Thought Seventy

Friday evening I felt so strange. A withdrawal with observational distinctiveness. Having spent a week in an unfamiliar land. Where the natives were both friendly and safe, yet dangerous, seductive.

IMG_3733 2I was a stranger in a strange land. But even more so, was the stranger that I was. This person that I think I have mapped out myself to be, can be someone else. I am at my core a pieces/chameleon. Adaptive and changing as the water itself, I flow around and through the obstacles and impediments that mark my path. This is how I think of myself.

Still, I felt the withdrawal. I have to admit, I liked being in such a place. People everywhere, at all time of the day and night. Coming together in this nexus of humanity. I realized as I felt myself going through the withdrawal that I had adapted again, but at a greater rate than I had ever experienced before. I think that scared me a little. To find myself so wildly changed, yet still me. Attitudes, biases, positions held in my mind simply drifted away like the waning tide. To be so malleable and diffused. I find this disconcerting in some ways, and in others not. AnchorThe moorings that anchor my ship in the raging seas of life, dragging and slipping. This left me pondering how attached we really are to our constructs of how we think. Sitting here watching the rain come down, I wonder. When I think of peoples lives, I often think of them like pill capsules encompassing the total of their lives. But really they are not. No more than mine is of such.

I want to observe this more going forward as it is teaching me something I feel is important. Important to me anyway.

I want to shake loose this grabbing on of societal and psychological safety rails. We are capable of so much more than this surface level.  This may be where this particular story arc is headed. As Steven King states in his book “On Writing”, you uncover a story the way an archeologist uncovers dinosaur bones in a dig. Maybe we do this in the participation and observation of our own lives/thoughts/emotions. Not exactly what our society would have us do, western or otherwise.

Society in its various form pushes us to take one position or another. Just as the original river valley civilizations of the Indus, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian were quite rigid and unchanging. But the ancient Greeks were dynamic and wildly changing during Socrates time. Unfortunately, this led to the rise of the sophists and the eventual death of Socrates. Not that Socrates understood everything, he did not. But his infernal questioning and teaching gave us Plato with his dialogs. All contributing to the western civilization we live in now.

So I question myself and see where this might take me. Perhaps a road less traveled, I can hope for. A place in the sun, on this rainy day in southwest Texas.

Another step along these great dunes of sand, in this the white desert.

 

Wolf-Tracks-V3

 

 

Thought Sixty Nine

I boarded a jet yesterday headed for the east coast.

As I boarded the plane I realized that I texted no one that I was leaving. My daughter knew I was gone because I asked her to water my plants.

IMG_2109But I was alone.

Alone as I sat on an airplane full of people. The stewardesses on the plane were of a foul mood. So when they came around with their worn cart of canned lukewarm drinks, I quietly rejected their offers sprite, water, and other banalities.

Putting on my sound canceling earphones, I bathed in the silence as I read a book on my Kindle. In the seats behind me, a couple had brought on a cat they forced under the middle seat that stank of its cat’s box. While loading the last of the passengers, a young woman came onboard with a large dog. I wondered where that dog was going to sit for the three hour flight and then if needed, where would it defecate?

After the engines of the plane started, the smells of the cat’s box died out. Rather than a United Airlines flight, it felt more like a bus in Tijuana. When I finally arrived at my hotel, it had been a long day.

Today was longer still. Discussions about our lack of a clear message and frustration abounding showed me how far our raft was adrift.

On the NJ Metro train into NYC, I had a short discussion with a fellow passenger. They were helpful to me in navigating my way. A short while later, this person talked on the phone, gossiping for the majority of the ride into the city. The lack of depth in this person was astonishing in its quality of shallowness. Listening to this, I looked to myself to see if I might also at times fulfill this role. Perhaps this just part of what we do as we scrabble around on the surface of this planet. Much like the German cockroach that I observed walking on the armrest of the seat where I sat, unconcerned and unafraid on the NJ Transit rail car upon which I rode.

Lunch was at an upscale place with a group of more interesting people. So many people in this city-state of New York City. I thought I might be uncomfortable being in the proximity of so many people, but instead, it felt like an adventure. A place and people with a culture all to themselves. Walking as much as we did, it literally felt like an obstacle course of people. Except walking in dress shoes, on concrete, in the heat.

