Stream of Consciousness

I write how I think.

Writing the rest of #Wikipedia on a typewriter...

Writing the rest of #Wikipedia on a typewriter. KGB style (Photo credit: Jared Zimmerman)

I was having a conversation about writing style today in someone’s comments. (She’s excellent, you should stop by some time.) It got me thinking a little harder than normal about my own writing style.

I tend to write how I think. I also tend to think best out loud. So by default, I guess you could say that I write how I talk. I can see that. I think that it’s just the way that I settle into.

I write how I think because I want you reading it to feel like I’m doing this in a natural way. I’m not forcing a particular structure or anything on you. I’m not over editing what I have previously written. I just kind of start writing and see where the words take me.

That’s how I speak. That’s how I think. that’s how I am.

I just feel like I’m being the most honest and genuine person with you that I can be. Sometimes that results in strange and unfocused writing. Sorry about that. I’m a strange and unfocused person. When you come here to read what I’ve written, I like to think you’re getting an accurate sense of the real me. I’m not trying to give you an online persona to connect with.

I just got to thinking about it. Which then made me analyze my own writing style, which made me realize how much I enjoy just being myself here.

Feel free to stop back. Oh and tell your friends.

All over the place!

So I got to thinking tonight.

Thought Bubbles

Thought Bubbles (Photo credit: Michael Taggart Photography)

I know, that’s a dangerous situation. I’m a pretty unpredictable guy. Sort of. I’m sure the people that know me best could pick what I might do with a relatively accurate percentage.

Overall I’m pretty all over the place. A lot of assumptions about me don’t really ring true. I enjoy this.

I enjoy being unexpected. I enjoy being interesting. I enjoy being weird. I did happen to notice that this is a little strange for writing here.

See, sometimes I’m so unexpected, that I’m not sure what to say about myself. I’m not shy about a lot of things, but I may not think something is as important when it’s not something someone else mentioned.

I tend to be a ‘something like that happened to me once’ or a ‘Hey that reminds me’ kind of guy. It goes along with the weird way my brain makes connections.

So since that’s the case, I’ll do a kind of ‘ask me anything’. Feel free to leave a comment with a suggestion or question. If it’s a quick answer I’ll respond in the comments, but if I think it bear some explaining, I’ll just respond in depth in a post! That way I know someone wanted to hear whatever it is that I’m babbling about.

 

All The Colors

You know what I really enjoy? Color.

Colouring pencils Français : Crayons de couleu...

Colouring pencils Français : Crayons de couleur Español: Lápices de colores Nederlands: Kleurpotloden Italiano: Matite colorate ไทย: ดินสอสี ‪中文(繁體)‬: 彩色鉛筆 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not so much about being an art major or having an artistic back ground. It’s truly about have a deep and abiding passion for color. I’m not really sure what to do with it, but that’s ok.

I think everyone has an appreciation for color to some degree. We all have colors we like and ones that remind us of things. We all have certain things that really jump out at us.

nothing stirs me visually like beautiful color. It’s like music for my eyes. It affects me in the same way that music does. Color is one of those things that hums in my soul.

For instance, My favorite blue is very specific. It’s the color of a blue sky that stares at you from behind the clouds on a bright, crisp autumn day. That exact blue. It’s different than the clear blue of a summer’s day it’s not the same as a clear day in winter. It’s better than a bright spring sky. The sharp piercing blue as it fights through the clouds, in contrast to the brown trees and the fiery leaves is just stellar.

I have a favorite green too. It’s the flickering, glowing green of a tree directly between the sun an me on a warm, breezy summer day. The yellow as it shines through the leaves, the flash of light when the breeze picks up, the halo of golden light around that crown of leaves. The way the green of the leaves seems vivid and alive, pulsing with life is so incredibly vital.

That’s why I love color so much. Things like that. I just can’t get enough of them.

Music Man

Sometimes it’s the music.

Sometimes the music is what perfectly crystallizes your thoughts in to cohesive form. It can be difficult to isolate some of your feelings. Lots on information can sort of swirl together to create big cloud of confusion. You aren’t really sure what you’re feeling and thinking. That’s where the music comes in.

Music is verbal emotion blended with an embodiment of emotion. It’s pulses and thinks and feels like it’s own person. Of course, each piece of music has it’s own personality, that doesn’t change much from playthrough to playthrough. That’s what music is.

