Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend


...had to acknowledge, while snowbound at my mom’s house for the weekend...by the time I’d shoveled all the way to the road, was too tired to go anywhere...that an all too familiar and highly inconvenient wintertime guest had most definitely arrived, and was making itself at home...

...a good blogger friend made a request...
...if aaah leeeeave heeere tomooooorrrooowww,
wouldjoo stilllll rememmmber meee...

...actually, that wasn’t it...she suggested the titles and scattered themes of that previous post reflected the snowstorm outside...and might each be allowed to stop and grow...perhaps when the sky calmed down....but, as tends to be the case this time of year, my mind seems stuck in a different kind of weather pattern...more a persistent, turbulent mass of grey...occasionally letting loose a bit of sleet, hail, or drizzle in hopes of refreshing the landscape so something might take root...perhaps opening now and then to tantalizing glimmers of light...but not for long...making coherence difficult....though metaphors mix freely...maybe hoping for some hybrid vigor...

...then, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all the yoga and mindfulness stuff, it’s to see all that more clearly...as not so much some mythical all-consuming force of darkness, but a lonely, wounded ghost...like Bruce Willis in that movie...and one perhaps I need to learn to talk to...

...using that Simon & Garfunkel lyric to title this post took about as much cleverness as I can muster at this point...really...but can’t look at it without the mind wandering off toward Dustin Hoffman walking through that barren airport at the beginning of The Graduate...homeward bound, to suffer endless questions about his future for which he has no answers...as well as to receive priceless advice...

...I just wanna say one word to you...just one word...are you listening? Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it...

...forty-two years into that future, there’s an island of plastic trash the size of Texas floating somewhere in the north Pacific...countless gallons of a substance wars are fought over crafted into a near infinite variety of colorful, disposable items...making me wonder just how many plans were executed, how much human effort went into creating this incredible mass of worthless and increasingly toxic crap...

...in more lucid moments...the spaces between lengthy periods of utterly pointless web surfing...have been reading, for something like the fourth time, one of the best novels ever written...in which a whole lot happens, almost all of which, ultimately, turns out to be pointless....Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth...

...if there’s a point to all that...and I think there is...it’s that there are many paths from nowhere to nowhere...that striving and productivity have no inherent value...and what matters most...what forms the difference between cultivating abundant life and cranking out worthless crap...is from where, inside of us, our thoughts and actions grow...

11 comments:

the walking man said...

Perhaps then it is good to allow the heart and mind to wander from snow capped peaks to desert sand and just be wherever the heart is at the moment. Not every path needs an end point, some things are best left for that last meditation exhalation. Keeps us hungry for more knowing.

Lydia said...

One of my all-time favorite movies and I've thought many times of the plastics quote and how the quote was only funny back then and how now it is tragic.
If you call One-Hundred Years of Solitude one of the best novels ever written then I darned well think I should read it. supentic

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Sometimes not knowing can be just as refreshing. The serenity of ignorance can be a place where you are allowed to just be for a time. It is it's own kind of nothing-ness that mimics the potentiality of smooth spaces covered by sand or sleet or snow. It can make everything new for a time.

WR said...

Life is a journey. And if it is a journey from one pointless place to another, so be it. Striving to be in the moment is challenge enough ~ regardless of the place of Now.

Having said that, it important to note that while snow is important to many things, living and other wise, it is not necessarily good for most humans, especially the human mind (unless you happen to be, say... Robert Frost) and the human back! I am of course jaded on this subject but I just sayin'...ya know...

Love the plastic quote! Right out of my youth! :-)

writeonyoga said...

"what forms the difference between cultivating abundant life and cranking out worthless crap...is from where, inside of us, our thoughts and actions grow..."

I like that.

BTW, I'm snowed in, too. Aren't you supposed to be going to Costa Rica soon? That sounds good right about now.

Laura Hegfield said...

Dr Jay,
Your wandering is filled with beginnings, endings that are beginnings...for all of life is in a constant state of beginning-ness (even dying is a kind of beginning)...so perhaps this awareness helps to guide our thoughts and actions back to that pure place of intention...the seed of goodness, kindness, compassion that the traveling cultivates...always leading us back to that initial point of inspired departure/return. Wow. This is about as deep as the snow you guys have in Philly. I'm not sure I even know what I just said.

earthtoholly said...

That was a great movie, drjay, as well as a great soundtrack, as well as a great cast.

Just the other day a relative and I were talking about the non-biodegradable awful stuff. When my mom was recently in the hospital, I watched each day as a lot of single-use plastic stuff was thrown into the trash...not recycled. And that's just one room in one hospital on one day. Multiply that by...it's mind-boggling. Not to mention the damage we may be doing to ourselves just by coming in contact with the stuff.

And how cute was Dustin Hoffman? Okay, you don't have to answer that.

Brooks Hall said...

I like the idea of talking to one's "wounded ghost". It makes sense (when things seem out of control and it could be some old unmet needs that are inadvertently guiding the bleak experience) to make an attempt to communicate with the one pushing the levers backstage. I did this today and it softened me. It was nice. I was more friendly to strangers after I silently questioned myself about why I was being cold. So it made sense for me! And I enjoyed the people next to me instead of "ignoring" how they came into what I had designated as "my space" in the public place. Thanks! 

Melinda said...

Jay--I loved this post--I really did. It was a fascinating little stream of a post that wandered in and out of a few interesting directions.

Also, you reminded me of one of my favorite songs and it was also one of the first songs I ever learned on the guitar--I was probably 10 when I learned 'Sounds of Silence' and even at that young age--that particular song both enticed and haunted me.

Your post also reminded me of something my wonderful mother in law (R.I.P.) used to say: "nothing is but thinking makes it so." She had so many gems like that--but I was always struck by the stark clarity of those particular words.

I love being snowed in--if I am prepared for it. I was all set for a bit 'Noreaster' that was to come in yesterday--I went to the store to buy provisions and made sure all the candles were lined up in case of a power outage--and then pfffft. Nothing. 2 inches of snow--I was actually disappointed!

Melinda

Lana Gramlich said...

I totally hear you on the plastics thing. That's part of the reason I abhor Mardi Gras & it's parades. Plastic thrown EVERYWHERE...& mostly completely USELESS plastic; necklaces no one in their right mind would ever wear as jewelry, fake gold coins commemorating whichever Krewe's parade you're watching. Sure, much of it gets taken home (& presumably thrown out--eventually--there,) but much of it ends up on the roads & in the trees. Pisses me off SOOOO much! The kicker is that "Kings" & "Queens" perched high above the masses on garish, pointless floats are throwing all of this garbage around & the sheeple scream & show their tits for more. Perhaps Mardi Gras is the best example of the lowest of human nature.
(/end rant)

Rhiannon said...

"Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to see you once again"...this is a very beautiful song. I also love Simon and Garfunkels "Old friends"...from that era..it's a beautiful song and they taped senior citizen people talking at a retirement home down the street from where I lived in that song. "time it was, yes, it was a time of innocence...I have a photograph, with my memories, their all that's left me"...brings tears to my eyes, remembering that song.

Of course having the same last name as Mrs. Robinson has not been that fun for me through the years...I get teased about that a lot!..though I'm nothing like her character...it is funny how we label people by "memory labels" if you know what I mean?

Rhi