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Circles and Points (of existence).

Nov. 14th, 2015 | 12:11 pm
location: Front Royal, VA.
mood: Poetry.
music: Lincoln Durham - Ballad of a Prodigal Son. Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful.

I am a point on the circumference of a circle. Senselessness is demonstrated by the irrationality of pi separating me from the point who created me, the center and progenitor of the circle upon which I lie. I, as it, am not extended. The vastness of pointless space separates us, allows for the existence of us both.
If I describe a circle about myself, it may be composed from any radial length. My radius will double to produce my diameter, my measure of Two. The radius looks forward to describe the surrounding; the diameter reaches forward and back, and only exists in all space when the circle has been fully described. The radius exists, most vitally, during all moments of creation. During the initial moment of creation, the anticipation of that outward-looking eye was all of existence.
In essence: What Other?
Essence is existence without itself existing.
If I set my eye to the point of my genesis, I will resemble my generative point and its circumference in every respect. Size, shape, nature. I will continue as a point on its circumference, and it will be encompassed within mine. We share only those two points which perfectly describe both of our universes. That, and the empty space we both enclose while reaching with our arms.
If I look past the point that formed me, reach to my opposite point, I encompass the universe, and me, but I am no longer my center. The weight of my creator, its circle, weighs down the emptiness of the larger circle I described. I falter. I encompass all, and more than all.
And if I seek the smaller circle, the one tightly bound to me, I find only me.
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I am my own guinea pig.

Jun. 18th, 2014 | 12:42 pm
location: Front Royal, VA.
mood: Optimistic.
music: The Fratellis - For the Girl, Look Out Sunshine, Johnny Come Last, Milk and Money, When All the Lights Go Out, Lazybones, Moriarty's Last Stand, Stealin, The Pimp, Pretty Like a Girl, etc.

