message in a bottle

Much like its better known cousin, the Moral Compass (MC), there is a Subconscious Wisdom (SW) inside us humans that helps to pull us back on course when we’ve derailed ourselves, or to tug at our attention with mystery tears to mourn the consequences of a *wrong* decision.

Easy to confuse, these two, but they operate in totally different frameworks. The MC is employed in the simpler plane of This World — splicing the rights and the wrongs that most everyone can agree on. To lie or not to lie. To hurt or to protect. The SW, however, moves in the gray spaces between two realms — originating from a world that has broken, Fallen, but still, deeply rooted in us — poking out in green tendrils in its effort to crack through the layered cement peripheries. Creating rubble in its wake, when it breaks.

You see the SW at work when you’re a Christian who can’t quite get behind either political option regarding the hot topic issues of the day — how do we legislate an issue like gay marriage or abortion? When the Bible says a life is a life is a life but society doesn’t provide a viable option for carrying that life to term and being a productive, fully equipped single mom. When the evangelical church points to the examples of Sodom and Gomorrah but you know about love and it doesn’t seem like a decision you should be making on behalf of anyone else, to deny or to allow.

You see the SW at work when a child of divorce spends years self-explaining, justifying, his absentee father’s absenteeism — “This is normal. This is what having a dad is like. This is my dad.” — but inexplicably cries at his elementary school presentation on family. When there’s an innate awareness of brokenness, no matter how you’ve sliced it, diced it, logicked and justified it.

This SW was a tool placed at the core of us, meant to be applied to the workings of an unbroken world. In that original place, we would have been able to listen to its wisdom to make the truly *right* choices — no unintended casualties along the way. But displaced from the garden and forced to operate in this new, bleaker place, this guiding light refracts all funny, too. Broken shafts of light in a broken cathedral.

It’s easy to manipulate this idea: at any twinge of discomfort with a decision, to blame it on the broken world and the impossibility of avoiding casualties with the choices you make. Setting up vigilant systems of logic so you don’t actually have to make any hard choices, but just apply a problem to your problem-solving algorithm — lowest-common-denominator solutions. Least-casualty output. Or, paralyzed by fear, to run away from decisions of any kind (which, of course, isn’t actually an option).

But even in this imperfection, there’s something to be said about this wisdom of ours. Light, refracted or not, illuminates. The work that’s left to us is the peering carefully in the semi-darkness. The wading through the gray. But to listen to that twinge provided by the SW. To be still, to be quiet, when that ancient voice will have you pause and consider the decision before you (or maybe already behind you).

All this to say, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in that heaven place. For light to meet light, glorious and unfettered by brokeny cement walls.


more than words

It is one of my life’s greatest [guilty] pleasures to go wayyyy back back back (scrolling up up up, I spose, if we’re being directionally accurate) in my phone’s text conversations with certain people and just read about what our relationships were like way back when. And poke around in what was going on in life then. And be reminded of what kinds of questions I was asking people then.

[Pleasure] because I genuinely enjoy this — especially late at night when I’ve run out of sheep to count and new people to text. Often, I end up screenshotting whole swaths of conversations to ping over to the other person, too, reminding of what we chitchatted and bantered and emoji-ed. To drag them down to frolic along reminiscence lane with me.

“hey…look what I said to you back in 2014…”

“and hey, look what you said back…”

[Guilty] because society calls me sappy for doing this, and honestly, it’s not the healthiest thing to lose sleep just to bathe myself in yellowy memories of texts sent and forgotten.

But overall, this is a useful exercise for me, Ladison the Forgetful. It’s good for me to be reminded of how my friendship with so-and-so used to be during that one period in our lives when such-and-such was happening. And to reflect on how funny/sad/interesting it is how relationships have grown and changed. Or haven’t. All with the benefit of hindsight’s perfect vision and added wisdom. It helps me make sense and draw patterns and learn something of myself and others.

And, like any guilty pleasure, it’s just FUN and ENJOYABLE. A net positive for sure.

