Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's

New Year's have never been a very eventful holiday for me. It started with Calvin Martin at Rutgers University i think. It was his philosophy and classes in Native American history that got me on this road. I don't really know what to call his classes really, history seems inappropriate even though that is the department they were seated in. Calvin thought history was the problem, and because the native peoples of these lands would not have dealt in history as we know, he would not deal with it in his classes either. It was not their story. The native peoples of the Americas told myths, so that was what we learned in the classes of Calvin Luther Martin at Rutgers in New Brunswick. We also talked a lot about the nature of time. We had a seminar class that was entitled simply "Time." Calvin claimed it was the only class in a history department anywhere that he knew of that talked about time at all. Odd since that is really the subject of the whole business.

Anyway, what he said was powerful. There was a veritable cult of Calvin Martin at Rutgers. Our classes would have upwards of 400 students attending, all wide eyed and eager to here the weekly lesson. He spoke powerfully. Myths are like that though. I saw that first hand when i taught high school. The most unruly classes would sit in rapt attention for 25 minutes without a word whenever i would tell them a story. It was amazing. There was a truth there that rang out to all of us in the class. I learned much and it has shaped me and the ideas i have had ever since. Since my philosophy is Jeet Kune Do, i took what was useful from the class and it is definitely a core component of what makes up the way i navigate my world view. Others had a harder time separating the knowledge and the power of the stories from the man himself, and some people were broken when Calvin moved on. I feel it was probably similar with Bruce Lee. He tried to get people to find their own way, make their own style, but they followed him and wanted to be like him. He eventually had to go because students were not getting it. I have wondered at times if that is partially why Calvin moved on.

Anyway, to move on now myself. Those stories and what we learned about time in Calvin's class led me to much of the worldview i hold today. It led me to give up age and really led to a separation and eventual divorce from time. It has been an amazing road. As a short recap, i have given up time and age, that does not mean that i think i do not "age." It is the measurement i have a problem with. I can be totally down with the event of a changing body and the way we live our lives from birth and growth, through eventual slowing and decay to death. It is a beautiful cycle, but i do not need to deal with trying to place numbers and value of years on that process. I think it has dire implications that i have talked about in several earlier blogs.

It hit me tonight driving home from my friends house after making merry for New Year's Eve, that the holiday has really never held any real value for me since i shaped some ideas in those classes at Rutgers University. It is holiday that is all about the measure of time and since time and i have had our divorce, i have really not given much care or thought to this holiday that is the child of time. There have been years i have done nothing, gone to bed or headed out into the woods. None of it was done because it was New Year's Eve or day, but because it was what i chose to do as i would have chosen it on any other day of the year. I go to parties on New Year's the same way. I will go for the same reason i would go any other night. I even participate, but it is really to be social.

Thoreau said in Walden i believe, "Time is but the stream i go a'fishin in." Beautiful words that exactly get what i am talking about. I do not believe that Thoreau meant that he went fishing in the stream called Time, but that the way he dealt with time, literally was the stream he had his line in. It was the event of the place, the Earth living herself, that was real, not numbers on a wall or in a calendar. Just some stuff to think about.

It is beautiful when you get into living in the event. People all around me say that time is going by so quickly. I feel that nothing is further from the truth. If anything for me, time is moving more and more slowly as i become better and better at living in each moment, infinitely. It is hard at first, because time wants to hold on to you and gets his claws into you. But eventually, if you are persistent, Time will begin to realize that he is more desperate than you are and he will start to slowly let you go. Once that happens you can fall into the vast canopy of the stars and persist there forever in a night. You can float on your back down a river and be carried on the time of the Earth, not on the time on your wrist. You can be here in this moment breathing in and out as the lungs of the Earth and you can realize what it means to be truly and deeply alive and forever in a moment. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand lads and lasses, embrace it. When you get outside the shackles of time, your life will be set free.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I got to thinking the other day that the biggest problem our politics is having right now relates to something Chris Rock said in Dogma, “I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should be malleable and progressive, working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth. New ideas can't generate. Life
becomes stagnant.”

Our politicians on each side are holding onto their point of view like religious beliefs and no one is willing to see that what they really should have are ideas that we can all work together to change and shape to the benefit of everyone. Either side of the political spectrum also seems to have this belief that to listen to anything the other side says and think about it is tantamount to blasphemy. If the other side says it, it must be wrong. We can not get anywhere like this. Lets start having some ideas people and stop taking ourselves so seriously.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Adventure

There have been dark valleys. There have been long walks in the shadow. I realize that reading the last post in my blog here. I do feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have learned a great deal about myself. I am becoming the adventurer i tell everybody that they should be.