I hesitate to write about this in a public medium. For one thing, it's prone to eliciting responses I have no desire to instill or see. For another, it's the sort of thing that tends to make me doubt the intentions of the person who's publicly talking about it.
There is little to be gained by writing publicly. I doubt most people would even understand where I'm coming from in any genuine way, and there is nothing more unsatisfying than talking past people. (The delight some people take in speaking above people notwithstanding.) But I've been wanting to make a public entry, and since I decided to do something about the issue, it's become a fairly dominating part of my life.
Been sorting out my head pretty concertedly since last October. There have been marked ups and downs in that process, but my moods have stayed out of the extremes I had been accustomed to since adolescence, and the increased baseline level of stability has been lovely. In general, it's been a good thing, in spite of a few bumps along the road.
Sorted through a lot of my motivations, acknowledged a lot of my failings and strengths, saw how my history and experiences fed into and nourished who I was. Killed a lot of my ego, particularly many of the aspects that were most destructive to happiness and health.
This had side effects, namely a marked decrease in self-loathing and self-aggrandizement (they are nowhere near as different as most people claim, and I honestly doubt that one can occur without the other). The most noticeable change was the fact that I stopped seeing the endurance and self-infliction of pain and misery as an indisputable mark of virtue.
I've self-injured since I was six years old, if not longer. At the time, I'd shove sewing needles into my skin, pull the skin up, and twist it until the skin started to split. Little things like that. Not particularly painful. But it got worse, and as it got worse, I started to hide it. Getting attention for it would have defeated the point, which made it very important that no one knew. The issue wasn't a desire for pain, but a desire to endure pain with no supports or external signs of distress. Because that was virtue. There are reasons for that, too, but going into it would take far too long for the purposes of this entry.
Thought about it a little further, and connected other tendencies to that desire to self-injure, to endure misery. In this case, I'm talking about what was effectively a religious tenet for me: Thou Shalt Not Take Pain Medication.
I have migraines that cause extreme motor weakness and numbness, frequently to the point of actual paralysis, around once per week (more, if I've been exposed to certain triggers). I have been in chronic pain in an increasing number of joints since I was ten years old. And I religiously didn't take pain medication.
There's a certain absurdity in this. Granted, my migraines have never been helped by any medication I've tried to alleviate them, but that isn't an excuse for ignoring the pain in my joints. (Early-onset osteoarthritis is documented as galloping in my family, to the extent that surgery for it in our twenties is not uncommon, and that's just one issue.)
I always had better health than my sibling and mother, but even I was prone to spraining and dislocating my ankles and knees whenever I tried to run, and having constant pain in and around those joints dating back to middle school. And I never tried to do anything about it. Never brought anything up to a doctor, never took medication for it, just lived with it without complaining. Pushed as hard as I could through it. Because that was virtue.
And the great thing is: That's finally striking me as fucked up. The shitty thing is: There doesn't seem to be much I can do about it.
More joints have joined the party, things intensified, et al. I don't want to go into the fine details, because it's just life. It's been life for longer than it hasn't, and I'm not actually bothered by it. Nor do I want pity, or to imply that that's my desire.
It's fine.
It's just annoying that I can't seem to do anything about it.
That's a slight exaggeration. Did a lot of research, and have found that stretching helps a lot. Have faith that exercise, carefully employed, will eventually help as well (currently, it just hurts). I was already employing pretty massive quantities of distraction and generalized thought techniques, because I found nothing lacking in virtue in those methods of dealing with pain. Also learned to be more conscious of where my joints were, and whether they were hyper-extending, which has all done a surprising amount of good.
Those alone get me to the point where I can think clearly more often than not (a novel experience, compared to the past year or two), but they don't help me get any more work done.
To add more, unfortunately necessary, background: The desire to maintain my capacity for speech has led to me dramatically decreasing my activities/housework over the past three or four years, in particular, because if I didn't I wound up a gibbering mess who literally Could Not Think past the level of pain.
The level of progress is good. Really good, actually. Better than expected for such simple changes. The trouble is that with that alone, I really couldn't do much housework without, once again, turning into a gibbering mess who can't follow a logical conversation without asking for clarification five times.
I really wish I was exaggerating. It's embarrassing, particularly for anyone who knew me when I was younger.
For the past few weeks, I've been playing with over-the-counter pain medication. Researched to figure out the risks and possible dosages, and settled on 3000mg of acetaminophen with 3200mg of ibuprofen per day as a maximum. That was if I cut back to one drink per day. Which I've done. Much more easily than I expected, actually, given that alcohol has been a very consistent part of my life since I was sixteen.
Been fiddling to try to figure out what works, what doesn't, how little I can get the medication down to, how much help I can actually gain through those methods.
And naturally, because my activity level and mood and luck with sleeping has been variable, the results have been variable. I'm still not very far along in figuring out exactly what's needed, nor what I should expect.
I can say that the trials are frustrating.
I'm still not sure how much ibuprofen I should actually be taking. I can say that the effects clearly last longer when I take higher doses at once, but the half-life drop-offs become even more painfully noticeable at higher doses as well, which makes it feel markedly like a situation of diminishing returns. In addition to that concern, there's the fact that any dose of ibuprofen higher than 400mg causes increasingly extreme headache, disorientation, and dizziness. Acetaminophen, if taken simultaneously with the higher doses of ibuprofen, does a very good job minimizing the headaches, but obviously does nothing for the disorientation and dizziness. This is good, because when I was taking it in staggered doses, it wasn't doing much at all. Allowing me to take higher doses of ibuprofen is better than nothing.
I just still can't figure out if the higher doses are worth it. The disorientation is less mentally debilitating than the pain before taking the pills, amazingly, so that isn't even a question in my mind. The question is whether I could theoretically get by with just 400mg of ibuprofen every four hours. Occasionally, generally when I slept better and am happier and don't do much, it feels adequate to keep my head in I-can-think territory. But that combination is a bit rare.
Yesterday, I took 800mg of ibuprofen and 750mg of acetaminophen shortly before bed, and pain still kept me awake well into the small hours of the morning. It's problematic.
So, as can be seen, sometimes 800mg feels like it does nothing. Sometimes, by contrast, 400mg seems perfectly adequate. The jump in effectiveness from 200-400mg is certainly a lot more noticeable than anything above that range was -- which lines up with studies I've read about -- but I keep feeling like if there's anything else I can do to help, I should be doing it.
And I'm running out of options. And still being kept awake at night, and frequently turned into a gibbering mess because of it.
But sometimes, I'm almost okay now. And I really like that. Which is the real point of this entry, in spite of what it might look like. Feeling good is good. Don't take it for granted, 'kay?
I'm looking forward to when I've done enough trials on myself to be comfortable saying that higher doses and acetaminophen are useless, or I can definitively decide that those additional steps help. Then I should be able to stop thinking about it, and live a little better than I have been.
I like that idea.
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Dancing around the issue, even as I start from the beginning.

