Wednesday, September 19, 2007

fulfilling the holes

It had long since come
to my attention that people of accomplishment

rarely sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.
~Leonardo da Vinci

I want to happen to things. I want to lay down each night completely amazed at exactly how many things I happened to. I am not talking of the diving off of cliffs or the jumping out of planes. I would rather punch myself in the mouth than race down an icy slope with a board strapped to my frozen feet. I do not want to outrun a raging bull or outsmart a hungry alligator. I do, however, want to fill each day with an accomplishment. a something, rather than the nothing response to the "what did you do today?" question. today I washed the dishes and took out the garbage and then watched the ken burns "baseball" documentary. is that enough? should I have also learned latin and published a novel and sewn a dress and baked a cake with homemade frosting? what is enough? what filling will fulfill the holes I feel in my life?

is life about spackling?

as far as I can tell, life is not about thinking too much and doing too little. thinking will only get you so far, what you do with the thought is where life takes shape. I'm trying to think less about how to sculpt and trying instead to just chip away at the block in front of me, trusting myself and learning as I go.

leonardo was a genius, not only because of his intense curiosity but because of what he made of that curiosity. he turned the thought of curiosity into the act of invention.

"cogito, ergo sum--I think, therefore I am." "to err is human..." to just think and never do anything because you're afraid of erring is just plain stupid. I'm trying real hard not to be stupid.

Monday, September 10, 2007

time to change your metaphorical diapers

He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves. ~Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me. ~Author Unknown

the days are getting shorter. the sun has started to relent on the hot heads of our summer days. sweaters know they will soon come off shelves and summer dresses ready themselves for the wrinkles of unworn piles. as the chipmunks and the trees prepare for change, we resist it. why when everything around us opens to the shift, do we falter so? change is good, right?

perhaps it is the fear of labor pains that prolongs our rebirth. bones hurt as they grow us closer in reach of the things we grasp. what's a little pain? what's a lot of pain? part of the process, no? big bawling babies are less afraid to grow. grow up. wake up. smell the roses--new blossoms have replaced the decay of yesterday's flowers. let go of the things you'll only miss long enough to propel yourself forward. shed the dead that is piling up inside you.

John Henry Newman said "Growth is the only evidence of life." so why not prove to yourself exactly how much you can live. now is always a good time to start again.

Monday, September 3, 2007

passing out in a blaze of glory

my life is on hold. I blame the heat for everything. the desire to do nothing but sleep. the inability to sleep. the irritability that brings. fights about nothing. sweat defying gravity as it pools on the vertical surfaces of my body. claims the heat index will reach 105-112 degrees today and has issued an “excessive heat warning,” which basically means find a cool spot or die. we have had power outages three days in a row, making that difficult. we have had to take desperate measures to escape the heat of our hotbox house. crashing pool parties at apartment complexes we don’t live at, or know anyone who does. sitting in suburban cafes all day long watching soundless sports clips on a flat screen TV while eating ice cream. taking trips to the mall on labor day weekend, trying not to stumble over the bodies of children doing what everybody wishes they could be doing—laying motionless under the vent of an air conditioner in the middle of a walkway. utter chaos. mervyn’s looked like ross the day before Christmas if everything was 80% off and the customers were only given 5 minutes in the store to stock up on shit they didn’t need and no one else wanted. (see pictures).

the world has lost its collective marbles. everyone is on edge. glitches abound. electronics and waiters alike are not working properly. last night we walked the street marveling at the darkness. businesses and street lights taking the night off. hot bodies amassing in cool places, raising the temperature. mexican food melting my margaritas. there is an unspoken sense of adventure amidst all this struggling. how much can we take? what can we make of a night with no electricity? what new place could we discover in this aimless wondering away from the heat? if nothing else, this heat is a simple reminder of how lovely a cool breeze is. until the cool breeze returns, we’ll be sleeping naked with ice packs under our feet, seriously.