Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thoughts

I've been thinking about thinking about thinking and it has stunted my writing. I had my writing on a strict routine in order to lose fat and gain muscular definition, and some how it ended up anorexic. So, this post is likely going to contain all the flaws I've been trying to exorcise (yep, not exercise but exorcise) out of my writing: self indulgence, incoherence, loose styling, rambling, sentimentality, etc. This is a Polaroid of a fat and naked post. It's not one of those high art photographs that makes ugliness attractive. After saying all that, it could be pleasant and interesting, too. I won't know till I'm done 'cause I'm just thinking on paper (blogger).

So back to the thinking. I've always done the thinking-about-thinking bit. For as long as I can remember. It's not going to change. But I can modify my approach to it.

Here's my last disclaimer: this post is likely going to be a list of thoughts, memories, images, scenes of everyday, with no throughline.

Idea for a poem:

(journal excerpt begins)
When I do something out of my weekly routine I'm hyper aware of NY. I can see it as an outsider.

I'm the only passenger w/out headphones and likely the only one enjoying the romance of a 9 p.m. B train ride from Prospect Park to the Lower East side. Suddenly, a wave of nostalgia washes over me in the memory of Ginsberg's "My Sad Self" -- likely 'cause my journaling is mimicking his rhythm/locale. Now I'm borne to the sky and lights over the Hudson, where cold rain shines over Brooklyn bridge -- always Christmas in the NY night of lights. Now diving into the bowels of China Town -- expanse of river cut by buildings, cut by streets, cut by loud howl of subway tunnel darkness...
(journal excerpt ends)

I've been meditating on the idea of longing for quite sometime. Recently, I thought: "Shit! It's back to the ole Buddhist 'Desiring'". And I guess it is. I like James' take on it, though. He opens his book/letter by saying, "Hi, I'm James. Be happy when life sucks." He goes on to say that the trials of our Faith develop patience, and if we let it, lead to "wanting nothing." I prefer this to the Buddhist take because, we don't transcend suffering but are improved by it. I do think both takes are true.

But my thoughts on longing are less spiritual. I was thinking about how we spend our life in longing for something -- a movie, success, happiness, friend, mate, sex, car, vacation, spiritual enlightenment, freedom, alone time, release from pain, release from insanity, release from guilt.... It's not all for material possessions. A lot of it is good longing.

This reflecting on longing made me think about love. Here's an unfinished thought: Is it possible that humans were not made to hold love, but were made to simply long for it? Longing, over a lifetime, takes many forms but doesn't become love till the body and mind no longer encumber it.


I have a memory of a party on a river with high school friends -- a lotta tailgates, ice chests, mosquitoes around the campfire; a hot and sweaty night with a lotta stars and beer. A brilliant guy with long hair, who was a jazz bassist, valedictorian, and later became a scientist, was joking around with one of his friends (a really tough, really small wrestler; one of the toughest guys I've known, who later in life got the prongs of a hammer smashed into his face -- broke his nose and jaw-- and fully recovered). Well, they got in a little argument. The long-haired bassist was making witty jabs, and the wrestler was taking it lightly. They were both plastered drunk. Finally, the bassist said he was going to throw a can of beer at the wrestler; the wrestler said go ahead. The bassist stood as if he were on a pitching mound, shook his head to a couple bad calls from the catcher, then hurled the can of beer. It was a full can. It bounced off the wrestlers head; the bassist and others roared in laughter. The wrestler was dazed but shook it off and rubbed his head. They hugged and made up, and the wrestler said that if the bassist did it again he'd have to hurt him badly.

In writing this just now, I thought: stupid scientist; compassionate brute.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your "thoughts." I think even as you are just listing your ramblings and ideas, there is a fertile bed lying there that will result in an image or two probably finding its way into a future story.

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  2. Beautiful posting. I'm going to read it over again, think about it, and comment a little later.

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  3. I like the peek at your thought process... you're a keen observer... Like Gwen, I'll have to re-read this a few times to fully appreciate it.

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