Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coming to Grips...

We all slow down in our later years - it is meant to be - I think our minds certainly move faster, but our bodies, and our knees, and our shoulders and hands - well they prefer to let the mind wander - and rest aimlessly on the couch after sweating out a few popsicles on the elliptical.

So what is the reason for only one post in March - no reason, except lack of motivation, and a durvish of travel from Maine to Sacramento to Seattle and back (twice)- and the fact that I was just too damn distracted to head downstairs to the hotel business center and type out what I was thinking. At times, this hits all of us, when the mind wants to just gung up like cold peanut butter or that pancake syrup that was put in the fridge - something needs to warm things up to get things started.

Well, tonight, something got started. Intellectually, sitting in an apartment (yes a brilliant two bedroom apartment) with your children sleeping peacefully and you, for the first time in months, sleeping peacefully in your room (for new folks, the silence after 14 years of noise is challenging for sleeping - you read alot, listen to the television, and try and hear your upstairs neighbors conversations through the air conditioner vents) - your mind settles back into those thoughts of actually doing something - not the day to day work of paychecks and policies, but something that it was meant to do. For me, much like my blog proclaims, I was meant to share - and to bring things together. I was meant to be in touch with your emotions, relate to them, chew them, taste them - and live them. Writing poorly was a talent that I worked to create - but feeling - that was something I was born with. The Great American novel may run away from me, and I may not be Norman Mahler - but penning what I see and feel - that is easy to convey to you, and that is what I have always wanted to do...

Being 37 and not having done anything significant - that is the challenge I am facing right now. For some, aggressive pursuit of the top is their goal. For some, unending drive to create the next technological breakthough feeds their inner self, for me, I want it all - I want to forego the need to snort, drink, shoot, smoke, or whatever to get to the basest of human emotion - and then I want to put it on paper. Those professional writers say you can go an entire day to get one or two sentences on paper - I suppose that is why I am not a professional - once it starts, albeit incoherently, it spills onto the paper. Breaking the seal of poor motivation and the onset of depression prevents it - but once it is there, it is there. We all want to do something significant and meaningful in our lives. Raise a family, become business barons, be politicians, support a cause - perhaps that is my problem, I don't necessarily want to do anything of such great importance other than feel. Perhaps this disillusionment with what I have done is the motivator now - and the drive to get out of bed, put down my book, and stop being the forgotten man of the 21st century. On airplanes, in rental car check out counters, in lines at the hotel, and in those fancy business eateries, I see that forgotten man that I believe Roosevelt borrowed and mentioned - but in a new way - they struggle for the green lawn and the Hickey Freeman suit and a new set of Ping Irons - but inside and in the corner of their eyes, you can feel their disillusionment - and their dread, and their fear, that yes - they too have been forgotten. Even the women who are tightly stitched together in grey flannel business suits and carry black Prada laptop cases show those signs - all of us sit at the bar or head to the gym and stare blankly into the hotel room windows or endlessly avoid our reflection in those mirrors behind the bars. Travel is a beautiful way to live. It is an amazing thing to see this United States for longer than a week, and enjoy cookies from the Edmonds Bakery, or have Italian food at the strip mall in Kansas City, or have a cup of coffee in Tony's Doughnuts in Portland, or to enjoy a song and a drink at the karoake bar - it is also mind opening to awake to a mountain in the rear view mirror one day, and the great plains the next. The smell of Texas on Monday, of dry grass and dust, then the smell of the Rainforest and pine and earth in Washington two days later, then the smell of cold, dry air in Portland, Maine by Friday. On the other hand, all of us know that we do get tired, we live individual confined lives, and we all know that we question the meaning of what it is we are doing...

Wishing that I could somehow convey to anyone where and how to find that meaning is almost impossible - bolstering it with the financial need to raise a family, or the nicer house, or the bigger car, or the best pool in the neighborhood - for me - I want a backyard, with wild roses and well maintained weeds cut short enough to resemble grass, and a furry black lab that sheds and licks his balls and wags his tail a little too hard to keep beer on the patio furniture end tables - so the big house and the other stuff - well that is not the meaning. Supplanting Importance as the main reason is a failed attempt at saying that I am doing something important - necessity does not indicate importance - the wheels are going to turn on a downhill run - and no matter how many bridges get designed and streets get paved and companies get successfully integrated - it really is not that important - certainly not the same as a doctor volunteering her time to fix cleft palets, or a teacher struggling to parent children whose parents, like me, are absent all except for weekends. Important would be saving and creating jobs for those people who are driven and intelligent and able, but had less of a chance to shine, I don't want to be important, but being recognized - well that would be nice, but sitting on the airplane or watching folks stroll through Hartsfield - you realize, that, odds are - they want to be recognized too - they are just as afraid of eye contact and a smile as I am of not making eye contact and a friendly smile.

Yup, there you have it - too much emotion on one page, too much angst in one mind, and too much of nothing to fill the evening - the book is still inside here somewhere, and the anticipation of a phone call and a discussion on questions - that is what I am looking forward too for now - what I like most and what I dislike most - those were the challenges that we posed to one another - and thinking about those things brings both smiles and smirks - and the realization that we all come to grips with shortcomings sooner or later - but what makes the human is that we have the choice to deal with them and develop them.

Failing to do either, well, that is a choice as well - at least, at a minimum, in a small parcel way, we still come to grips.

Hopefully I will visit more often -


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