That’s part of why it speaks to us on that primal level that we can’t always identify. That’s why we have such strong emotions about it. That’s why we can’t always articulate our feelings or opinions about it.

Music digs within us and accesses a part of our being that we aren’t able to get to ourselves. We can’t talk about it or process some of those thoughts and emotions. It gets down to the part of us that just is.

That’s why sometimes it’s the music that suddenly seems to say what we couldn’t. It speaks to the world what we weren’t able to understand. It does it without our understanding or consent. That’s precisely why it’s so magical.

new age 296

new age 296 (Photo credit: abcdlish)

Busy Bee

 

Bees in a Box

Bees in a Box (Photo credit: stewickie)

I’m too busy.

I was thinking about my post yesterday, and I am definitely too busy. I know what you’re thinking,(because I’m psychic!) because I thought it too when this post idea popped into my head: If you just said that you don’t have as much to do as you think, how can you really be that busy?

Well it’s all in my perception and attitude about everything. I make myself feel busy with the way I approach everything. It’s like when someone gives you ‘busywork’ because they feel better if you’re doing something rather than nothing. It doesn’t matter what it is, or even if it’s productive so long as it keeps you busy.

That seems to be how my brain has been handling and processing information. It feels better when it’s doing nothing, or everything. It seems to be one of the ways my brain expresses it’s all or nothing mentality. It makes itself feel busy when it’s a little occupied because it doesn’t know how to properly classify the in-between experiences.

I’ve never been particularly great at operating on a spectrum. It’s always been easier for me to think in absolutes. I think that’s what it’s all about, too. Easier. I’ve always taken the easy way out. It’s always been more difficult to think about things on an ever-moving, ever-evolving spectrum.

I can handle it sometimes. Certain issues and concepts I can separate the individual pieces out and think about them one at a time. That creates a crazy amalgam of concepts. The trouble is that I still think of the individual concepts in black and white terms.

I understand the problem with this, but like someone who knows eating hot wings will give them heartburn, I just make the decision. I can lay all the pieces out on the table, I can evaluate them, I can think logically and emotionally about each one. Then I just make a decision without regard to all those individual evaluations.

I just need to work at training myself to view activities for what they are. I am typically more able to do this once the activity has started, but I need to begin to do it all the time. I need to force myself not to feel busy when I’m not actually busy. Maybe it will help me slow down and view things in the proper perspective.

This Might Be Dangerous!

I may have made a huge tiny mistake. I am really intent on getting this post done this morning, and I have ingested lots of coffee in a short amount of time. I have unleashed myself on a keyboard all jacked up on caffeine. This might be dangerous.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not worried. I think that the two halves of my brain can successfully wrestle one another into some sort of stalemate with regards to crazy vs. responsible. I think I actually have two brain halves that work relatively well together.

I would classify myself as a creative person. I have a good eye for art and colors, even if I’m not always the best at creating them. What you might call “right-brain” things. I would also say that I’m pretty intelligent. I’m good with numbers and patterns. Things one might consider “left-brain” activities.

I have never been great at focusing on one activity or set of skills so I never really latched on to one side of my brain and got great with it. I tend to bounce between the two as required. Lot of people I know are definitely more suited to one or the other.

Not me. I am all sorts of unfocused! In a good way, right? Not always. I think that this sometimes leads to my inability to get organized, even if I like organizational systems. It also leads to a difficult time for  learning new creative activities.

While I’m happy for the adaptability this provides me (people who know me best are cleaning up the beverage that they just spit all over the screen). What I mean is adaptability in my approach for problem-solving. I’m able to approach lots of activities with a unique perspective.

I appreciate this, but sometimes I would like for it to be easier to just plop down and really focus on a particular thing with out soon getting distracted by a shiny object or moving picture(Ooo! Piece of candy!) Well I suppose that life is generally a zero-sum game, and I can’t be good at everything. If I want to be able to be adaptable (sorry for your screens again) Then I can’t also be super focus-able. That’s not a word. I don’t care because I’m creative, remember?

Well, on that note I’ll end this caffeine-fueled ramble about sides of my brain. I hope the rest of the day goes as smoothly and free-flowing as this post did. I feel like it won’t.

Are you right-brained or left-brained?

