DNR Order for a Telecommunications Device

22 11 2010

Yesterday, my phone died of exposure.  It was left too long, too far from its electrical bottle, and it starved.  Night closed in on the gadget and there was nothing to be done.  Minor inconvenience, I thought.  I’d soon enough be back near the charger, and I’d just as soon catch up with what I’d missed.

Today, I got back to the charger.  I dutifully plugged the phone in as soon as I arrived.  I went about cleaning up my space, which was in some disarray after an illness left me unwilling to keep tidy for the better part of a week.  I even switched the phone on after a bit of charging, but the startup is quite a long while, and I walked out of the room before it booted.

Before I knew it, it was almost time for me to head to work, so I hustled back up to my room and got hastily ready, and can you guess what I left behind?  Yes!  My bottle of water!  And also my phone.  The dread I felt at the realization was so substantial that I became immediately suspicious.

Wait, I thought, what am I really missing for the next eight hours, or the previous twelve? If history provides any light, the odds were pretty good that I wasn’t missing much.  Some random text from someone telling me they saw a hot dog vendor and thought of me.  A call from my sister asking if I’d figured out whether I was going home for Thanksgiving yet.  A call from my mother asking me if my sister was coming for Thanksgiving.  In fact, I realized that my phone is hardly ever a tool of happiness in my life.  Nobody ever texts and invites me to a hot tub party or calls to see if I’m interested in an impromptu screening of RoboCop 3 that they are watching from a hot tub.  The best I get is a hassling text from my sister because I haven’t returned her call and she’s presuming I’m dead or playing dead because I don’t want to come home and see her and be reminded that I look more like her than anyone else in the family and she’s not exactly mannish.  Well, I’m not exactly girlish!  I will show you all my muscles if we need this cleared up. I do have nice eyelashes, I’ve been told.

The point is that at one point in the evening, I even felt a phantom buzz from my pocket, but I didn’t reach for the phone with happy expectation.  I winced.  I don’t know when it happened, but at some point, I think the convenience of having a mobile phone was eclipsed by the inconvenience of having everyone you know presume you’re available for them at any given moment.  When I look at my messages screen and see 2 voicemails waiting, I am immediately disheartened.

I asked several people about this.  Actually, I started by asking them if they were old enough to have ever had real live answering machines.  And if they’d had one with their parents growing up, and if they had one when they moved out, and how long they had one before they got a mobile phone, and how long they had both phones before dropping the home phone—since everyone with whom I spoke had only mobile phones, having abandoned the land line.

And the big question I asked was “When you returned home from a day at school or work, or a night out at dinner, and you got in and saw the answering machine flashing (indicating a waiting message), how did you feel?”  And everyone remarked that they were excited.  “And how do you feel when you look at your mobile phone now and see that you have a voicemail waiting?”  And everyone said it was annoying, or deflating, or even made them angry.

I’m sure there are university studies that have been done on this, but if there haven’t, let me go ahead and save some donor money:  being available all the time, and worse, having other people assume you’re going to be available all the time, sucks.  It sucks you right out of your own world, into a world where you have to break your concentration to answer a quick text, or you have to leave your conversational companion for a moment to tell someone where you’ll be later in case they want to meet up.

It is no exaggeration to say that with mobile phones and all the services they provide, wondrous though they are, you are forcing yourself to split your time between two worlds.  Which may not be so bad except that you are doing it in small increments of time, leaving you, in a way, never here nor there.

I’ve been over 24 hours without a mobile phone, and I have enjoyed it immensely.  In fact, I’m now back in the room where my fully-charged, powered-on phone sits, and I really don’t want to pick it up.  There’s no one with whom I need to communicate, but more importantly, I don’t feel like breaking the spell I’ve arranged about myself:  I am alone in a room.  It feels solid, this room, and so do I.  I can deal directly with any of these objects or toys or thoughts or books around me, and I feel like that’s right.  The moment I look into the portal the phone provides, and I’m not calling it evil and I’m not calling it good, I’m effectively gone from here. And I want to be here.  I suppose I’ll have to pick it back up at some point.

But maybe not yet.

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Power of Pride, Part I

8 03 2010

Have you ever read The Wealth of Nations?  Neither have I.  Unless you have, because so did I.  Bits and pieces of it, actually.  Excerpts, really.  You may call them quotes.  The point is, any American has been taught about this book.  It’s supposed to be this brilliant treatise that informed the makers of our economic system of the efficacy and moral rightness of capitalism.  And you have to admit, when you hear about it in school, it sounds pretty good.  The values it extols make perfect sense.  In capitalism, the people always get what they need because the market will adjust to suit the needs of the day.

