synaptic-disunion

Meaning…part 3

Giving up has it’s rewards.  Don’t let the positive thinking people deceive you in to thinking you can think your way to ‘positivism.’  The truth is more complicated, more visceral…and different for each and every one of us.

When you drift downstream, forgoing effort, you become calm, you lay on your back and look upward as the sky drifts by, knowing full well the waterfall is coming, but not worrying about it because it’s not something you can change anyway.  Let it be.  Let it flow.  Let it go.

Don’t let them tell you we make our own decisions.  We are driven by external forces outside our own control, causing us to make decisions to mold ourselves to that reality. The evolution of consciousness isn’t complete and we are stuck in a transitional state between control and controlling.  It’s always more complicated than what you think…because what you think is affected by so much else.

Giving up has it’s rewards.  You flow, you drift, you find peace, you live in the present.

Advertisements

46

Forty six times the event has come around, each one different and also the same.  Glacial changes over time, reverting back to the beginning and inching closer to the ending.  Forty five was half of ninety.  Ninety will never be seen, in all likelihood.  We only know the half way point once the ending is reached.  Every day is a gift and every day is a repetition.  The same gift, opened without excitement, excepting on rare occasions.  Oblivion calls, as life holds it back.  In the end, the abyss wins over, and we all enter.

quiescence…

There is a space between activity and sleep that I enjoy, and inhabit more often lately than I have in the past.  It’s not contentment.  I am not content with either myself or my situation.  It is, almost, resignation…a certain peace of mind that comes over me.  Maybe it’s like giving up on things, on everything, and just letting things happen.  Maybe it’s a zen-like state.  I don’t really know.

It is a kind of action, though…coming to a pause…the act of pausing.  Slowing of the metabolism in reaction to some external force or event…or even environment.  Yesterday, Prince died.  We don’t know why yet.  Today, as always, there is another shooting in the USA.  Life and death goes on, as it always will.  Today is Earth day…it’s not a day to help the earth, but a day for humanity to realize that this spherical space ship is all we have to live on right now, and that it will go on into it’s own future with, or without us…the decision is ours.  I am quiet.  I am peaceful.  I have no aspirations about the 2016 election because, as usual, if I dive into it too much, I become embroiled in my own anger and disdain for the rest of humanity, and it’s disregard for itself.  I am circular in my reasoning, so I become empty.  I empty the emotions out and seek to find bodily and mental peace…from nowhere…from oblivion.

What is the meaning of all this?  I don’t know.  What is the future like, you, who are reading this a hundred years from now.  Did we make it?  Did we repair the earth-ship?  Did we overcome our own petty squabbles and hatreds and live, finally, together in peace?  Come back and tell me some time.  I’d like to know.  As for now, this gen-x-er is going to nap for a while…mentally, and bodily.

slipping…

some days I feel like i’m slipping away…becoming invisible…and I’m ok with it.  like blending into the background…a warm, comfortable feeling of well being…where softness surrounds your body and infiltrates your mind…

you soar…away…wings of freedom and all that…release, renew…like an ip address…but the renew is somewhere else…alone, numbness spreading and dulling senses until all is nothing and weakness is the only thing left…

some days are like that…knee bouncing nervously…then nothing.  a desire for peace and alternate realities sets in…a comfortable unreality where dreams are…where you can be what you always wanted to be and so much more…

eternity…

For the past week or so, I’ve been having the strangest thoughts that seemingly arise from out of nowhere, when I’m sitting quietly at my desk, or doing some mundane and mindless task. They all seem to stem from a dream I had a few nights ago, I think, wherein I was back in my grandparents house, on Astor street, in Fort Worth, TX. I am my current age, but they were still there. They’d be in their 100s now, were they still living. My grandfather, on my mothers side, was born in 1909. His wife, my grandmother, in 1912, I think. The small house still looked the same, the low nap carpet with its subtle pattern, the circular woven rug in the center of the living room, the dark wood paneling.

Even the back yard was the same, the single wagon wheel on it’s side, mounted in concrete so as to act as a makeshift merry-go-round that you held on to and swung from, the Honeysuckle hedge, my grandfather’s “dog house.” Inside the doghouse, he was there, sitting at a his small work bench, slowly turning the knob on his WWII era shortwave radio, the one I inherited from him when he passed away. He smiles at me, no words, I step in and smell that distinctive smell of oil and gasoline from the mower he also kept in the doghouse. It was a highly sensory dream. Since that night, I’ve had waking moments where I’m back there again. The memory is fresh for some reason. I’m looking into the face of my grandmother, who passed away from cancer in 1985. I’m seeing my grandfather sitting in his recliner, smiling, his white and thinning hair on top, and his horn rimmed glasses who died of complications from multiple strokes in 1980…and I feel warm, happy, comfortable. Even the smell of the house is in my nose…it’s an old, musty, but somewhat comfortable smell, and I want to stay.