Today at small group, L mentioned that she deletes out her text conversations once the business at hand is taken care of. This is how she makes sure to respond to people and their texts, she said.

This made — and continues to make — me g a w k, of course, because I’m wondering: BUT HOW EVER will she read through old conversations and be reminded of those relationships and times and questions?

The answer is that she doesn’t. And, extrapolating here, that she doesn’t care that she doesn’t.

And it just makes me realize, yet again, how DIFFERENT people are from people. How different L’s brain (and probably, heart!) must be from mine for her to be able to let go of all those old nooks and crannies and the relationship dust settled within — all that dust that I sometimes like to visit in the attic, dandelion-blow through, and sift around in — just to be reminded of the texture and detail of how things used to be. My brain is really efficient at tucking away short-term memories into the wayyyy back corner of the attic. Sometimes, much to the dismay of my sister, never to be found again among the piles and stacks of things and times. It needs a little sifting through from time to time.

Maybe she just has a stellar memory.

Maybe she just isn’t a sentimental wee sap such as I.

Maybe she is an alien!

It may or may not be a combination of any of those three, and probably, more. If there’s anything that’s certain in this world, it is that there’s always more to be learned about a person. What a fascinating and frustrating and wonderful thing.

Speaking of this particular guilty pleasure, it feels especially appropriate that on this Tuesday night, I am youtube-repeating:

old and new

A long weekend full of promised (and expected) beginnings but also of unforeseen (unexpected) retrospectives.

It’s hour 47 of the new year, but here I sit, resolutions-less and inauspicious. 2017 bodes well, don’t get me wrong, but feelings are definitely different this time around. No mad rush of sentimentality, no contrived collections of Year in Review photo dumps. Insert self-conscious head scratch here.

I spent this past weekend driving all over this northern chunk of Virginia I call home now — haphazardly socializing in odd and familiar circles. It’s funny because spending time with old friends just reminds me that I need (that I want) to spend more time with these people. That these are the relationships I want to hold onto, to spend time on, to grow.

It’s been a weekend of quietly commemorating the pared-down master list of mass-text recipients. No ping parades at midnight; rather, a steady stream of good wishes marching through my phone at odd hours like 3 pm and 8:30 am. It’s more about the person on the other end than the timing of the messages, this time round.

It feels good, and odd, and good again, in turn. It’s a different ladisonmee scribbling these late-night words of commemoration and memory-keepsaking, but also much the same — munching on gummies for continued willpower, tenaciously refusing to fall completely into bed until the blog itch has been scratched.

Semi-relatedly, I gotta get myself a new computer. This blogging-via-phone thing is getting really old, really fast.

a round of “bless you’s”: a study in sneezing and belonging

I’m not trying to sing a song of pity for myself or anything, really. but an interesting fact: when I sneeze, like, 85% of the time, no one blesses me. not in group settings, not on solo dates. ever since my induction into Western society and since learning that blessings are given out to sneezers to cover for their moment of vulnerability, I’ve just noticed that people around me just don’t respond to my achoos with that knee-jerk benediction.

superstitious? yeah. still kinda sweet? also yeah. but, like I said, like 85% of the time, I don’t get blessed for my sneezes.

not that I need it; I seem to be getting by okay without those explicit blessings to cover me. I’m not bitter about it or anything — wow, there’s a sentence I’ve never before said non-sarcastically — it’s really okay. it’s just interesting to think about WHY people seem so stingy with those blessings for my sneezes.

after literal years of pondering this, the only conclusion I’ve got is that my sneezes must not be that disruptive. they just don’t ripple through a social atmosphere and remind people loudly enough to bless me. it’s not like the blessing nazis are out to get me, and it’s not like certain people bless me more or bless me less — the most benevolent explanation is the most reasonable here.

all that to say: on Tuesday this week, I had a meeting at work where I sneezed in the middle of the meeting and the room and was greeted with a surprisingly full chorus of “bless you’s” from all round the room. it was nice. and surprising. and thought provoking.

cause it was probably a combination of all of the following: the fact that I was sitting squarely in the middle of the conference table. the fact that I had recently and majorly participated in the conversation. the fact that we were all Asian Americans, and I was seen and heard and recognized in a way that only really happens in that special overlapping sliver of Asian and American societies.

all of those things, in concert, rained down on me that smattering of blessings that showered and covered and fell all around me. a big deal, but also not.

edit: 10/27/16

I swear, it’s like everyone at work read this post. like 9 out of 10 sneezes today were blessed. what is going on? slash I am sneezing a lot. maybe it’s the changing of the seasons. blip bloop.