Later that day, after meetings, much listening and talking, we went out for drinks. The food was good and the drinks better. Feeling the pleasant buzz of multiple Mojitos, we headed to Penn Station to catch the train home. Unfortunately, the train kept getting canceled. Sitting at a bar with our field CTO, I was pleasantly surprised. He was a great conversationalist and was quickly entertaining our end of the bar. Listening and talking, a part of me watched and absorbed everything. The conversations and dramas that played out in that microcosm. The story lines and new story arcs that developed that night were interesting, to say the least. The pain I detected underneath each of those people would have made it difficult to keep observing had I not imbibed myself in the warm and settling arms of a top shelf tequila. Slightly buzzed, I eventually made it to my temporary home of the Marriott in Woodbridge NJ. An adventure for another day and perhaps another further observational fuzzy set.

Flying home on a Friday, the week had been fruitful both in sales, developing further working relationships, learning, and thoughtfulness. IMG_1109Flying back, I felt a sense of withdrawal. The culture on the east coast so wildly differing from Texas.  That being said, the people I met were overall friendly.

I was able to listen to and understand differing opinions from many people. Speaking with their dictionaries held before them, I many times asked for definitions. Standing on the hot sidewalk among the eight million people of New York City, I could see eight million dictionaries with not one being the same. Could this be the “Tower of Babel” that the Christian bible speaks of? My guess in that moment would have been yes.

So we spend these lifetimes trying to reach back across time to each other to understand. Most of us don’t fathom that we’re doing this at all. We just continue to fumble along as we transition through each part of our lives. The river that is “the most likely outcome” continues onward as we go through each grouped stage of our lives that come with a particular decade we are living in.

I see mine now, where I am. But I wonder what I will see ten or twenty years from now.

 

Wolf-Tracks-V3

 

Thought Sixty Eight

I was eating yesterday in the default sushi restaurant. As I sat eating and talking with friends, I noted the people around me.

Later that evening when I was thinking about the people around me, I heard a distinct word “no”. Not loud, nor soft, but hear it I did. Clear and distinct, almost HD.

Thinking about it, I wondered, who or what said “no” to me? I wasn’t scared by it as I manage my freeze, flight or responses as much as a person can. In my mind, I don’t think I am capable of truly being afraid anymore. That part burnt out and died long ago. But it is interesting to think about. Has it come to a point now where I can hear the internal dialogue to a degree?

Perhaps this is the point the most likely outcome or destiny.

Interesting. Well, to me anyway.

With that, I came to realize recently that the most likely outcome (or destiny if you prefer) is not an easy thing to change. You see there is free will within the most likely outcome. A lot of freedom, but truthfully not the ability to act in total chaos. Just as the ever expanding universe has an eventual outcome, so do we.

So what is your most likely outcome/destiny? I’m still figuring mine out. At least for this life.

Thought Sixty Eight

Where do we go from here?

That is the question. A little to the left, a little to the right. Maybe down the hall and past the next street. I don’t know. Find something to make me all right when I don’t feel like it. I went to a friends party on Friday night and after eating, felt quite ill. In the bathroom, I IMG_3268 2passed out while sitting on the toilet and fell. One second sitting, the next with my head on the edge of the tub, a bit of blood in view and the trash can smashed (I fell on it). This resulted in a large bump with a bruise on the left side of my forehead, some scratches on my face, bruising and a visit from the paramedics. Vaso Vagal reaction.

Fun.

The lump on my forehead is about eighty percent gone (still a little swollen). But my heart hurts. Letting go is a damn sight harder than I thought it would be. I know this will pass. Just as all things do. But right now sitting here typing on this blog I feel a bit lost. Tomorrow will come. With its meetings and airplane flights to far off places. To meet people, converse and reach across the chasm that separates us all. To do the things I have and have not done before. To be this person that I am, to write my book, do things I want to do when I want to do them, to learn to have boundaries to my person and to find peace with me just being with me.

This is the start of this.

Walking alone, not deluding myself that we ever really walk with another, when we always walk alone. Our dictionaries in our hands as we transverse across the sand in this the white desert.

