Friday, November 4, 2011

I’m reading Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac. It’s been awhile since I’ve read any of the beat writers, but I really just love how Kerouac sometimes just gets to the heart of things that are still so alive today. Although I don’t quite agree with the sentiment that college produces the type described in this excerpt, I sure think the world is full of exactly what he describes here as middle class non-identity…


Japhy and I were kind of outlandish-looking on the campus in our old clothes in fact Japhy was considered an eccentric around the campus, which is the usual thing for campuses and college people to think whenever a real man appears on the scene – colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middle-class non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows and well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing and thinking the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstasy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization. (Dharma Bums, Kerouac, 38-39)

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Truly Creative Mind

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him...
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating." -Pearl Buck-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ah, Chaos

Observation: It seems many people find comfort in order, with everything perfectly in it’s place.

Me? Not so much. I find comfort in chaos. Not a chaotic life, please no more of that, but in the details, yes please!

Neat and tidy freaks me out. Perfectly put together hair, makeup and “outfits.” Grass without a single weed, the perfect home without a crumb or speck of dust, without color and life. Tame music and art and books that spell things out and don’t make me think and discuss and wonder and feel. Flat and boring things.

I like my life details to be real and rich and full of life and mess and universal authenticity. To me, nothing has a place, let alone everything. Things should be colorful and quirky and fun, not perfect and planned. Life can be mundane, why not fill in the in-betweens with things that are extraordinary just because they're interesting? Get messy, and dirty, and chaotic and have fun. Even if it's just in the simple, little things. Especially in the little things.

Be real. Live.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Emptying the Mind

I’m currently reading Skywriting By Word of Mouth by John Lennon

Not too far into it yet, but it’s really great. Tons of insight into such an intelligent, creative mind, and filled with Lennon’s witty, tongue-in-cheek humor on every page.

Anyway, last night, I came across the following passage:

“I was talking to Helen (well, at Helen, really), and as usual I found myself on the defensive about “mystics.” I didn’t get too frantic for a change. Anyway, I found myself saying something like the following – that many, if not all, great men and women were “mystics” in a sense: Einstein, who at the end of his life remarked that if he had it to do over, he would have spent more time on the spiritual; Pythagoras and Newton were mystics. But the main point I was getting at was the fact that in order to receive the “wholly spirit,” i.e. creative inspiration (whether you are labeled an artist, scientist, mystic, psychic, etc.), the main “problem” was emptying the mind.

You can’t paint a picture on dirty paper; you need a clean sheet.”

He goes on to talk about famous artists who went crazy trying to break the “straightjacket” of their own minds to get to that wholly spiritual place of creation. This is so interesting, and gave me pause to consider the different layers of spirituality inherent in all of us.

Something to work toward discovering, anyway. To strive toward reaching that pinnacle and finding the way to empty the mind, as he calls it. Lots to consider here. A new array of options, and possibilities. Potential. Reading this felt quite like opening an unexpected present. Thanks, Lennon.:)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life is Complex. But Some Things are Simple.

There are things in life that seem like such simple concepts. You know, basic humanity stuff that should be natural.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about every person thinking for themselves and doing their own thing, and I’m typically not one to make blanket statements about what people should or shouldn’t do. But, there are certain human concepts that, in my opinion, if we all shared, the world would be a better place.

Example: Simple, simple concept: Every person is a human being.

That’s it.

I told you it was simple.

We are all humans. We are all living, breathing people with feelings. It doesn’t matter our gender, what God, gods (or none!) we worship, what color our skin, how much money is in our bank account. It doesn’t matter if we are straight or gay. It doesn’t matter if we have pink streaks in our hair or shave our heads bald. It doesn’t matter what degrees we have and from what universities or if we’ve learned from the school of life. It doesn't matter if we wear ripped jeans or tailored suits.

The only thing that matters is that we are human beings.

We all have blood running through our veins and a heart that pumps that blood.
We all have dreams and aspirations.
We all have feelings, emotions, thoughts.
We all have the right to be happy and respected.
We all have secrets.
We all have the capability to love and be loved.
We all want to belong and be part of something.
We all deserve an equal chance at life and happiness.

Treat each other like human beings. Not like objects. Not like statistics. Not like pawns in your world. Not like they owe you something. Not like you expect something of them. But like human beings, with layers and feelings, just like you.

Care.

Just care about people. Why is that so hard? Care about their happiness. Make someone smile. Make their day easier. Make them feel special. Just simply just care. Consider the whole person that’s inside every person you meet. That someone should matter.

Consider that every single person is a person just like you. And treat them likewise.

It may sound simple, but if everyone did it, wouldn’t the world be a better place?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Challenge is Truth

Okay, let’s see if I can get my feet wet here on the new blog. My mind is filled with thoughts and ideas I’ve been cultivating for years, so maybe it’s a good time to take a few out and dust them off.

