The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: April, 2007

Gun control

“We don’t need gun control. We need bullet control.” – Chris Rock.

How did this happen? How did a troubled young man, a deeply disturbed loner, kill 32 people in a matter of hours. Why? Suicide, while stupid and futile, at least is fair and just; murder is the absolute negation of justice, the reason for the whole legal edifice in the first place.

How do we stop these things from happening? How we stop these terrible things, and these terrible people? We’ve put a man on the moon, and cured countless plagues … but we cannot cure the endless amorality that exists in the hearts of men.

Women kill too, apparently, though not nearly as often.

Perhaps it is a lack of love, or a lack of discipline. But more likely this immigrant child who went so terribly mad, evilly mad, was the result of long years of isolation and neglect. The modern technologies of the world made this isolation more palatable, made it easier for him to pass his days staring at screens, hearing music without listening to it.

We must relearn how to listen. Our “souls” are virtual, and they decay if they are not used. Life is a constant struggle of putting our souls back together.

In terms of actual prescriptions:

1. Gun Control.

2. Mental Health screenings.

3. Professional and quality medical care for all citizens that includes mental awareness.

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The crimes we commit against our selves

Why do I still love her when she doesn’t love me?

Will I be able to seal the deal with the one who came before?

And what about the third, my old friend, one who loves me back?

What about law school? Am I putting myself into a purgatory, doing something I think I should do? Am I acting in bad faith?

Project: Find out what, exactly, the existentialists meant by bad faith, and whether I am guility of it.

letters to van gogh

On Postsecret this morning, this message:

 “whenever I want to kill myself, I write letters to Van Gogh instead.”

thoughts on commuting

it is not the journey I object to, but the destination.

when we get to space

the first things the higher beings will do is put us with the other monkeys.

published once online elsewhere

My first published piece of my adult life is on Angie Smith’s myspace page. I wrote it many years ago, when I was coming down from my Elsewhere trip, but it spoke to a moment I had one evening sophomore year, when everything was falling apart. I had recently become highly engaged in a few new things; once, I got high, sat in the corner of our living room, and realized I was, for a minute there, losing myself.

What was this Abyss, surrounded by The Stuff I Liked? Was this the place where souls are rumored to lie? It seemed empty. Vanities, they call it.

Perhaps it was the smoke, obliberating my self. Also, it was a dark period, there is no denying that.

Here is what I wrote:  

Every once in awhile it’s useful to remember that you are not your car, your clothes, your books, your music. The Ego is a Crazy Little Thing, and it’s easy to let it expand and encompass these things and thus erase that cold line between Self and World. It is comforting – but it is also comforting to remember the truth, that we are naked primates, huddled together for warmth, alone in our experiences and all the rest is dead wood crowding up our minds. When we remember that, maybe we won’t fear the brush fire.

For what it’s worth.

Choices

What if I didn’t go to law school? What if I decided that this is the dream, and the reality is that which I thought was a dream and left behind?

What if all of this has just been a kind of sleepwalking?

What if I stop loving my one true love?

What if I follow someone else somewhere else and live a life that I didn’t think would be mine?

What if I die? What if I die before I get there?

Once, I said that politics was a dirty game, a trap one should avoid playing. That was before the Prince of Darkness was quite so dark and princely. Maybe this young man will save us, this Prince of Africa.

But what about me? What should I do? What if money is worthless?

autobiography

is a convenient trap for writers.

I think John Irving had something to say about it once in that overly autobiographical novel Garp.

I once tried to write myself into the story. I got lost in the plot for years – it proved a dangerous thing to try to impose narrative structure on the chaotic and bumpy lumpy matter of my life-story.  The map becomes the territory.

If I continue this log, I will try to avoid that trap.

On the other hand, life is the only thing worth writing about, right? What good is fiction? Haven’t we moved past the age of moral instruction through fable?

Is not the Truth sufficient?

chapters

come and go and start and stop recur and are re-referenced as we walk stand crawl slide across and over, up and through the Twisty Whirly Earth.

First you write sentences, then you write paragraphs, then you write chapters, and then you write books. A whale swims through the ocean for seventy years, then suns on beaches and passes away. Whale to beached bones, all while godeyes sneeze shut.