John and i recently did the Connecticut Renaissance Festival and someone asked us how we are able to do it, how do we keep so happy and energetic all day. His response was brilliant. He pointed to a child of about 7 or 8 years old who was all smiles and running by and he said, "Because we never forgot how to do that." So true. The embrace of one's inner child is so fundamentally important, especially when you are working in interactive theater and want to bring that joy to the people you see who desperately need it.

My Godfather Bill Cash knew that. He passed away to the next adventure this week and i spoke about him at his funeral. My earliest memory of my Uncle Bill, as i called him, was when he took me to a Phillies game when i was probably about 8, back when i had an age. We had to park in Section 8, because, as he explained to me, a Section 8 is the discharge crazy people get from the military. Bill was definitely crazy in that way that is awesome. He even made parking at the baseball game fun, he made it an adventure.

I have been feeling that again. It has been a long and winding road but i am definitely embracing the inner joy. I got a pair of pants the other day that had a fuzzy lining and they are warm and feel like a cloud inside. I told my old roommates, "These pants are awesome, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me." And in that moment it was sincere, although a little crazy to think of a pair of pants as the best thing that ever happened.

But, that my friends is the childlike way of looking at things. Everything to a baby is awesome because everything is new. The sheer joy of seeing the sacred in everything, in life living itself, the whole dream of all of this. It is brilliant and i am truly honored to be a part of it. Life is good and i feel stronger for my journey through the valley of darkness. The sunlight looks all the sunnier and i am excited for what adventures may come.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The chaos storm in my head

There is never room for anyone to sit in my car. It drives me slightly mad. Heaps of clothing, a lap top, bags of martial arts equipment, boxes of marketing materials for one of too many projects litter everything but the driver's seat and there is even spill over into that sanctuary for my bum on occasion. It drives me slightly mad as i said. The idea, indeed the dream of enough time to actually clean it out seems nigh impossible. It is the same as i watch the miles click over the due date for an oil change, 1000, 2000, 3000 extra miles. There is no time for any of these small maintenance things that make one feel civilized and functional. The same is true of my room.

I do not know how i always wind up here, but i do. I am not sure why i can not say no to a project or how office work became such a part of my life. It is really not in my skill set and it makes me angry to do. I think that it is too much for one brain. I also find it really annoying when i suggest that and then people tell me that it is not really stressful or ask me why. Maybe i am just not as resilient as you, maybe i am a failure, but truth of the matter is, it is highly highly stressful. My mind and thinking does not function like that. I remember when working as a waiter standing at the computer screen to input orders and nearly hyperventilating worried that i had forgotten someone's drink and fearing that someone would ask me a question and make the reason i was standing at the screen be completely gone from thought. This time period is like that but at all times. There is so much. I live in constant fear that i will forget something. I spend April to June on a yearly basis now not being able to sleep. As i lay there at day's end, alone with my thoughts, certain things that need to be done flood over me like a storm. Sleep does not come. Sometimes i have to get up and make a note of it to get beyond. For the most part i lay there completely awake. When i finally do sleep and manage the hour or two that i am apparently allotted, my body goes into full rebellion, cursing the idea of getting up and going to play positive with people.

The thing that really bothers me is that i know better. "In a hundred years we will all be dead." "Hoka Hey - it is a good day to die." I have said these things, to me a blessing, meaning that you should enjoy your life and live each day to the fullest, and that these things we stress about do not really matter. I have become a slave to the day however and the planet load of stress and the moons of stress that orbit it seeming too large a weight to carry around. I know that these things are not what is important. My grandmother is going to be turning 90 soon. Will i be able to see her before she is gone? There is a woman i love in South Dakota that i messed up with because of what i am writing here and other reasons. I do not go to her though, i continue to trudge through this mess. It is a trap of my own devise and my inability to say no.

There needs to be a reckoning. What is the effect of this lament? I am not trying to whine to the world, i see a problem though and i need to find a way through it. Office manager and marketing guy is not what i am good at and it makes my skin crawl. Teaching people the martial arts, being a philosopher, teaching people to be a hero and an adventurer is where my value lies and i think that is what i am supposed to be doing. I would love to be able to be there for my friends and family, but what i am there for is office work and emails. That needs to happen. Is this constant push, this living life at a dead run worth it? It certainly is not economically. I could work more working minimum wage at McDonald's and with that job the greatest benefit would be that i could go home and not worry about it.

Let's see if i can be the adventurer i tell everyone else to be and affect change in this life time.