How is this possible? It is March 31st, 2006, 6:10 PM. Where did last year go? What happened to all my ambitions and plans? What am I doing here, sitting in front of a computer screen? I should be on a beach somewhere, tossing rocks into the ocean and listening to seagulls. Sleeping in a tent 10,000 feet high, on a whistling rocky outcropping. Having a latte in Switzerland wearing a sombrero. Snorkeling in Thailand with Elvis. Flying to the moon on a modified tricycle.
What happens to time? Where does it go? Can you really save it or can you only spend it?
My intentions are to keep going, not to stop, but to continue onward into the infinite. Does anybody else realize that they are ultimately going to die at the end of this life? Then do they ask themselves "What the hell am I doing wasting my precious minutes, hours, days, years, decades screwing around?" "Do I have the right to do that?" "Will I be reborn as a newt?"
Does anybody really care about these questions or is it just me, a 27 year old cook/musician/buddhist white male with no real problems and no real solutions and no real anything? What is a real something? If I had a house and kids and a career would that be real? Does that change the fact that I am ultimately going to die at the end of my life?
I guess it all comes down to one question: How do I want to spend my time while I am alive?
She used to just squeal and chirp and squeak and burp like a tiny feathered sailor. She used to just make adorable little noises like a moderately hyperactive little monkey holding a banana and looking at the sky and talking to the clouds. But not anymore. Now, the SO's African Gray parrot, 1 foot tall and 2 feet of wingspan and 1 solid pound of tiny-boned flesh, named Anaya and cuter than a drunk squirrel and more exasperating than a knotted shoelace and more lovingly spoiled than a blond grandchild in the Hamptons, this bird, now nearly 2 years old and maturing a bit and moving away from her fledgling awkward vocal confusions and into a more adult phase of happy confident incessant noisedom, this parrot has learned to scream. Like a girl. Exactly like a girl. And also chat on the phone. Sometimes at the same time. "
Masanobu is a hero/guru/teacher. I've enjoyed learning about him and his work with natural farming. Here is an excerpt from a great interview.
"Robert: What have you learned in your 50 years of work about what people could do with their agriculture?
Masanobu: I am a small man, as you can see, but I came to the States with a very big intention. This small man becomes smaller and smaller, and won't last very long, so I'd like to share my idea from 50 years ago. My dream is just like a balloon. It could get smaller and smaller, or it could get bigger and bigger. If it could be said in a brief way, it could be said as the word "nothingness." In a larger way it could wrap the entire earth.
I live on a small mountain doing farming. I don't have any knowledge, I don't do anything. My way of farming is no cultivation, no fertilizer, no chemicals. Ten years ago my book, One Straw Revolution, was published by Rodale Press in the United States. From that point I couldn't just sleep in the mountains. Seven years ago I took an airplane for the first time in my life and went to California, Boston, New York City. I was surprised because I thought the United States was full of green everywhere, but it looked like death land to me."
What's the point of earning money if you don't want to buy anything?
Meditation, as well as other physical/mental practices, is the most subversive activity, because all you need is the ground under your feet and your mind. Once hooked on meditation other addictions become ephemereal in substance. Once hooked on the infinite the finite becomes clear.
I went to work today. The dead mouse in the basement was finally gone. I earned some money. My bosses were fighting when I left. I have some dishes to do. It is sunny and warm outside, I should be outside. I still haven't done my taxes, even though I told myself I was going to do them a month ago. The car needs some work. I need to straighten up the bedroom. Water the plants. Clean up the whole damn apartment! Clean out the hard drive. Go get some toilet paper. Do yoga lesson, you fat slob. Hurry up, hurry up. Take a shower. Do one more load of wash. Clip toenails. Make some dinner. Take out the trash and recycling. And the compost, gross, overflowing. Do something significant you loser. Write a poem, a song. Yeah right. Walk to the river. Call a friend. Pay my rent. Pay the bills. Switch the phone to a package deal, with DSL and cellular service? No, no, no. Why are we paying for Working Asssets Long Distance when we only use it 5 times a month? It's like $25. Take some pictures with the new camera. My feet are cold, turn up the thermostat. No, idiot, put on warmer socks, put on sweater. Clean the place up you slob, stop writing a blog! I need to exercise, I need to get outside. Work was boring, everything sucks, my life is pointless. Nothing sucks, well, The History of Violence sucked. Why do they always pretend to have some deep meaning while they have people shoot at each other? I'm tired of figuring out what to eat...Maybe I should light some incense. Meditate.