For instance, everyone can’t be a farmer because we’d have way too much food and the food prices would drop so low, and the farming implements prices would rise so high (since everyone would need them and there would doubtlessly be a shortage)  that nobody could afford to be a farmer.  I guess then, a huge load of the farmers would give up the farms and go into the farming implement business.  Probably too many of them, frankly, and then there would be very little expensive food and cheap, bountiful farming implements.  But eventually, in capitalism, the market would correct itself and balance would be struck, leaving everyone with a job to do and reasonably-priced food and goods to buy.  That’s the point of capitalism—there will be some difficult times, but if you persevere in the system, it’s a self-balancing unit that, (presumably) sooner rather than later, will serve well all those living under its auspices.

So Adam Smith’s book gave us all the confidence to believe in our economic system, which is lovely.  Until you recognize, of course, that our current capitalism scarcely resembles the capitalism of today.  Under the original model of capitalism, there are no $700 billion corporate bailouts.  In real capitalism, companies that are inefficiently run, or that make terrible decisions out of sheer greed and fail as a result, well, they’re left to die.  They weren’t fit to survive in the market because of their poor execution, and their resources, according to pure capitalism, should be redistributed so that a more intelligent company can arise and do it better.  The point is, pure capitalism knows that if you failed, there’s a reason, and you don’t need to be a part of the system any longer.  It’s one of those growing pains that the market must inevitably incur.

The bailout was a terrible idea.  It was like taking all of the farmers in our previous example and saying “Well, since there’s so much food that nobody can sell their food and have money for farm implements, we’re going to invent more money to give to everyone so you can continue right along doing what you’re doing.  You’ll be able to afford farm implements, you’ll continue farming, and the farm implement people can continue making farm implements to sell, since you can all afford them.”  That is not giving the market that we all claim to believe in the opportunity to correct itself.  The bailout was no less idiotic.  The fact of the matter is that we all think we’re so special that we shouldn’t have to experience any difficult times.  We convinced ourselves that what we had built on the corporate landscape was so exquisite that it simply couldn’t be wrong, and we had to preserve it at any cost.

I’d like to say that it was purely panic that had us clambering to re-capitalize these obvious failures, but I think it’s deeper than that.  I have this feeling that everything we have going on is so big—that we’ve put so many of our eggs of confidence in this one rickety basket of business—that we don’t want to imagine the social and economic upheaval of doing things the right way…. the way we claim to still be doing things but so clearly aren’t.  We’ve come to believe that our conveniences and our toys are our birthrights, and the moment a thought of giving up a stitch of our expected daily lives enters our heads, the AMERICAN chip activates to blind us with a waving flag and a chorus of the “Star Spangled Banner” sounds in our ears, reminding us that we made this world what it is, we still control it, and there’s no way we’ll ever have to suffer the indignity of taking a step backwards.

After all, what is a step backwards except an admission that we’ve made a mistake?  The thought of Americans, or any self-coddled Westernized society in the world, admitting that we’ve made a mistake puts me in mind of a popular bumper sticker from the early 2000’s that appeared after the September 11 attacks.  It was a simple but powerful message that really let you know what we thought of ourselves as a culture.  An American flag in full colors waved behind the text “Power of Pride.”  The reference was to the whoopin’ we were about to put on the perpetrators of the attacks.  But American pride is dangerously strong and far-reaching.  I wonder if we’re capable of saying, as a people, that we’ve strayed from what actually makes capitalism work, and that what we’ve been doing to ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet isn’t right.

I don’t want to sound cynical, but I have to admit I don’t have a lot of faith that we are capable of such a feat.   You should see the look I get from my fellow countrypeople when, after they proclaim their dedication to and pride in America, I remind them that pride is one of the seven deadly sins that their (likely) God warned them against.  It’s a chilling silent ire they display, that someone could be so impertinent as to remind them that two of their strongest beliefs are at odds with one another.  My fear isn’t necessarily that they’ll choose the wrong principle by which to live between them; it’s that they already have.





freedom

3 03 2009

I’ve been thinking about freedom recently, possibly because it’s mentioned on half the bumper stickers in my country, and i have begun to be confused as to what the word even means.  I suppose it’s easier for people to get behind a concept that’s as vague as “freedom,” which is why it’s such a political winner, but I also believe that this concept, in as stark a light as one can put it, is central to proper living; to leading a life of wonder, exploration, and expression; to finding one’s direction(s) and following it (them) to conclusion.