Lately, I’ve been reading tons of philosophy. I don’t subscribe completely to any one school of thought, but I will say my existential readings lately have been really hitting home. I found the following list somewhere online (forgive my lack of sourcing, I’m quite scatterbrained lately. Should the owner of anything I quote find me, however, feel free to message me and I’ll link appropriately.)

What existentialism believes in:
Human free will
Human nature is chosen through life choices
A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life
Decisions are not without stress and consequences
There are things that are not rational
Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial
Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary
Worldly desire is futile

What existentialism does not support:
wealth, pleasure, or honor make the good life
social values and structure control the individual
accept what is and that is enough in life
science can and will make everything better
people are basically good but ruined by society or external forces
“I want my way, now!” or “It is not my fault!” mentality

There’s obviously way more up there in that list than I can possibly talk about in a single blog post, and there’s so much I want to discuss, but I thought I’d choose the one that stood out most to me upon first finding that list:

“A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life.”


When I read that particular line, I sat back and thought, “Hmmm.” Then probably, “Wow.” And then I’m sure it was, “Hell yes.”


Human nature is a funny thing. I think it’s part nature, part nurture. It’s part our upbringing (family), and part regional (where we’re from). We’re raised by certain people in a certain way, and in certain places where things are believed or expected. We’re stuffed into these tiny human shaped boxes and expected to fit. But if the individual human nature is strong enough, it will break out of the constraints set upon it by those nurturing and societal aspects. This may be the period of early adulthood (or mid, or late, hell who knows) of “finding oneself.” This, in itself is probably what I’ve always thought of as the power of a strong spirit and human nature. It’s that place where you can shed social constraints and just be. Just live. Not give a shit about following the flock.


But the idea above, of fighting against that individual nature of your self, if and once you actually manage to find it, is pretty revolutionary (to me). It’s when the fight to find yourself isn’t enough. Once you do, you must challenge what you’ve found, who you are. Mentally, spiritually, wholly. Investigate and discover the inner realms of what you are doing and for what purposes. Are you a worker ant, content with what you’re supposed to be content with, what everyone else is content with, or are you thirsty for more? For knowledge and life, and the fire and growth of your own truth?


I think it’s about constantly questioning why and how you are, swimming upstream against the things that come naturally to you that you don’t accept as who you want to be. What parts of your nature do you accept? Which parts can you work on and grow? It’s not about looking for happiness and fulfillment in the truth. Not entirely. But about growing and growing until your spirit is fuller and richer and more untouchable than you could have ever imagined. Until you aren’t fighting yourself anymore. Until you start to really, somewhere along the way, just start to be.


It’s an exciting prospect, but feels like something terrifyingly difficult. Yet so limitless in its power to provide meaning and a worthwhile, if rocky, lifetime path.


It also feels inevitable and irrefutable if you’re looking for authenticity of the self.


And now I want to know, what do you think?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Nothing is Without Meaning: My New Tattoo

I've been working on my first real blog post for this shiny new blog, but in the meantime, I had to post a bit about the story of my new tattoo.:)

This was right after I got home so it's still pretty
red here, but isn't it pretty?:)


It’s not just a song lyric.

I got my new tattoo on Sunday and since I’ve pimped it out in all my social networking tons of people have asked what it means, so why not write a little blog about it rather than keep explaining.:)

Even though everyone who knows me knows what a huge RHCP fan I am, I didn’t set out to get one of their lyrics as a tattoo. I swear!:)

I’ve always wanted a foot tattoo and being a huge music lover, I’ve always wanted to incorporate song lyrics into it. I’ve toyed with tons of lyrics from all different artists but it’s taken me forever to find something perfect. And then I came across these lovely birds, and the rest fell into place. And while I was looking for a lyric that was slightly more obscure and not from a super popular song, the line from Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Scar tissue meant exactly what I was looking for.

The birds themselves are so pretty, and happy, and free. And yet they are in formation, circling, watching, observing. Simply being. And living. I just loved them from the moment I saw them. Elegant and simple.

And the words. “With the birds I’ll share” is part of the longer line, “With the birds I’ll share this lonely view.” It’s all about the view from a very individual place. It could be anything. Maybe it’s a lonely place, maybe it’s a personal place, maybe it’s just a that’s-where-you-are-in-that-moment place. My interpretation of the line has always been about seeing life from that very unique, personal perspective and being true to that even if it isn’t shared. And that’s why I’ve always loved it. And what made me want the words permanently on my body.

Plus, it’s a song about getting through hard times, and it’s been a rough summer. So the time was right to get it now. It’s therapeutic in a way, and healing. And I love it so.

So there it is. The story of my third tattoo.:)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Welcome, friends.

Welcome to my humble blog.

My hope is for this to become a place to share and discuss life and art and philosophy and randomness and all the little things that often seem huge (at least to me). I’m especially interested in those who, like me, aim to constantly learn and study and consider, to think about the how and why behind our actions and those of people around us, and to live the fullest life possible by choosing and considering our roles and actions according to the paths we believe, and not what is merely expected of us.

Will chat more soon, and welcome!:)