I normally just want everything to be nice. I want us all to get along. I want to not have to be angry all the time, disgusted and on guard against a fight. It seems, though, I want seemingly impossible things I guess. I don't believe we are all going to ever teach the world to sing in harmony. No kum ba yah around the campfire. This is exactly why I steer away from controversial things on Facebook and, I guess, in this blog. Sometimes the comments and/or responses remind me that there is a lot of anger and passion out there that sometimes bites me in the butt.
Tonight I posted something, a piece of satire about he current political campaigns. Personally, I am so disgusted by it all, I want to not pay attention. But I do. I think it is important...no, our duty...to pay attention to what's going on. There are so many angry people out there on both sides of every issue. I would like to make nice and always give my time and energy to things that inspire and amuse. Sometimes I forget that not everyone thinks like me and it comes back and, well I already said it once, it bites me in the butt.
That said, I believe everyone has a right to their opinion. They have a right to give voice to it. But I also believe we all have the responsibility to listen to each other and really, truly hear what is being said. And we must consciously seek to understand why they feel that way. It is the only way to save ourselves. Bullying and shouting and calling names doesn't belong anywhere, not even on an elementary school playground.
Most of you know I enjoy Facebook. If I find something amusing, I share it. I am not consciously pushing any agenda. Yet I know I come from a position of privilege, with some liberal leanings. That's just me. I also know people have a reason to be angry about a lot of horrible things that have been happening and continue to happen. Believe it or not, I am angry...not outraged...by those things too. But if we don't listen. If we don't chill and see some of the humor some times, well, what is the use?
Someone once called me a Pollyanna. Someone tonight actually called me an idiot (and immediately apologized). I'm not sure which is a worse thing to be called. All I do know is that we'll never get to peace on earth by tearing each other down...apart. And so I will continue to mostly write about Erma Bombeckian sort of observances. What we let into our hearts and minds are what colors our reality. Our outlook is directly influenced by what we absorb from the media, entertainment and the people we interact with. Choose wisely. If we don't choose wisely, it will indeed come back to bite us in the butt.
Have you ever been afraid of waking up dead? Well don't be. There is no way you will wake up dead. Once you are dead, you are dead. No waking up. Oh, now, don't worry. Your soul or spirit or whatever it might be called these days, will certainly be recycled. Maybe in heaven. Maybe as a monkey in the zoo. Maybe as a king. Or maybe, even as a toad. No hell. I don't go there and neither should you. Seriously though, I do believe we go on in some fashion after we are finished here on earth. I do believe we are redeemed by grace. But waking up dead? Not.
Tonight as I was watching the television sitcom, Modern Family, Mitch and Cam were having an argument over Cam's wild worries about the renters who moved in upstairs. Cam was obsessing on their odd behavior, imagining them to be mass murderers or something. In the heat of the argument, he storms out shouting, "Do you want to wake up dead one morning?" Mitch shouts after him, "Not possible!" That's what made think of this blog subject.
Okay, I have to confess I sometimes think I don't want to wake up dead so I leave a lights on and make sure all the doors and windows are securely locked. I keep the phone by my bed in case I need to call 911. And I say my prayers. Yep, say my prayers I do. And I sleep pretty well usually, except when the helicopter hovers overhead chasing criminals through nearby neighborhoods, Or, as in the case of last night, wasting time and resources responding (justifiably) to a prank call. It's all good. And ultimately it helps to keep us safe I guess. And between that and the reality that it is not possible, I don't need to worry about waking up dead.
I decided I wouldn’t blog today, yet here I am. Sunday off. It seemed a no brainer. No thinking today. Just resting up before another busy week. Watch Sunday Morning, read over the Sunday newspapers and take a long leisurely walk with the dogs. It was a no brainer. Simple. Just take the day as a Sunday, the seventh day, a day of rest. Maybe this stems back to my calendar dysphoria. Why does every calendar start the week with Sunday when Monday is the start of the week? That has always been confusing to me. Sunday as the seventh day should come last. Maybe then in my very visually oriented brain I would be more apt to accept Sunday as a total day of rest.
Anyway. No blog today. You are not reading this. And I am not writing it. Because it is Sunday and I am feeling Sunday off.
Lately I have been observing myself as if I were someone else, describing to myself what I am doing. I believe this might be a sign of writeritis, an inflammation of the brain causing lucid hallucinations, insight clarifications and ocaisional surges of unexplained energy. I attribute this spending much of my time of late studying the various forms of the narrative voice in memoir and personal essay. It also could be a direct result of considering whether I want to tell my story in the first or third person. I am I, but if I where to remove myself from my story and attempt to maintain some sort of objectivity, I would have to become he in telling the stories of my life.
