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Friday, June 30, 2006

Stages

With Merton as the model, I think I would have made a hell of a good hermit. I think of a life as a series of stages:

1. evolution
2. revolution
3. dissolution
4. resolution
5. absolution

I'm thinking I'm in the "resolution" phase...of course all of this is arbitrary and subject to revision...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Orbit

On the other hand, since it will be 5 years before we start having sex with robots, maybe it's best that damn meteor misses us...plus, the weather report expects lots of sunshine and warmth...here's hoping we stay in orbit for awhile...no telling what else is in store for us down the line...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Meteor

Do we now have to worry about a 3 mile wide meteor hitting the earth and knocking us out of orbit? Add it to the list of dire and cataclysmic events that loom over us. Has it always been so? Is the end near? Do I hear the rumbling of hooves in the distance? Is it the charging sound of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse...? Well, dare I say it...let it come down...I don't say this fatalistically...no, instead, I say it with a slight bemusement. The universe ends and begins every day, each and every time we close and open our eyes...but what if it really was the Big One? The really Big One? What a show it would be...!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy & Gay

I didn't go to the Gay Pride Parade yesterday, but I let my psychedelic freak rainbow fly high in solidarity. I had a perfect day, a day of unbridled hedonism (ah yes, the pleasure principle). If it wasn't for Sister Mary Aquanata (my third grade teacher - but really can I put all the blame in her black-robed lap?), I think I would have been a great Pagan. I did my best to drop my Catholic inheritance: profound GUILT! So I had a long and happy run along the lakefront. I took a long carefree soak in the bathtub reading the NY Times from front to back, I played my guitar, I had a great meal, I drank two ice-cold beers (2006 Illinois Inaugural Fat Tire!), I watched one of my favorite movies (R. Altman's The Long Goodbye). It was exquisite. No doubts, no pain, no guilt, complete satisfying pleasure!

Yes, happy and gay! My father, in his later years, after he outlived many of his contemporaries, used to quote that line: "living well is the best revenge." I don't think he meant it as revenge against anyone in particular (he wasn't a revengeful man), but instead it was a general claim against the doomsters, the nay-sayers, the backstabbers, the hypocritical moralists, etc. Of course for him living well meant a great bike ride on a summer day, a trip to the old fishing hole, a lazy baseball game on the tube, a day spent painting on a canvas...

So yes, let's all let our rainbow colors fly high. Be loud, be proud. We are human beings first...let's not forget or regret. There's beauty in all of us, let us all live well...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Satisfy

It comes back to the simple things: a good meal, a great sleep, a cold beer, a good tune, a focused rehearsal, a meeting of creative souls, a crackling power trio, a committed group of actors working on a theater piece. You don't get something from nothing. It's always something from something. This is the universe we live in. Sometimes it is sweet.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Soy Bath

I walked a little old lady across the street this morning. Somehow I was at the right place, at the right time to do a good deed. A good act that made me feel good. If only it was always so simple. Usually things start getting complicated real quick. Sometimes it's hard to define what's good, what's bad, or maybe what you thought was good, leads to something bad, or the other way around. There's supposedly this Karma Train that rewards the good and the bad, but sometimes it's hard to find any evidence of the tracks...

So, I do my good deed, and go get a coffee, I'm walking down this alley, I've got my cell phone in one hand, and iced latte in the other - talk about the modern condition, I'm thinking to myself, "you're juggling two things at once here, don't drop your drink!" My phone is on the fritz, it's not working correctly, the ear piece thingy works only intermittently, I'm futzing with the thing, I bobble my drink and it falls to ground in one big splash; my phone is drenched in iced, venti, soy latte. So, I chalk it up to my own incompetance. I get home, sponge the phone down, and find now that it's working perfectly. Could a soy bath be the miracle cure for touchy cell phones? I don't have a definitive answer, just the concrete evidence. Does this have anything to do with string theory, divine providence, the rules of karma, or the Bavarian Illuminati?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer

Summer's here and time is right for chillin. Not exactly classic rock, but closer to the state of the sunny nation. Notch another summer on our belts. There's only so many, (is the number written somewhere?) for each of us, and you can't do much more than be in it, and know that you're in it, as you're in it. This isn't another post musing on the insubstantiality of a life, although, of course, that theme is ever present, but instead it's just a marker laid down to say, "check it out!" Remember that other song that tells us summer is the time when the "living is easy?" It should always be so.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Wire