Apr. 29th, 2014 | 12:52 pm
location: Front Royal, VA.
mood: Cold. Sad. Stubborn.
music: None.

The philosophical basis of my existence is individual, self-tended happiness.
I spent a lot of time coming to that conclusion, but I'm happy with it as a reason-for-living, as an answer to the Great, Persistent question of Why.
It's not very deep, but after a thorough and discerning examination, I don't think life is very deep. A glimpse into the cesspools and pure springs alike will lead you to a shallow and predictable end every damn time, trust me.
The world isn't a miserable place, don't mistake me. I'm not lamenting the fact that things are often simpler than people make them out to be, just acknowledging it.
Perceived complexities frequently stem from a desire to not see oneself or one's surroundings as clearly as they actually can appear. From a desire to be different from other, evil and boring, people that you meet. From a desire to believe in one's own specialness, talents, and accomplishments. From a desire to find something to follow, believe, love, or cling to while feeling those actions are justified.
Nothing is ever justified, not by rationality or virtue. Not absolutely, in any case. But things are always worth clinging to, loving, believing in. It's just often best to remember that you're doing it for yourself, not for any inherent virtue or truth or beauty in the object chosen.
So says all that I've seen, assessed, internalized, and rejected. Your mileage may vary, but the fact remains that my motivation for living is that self-serving and self-tended happiness. (No, it's not always selfishness. Again, don't mistake me.)
And I've been having a lot of that lately.
But now it's gotten difficult.
That's all.

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Not a secret.

Apr. 25th, 2014 | 11:41 am
location: Front Royal, VA.
mood: Absolutely amazing.
music: The Fratellis - Dirty Barry Stole The Bluebird.

This really is what life is all about.
It's not about making money or earning respect. It isn't about being adored or protected. It isn't about plans and making them happen. It isn't about accomplishments. It isn't about what you should be doing or feeling. It isn't about your responsibilities, or how well you handle them.
It's about each moment of happiness you can experience. It's about what and who you love -- not who loves you, but who you love. It's about beauty, and feeling your knees go weak. It's about breezes shocking you with their invisible touch. It's about unexpected kisses and hugs you weren't looking for. It's about all the little moments, and all the big ones, that make you smile without thinking.
It's about the anxieties going away. Letting them fade and melt and leave you with the peace that's always there, if you simply seek it out.
Everything else, every bit of anxiety and despair and hatred, is just a detail. And those details are never worth keeping.

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Some thoughts from the day. Nothing spectacular.

Feb. 26th, 2014 | 01:42 am
location: Curwensville, PA.
mood: Calm, nostalgic, slightly glad.
music: Jon Fratelli - Dead Street Affair, Bonnie & Clyde.

So chill today. Packed a lot, and got nostalgic about the country on Google Street View. As much as one can, anyway. Amazed that the world still doesn't know it exists, and refuses to. Maybe that will change within my lifetime, but this country is so large that I have my doubts.
They're back streets within back streets, that the sane just drive on by. Barely paved, poorly maintained, unploughed roads. Places with little to no access to the all-important internet. It amazes me. These days, with smart-phone capable scanning box things (you can tell I'm not up on this, can't you?) on every product you can buy.
And that electronic world isn't there, if you live in the country. Not in any way you can reasonably access. It's just fields and animals and sheds and homes that manage to be both large and modest. And it's a thirty-minute drive to civilization, if you're lucky. If you're not, it's probably only fifteen to a rather small, inadequate general store. And you're lucky if the little hamlet that houses it has one restaurant with edible food. And I don't mean gourmet, or fusion cuisine, or whatever remote Asian/Middle Eastern food is being hyped to death this year. I mean food that wasn't pulled out of a can and heated up for you. (Yes, I've seen canned food served in restaurants.)
I've lived too many places, too many different types of places.
And as much as I love the internet, and the sheer accessibility it provides to everything in the world... the only place I ever really miss is the country.
Insular me.
(Holy moly! A public entry!)