Wolf-Tracks-V3

Thought Sixty Seven

Definitions.

I have and many times continue to assume my definitions are ubiquitously the same among those I care for. That is a mistake, as I have learned to my detriment recently. I think it may be due to my consanguinity. I assume that the words I speak are understood with the same definitions that I hold in my mind and memories.

But they are not.

For even the definitions in my mind are often like a part of a fuzzy set, defined multiple ways and with internal visual interpretations that only I understand in the language of who I am. This definitely would make a difference in the course of communication with another person. Even someone you might feel that you know well. It may also be the reason that you can spend many lifetimes seeking to know someone, only to find that you have barely scratched the surface of who they are.

Then too, how much do we know ourselves? I feel that much of this life has been a long journey towards self-knowledge and the learning of how much I don’t know. For all that I have learned in this long life, I see the unthinkably large universes of knowledge that I don’t know. And the people around me are universes unto themselves. Vast deep structures of knowledge and experience that I can only hope to learn but a little.

Stepping into this, I realize that we walk alone. We hope and try to communicate but fail in a thousand million ways. The dictionaries of ourselves in a billion different languages that speak only in the most generalist of terms. Even physical touch is a language that plays out in a multitude of differing languages.

I wish I could walk the corridors of your mind and know the paths upon which you tread. To read your dictionaries and understand the person that you are and perhaps share some of my own. But for this life and many others, we will wander in the darkness before the light of morning, the white sand dusting our boots and shouldered weapons as we walk towards a dawn that is far and away.

Perhaps then we will meet once again. In the early morning hours over a cup of black coffee and a cigar in that white desert.

 

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Thought Sixty Six

Life’s moments are temporary at best.

A passing moment shared with someone you love. Then it’s gone. Some moments you understand profoundly and some remain fuzzy in an unpleasant aching belly sort of way. Still, each day is a is another opportunity to feel peaceful, to work and engage in ways that perhaps you had not before.

I have been pretty busy lately at work, and I find that I like it. The ground around me shifts and trembles with change, but I stay on my feet. The dunes of sand are forever shifting, or so it goes in this the white desert. Where once was a fertile valley of green with a small oasis of cool water, now lingers only another rolling dune of white sand. Though I mourn at this loss, the white desert doesn’t end. So I shake the dust from my boots and continue on. What lies ahead I cannot tell. However, this walk in the desert shall continue. Until the one day when we find the sea and the white desert is no more.

Until then, I will walk.

 

Wolf-Tracks-V3

Thought Sixty Five

I was thinking about all of the good in my life over the last few weeks. There is more than I can list, but here are a few:

  • Wonderful friends
  • An awesome relationship with a very special woman
  • An amazing daughter
  • Super relatives
  • A great job that I enjoy
  • A beautiful house
  • Purpose and creativity
  • Peace in my soul

I often think about where I am and why. I don’t feel like I have lost so much anymore. Twenty-seven years of marriage to a despicable narcissistic person have taught me many lessons and have helped me mature into the person I am now.

Feeling resolute and peaceful I go forward in this present moment. With that, I also think about karma/consequence. Several times while driving in the last few weeks, I have had people behave in unbecoming ways. It didn’t matter to me what they did, just how I responded.

Now I have logically known this for a long time. However lately, I really felt this in my bones. One place I noticed this was on LinkedIn. On Linkedin, I am approaching having 10K contacts. Every day, I say “Happy Birthday” to people (Linkedin lets you easily do this). I started doing this a couple of years ago. During that year, I received around forty Happy Birthday messages from my contacts. I enjoyed that and wanted other people to enjoy what I experienced as well (on my birthday).

Thinking about this, I see karma/consequence in action.

This has led me to actively choose how I want to respond to people behaving in unbecoming ways while driving. It isn’t just enough to not respond or hold it in. It is choosing to see it for what it is. Am I tossing a large rock into a karma/consequence pool of the negative or positive?

From a purely egocentric view, I am doing this for me.

I like my life and how I feel about it. The one thing I have total control over is how I choose to react and feel. My choices internally and externally make my life and how I perceive it. My karma/consequence are entirely up to me.

I can feel this deep inside of me. More than ever before.

Peace.

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