I didn’t write a column last week. It was an interesting week, there was a lot going on or, at least, it felt like there was a lot going on. There was a lot going on. None of which I am going to share here with you today. It’s funny how life can get to be so routine that it becomes easy and almost comfortable to take what’s familiar and pleasant for granted. The things we have, the people, the life we lead, the opportunities, etc. we can just wake up every day and expect it in our lives, we forget to enjoy it and to covet it. I try to make it a point not to do that, at least with the things that are the most important to me and the most fragile, in the sense that they will not always be there; life is fluid, it’s organic and we have to remember and appreciate that. So I do, and it may not always be so obvious to people why I do and say some of the things that I do and say, nevertheless it’s not complicated and, if you ask, I am willing to share.
Life is too fragile and the people in our lives are too fragile for us to make assumptions, it never hurts to ask, even if you think you already know the answer, and to communicate—sometimes it seems hard, because sometimes it is hard, but the slightest bit of effort and insight will always make a world of difference. I like to think about that scene in The Office: Pam and Jim had, kind of been struggling, it was shortly after Jim started splitting his time between Scranton and Philadelphia, the pair stopped communicating, at least about the little stuff, which would ultimately be the important stuff—the continued conversation about the small things all of the time makes talking about the difficult things that much easier—anyway, Jim was getting ready to leave for Philly and, walking to his car, he stopped, he came back, and gave Pam a hug and, for a moment, she stood there and let Jim hug her, she didn’t hug back, and then she both realized and made the conscious decision to let go of the ‘block,’ all of the things that she had found it difficult to talk about and deal with, and she hugged him, and the two of them began to work through it. Even the Pam’s and Jim’s have to consciously remember to communicate, because even for them it can actually be work, but only if they loose sight what makes them Pam and Jim.
I bought a treadmill. It’s in my bedroom. I ran cross-country in high school to condition for basketball and within a few weeks I was one of the best runners on the team. Since then running has continued to be an important part of my life. No, I’m not one of those marathon running cross-fit lunatics that casually judges people who don’t work out 10 hours a day every day for the better part of their lives. The simple truth is a persons’ body was not designed to exert in that way; in the same way that we were not designed to eat three chemically induced meals a day with more sugar than protein—it annoys me when people are more inclined to believe what they hear and not the inherent truths apparent via a few brief moments of conscious reflection…
Um, anyway, I got a treadmill...
The Greek philosophers, although we hear a great deal, only about how they exercise their minds, were known, as well, for finding balance in the intellectual the emotional and the physical, and that working and maintaining your body not only benefits your body—in a number of physical, uh, enterprises ;)—but it’s equally as healthy and beneficial for you emotionally and intellectually, as well. I was beginning to find increasingly difficult to get to the gym and it was getting to me, ergo: treadmill. I’ve been running at least two miles every day and I feel fantastic! It took a few days to get back into the rhythm of things but when you challenge yourself, just a little, in every aspect of your life all of which are rooted somewhere in the intellectual, the emotional, and/or the physical, the challenges that life brings really don’t seem to challenging. I struggle a bit with depression and anxiety, and either of them can declare themselves without warning, and once they do, if I don’t manage it, they act as catalyst for a spiraling disaster of chimeric upheaval, which is to say that an intelligent and creative mind, when in emotional distress can invent awful, awful truths that can seem alarmingly real. I manage it, for the most part, but without exercise it’s considerably more difficult.
Reading helps too.
I’ve been reading S.: Ship of Theseus by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams, it was a gift, and it’s really good, it’s interesting because it’s layered in story and in interpretation, subjective in a way that, although all books are—or can be—is conceived in a way that is almost romantically so. The Ship of Theseus concept, philosophically, is rooted, in the ideology of identity, in the question that if an objects elements have all been replaced is that object, fundamentally, the same object. What is it that makes a body? The individual components or pieces, or the observable sum of the collection of parts?
And, I wonder how that might relate to the meaning, or intention of this particular column? (And for the sake of abstract speculation: what does the sum of my respective columns say about me? Who am I to you, based solely on how my columns read, and what they are about...)
I wake up every day feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude and respect and love for a woman that I am unquestionably lucky to have in my life. She is a miracle. I am paralyzed, speechless in awe of her. I struggle to understand how someone like her is even possible, she is so remarkable a person, a woman that I cannot intellectually fathom how she can exist. You think I’m exaggerating—she likely thinks that I’m exaggerating—I’m not, if anything I’m downplaying it.
I am in awe of this woman.
You would think that over time this feeling of, just, absolute wonderment would have settled a bit, that as we have grown more accustomed to, and comfortable with one another that I would have been more habituated by her presence, and aside from becoming more accustomed to, and comfortable with her this feeling of awe has only continued to grow.
She is a miracle.