+ & – : a study in human positendency

despite everything being broken and all, there must be something in us that yearns for (looks toward? hopes in? clings to?) good.

according to wikipedia and a quick ctrl-f search for “positive” and then some:

  • Fading affect bias: A bias in which the emotion associated with unpleasant memories fades more quickly than the emotion associated with positive events.
  • Negativity bias or Negativity effect: Psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories.

seems kinda opposite, but they’re not — just sort of mysterious. the first one describes how, after a negative event (causing, presumably, correspondingly negative emotions), our brains are more likely to allow us to forget those events quickly than they would positive ones. the second one explains that, mysteriously, even though the fading away of the negative was quicker, its recall is also relatively faster/greater/stronger. it’s as if the brain-keeper noticed the negative impact of an event on the brain and quickly worked to buff it away, but the effect of the crash was more damaging (okay, I’ll keep it neutral; more powerful) on the brain, long term. like, a negative event puts the brain in more disarray than do positive ones, so the brain-keeper is called into hyperactivity when it happens, but the impact is harder to completely undo. does that make sense?

notice in the second, “especially those suffering from depression” — and how there’s no such qualifying statement for the first.

  • Overconfidence effect: Excessive confidence in one’s own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of questions, answers that people rate as “99% certain” turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.
  • Planning fallacy: The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
  • Regressive bias: A certain state of mind wherein high values and high likelihoods are overestimated while low values and low likelihoods are underestimated.
  • Positivity effect: That older adults favor positive over negative information in their memories.

hehe and these are just thrown in for fun, cause somehow they seem less overarching — certainly not everyone suffers from the overconfidence effect — but these are definitely smaller and mebbe sillier ways in which our positive thinking messes with our minds, our lives, our schedules. [sidenote: I guess, though, for any of this to be truly valid, I would have to know to what extent the general human population suffers from each of these biases. ughhhhhhhh sciiiiiiiienceeee.]

and finally, some ways in which our positendency can be kinda scary:

  • Just-world hypothesis: The tendency for people to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just, causing them to rationalize an otherwise inexplicable injustice as deserved by the victim(s).
  • Egocentric bias: Recalling the past in a self-serving manner, e.g., remembering one’s exam grades as being better than they were, or remembering a caught fish as bigger than it really was.
  • Naïve cynicism: Expecting more egocentric bias in others than in oneself.

why else would we be so prone to keep hoping, in the face of all odds? why, in a world beset by entropy (EVERYTHING IS BREAKINGGGGGGGGGG), do we keep building stuff? why, when time and history will erase everything about the majority of our lives in just a generation or two or three, do we keep striving to “make a difference,” “believe in change,” “yadda yadda”?

and close to home, here: why would I beat myself up about not saying hello to an acquaintance-coworker in the hallway, when I don’t pat myself on the back with an equal-but-opposite fervor every time that I do?

okay, okay, I know the positive-thinking, live-in-the-moment, working-for-the-good-of-now answer to all these, too. but bear with me.

maaaybe it’s cause we’re wired for positivity. for hope. for belief in goodness to prevail, even if none of it seems likely or solid or trustworthy. maybe it’s a piece of Adam/Eve in the garden — the originals who knew no failure. until they did.

p.s. did you  know “positivity” isn’t a word, as accepted by WordPress? it keeps giving me the red squiggles every time I type it out. positivity. positivity. positivity. even if I really misspelled it somewhere in here, I prolly would miss it, cause of these red squiggles.

take that, WordPress!!

just a few things, I promise.

