idea of waltzing for life- how 'bout you? Shake off your desperation today and dance!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fight Club

     No positivity today. Every so often, people fall into a slump.  Unfortunately, today my slump happens to be a million miles deep. I sometimes feel like I'm on the outside looking in at life, but whenever I try to get inside, I then find myself desperately wishing I hadn't gotten caught up in the whole mess. It's almost like life is a fight- a go the whole nine rounds, knock down, drag out fight, and right now life is kicking my ass. It's slamming me on the ropes, and pile driving me to the mat and I kinda feel like it would really just be best to tap out. But I don't. No matter how hard life is slamming me in the face, no matter how much I wish I could just go to the mat and let life whale on me until the blood, sweat and mucus runs down my face, (how's that for an image?), no matter how much I want the bell to ring so I can go down for the count... I don't give up.  Stupid me.
      I am terrified about my future, nauseous, stressed out, and would like nothing more than to be unconscious for longer than the, barely,  six hours of sleep I get every night. I would like to be led by the hand to the next job, my future,  whatever is coming, because right now, I simply can't see it on my own. There are too many variables, and every one feels like it is so crucial, that if I make the tiniest mistake, I will forever, explosively,  f***  up my life . If I were a mouse,  the future would be a snake, hypnotizing and petrifying me, and right now, licking its chops.  I have never felt more like the underdog.  (Ok- not true, I often feel like the underdog. Then I get over it till the next crisis. Which happens to be now.)
     All I can do, is what I can do. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, take the punches like (if you'll pardon the metaphor) like a man.  I feel like Homer Simpson in that episode where he gets into boxing. Dumb as he is, he simply couldn't be knocked down- (mostly because he had a layer of fat around his brain, which protected him from too much brain damage. I know. I find our similarities quite startling as well). 
I'm not a powerhouse. I can't give life a roundhouse blow. I'm about as powerful as a kitten batting a piece of string. But at least I can stand. It's the best thing I can do- maybe the only thing I can do right now, till I get a better feel for the ring. Life is a struggle, a fight to the death. Maybe I couldn'ta been a contenda' (notice my Rocky accent), maybe I'm a small fry. But even the best has been known to choke in the clutch and let the underdog win.  I'll stay in the fight. I'll take those odds. I'll keep going- it's the only thing I know how to do. It's the only way to win.*

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
William Barclay 

* Hmm, a little positivity slipped in there after all!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Rainbow Connection

Somewhere over the rainbow,

Skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
-music- Harold Arlen
-lyrics- E.Y. Harburg

The one thing that connects us all is our unconscious. The dreams we dream as we lie asleep, on the beach, in our beds, under bridges – the visions we struggle with, and indulge in, brought about, maybe, by too much dinner, too much drink, too much stress, but all stemming from the same source. The spirit which makes us human, more than animals, less than divine, allows us to dream. To dwell in an other reality where nightmares loom, and precious fantasies are fulfilled. But, if any one knows, I do, that dreams and wishes aren’t real. Unless you make them real. I have nursed wishes like babies at my breast and been broken hearted when they didn’t come true or didn’t come true the way I thought they should have. I have , often , been wholly disappointed in dreams. They are common, like pests. An old saying, -“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. If wishes were fishes, we’d walk on the sea.” In times when I have felt so down I forgot which way was up, I held on to dreams to get me through. But now I think it is time for new dreams. Not sleepy dreams, or “maybe one day” dreams, or “if only” dreams. But real , achievable capital “D” dreams. Dreams that I choose when I’m awake. Nothing nostalgic, or yearning, but something, paradoxical as it sounds, structured. A dream with a purpose. Over the course of my life, I have often had to make a dream for myself. I don’t know what I dreamed of doing when I was a kid. I don’t know if I forgot my dreams, or far more likely, even then, didn’t really dream at all, couldn’t see myself accomplishing much of anything. My childhood was oblivious- and not in a good way. I didn’t have a talent, or a foregone idea of where I wanted to work, or who I wanted to be. I went where I was told. I drifted. But after a year abroad, I’ve come to realize that I need to create my own dreams out of whole cloth. I need to make that list and check it twice, (but don’t call me Santa!). I need to make my life a dream I never want to wake from. In Celtic mythology, Epona is the goddess of horses and dreams. If you ask her, she will accompany your path and help you to make your dreams come true. I’ve never been the most creative person, or one who had a clearly defined path before her, but now I want to make a path for myself- a real path to happiness, however hard or long it maybe. If there is nothing I have been drawn to, then that doesn’t mean that there is nothing I can do, and especially shouldn’t do, to succeed in my own happiness. Happiness doesn’t have to be just in a dream, or over a rainbow. It can be real, true, and sustained, right here and right now. The “rainbow connection” is the journey from idea to truth, to reality- my reality. I hear the call of the future when I sleep. I can feel myself yearning, wanting my deepest desires to come true. This year I will make a new dream- I will write it down, and then …I will live it. Choose randomly, choose purposefully- but choose a dream this year. Choose it. Grasp it- follow it across a rainbow, and hang on to the tail of a star. Live your waking dream, walk your “moon-lines, your apple pathways “(Pablo Neruda). Walk into your dreams this year and never look back.

Who said that every wish, would be heard and answered

When wished on the morning star?

Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it

And look what it’s down so far

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it

It’s something that I’m supposed to be

Somewhere we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection,

The lovers, the dreamers and me

The Rainbow Connection- Jim Henson


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Copyright Statement