Longing

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There is a distinct part of the human existence that is called to something more than ourselves. We search out that which is beyond us and seems  to perpetually elude us: that something that floats just beyond our grasp and understanding. We seek it all the while knowing we can not obtain it. That is where the comfort comes from.

I have two wooded lots on the farm and both of them hold a particular purpose. One insulates and isolates from the sounds of the highway and the train tracks. The other creates an isolated pocket of nature and quietude within its small boundaries. There the rustle of the paper birch’s bark resembles more a flapping stack of papers than a tree skin. There the sound of bird’s flipping leaves with there beaks, seeking food, is nothing more than a white noise of background ambience. A scan of the ground reveals no signs of the birds.

Here in this place is where I go to seek that which is beyond me. The ethereal foreverness of searching. In truth I am only a short distance for the house, the phone and the computer but there I am on the precipice of that place of unknown. That longing that yearns within begins to send forth feelers seeking to draw in some small bit of something.

Some call it a spiritual or religious experience. Yet it transcends that definition. It is not an active seeking. It is just something that is. The stars call some men. The depths call some and the extremes of heights, weather and health call men to test their endurance. This again goes beyond that. It is not an activity that one pursues, It is part of being.

There I am alone with thoughts that are beyond me and always will be. It in those woods that I discover my frailty and smallness. I am confronted with my mortality amidst the death and decay. It is here that I find sublime beauty beyond my skills to capture.

HGoldenBW

What is it in us that continues to search for something all of our lives? What keeps us from being fulfilled by anything that we obtain? Is it a blessing or a curse that we are end our days with the same thirst and hunger that drives us in our youth?

We spend our last waning breathes still reaching for something beyond our grasp. That which has kept us going and moving forward to this point. That which in a real sense has kept us sane — now it becomes that which causes to wish to take a pause. To settle here a while before death. Now that source of purpose, desire and sanity begins to drive us insane.

There is still something there beyond our vision. Something beyond our grasp. Has all of life really brought us to this point? Have we been driven forward just to sit here no closer to answers than we were at birth? In the end are we just destined to be as filled with longing and doubt as we have been throughout life?

Makes one ponder the purpose of it all.

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Deep Breathes

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Man! It is the middle of March already. I am so far behind on plans for the year that I get nervous thinking about it sometimes. I have to take a few deep breathes and regroup. Life seems to move too quickly anymore. As soon as I try to celebrate something, I see twelve other things that needed done yesterday.

I am still cameraless as I enter into the race season. That is making it a bit stressful for me and my boss. I get defeated when I start thinking about how this winter’s work plans fell through. Then I start getting concerned about letting my photography partners down and it begins to cascade. I have really been fighting depression this winter. Everything seems like it is piling on. The crazy thing is that it isn’t that life-altering or overwhelming in the grand scheme of things. It is just the sheer volume of it all.

On top of my own personal issues, two of my very close friends are having to deal with serious health issues with their parents. One of them has a mother that is going through the final stages of emphysema. My other friend’s father is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments after having the upper lobe of his lung removed. All of it brings back painful memories. I feel selfish when I want to run and hide from it all. I realize that I am going through nothing compared to the issues that they are dealing with right now. My issues with medical issues are in the past. Even my mother’s knee replacement is minor by comparison. Dad’s massive pulmonary embolism seems even small in comparison. Perhaps I should take a moment to explain that statement.

Dad entered the bedroom at around 7:00 and fell to the floor, speechless and unmoving. Mom called for me and her immediate thought of course was to get him to the deck so the EMTs wouldn’t come into the house. (Those who know mom will understand) She has effected my niece. Andrea was concerned that he had messed up the lamp shade and knocked the bed stand over when he fell. By the time dad was at the hospital is was breathing normally and when the specialist came to check on him in ICU around 12, he was sitting up and eating lunch. The doctor remarked that he shouldn’t be doing that. Dad said that the nurses said it was okay for him to eat. The doctor said, “No you shouldn’t be sitting up. Most people wouldn’t even be here.” They scanned dad in several different ways and couldn’t ever find where the clot had broke loose from in his leg. They couldn’t find any other clots either. He was on warfarin for a while but has been weaned off of it.

In light of how quickly he recovered, it is difficult to see these two go through such serious, long-lasting medical issues with their parents. I know the difficulties they are going through personally and it makes it seem unfair in a way that da is doing so well.

So every time I start stressing over things, I try to remember two things. Take deep breathes and enjoy everyone of them. They are precious.

Lack Of Information

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Price Hikes

So now that the networks have cut back on foreign news rooms and we have all turned to the internet for our news, internet providers do this. I wonder what my bandwidth usage was for watching Reuters and BBC and NHK coverage of the earthquake and tsunami. And that five hours of streaming Hawaiian radio must have ate up the bandwidth too.

We are always being told how the internet can be the new media and offer us unfiltered news and opinion. Well apparently only a limIted amount of it.

Now I know that there are people who have youtube streaming 24/7. I know because I get bumped into them all the time. I also know that there are people streaming Pandora radio 24/7. Yes even while they are sleeping. It is there white noise machine. The new tranquil springs soothing them to sleep.

I realize that these are the abusers of the bandwidth that companies are seeking to rein in but I see unintended consequences. I also know that they are encouraging the use of the internet for everything also.

The family of six that shares a connection all playing flash based games for a half-hour a piece. Perhaps throw in a family movie. Toss in grandma’s video update on how the grandkids are doing. Dad skyping from a business trip. The video lecture for mom’s online course. Some science videos for research. And yes some leisure Xbox live play or iTunes video podcast downloads. I haven’t even touched on sitting through a 90 second ad before I can view a news page or the flash-based ads running in the sidebar. It all adds up.