What is freedom, after all, when from the moment you are conceived, you are bound to a book of restrictions that you had no part in making?  Without the proper conditions, you will not come to term, will not be born, will not be nourished through infancy.  If you take an inadvisable step as a toddler, you can easily maim your vessel long before you develop your true will in the world, forever altering your ability to do so.  You are bound to a body that has demanding maintenance needs, and even with the most attentive care, it is only available to you for a prescribed amount of time, and much of that time, it will not be serviceable for your desired uses.  Even at your mental and physical peak, you will be greatly limited by a huge number of factors.

If you believe you have a soul, and that your soul has taken this vessel for the glory of a creator or to learn what it needs during its time here, then you can hardly refute the idea that our planet is our prison and our bodies are our cells.  We are born into our corporeal forms, which feel all manner of worldly pain, and we are not allowed out until a lifetime later, when our cells have at long last worn down and finally, grudgingly release us.  We can choose to leave our prison by our own hands at any time, of course, but have no idea what really waits beyond the walls.

At least we are free to act as we like while we’re here, I suppose.  Except, of course, that we’re really not.  If you can forget all of your physical rules, which are oppressive and time-consuming enough, in my opinion, then you are free to begin to worry about all of the man-made rules.  Those doing time here before you had initiative to set up the joint for their greatest benefit, and you have all of the benefit of arriving on the ground floor.  You have papers.  You have licenses and documents to earn and to sign, certificates to display in proof of your proficience at some man-imagined skill or another.  You have interviews, during which you can convince other inmates that you are worthy of their confidence in handling some aspect or another of their operation.  And then you get to perform in that task–this is the part where you’re being productive, viable, and useful to the world around you.  But again, this is almost always, in the cages man has set up, only to serve men higher up in the cage than you.  You’re seldom helping the world around you.  In fact, you’re usually doing quite the opposite.  You’re injuring the real LAW–the natural world, the only link besides ourselves that we may have to the force that keeps us here–in order to serve man’s law–the only force that is nakedly invented to service only itself.  And all the attention we all give to this unnatural structure serves only to strengthen it and keep our focus off of the real quandary of our existences.

There is still so much freedom that we have in the natural world, though, I think.  People love love, I belive, and we love to find another person who makes us feel funny and wonderful and happy and as with whom we should perform sexy acts.  It’s funny, we never have these ideas on our own, really, we just realize at some point that we’re driven to make this thing happen, and suddenly it’s a very important thing to us, and some of us spend inordinate amounts of time pursuing it.  Much of this time also happens to be our “prime time” physically and mentally, when we’re about as sharp as we’re ever going to be.

Even if I forget about all the lack of freedom I perceive in being a part of the world, I can’t help but find emotional traps waiting for us every step of the way.  Any former lover, friend, pet, vacation, coincidence, or embarrassment is a weight tied to our beings by the strings of our memories.  Learning is nothing more than strapping on another bag and keeping it near to help you make any new decisions that might be related.  Even something as vaunted as our precious brains and their wondrous capacities for remembering and thinking critically serve to close up our worlds, little by little, until our legs are obliged no further steps.

Perhaps that is the trick to our journeys, then—or at least our passages.  We are set “free” in a world, counted upon to self-educate, to build a homeostasis, to exist as best we can, and we have indulged ourselves foolishly to our souls’ capacities, until finally our once-buoyant selves can no longer carry on after years of weighting and hardening.  And death may be the greatest gift we’ll know—when we are liberated at last from our world of entanglements, confusions, and delusions because we were, in the end, unable to liberate ourselves.





not feeling yourself disintegrate

12 01 2009

what is wisdom?  is it simply knowledge handed down from those who came before?  can we live our lives according to the principles of those who have already lived and learned, and told the tale so that others could benefit from their folly?  we could, i’m sure, though i’ve noticed in my years here is that people love to make their own mistakes, that no amount of telling someone that they’re on the wrong track will engender change until that person comes to the end of that road or somehow is able to detect the wrongness of their action from within.  think about that.  you’ve done all kinds of dumb things that you probably knew were dumb; that others explained to you was dumb; but that you had to experience before it became part of your operating knowledge.  so really, is conventional wisdom all that it’s cracked up to be?  can we actually expect to be better off than our ancestors simply because we came along chronologically after them?

