Monday, May 31, 2010

thoughts from a weekend of conversations

have you ever felt like you're on the verge of having a very big emotion? whether it be sadness, happiness, anger, or whatever, just that you feel like you're about to feel it but you don't. you're on the cusp. well thats how it's been for me over the last couple of weeks. i've watched more hours of Hulu than i care to admit and each time, no matter the show, i'm on the verge of crying or laughing but never really do. its like i have something to deal with but i haven't yet, but i can feel it coming closer to the surface. i just need it to rear its head and show itself to me so i can live it and move on. maybe its that i haven't mourned over something properly, or haven't celebrated something as i should.

one thing i've considered doing to bring it to the surface is something i've never done before: make myself cry. now, part of this seems noble and worthy of my efforts, but the other part of it seems like it could be forced and therefor not be genuine. i just need to emote in a big way. if i make myself cry, maybe i'll be more in tune with my emotions and thus feel what i need to.

so this is my public admittance. this is my plea. this is my confession to the world. perhaps this will make it become more real. more doable. more right. i need to be right, and i'm right on the edge of that cliff. here's to jumping.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting to Know James, Session 2: Pet Peeves

who was it that decided to call them pet peeves? as though they were something we'd want to cuddle on the couch with while watching a killer RomCom.


maybe "next door neighbor's annoying dog" peeves fits better.

anyway, here a few of mine, to continue the theme of getting to know James:

when girls call me "man", "dude" or "bro" ... its not cool. you might, on some level, think that i'll relate with you better if you take on this masculine trait, but i won't. it weirds me out. be a girl and call me things like cutie, or handsome. maybe even James.

-when people use the word "literally" too much and out of context. did you LITERALLY just shit a brick? no. no you didn't. so stop saying it.

-when people have phlegm in their throat and don't clear it out but continue talking to me. i don't want to be rude and say "clear your f@%^ing throat" but i will repeatedly clear my already clear throat to hint at the fact that they've got a tennis ball of loogie lodged in theirs.

-imagine yourself eating with a fork. you pick up the food and put it into your mouth. if you then clamp your teeth on the fork as you slide it out of your mouth, you are my metal-on-teeth shreeking enemy. if you use your lips instead, you are my friend.

i'll stop with those before inadvertently include everyone in one way or another and thus alienate myself from you all.

if i know you, i still love you even though you may do these things. but just know you are perpetuating my neighbor's annoying dog peeves.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

it's been a minute

hello 2010, this is James. but circa 2005 James. i've just come for a moment to remind 2010 James of something that started in my time: we have looked at the clock when it is 12:34 (am or pm) freakishly close to every time it's happened over the last 5 years.

this may sound like an exaggeration, and i don't blame you for believing it is. even if its that thing where you say you believe me but in the back of your mind you honestly can't believe something like that would ever happen; i'm still ok with it.

but just listen... or read, as the case may be:

imagine for a minute that this actually happens to you. does it not strike you as something that would only happen in a movie or a 6 season long show about people getting stuck on an island only to get off only to go back only to realize they're only happy when they're dead together? me too. it absolutely weirds me out. but i've come to a couple conclusions about why this could be happening.

1. the psychological mind would suggest that my mind controls my actions without telling me. this is a theory that says: it happened enough on random occasion that i started to think there was a pattern to me doing this and thus, i did it. that my subconscious has a hand in controlling my actions based on my biological clock. basically, i think i do it, therefore i do it.


2. the interpretive mind might be of the school that there is something deeper to my actions, whether conscious or subconscious. a force. a god. a light. a thing that has it's hand on me, steering or pushing me in certain directions. and in this school, one could find meaning in what seem to be meaningless occurrences. and the meaning of this could be as follows: maybe i'm being led up to an event in my life that hasn't happened yet. led up to, or counting up to. and perhaps when this "thing" happens, i'll stop looking at the clock at 12:34 on a regular basis.

there's really endless roads you could take on this subject. all i know is that it freaks me out a little.

nope. kind of a lot.

this is the weirdest thing about me. so welcome to me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

this isn't about Lost, I swear... well maybe a little...

i bet if i started this blog admitting something about myself, then you'd feel more comfortable with me and want to hear what i have to say.

so here it is.

i am addicted to Lost.

this may not seem like much of an admission, but you may change your mind after reading this.
[see: tv shows that make you think about deep, real life stuff]

after a day of anxiety, and a night of emotional release via rock music, i sat at a table in Austin with two of my best friends sharing Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's discussing the latest episode of Lost. i'll spare you the nerdy details we talked about and skip right to the part that made my mindwheels start spinning: the series has seemed like it had a "good vs. evil" theme through out, but now it seems like it's more of a "faith vs. knowledge" theme.

this is a theme i think has existed in my life, and all around me for most of my life, but seemed to go under the radar. right and wrong, good and evil, these are what pinged on my screen most of my days. but growing up in the church, i have seen faith vs. knowledge quite a bit. it's a common thread in most of the stories in the Bible. its actually the first story in the bible: "don't eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge..." there wasn't a good tree and an evil tree in Eden.

all of this has sent my head into a tailspin. so i'll try and regain the controls here...

[3 hour intermission of thought]

even as i attempted to begin to sort my thoughts, i was drawn in so many directions. i couldn't make sense of it. so what do people in our generation when they want some enlightenment on a subject?

google it.

if you're as into philosophy and analytical thinking as i am, i think you'll enjoy this article on the relationship of faith and knowledge.

