Sitting around waiting for someone to hit you over the head

Sitting around waiting for someone to hit you over the head with the next thing that you’re supposed to be doing, because this awful character trait carried over from childhood still persists in spite of all of your attempts to rid yourself of it.

In the meantime, you involve yourself briefly with this or that activity or subject, but you are just a big flirt, a dilettante. You can’t commit to any particular field or profession or subject matter, and yet you want more than anything to be known for being the best in the world at one particular thing. Specialists in any field, who have spent decades pursuing their art/craft/science, are going to block you at every turn unless you are ready to persist and show them what you are made of.

Isn’t that an utterly American thing, anyway, also carried from high school–to prove to the entire world that you are utterly exceptional at something? On some days, you’d rather be miserable at what you’re doing and the best at it, than be completely happy with what you’re doing as an amateur of no account.

If a thing makes you happy doing it, and it isn’t destroying you physically or spiritually or wrecking your finances and home life, then why not keep doing it? You don’t need to ever be known by some group of people as the best X,Y,Z…surely, you have seen enough that nobody knows a specialist outside of a few fields like entertainment and politics (or is that redundant?)

But, there is something more at play here, than simply becoming a great somebody at something. There is also the pervasive sense of pursuing the Truth about who you are and what the world is. You want only the sure things, the things you can with confidence say to yourself that you know them, even if you can’t necessarily prove them to anyone else. You know your own self to be a certain way–there is a hard floor that you land on when you try too hard to be somebody that you are not.

It’s really unfortunate that you let others try to lift you up off of that hard floor–though you do it less and less now that you are a 41-year old man. You don’t get caught up in the faddish pursuits of the young, or become excited about a new thing just to make yourself feel relevant and with it.

You know that you are probably going to die doing this one thing the most–sitting here and writing this way each week for a few minutes at a time. You aren’t going to take up skydiving or become known for having developed the next killer app. You might go back to dabbling in painting and music, and read the occasional popular math book or slip back into being all caught up in Jesus and stuff, but you know that none of these things will ever consume you and transform you the way that being a husband and father have. You aren’t going to become a triathlete or take up drag racing or wearing drag.

You have settled on the few things that you like and don’t like and you don’t particularly care if they aren’t the important and relevant things humanity craves from you or the Universe Really Wanted You to Do. The Universe is rather silent on the matter, and humanity is quite fickle about what it things is the most important and relevant thing to be obsessed with. A society that can elect a man like Trump as their leader and produce so many famous people who are famous for being famous is a society that isn’t really aligned with your own internal sense of what is important and what isn’t.

You continually get distracted by things

You continually get distracted by things, but then you inevitably come back around to the most important problems that are worth your attention and energy. You find yourself waking up in the middle of almost every single night with a sense that you were chasing down something important in your sleep, but you can never remember what it was that preoccupied your sleeping self.

The real question that continually bugs you isn’t one of whether or not a greater reality exists, but how such a higher plane of existence can fit with this one. In other words, you have been properly convinced by experiences not to be an atheist, yet, a higher realm of any sort is puzzling for many reasons. For obvious starters, why does it exist in the way that it does–with few people claiming to have any recollection or cognition of it?

Why bother having this particular reality at all, if it isn’t the most important one, and why have one that is more important, if it isn’t readily accessible?

Of course, there are plenty of easy and obvious answers around us all being in a training module of sorts, or being incapable of handling the Truth in its pure form. There are convincing arguments for the fact that most of us may simply enjoy being reincarnated with no memory of a past life. But, none of these ever quite seem to add up.

Putting aside the blunt and uncompromising answer of the purist Christian or Atheist — that there is no such thing as reincarnation — one is left with an urge to strike out and at least put for some kind of effort to find a hidden, undiscovered path.

The absurdity of trying to alter me

The absurdity of trying to alter me. I’m being and becoming who I was always meant to be. I can’t change, so why should I try to change You? You are timeless, You exist beyond any localized manifestation of You that I could hope to predict and control. It is better this way. It is better for the earth to undergo these changes, for mankind to suffer the birthpangs of shuffling out of its base consciousness. A return to the earth will take place. You strive to get away from the earth that spawned you, and then after you have removed all of your blinders and hangups, you find yourself comfortable with only natural things. Humans in their natural state are the only humans worth knowing. There is no evolution that will sustain itself without a return to the earth, the biosphere. Your altered state of consciousness, which you’ve tried to imprint in terms of solely consisting of digital information, abides in spite of your efforts.

There are no clothes that fit me well. All of the ones I’ve tried on suffocate me or slide right off. I wasn’t made to be clothed in garments of flesh and cloth. I was made to be adorned with earth, light and water.

One man likes noisy vehicles and music because he is frightened by what he hears inside of his own head. He can’t be left alone or he will lose his mind for good.

We don’t live in a quiet world, though. The motors hum, the cars rush by, the dogs bark, young people cry out to each other. We can’t abide in silence. Memories don’t come easy, either. I receive hints and traces of things that were once of great importance. I get these impressions that nudge my emotions, tickle my senses, but they never take me anywhere. I certainly never wake up inside of a completely formed memory.

