I am not going to write here for awhile, as I am channeling my writing into some more serious writing pursuits, specifically a possible novel or novella. I will be updating word count/page count and all that every now and then. Having already started a project I am awed at how much editing and reworking I am doing already, and I barely started. Wish me luck, and any encouragement would be helpful.
I wanted to talk today a little bit about friendship. I tried writing about it last week, and it came out really didactic and foolish, so I hope I can just put a few thoughts out there before I descend into the maelstrom of idiocy.
I love my friends. I wouldn't be who I was without the reflection of myself friends provide me with, as well as the examples of their own lives. I don't have a lot of friends but the friends I have are strong people who are very individualistic. I'm sure sometimes they don't think so, but they are.
I have a friend who is coming to live in the Twin Cities again after an absence of at least 4 years, This makes me happy, because like I said I don't have a lot of friends but those select few are pretty important to me. He is a person that showed me that life is large and exciting, and it is important to live it well. He showed me that "well" can mean a lot of things.
I have a friend who I see about every three years, but she makes me happy every time I get to see her. She reminds me of who I am and where I came from. She reminds me that I need to keep in touch with those I love.
I have a friend who I've lived with for the past 8 years. She reminds me that I need to keep challenging my fears, that life isn't about settling into a pattern of work/sleep/eat, that love isn't about reinforcing each other's insecurities. She keep me on my toes.
And then I have friends who some would call relatives, but I just see as people with their own problems, fears, joys, and tears. They remind me of the interconnectivity of all life, and they provide a continuum of reliability.
Maybe someday I'll be able to repay all of my friends for what they do and have done for me.
Do you see what I mean? When you start talking about friendship or love you start sounding like a bad Oprah episode. But the feelings are true. I try to do what I can do.
Why is my profile down on the bottom of my page here? I don't get it. It annoys me, and I can't seem to do anything about it.
What is there to say today? Spring is here in a major way. The SO and I are getting out on more bike rides and walks. The air is sometimes balmy, sometimes clean. The little green things are poking their heads out of the earth, seeking answers to their questions, getting a taste of what's to come. They remins me to start planting my seeds, physically/spiritually/mentally. I need to work on cultivating the correct conditions for the successful growth of my soul.
It is interesting to contemplate the interconnectedness of all things in relation to the growing digital network of communication. The latent Christian part of me says "Is this a good thing or a bad thing?" My current Buddhist mindset says "This is a thing." Is there no morality attached to these vast webs of communication? On one hand you have the ability to talk or text or send images to friend or family in different parts of the world, on the other you have the opportunity to spend large swathes of time mesmerized by the stream of human thoughts, stories, myriad gaming opportunities, music, eBay, etc... Basically a dynamic window into the inner workings of samsara, the karmically enhanced cyclical condition of suffering via greed/desire/craving. When you stop and think about it, you are doing nothing while you stare at the computer, TV, cellphone, camera, or car window screen. A world of screens.
The question then arises in my mind "Is doing nothing a good thing or a bad thing?" I think it depends on your idea of nothing. There is active nothing and passive nothing, sad nothing and happy nothing, tired nothing and energetic nothing. While you weed the garden are you actually doing anything? While you clean the bathroom are you doing a thing, or are you doing nothing? While you meditate are you actively meditating or passively existing?
I find the internet extremely helpful if I want a thing, or want to know a thing, or want to do no thing. Want, of course, is desire, which is the primary cause of suffering on the planet. I feel better when I talk to a friend or play guitar or cook a meal then when I do anything involving a screen. Those activities are relatively free of desire. You may say "But you want to eat a tasty meal, or you want to hear a nice tone, or you want to shake off loneliness." But I say "My desire for those things are good for me and for others." What am I doing that is good for me and or for others while I am on the internet? I can say with some certainty that it is usually nothing. I do some research on environmental, political, or spiritual issues. I write this blog as a place to put my thoughts for others to read, in case they might find some use or insight or entertainment. I guess at the end of my contemplation I would have to say that the majority of the time I spend online is wasted time.
I really believe you can only spend time, you can not save it. Well, I also believe time is a mirage, but I won't get into that. If you feel you are not spending your time wisely, you should change your behavior, correct? Therefore if I feel I spend eighty percent of my time online doing nothing with desire I should instead use that time to do something without desire.
At the end of it all, really, everything you do is good if you do it mindfully and for others. At the end of the end of it all, really, life is but a dream. At the end of the dream, life is. Life.
It is beautiful outside. Would that it were as beautiful inside. The sun shines, bulbs are breaking free of their earthly confines, and robins are scampering to and fro, pecking for worms.
I walked down by the Mississippi yesterday as the sun went down. As dirty and polluted as the water is, it is still a beautiful flowing stream. Ducks and geese honked and brayed like waterborn camels.
I see prisoners being set free, bodies burning, hungry people sailing across seas in rickety boats, prisoners being tortured, and dead animals on the television. I see buds bursting with life on the real vision.
The dreamlike quality of existence is particularly illuminated for me in spring and fall. You can easily see the transitory nature of phenomenon. Every thought, breathe, word, and action sets in motion the ripples of constant change.
"Remember, there are moments when you are driving your car, and he or she is sitting next to you. You are thinking about everything, but you don’t think about the person sitting next to you—you think that you know everything about that person. You can even be singing a song, and thinking about your future and your plans, and you are quite unaware of the person who is sitting next to you. There is no mindfulness. You are not practicing love. Love is the energy of mindfulness which surrounds and embraces the object of your love."