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Beauty, Danger, Romance.

Feb. 7th, 2014 | 02:01 pm
location: Curwensville, PA.
mood: Thoughtful.
music: Pandora, lots of stuff.

Mishima was right. When I was young, it was the danger of beauty that appealed. Now, it is the beauty of danger. (See here.) But when one reads highly psychological works, the main appeal is inevitably those moments when you're pegged like a butterfly on a board, locked in a case, observed.
Unlike the narrating character, my reaction to the danger of beauty tended to be to seek out the danger. I would, unabashedly, link danger and beauty together and embrace danger even when many forms of beauty were lost in the process.
But romance is always beautiful, and true romance inevitably involves danger.
Now I'm older, my tastes a bit more refined, and it is the beauty itself that I'm prone to seeking out. It's almost unfortunate, and simply inevitable, that danger is tied up with beauty. But beauty is the goal, whereas in my youth a crude fixation tended to lead to danger itself being the goal, with beauty as a highlighting frame.
It's a difference, and though my behavior is oddly similar in both mindsets, a significant one.
When danger itself is sought, there is always an attendant fear. And that fear, and the courage to overcome it, supplies much of the beauty that necessarily surrounds it.
But, while this notices the correlation, it does not acknowledge the causal force linking danger and beauty. That link, as I alluded to earlier, is romance.
I think I nicked this idea from Chesterton, though I can't find a reference in Google Books, and as the physical copy of the work is currently packed away, I can't find a reference.
In any case, the most fundamental characteristic of romance is an emotionally-motivated, irrevocable choice. Anything that cannot be changed contains some level of danger. Anything purely emotional contains inherent danger, in that it necessitates a certain level of internal dissonance between the mind and heart.
Marriage used to be romantic, even when it was more pragmatic, because it was irrevocable; but accessible divorce destroyed that romance in the same moment in which it destroyed the danger. Having a child is, as any feminist can tell you, both dangerous and romantic. It is an irrevocable choice that one may easily regret, that one has chosen to commit to in spite of the uncertainty of the result and the physical dangers involved. Going to war is romantic -- but there is nothing more romantic than proceeding forward in the face of possible death. Drug addiction is romantic; though the choice may be too passive, the weight of the decision to give up normal life and risk death for a dubious benefit is undeniably romantic. Seeking out a dream job can be romantic, in that one may need to risk their livelihood, perhaps in a permanent sense, for a chance to accomplish the goal.
But in all of these cases, something not safe is being done with an eye to accomplishing something. The point isn't that they aren't safe, but that, in all of these cases, the risks seem worth taking for the possible rewards.
Romance is, in essence, a gamble of high stakes, with lives and livelihoods and happiness on the line.
And it's this seeking of happiness, of things worth having at any price, that's been occupying my thoughts lately.
Yes, the beauty and the romance comes, in large part, from the danger. Without danger, so many acts would simply be droll and self-serving and uninteresting. Things can be wonderful, joyful, and full of love without danger. But they cannot be romantic, as defined.
So it's the beauty of romance I'm after, I suppose. But this time, my eyes are not fixed on the danger. Maybe they should be, but the lightness from simply feeling the danger and seeking the beauty is such a change from my younger, destruction-seeking self, that I can't help but notice the shift.
No safer than I was before, but my eyes are brighter.

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To get us to the end of time.

Dec. 10th, 2013 | 02:39 am
location: Curwensville, PA.
mood: Appropriately drunk.
music: The Fratellis - We Need Medicine (album).