i’m afraid that we’re all doomed to make most of the mistakes we may have made if we were the first people even though we’re so far from it.  every person seems to need to experience a mistake or, perhaps better, the intuitive understanding that it is a mistake, in order to progress personally beyond that folly.  the intuitive understanding is tricky, though.  if we’re born with such an ability, it seems to be trained right out of us as we march a trail of explicit-logic-is-Truth toward adulthood, and if we find ways to reconnect with this skill, it’s difficult to be able to trust it, even after we convince ourselves that it’s real.  so, most of us continue to learn from mistakes–which is quite effective any way.

i remember once i was sitting at a table with six friends and one unknown (to me) girl, and though i knew from intuition AND from conventional wisdom not to speak ill of people (golden rule, anyone?), i said approximately the rudest thing i could about someone who wasn’t there, whom i thought nobody but a couple of us knew, and whom nobody had seen around for at least a year.  the silence and averted eyes at the table were bad.  but it was better than learning that the unknown girl happened to be the offended party’s best friend.  it was kind of incredibly awkward.  i knew i shouldn’t have been rude.  i was.  and then i learned by example the pain that such an indescretion could bring.  truly, there couldn’t be a more elementary and obvious piece of handed-down wisdom–yet it wasn’t enough to save me from my own sense of imperviousness.

so i was thinking about tv.  i was thinking about the ramifications of an unprecendentedly huge world population taking most of their information from a very small number of information outlets that happen to strive to be, more or less, aligned with one another anyway, and of course, it’s a little worrisome.  compared to the “old” model of smaller communities and more localized information, the implications get the illumination they deserve.  hopefully lessons from thought like this can be the teacher, rather than the impact from continued thoughtlessness.

i don’t think you’re stupid.  i just wanted to state it:  one thousand people in ten villages (one hundred per) are taught in each village how not to accidentally poison their drinking water.  one of the ten teachers has it wrong.  oops.  mistakes happen.  the next year, there are 900 people alive and armed with good knowledge on maintaining potable water.  but if those thousand people watch 2 television stations teaching them the same thing and one of the teachers is wrong, that’s 500 dead.  that’s all i’m saying.  not everything’s life or death, though.  a lot of the fallout can simply be people being wrong about dumb stuff.  but that can get to as divisive and polarizing as anything.  and when you’re living in a world where the decisions of the population have enormous impacts on the environments and other people around them…  well, it can be not so good, i think.

americans in particular are so proud of their immensely varied backgrounds–this “melting pot” provided us with many points of view and historical wisdoms that enabled this country to be as great as it is today (jingoistic words, not mine).  but what do we have today?  we have a huge wall of homogenized culture that is continuously stared at and compulsively agreed with by our populace, which is becoming incredibly homogenized as a result.  nearly every piece of corporate culture shakes hands with the next, from news broadcasts to car design to reality television shows.  all the news places import upon the same basic “issues,” and if i’ve learned anything in my time, it’s that there are literally boundless interesting, amazing, and important things to look into in our world.  but we don’t see most of them.  we see just a little.  usually what someone trying to sell something wants us to see.

i see this wall of fake culture as preventing millions of people from really being alive in their lives.  who disagrees that death is part of life?  you’ll never avoid it.  it’s pretty much the only thing that’s impossible.  then why all the “stay young” products for purchase?  why the craze?  what’s wrong with getting older?  with feeling less strong and not getting upset about it?  it’s part of life, to disintegrate, little by little, until the body is ready to rest.  stop telling me that it’s not, or that it’s avoidable, stupid wall of fake culture that tries to sell me things!

i mean, that’s all i’m saying.





people’s just people

3 12 2008

so i was thinking about a person with whom i ostensibly have “core differences,” which one must probably consider to be insurmountable obstacles to a healthy, close relationship.  well, not all core differences would necessarily be insurmountable, but these, i think, are as such.  we share a lot of the same opinions–of politics, of people, of lifestyles–but our perspectives of the world, how best to address it, and what is possible within it, are drastically different.