Things I am elated about:

  • I have just eaten 2 brownies. These are wonderful brownies that are fudgy and textured, the second of which is maybe my number-two favorite feature about foods. maybe 1.5th-favorite. Seestre and I made them this past weekend with rye flour and she was mean to me because she thinks I’m bad at everything in the kitchen but that’s not true. But…it’s okay. Second-brownie-wind, huzzah!
  • I have decided to forego SHOWERING because I didn’t run today and this is such a rarity. Go dry shampoo, go dry shampoo.
  • I like reading my own blog a lot a lot. Like, I’m encouraged by the nuggets I discover here, after having written them and instantly forgotten about them. It’s just a relief to see that I’m still thinking things worthy of writing and reading — at least on here. Like, hey…I’m still thinking some good thinks! I like ’em. Good job, self.
  • Staying at work late feels good in a very productive scratching of the itch way. There’s something magic about those last couple hours where people are filing out of the office and everything gets q u i e t and I somehow read WAY faster than I can during the height of the day.
  • SG was stupendous today. God is working. Here is home.

Things I am concerned about:

  • Now that I have this journal section of blawg, what do I deem to be postworthy and what do I cast into pageland? (Posts go on the main page; Pages under the tabs. Posts get noticed by blog feeds; Pages slip under that radar like sneaky spies. Posts are where I journal my rambly pieces of unfinished thoughts; Pages contain more finished works. Oh wait, the other way around for that last one.)
  • Googling manic-depressive disorder.
  • I like reading my own blog a lot a lot. Like, see bullet number 3 above, but I mean, then again — see also the previous sentence. It’s maybe the most self-concerned and self-indulgent thing I could think of, in the world, except maybe vlogging and then watching said vlogs in great self-admiration. Although…I dunno. Maybe these are pretty similar and I shouldn’t even be so high-and-mighty-horsey with even this comparison.
  • So there was one red top and yet another — God, can I ask for another? Just one more, for third-time’s-the-charm’s measure? Specific, this time. And if you say to, I’ll do it on the spot.

Things I’ve been thinking about:

  • Who are my friends? Today, I counted like two people I would say I see/hang out with regularly and outside of church/work functions with some acceptable frequency and then added roommate and boyfriend to make a list of four. And then spent the next two walks to the bathroom being like, oh wait, there are two more. So a grand total of six. And then I tried to finagle seestre onto that list but I really can’t count her because of criteria 1 and 2: see regularly, see frequently. But then, when you put it that way, Madison, it sort of seems like your criteria might be off. Is that really how you would define friendship?
  • Why do I feel so sad after hanging out with certain friends? What is this wall-feeling? Am I not being honest with them? What am I so scared of? Have I been hurt? Did I forget?
  • I am very naked right now. I mean figuratively.

People I’ve been thinking about:

  • Potential accountability partners/mentors: Who could this be?
    • A: You are the coolest. You say the wisest, most mind-blowing things in sg and it always really blows me away, the depth of your life experiences and thought sharings. I just think there would be a lot to learn from you, and I think there’s enough distance between us in terms of life stages that you would have a lot of wise counsel to offer me. But I fear that you might be too deeply entrenched in the experiences of your own life — just really busy, just really intense — that I would be infringing too much on all of that.
    • H: You know your Bible stuff. You are kind. But sometimes you look at me with these probing eyes that make me feel really judged in a really bad way, though I know that is not your intention! It’s hard to unfeel it and I clam up and get shifty-eyed in response to all this. But you are kind and solid and trusting and trustworthy. And there’s definitely a special corner of my heart for you.
  • People I no longer want to marry:
    • M.
    • C.
  • m, as always. every day.
    • [My] feelings really are so undependable. One minute I’m vowing the end, and the next I’m reading journal pages in a flurry and feeling reaffirmed because I REMEMBER. sidenote: woah, even in human relationships this is true. oh yeah. of course. this is circularularularular. like, in this moment, I feel like all the first half of this is so defeatable. like all these reasons to stay seem flat and too-eagerly-self-explainy in comparison to the feelings that my heart holds in this moment. Like, they’re way not enough, that listuf things; they don’t even scratch the surface of why I actually want to here. And in these moments of certainty and gingerly making plans of future us, it all feels so right and good.
    • You call me in the middle of a crazy text flurry because you’re good at being there for me (though maybe neither of us knows what we’re really in for). You are bighearted and caring, albeit a little slow. And you have good thoughts in the shower and on long drives — inexplicably, they come. You know my failings, you’ve seen some of my worst moments. You still like me. I miss you, even if I don’t admit it.
    • You are a way better human than I am. We joke about your brokenness and all, I know, but I am way, way more selfish than you are. Or at least you have this magic kind of love that makes it a bit easier for you show love to me despite me. But then again, no, because you’re more generous and kindhearted to people who are not me, also.
    • yeah, I can’t wait to see you again.