If people were not kept alive indefinitely on tubes and machines, the average life expectancy of a human being would drop by six years. Secrets learned from NICU nurses. And given that that isn't, well, life, by any measure I'd care to have, I've been forced to readjust my expectations. To consider the world, and the human mind, and what it means to be alive. To be conscious. To be functional. To be happy.
And it's not difficult.
If you can accept your vices, your joys, your identity, life becomes enjoyable more quickly than you could ever imagine. Than I could ever have imagined.
I can get drunk on anything. On music; on conversation; on spinning around rooms to no sound outside of my head; on touching animals; on sex; on fashion; on meaningless flirtation; on pain; on deprivation; on religion; on knowledge; on fragrances; and on substances, too.
When I was young, I would play music at agonizingly low volume. I was always worried about losing my hearing, blowing out my ears, and not being able to hear when I was old.
Music is important, you see. It might well be the most important thing, for me.
Now it blasts. It blasts through headphones, half of the time, and it's so much more enjoyable.
Neil Gaiman wrote, in one of his works of fiction, that music will never be as important as it is to a fourteen-year-old. But I'm twenty-nine, and it means more to me than it ever has.
But then again, everything does.
When I was a teenager, life was meant to be lost. Beautifully, quickly, artistically, with meaning behind it. But lost, all the same. That was the point.
I'm older now, and I believe in living. In enjoying things. In savoring every goddamned moment that can be enunciated and analyzed and felt in our brief, trivial existences.
So music blasts. And I do what I like. And that's not much.
But the secret is that I don't see much to life. Distraction -- that's how I used to phrase it. The purpose of life. Devotion was, I would claim, the highest form of distraction. But distraction was always the goal.
Now, mea culpa, I have been forced to admit that my entire pursuit in life has been the acquisition of various forms of drunkenness.
And I see Dionysus, and have a great deal of trouble discerning how that pursuit can be anything but a form of devotion -- the highest form of distraction, the meaning of life.
Moral turpitude, or insanity. And it's all I can find, when I assess the world with cold, logical vigor. Or, for that manner, when I asses it with all the emotion and purpose I can muster.
So what then?
Living is distraction, is devotion, is enjoyment.
Morphine is put on level with the relief one feels after a genuine confession.
Sex is equivalent to flagellation.
And I'm not trying to be incendiary.
Welcome to my brain. It is a carnival, with a church at the edge.
I'm not a sinner, I'll confess at the end, but don't trust a single word I say.
<3

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Artificial lights.

Sep. 20th, 2013 | 12:07 pm
location: Pennsylvania.
mood: Pensive.
music: Manics songs. (From Despair to Where, Archives of Pain, Anthem for a Lost Cause, As Holy as the Soil, I Think I've Found It, Door to the River, Pretension/Repulsion, Bag Lady)

At the moment, I live in a post-apocalyptic, deserted rural wasteland. Rent is cheap, most of the stores fall into the Thrift and Dollar varieties, and the only place of substance is, as one might expect, WalMart.
It sits atop a hill. A winding road approaches it from a two-lane highway. The edges of this winding road are lined with anemic trees, wild wheat, and stalks of corn interspersed with all the inefficiency of accident. If approached by night, the edifice emits a pillar of uninterrupted light that leads the eye to heaven. Nothing competes with its brilliance, not even the stars.
It's not very good for the soul. Going in is worse.
Adverts selling hopes and dreams: Beauty, health, happiness, and skill. All paired with products claiming to grant those ends. Airbrushed, processed, posed photos promising realized dreams. The irony doesn't make me smile as much as it should.
And it leads me to despair, which is when I look around, when I try to find something, anything beautiful. The interiors of that chain are always built like warehouses, with great metal supports and pillars visible, in all their corrugated glory, to any eye with the bravery to look up from the endless sea of merchandise. At regular intervals, beyond these beams, you can see a series of glazed, white, pyramidal structures that point past the ceiling and into the sky. Their insides gape, empty spaces with no pretense.
What is this, I wondered. What is this oddity?
It seemed like an odd shred of honesty and hope. Being ignorant of architecture, I wondered at its purpose. Was it intended to allow light to filter in? The frosted white surface was surely not the best means to accomplish that goal, though I have seen bolts of lightning pierce its translucent surface. But that's lightning, and lightning pushes for attention with sound and fury. Not the weak light of day, with its passive illumination. And what purpose could such blind windows serve when night fell?
---
No more words. No conclusions. And I haven't written like this in ages. Apologies, whichever path is preferred. Lately my dual mantras of, "Everything is meaningless," and "Nothing is trivial," have been persuading me to fear my own words less.
But only less.

