Monday, April 18, 2005

pattern of discontent

Sometimes it seems like I only take grand initiative in the important things in life when I'm feeling desperate. Once I do a few things to appease myself, I seem to slip into complacency again, only to grow restless and afraid some time later and do a few more things to appease my discontent. Is there a surefire way to break this pattern? I don't really know. I just look at myself right now and realize that I am not the self-motivated, independent, strong-willed man that I would like to be. Is that something I can really change about myself? Is it something I really want to change? How can I just be myself and still be okay with my life? Or maybe I'm never supposed to be okay with my life. I dont' know. It's just that sometimes I think of the future and don't see how it could possibly turn out right. I don't see how I could possible live an extraordinary life, when in the grand scheme of things, I'm not all that extraordinary a person and I don't have all that extraordinary a lifestyle. I might be different from a lot of people, but I haven't really risen above the crowd all that often. And when I have, it was rarely from taking my own initiative. But now I'm kind of on my own. I often don't know what I'm doing with my life. And sometimes I look forward to when my ten years are up and I leave everything behind and do something crazy with my life.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Sublime Air

There is nothing more lovely and soothing to me in this world than the air after the rain. I went to band practice today and it was raining. I left at nine o'clock, or thereabouts, and it was that cool fresh air of early spring. The kind of air that makes you want to breathe deep over and over and over again. I stood for a while just feeling the air and breathing and relishing the cool richness of it. It is a phenomenon and a marvel to me, for under no other circumstances does the air around me have such an effect. I drove home with the window open, even though it was probably under 60 degrees, and I often stuck my hand out the window to caress the air currents sweeping through my fingers. I can't say why it held such a distinct feeling of pleasure for me, and as I write this I realize how utterly weird I am to talk like this, let alone have such feelings. But the air was the most sublime coolness I have experienced in a long time. I almost pity my brother, traveling in the hot Middle East, who can't feel the wonderful pleasure of the cool refreshing spring after a long Minnesota winter. ... Almost.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I've realized that reading, probably more than anything else, inspires me to write. Honestly, I did not truly realize it until this moment. I suppose it's true with most things, that when you see something done is when you most desire to do it yourself. And sometimes that desire fades away the moment you turn your head from witnessing it. I've wanted to be a writer for some time. I remember even in elementary school, though I was hardly gifted in the area, really enjoying projects of creative writing. Journalism and scholarship never really interested me as much. But again and again, throughout school, whenever there was some story or poem to be written, even if I did not do it all that well, I enjoyed that more than any other projects we got. I remember taking delight in those things.

I've been in the process of writing what will hopefully become my first fantasy novel. I'm about a hundred pages into it, which by itself has taken the better part of over half a year, mainly because I'm a slacker or just don't really know what I'm doing. But I was reading a series of books, and oftentimes while I was reading I would be inspired to write some of my own, not because of any idea stolen from the pages that met my eyes, but simply from the aforementioned effect of seeing a thing done. I noticed this a little, but did not notice how strong an effect it was until the now. The past week or two I've been done with that series and I haven't gotten into another one very deeply. My writing has been down. I tend not to write in my book anymore, just for lack of energy or innovation. The spirit of writing, if there is such a thing, is just gone. And then, I was reading an excerpt from a book on, just to see if it would be one that would interest me, and when I'm done reading the excerpt, I suddenly have the urge to write. Honestly, it did not last very long. I think I got two paragraphs in, but still, the effect was there, and I finally noticed it for real. I need to get back into a good book, I guess.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I *Heart* Huckabees

I *Heart* Huckabees: though peculiarly hilarious, it is truly a movie for the philosopher. A desperate man looks for significance, seeks to find the answers that comprise life and human existence. He looks for hidden meaning in random coincidences. Are they a part of fate, all connected in the infinity of life, or are they merely disconnected holes in the fabric of the world. Two camps, one praising the virtues of interconnectedness, holding out hope and faith in a strange and bent world; the other disregarding the universe itself as a heartless, hopeless, disconnected place, with no meaning and no reason. What he finds is a life of interconnected peace built only from the wreckage and waste of human pain.

Is such a balance truly necessary in this life? Regardless, this movie tells the story of people, creatures of habit, who live endless cycles of repetition, telling the same stories over and over. Discontent, the ravaging plague in todays world, eats away at them all the time. Snipets of their unhappiness only reach the surface in poems and the occasional fistfights. But it broods there endlessly. Do they really ever escape that pattern? In the movie, they do so when they find the how the interconnected nature of the universe brings them round to the issues they need to deal with, and an acceptance of the pain as well as the hope of a happy ending frees them from shaping themselves after the patterns forced on them by humanity.

The true question posed to us in the movie is "How am I not myself?"

I don't really know if there's a load of essential truths in this film or if it's all a bunch of malarky. Either way, it makes one consider the pain in the world as well as the meaning of life. In that, at least, I'd recommend it to anyone who is in need of thinking of such things, which I believe to be a lot of people.