It is what it is

March 9, 2008

This is how it goes friend.

Everything is what it is.  Nothing else.
Freedom is freedom.
Happiness is happiness.
Love is love.
Good is good.

Substitution and definition make the strongest suffer because they search for something that has no space. 

Freedom isn’t happiness.
Happiness isn’t love.
Love isn’t good.
But everything is what it is.

But what is it?  What are they?  If I am only me.  And you are only you.  Then freedom can only be freedom in the same way.  And happiness can only be happiness in the very same way again.

So everything is what it is.  So pain is pain.  If I am hurt, I am hurt.  Love is love.  If I love you, I love you. 

What I say is what I say.  And what I do it what I do.  What we feel is what we feel.  It cannot be denied because it exists regardless of what false name we give it.  There is no definition of anything, but the truth of what it is.  Then life must be lived as life is and I must understand things and things are.  That makes understanding you a little bit easier.

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Possibility

March 9, 2008

Let’s list bad things.

Those wars, those people, those fights, those words.

The moments when the butterflies in your stomach take hold and you forget how to speak.  When what you say is important and you can’t find the words to say it, you can’t find the courage to say it.

All those memories that are supposed to be blocked out, but stay and you relive your worse days.

These bad things.  These things we can list.  These things optimistic people choose to ignore.  Those bad things are important.  Why list them?  Why care that they exist?

Let’s not list these bad things.  Let’s not list this pain.  Not for the sake of optimism or the sake of sounding proper.  For the sake of guarantee.  It’s already guaranteed that one day we will feel it: this pain I speak of.  Why list it and when we will live it.  Most likely at the words or the hands of others. 

Then after I feel it and suffer it, I look at my neighbor, my fellow human being and I do not trust him because I am afraid of what he will do.  Because I am afraid of how he will effect me.  I surely have forgotten the heart of my fellow man.  The heart of my fellow woman.  We share them: the intentions, the fear, the insecurity, the love.  All true things.  It takes a person willing to be hurt in order to make a friend worth keeping.  The fire spit is only a way to keep the pain out anyway.

Although I may get hurt, I cannot forget that it is more fun to take your hand and give you my heart to break.  So take my heart and use your will to hold it as you like.  Because when I look at you, when I listen to your words, read what you have written and see what you have done, I must remember that wherever there is a human being, there lies the possibility for kindness.  This I cannot forget.


Art

January 14, 2008

The influence of art on the lives of human beings is an undeniable truth.   It provides a unique perception of the world.  Looking at a painting, listening to music and reading a poem are just a few of the ways to welcome a raw perception of our existence.  In art, there are no limitations.  Art reflects the truth that the artist sees in his experiences.  It reflects, in greater detail, the aspects of his life that remain untold in the deepest conversation.

Art is the best way for him to share the complete version of himself.  He is burdened in life by the rules of his society.  The social limits and political instructions.  The barriers put on by the sanity of his friends, family and acquaintances are all a part of his retreat.  By writing, he says it all, with metaphors, allegory or blunt description.  His art is raw representation of who he was born to be and who he would be without the silent rules.

Her art is the means for the realization of herself.  She is more complete and self-realized than all of her companions.  She puts away the rules, the responsibility, and the “real” world and tells the truth as she sees it.  She paints, writes and composes without limits and no one can tell her to stop.  Even the censors are conned when she disguises her truth with symbols and code.  The artists, as she well knows, are the only ones who spend their life saying it all. The truth is… they do not need to say it all to anyone else but themselves.  They must only know for themselves what they feel and believe. They have nothing to prove.   Artists know and artists do.

Both of them are free within their art.  They yell, hit, steal, hug, laugh and experience in their art.  They have a place a place to put all the emotion left unexpressed in the outside would.  There is no need for them to commit crimes, to hurt other people or to lose their temper because they do all of it in their distant world.  They do what the rest do outside, but in their paint, their piano and their notepad.  Yet they sometimes agree to share their creation.  He and she, she and he, are entirely content with letting their art stay in their rooms, but once in awhile (maybe by suggestion) they are led by something to share their art with the critics.  Everybody’s a critic. 

They share not only for the beauty, the human pride and the need to be understood.  They share it to teach a lesson, though they do not consciously embed a lesson into their creation because if they create with the purpose of teaching, their art turns into an all too explicit demand, which turns off any human observer.   But when they allow themselves to create for the sake of creating and to communicate only what lie in their hearts, truth is accomplished and those who see their art and who open themselves up to the possibility of anything at all, get the message (whichever one they find).

He paints to give you a new perception of the world.  She writes to show you the other side of the story.  They play so that you know what lies beneath the hard surface. 

So what of the human story is told by these artists?  The human experience is limited by our desire to free it.  Polite conversation, manners and “a time and a place”, are well intentioned creations of human beings that in turn create a respectful world of men behind the curtains that we in fact pay no attention to.  The issues that we have with our nations, our neighborhoods and each other are brushed under the table for the sake of respect, yet the unresolved emotions of each person in our world become something different.  They develop into revolutions, wars, art and a host of other things.  And unfortunately for most, they develop in nothing at all, except dreams long past and ideas long forgotten.  If anyone at all is wise, they will chose art or at least a path that leaves nothing unsaid.