i was thinking about how basically identical humans are from a psychological standpoint.  everyone’s basic needs are the same.  security is the top priority–we need food and shelter beyond anything else, and if those are lacking, any other desires in the world disappear in a puff of smoke as we seek them out.  it’s the same way psychologically.  we want security.  to know that we understand the world around us and have others near who also understand it and to feel confident that we can successfully navigate it to our optimal benefit.  this is where i suppose everyone feels different, and where my and my friend’s schism is pronounced:  our understandings of the world are somehow not the same, and as the other endeavors to bend our view to their understanding, our cherished and needed stability of perspective is challenged, leaving us feeling exposed and anxious.  it’s like kicking the bottom bricks out from a building’s foundation.  a very weak building, apparently, if someone can kick them out.  imagine a sledgehammer if you have to.  do i have to hold your hand through every ill-conceived simile?

so when people sense the onslaught to their long-held beliefs about the world and their relation to it, their minds generally find it easier to become defensive, incensed, or even spiteful in the stead of having to take down their own foundations and consider the merits of a different conception, much less then taking the time to work to assimilate other views into their outlooks.

i have to admit that i don’t generally feel threatened by many others’ views of the world.  usually, they believe things i’ve already spent time considering, and there are almost always facets of their ideas that i harbor as part of my belief system anyway.  so i’m always with and not with everybody.  and if someone looks at things very differently and in a new way, i get excited that there’s something new to explore.  i believe strongly in the unending magic of our universe and it’s a matter of no difficulty for me to think that there are others who are finding bits of it i’ve never experienced or thought of.  and that’s where i want to be.  i also understand that more people are afraid of things being different than how they perceive them, though i can’t understand why they’re largely so unwilling to admit to themselves that different doesn’t mean detrimental, or could even be a very good thing.

the structure, as i see it, is that everyone’s born more or less identical, a life force seeking certain comforts, needing certain conditions to be met to ensure their well-beings.  but then we start to learn from the world and people around us.  suddenly others’ ideas are put into our heads.  ideas like best country in the world and cool clothes to wear and property value and making a good living and smarter than others and other such cultural and personal values that help us to construct a system of beliefs that all seem to depend on the others, as we affix them in layers on the outside of our more simple, direct selves at birth.  before we know it, we’ve grown up differently from those around us, even more differently than those in different economic strata, and significantly differently than people from other countries, other cultures.  and we fail to see that none of our ideas are the correct perceptions of the world. ours so often seem correct.  the people around us add credence to this idea, because though they’re different, their constructions are very similar to ours since we grew up in very similar conditions.  and suddenly everyone outside of our strata just doesn’t get it and simply won’t learn and are, to many of us despicable in the respect.

but nobody’s despicable.   everyone’s doing what they can with what they’ve got.  and everyone should be able to learn that that’s how everybody’s operating.  and everyone should be able to see that in the end, we’re all the same, just with different artifices that can be peeled away as systematically as they were put into place.  and nobody has to defend their tiny views of the world anymore.

so, you know, get started on that.





buggin’

2 10 2008

i was on a long motorcycle ride the other day, when about 100 yards ahead of me, there was an accident.  an 18-wheeler jackknifed, another hit the highway divider, and a pathfinder got squashed somewhere in the tween.  the rest of us quickly stopped.  and were stuck behind it all.

it was over 45 minutes before the scene was cleared, and in that time, i cut the engine and tried to relax as best i could, wearing black and sitting in the sun.  i leaned forward and noticed a beetle that had come onto the road from the grass.  he was scuttling frantically, as beetles tend to do, but the road wasn’t really made for his beetle features, and the little bumps that he’d hit would divert him pretty dramatically, so that in effect he was going around in big circles, or rectangles, or spirals, but always was staying in the same four square feet or so.  he scuttled on; i wondered if he was aware that he might not be getting anywhere but remained confident that in time, he’d hit the right bumps in the right ways and he’d be on his way to green pastures again.  if it was unnerving to watch at first, as i was hoping for his intelligent or lucky passage out of the danger of baking or eventually being squashed by rubber, it became a full-fledged situation when, as he hit the wrongest bump in the wrongest way, he was flipped to his back.  his legs crawled on air; they reached for nothing over and over again.