Faith and Knowledge

oh Lost, what you do to me...

consider this blog plagiarized and lazy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

[this from the writer]

why do we document things? writing, filming, recording. the first thought i had was that we don't want to lose our thoughts. we don't want to forget the moments in our lives that are repeatedly fleeting. but something seems wrong to me in that. maybe wrong is too harsh a word. more like, weak.

humor me...

on a day like today i was reminded of how complicated we make things by trying to make them simple. my car broke down and i didn't have enough money to take it to get fixed. so my only alternative was to buy the part and fix it myself. now, the options (had i the money) were pretty endless should i have not done it myself. mechanics are everywhere. and so are so many other things. we have phones that fit in our pocket that allow us endless connectivity and information. we have stores that always have what we need. there is a gas station on every corner. but in our search for making life simpler, we've cluttered it. and so in our cluttered mess we're constantly entertained and bombarded with something else to catch our attention. this gives way to forgetfulness. so what to do? document it. we can't sit long enough to enjoy what just happened because we're onto the next thing, but we still recognize the beauty of it, so we take a picture. the problem is, the picture is never as good as the moment. our facebook pages are full of notes and comments and pictures to remind us of how great our lives are; and thank God, because if they weren't, we surely would have forgotten about that sunset in North Carolina. or the wet sand drinking our feet in San Diego. and i'm not be facetious either. we honestly would forget those amazing moments in our lives.

how dare we.

i'm not proposing we stop documenting our lives. for God's sake, i'm writing a blog right now. i'm just proposing we slow down a little and actually take in whats going on around us. we don't need to fill our days with things and adventures until the seams burst. trust me, our children will have plenty to learn from if we don't. our grandparents didn't have facebook, or digital cameras. hearing a story from my grandpa is worth 100 times more than a digital photo album i can show my grandkids. his voice in the story telling, his eyes lighting up at certain points. these are what makes the story rich. and he only has the ability to tell the stories because he soaked himself in it when they happened. we're dipping our feet in the waters of our stories instead of jumping in.

keep writing about the funny looking lady ahead of you in line. keep photographing the picnic on Saturday. just don't be so distracted that your only memories of your life are on a 10MB flash drive. life is certainly fleeting, not to mention, each moment in them, but we don't have to accelerate the process. watch the clouds for an hour or two without worrying about picking up your dry cleaning. sit at the pub with your best friends for longer than an hour without planning the next move. just be.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

stream of consciousness

[i closed my eyes and started typing every word i thought immediately. this is what happened.]

in a rush of blood there is seldom a way to carry on the wholeness of what is to be.

let it all slowly leak out the bottom and see where it lands.
can you ever hope to be something that you can't see?
how often do we tarry on with the waywardness of man's helplessness?
perhaps something can be found in this.
maybe somewhere in the confusion there is a glimmer of hope.
on a light post at the edge of the city i can see where the end is.
help me get there.

Monday, May 3, 2010

a short story on Beauty

beauty gone awry probably happens more than we realize, but no one seems to care.

let me go from the beginning...

a young boy, his curly blond locks bouncing as he ran, was chasing after what he could only see as "flying color". how amazing is that?! flying color! nothing in the world matters to him at this moment. he has never seen anything like it. he could imagine nothing but this jumpy, flappy thing that was eluding him. then the rock. his foot caught the edge of stone deeply embedded in the ground he wished he could leave to join the flying color, only to bring him closer to his nemesis. as his face hit, he quickly forgot all about the pixie he was chasing, only to be shocked with pain and fear.

fast forward to this boy in middle school. his heart is beating quickly as he walks away from his mother in the car. today is the first day of this new school. he just finished a great year as the big man on campus. the oldest class above all the younger, less awesome kids. but now, thrown into the sea full of older, wiser, cooler kids: a minnow among sharks. and then he sees her. her brown hair loosely hanging over her left eye, she flips it up with a graceful move of her head. only recently has the boy ever noticed the opposite sex in such a way. it confused him and made him feel warm all at the same time. this woman surely was an 8th grader. all of her slow motion movement screamed "mature" to the boy. as did a few other things. and as he made his way further from his mother and closer to the girl, he met his nemesis again. a rogue skate board found it's way under his right foot and took it to where his left foot should have been, spinning him and throwing him to the ground.

now imagine this boy is a man. nearly four decades along, his efforts to make a life for himself have often been thwarted. it took him nearly 6 years to finish his undergrad as his mother couldn't afford to put him through college. once he finally graduated, the economy had taken a huge turn for the worse. a job in his field was nearly non-existent. he took jobs here and there to make rent. occasionally he made a little extra and was able to enjoy the "finer" things of life: a meal out, a movie, matinee as it may have been. this man has so much to offer, and yet, he feels stuck. he does a pretty great job of keeping a positive attitude, but from time to time, as he makes his way home to his one bedroom apartment, alone, he can't help but feel the lump rising in his throat and tears peeking out from the corners of his eyes.

we were all that young boy. we were amazed at the beauty of a butterfly. yet still vulnerable to the obstacles of the world around us. we fell in love in adolescence, and were hurt all the same. we struggle every day with the capacity to forget all the beauty around us. we have beauty. we are beautiful. Life is beautiful. but we can't help but see it go awry and forget that it ever was in the first place.

so i suggest these:

look into a woman's eyes.
watch a sunset.
trace the clouds.
connect the stars.
hug your mother.
write a song.
read Keats' poems.

recognize the pain inherent in all these things, but don't see it as the victor. because it isn't and it won't be. let the Beauty that is around heal you and redeem everything, because it will.