August 13th, 2001

(no subject)

Friday a good friend who'd read my recent entries asked me if everything was alright. I had a hard time convincing her that it was. I guess I should mention that I found a book of things I wrote about 4 years ago. None of this stuff is recent. My life has been too good the last 4 years for me to write anything decent. It's been that long since I've felt the angst and dissatisfaction with freaking everything which fuels that sort of writing. When I'm content or optimistic, which is 95% of the time, the stuff I write has no artistic value whatsoever. So, to those of you who read, no, there's no trauma or sadness or drama or anything else going on to elicit that stuff. I just found an old book.
  • Current Music
    Toad the Wet Sprocket - Nightingale Song

this weekend

About a year ago I got a big bonus at work and I got to do something I'd been wanting to do for a long time - I bought myself a mountain bike. About that same time I started hanging out with an old friend who, I didn't realize, was very much into bicycling. We've since grown very close, he's one of my best friends. Jeremiah (Miah, short for Jeremiah and long for "uh") and I have spent countless summer nights out riding our bikes, learning tricks, falling down, and trying, trying again. After a while you start to look at the world differently. You start to look at things in terms of whether it's ridable. We drove through the Flint Hills on the way to Lawrence, and the valleys and hills were more than just scenery; they were something that looked really fun to downhill. Driving through downtown we see all sorts of stuff that could be "streetable", things to jump off, places to do grinds (my bike doesn't have pegs, but one of Miah's does). You can't look at anything without considering whether it would be ridable. We call this state of mind being BIK positive, because it appears to be a contagious thing that infects you and doesn't go away. It's a very good thing. (Thanks, Martha.)

Yesterday Tandra and I went out to take photographs of one another. I've never been big into photography, but I've always been envious of those who had a good eye for it. Also, I'm vain, so I've always wanted a few really sexy black and whites of myself, so this was good.

It's very interesting how taking photographs affects you. By the time we were finished, I was looking at everything through a lens. Imagining how it would look if it were frozen in time. So I was looking at things with both Bike-vision and Photo-vision. As we were on our way to drop off the film, I was looking at a ledge across the intersection that would be a good ledge to grind, and a car which was burning oil pretty bad took off across the intersection. As I watched the ledge, the smoke from the car swirled up and around in the street, and I looked through it at the ledge. At that moment it struck me what an interesting photograph it would have made, just as it struck me what a great place it would be to ride.

Something else struck me at that moment. This world is so full of inherent beauty. There are so many ways we can look at the world. There is a simple visual pleasure in almost anything, if you can be still and perceptive enough to see it. It's unfortunate that most people, myself included, just grow so accustomed to what we see that we take it for granted. We forget to appreciate it because so many other things clutter our vision and our minds. I believe that this is one of the most important things we can do in life, to appreciate these small things. I think it keeps you more spiritually in touch with yourself and with the world around you. I just wish it didn't take active effort on my part; I wish I were naturally inclined that way. Not out of laziness, but because of who I would be if I were.

It's like the difference between driving with the windows up and riding a bike. You feel so much closer to the world around you, you feel a part of it rather than sheltering yourself from it, separating yourself from it. Allow yourself to marvel at the world! Allow yourself to look in wonder! Allow yourself to be awestruck when you look at the urban landscape, the tall, angular buildings. Consider the generations of engineering genius it took to create such a structure, and appreciate the beauty in its lines, its shadows, its steel and concrete. Allow yourself to be awestruck when you look through the leaves of a tree and see the sun sparkling on a river. Note the details in the leaves. Don't be scared or repelled by the spider, instead consider the brilliance of its web and the effectiveness of its shape and form. Imagine what we could do with eight legs.

That's all for now, must work.
  • Current Music
    Cranberries - Dreams
  • Tags

(no subject)

Isn't it amazing how music can remind you so vividly of a time of your life? Certain smells do the same thing. The smell of a grill always reminds me of Labor Day. Summer's drawing to a close and there's not SHIT on TV because of the Jerry Lewis telethon. (Who came up with the idea of a telethon anyway, and didn't they realize the incredibly short attention span of the average American?)

Earlier today as I was typing another of my journal entries, a song came on that I used to listen to a lot around May of 2000. It reminded me of driving around Riverside looking for apartments to check into. A spring evening with the windows down, feeling absolutely giddy because I'd finally gotten the job I'd wanted and I could afford to move out of my parents' house. Driving through the beautiful neighborhood of Riverside looking for apartments, imagining how nice it would be to live 6 blocks from work instead of 30 minutes. In my life, the good things and the bad tend to balance one another out, but there are moments, and this was one, when I'm able to distract myself from the downers and experience that unconditional happiness that just makes your heart feel warm. I remember wanting to stop the car, jump out, and just jump up and down, I was so excited.
  • Current Music
    Tall Paul vs. INXS - Precious Heart (remix)

more old stuff

I cannot stand
For there is no foundation
I cannot see
For there is no light
I cannot know
For no mortal can
I cannot love
For I am not loved
I fall from darkness
Into darkness
  • Current Music
    Ferry Corsten - System F Trance Nation Three [cd01] - 07

old stuff

Sometimes I want to close my eyes and let bilssful unconsciousness take over. Dreams take me where I couldn't otherwise go. Maybe when I wake up something will be different. Or maybe some inspiration will bring me a new perspective and show me a way to go on. But I don't really expect that. When I wake up I'll probably be just as stuck and frustrated as I am now. But at least some time will have passed. So I'll surrender to the irresistible force that is coming for me. I'll lose myself in the fantasies my subconscious conjures up for me. I'll meet people who don't exist. I'll live in a world of absolute perfection, and then I'll experience something that will show me how my life could be worse. At least in dreams there is variety.