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and maybe the “holiday” has become over-saturated as an opportunity to market and sell greeting cards and other commercial chattel but, like Mother’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Veteran’s Day, etc., being holiday’s of gratitude and remembrance it can also be another opportunity to express to someone you love something in a way that, although it may be commercialized and a bit corny is still genuine; honestly, other than a pseudo, anti-establishment sound bite the argument can be overly pretentious and conversationally dull so I want to take this opportunity to tell her, again:
Elle, I am incredibly grateful and lucky to have you in my life. You are truly amazing: you inspire me, you challenge me, you support and encourage me, you excite me, you enlighten me, you make me laugh (and I love your laugh)...
You are my favorite person: you’re brilliant and informed and perceptive, you’re sexy, alive with passion, I love the way that you see the world (both, for what it is, and for the fantastical that you see, and sometimes try to conceal).
You are my best friend: I trust, and value you, and your opinion above all else. You’re stunningly beautiful; I love your shyness and your innocence, your desire to develop and to grow. I love the way that you feel in my arms: feeling your smile against my cheek, the way that we kiss; I love how we have to force ourselves not to stare too long into each others eyes, because it inevitably crests with such intense adoration that we have to look away.
I love your smiles, your laughs, your walks, your glances; the way you push your pursed mouth to the side when you think, and the way you nibble on your lip when you start to get impatient, or excited.
I love how your moods can change in an instant, leaving me to guesswork and overthought so that I have to work to catch-up.
I love trying too hard to read you and getting it wrong and watching you get frustrated.
I love it when we’re both worried about what the other is thinking, and we dance around it searching for a clue so that we don’t have to ask, because we promised each other that we wouldn’t.
I love it when you walk away to make a statement, all the while silently telling yourself not to look back because that’ll ruin the whole act, and you think I don’t know.
I love the way that your imperfections and your faults have become another thing for me to learn, and to love about you; and how our imperfections only seem to make us that much more perfect for one another.
I love how I can see you behind my eyes every second of the day, as corporeal as if you were sitting here with me; how well I know your eyes, your lips, your face, your hands, and how much enjoy learning you more, every day.
I love the way that your nature radiates from your heart: breathtaking, glowing, awe-inspiring; seeing you that first time, and every day since, it was like watching the sunrise, the most exhilarating and inspired sunrise, and feeling the warmth suddenly reach my face, and my cheeks felt flush, and the day began, and it felt new, and I mean entirely new.
Elle, you have my heart my dear, lovely friend.
Happy Valentine’s Day
I am going to make this real short today, because I would rather spend my time working on my novel...
The State of the Union address was a couple of nights ago, here in the United States. I don’t watch them, because I think the level of government exploitation is insurmountable, and it doesn’t matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or somewhere in between, the deceit is enveloping; party affiliation only really exists in the living rooms of the American people.
Conditioned loyalty is harmful, because we’re, essentially, completely unaware of it. I remember, in my youth, just after I started making intellectual attempts to break from a specific party affiliation, when I would be arguing rational points from a constitutional or Libertarian perspective and yet, I still favored the politicians from the specific affiliation that I had tried to break from, I was more likely to lean to their perspective, and to trust politicians from that particular party over others. It took me a long while to realize that I was doing this.
In our humanity we have a tendency to see and/or ignore certain behavioral strengths and weakness in those that we trust, and if our trust is directed towards an idea system then we’re more likely to trust people who adhere to that particular dogma, instead of recognizing what we, when in our better judgment, would call “Absolute Truth.”
Many of us don’t even listen to ourselves when we’re arguing certain points (ie. we’ll, situationally, argue that our government is corrupt and manipulative and deceitful and...and...and...and yet, we still favor one party over another, because we were raised to do so, our loyalty has been conditioned to accept that affiliation as more right and more trustworthy than the other, or the rest)
My parents are Democrats, which is interesting because their affiliation was born from a rebellious 70’s era, both of my parents parents (my grandparents) were staunch Republicans; funny. I was raised to accept a liberal perspective, but in doing so I was also raised to, in a sense, ignore how that loyalty regarded the United States Constitution; both Democrats and Republicans manipulate and disrespect the U.S. Constitution situationally, as it serves them; unfortunately the framework of a democracy does need a basic foundation, and a standardized set of principles to operate, and although that might, sometimes, be irritating it’s kind of the basis of our entire system of government.
Conditioned, situationally loyalty makes it easier for us to ignore when some people are abusing their powers and manipulating that framework to serve their own needs, I think it’s disgusting.
Democrats like to consider themselves the “adults” between the two most affiliated parties, but it’s kind of horseshit because they're behaving at the same level as their Republican counterparts, somebody really needs to step up and “be the bigger party,” and the fact that no one has in over 40 years of this blatant constitutional commercialism suggests to me, only, that it’s all a head shot, a farce, a stage show, entertainment, a distraction, a game, whatever...it’s a joke. It’s a bad joke, because it’s not really funny. Conditioned loyalty affects how we relate to one another, there’s a shooting every week, a stabbing, missing persons, uncontrollable arguments and rage this isn’t the government, this is us, and how we’re letting the conditioning and the manipulation affect us...
So here’s my suggestion:
I have written both music, and advice columns that covered a wide variety of topics, such as: relationships, communication, lifestyle, business, and life (coaching)