Brownie power, wearing of.f..f….. .zoop.

Snapchat speaks to my heart once again.

some rambly thoughts on a temperate June evening

thoughts born at a local shavery we know

Some stray thoughts I would like to share:

  • Today I discovered yet another way that God intended for us to live in community. I was talking to a meesheree about self-esteem and how, when you have the assurance, deep in your heart, that you are liked by people in your life (whoever it may be: family, friends, etc — people who genuinely and deeply care for you while knowing the true you), it’s easier not to crave attention and approval from EVERYBODY else because you already know that you’re likable and lovable. And if the people who like you and love you are people you also like/love/respect, you have an even deeper sense of self-worth because you value their opinions and judgments, just by virtue of who they are and what you know of their character. But let’s generalize this a bit here; expand it out. How much greater and deeper would the sense of self-worth be if I truly (deeeep in my soul) knew how loved I was by God? And if I truly and deep-within-my-soul knew how GREAT this lover was, how much MORE confidence would I have in my lovability and likability?! It sounds so simple, but it’s so hard to do — envisioning God as the lover of my soul isn’t always tangible or accessible with my leetle human brain (and heart). So God gives us fellow humans whom we can love. And be loved by. And get from and show toward a little glimpse of what God-love is like, and to gain and share all the benefits that come along.
  • I also talked to the meesheree about my recent and giant tremblings of heart because of my conversation with another (nonbeliever) friend about the lack of archaeological evidence for the Jewish enslavement period in Egypt. Apparently there is no historical/archaeological evidence for the period described in Exodus. I had been doing a lot of confused searching of the internet these past few days and basically being distraught because everyone seemed so sure of what they believed, with scores upon scores of (the lack of) evidence on their side. what is a girl to believe? how is everyone, all believing in opposite things, so convinced that they are all right? m, in response to all this, said that historical lack of evidence and whatnot…she isn’t too fazed. Because 1. (and we agreed on this) Anyone can make an argument and a case for anything and dig up some kind of evidence to back up their claims. The world is more mysterious than we give it credit for sometimes. A lot of the time. Case in point: the endless number of theses being written about every aspect of every argument or every discipline, like all the time endlessly. So I needn’t be so troubled by the fact that everyone seems to believe opposite things and yet seems to have Definitive Evidence about all of those opposite things because, ultimately, it’s all about how your framework of perception and Life Reality is built, and how you’re working toward fitting (or not fitting) new information and data into that framework. Faith is a crucial part of how Christians’ frameworks are built and how they work, and observable evidence is what a lot of atheists’ frameworks are built on/with. And 2. Because no matter what randos on the street or bloggers on the internet or even what people in her life may say about the realness of God, she says, it doesn’t really debunk anything she feels about God himself because he’s been so undeniably real to her, in her personal relationship with him. It’s like, she said, if someone came up to her and started telling her things about me that seem out of character from what she knows of me. Because of the relationship we have, she’s not just gonna take that person’s word as truth and believe these hearsay claims about me — she’s gonna suspend judgment and at least seek me out to ask me about the allegations. Like, there must be some kind of misperception or miscommunication that this person thinks this about Madison! That would be her first reaction. Because she knows me. Because she likes and loves me.  Because she remembers the history of our relationship together. This part made me feel small and weak in my faith.
  • And another thing that makes me feel small and weakly and unmoored from anything is the fact that my emotions have such a sway over the way I decide (or don’t decide) things. Ultimately, I’m unable to do something if I just don’t FEEL right about it. And I can’t not do something if it FEELS right. In those moments of strong feels, I am the most decisive person in the world! But feelings change — o fickle heart. This affects the way I behave in my human relationships, in my general attitude toward life, in my thoughts and hopes about God and my relationship with him. How can I ever trust to do anything right if I’m so dependent on my fickle emotions to make my important decisions?! But then m reminded me that I’m not just a feeler — I have to make sense of a situation to feel a certain way about it. Whether that involves logic, or a certain way of reconciling two seemingly irreconcilable things, or a steadfast decision based on principles or values I would like to live by. And this part wasn’t fleshed out so well in examples but I do agree with her about this. More reflection needed, I think. And prayer. For my heart and mind and soul not to be so easily swayed by feeling, but more on truth guided by emotions.
  • Observability/logickability isn’t all that smart seeming, after all. A random thought that popped into my head as we pulled into my parking lot, this one — but. When viewed from the construct that everyone simply has a certain worldview they’ve created and are continually trying to fit new data into, organizing it all in a way that makes sense without too much disturbance, the argument of the strict scientist or historian isn’t so appealing anymore. If your construct only allows you “truths” that you can observe, take in, digest with your human mind and body, how limited is the world in which you live! Either that, or how arrogant you are to think that this universe is even remotely understandable in its fullness by your relatively small human life and brain. There are vast stretches of the galaxies (not to mention the OCEAN. on planet EARTH) that we haven’t even figured out how to experience. The world — and explanations for why we’re all here — is bigger than I am. And I hate that this gets boiled down to the Christian cliche: “God works in mysterious ways.” But the truth is that he ACTUALLY DOES! And that cliches are ACTUALLY the biggest, the underdoggest truths in the entirety of human experience. That’s why they are cliches, dang it!! Because everyone keeps realizing the same human thing over and over.