It seems to me that once we realize that our innocence and naivety are gone, we spend the rest of our lives trying to find something to fill that void; trying to convince ourselves that the world is not as terrible as it seems. But the world is evil, inherently, and we must work without ceasing to combat that, to put as much good into the world as we can.
[Editor's note: I sound like a freaking preacher or something.]

Our dreams are actually the imagination's manifestations of our deepest longings; our truest desires. Dreams are profitable to us when they motivate us to work towards our goals, but we must take care not to dream too much, for this takes our focus off the immediate sacrifices necessary to achieve those dreams. We must not be bogged down by goals that cannot realistically be achieved, and we must not allow ourselves to become despondent over dreams not yet realized, but rather we should concentrate our energies upon the day by day journey necessary to realize them.

All hardships are but trials, tests; the key is in how we respond to them. We must be sure to use every situation to benefit ourselves, to turn the bad around us into good within us. It is true that that which does not kill us only makes us stronger. The test lies in how that strength is applied. We can always be a better person in the end than we started out to be. If we are smart enough to pay attention, we can learn from even the worst experiences.
  • Current Music
    Alien Antfarm - Smooth Criminal

more old stuff, about music

Music is the language of the soul. To me, for two people to truly live in a song together for a moment is a surer communication than words could ever provide.

Sometimes the music can take me back to the time before I lost my naivety. For a moment in time the music eases my troubled mind and I remmeber the time when I was unaware of the evil in the world.

Sometimes, especially late at night, the music touches my soul. I sing aloud and my soul resonates, matching frequency with the music, taking in the sound and expressing my feelings in a more accurate and complete way than words ever could.

Sometimes I sit silently and let the music fill my mind and soul with its calling. I close my eyes and my body and soul melt, becoming nothing, vaporizing into the music, until I am the music.

Sometimes the music fills me with a deep longing. I want to do everything, be everything, see everything. I want to travel the Earth and learn secrets and customs of other cultures. I want to see things that will inspire me like nothing else. I want to have my life changed by the beauty of Earth, whether it be the jagged ridges of the Rockies or the chaotic harmony of the streets of New York City; the gently undulating waves of the high desert or the dark mystery of the New Orleans night.

Sometimes I am able to be content in spite of my life. I sing and the music brings me joy, helps me to forget everything for a while. It's good to be able to escape, even if only temporarily. A familiar song can unlock the door to my mind and allow me to lose myself, to forget everything and just revel in the bliss and beauty of the sound, of harmony.

Perhaps it's naive, but I have an unshakable belief in the limitless power of my music. It can do anything.
  • Current Music
    nikka costa - Like A Feather (Album Version)

old stuff

Sometimes the futility of it all makes itself very clear to me. I see my own helplessness, my inability to change my circumstances in any way, and I want to give up. It's difficult to maintain hope while you're looking futility dead in the eye. When futility goes out of its way to mock me, to show me how pointless any effort on my part is, I become willing to risk almost anything to escape. To know that something I did has affected my situation, even slightly, would boost my morale intensely.

Sometimes I am pacified by a vague indifference. The details fail to impress me and I float, letting the current take me wherever it will. I just sit back and observe everything around me, waiting for something to really grab my attention.

Occasionally I am enveloped by a peaceful tranquility. I find solace in a calm stillness, a silent appreciation of beauty like the unbroken surface of a motionless lake. It is during these times that I most fully appreciate the beauty we are surrounded by, if only we take a moment to observe it. The moment of absolute stillness just before the sun peeks over the horizon, or the last few haunting strains of an achingly beautiful musical piece. The appreciation of these moments is increased by their rarity, and can sometimes be assisted by solitude.
  • Current Music
    Pepe Deluxe / Super Sound - Three Times A Player

old stuff

There is an infinite and everlasting clash that exists between the young and the old. The old generation, set in their orderly ways, systematic, predictable. Then the new, young generation, frantic with their efforts to change everything, energetic, restless, both naive and stubborn. But somewhere along the line something happens, a compromise here, a sacrifice there, until one by one the wills of the youth collapse. They become convinced of the necessity of conforming to the systems in order to survive, and without even realizing it they have become the older generation, following blindly, questioning nothing.

Every generation seeks out its own particular medium in which it can act out its individuality, screaming to demonstrate that it is completely seperate from the one before. Frantically struggling to express that it is nothing like any other generation that has ever been. But in this struggle itself the theory is disproven because every generation carries out the same struggle.

Every old generation has those who attempt to bridge the gap from old to young, in an effort to help the young across. Some are successful, some are not.

Every young generation has those it leaves behind in its transition from young to old. Those who refuse to take that step for whatever reason, those who are incapable, and others who simply never get around to it.
  • Current Music
    Sneaker Pimps - Roll On (Fold Mix)

old stuff disclaimer

All this stuff is about four or five years old. The stuff about music is still accurate and probably always will be, but most of it does not describe how I feel anymore. Please though, comment if you've got something to say. I'm very interested in feedback on this stuff. Even if you just want to tell me it sucks.
  • Current Music
    Dead Can Dance - Severance