Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take it away, Jack

In his short essay "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose", Kerouac wrote: "Not 'selectivity' of expression but following free deviation (association) of mind into limitless blow-on-subject seas of thoughts, swimming in sea of English with no discipline other than rhythms of rhetorical exhalation and expostulated statement, like a fist coming down on a table with each complete utterance, bang!...

Never afterthink to 'improve' or defray impressions...the best writing is always the most painful personal wrung-out tossed from cradle-warm protective mind."


I tend to write exactly like I talk, which has an offbeat rhythm anyway; and that added to the fact that a whole four and a half people have ever even looked at this blog make me feel confident in letting a stream of consciousness flow without even previewing what I wrote before "publishing" these bursts of Lindsey for the world.

Perspective has been on my mind a lot lately. To an extent, we walk around each day with a certain, somewhat fixed perspective. That pertains to life, how we treat people, how we treat ourselves, what we choose to get anxious about, etc. My perspective, like most, is usually that this day is all I have right now, and there are things that I have to get done, or else, God forbid, I'll let someone else down. College students, I've realized, have this insane way of always being really busy, and this applies equally to people who work part-time, go to school full-time, and have some other extra-curricular going on as it does to the person who goes to school and volunteers sometimes, and the rest of the time, is slowly doing homework, or wandering, or just hanging out, as kids our age are allowed to do.

When I am reminded, and it happens maybe once a week, that this life isn't all there is, I am usually brought to my knees in one or the other. The concept of heaven aside, I absolutely believe that this existence is a beautiful, heart broken, vulnerable, joyous, and grief stricken and, that most of all, it matters. How we treat others, how we contribute one small verse to the greater play and bring about the tiniest bit of green in a world gone horribly wrong, yet still streaked with love; is something worth worrying about and keeping in perspective. And those manifest themselves in small acts, sure, but the bigger picture is always enough of a push to go an extra mile or two.

Travel. Art. Talking. Walking around. Taking out the ear phones. Reading. Listening.  All of these are ways of engaging in a culture whose life blood seems to be isolation. As a friend of mine said not that long ago, people really do want to talk about how their day is going, or what they are thinking of or worried about, or what they are thankful for that morning. You're probably not the only one. I'm definitely not the only one. 

Anytime that someone can assure me that I'm not the only person on this planet who feels the way I do when I talk about my aspirations for the future, and how I am worried about the degree of respect that will follow, a huge weight is lifted off of my shoulders. Perspective is gained when engagement happens, and I feel like all of those mechanisms toward reaching that end goal (calling out to something bigger, talking to each other, observing...) are so insanely human that it's absolutely ridiculous to pretend that it's not. At the end of the day, or this amazing life, if I have not made the sincere effort to step into someone else's shoes and engage to the point that our souls are capable, then I'm not sure that a lot of the other stuff will matter. Religious conviction (toxic?) aside, engagement with fellow humans who all giggle when Christopher Walken is in a hot tub, cry during weddings, and have a secret fetish for funfetti cake as the point. 

I'm whelmed over the brim, not gonna lie. Blog is a funny word. 


Sunday, June 8, 2008

You crazy...I like you, but you so crazy.

Truly, wholly, unabashedly enjoying one's self for its entirety might be one of the top 10 most inherently difficult tasks, next to not having a full blown dance party when Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" comes on the speaker. It's downright impossible. My main man, John Mayer, recently proposed one of many solutions to solving the problem of self-consciousness that is killing our generation, one untainted heart at a time; and that solution was to "enjoy yourself, the talents and liabilities alike". You go, JM.

Perhaps it's generational self-deprecation, and perhaps it's an irrational fear of becoming a flaming narcissist, but I seriously doubt that I am alone in finding it difficult to enjoy both what I am thankful for the qualities that I proudly wear, but also the aspects that I would give my first born child to not have anyone discover. 

