Snorkel Depth

Fountained.I haven’t published anything online recently. I write that without apology and most certainly without remorse.

Simply put, I did not feel like writing. I’ve been adjusting to the new prison of my life, where I now no longer need worry about what comes next as much as paying attention to the now and also reflecting on the past through different eyes.

It has been sort of like the tilt-shift photo here at top. It looks nice, but that lack of symmetry of the plants is not quite right.

Not long ago, I almost broke my silence to write about the experience of using up a bottle of dish washing detergent in my new home – my first permanent home – and the feeling of permanence it gave. But that feeling past, and therefore wasn’t permanent, which in itself is irony. The litany of bottles of dishwashing detergent that I have used since has become the norm, and that becoming the norm is itself the change.

Most of my life, I gauged the size of the bottle of the dish washing detergent I purchased to how long I expected to be at a place. I do not do this anymore.

There are other small things that cropped up like these, novelties to me, but I imagine so normal for others. That the way I am now living is closer to what most consider normal is actually a collection of small treasures and poisons for me.

Most of my life – why does the phrase ‘natural life’ get used, as if an unnatural life were possible – I have effectively lived by what I could carry to the next place, and the next place.

That affects how you deal with everything. If you’re constantly on the move, you compartmentalize, always ready for that next leap, always ready to jump at an opportunity regardless of geography, or relationships.

Part of the latter, too, is that what I do at any given moment has always been more important than the people. My life has taught me that people leave, that we leave, and that nothing stays the same no matter how strong of a connection.

The last season of ‘Ray Donovan’ on Netflix was great writing this way. “Forgive yourself” was a large part of it, but then, if and when we do forgive ourselves, what is left? If we forgive ourselves, what happens to us? And in my own way, I’m finding that out too. Brilliant writing for that show, by the way, worth watching. 

Maybe he knows a different way of doing the same thing. Should be interesting.I’ve been reading as well, of course. This book, while not an original thought to me (similar to some things I have learned over time), was also an enjoyable read.

 

Where I live now – allegedly a community – there are people at different levels of the social structure of society. Some are great, some are annoying, but I have the luxury to contemplate them all in the solitude of my new world. Each a character, each with their own stories. And, as I fall into place in my own world, water filling a depression, I cannot help but love the fact that not caring as much about them leaves me understanding them better. Their passions and loves on their sleeves, they run amok.

And I see pain, and sometimes I feel that pain, which is yet another reason I stay to myself. Buddha was on to something, and maybe Buddha did right by himself or not – we will never know.

So I don’t know exactly what is coming next. I am slowly returning from my submarine view of myself, my life, and the people around me.

Sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes not, and without anger or regret, my tropisms will lead me to what is more pleasant to me. That, in and of itself, is a new novelty…

New Directions

NSB Sunrise ( ‎October ‎25, ‎2016,)One morning, you wake up – a previous life over, a new one begun with what you learned from the old one.

When things change so significantly, the only sane thing to do is to look at what has changed and what hasn’t – and begin to piece together what comes next.

What we fail to realize is that every morning is that one morning.

Snippets

Another time variation3The light flickers and shifts around me as I change again, as things around me change, and the world is re-evaluated. It is why I haven’t written in so long; I was not ready. And so, snippets.

Influenza

I lay in bed, shivering with fever, unable to sleep and unable to get up. My mother died recently of the flu, her body found only through her having left hot water running and leaking from her apartment – I imagine under the door into the hallway. Mortality. I think about that too much perhaps because I thought of it too little, but I do not obsess. It’s just a snippet, a landmark with new meaning.

Mr.

It’s hard to say when people stopped using my first name and started referring to me as ‘Mr.’. It bothered me. It stopped bothering me recently, I’ve fallen into an unfamiliar role as people pay me respect I am uncertain how I have earned from them in a world where the default setting has always seemed otherwise. What has changed?