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Remember.

Apr. 19th, 2013 | 12:44 pm
location: Curwensville, PA.
mood: Thoughtful, as per usual.
music: Oingo Boingo at first, then random Danny Elfman scores.

When I was twelve years old, my mother finally left my stepfather, and we moved cross-country from Southern California to Ohio. We took a roundabout trip, stopping by the Grand Canyon and Vegas and a million places along the way. And somewhere on that trip, or shortly before, or shortly afterwards, I made a concerted effort to forget everything that had come before. The idea was to stop any thought of the past the minute it came into my mind, and direct my thoughts elsewhere. By that method, I supposed I could stop reinforcing the memories and lose them as quickly as possible. And once I had accomplished that, I would be able to build myself from a blank slate into whatever I wanted.
And, as these things go, it was fairly effective. Within two years I remembered very little of my childhood. Lately I've been trying to recall it, or have been reminded of it, by a myriad of factors. The most significant is having a child and being reminded of thought processes and interests I had at his age at every step along the way. Not all of it is simple reflection, some of it involves noticing differences. The most obvious differences come down to technology and the varying levels of accessibility to, well, everything that have varied in his life and mine (for example, he has always had computers, etc). But there are also quirks of temperament that vary between who I always was and who he is.
He's good at rote memorization. This baffles me because it is a skill I have never had. I can recall and recreate mathematical proofs to derive formulas, because chains of logic are intuitive and simple for me, but I can never remember the formulas. That is the most extreme example, but it's illustrative. And it baffles me, and leads me to teach him in different ways than I knew I had to be taught. He asks why and how and follows logic just fine, as well as I remember doing so, from the looks of things, but it's strange to have the easier paths that don't involve intricate explanations as a necessity for comprehension available.
But this isn't what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the decision to abandon childhood at the age of twelve. I don't believe my decision was unique, rather a more deliberate and intellectualized version of what just about everyone does at that age. When you are a pre-teen, at some point it is going to become blindingly and strangely obvious that you aren't a child any longer, and the reaction is extreme. You suddenly want to be away, far away, from the parents you once relied upon to form your attitudes and even tastes, because you are suddenly aware that you have the right and obligation to do so on your own. And it's very easy to believe, in one pressing and unavoidable moment, that everything you enjoyed and liked before your eyes were opened was bad, simple, childlike and worthless.
And so it was for me.
The problem is that childhoods are important.
When we moved to Ohio, and finally found a place to live and gainful employment, and I went back to school, I found myself confused above all else. Middle school, and the people were nothing like I was used to. This is where things started going downhill. I'd always been an avid student, an avid learner, if rather solitary. But I had decided to forget all of that, and suddenly I was in a very different place.
Everyone was white, and blond, and (culturally) Christian, and there suddenly seemed to be far fewer options of how to dress. Everyone spoke English at home, everyone had a television (and watched the same shows). And I looked around, and I wanted to find something to be, something to grow into, something to care about, and it wasn't there.
I have nothing against white-bread American life. It just wasn't something I'd really seen before, and when you come from a muddled pool of Middle Eastern and Asian friends into that, it's... Not the same. There's nothing familiar, there's nothing comprehensible.
And so I looked elsewhere. I stopped having friends, I stopped worrying about schoolwork (though I still learned everything as a point of honor, often before it was covered in class), and I grew predictably depressed. And I found things, and built up various shreds and scraps of identity with labels and tastes and joys to intersperse my new-found love of misery.
And then I grew up, which is where the remembering comes in.
I'm frequently baffled by how important my childhood really is to me these days, by how solidly and inevitably it defines when I think of as normal, ordinary, admirable and deplorable. And when I find my taste returning to what it was as a child, I feel even more confused.
So much effort. And at the end of the day I still am the same as I was as a child. Fascinated by darkness, never afraid, wanting the world always to be stranger, more intricate, more nuanced. Meanings behind meanings and feeling only when it doesn't matter, because feeling when it matters just stops rational thought and proper action.
I'm confused when people don't understand that people are different from them, and absolutely baffled when they have a problem with that. Much of my childhood was spent discussing the differences between my life, and the lives of my friends, thanks to our dramatically different backgrounds. And much of that time led to us learning different ways of looking at things, and new things to care about, from each other. And not liking differences, acknowledged differences in thought, and living without that discourse and increasing understanding of all the souls around you seems. Bleak. I can't imagine not wanting it, and doing all you can to nurture it.
That's the biggest thing, I think. That's what I'm grateful for, what I'm glad to remember.