I'm walking down the alley this morning, going to get my rocket fuel and I spy 3 little sparrows sitting up on the telephone wire. That Leonard Cohen lyric springs into my head, and I'm singing like a mad fool: "like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried, in my way, to be free." A great surge of joy radiates throught my body. It's the first day of summer, it's a hot, humid, stormy day in Chicago. I am feeling waves of euphoria (this is before my latte). Not sure what's up. Sometimes sitting on a telephone wire, watching the scene is everything. I have tried to be free, and happy, and intelligent and all the things I think a cool guy should try to be and do. Then again, kicking down an alley, with no pain, no fear might just be that little glimmer of eternity that makes it all seem right.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sex with Robots

I saw this headline this morning: "We'll be having sex with Robots in 5 years." Hmmm. Here's hoping it will be voluntary...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Citizen of the World

Although, we are given a certain set of equipment at birth (these eyes, these hands, etc.), it seems we are as changable as the weather, or at least on an emotional level, (which admittedly might be totally irrelevant to the ways of the world), we are as insubstantial as the clouds blowing across the sky, or the trees dancing in the wind, or the vapor rising from the sewer grate. There's the national weather report, and then there is the internal Dumps/Sunny Report which sometimes coincides with the national (or at least regional trend) and sometimes not. It's harder to be sunny in the midst of the muddy gloom, or to be dumpy in the glorious sunshine, but at the same time, it's not impossible, in fact it's a common occurance. Which leads one to surmise that not only are we changeable, but we are also, flighty, inconsistent and sometimes just plain stubborn. Today, it is glorious, summer, sunshine, and the internal report seems to match up quite nicely with the grander trend. I'm Citizen of the World today. There are no cares. It's a pleasure to be inhaling and exhaling. The sun is shining down like a benevolent god, the summer breeze is riding on my shoulder like a shy friend keeping me company, the birds are singing, the trees are swaying, everything seems in it's place - perfect, uncompromising, undemanding. All I have to do is show up. Pay attention. Seems infinitely doable.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Creative Maelstrom

I plunged back into the creative maelstrom yesterday, and it was like reconnecting with that one special drug that lights up your synapses and makes the world seem like a friendly animal that wants to be your bosom buddy. Or something like that. My little theater group has embarked upon another little blast of madness, this time a playlet and loosely connected collection of songs that at least in my head could turn out to be a glorious little folly of sound and fury.

There is some kind of kick to be had working out on a stage (any open space), pretending to be some other character, mouthing lines that wouldn't normally pass these parched lips. Nothing like setting aside some creative space, with no concerns beyond putting on a good show. Combine that certain acting challenge with a rambunctious musical sidecar and, well brother, you are approaching that mythical territory called nirvana.

Part of the maddening pleasure is in the realization that there is no perfect performance, only approximations, valiant attempts, furtive stabs at the target. So you can never be satiated, never be filled to the brim, never lose that fire, it is an unrequited love, the gift that keeps on giving. Not a bad way to occupy a life.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Experiment

Well, there's no perfect human being. Failure is built into the system. Nature keeps churning out new faces. People are so damn unreliable. You can't trust any of them. They all burn out, fade away, give up the ghost, leave the scene. They come and go. There is no "perfect," that's one of the lessons along the way, there are only endless approximations. Kind of an interesting experiment. Looks to be an experiment gone off the rails (or no, an experiment with no fixed point, an experiment for the fuck of it!). I think we call this evolution, or really it's natural selection. The current situation dictates who suceeds (briefly), who fails (it's all relative - everything fails finally, or maybe we need to redefine failure to say that there is no failure only degrees of success?!). The situation changes, everything changes. The race continues, the rules are flexible, fungible, the race continues. Change is an in-built feature too. Very interesting. Kind of cool. Very strange. Not so good (or bad) for any one individual. Not so good (or bad) for a generation, a species. So each of us play a part. Like a clueless actor we may wonder, "what's my motivation," but even as we ask the question, a smile breaks across our radar screen...yes, well, all we can do is act...there is no alternative.

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