Sometimes you wake up with disgusting breathe, hazy eyes, a tired soul, and an empty garbage can where your energy stockpile usually is. Sometimes. Sometimes I take a shower, brush my teeth, put on clean clothes, and breathe. That usually gets the transmission in gear. Sometimes it doesn't. Today, I don't know what will get me doing jumping jacks for joy.
I just skimmed the article and I came up with this quote: "I believe it's a wonderful work of God, despite all what the scientists say," said Solomon Pomenya, a 52-year old doctor. "This tells me that God is a true engineer."
Despite the glaring grammatical issues and pointed philosophical problems, he is being an ignorant fool. Scientists do not necessarily say that an eclipse or other natural phenomenon is not the work of God, they are just trying to give logical reasons for why and how they happen. Scientists look for cause and effect, and by using the Scientific Method they create a continuum of recordable scientific explanations for the existence of the universe. A lot of scientists are religious. What is this fool trying to say? That if you are a scientist that believes in God you should spontaneously explode? If you were God and you created the universe, wouldn't you want the universe to figure itself out? And what is a "true" engineer? What about "an engineer is a true God" ? Or how about "God exists in an engineer, an eclipse, and in me, therefore I am going to have a lollipop"?
Sometimes my soul wants to explode with frustration.
For those who are reading my blog, please post a comment here...
UPDATE: I am not kidding. POST SOMETHING! Let me know you are reading. If nobody posts anything, I'll quit writing. This is a threat.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Alright alright. I get it. You don't exist. You, the audience, are all only in my head. There is nobody out there in the soft vastness of the galaxy. Well fine. Don't write "hello" to me. See if I care.
"The startling truth is that our best efforts for civil rights, international peace, population control, conservation of natural resources, and assistance to the starving of the earth-urgent as they are-will destroy rather then help if made in the present spirit. For, as things stand, we have nothing to give. If our own riches and our own way of life are not enjoyed here they will not be enjoyed anywhere else. Certainly they will supply the immediate jolt of energy and hope that methedrine, and similar drugs, give in extreme fatigue. But peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now."
Today I woke up, drank some fair trade french roast french press coffee, had some tasty mango smoothie, stretched, meditated, and went to my DFL senate district caucus as a precinct delegate, my first time there. It was long, some people smelled bad, but in the end democracy reigned supreme. I was illuminated, disappointed, and hungry at the end.
Then my girlfriend and I did our yoga lesson. Backbends this week. Opening up to the world, vulnerable, elongated. This week will be very hard. Not exactly human pretzel yet, but stunts I haven't pulled off since I was 8. Will we make it? Stay tuned.
Then we went to the Chatterbox Pub, a neighborhood bar with free Nintendo & Atari, as well as delicious beers. There we ate food which made us semi-ill, but the hard cider was very good.
We wrapped up the day at the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre to see the next-to-last showing of Gotama, which was relatively good puppet theatre, but had nothing really new to tell or show me about the Buddha's life. The tree at the end was beautiful.
Why is it that so many people that call themselves religious cannot stand other people who call themselves religious or other people in general?! Notice my fervent use of punctuation.
Take for instance the Religious Right's Crusade Against Gay People. Alright, let's start out with the fact that people exist...then we move onto the fact that some people are gay...then we move on to the fact that some gay people want to be married in the old school sense of the term, with a pastor and all the bells and whistles...then we move on to the fact that a large populous of supposedly religious people want all gay people to die. Okay, maybe that is overstating their position, but I for one see their need to "protect the sanctity of marriage" for what it is, unabashed hatred/fear. It mimics the attitude I have towards "them" at this point, you know, the "others".
They are my dark side, deep down, the one that hates you and is flagrantly racist, the one that wants my woman to clean my socks and people to bow to me in worship: the dark demon of self. The selfish ego grasping at what it wants, cowering from what it does not understand, crying to itself in agony when the world looks scary. The most unimportant part of me that insists it is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of me, yelling and frothing at the mouth with rage and lust. The little reptilian consciousness secreting itself way back in my cortex, whispering cold sweet dreams of conquest and pillage. The finite "me" that, if I don't strive to understand it and hold it at bay, will devour the infinite "me" down to my existential bones.