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Completely self-contained.

Mar. 27th, 2013 | 12:47 pm
location: Curwensville, PA.
mood: Thoughtful amidst the illness-induced lethargy.
music: Pandora, pretty orchestral things.

Oddly pleased to see that this place is more-or-less as I left it. More active than I expected, though I admit to not expecting too much. Lately a place to reflect has seemed useful, and occasionally even necessary, but I'm not certain that's going to happen. Not today.

Growing up has produced the strangest things. I am not self-conscious, I am not hesitant, I am not pretentious. Everything folds together into a unified whole that, to a large extent, could have been predicted in my youth. Too much time spent on philosophy, but I've been pondering the meaning of life since seeing Bill and Ted as a child, so that may just be an inevitable quirk of my character.

I love music. That's what surprises me. Love and love and it may just be the most important thing in my life. Cue my complete consciousness of the absurdity of that statement. And the embarrassment of the truth. And the consequent lack of shame, because I don't think an honest assessment of oneself should ever provoke disdain. Unconscious hypocrisy is one thing, but to know that your values are simply different. Well, that's just being human.

But I don't have much music these days. I look through my collection, I am amazed by how much of it is still brilliant, but I don't want to listen to it. Myself has changed too much from the teenager who collected it. And, perhaps most importantly, I don't want to hear lyrics that completely fail to resonate.

I don't care about alcohol, drugs, early romances. I don't care about not fitting in. I don't care about wearing masks. I don't care about angst or fear of growing and being. I don't care about love. I don't care about how horrible the world is.

I know, and I know, and most of it simply doesn't matter. Which is to say, I've largely been listening to instrumental music to bridge the gap in my soul, though I'd love to find more music to relate to. Or at least that doesn't actively annoy me when I listen to the words.

Maybe I just want my music to grow up a little. To think about different things.

Amused more often than I'm angry, and generally while thinking about the same topics. Generations, and what it means to be human are on my mind a lot lately. Information changes, and people interact with it differently, but at the end of the day everything is always so similar, over and over again. The manifestations simply change as opportunity allows. We're all learning the same things repeatedly until the end of time. And that's amusing, particularly with how much effort we all expend to avoid it, or spare our children the same fate.

But the world is what it is. And you can make it something else, or make your own world instead. Or maybe do some combination of the two. Everyone dies anyway, so we're really just passing time until the end. And that's a comfort, albeit one that brings some trepidation.

I used to want to be someone. To find a label and fit. I wanted to make sense in a concise and easily comprehensible way, and to have that be a connecting point for others. Now I just want to know what I want to do, and that tends to be synonymous with what I want to make.

It doesn't really matter what you do, where you go, how financially solvent you are if all you care about are the worlds inside your mind, and helping them to get out. And that's where I am right now, to a large extent. And I can't really comprehend caring about anything else.

For a long time I was trying to find myself in other things, to bring things in and change myself in an attempt to make it fit more precisely. But there's no need, not anymore. Not when it's so much simpler to let the water flow in the other direction.

Not that I don't enjoy finding things that resonate well, that are in the same place and producing things to the same effect that I would myself. That's glorious. But the quantities are few these days, and that's alright as long as I can supplement the materials myself. That's what's changed.

Maybe I'm just not afraid anymore. Of anything.

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