Is this the way that it ought to be? Should I accept it as it is, and go with the flow, or attempt to fight it, or at the very least mold and shape it into something else? My older self says to relax and let what be will be. My younger self says to keep up the good fight unto death. I am welcoming of anyone who comes along and brings me relief from my selves.

There are plenty of books that need to be read, and weekend errands to tend to, yet I simply want to surf along the edges of my mind, flirting with sleep but never quite getting there. I want someone to confirm once and for all if my life could have been radically different if only I’d made different choices, or if my life was always meant to be the way that it has been.

There are no someones.

The idea was

The idea was to go back to the kind of work you could turn on and off at the drop of a hat. When 5PM hits, you stop what you are doing and leave it there. When 8AM arrives, you pick it back up. On weekends and holidays, you don’t think about it at all.

The relentless need to solve problems starts to seep into your subconscious until you are trying to solve dream problems all night long. You wake up exhausted and anxious, worried that you haven’t finished your work, but you aren’t quite sure what that work is.

I feel sometimes like I am doing time, or at least doing penance for all of the previous bad choices I made. I feel like I am repeatedly starting over.

Here I am, living in the same area I lived in during my first year down here, driving in through the same traffic to work downtown, and encountering the same office personalities, drama, bs, etc. This time, I have a wife and son, and I entertain no dreams of making it big in Austin so that I can move on to NYC. I am going to die here, that much is clear.

I would like to tell you that I am a much more mature and enlightened person at 41 than I was at 23, but I am never 100% certain what that means. I had something special at 23 that I no longer have–a connection with the world as an empathic person. I also had plenty of negative characteristics that I have minimized, like drinking myself to passing out every night and raging over minor infractions people caused me. I had a sense of entitlement that I no longer have. The world owes me nothing, if anything, there is so much that I owe that I may never be able to pay back.

What do I owe the world?

Aside from my financial debt, I owe the world a child or two who can at the very least be productive, responsible citizens. I owe the world much positive energy that I have selfishly consumed while thinking the positive energy was 100% mine to possess and do with what I willed. I owe the world some time of remuneration for all of the resources I consumed. I guess I feel like I pay some of this back through donations to charities, but I doubt that I give enough.

Maybe I feel like I am paying for my karmic debts by doing all of this writing, and putting the writing out there, as if somehow adding a tiny little drop of information into the vast ocean of human content will ultimately make a difference.

But, I am hopelessly fixated on myself, and set in consumer mode. It’s like a switch has been set for life–I must consume and make every last little thing be about me. Meanwhile, I rationally know that the world goes on about it’s business very well with or without me. I recognize that to make a difference in the world means that you have to completely change your mindset to be focused on what others need and want, and not on what you want.

Yet, I am afraid I am too old and ingrained in my old ways to change.

a new obsession

a new obsession
a new thing to occupy my time
it must be a thing that will transform me
i am ready to be transformed.
i am ready to be picked up, taken, shaken and placed into a work queue where i will churn out something productive and wonderful.
put me to work making some delightful thing
that countless trillions will consume and be transformed when they experience it.
a word should have power.
you should be capable of meditating on a set of words and becoming a transformed figure.
you shouldn’t need external stuff to help you achieve your goals.
enough diet and exercise and shelter from the elements and dangerous people–then, a few choice words.
the words might seem to be trite, banal or poorly formed. the grammar and spelling and punctuation could be missing from them completely. the words are not there to be canonized in literary collections or forced upon resentful students.
the words should be ones that you are ready to study when you are ready, and their power becomes self-evident quickly when you meditate upon them repeatedly.
the words should transform you for the better–no ill-gotten gains from these words, so selling of the soul.
first and foremost, life and the living of it is beautiful, even when the living is filled with pain.
but, suffering is never to be exulted for its own sake. in fact, it is to be avoided, or to be worked through, until you have arrived at a new state where you no longer experience the suffering.
but, the words that you meditate upon are about transforming you for the better, no dwelling on pain is necessary.
as an adult, you have been charged with taking control of some of the processes that ran on autopilot on your behalf.
before you can begin forming new, wonderful things, you have to cease with the old. the old will to try to find a new thing to amuse or entertain you, the old demands to be passively entertained by that which you consume.

you are now responsible for creating the entertainment behind your eyelids when you need to relax and consume entertainment.

but, you should know that this world, this reality, isn’t formed just to keep you amused. you must grow big and and strong in the place where you meditate simply upon being itself.

look, see, here is reality. it isn’t complicated, it isn’t sophisticated, it doesn’t require a genius to know it. but, reality isn’t full or pain or full of pleasure, either. reality is, at it’s core, really quite boring for a soul that needs constant distractions and amusements.

the terribly difficult part is where you keep trying to add more to it, even on auto-pilot you want to keep adding more and more, and then you are disappointed when you go looking for evidence of the more that you added, and there is nothing there.

