Free Solo Climb at Stoney Point, La Crescent, MN.
The New Year 2016, whatever, it didn’t matter. Time doesn’t matter. When it’s New Years Eve in New York, it’s the past in Australia. It’s not real, but we do it anyway. When someone tells me that something is true, if I don’t see it I really don’t believe it. So, probably show me, let the ball drop.
The idea of time does not make sense. We will eventually all die and that moment when the ball dropped ten years ago, or yesterday, will be forgotten. I understand this concept because I have been reading a lot about the death of John Lennon, and I know that it could have went a million other ways, but it didn’t. He said, “I’m shot! I’m shot!”
Someone did something, and that is what happened. Blood spread on the floor of the entrance to the Dakota at about 10:50 PM, and a football announcer told the world of its loss. Yoko Ono banged her head on the hospital floor in hysterics and Mr. Geffen consoled her on the way home. Some people came together, while others parted. We have the Beatles and we have some guy in prison who killed a acetic genius musician for psychotic reasons.
So, what mattered in the time that these years and people converged were the changes which happened within them, and how you did (things). Everything is connected and purposeful, like when I don’t write on a blog for months and it get’s numerous hits, but when I do no one cares and then zero. It’s as if not trying is the art, so as Bukowski says: don’t.
Today, the first day of the year, most people are probably nursing a massive hangover, as Jess said, and thinking about doing better in the coming months. But it is really only another day. Another day to do. A moment in something to make something new.
Recently, I had to do the same, I had to leave a job that I loved and I had to leave a school that I didn’t understand. I left the job on good terms, fuck, I would go back if they asked. I left the school with a degree–now I want more. I want to be a doctor for the sake of being unfairly advantaged in every argument simply by letters and grades.
In this event with two very jarring outcomes came opportunities. I would say things like, “Every challenge is an opportunity…” at interviews when I had not yet faced anything challenging, apparently.
I ponder on how I get degrees solely because of what I look like, because of “privilege” and appearance and not because of my actual efforts. Or, so people say… I mean this is a belief I am discussing. I am not picking a side, I am just posing an inquiry. I am not sure if this is true–if I believe it one way or another, but it is a thought!
Now, this sort of talk was one thing that came with the reality of school, not at all with work, and this ideology really saturated what people thought–their beliefs, how they looked at themselves by imagining themselves through other’s perspective. Life is a play, I think Shakespeare said that.
It was an impossible feat to attempt to understand how unique individuals viewed the world. Nothing good came of this quality. I had to get away from people I did not understand because they claimed to “know” or “understand” all things–especially of me, and that is just not possible.
I learned of these impossibilities through Fred Rogers. For Christmas , I received a book of Mr. Rogers quotes. Since opening it and reading, I have noticed a few things. The idea of leaving those you love, the idea of separating from negative things, all that separating and dividing is good. Our cells do that so we can grow and exist as beings. It’s a most basic process, and it continues to do.
This year was the first full year I did not have my dad in my life. We divided. I reflect on his absence, and the positive he brought into dire situations–even if unnoticed at first. I think about how I don’t want to be around negative pessimistic people. My father seemed always positive, at times eccentric and aggressive, but always looking to make things better.
This reflection makes me feel diverse and alive, it makes me happy to say goodbye. It makes me happy to know that I can do something because it is what I want to do, not because it is something that others want me to do for the sake of their mentality, or what they deem as “right”.
Daily, I think about how I want to be around people who believe in themselves and those around them, particularly if I am around them. I don’t want to be around sanctimonious prudes or self-righteous talkers. The more positive the merrier, good things in number. Happiness is like a virus waiting to be spread, I want to hear lovely people sneezing with its passionate mucus.
My father pretty much believed he could do anything if he put his mind and his hands to it. He was a true jack-of-all-trades. I have this same belief. Put my mind to it, my hands to it, and something happens. It did not matter what people thought of him, or his past, it just was what he did: he did things because he believed he could.
At school, through the administration and groups of peers, I noticed many times, because of the media, or fear of retaliation from allotted cliques, that people tried to be something they weren’t. They tried to embody an idea of social purity, of pristine perfection–something humanly impossible.
(See, no one is perfect, but those who don’t try to view situations differently are jaded in a way that leaves them progressively static. They are unchanged.)
