26 April 2005

attention: what follows is excessively wordy and very likely pointless. but that's why you come to this blog, isn't it?

so it's been your average couple of days in (on?) this caste of the independent left-leaning world. you know, stress, deadlines, no money, bad business sense, too much email, not enough reading, Definitely not enough drawing, caring badly for myself...

except for ice cream, of course. there has been ice cream.

a few interactions with people that have perhaps been commonplace, but coupled with my Rampantly overactive synapses, have also prompted much philosophizing that i intend to besiege you, dear reader(s) with, now.

in fact, i was so ravaged by thought yesterday that i am transcribing this from jotted notes (it's True! pen and paper (thumpa thumpa) still exist! Bless Them! Bless Them! Bless Them!) scribbled during stolen moments (blush) during my shift at work, standing in the foul cold that is supposed to be springtime in this great city.

so. i guess i started with a question. surprising Absolutely No one, namely, how does one feel Objectively and feel Strongly about something at the same time?

my answer? i don't know that one can.

let's backtrack for a moment.
when one is involved with something one must be Fully involved. Whatever it is. work, love, friendship, family, volunteering, Art.
so okay. here i am, in whatever it is, let's call it Monday (we can all relate to a Monday of some sort or another...so it's a safe generalization) and i'm Involved with it. i've had my orange juice, i've had my tea, (not all at once, of course) and off i go.

now. the problem is that once one has been involved with anything for any length of time (hours, days, months, years...), one gets Comfortable. let's face it, humans are creatures of habit, aren't we? it is an empirical fact that our synapses develop (literally/physically) grooves of well-tuned patterns through which energy travels, which compel us to do things repetitively. this is how we get so good at them. good at a certain kind of work, a certain kind of communication, a certain kind of relationship.

it has been my experience that the Ego, ah yes, the mortal human Ego, is the cursed spawn of satan that ruins all good (and often comfortable) things.
not unlike Faust, Ego comes along and says "yeah, yeah, been there, done that, this is getting Boring...How Can I Have More?!?"
let's face it, ladies and gentlemen, things get boring. there must be some important 18th century french philosopher that had a pithier way of putting it, but i'm convinced that this is the core of all dissent, war, and evil in the world; the human psyche's sudden need, after a certain familiarity has been established, to ask: "what's in it for me? what's in it for me?"
and so the Ego insinuates itself into the nether regions of our future plans and begins to spawn doubt and push at walls.

now pushing at walls, in a fundamental way, is a Good thing. growth, change, yes, yes, how lovely.

but imagine for a moment, dear reader(s), if i may use a Brash and Hippy example, if trees had Egos. (that's right, trees.) what if every time they settled down and started growing roots they decided that the earth wasn't quite right, the temperature was a bit off, the view was shamefully insufficient, and they got up and started wandering around looking for a new place to settle.

dear reader(s), it just isn't rational. and definitely a cause for concern.

i heard a story today about a man who had recently left his partner and child after a long-term committed relationship, and something about the story made me Profoundly melancholic, in a way that, alas, hasn't abated for a few days now.
how odd. i have no partner, no child, and no interest in anyone beyond my navel-gazing self at the moment. not to mention that these stories are a dime a dozen. this must be the third of this sort i've been exposed to in a fortnight.
i mean, it's a hypothetical water cooler story!
(well, the story isn't hypothetical, i don't think, but the water cooler definitely is.)
(i work in a very small office.)
(we're on a budget. )
(if worse comes to worse we drink out of the toilet bowls.)
(ok, just kidding.)

as a person who has contemplated at least 27 different careers, at least that many different cities on this planet to settle in, and about a dozen suitors at some point or another, i'm in no position to make comments about other peoples' sense of doubt or tendencies to stray.
but i do question it. these days i Do.
perhaps people who leave their families, their homelands, their partners, reach a point of philanthropy and serving the world (so to speak) when their sense of mortality and autobiography takes over. perhaps the shared story, the narrative they built in tandem with their surroundings, becomes insufficient....Ego steps in and says "NOT SUFFICIENT! NOT SUFFICIENT! NOT SUFFICIENT!" and thusly do things begin disassembling.

it's only the ego that recognizes compromise.

comfort is a condition where people overlook details, forget about (or willingly ignore) the little things.
and then suddenly all those Little things that you've ignored have made a modest exit for more attentive suitors, and whatever they added up to, namely the proverbial "Big Thing", is gone, is nothing, and so of course you go looking for that Next Big Thing— the new job, the new lover, the new life.

one may have the skills to build from scratch on a search like this, but can one safely build a stable structure on top of ruins?

my vote is No.
Nothing stands if the foundation Sucks.

sigh. yes, dear reader(s) dark and wordy (and very possibly useless) intellectual ponderings on a tuesday evening. i wonder if this is 'coz i haven't had a chance to draw creepily in the past couple of days.

it's a Strange brain in here.


kim said...

I Solemnly nod in Agreement.

Christine Estima said...

27 career choices later, you're still stylin' n' profilin'. and that's sufficient.

steflenk said...

to kim...
i saw you bikin' down bloor today in this Real life, but you were too fast too catch. to what do you solemnly agree? i will assume it is the fact that it's a Strange brain in here.
yes. yes it is.

to christine...
i'm glad you find me sufficient, lady. :]

kim said...

I agree with the following Random list of things...
-pen and paper. Bless Them.
-scribbling in stolen moments. A MUST.
-non stop BrainsTorm(ent).MEmeTOO.
-Only 27 career contemplations?
-taken' up a CareEar myself. ALL FREE TIME.
- "...no money..." Obviously. See Above.
-"Satan Wall Pushing" Beasterd.
-eGO AWAY!!!!
-yes, Tree analogy was "hippie".
-wrt comfort/detail discussion...
-make calmfort more calmfortable by more Finely Tuning details, Deepening Grooves, Enriching Roots, found-at-Ions.
-perhaps drastic upheavels only occur where people built long term grooves Based in ego, delusion, self-deception. And only Way Out of Grand Freakin' Canyon of non-self is to drum up an idea with enough force to create impetus for change in the opposite direction.
-nice to spend time getting to a place where you see yourself as you Actually Are and Then commit to settling into a groove that reflects that.
-at which point you can be Objective about Yourself (ego too)And Fully/Strongly involved in the Right Life for You. Realistically.
-a Healthy ego commits to calm-promises no longer viewing them as compromises.
-You Can only Trip on Your Ego so Many Times Before There are no more Ego Trips To Take.
-Little Things, Little Things, rah rah rah!!!
-melancholy becomes meloncauliflower...
-And No Your Brain Is Not Strange.
-and "DEAR reader(s)" is correct.

kim said...

and one more thing... i sent you some mail ;)

prettyslippers said...

My ego is a little hamster on a wheel. But I need it to run, yeah? Maybe the ego is best treated as a little pet that, perhaps unlike the little hamster, can be trained...

steflenk said...

oh i Love that!
it's so true. 'xcept for myself i find that mostly my Ego has crushed the wheel and run ravaging through the rest of the machine, vainly trying to find it's way out to consume anything/anyone else it can find.
i wonder what would happen if it didn't run. i think that would be havoc or screwy as well.
but would something replace it on the wheel?
it bears consideration, definitely.