I actually tend to think best in first person singular. It is all about me. But then, if I am to give into the desire to thoroughly examine and interpret my experiences, it might be wise to back off and speak in the third person. It is near bed-time, and I was in the bathroom getting ready to brush my teeth. I heard the voice in my head saying, "Tonight he changed his regular habit of brushing his teeth first and started with flossing. Somewhere he had heard that it was better to floss first. So having first flossed, then brushing, he rinsed with the minty mouthwash and checked his teeth with his tongue for any remaining orts." I love the word ort. It means a scrap or remainder of food from a meanl. I find it amusing that this little word that is usually only found in crossword puzzles, so aptly describes those little bits from pork chops or peanuts. I digress.
Above when I was describing my observance of the voice in my head, I naturally used the third person. It was as if I were a scientist studying the human in his natural state. Detached and removed from the subject. And probably omniscient, which means I, as the writer, know all. I don't. So there you have it. The first person singular seems the best choice. Not only is it the best choice for writing a memoir, but I believe it is the best choice is living your life. Everything has to come from an I prospective because you only can speak authentically of your own feelings and opinions. Anything else leads to accusations of being judgmental or an a**hole.
"I am sure I am being way too cerebral here", he thought, hoping you, dear reader, would not think him too much a pompous windbag. Really, the most important thing here is to be authentic. To find your voice and write in it, speak in it and in general, think in it too. Whether it is he or me, it is my voice. And that, I realize, is what makes it imperative to choose the correct person to tell the story.
Today was one of those days when I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I have projects galore; wonderful, exciting, even glorious projects on my digital desk. I’ve pulled my memoirs about life among the recently deceased...my career...and another about life growing up in a very red-neck, conservative Detroit suburb and how that affected a very sensitive boy, (me). Sometimes I feel like I’m being kinda pretentious, but, no, I really do have stories to tell. And I think there are those who would want to read them and actually get something out of them.
I am also working on doing something more with my photographic creations. I am finally accepting the idea that I have an eye and what I see should be shared. Again, that might seem a little presumptuous. But a healthy ego is a good thing to cultivate they tell me. Always tempered with a bit of humility and insecurity of course.
And then there is the most recent discovery: this thing about painting. Another creative avenue I want to explore. And a potential distraction from the projects already on my aforementioned digital desk. I know. I know. Follow your muse. But what about, finish what you start?
When I started this entry, I asked Google what to do when you just don't feel like doing anything. The returns pointed me to articles about procrastination and even depression. Yes, I do procrastinate. No, I don’t think I’m depressed. Just a little afraid to mess it up, not do it well...perfectly. It’s boring (it’s not). And it’s hard. But that’s no reason to go into retrograde.
Okay, retrograde is when a planet, usually the lesser ones like Mercury and Venus, who are closer to the sun appear to be rotating in reverse. Reverse. Appear. That’s the key word: appear. It only appears. Sometimes it’s just refueling. So I made a list, and I checked it twice. I got my tax documents to the tax guy. Hard to feel creative with that hanging over your head. So no more retrogradation. Time to get moving. The opposite of retrograde is prograde. Time to go back into progradation.
Its today, Tuesday, February 16, 2016. Sometimes I just am struck just how fast time in flying by. Seems like only yesterday we were bringing in the new year. Now it's already the 7th week of 2016. Not only to I sometimes go to write "2015", but sometimes I still start with 19!
I remember when I was a kid the year 2000 seems like something so far in the future it was the invention of a science fiction writer. Now we are 16 years past Y2K. Remember all the hubbub about Y2K? So many people were consumed with fear about what would happen, myself included, mainly because I was managing my workplace computer network of about 100 users. My boss was sure our entire system would crash. I really didn't think so, but still took every precaution we possibly could. Midnight December 31, 1999 came and went and nothing happened.
Anyway, no one even thinks about that anymore. Of course, why would they? We have so many new potential catastrophes brewing: the Election of 2016, the Middle East, self-driving cars and bullet trains, the California drought, on and on. We could be like deer in the headlights, but we're not. Most of us go on with our daily lives. We tune into Today or 60 Minutes or The Daily Show and get a little worked up and then find some comfort in a dish of ice cream or the like.
So time continues to fly by. Seems to me it goes faster if we are too distracted by the latest Donald Trump bombastic blast or what the Kardashians are doing. In the end, who cares? It's the little things that matter. So time to focus on what really matters: home, hearth, family and pets. The rest is all background noise. Yes, it is important to know what's going on and speak up from time to time. But to let it ruin your day or even just your mood, is not a good prescription for good mental health.
That's what I am thinking today. Now it's time to go get a haircut. One of the little things that make the big things easier to take.