Tuesday, December 20, 2005

fast forward...........

transit strike in new york!

and how are you?

weird that almost 6 months have passed since the last post. they passed so quickly that i am almost in shock. however, i also feel in a very different place than when i first posted, so i guess time can really change things.

i am better... which surprises me. i still find moments of bitterness, but they are fewer and further between. mostly, what has surprised me is my capacity to be happy this year, which, shockingly, i was quite frequently. i think that the shifts are slow and subtle, but cummulatively add up in some amazing ways.

winter is here, yet for me there seems to be a thawing and life...unexpectedly... pleasant surprises along the way... and hope...

certainly sometimes i think it would be nice not to have experienced loss and sadness, but other times it feels for the best. without struggle there is no growth, just stagnation and at least i woke up from the stupor of my life and made some changes and found some new adventures

life continues to be interesting and surprising...

Monday, June 27, 2005

off plot in the wastelands

i tell myself i like spontaneity, but that is probably only a half-truth. i like to create a defined reality around myself that is consistent and within that i like room for variation. thus, i like to feel like my life is spontaneous and open, but only within a pretty measured and bounded space.

these days i am way off the path. there isn't really a confined space. everything is wide open. i can do whatever i want next. that is an odd feeling. it's like i have left the current story i was telling and landed in an entirely new plot and world.

Friday, June 17, 2005

New York Times 1904 and Blatant Racism

Excerpt from the June 15, 1904 New York Times Article about the 1000 deaths of women and children when the General Slocum caught fire and ran aground. New York Times reran this article for their On This Day section.

Most of the deckhands were negroes and were apparently unmoved by the terrible sights they witnessed in the police station. All of them had jumped into the water and swum ashore to North Brother Island.

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0615.html#article

This section came after the article described the heroic efforts of many people to save the lives of the women and children aboard the boat. It seems to just be a targeted jab based on the author's own racism. I was surprised to see it in the article, especially in the New York Times. I wonder what other statements in other articles reflected the socially acceptable racist attitudes of those times?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

lost in limbo

so, my flight back to new york was cancelled and i am just wandering around in california for another day.

i kind of feel adrift. i don't really have a strong desire to return to the life i am leading right now. it isn't all that great. if i had a million dollars, i think i would take off for a bit, like dave chappelle. it seems nice to just be able to leave things behind for a while, to disappear.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Is Persuasion Dead?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/04/opinion/04miller_oped.html?th&emc=th
Matt Miller asks this question in a NY Times editorial this week. He wonders if most political speech isn't at all about persuading people but instead just preaching to the choir and helping people validate their own beliefs without questioning them.

This also reminds me of Deborah Tannen's book, The Argument Culture. She talks about how most debate isn't thoughtful or meant to appeal to people trying to make up their minds. Instead it is extreme and polarized, for the sake of argument and spectacle.

I don't do Tannen's book justice in that brief summary, but both her book and the editorial are worth checking out.

Miller wonders if people aren't just tuning out because their intelligence is insulted by the debate in which shrill gets the edge over substance.

getting the heck out of dodge

so, i am heading home to california for a long weekend.

i don't assume the wedding i am attending will bring me great joy. it will probably make me think too much about the vows i took just a few short years back...

getting on a plane doesn't fill me with much joy either. i always am more paranoid of dying at times like these. too many things feel unsettled... i don't know if that makes sense, but i just don't feel at peace.

however, the prospect of spending a few days away from here with friends and family sounds nice. plus there are in-n-out burgers to make me happy when skies are grey...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity

-Horace Mann, 1879

It's your quote for the day. Now go eat your vegetables!

Monday, June 06, 2005

what does it mean to be in love with someone?

my wife says she doesn't believe i am in love with her, that i am only in love with the idea of her. she doesn't really believe that i know her.

i don't really know what the defense against a statement like this is. she can't really know what i do or don't feel.

this has had me thinking about what it means to be in love with someone. is there anyway to say exactly what it is that makes you love someone? poets seem to use metaphors and similes to get at the nature of it and can say things that we can sometimes identify as truths. however, it seems to me that love is too complex to vocalize or to rationalize in any real manner.

certainly, i could make a list about things i like about her and what i enjoy from her when we spend time together. but that doesn't really seem to put my finger on it exactly. there are a lot of people whom i admire and like spending time with, but that doesn't mean those pieces add up to love or justify exactly why i would rather be with my wife than anyone else.

a friend told me this quote by irvin yalom, "romantic love is sustained by mystery and crumbles upon inspection."

that feels right. being in love is a mystery that doesn't seem to be rational or easily explained and deconstructing it may actually cause you to realize how tenuous and illogical of a thing it really is.

so when my wife says she loves me, but she isn't sure she is in love with me, what does that really mean? what are long term relationships based on? certainly there is an ebb and flow of attraction, passion and feelings of romantic love. i guess if you are lucky you both come back from the ebb at the same time...

is romantic love sustainable forever? or is it that passion brings people together and love keeps them together? or is it a bit of both?

also what is being in love based on? do you ever truly know another person? do we ever even truly know ourselves? and if we can't know ourselves, why would we expect to be able to know another person completely? so, is it fair for her to say that i love the idea of her, but not her?

maybe.

maybe in the sense that we don't know another person exactly. but, sometimes we do know things about another person or see things in them that they can't see about themselves. so, where does that put us? maybe sometimes a person can know us better than we know ourselves or at least know some part of ourselves better.

i am not saying that i know her better than she does. but, it is possible that i know things about her that she might not know about herself and vice versa. sharing one's life with someone for 8 years is deeply intimate and i think i have an idea of the person whom i have been sharing my life with. not that i know everything, but i do know something.

can i say why i love her? sort of. i can express a lot of intangibles and strong feelings and emotions with words. but i am not sure it gets at the essence. the real essence is that right now she is the only one i want to spend the rest of my life with. if i could chose how life would work out, i would chose it to work out with her. i would chose her above anyone else or anything else and it wouldn't be a hard decision. the only why i can figure is that being with her is simply satisfaction and happiness for me. she has been a friend, lover, and companion and it has been mostly fulfilling on many levels.

obviously, i won't go on with her if she isn't able to feel these things for me any more. but, if i could find a way to make it work, i still would want to.

my wife is reading these...

so weird. i guess it changes the nature of these on some level, how can it not?

i still need this though to be the place where i am honest about what is going on. so i will try to continue to do that.