There is absolutely no need or pressure for you to respond to these rambly thoughts. But let me know if you have anything that could add to my understanding of things!

email-thinking on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 after some snoxream in a K Mart parking lot. mysteries and hipsterness abound.

connections in commiseration

we’ve already shared a lot; lots of car rides and first moments, of joys and sorrows and fears of young adulthood — even tears and subsequent consolation.

I wonder why it is, though, that I feel such a disconnect as we make our endless smalltalk, as I nod along to your endless stories, as you share with me your world via pop culture. no, don’t get me wrong — your smalltalk is masterful, your stories epic, and pop culture, well, that’s prolly a lost cause to begin with. but there’s something stale and crunchy and frictiony I can’t get past, and I’m not sure whether it’s me or it’s you or it’s us. prolly a combination of all three, on different occasions and different environments.

there is one thing, though, that always brings us together: commiseration. about how expensive rent is, how tired we feel, how sad and measly our lives are in this great and epic place and time. there’s something about complaining about things worthy of our gripes while trying our best to be optimistic and belly-laugh our way through it all that makes me feel genuine with you. maybe it’s a human thing.

you are lovely. and I know that. I just don’t know why I can’t feel it. why I can’t touch it, grasp it, talk to it. without complaining about it. eh hem.

those spheres of ease

there are spheres of life in which you feel at ease, totally in your own skin, and open to newness because you’re okay with all the right-now atoms in your current atmosphere. and then there is everything else, which is the majority of life. at least for me, right now.

love in a tiny kiwi. a lovely keewee.