I suppose I have decided, finally, that I am worthy of that respect. And that leads me to wonder why I didn’t think I was before, why it made me uncomfortable enough to crawl out of my own skin.

It doesn’t matter, but that it did does. It speaks of things I do not speak of, wounds never tended, fractures never set. They call the resulting sculpture, “Mr.”

Culture

A culture of one, a culture of many. I watch as people who identify with cultures war with each other by simply not communicating, shouting at each other. Once I would try to get them to understand each other. No longer; they are happy at war. Everyone who disagrees is a barbarian. As a person grounded in technology before and after the Internet, the thought that this was not the future we wanted to build sticks in my mind. We carefully moved Humpty Dumpty up one level of bricks every evolution of Moore’s Law, hoping he wouldn’t fall simply because he had not fallen yet.

The omelettes have begun.

Life washes over me differently now. Less of what used to matter seems to matter. I watch children fighting over their toys and no longer step in. They have to figure it out. If they don’t, it won’t matter. If they do, it will.

Life goes on.

Change

Black Hole Sun

They paint their world full of shadows and then they tell their children to stay close to the light.

Their Light. Their reasons, Their judgments.

Because in the darkness there be dragons. But it isn’t true. 
We can prove that it isn’t true.

In the ‘dark’, there is discovery, there is possibility, there is freedom in the dark once someone has illuminated it.’
– Flint, “Black Sails”, Season 4, Episode XXXVIII

There’s a difference between growing up in the dark and growing up in the light. The results of growing up in the light are plain and are hinted at above. Beaten paths are chosen, and yet when the dark is somewhere they depend on someone else to light the path, to hold their hand and guide them.

But no one has been to the dark places, or those that have are victims of popular thought – the outliers, those that don’t play by the rules of their Light, their Reasons, their Judgement. And yet to push back that darkness takes people who are willing to go to the dark places and make light of them – to walk through the brush and feel the land under their feet, creating an echo of it in their minds. The explorers. The discoverers. Those unfettered from the popular Lights, the popular Reasons, the popular Judgements.

And people who grew up in the dark learned not to fear it but to embrace it, to taste of the dark brownian motion of the soul and master the unknown, to make sense out of nonsense, to find the order in what others see as chaos or be doomed to the chaos.

There’s a branch of people growing up in the dark who never find the illuminations, for whatever reasons. Then there’s the branch you can drop some others off with no more than a knife and some rope to find a civilization in a few decades.

Fear is the master of all of this – and mastering fear determines how people deal with the world. If they only know the black and white, they do not truly appreciate the dusk of sunset and the colors of the pre-dawn, where the light bounces through the atmosphere and it’s contents to give the brightest of colors that those waiting for the light will never see.

In 2018, we see the world changing. Storms in Europe, temperatures in Canada that make Antarctica a tropical paradise, flooding, earthquakes – some Lights call these acts of God, other Lights self-flagellate for all of humanity calling it climate change. We see things faster with technology and watch how weak our civilizations have always been, only now able to see how slow and cumbersome they have become as our ability to see it has improved. Resources once plentiful are now more scarce, geopolitical lines that were greying become more black and white. Statesmanship morphs into a reflection of our systems – those that rise to power know how to game the systems, they have become parts of the systems. People are blamed because, implicitly, ‘it couldn’t possibly be the systems‘. Of course it’s the systems. People are inherently flawed, every one of us, and systems are simply agreed upon designs of flawed humans.

People live in fear of crimes the systems allow for, people have shifted their ethics to what they can get away with by Law and Law abandons Ethics.

Meanwhile, we have more humans arriving like Earth’s sexually transmitted diseases, with no natural predators other than ourselves.

The world is darker as the false lights fail one by one, under their own weight. This scares people tied to how it is, how it was, how they think it has always been.

To those used to the dark, there’s a freedom there – a cascade of colors of a pre-dawn sunset to come, an opportunity to look at things anew and do better.

The world is changing and it scares people, often for the wrong reasons.