The stories of our journeys are the bones of that journey, and may be the only bones we leave when we too stop our wanderings.

Four years ago,  I met someone and we played around for two weeks, jumping and dodging, me not knowing what to do, she not knowing what the next move would be. Ultimately, my nervousness got the best of me, and that Chapter was left unrealized. The Narrative had failed, and I felt like I had lost the plot.

Other things were happening, too.

My uncle and grandfather were both dead, killed in the space of six months by their respective diseases.

Their deaths, and this false start with a girl, the girl who could have been my first, combined to destroy the illusion of self that I had carefully constructed for the world’s consumption over the previous preceding 11 years of my waking life.

Mohammed, that dark-skinned desert prophet, said that in order to live we must die, die while still living. That is what happened to me. I realized the possibility of such a death, a suicide I could effect while at the same continue my walkings on the Earth (walks whose cessation I’ll miss most when I go to my terrifying and thought-nullifying grave.)

So that’s what I did. I became a walking ghost, going through the motions. It was a dark and terrifying time that seemed to last forever. Looking back, time runs together

But then, slowly, surprisingly, I began to be saved.

I took pills, and they worked. I made new friends, I ventured into a new city and let my mind grapple with new ideas, ideas my previous self had discarded and disregarded.

I was still a failure, still weakened from my ordeal, but I was beginning to stretch my limbs.

I returned to the house of my father, and sat there for six months, wondering what would become of me.

An old friend called my father one day and offered me a job. I took it with pleasure, a lying smile on my face. One day he asked me what I wanted to be. “A novelist,” I said. “You want to write a novel?” he said. “Just read the Da Vinci Code and knock it off.” Not that kind of novelist, Boss.

The work was easy. Simple. They didn’t have enough for me to do. I discovered the pleasures of this new technology that would enable me to talk to women who I sort of knew without the risk of rejection. I messaged at work, and made a plan to go to New York and see about a girl.

I went to New York but did not have said girl’s number (a failure of technology, I think) and went back empty handed.

There was another girl I had recently met, a beautiful girl with dark hair. While I had talked to her at that bar, more excited and alive then I had been in recent memory, I resolved that the next time I saw her, I would ask her out.

I did not see her again for close to seven weeks, across a Thanksgiving, a Christmas, a conference in Orlando, a concert in Atlantic City.

When I met her again, I was speechless the entire night. In the back of my head, I watched myself sabotage my chances, fearing rejection.

The next day, I had my friends fix us up.

The rest was a chapter of its own.

And now she’s gone, and sometimes, it’s like she was never here to begin with, or maybe because I invented a self that could be with her, that self is now gone, and I am back where I started, a partial ghost.

This afternoon, the girl from way back when, the one with the false start, called me on the phone. She said she had come to Philadelphia on a whim, and she wanted to see me.

We went to get coffee, and then we walked through the park. I smoked a cigarette, and a homeless man came to bum one and then proceeded to talk to us for the rest of our time there. He told us he was the only leprechan in America. He asked us our birthdays and read us our signs. He was the same sign as me, a Cancer.

I told him I had always thought Cancer was the worst sign. He disagreed, but told us how if you accept something from a Cancer, and it goes poorly, or something like that, the Cancer will then hurt you, mentally or emotionally. It’s funny – it’s true. It’s what I had done to this girl, all those years ago, when it had ended badly.

I regretted that so much. She wouldn’t talk to me, and I began to realize that I would never see her again, that she was out of my life forever. The whole think stank of a kind of death.

I went on with life, knowing what loss was, knowing what regret was.

And now my girl is in South America, at the ends of the Earth, and I may never see that one again, and I know loss, and I know regret.

Since then, I’ve been waiting. Waiting for the narrative to continue. Waiting for “Six Months Later” to flash across the title card.

 I guess life has a way of surprising everyone, even me.

And that’s how a chapter ends. That’s how a book gets written. That’s how a life gets lived.

The greatest opportunity – gift, maybe – that we get in this Crazy World with its Crazy Rules is the Inevitability of Change. Contained in that law of nature is all the joy and all the sadness in the entire world.

It’s more than enough for anyone, including me.