I don’t know what all this means. I can’t understand why memories of my grandparents are visiting my mind now, of all times. Perhaps the dream opened a neural pathway to where those memories are kept, releasing them in order to provide me a little peace and comfort during this unsettling time. In the dream, and in the waking visions, I walk around that old house in Astor street, and a few things shift…the door to the kitchen is moved over a bit..but the stacked white washer/dryer combo still there…the small table in the corner…the one with the laminate top, the white cabinetry, the cans of Armour brand Vienna sausages. I’m sure it’s nothing, but I wonder, sometimes, why these kinds of memories just pop up every now and then. I know I’m not the only person for which this happens, and I won’t be the last. I know that someday, if I have grandchildren, they may have memories of a similar nature, about me. We are all born, and we all die, what matters is what happens in between those two events. We live on in the neural pathways of our children and grandchildren, and even further. Make that memory a good one…a warm, happy, comfortable one.

A rough draft…

This is a very rough draft of a possible Science Fiction / Fantasy book, or series of books, I’m thinking of someday writing.  Let me know if it’s absolute rubbish…
————————————————————————–

Chapter 1 – The Years of Change

It was in the year 2643, during the 11th lunar cycle, when they found the object.  The northern desert wasn’t a place that archaeologists normally thought of as a rich area, but this find was stranger than they had ever seen, and sparked an increased interest in archaeology worldwide.  It was metallic, and it was buried in a stratum that was over 65 million years old.  The fact that it had survived all that time was a mystery in itself.

During the lunar cycles that followed, numerous theories arose to explain how it got there, and what it was, but none made a lot of sense.  One belief held that it was of non-terrestrial origin, that it was a small part of an ancient asteroid that had crashed on the planet millions of years ago, but it didn’t match any of the other asteroids that had been recovered, when there was anything to recover, that is.

Religious theorists seemed to take great interest at that time in the artifact, and held that the gods themselves had left this for us to find, and to study.  They had the idea that it might be a key to knowing the past, and the future.  Many from within darker and more isolated orders within those same walls, simply felt the artifact should be returned to where it had been taken, or simply left alone.

The explosion of archaeological digs planet wide resulted in precious little to add to this odd artifact since the strata that it was found in was extremely rare, and usually devoid of any signs of life, and only found in two places on the planet, the northern polar land mass, and the northern desert, a frozen wasteland where very little could survive.  The northern polar land mass was covered in most places with a mile thick ice sheet, which stretched down across the frozen north sea to the northern desert.

The artifact was discovered by the famous globe-trotting Urillian adventurer Yserka, while he was attempting to break his previous record for walking the 1500 mectar distance across the frozen desert.  Twenty five years before, he had done the same thing, and had been the first to discover that life did hang on, even here, in the frozen wastes, discovering strange fauna that subsisted in sub-zero temperatures year-round.  This time, his fame was even greater, and as hoards of archaeologists braved the elements to see the wonder that the wind was revealing, he reveled in his new found celebrity.  He was contracted by a major bookseller to write his life story, and it was then that the world found out that many of his tales were either fabricated, or plagiarized.

The artifact, however, was real enough, and after the initial media hype surrounding it, and its discoverer, died down, it was shuffled off to the great universities of the central mountain continents.  Those bastions of higher learning that dominated, and yet hid themselves from the day to day operation and governing of the world.  The artifact found its way to one such institution, where it was cataloged, labeled, and shelved, and nearly forgotten for over fifty years.

In the intervening years, the world saw a revolution unlike ever before.  Scientific breakthroughs enriched and lengthened life, the planets population tripled, and the perfection of air travel brought the world closer together.  The lighter than air zephyrs zipped across the stratosphere riding the trade winds of the planet, and the cities at the ends of these trade winds grew exponentially.  The great sea was finally traversed by one of these zephyrs and there was officially no place that hadn’t been touched by Urillian influences.

Even fashion had evolved with the times.  When the now nearly forgotten artifact had been found, the art of hiding ones tail was in fashion, now, it was common for Urillians to celebrate their tails, and again use them as a third hand.  It was a real back to nature movement, complete with certain Urillians reviving the old tradition of building dwellings under the extensive forests of massive trees of the northwestern continent.  Those trees that were sometimes over five hundred feet in circumference, and had lived for two and sometimes three centuries.  It was even rumored that some of these hole-dwellers regressed and began climbing the trees again, using their tails as the Urillians of old had, before the time of the great burning, when the planet was struck by a meteor so large that the sky was burnt orange for one hundred years.  There was even rumor of vast hidden cities in the trees.  Most modern Urillians, however, dismissed the very idea that people would give up technology for such a pastoral life as legend, and left it at that.