These past few weekends have been big theatre weekends for me, mostly because a lot of shows that my friends are in have been going up, so I definitely want to support them, but also it's a great way to forget about this weather for a bit. To be perfectly honest, after a year of removing myself entirely from the world of auditions, selling yourself constantly, and rejection mixed with awesome community; it's more than a little refreshing to be in that environment again, though I'm glad it was only for a bit. Unlike in previous years, I have been accompanied with friends who have never particularly enjoyed being around theatre kids (crazy, I know); and their reactions have been eye opening. The typical drama kid is mostly likely the loudest/most outrageous in the room, and when a bunch of them get together, then it's just pandemonium, unless you speak that language. When my friends pointed out these quirks and how they didn't think that drama kids would fare well in other "social circles", it immediately made me incredibly grateful for the institution of theatre, because it gives people who have always been told that they were "too much" a place to go.

That's pretty amazing, and there is a reason why actors get so close to each other so quickly. We all have those characteristics that some 3rd grade tool bag pointed out to us on the tire swing, or maybe a sibling, or perhaps even parent, that we couldn't quite shake off because the truth of it sank deeper than our defense mechanisms. And it's not even one, but several of those traits that develop as we grow and fall and get back up again. So perhaps people whose volume of voice is somewhat unacceptable in most social situations have a haven, but what about the people who don't have the desire or the place to celebrate their shyness or inability to be expressive, or "overly" emotional sides? 

We don't want to make the people around us uncomfortable, or God forbid, become vulnerable around anyone, so we cover up that part of us which we deem not worth celebrating with enough muster that would effectively move mountains, if only the efforts were redirected. What if Marianne Williamson was right in stating that liberating ourselves from our own fear automatically gives others the right to do the same? I understand that in middle school and high school, image was everything, and that leaves no room for flaws. I even can understand that college can be the same, if not more intense when it comes to building a "cool" image. But at what point are we going to stop making excuses for not wearing ourselves on our sleeves, and instead, celebrate wholeness. Whomever has the courage to do this first will most surely give way to a new kind of revolution; one where beauty can be seen in and on all, because brokenness is just as important, if not more so, in paving the way for perfection to redeem.

Obviously I'm the 293,329,328th person to speculate on this incredibly dynamic aspect of the human condition, but it it surely worth discussing again. Oh, and I'm sorry about the poor use of commas in the previous paragraphs, props if you made it through without cringing at my 7th grade grammar skillzzzz. 

Peace like a river,

Sunday, June 1, 2008

sunday, june 1. enjoy it, because it's the only one you'll ever get.

I've been waiting to get this off my chest for a while now. Hello opportunity!

Not too long ago, whilst reading and sipping liquid life in Tully's, a nice looking man sitting across from me asked me if I would like to co-lead a cult with him. It was a ripe 7 am, and I still was unclear as to where I was, so as a disclaimer, this all happened in a different state of consciousness than normal.

 My first impression, of course, was flattery, and I proceeded to ask him what the premise of this cult was, etc. Of course I understand the stigma that comes with such a word, so my second thought was that if this thing was going to go through, we should probably call it a "friend group" or "fun with meadows", because I could go without the judgment from my loved ones, quite honestly. At the time, I was feeling a little inept at life. It happens from time to time, and I certainly hope I'm not alone on that one, and I saw it as rocking that someone thought I had what it takes to convince a large community of people that my way of life is the best way of life. The foundational belief of the cult, he said, was that it was about brotherhood. 

Not bad so far. However, at this point during the conversation, I had woken up a little bit more, realized what I was frighteningly close to committing to, and gracefully exited the conversation, but of course not without wishing him the best of luck.

I have a few very rare and distinct people in my life who would do anything for not only their loved ones, but literally anyone. If someone is having trouble carrying groceries or looks like they might need someone to talk to, my friends step in without wondering who might be watching them. I recently read a passage in my karma book that said to "do every act of kindness that pops into your head for a whole week." Perhaps you know what I'm talking about, those things that we see as an immediate need, but because there is no accountability there, we are comforted by knowing that eventually that need will be met, so we can stay on our butts. I'm going to try this experiment and see what the benefits look like, but already I can imagine that transformation on all sides, perhaps small, will occur. 

I don't know, I get overwhelmed when I think of how much there is still left to do. Again, these are toilet epiphanies, but if we're not going to solve world hunger, we can at least plant a garden or visit someone in the hospital. 

Go team.