I noticed that people who thought they were infallible judged others with a measure that they wouldn’t dare judge themselves. Groups protested cops and cops got paid to monitor these protests of cops–how the fuck does that make sense? People told me to think differently, I ask them to think like me and they couldn’t. How weird. No one thinks…
For what I learned in college, through experience, I could not have learned wholly from books or by lectures or via someone expressing their obvious theory is “fact”, so believe. (The above is worrisome, because I have seen that sort of lesson come to fruition in school or conversation and through mob mentality.) But, I learned by my own observation, that objectivity.
I had to meet people with different opinions, different biases on the same media and the same world just through a different ideological lens captured by a different cameraperson–always being framed, and even if they weren’t effected by it they were. Some were out there, impossible. Some were close and well kept. All were well in meaning, but perhaps I am misguided.
The idea is that you can do whatever you want to in the New Year, it doesn’t matter. Have some political idea, join a club, claim you are a victim, claim you are a god, drink the fucking kool-aid. Still keep doing, still don’t stop. The world needs idiots and geniuses alike, and it needs them to be present, not in the background. Targets are only useful if they are visible.
I see a bunch of people with signs in cold weather protesting the recently deceased, momentarily (but god or whoever knows that the weather will win out and the void they fill will again go unnoticed). I feel for them because people I know have also died unexpectedly…
My dad died on a motorcycle on some track in the state of Minnesota, I believe. He just rode off the edge and broke his neck. He was hooked up to tubes at the hospital. I couldn’t cry or do anything but wait. Today, I want to buy a motorcycle and ride it through the city. You won’t see me protesting these vehicles at factories. And people think I don’t care, or haven’t been challenged. Imagine.
I see people at desks doing things, or walking around the office multiple times (too many to count), to the bathroom, or to get coffee, or just to walk because they have to for movement sake. I am one of those. Doing. Both situations are doing, happening, and real. It’s trying to do.
More to the point: do.
I see people afraid to do things, people just stuck in their comfort zone or newly coined “safe space”. I was/am like this. I used to enjoy working in a grocery store, for a second. I used to enjoy washing dishes for paychecks that might not come. I enjoy doing things I am comfortable with. I didn’t want to start a new job, or graduate from college, and leave the people I had become familiar with, but in retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Maybe losing the things that bind you makes you more free to explore the person you actually are. When corn is grown in a monoculture it becomes more prone to disease; accordingly, when minds are continuously of the same priori or assumption or ideology or belief (without question) there is high chance of mental disease. I am no doctor, but that is my unlicensed opinion. Your’s is probably good too. But, it still feels comfortable, having the same. I like it.
Now, on my hour long breaks I walk into the snow-covered dale of the corporate campus and watch wild animals go. These animals, they don’t say much to me, they just watch and fly over. I thank them for this. They don’t judge me, or try to change me, or create some sort of false pretense that is impossible, on everything–out of the sake of their own reflective fantasy. These birds fly over attacking each other; they dive and go; they squawk and call.
I follow tracks below near a barbed-wire fence through bare trees, brown fodder, and dead weed growth. I don’t feel so bad about being trapped, being watched as I roam, or being monitored by my cellular phone. I am a spectacle as everyone else, as everyone that is doing something rather than talking about it–discussing how they will. (I get excited every time someone fails at their New Year’s resolution. Failure is good.)
So, here in a field, that is where I feel I am part of a failing humanity. I feel we breathe the same air. We are together. And that is why I go outside, that is why I take risks and do what I want, that is why I smile and laugh and joke and bullshit at the risk of offending other people, that is why I write bad poetry that get’s rejected constantly by numerous local publications, and that is why I say things that may make people feel uncomfortable, because if I don’t and I die tomorrow I wouldn’t have done what I wanted to.
In 2015 I existed in three (3) countries; I made old friends, I lost new friends; I spoiled a Star Wars movie (by a chance guess) for many people on social media, I understood what people’s priorities were; I found love in books; I started to get paid for my writing; I saw for the last time a wooden star lit up on a hillside in my hometown of La Crescent, MN; I went to church and didn’t believe; I drove a truck to work; I started to not care what people actually thought (because opinions are bullshit, not chiseled in stone); and I scrolled Facebook all morning on the first day of the New Year 2016. Then I took a shit. And no one cares.
I give a fuck, but sort of not really, because a lot of people don’t think, and that assertion kills me. Alas, I have faith, because they do do. They make it happen. They break my heart. They make enemies and friends and followers and trends, but it doesn’t matter. Like two years becoming one, becoming the rest of your life controlled by time, and then not. I still love it, and you, and I hope you do to. Thank you for graciously reading.