The Impetus Of Impediment

What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations?
Are we sure that there is none of it in our own lives?
– Henry David Thoreau
As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration.
– Laura Nyro

 

I lie in the living room, a song in my head. My guitar sits across the room, silently resonating a song from long ago. It yearns for something new. It beckons me to come and create something more than I can, at present. I stare at it with loving disdain, unmoving and unmoved.

Yes, yes, it often seems like the hardest thing to do is that which we know we ought to do but which requires effort: our labors of love so to speak. Due diligence suggests we apply some elbow grease and put our backs into the matter at hand. Conventional wisdom says nothing about waiting for the ‘perfect time’, however. 

It comes to pass that we reach a point where we realize we need more, oh so much more, to sustain our passion, enhance our vision, nurture our idealism, and facilitate our expression. At this point, we begin to wrestle with the contention that it’s not enough for us to rest on our hollow laurels or innate talents. And so with reluctance, we knowingly resign ourselves to the reality that we need to transform ourselves in order to thrive. Yet, agreeing in principle is one thing … doing is another.

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Wool And Water: Who’s Fleecing Whom?

“Can you do addition?” the White Queen asked.
“What’s one and one and one and one and one
and one and one and one and one and one?”
“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”
– Lewis Carrol (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

 

I ask you … is inconsistency the only thing consistent in your life? Is ambling through life with no real purpose seem to be the norm for you? Does getting through the day seem to be both a tall order and the order of the day?

Turbulent times, indeed! I’m reminded of the old Chinese toast that chimes, “May you live in interesting times”. Of course, the saying actually reflects a curse … but then I guess it’s all how you interpret it. Still, a devil’s advocate might suggest that going all ‘Pollyanna’ would most likely mean that something has gotten lost in the translation! Yes, it’s often hard to know what to believe and more importantly what to think.

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The OK Factor

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs
Back in 1967, the year SMiLE was supposed to have been released, Thomas Harris (MD!) published his eventual best-selling ‘self-help’ book, I’m Ok, You’re Ok. This post is not about this book.
However, because the book’s title has passed into pop culture and the public’s obsession with ‘self-help’ ideology, I thought I’d reference it. Just as with Sigmund Freud’s works, Harris’ book, at the very least, does lay out some interesting ideas and terminology for others to build on. On the other hand, ‘Dr.’ Harris also endorsed electro-shock therapy as a treatment for some conditions, so I would approach his writings with a long ‘grounded’ pole.

Relieving Yourself In The Face Of Solemnity

Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining
– John Lennon (Tomorrow Never Knows)

 

 

I used to believe that each day I knew all there ever was to know. The next day, I would learn a few more things and marvel at how stupid I was the day before. That’s the way it is with life. Each day brings new possibilities, new hopes, new dreams and, of course, fresh concerns. Balancing the ‘yings’ and ‘yangs’ of our existence can leave us dumbfounded as we existentially grope around in our subconscious for our minds to hang our ‘sense of being’ and self-worth on.

For many, juggling the psychic apparatus of their various cognitive and psychological states is serious business, and good business for many institutions come circus barkers. It’s really something to meditate on. Nevertheless, I’ve never been much of a meditator.

In fact, I’m much too full of myself for the practice and balk at any idealistic isms that preach self-nullification. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism, but for many years, I felt as if I was my own best friend. Alone with my thoughts which I could never really share, I’d entertain myself and find ways to make myself smile. I never heard voices in my head, though I would occasionally talk to myself.

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A Birther In The Rye (and other nonconformist ideations)


Light the lamp and fire mellow,
Cabin essence timely hello,
Welcomes the time for a change.
– Cabinessence (Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks)

Uncle Sam used to tempt to us to ‘be all that you can be’, assuming we enlisted in the Army. I’m sure that many a good soldier not only answered this challenge, but met this call to action. Lots of others, however, paid it as much mind as they did the Tidy Bowl man (read: Ty-D-Bol) hustling his product from the blue waters of his commode based rowboat. Nevertheless, a bit of logic would suggest that sometimes you have to separate the message from the messenger.

Why do only a fraction of us actually challenge ourselves to be all that we can be? A better question yet might be why we even aspire to be more than we are. Why aren’t we just content to embrace mediocrity? Why must we be egged on to face and overcome adversity, just to fall back on resting on our laurels?

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