Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Some days I wish I could bide my time; push the pause button on this great play unfolding before me, to use my days at a later point in life as not to waste them.  But this, whether it be a comedy, drama, or tragedy has no script and to hide from one day or another is worse than going to take a piss mid-way through that movie you waited for all summer and blew 20 bones to go see.  Incredible things happen when least expected, and if we fail to see any beauty or joy in one day or another it is our own fault and we need to try that much harder come the next day.  (watch the eastern horizon, it will come eventually)

In much the same way, there are other days when I feel there are a million things I wish to share with the world and haven't a single word to express them.  These are the days to remember it is okay to be quiet and seek solitude, to sit and let the world tell you something instead.

Still other days bring experiences that tell me "THIS, is what I live for!"  Experiences like this are not the same as simply enjoying something, and I believe cannot be communicated from one person to another.

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."  -John Lennon

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cosmic Geography

Were it still unclear whether the world were flat, I'd be the one to go in search of the edge.
There at the far end of imagination where dreams are formed my mind might  be still.
Were the horizon a fixed point, I might eventually get where I'm trying to go.
But the world Alas! she is round and the horizon runs ever ahead of me; so I wait for darkness to pitch the world into slumber.  And when the starry veil mingles with the waters' shimering surface, there there is no more evidence of this world's limitations.

Your life is your own, make of it what you will!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Long Drive Inside My Head

Writing is battlefield for wit, attention span, and those pesky rules of grammar that always seemed to get in the way of me actually getting anything written. My blogger account is packed full of countless unfinished drafts, those ideas that, regardless of their worth or lack thereof, will never be published. I love to think and I love to write, that is I love to express my ideas to others in a calm and reflected manner; very much unlike my attempts at holding conversation. Yet all the time in the world doesn't seem to allow me to express all the things I want. So for once, here it is, all of it; the jumbled mess that came to mind over the course of a five hour, highly caffeinated drive from KY to TN.

Literary heroes who explain the world how they see it...the way it actually is.
Bad things happen in the world and denying it is a lie about 70% of existence. I applaud those authors who write about the grungy aspects of human actions. Being able to relate to the dark side of human experiences isn't pleasant but it affirms that bad times are a big part of what it means to be human, and in that, there is immense comfort. "Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." -George Bernard Shaw

The homeless and why I slept on a mattress stained with cat piss.
That statement probably made you uncomfortable just now; and think, you didn't even sleep on the mattress! There are boundaries most people have established about many things and it all comes back to how we wish to be seen. Some are more universal and practical than others, like not wanting to reclaim a mattress from the otherwise empty dumpster behind your work, soaking it in bleach, and calling it your own. Others are much more trivial, such as referring to an ipod dictionary for spell check...let's see what happens when I stop using it (please don't think less of me). The point? There is a lot of griping about an economic apocalypse and environmental fall out. "Organic" is one of the biggest fads of our day, any jamoke on Wall Street can attest to that. But there is something further to be done before we as individuals can actually make a difference. Think you can save the world and still encourage every family to strive for a 200,000 sq ft home with a hummer parked in the drive? Bet the next decade proves you wrong! Work in the food industry some time, you'll get a whole new definition for waste.

Stealing from Mega-Corps.
Walking through the isles of a certain distribution giant whom it has become fashionable to boycott, I mentioned to a friend how enticing the donuts looked. She agreed, opened the glass door, snagged an apple fritter, and went about her business munching down. At 11 PM with 30 some odd pastries left, it is common knowledge those things are going to the dump and at 55 cents apiece, taking one isn't going to bring down a multi billion dollar corporation. On one hand I had a deeply ingrained idea that taking something without paying for it is stealing. But with the ultimate harm mega-corps do to communities, that is, the world and how much they waste, I'm thinking lady justice may need to remove the blind fold and tweak her scales. So where does that leave the moral high ground? You tell me.

How much does God intervene on a daily basis?
I don't have a PhD in theology and just like the majority of the masses too much talk about what actions a supreme being does or doesn't take / has or hasn't taken hurts my brain. But what if it's as simple as a game of "Good Decision, Bad Decision?" Personal religious beliefs aside, try to indulge me. God is omniscient and knows everything that will ever happen, not to be confused with predetermining what we will do. Historically God has given us instruction on right behavior, a guide to what will lead to a happy life. From there it is up to us. Why knowing what will happen isn't the same as predetermining what we will do: We know from experience that touching a hot stove will burn us. Subsequently we "know" that without that knowledge a young child will eventually touch the stove and get burned so we tell them not to because it is dangerous. Some will follow the instruction and be fine (good decision), others will touch it anyway and get burned (bad decision (sin)). So it isn't that God causes or withholds pain from the world, simply that sometimes God will hold our hands back from the stove top, but we must realize that sometimes we must take the hint that God has given and experience some lessons on our own.