My two little computer screens that show my connection traffic are always blinking. Even when my computer is “idle”. My phones connection arrows are always pointing back and forth with pushed content. I am sure I can block or at least curtail much of this with flash blockers and turning off all automatic updating and real-time virus protection. But I don’t want to keep myself from viewing any web-based site or miss out on playing farmville. And that real-time virus protection: I kinda like it.

I know there is no use griping about it. When Comcast was allowed to do it everyone was going to follow suit. Yep the free market and its increased competition. What I see is the free market colluding and saying well if they are doing it so can we. I mean what are we going to do find some new open means of gathering information from around the globe in the privacy of our own home.

Have you cried during a movie?

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No. I did not cry in Sweet November or I am Sam

Ask me anything

Lack of Information

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Price Hikes

So now that the networks have cut back on foreign news rooms and we have all turned to the internet for our news, internet providers do this. I wonder what my bandwidth usage was for watching Reuters and BBC and NHK coverage of the earthquake and tsunami. And that five hours of streaming Hawaiian radio must have ate up the bandwidth too.

We are always being told how the internet can be the new media and offer us unfiltered news and opinion. Well apparently only a limIted amount of it.

Now I know that there are people who have youtube streaming 24/7. I know because I get bumped into them all the time. I also know that there are people streaming Pandora radio 24/7. Yes even while they are sleeping. It is there white noise machine. The new tranquil springs soothing them to sleep.

I realize that these are the abusers of the bandwidth that companies are seeking to rein in but I see unintended consequences. I also know that they are encouraging the use of the internet for everything also.

The family of six that shares a connection all playing flash based games for a half-hour a piece. Perhaps throw in a family movie. Toss in grandma’s video update on how the grandkids are doing. Dad skyping from a business trip. The video lecture for mom’s online course. Some science videos for research. And yes some leisure Xbox live play or iTunes video podcast downloads. I haven’t even touched on sitting through a 90 second ad before I can view a news page or the flash-based ads running in the sidebar. It all adds up.

My two little computer screens that show my connection traffic are always blinking. Even when my computer is “idle”. My phones connection arrows are always pointing back and forth with pushed content. I am sure I can block or at least curtail much of this with flash blockers and turning off all automatic updating and real-time virus protection. But I don’t want to keep myself from viewing any web-based site or miss out on playing farmville. And that real-time virus protection: I kinda like it.

I know there is no use griping about it. When Comcast was allowed to do it everyone was going to follow suit. Yep the free market and its increased competition. What I see is the free market colluding and saying well if they are doing it so can we. I mean what are we going to do find some new open means of gathering information from around the globe in the privacy of our own home.

What would you do that others would find embarrassing but you would do it anyway? I’m wondering how much moxie you have. For myself, I might wear mismatching socks. I even wear jeans with holes in the knees or scattered throughout.

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I will go to eat somewhere after working in the yard or the garden and just go as i am. Drives my friends crazy when I show up in work clothes. But the places always accept my money.

Ask me anything

Progress

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I was talking with someone earlier and we were discussing plans for the future and the path that we set out for ourselves. They were mentioning that they are happy where they are now. They were letting life lead them where it wanted. They said that to make plans is just to set yourself up for disappointment.

I was a little taken back by that. Now there is no more free spirit in the world than I am. I float by and just let the winds of destiny push me about more than anyone in the universe. The thing that surprised me by this person saying that is that they are very goal oriented and mindful of where they are going and where they want to go.

I am always amazed when people do not see how much they push their lives in a certain direction everyday. Every step you take is pushing you towards a certain future. You make a decision every moment based on where you want to be and who you ultimately want to be. Even if you are allowing others to define you and push you along, you are making the ultimate decision. Whether you decide to associate with people who are pushing you down or with people that are lifting you up, you are making a decision about where you want to go and who you want to be seen as.

Are you going to allow people to push you down and insult you. If so you are deciding to fail and be disappointed at the end of life when you look back and ask what if? Could I have? Why didn’t I? It saddens me to see people that think that to live life in a box is more comfortable than to reach forth and grow. To become,

Or are you going to allow yourself to listen to the honest praise and advice of people who seek to raise you up and see you achieve more than even you dream possible. If you expect more of yourself than you thought possible, you might achieve it.

Are there going to be times when you fail. Hell Yes! Ann Landers said, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold you head high, look it squarely in eye and say, `I will be bigger than you…” And Flip Wilson says, “You can`t expect to hit the jackpot if you don`t put a few nickels in the machine.”

Never should anyone be happy with where they are. That leads them to plant roots and stop looking higher and further for better things. To just sit somewhere unhappy and unfulfilled because of past actions that have put you there is defeat. Prisoners are released from their physical cells to move forward in life, but too many of us hold on to the mental cells and barriers of comfort and ease. We find a place where we are “happy” or we tell ourselves we are happy in that place. The prison doors are standing wide open and we are too comfortable to move out of the cell we have confined ourselves to and experience freedom.

That goes back to surrounding yourself with the right people. Growing up, I was allowed to try anything I could dream. I was allowed to fail. But I was never called a failure. I was encouraged to learn what went wrong and try again.

Life is meant to be a fun experience. It is too damn short to not be. It has an end for all of us. I think that is for a reason. It gives us the purpose to do. We are faced with the fact that our time is short. We must drive ourselves to achieve something. To leave something. To just do something. We don’t have time to contemplate and waiver. None of us are promised tomorrow or the next minute, but we live life like we have a hundred years.

Go out and live now. Play hard. Love hard. Live hard. I am convinced that it makes the end less hard when it comes.