War, too, had changed in the last fifty years.  As Urillian science advanced, so did the art of war.  Gone was the hand to hand to tail combat of one hundred years ago, now it was swords in close combat, projectile weapons and chemicals in the cities and towns of ones rival city state.  Even the great sea wasn’t immune to war.  Great ships and even war zephyrs were built by the great shipping guilds of the western coastal lands.

One thing that did remain the same, however, was the great universities.  The outer world marched on, advanced, mostly thanks to the discoveries made by scientists at the great universities, but the universities themselves, remained relics of the past.  It was in one of these universities that a discovery was made, or rather, a re-discovery.  The metallic object found by the adventurer Yserka had lain in a large drawer for close to fifty years.  It remained the kind of enigma that takes more time and effort to solve than many students had, and many of the faculty had already come to conclusions that they felt were satisfactory regarding the object, and therefore regarded it as old news, and something to be forgotten.

There was one student, however, who had seen a sketch of the object, and had never forgotten it.  His name was Ursala Surbla.  Having come from a wealthy Urillian family in the south to the central university, he spent many days in the library, and in the specimen room, simply satisfying curiosities.  Yet he was never allowed to view the artifact.  However, he found the Yserka volume that described the strata that the object was found in, and was mystified.  How could an object, so obviously unnatural, have come to be deeply embedded in 20 million year old rock?  It just didn’t add up.

His studies forbade him the kind of time that he wanted to dedicate to the project, and his professors thought it was a foolish endeavor anyway.  Still, the idea that this object was special weighed heavily on him, and he continued his research as often as he could.  He came across several articles by other scientists who had studied the object, many of which came to the same conclusions.  He found it odd that there was such unilateral consensus on the artifact, that there were no respectable dissenting views.  It was then that he started noticing that this object had only been studied up until mid-summer of 2647, and no one had seen it since it was taken off display in the central university gallery in 2652, that was 49 years ago now.  At this point, research on the object had abruptly stopped.  The core group of scientists who had worked on it was now all dead.  And no other writings on the object existed.

Millions of sinister thoughts filled Ursala’s head, his ears turned and flattened back against the fur on his cranium, further increasing his concentration on the matter by closing off the sounds around him.  He hissed through his front teeth and twitched his tail softly over his shoulder.  He was suddenly very interested in this object, and greatly desired to see it with his own eyes.

prelude to the fall…

In those days, when there were puffy white clouds spread across the blue sky, when the warmth of the summer sun felt intoxicating on the skin, and the fragrance of the grass a very elixir of peace, we should have noticed the darkness coming.

In these days, when the sky is an ever-present grey, and the heat in the air forces us to move back into the ground before midday where the fragrance of the air we breathe in our tunnels is the scent of death, we dream of the past and wonder how it all began.

In those days, we ignored our illness thinking that the better angels of our nature would bring us collectively back to where we needed to be, righting the ship under us and directing us on the right course, but the angels had been overrun, and we didn’t notice.

In these days, the ship has been used as firewood and fallen, fallen has our Babylon become, mariners from the outside watch us as we burn mourning the loss of our wealth and fortitude as we fight among ourselves over how best to live.

In those days, the shorelines were dotted with life and gentle sea breezes wherein we ran, lay, made love, in our happiness, in our blissful ignorance, in our seclusion and in our blindness as the devil, wrapped in a flag, came and sat with us at tea.

In these days, the books are all gone, the burning never ceases, the light falters in our tunnels and we are told who we can love and who we cannot love and we are given a god to worship and all other ideas are unwelcome and the outside walls us up and stays away.

In those days, before the outside world mourned for us, they warned us, they wanted us to join them in their new and prosperous future where people live free to love worship and create in any manner they choose, but we didn’t listen because we thought ourselves better than they….

Meaning…part 2

I envy confident people, I really do. I envy people who have the ability to just do what they love, despite any consequences or challenges of questions from others that they should do otherwise.  I envy people who ignore the “but what-if’s” questions that come up all the time when they want to do something.  There’s a bravery in them that I wish I had…that I’m struggling to have, frankly.

This year I turn 46. This year, a lot of things are happening in my little life…in my little corner of the world. To list them all would make me sound like a complainant in life’s court room, so I’ll refrain.  Yet, in so saying, I feel disingenuous for admitting that I indeed have troubles in my life, because now you know.