An Exercise in Frustration

There’s something about the Human Mind that forces us to act irrationally and participate in thought patterns that serve no purpose.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just the other day, I wrote about my bad habit of getting too caught up in nostalgia. Well, I was watching an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” and it brought me back to a topic I’d previously discussed with a friend of mine: What If?

‘What If? -ing’ is just a hypothetical version of nostalgia. You take a time or turning point in your life an attempt to extrapolate it out into an entirely alternate reality. It can be a fun little exercise or diversion sometimes, but most of the time it’s just an exercise in frustration.

I think it’s pretty obvious that as I said before, there’s no way to ever try to recreate those previous circumstances. There’s no way ever know what would have actually happened because so many different things can affect our personalities and experiences that there’s no way control the environment. Sometimes all that ‘What If? -ing’ just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

It can be such a dangerous little rabbit hole to fall into. By engaging in the very exercise, you start with a morbid kind of curiosity, or worse a dissatisfaction at your current circumstances. That means that everything you think about will be colored with an idea that “everything would have been better with just this one little change.” You’re setting yourself up for more disappointment at your current situation and and extra helping of frustration at your inability to actually know if that is what would have happened.

Which brings me to the real thought that got me interested enough to post about this: Do you really want to know? That was the twist in the television episode I watched. You can ask ‘What If?’ as much as you want. Sometimes, there’s an actual answer to that question. Sometimes there’s a reason that you didn’t make a different choice. You might not want to know that reason.

That’s the problem with asking too many hypothetical questions and always examining every little detail of your life: sometimes you might not like the answer. I’m sure that there are times when we might need a jolt like this to make a proactive major change. There are more times when it might cause you to open a Pandora’s Box of problems that needn’t have ever been touched again.

This is the sort of thing that is hard to remember when you have an active imagination. ‘What If? -ing’ seems like it would all be in good fun. You have source material, personal experience, and lots of curiosity. “What could it hurt?” you think. It’s a hard activity to avoid.

Just something to consider the next time you catch yourself thinking ‘What If?’ You might just be in for more disappointment. More importantly, do you really want to know the answer and the reason?

Who Am I?

I’m not talking about some crazy existential, quarter-life crisis here. I just mean, who am I, really?

English: A name label. (Hello, my name is...)

English: A name label. (Hello, my name is…) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think it’s a natural desire to try to classify everything. We label things. It helps us to make sense of all the information that we process on a daily basis. People label and group, arrange and organize. Some people are more inclined than others, and some are better at it than the rest of us.

It’s not about judging people, although that happens all too often. It’s about our natural tendency to group things into more manageable information chunks. It’s part of why stereotypes resonate with us and why we find ourselves believing them without much reference information to back them up. What really intrigues me is how we try to do this to ourselves.

It starts with cliques and groups in school. We try to figure out “where we belong” and we tend to gravitate toward people with perceived common characteristics. We think its as simple as aiming for the lowest common denominator, but it’s really about trying to classify ourselves. We’re trying to label and group ourselves. It doesn’t stop in school though.

We tend to find like groups to identify with. Then we start giving ourselves labels and titles. Especially as we become adults. It makes things easier we think. We can speed up social interactions by identifying with certain groups, which will communicate information to other people very quickly.

I could tell people that I am a Sports Fan, I  am a Gamer, a Reader, and I am a Creative. I’ve just attempted to sum up the entirety of my 28 years in 4 classifications. Because it’s easier, right? We all try to find what labels we can give ourselves that are the most descriptive. It saves some of the messier questions. It gives dedicated topics and lines of inquiry that I am comfortable talking in depth about.

What I have really done is tried to simplify who I am. I have tried to compress myself into 4 little boxes for you and for me. Because it’s easier than opening myself up to scrutiny, whether from you or from me. Because we don’t really want other people to know, do we? More to the point, we don’t want ourselves to know, do we?

It’s much easier to call myself those things than it is to tell people about things that really matter. If I were to talk about things that really made me who I am, that really had a profound effect on my life, it would be more uncomfortable. I would have to tell people about how my mother died when I was 9, and how I’m not sure I ever made peace with that, or if I even know how to. I would have to tell people that I don’t know how different my life would have been if I hadn’t had a degenerative hip disease that resulted in a hip replacement that always has, and continues to, limit my physical activity. I would have to tell people about how my constant need for approval consistently puts me in a position where I’m not acting from a place of comfort and confidence, but rather a place of fear and doubt.