Sanctity: 1. holiness of life and character: GODLINESS 2. a : the quality or state of being holy or sacred: INVIOLABILITY b: pl sacred objects, obligations, or rights
When Jesus Christ was reported to speak about how those without sin should cast the first stone, was he saying do not judge those outside of your self? When he insists that instead of taking an eye for an eye we should offer the other eye, was he saying that we should not take justice into our own imperfect hands, should instead let the wisdom of the world take it's own karmic retribution if so needed?
I can't help but think that if those who call themselves religious would spend all of the precious time that they spend condemning others and instead use that time in perfecting themselves, the world would be a far less tragic world, indeed. I suppose I could just chant a mantra: God help them...
Is glimpsing the infinite just another addiction like drinking, TV, God, crack, cars, TV, cellphone, junk food, unrequited love, smores, etc...? Is searching for the underlying reality of existence simply a moron's pastime?
It seems to me that since we are all going to grow old and die, the numero uno job we have as intelligent monkeys bumbling around on the face of the planet, eating and farting and praying, is to UNDERSTAND OURSELVES. To awaken from an empty path of running from one desire to another, away from one suffering after the other. All these addictions, including the addiction of feeling happy, comfortable, and poppin' fresh, are simply ways to avoid seeing that great yawning maw of endless nothing we perceive to be just around the corner. The movies and soft drinks and video games and blogs and cameras, as well as the TV news the newspapers the books the magazines.
Where is God when your loved one dies? Where is God when a tsunami hits the coast? Where is God when your car gets a flat in the middle of nowhere? God is your loved one, the tsunami, your car, your friends, tortured prisoners, your lunch, the park, a cloud. God is playing hide and seek with itself, endlessly. How could it be otherwise? How could there be a God, as the monotheists propose, that is outside of everything, acting as the supreme arbitrator of reality? It becomes clear to me that when you cannot see god in the "other", be that the trees, your waiter, or the watershed, then your relationship with the "other" suffers in complete ignorance, and you perpetuate the suffering of all mankind.
Therefore we must all strive to awaken from our stupor.
How is it that so many movies have so little worth? I feel that I have seen countless movies in the past years that have no relevance to me whatsoever in any way, shape, form, or smell.
Which leads me to the question: What is art? Is the simple act of creation the bare requirement for a piece of something to be called art? Would not therefore my trips to the lavatory be artistic endeavors? I believe this is so for I have seen many movies, paintings, and architectures, as well as heard many songs and singing voices that fall a close second to my bathroom opuses.
rolling boiling frothy anger down in the carved out kettle foam-lipped, rushing smash and crash! and gurgle the river flows down from the highest peak; frozen, calm, tempestuous through glacial remains and canyons every wave tip singular every bubble free gravity sunk, down to the sea over sand and muck and stone waving reeds, green and streaming a yellow footnote on the day trampled grass trail down to the shore agates and quartz and more bare toes slam against hardness shouts and glimmers
a stray stick bouncing down through the rocky maze should I pick it up?
It is too hard for me to live my life. Therefore, be it resolved that I withdraw my nomination for human being and instead place a fleshy automaton in my stead. Thank you and fare thee well.
This is what I dreamt of 5 minutes ago. My mind, pacing like a wild cheetah, spat this at me sexily, drunk on the punch of reality, gibbering with desire for the infinite, essentially maddened by the boredom of a life spent in careless pleasure, wild with yearning for the ultimate, naked and strapped to the plush bed of the inner soul.
There is no dog, only cat. There is no cat, only dog. Bark, meow. Bark, meow.
the cat had wandered to the neighbor’s garage I panicked at work and came home and we found him which made us happy The cat was confused, like: where am I, how did I get here, what is the meaning of this? We left the cat at home and went back to work
We have no way of knowing what the cat did for the rest of the day We could install a camera and videotape the cat’s daily actions How valuable would this be?
postscript: the cat is now dead, run over by a careless driver
Who am I? Why am I here, and how come I have to die in 50 some years? What is the point of all of this? Why are you running past me so fastly?
Well Today, I have nothing to show you. My mind is clear yet my body is muddled. My soul is a mixed drink in the hand of a drunken brunette on a burning cruiseship. There is no paradise in the thought of sleep, no vast comfort in the soft hands of the couch, no safety in this island of nowhere I call home. Yet I persist.
So what time will I see you tomorrow? Same place? Take it easy...