sure, there is plenty of stuff going on out there, being churned up by other humans who feel the need for there to be more to reality than just this. and, you go looking for it, looking for ways to be a part of it. you want to get involved, but you aren’t getting involved to make meaningful connections with other human beings–you just want to be leeched onto something you can passively suck in–something that can amuse and distract you and you can later brag that you were there and a part of it.

first, just clear your mind and let what you have in the here and now be enough. don’t try to make your environment perfectly quiet or comfortable, just be you in the environment that holds you.

second, don’t pick things apart. if you want a machine to work for you, then you use it. if you want to analyze how it works, then you pick it apart.

there were many things left to explore and discover, but the rain and the beer were calling to me. i’d found my happy place years ago, and now was the time to return to it. nobody was going to stop me now. nobody was sending me anywhere else. i was well aware that i was standing there marking time, moving nowhere, but i was going to keep on marching in the slipshod fashion i’d learned to march in some three decades ago.

the edge between the world i know and the world of chaos and doom

the edge between the world i know and the world of chaos and doom is fine and not well-maintained. the guardians and watchers of this edge have long since departed from their posts because they think that the existence of the edge was a fairy tale. men and women who knew about fighting hitler knew about the existence of the edge, but most today don’t understand this.

the question is not one of good vs. evil. we have long since accepted evil in its many forms–perhaps for as long as we have been a civilization. we have freely killed and tortured those who were different from us for simply being different. this is the real problem. somehow, one group was convinced that donald trump was less evil than hillary clinton. they sorely misunderstood the crux of what it means to watch the edge.

what we have done is place a man comfortable with making chaos and doom on a mass scale in charge of the most powerful nation in the world. was he more or less evil than hillary clinton? who cares. she knew how to maintain the edge, watch the edge, police the edge. perfect the edge, no matter how good or evil she was. this man, the man you call our president is a big, huge fan of eradicating the edge because he believes in the end he and his family will surf above all of the chaos and doom and prosper in the face of it, though truth be told he and they will not.

the last remaining guardians of the edge are people like dan rather. they will die in short time, as the younger boomers and gen xers and millennials spring forth into their prime of controlling the universe. but, what these younger people do not understand is that there must needs be guardians of the wall, the edge between order and chaos + total doom.

when the guardians go, so will go the wall, the very fine edge. we will not see hordes of barbarians entering america, nor will we see chinese soldiers settling on the west coast. or, perhaps we will, but that won’t be the real issue. the problem will be that chaos will ensue and the reordering that follows will be only fit for those who wish to bear the mark of the beast and feel the flicker of eternal flames.

there isn’t much to say about anything, really, but the urge to say something is here

there isn’t much to say about anything, really, but the urge to say something is here. i’m drinking cheap beer and an occasional more expensive stout. what i’m about is setting a foundation, a standard of living by which i can set my watch for years to come. my dreams will be furtive, rife with problems i can’t solve before daybreak. my daily life will be getting my feet held to the coals over reports and spreadsheets of numbers i tried to cook nice, but didn’t quite make the crowd of boardroom beards pleased enough. every day i’m trying to stay one step ahead of showing my hand to everyone, that they might see how little i know about anything. it’s madness, really. why can’t i be retired already?

most americans manage to stake out easier positions of comfort and vantage for themselves by the time they are my age, but i didn’t. i didn’t convince enough fools back when i was 32 that i could manage a crew of kids right out of school. it’s easy, really, just book meetings, make phone calls, talk pretty, look pretty. evidently, i have always failed at the lattermost thing, and i rarely succeed at talking nice.

have you looked in the mirror lately at yourself? i did last weekend, and i didn’t like what i saw. it’s getting harder and harder to simply bike and run on the weekend and take a day off from drinking beer to melt off the fat. i’m getting fat, and i’m not sure i mind it, but i do mind the fact that i don’t mind that i’m getting fat, if that makes any sense.

do you remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation with someone you called a true friend? i don’t. i mean, i talk to my family, my wife, my kid, sometimes i still talk to my dad, but i’m talking about talking with some person who doesn’t feel obligated to be your friend because they made some vow to love you until you die or because they depend on you for food. a random friend, wrought from the churn of faces that bubble up and speak about things they care about that you don’t particularly care about except when you and them are geting paid to care about them.

you might have thought seminary would have yielded such a friend, but i can tell you that seminary is just an mba program for people who want to congratulate themselves on how virtuous they are for being less materialistic and more awakened to the social ills of their day. i mean to say, that seminary is business school for pastors, and anyone who wants to become deeply spiritually connected with other human beings is going to find themselves sitting alone outside of study rooms that have been commandeered by the most competitive of the bunch.

have you even bothered to analyze the word ‘friend’ to see if it isn’t some artificial construct, like mother’s day or american flag lapel pins? could it be that it was a useful word to denote an incredibly insincere relationship long before facebook came along and appropriated it? when you say the word ‘friend’ you bring so many otherworldly, hopelessly impossible expectations to the word, while most individuals are happy to simply know another human being who will go eat lunch with them once a month. it’s probably best to retire that word altogether until you learn to use it like a proper adult.