Still, a litany of my troubles is not at issue, what is, is how I feel about what time I have left in my life.  I’ve drifted this far on the back of simple fate, letting the wind blow me to where others needed me. But I’m no selfless saint. I’ve lost friends, I’ve made friends, I’ve upset family, I’ve been disloyal and selfish and self destructive as well. In fact, why do I deserve anything for myself at this late stage in my life? Because I believe this is all we have. That’s not to say that I should live fast, live hard, for tomorrow I may die and all else is folly. No. I’m no hedonist. I still believe there’s more to life than chasing pleasure. I now firmly believe in chasing meaning. There’s no word for that, that I’m aware of right now. Maybe there should be.

This year, I hope to chase meaning. I hope to grow closer to my brother and two sisters. I hope to be in contact with my aging parents during the twilight of their lives. I hope to fulfill a lifelong dream of returning to Africa to do Anthropology research, and to learn more about life in three weeks there with a local family, than I have in my 46 years. I hope to see my oldest son become everything he wants to become, and my middle son, and my youngest as well. In the face of all that is going on in my life, I have to have hope for whats left of my own future, as selfish and narcissistic as that sounds. I hope to eschew the feeling of guilt I always feel when I do something that I find meaningful.

Meaning…part 1

Meaning is a word.  Specifically, it’s a noun, and can be used as an adjective.  But you know that.

Meaning is different for each person’s existential journey, if they have enough self awareness…which most beings do, on some level.  Consider your pet.   From where does it get it’s meaning?  Personally, for me, my guess would be that creatures of lesser sentience, like pets, get what we would call meaning, from their immediate environment, and from their biological senses.  Pets probably include us in their existential search for meaning, however limited in scope that may be for a being like a dog, or a cat.  In other words, along with the meaning of life derived from their senses, their relationship with us, is also factored in…most likely no more than it would be, were they pack or pride animals, still.  We are merely parts of their pack, or pride, or what have you, albeit freakishly large, in most cases.

So, meaning, existence, these are traceable down through ever decreasing complexity, from us, through the chain of life, to the least complex.  Biological, anatomical, sensory, chemically.  So, what of it?  Are we no more than introspective biological machines?  Probably so.  Is that bleak?  Do we now stare into the abyss believing all is for nothing?  Living as though absolutely none of our actions matter, in the end?  Well, we can.  We are certainly free to do so.  For in truth, that is the way things are.  This is the world.  Bleak, no?  Yes.

But….enter culture.

Mankind has adapted a tool to combat the bleakness of our biological introspection.  Culture.  We express ourselves, we have religions, music, storytelling, a myriad of beautiful and fantastic ways of understanding the world around us, and interpreting that world.  It is my belief…yes, the word belief is loaded with subtext and baggage, but contextually, for what I’m trying to express, it works.  It is my belief that, though the truth of biological life is bleak, there is meaning, nonetheless, in many diverse ideologies.

….end part one….

…and the silence…

…and the silence signals the beginning.  The beginning of the ending, as it were, even as the ending was always there, hidden, underneath the other layers of misplaced meaning, misunderstood words, mistranslated emotions.

When you know, a gentleness comes, a peace, in the center of a turbulent hurricane of chemical outbursts in your body and mind…you become an observer in a garden of destruction, as the light fades and you listen to the tragedy unfold, while silently humming hymns to yourself in that final hour.

Emotions are like the trees growing out of your mind, into the world around you, unseen by some, observable by others, trimmed and felled by, even still, others, who have no love of trees, especially your trees, and wish only to foster their own trees to be noticed, and nurtured, at the expense of the ones that are slowly being ground down inside your own experience and personal landscape…

…and the silence signals the beginning.  It becomes the background music in your own internal landscape, where trees once reached for the sky, reaching heavenward to express their own individual patterns, abilities, happiness, or sadness.  Now, the silence dominates reactions, where there were trees, there are now only ghosts. The ghosts that only still live in the silent landscape of your mind, to drift away on the silent wind…unless captured by some force of will external to your little internal world of woe and self-defeating dialogue and blame.  If your body crumples down and reaches into that loamy earth where once grew your hopes, your dreams, your possible futures, it may well find that there is still life therein.  There may still be soil worth cultivating new trees, but only if you protect them from the axes of those who would destroy them, and supplant their own in their place…their dominant trees…their great canopies overhead that drown out the light and block access to the heavens, wherein lay the hope for your tiny starving lives underneath.

…and the silence signals the beginning.  The beginning of that process of the death of one life, and the beginning of another, new, different, more richly soiled growth…unless care is not taken…the process is not easy…the process is not simple…the process burns the land and destroys all within it…but renewal comes, if the soil is worked.