I thought to myself of how close he always was to relative safety in the grass.  never was he farther than 6 or 7 feet from the grass of the ditch, but he didn’t have the faculty or the vision to know it.  all he seemed to me to have was hope and resolve.  i don’t suppose either of those are optional when you’re a bug.  they’re as hard-wired as having six legs, if my years of bug watching can attest to any insect behavior.  compulsive, obsessive, and endless bug activity seems to be all they know.  i wondered if that was sad, or if it was nice that they never had to worry about fulfilling a higher purpose.  they had their jobs and they did them to the best of their abilities, always, and without complaint.

did i just start eulogizing bugs?

i guess we think that most bugs and animals and plants are that way.  but, we think, they wouldn’t be if they had the ability to perceive as we do.

so what about people?  great with all of our terrific abilities to perceive, to know, to learn, to act.  but, i don’t believe that we’re the highest consciousness in the universe.  far from it.  in fact, i don’t think many people do think that.  most people believe there is something greater than ourselves.  and how much do you want to bet that they look at us and think that we’d do so much better if we just had their abilities of perception, of knowledge, or understanding?  to them, how much do you think our running to work, to the gym, to pick up the kids, to eat lunch and dinner, to save for retirement, to upgrade the domicile, and to copulate with impressive specimens of our species looks exactly like an innumerable amount of bugs frantically scuttling about, compulsive,  obsessive, and without real reward?





Feeling Fire?

20 07 2008

Have you ever realized that you were humming or singing or playing from your memory a song that ties too coincidentally well into your prevailing thoughts or feelings?  How about if the song is bad, or one that you don’t like or ever think about?  Is it ever Aerosmith?   90’s Aerosmith?  Does it ever make you feel a little simple?

I may be a little brain-weary from the events of the past few weeks.  My eyes may be puffy and red from dust spraying into my face like confetti when I had Rip Taylor work my birthday party.  I may be ready to keel over onto my bed now–I’m even glancing over and plotting how best to fit myself without having to remove any of the boxes or lamps or scattered socks that cover it.  But why, during my shower, did I catch myself singing “I used to feel your fire / but now it’s cooooooold outside” repeatedly, without preceding or following the lonely lame lyric?

For anyone who didn’t know, I left my job on Friday.  It was a long time coming; I knew it needed to happen, and I dragged my heels on it, but I finally did it.  I think that, more than any form of humiliation, disrespect, or simple gross mishandling I experienced or witnessed in my time there, the thing I found most distasteful about it was the sheer lack of humanity.  Now, “humanity” is kind of a big term, and it may not mean the same thing to me that it does to you, so I’ll distill:  as many jobs in our highly compartmentalized society/economy are, there were no real rewarding creative moments to be had.  Ingenuity is defined as anything that increases efficiency. And if anyone even recognized this “ingenuity,” you’re worse off than getting no credit, because then you’re only being handed proof that you’re a good tool.

Oh–that reminds me–it means the same thing when you or anyone else says that you or anyone else is a “good fit” for a job.  You’re a tool with the correct shape to make the job happen.  We have all these hilarious euphemisms for how we work, and they all basically say that we’re tools.

Anyway, someone recently remarked to me how strange it was that she appreciated lot of things, like music, movies, or conversation, to name a few, so much more when she got stoned.  I think that when drugs change the chemistry of our brains, we kind of go out of tune of capital R “reality”–the one where we are tools for our economy with short, incomplete personal lives (that part’s just my opinion, maybe)–and are able to peer into the world in a different way, and are able to see different things.  In other words, when our brains stop reacting to our senses in the conditioned patterns that we’ve learned as parts of our big ol’ economic machine, they are able to see a little of the magic behind all the amazing things that we’re capable of but so few ever seem to actualize.

What the hell does all this have to do with Aerosmith and leaving my job, you’re asking me.  Have some faith, jerkoff.

My work, my mechanical existence, was a numbing, frustrating life, but it seemed quite normal.  It seemed like everyone else’s, like it was correct, like it was inevitable and maybe even on track.  The longer I stayed in it, going through the motions, the less I remembered of the days when I was easily interested and eager to learn about things, when I would listen to a single record over and over because it did something to me that I didn’t understand but loved.  I don’t know–the magic of the world that I used to experience far more often, if not daily, if not every moment.  I’ve begun to feel that it’s really there every moment.  That every time I think about it, I can sense how amazing anything around me is.  But I’m still kind of terrible at recognizing it, I think.

This is what I began to think about when I heard my brain remembering that “I used to feel your fire / but now it’s cold outside.”  I’ve been trained to not be interested and excited.  Probably because the less you think about things like that, the easier it is to do your job better (even though I don’t think it’s better for anyone personally, though I’ll admit that it can be sometimes better for the world at large).  And I’ve allowed it.  But I don’t want to allow it anymore.

And that, if it must be distilled in 800 words or less, is why I left my job, and why I’m not ashamed or upset that I was singing 90’s Aerosmith in the shower.