Monthly Archive for June, 2010

The Root of the Problem

Sitting here unready for the day and the weekend to end tormented by a notion. An idea. Something to feel passionate about. Something to awaken my slumbering amusement:

How dare Aspen condescend and request Willow’s eyes to lift up… to open its arms to the heavens.

One, born to reach; the other, to wear its own gravity. How cocky and self-righteous, Aspen, with all those brilliant colors and shimmering leaves. How fitting, the ashen bark and cozy cliques. “Have you, Aspen, ever stopped to ask Willow, ‘Why the weeping?'”

This weekend we watched Invictus, a story about Nelson Mandela and his insight into the hearts and minds of his nation. One phrase keeps going over and over in my mind, “You criticize without understanding.”

I didn’t realize until I actually wrote it out just how opposing those two statements are… Mandela’s astute observation and my judgment of Aspen. I wasn’t prepared for this. I just wanted to write out a succinct, powerful, emotional statement, a one-liner that held me captive today and be done with it. But as soon as I wrote it I recognized the seedling of fallacy. That statement, that ignorant, gross miscalculation was all I had in my head when I sat down to write, realizing now that my most conscious thoughts from today have culminated into an overly judgmental statement based only on my perceptions and blindness that typically adorns the notion that deep down underneath everything, life has to be fair–as if I deserve whatever it is that someone owes me. I was wholeheartedly ready to run to Willow’s defense from Aspen’s persecution. I had adequately projected my own frustrations onto Aspen, convincing myself that I have the right to defend Willow. And my defense was going to be awesome. Ready? Here it is:

How can one tell another what to do, or what the other should be doing when both are so different and the only thing they have in common is the dirt they grow in?

Yeah. I know. Awesome! Right? Not so much. I couldn’t leave it. I just couldn’t ignore the problem I just created. Trying to get to the root of this, and being curious, and with never enough time, I took to the internets* to see if my anger at Aspen was righteous or self-righteous. I read up a little on Willow and learned a few things. Things like how Willow has medicinal properties for relieving aches and fevers. Its bark contains a growth hormone, and its roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to life. Yeah… tenacity… Willow has this unwillingness to let go. A tirelessness. This only became fuel for my fire against Aspen. Charging Aspen with having no compassion. Then I started learning a little something about Aspen. Turns out Aspen knows about treating aches and pains too. And I learned that Aspen is much older that it looks. Buried under its glamor and shimmer–under its youthful fluttering and quaking–can be millenniums of down-to-earth wisdom and a similar sense of perseverance. On one hand, there’s Aspen, jubilant and carefree. Hope based on knowing, almost to the point of undermining the very essence of hope. And on the other hand: Willow, solemn and aware. Beyond empathy.

So… how dare Aspen not reach out for the hope of the heavens with all that it knows. And Willow… overly aware and burdened. You can’t stop weeping for those who’ve run out of tears. There’s nothing fair about this, but being fair is not what it’s about.

* tree information gleaned from Wikipedia here and here.

Amusement, Parked.

Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Life goes through cycles, just like the trip-hop I’m currently streaming. Repetitious. Revolutions with no sense of revolution. Loops and aural vertigo. And each new spin brings subtle changes which build upon the previous one or discontinue something else, fading it out. My current iteration brings something new for me. I think. It seems ghostly familiar, but it dissipates like a dream when I try to pin it down. Déjà vu. I feel like I’m stuck at a high RPM in a minimalist trance composition. A broken record. The droning, endless BPM is killing me from the inside out. Where is the piano kissing me with the words my soul longs to hear?

This all started a few weeks ago. Maybe it was a couple months ago. I don’t know. Maybe it was always there and I’ve just been in denial about it. Anyway, not too long ago, I casually asked a friend: Do you ever have days where you’re just not amused… by anything? “Hmph… yep, everyday.” she replied. Genuine. Smart Ass. Empathy laced with a twist of sarcasm, and a boat-load of cynicism. Somehow that seemingly insignificant question, an escaped convict of my mind now out running rampant through my soul, has not left me.

I cannot stop thinking about why my amusement is broken… I’ve no clear answers, only broad-strokes, superfluous themes and dusty stage props which, individually, don’t seem to matter; but added up they somehow account for this rift I’m falling into, or climbing out of.

I keep trying to either “fix”, or ignore this feeling. But it rapidly became the giant elephant in the middle of my room and I’m walking around pretending it’s not there while also being very well aware of its presence so as to be careful to not disturb it.

Sometimes to fix something, you have to rip it completely apart and rebuild it. I think this is one of those times. It’s messy and exhausting. I feel like I’m breaking and I need to get back to the opposite of breaking.

So for now, I’ll try leaving my amusement parked, over there, in that space on the side of this road while I step aside and try to catch my breath. A little time looking in from the outside might help. I hope so. Losing my amusement feels like burying hope under six feet of realism. Feels like dying… hmm… maybe that’s what seems familiar. Vague, I know. Melodramatic, yeah, I know.