See? People don’t really want to hear those things. I’m not sure if I want to dig at those things. It’s much easier to try to label yourself, isn’t it?

Think about it. Think what you tell people, and then think about what really makes you who you are.

Try, just a little. Try sharing a small piece of that with someone close to you, or someplace like a blog. You might find it’s more meaningful that just being another “Sports Fan.”

Who’s There?

I can never quite seem to shake the feeling that I’m being watched. Constantly, eternally  under the watchful gaze of some greater being.

eye 172/365

eye 172/365 (Photo credit: attila acs)

Some being with power and guile. A being capable of accomplishing so much more in this great world, but instead watching me. Watching, waiting and learning.

It’s curious, you see. It wants to know all about me. It wants to know who I am, what I do and how I act.

I know all this sounds a bit odd, creepy, or even sinister. Sometimes it feels that way too. I can assure you that this being is in no way sinister. I know that it is not malicious the same way that I know it is always there. I don’t know exactly how to classify it, but a good way to think of it might be as the opposite of a Muse.

A Muse is that feeling or being or push that sparks that creativity inside your soul. It starts that process of creativity that can go so many different ways and result in so many different things. This being that I’m describing is like a mirror version of that.

This thing doesn’t drive me to create, It wants to learn from all that already is. It doesn’t seek to kindle that creative spirit, but rather observes everything as though it were trying to spark it’s own creativity.

It’s as if this entity needs me to feed it’s soul instead of the other way around. It isn’t taking from me, just feeding off of my experience. I can’t exactly do anything to help it out though. I think that the best thing that I can do is not disturb it.

As this being observes me, I think that I can allow it to work in peace. I will let it try to figure out exactly what it is hoping to come up with here.

If it decides to come closer for a chat, well I’ll be waiting.

Fin.

So I’m trying this new thing, where either I give a friend of mine an idea, then he draws something then I write, or I take a drawing of his that he already did, and write about it. Here’s the spectacular art.

Copyright Eric Meister 2013

Click on that bad boy to go to his Tumblr and see more artwork so that when he’s famous, you can say “I knew him when…from a blog from that famous writer that I knew back when.” It’s convoluted. Sorry.

This particular drawing reminds me a bit of a quote I read recently as well:

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
― Rumi

Another good friend of mine directed me to some quotes from the English translations of that poet. She thought that it might give me a little insight into someone else who thinks a bit like I do, or I think like him. Whatever.

This little skeleton certainly doesn’t look too upset that he’s not a living person anymore, does he? His expression seems whimsical, and combining that with his stature makes me think that maybe he used to be a little boy. He doesn’t look very sad about previously being a little boy and currently being a skeleton because he’s accepting of the changes going on. He is excited for the new things that change will bring about. He has accepted that sorrow has swept out the house and he is waiting for new things to grow.

That’s why he doesn’t look sad. That’s why he’s waiting with his hand bones on his thigh bones. That’s why he looks so content next to that leaf that seems to contain more sadness in it’s cup-like shape that he does even though he’s no longer living.

How many of us can truly say that? How many of us, still living, with few cares in the world(relatively speaking of course) can say that we’ve accepted the sorrow and are ready for the positive change it has made room for? I certainly can’t.

I am not one to let things go. I have never been the kind of person who lets something like sorrow or anger fill me up and then let it all drain out. I am the kind of man who experiences his emotions deeply, and I try to process them. After that is all done, what is left is a processed, concentrated bit of that emotion. I bottle that concentrated sadness and that concentrated anger and that concentrated fear and I save it. I put a stopper in the bottle, and I label it, and I put it on the shelf. What happens to glass bottles when the shelf gets shaken? They crack and maybe leak a little.

Everyone is created by the events that occurred in their past. We are all formed, sculpted, cast, and forged by the events that make up our lives to this very point. Any time anything happens, it creates a point of divergence where any of the possible outcomes could have resulted in a change to the over product that is us. Some people let these moments flow through them. Some people keep that history in them as scars. Some people flow with those moments. I bottle those moments and their emotions, and when that foundation is shaken later on, some of them begin to seep back out.

It would all be so  much simpler if we could let our sorrow sweep us clean for the new things to grow. That takes leaving the doors and windows open for the wind to do the sweeping. It’s hard to leave yourself that open. Can you?