For All of You

December 23, 2007

This isn’t my video, but I don’t think he would mind.  Happy Holidays.


Talkin’ Bout My Generation

December 17, 2007

Andrew: My God, are we gonna be like our parents?
Claire: Not me…ever.
Allison: It’s unavoidable, it just happens.
Claire: What happens?
Allison: When you grow up, your heart dies.  

This is dialogue from The Breakfast Club.  I used to like this movie because I thought it was fun and entertaining.  Not until recently did it actually mean something to me.  It summarized the themes of conversations around my university dinner table.  That’s right, the college kid is in town. 

I am in the 15-25 year range.  Our 3rd leading cause of death is suicide.  There is 1 suicide for every 100-200 attempts.  In 2005, 16.9% of high school students had considered suicide in the 12 months prior to the survey.  Our problem?   It hurts too much to go on.  The problems never seem to end and nobody seems to really listen or ask the right questions.  It’s less about dying and more about escape.

If we make it through: 79% of us (13-25) wants to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.  More than ever, college graduates are taking a gap year to work for non-profit organizations.  Our motivation?  To not be what we watch, what we play and what we listen to.  And in the end, it’s about making sure that the problems we see are eliminated.  We are only as strong as our weakest member.

I used relish in the idea of being an adult.  I would have complete control of my life.  Then I realized that being young is the most freedom I will ever have… if I become the adult America wants me to be.  Allison (the “freak”) says that our hearts die when we become adults.  My generation does not want to be adults because we are afraid.  We do not want our hearts to die. We do not want our passion to diminish.  It seems a little ironic that we don’t want our hearts to die, yet so many of us attempt or at least think about suicide.  It happens because we are passionate and every detail in our lives is blown up.  Our hearts are very alive and we take everything magnifyed compared to adults.  So we escape through getaways and some can’t find one, so they decide to leave.  At the root of it all, the adventure in life that we seek is too appealing to let go for the tainted adulthood that awaits us.  Whoever said it gets better when you get older was lying.  It only gets better when you make it happen, at any age.  That’s the part left out of the education system.  As a young adult, though, sometimes we only have tunnel vision.  We know we’ll need to grow up, but the pressure can be too much.  It may be pressure different from past generations, but it is still very real.

For those of us who find the strength to make it through the misunderstanding and the pressure, we seek to change the world and make it easier for future generations.  The public activism of older generations has been transformed into personal activism within our specific lives.  Still, we are reluctant to enter the “real world.”  We were told immaturity, peer pressure and all the “teen” issues stopped at adulthood.  The truth is that they only become more passive aggressive and more institutionalized.  I’m sure any adult in the workplace can testify. 

Adulthood:   

  • Discovery of new things becomes limited
  • Freedom – only within the reigns of what is accepted by society; you make choice based on how you think you will be percieved
  • Honesty happens less – desparate housewives is based on a true story
  • It’s harder to apologize
  • You lose touch with your children’s generation 
  • The workplace is horrible (see “The Office” but in real life)
  • It’s harder to change (adults rarely evaluate their beliefs when questioned)
  • The illusion of being “too old” – you are never “too” old, why does this thought happen

The 15-25 Getaway:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse (more than just use) – instant relief from reality
  •  Music.  It expresses us.  It listened before we talked.
  •  Art.  It says without having to bother with words.  It is a translation.
  • Sex (abuse).  Somebody needs to love us, this is the easiest way to get it.
  • The internet.  What we write, what we read, it’s ours.  Nobody else has to interfere.
  • Video Games.  Fun.  Not schoolwork, news, parents, pressure. It stimulates.
  • Books and Magazines.  Something else.  Someone else.  Something more.  Something better.  

These getaways shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s not just our problem.  18-25 years and younger is not enough time to evaluate and then screw up.  The growing up process needs help from society.  It takes a village to raise a child.  The movies, games, music and television aren’t the only problems.  In the words of John Wooden, “Young people need models, not critics.”

The Point: 
This isn’t only for adults; this is a point for my peers too.  What you see on the surface of 18-25 yr olds is not what lies beneath.  The truth is never shown at first glance.  It is always put at a deeper position so that it can be earned.  If you’re a parent, stop talking, believe me, they know where you stand and they’ve taken from you what they think they need.  There’s so much you do not know despite how much they tell you.  If you’re a “child expert”, you don’t know the half of it.  If you’re just an adult, re-evaluate what you think.  If your one of us, screw it and just do what you need to do, this is your only chance to make sure that when you grow up, “you’re heart doesn’t die.”  The power to change the world is already in our hands.  We don’t have to do it like our parents; we can be the change, not protest for it.  Change what adulthood means.  Make it about discovery, learning, maturing and acceptance.  

Most importantly, never let your heart die. (too you adults, get it back and poppin’)

Stats and Facts (evaluate your views):

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/suicide/
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-12-12-emerging-adults_N.htm?csp=34&POE=click-refer
http://www.marcandangel.com/2007/08/17/what-is-adulthood-20-defining-characteristics-of-a-true-adult/
Business Today Magazine. Fall 2007. Volume 44, Issue 2. – put out by Princeton (not my college. nope.)  It’s a good read for young aspiring adults and adults who want a refreshing perpective.