but those spheres, they are so good. and they exist in the weirdest, randomest places. walking the halls at work for a clear-the-head break, arms a-swinging like the Cake song and teef a-smiling at the unknown peoples because they’re unknown to me; there’s no risk (there’s freedom in smiling at strangers). sweatpants life, veg-ing out at homehome, visiting for the weekend having brought real clothes but teebee.H. not needing them at all, all weekend long. blog mode at a cafe where the temperature is not too cold not too warm just right and zoning in on not to cold not to warm just the right words even though there are other, Real things to be done, and feeling so accomplished at the end of the thought train, at the bottom of the latte cup, zero of the said Real things having been accomplished. phone conversations with really helpful customer service repuhresentatives, knowing what you mean by your uncertain blabbering because they’re just that experienced in customer blabber-needs. spending way too many minutes perusing all the things I won’t buy up and down the aisles of the korean grocery store where I buy my weekly kale because produce is freshest there (huzzah for kale, huzzah for nova groceries).

and running into my mom’s friendladies and saying hello, no hesitation, because I feel able and natural. and getting impromptu shares of life wisdom from an older and wiser soul who’s brimming with it, only needing to be tapped, to be asked.

haaappyyyyy biiirrtthhhdayyyyy too meeeeee

but honestly, it’s not even the content of such conversations — rather the context. what makes these moments possible. that sphere of ease. that comfortsphere. where you’re open to impromptu conversations with acquaintances that aren’t even yours, but your mom’s. knowing full, knowing well — smalltalk is not your strongsuit. going out of your way uncalculatedly to call out to people and open up your bubble to touch theirs, connecting for a moment or two.

what is it that creates these spheres of possibility? I have a feeling it’s something really specific: two heaping cups of really good nights’ sleeps. a liter of contented conversation stores. a mindful of vocab in that (un)foreign language you’re delighted to be discovering, again. three generous drizzles of chocolate frosting over that birthday cake baked at 375, for-ty8 minutes. those two bunches of bananas someone placed in the back of your car so you wouldn’t even have a chance to refuse them when offered. an extra day of rest from the running schedule, because your body — and your mind — needed it though you weren’t even clever enough to know it until you’d had it. eighty-three miles of road driven, harmonizing all the way with singers on your iPod loop loop looping all these years you never updated your music stores.

happpyyy biiiiiirthhhhdayyyyyy! tooo!!! meeee!


how interesting to organize the experience of Life this way — it’s just a practice in negotiating these spheres and the rest. just a long series of navigations in between, from circle to amorphous circle. and the resolutions, the lessons, are to:

  1. expand these comfortspheres, each and all, until they’re the majority and the “restofit,” the exceptions.
  2. find out other people’s spheres of ease and discover them in living in theirs. observe. appreciate. smile aloud, teef and all.
  3. test and exactify that recipe for sphere success — so you can do numbers 1 and 2 better and better. this will probably take some more days off from the relentless schedule of working out and making lunch salads because you’re still only a young padawan (what even is a padawan? why do I use these words I don’t really know?), the greenest grasshopper, and apparently you can’t run and think at the same time. at least not to the same level of intensity. one’s gotta give way to the other.
    1. get better at running, so you can think more.
    2. get better at thinking, so you can run more.

wow. lots to do here. guess I better go get some more sleeps to get started.

but this. yeah this. this is life-giving to me.

Tuesday 9 February 2015

A Quiet Life
by Baron Wormser

Listen Online

What a person desires in life
is a properly boiled egg.
This isn’t as easy as it seems.
There must be gas and a stove,
the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.
There must be a pot, the product of mines
and furnaces and factories,
of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
of women in kerchiefs and men with
sweat-soaked hair.
Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies
and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little
of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
stations, towers, tanks.
And salt-a miracle of the first order,
the ace in any argument for God.
Only God could have imagined from
nothingness the pang of salt.
Political peace too. It should be quiet
when one eats an egg. No political hoodlums
knocking down doors, no lieutenants who are
ticked off at their scheming girlfriends and
take it out on you, no dictators
posing as tribunes.
It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type
of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.
Listen, she is there, pecking at a bit of grain
that came from nowhere.
“A Quiet Life” by Baron Wormser from Scattered Chapters. © Sarabande Books, 2008.