The Breakdown
Spelling errors- 10 (you didn't think I was really going to leave them did you?)
other pesky gramatical errors? you find 'em!
Time it took to write this...too long
How uncomfortable this wooden chair is: Quite.
Number of comments I hope you share on any of the above ideas: Several

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Beat Goes On

Words can't describe the amount of crazy experiences I've had in the past year; ok words would actually do a pretty good job at describing those but carpal tunnel would certainly set in before I finished typing that much and that isn't a risk I'm willing to take!  I have stood atop one of the most amazing mountain ranges in the world and promptly pointed my skis down their side, met some of the finest people a man could ask to call friends, and yes, I have walked to the store to buy ice cream in subzero temperatures.  I have listened to terrible music while writing a blog -NEXT for the love of God!  And I couldn't be more excited about life.

Last May I left my home, my family and friends, school, and the city I grew up in.  Everything familiar to me I swapped for the unknown.  The camper shell on the back of my Ford Ranger became my home: a slab of plywood and a second hand mattress for my bed, a few Rubbermaid bins for my dresser drawers and kitchen pantry.  There was never anything to prove, not to myself or anyone aside.  I imagined how I would live and it worked flawlessly. Life rarely works out that well and I suppose I should count myself lucky. I'll consider that fact later down the road when inevitably it doesn't.  So much has already been seen and done, only a fraction of which I've recounted here. Buy me a beer some time and I'll tell you about the rest ;)

I have returned to Chattanooga but it seems that familiar time and place in my life is gone.  Uncertainty greets me every morning and though it's a hell of a thing to plan your day around I wouldn't want it any other way.  A fictional character in a damn good movie put it this way, "It's a funny thing about coming home, looks the same, smells the same, feels the same; you realize what's changed, is you." -Benjamin Button.  And indeed I have, however subtle those changes may be, and with an endless source of new ideas this blog will be changing too.  Rather than focus only on things I do, I would like to introduce others (you) to the things I think as well.  It is my hope that the essays to come will spark healthy discussion from multiple points of view.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Short Bio

Not trying to get sentimental on you folks out there but much of the past year has been an endeavor in discovering what to do with life.  A former teacher of mine once said I was "lost."  Good job, you pegged every high school student in the country.   Fortunately my brother just got a shiny new GPS in the mail and I should have my bearings shortly.

I took a few of those bull shit placement tests several years ago; quite reminiscent of shaking the magic 8 ball they never quite hit the mark for the simple reason that "people are complex" and cannot be generalized into a "quick and easy" survey.  From my sophomore year of high school on, I had so much literature about college force fed to me I should have had a PhD by default!  Intuition told me better but I took the bait and decided to see where that road led.  Unfortunately I seemed to have joined the race during rush hour traffic.  I studied history for 2 years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  The experience was beneficial, however I say that about all experiences because you learn from all of them, unless of course you are brain dead.  But that falls under the Cartesian argumentation of what defines a person and I decided not to write that paper so moving on.  Most of my peers chose majors based on what would lead to a profitable career; mine was chosen based on what interested me, history.  Long story short I left school almost a year ago to the day and you folks know the story from there, if not, scroll back a few posts.  That should catch you up.

My formal education has been on hold ever since but by no means did I quit my pursuit for knowledge.  A lot of folks out there cringe at the idea of a history lecture dismissing it as unbearably dry and redundant.  To so many, it's all about dates corresponding to that thing that happened over yonder, involving that arrogant prick from Europe.  What history means to me probably says a lot about my world view.  Saying I'm one of those people who sees history like a story doesn't quite do it.  I am fascinated by history because it observes the human experience in its entirety.  Rather than see who did what when, I see all the great things accomplished throughout humanities' existence and the unlimited potential of what we might do with our lives.  However this world isn't a fairy tale and as my old psych professor Dr. Wattson drilled into my head, "people are complex."  People are also capable of terrible atrocities and to dismiss either is to ignore the truth about ourselves.  People are complex just as human societies are and regardless of your education, moral integrity or natural ability our world does not permit everyone to live as royalty.  There are a plethora of occupations out there which Must be done for the things continue as they are and someone has to do them.

So, am I lost?  Not at all.  I am getting the most experience out of life that I can see possible.

"I am sovereign of all I survey."
            -Henry David Thoreau