A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || March 28, 2011 || 5:07 am

Scott has the distinction of being the only person to have been invited to guest post twice on my voyeurnal….well, at least until the end of this week, anyway. I love the way that his brain connects dots and his pencil adds other dots to connect to as necessary (hint: that sort of thing is always necessary….haven’t I taught you people a thing?) I once said I wanted to lick his brain or something of that nature and I think that made him afraid of me for a very, very long time. Then I had a dream about his wife going fishing, which was somehow less weird and Scott seemed to take a shine to me a little thereafter. Or something. Who cares? The point is this: Scott’s brain drops my jaw and his writing makes me want to find better ways to present my own dots and their connections.

I’ve never fully escaped the awkwardness of having returned empty-handed from my much lauded quest to find the ultimate answer to everything. I cringe when I remember how people gathered to see me off with great adulation and the highest of expectations. I might die on the road. It might take years, decades. Everyone knew, I was sure, that I would return with that answer. I was the cleverest of boys after all, resourceful and creative. I felt as though the hopes of everyone rested upon my silly, overrated shoulders.

In times since, sitting quietly in the corner of coffee shops and writing my wandering words, doing my small work, I’ve imagined eyes falling upon me with consternation, disappointment and dismay. I hear questions they do not ask me. “What happened? Why are you here? Where the hell is my answer?” I never make eye contact. I try hard as I can to look like someone else, someone who never accepted a mantle from anyone.

The truth is that I slipped back without fanfare after only a few miserable days, convinced that answers could not be found by going away. There’s nowhere to go. Roads lead both ways and neither direction has anything in particular to recommend it. Everyone from there quests for answers here, and vice versa. We were assholes and fools, all of us on that road. This was the answer I found, though not one anyone wanted to hear.

I’ve never stopped looking for other answers, though. I’ve discovered a few, I think, though they’re not particularly sexy. One of the keys to human life, for example, is getting up in the morning to do the work at hand. Inspired yet? I know. Another secret is recognizing people who bring you joy and people who bring you suffering. The distinction should inform the way you love them. In your love for hurtful people, for example, do not become beholden to them, or let them become so to you. If a person brings you comfort, healing or joy, on the other hand, love them as often and in as many ways as you can. Bear their burdens and let them bear yours. Most people bring you both joy and suffering, of course. Life is messy. Err on the side of wary but sincere communion. And remember, you don’t have to know someone for very long or in any particular form to know them well. Maybe you have only read their poetry. Maybe you have spoken their funeral. Maybe you have only seen the amazing curve of their back from across the room. Maybe you have borne their children. Maybe you have written them a few emails or tweets. Maybe you have raised them from birth. You can still love them with all the means at your disposal, and find creative ways to enjoy them with all of your senses and talents, and make yourself available to be consumed by their appetites. These are all answers, secrets to life and joy, mysteries unveiled. You cannot discover these things by questing for them, however. You have to live life in all of its mundane reality with your eyes open and focused. Everyday heroics. Commonplace glory.

New people set out every day to find the answer and bring it back. I wish them luck. I applaud their enthusiasm. I feel kinship with their naivete. I want them to feel free to return to us. There is no shame in hopeful energy and youthful bravado. Who knows? Maybe there’s something out there after all. It could happen. Anything is possible.

Later. Love.

P.S. – This piece was inspired, such as it was, in reflection upon my having recently turned forty, an experience I share with our friend, Jett Superior. Happy birthday, Jett Superior. Hello, friends.

3 worked it out »

  1. scott 3.28.2011

    It was an honor to be included in this. Much love and best wishes as you embark on the second fifth of your life.

    Hello, Jett Superior.

  2. Jett Superior 3.28.2011

    Hello, Scott.
    You make me beam. Thank you!

  3. leel 3.28.2011

    those were some great words on love. thanks for sharing them & yay Jett!


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