 

Wrevolution

See as time goes by ...“That we were slaves I had known all my life–and nothing could be done about it. True, we weren’t bought and sold–but as long as Authority held monopoly over what we had to have and what we could sell to buy it, we were slaves.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

A sullen young man with ideas once wanted to change the world, wanted to be a part of the progress based on a vision of the future – like many young men, ideally like all young men. What young person doesn’t want to make the world a better place?

But what, exactly, is a better place? A measure of environment is in order – unless part of the financially elite, the view out of the front door of the house walked out of is to trade time for a dream – and a social narrative impacts that dream. Maybe it’s a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 children – the latter being painful for women, so I imagine they round down. Maybe it’s simply not to be living from paycheck to paycheck like a single parent might, maybe it’s to go to college because the social narrative told you to. Maybe it’s to join the military to get ahead – trading time, sweat and the potential for blood for a narrated step up.

The economy is the manager you work for, the company store will sell you everything you can afford to forget your manager is fickle and controlled by algorithms and people who don’t care that you spend your life being a productive member of society. But what is productive? Is productive for a corporate entity the same as productive for yourself? If you care for a system, does the system care back? When’s the last time a bureaucracy gave you a hug, made you feel warm and fuzzy? When’s the last time a corporate logo stopped by and told you a joke? When’s the last time you didn’t feel defensive in a world so easily offended? When the world twists you, it still wants you to be useful.

Time. We measure ourselves in time. Some say time is money, but all things being relative, how much value does your time have? The sand runs down the clock while you try to climb up it and eventually, you get tired. Some people go longer than others, climbing to different heights, having started from different heights, but unless you claw your way to the top of the sand in the upper chamber, you’re covered in sand – and if you, somehow, find yourself on top of the pile… you find yourself being sucked down the hole as you stand on that foundation of sand.

That, too, is how we measure revolution – not the violent upheavals that sometimes come with it which we keep as landmarks in history books, but the things that lead up to them that aren’t as interesting because they lack the prerequisite blood, and maybe sex, that keeps people enthralled. One person’s death seems to be more important than the saved lives of hundreds, if you follow the modern media – the bloodier the better.

One hand onlyRevolution isn’t the upheaval, the violent revolutions only happening when peaceful revolutions are too improbable. The clock of sand isn’t based on gravity; it’s an ellipse drawn in the sand. It’s the snake that eats itself, Ouroboros. Pi has little meaning here, it’s all relative.

Revolution is a process, change being inevitable. The latin root of the word, revolutio, is ‘a turn around’ – but that isn’t seen between the landmarks in history that are taught in schools; the precis version given of blood and sex – not sweat, not changing minds, not the small things that creep through societies connecting people. The revolutions have been televised since there was television, the revolutions are happening right now. Not all are good, not all are bad – and the moral relativism that makes people fight over them is about as meaningful as the change itself.

Tyrants only bleed when the masses have bled, but the only tyrants that exist are those that are allowed by the masses.

“Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

 

The balance of society is never centered, it’s always moving one way or the other, shifting in the sand. And this is why it’s folly to pursue revolution as an end, as an absolute, as a goal. In youth and through age, most do not know this, passions fueled by the change that they want to see in the world when…

Well, the world doesn’t really care. It doesn’t need to be saved; it doesn’t want to be saved. All that can be done is to make the revolutions peaceful.

And that means not being a jerk.

 

Silent Tiers of Sea Ghosts

six years of imprisonmentWe are all

Doing things we do not like,
Holding ourselves from those around us,
Living within the bounds we have chosen,
Chasing things we do not need.

We are all
Castaways from our own lives,
Derelicts from those around us,
Captives within the prisons of our own choosing,
Wandering hungry ghosts within those prisons.

We are all

Choosing how we are castaways,
Who we are separate from and by how much,
Architects of our own views,
Engineers of our own hunger…

And we all
Make our own keys and
Steer our destinies.