Revitalization's Weblog

For the curious, questioning, and wandering soul

Archive for January, 2011

All I can do is keep breathing

“The storm is coming but I don’t mind
People are dying, I close my blinds

All that I know is I’m breathing now

I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

But all that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

All that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now”

Ingrid Michaelson

The impossible is possible tonight

“Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave, without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel

Believe, believe in me, believe, believe!
That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain
We’re not the same, we’re different.
Tonight, tonight, tonight
So bright
Tonight, tonight

And you know you’re never sure
But you’re sure you could be right
If you held yourself up to the light
And the embers never fade, in your city by the lake
The place where you were born

Believe, believe in me, believe, believe!
In the resolute urgency of now
And if you believe there’s not a chance tonight
Tonight, tonight, tonight
So bright tonight, tonight!

We’ll crucify the insincere tonight (Tonight)
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight (Tonight)
We’ll find a way to offer up the night (Tonight)
The indescribable moments of your life (Tonight)
The impossible is possible tonight (Tonight)
Believe in me as I believe in you,
Tonight, tonight, tonight,
Tonight
Tonight…”

-Smashing Pumpkins

a rude reptilian brain

It’s hard to control your thoughts. You know, those bad thoughts. The thoughts you wish you could take back. The kind of thoughts you don’t want anyone to know you had. I just had a bad thought. It’s hard to control your thoughts.

I suppose it would take some conditioning. Some practice. But who is to say censoring your own thoughts to yourself would be a good thing. Auto-brainwash? Hmm- probably don’t want the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind type of scenario here. I suppose, then, you’ve got to go past the point. Go to the source of the bad thought. Which comes from… well, I suppose that comes from nature, or is it nurture? Don’t want to get into that either..

Ok, bad thoughts… the source is impression and perception. Because thoughts are simply perceptions of what experiences we have, right? I think that’s right. And perception comes from… well, I suppose perception comes from some innate something. Somewhere deep in our reptilian brain. Perhaps perception is a trait, a gene that’s evolved and encoded for. I suppose perception and originality for that matter came from some distant evolutionary shift, positive selection; it must have been favorable. I suppose perception must be conditioned through what we see and hear, from what we experience, we build up these perceptions and judge the world by them.

Maybe that’s where my bad thought came from.

Where’s my mind at?

this is where my mind lingers:

The aqua blue water whirled, bubbles rising towards the surface. The water is clear, with little specs glimmering as they sink to the sand. There’s no life here, only brown-white sand, that stretches for miles. Somehow I can stay below, eyes open and no breath needed. I look all around, but there’s only soft sand and the movement of the soft waves.

I push off the ground, my toes dig into the sand. As my head breaks the water, I peer up at cloudy skies. White billowing clouds stream across the sky. As I face the horizon, there’s nothing but water in every direction. It’s perfectly calm.

I blink, and it changed. From light to dark. From day to night- but it is not night, not really. Dark chaotic clouds rise, rumbling. The atmosphere is electric, the darkness romantic. These heavenly beings surging with power. I feel it coming: the first strike. With a loud crack, light fills every inch of space and mind.

Questions: From Me, To You

These are a few questions that I thought up and I’m asking them to you. Because I’m curious about the human condition. Because it just might be thought-provoking. Because… well just because. Answer one, two, nine or ten. It’s up to you.

 1. Right now, in this moment, how do you view yourself?

2. Recall every single emotion you felt during the last 24 hours. List them.

3. What are you grateful for?

4. How often do you lie (to yourself and to others)?

5. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

6. Where does inspiration come from?

7. Can you truly love something or someone more than yourself?

8. Where have you been and where are you going?

9. What does originality mean?

10. What is your biggest, most heart-wrenching fear?

Living Like Weasels

I’ve always loved Annie Dillard’s language. It’s so powerful, and Living Like Weasels truly a beautiful piece of literature. Here are my favorite excerpts:

“Weasel! I’d never seen one wild before. He was ten inches long, thin as a curve, a muscled ribbon, brown as fruitwood, soft-furred, alert. His face was fierce, small and pointed as a lizard’s; he would have made a good arrowhead. There was just a dot of chin, maybe two brown hairs’ worth, and then the pure white fur began that spread down his underside. He had two black eyes I didn’t see, any more than you see a window.

The weasel was stunned into stillness as he was emerging from beneath an enormous shaggy wild rose bush four feet away. I was stunned into stillness twisted backward on the tree trunk. Our eyes locked, and someone threw away the key.

Our look was as if two lovers, or deadly enemies, met unexpectedly on an overgrown path when each had been thinking of something else: a clearing blow to the gut. It was also a bright blow to the brain, or a sudden beating of brains, with all the charge and intimate grate of rubbed balloons. It emptied our lungs. It felled the forest, moved the fields, and drained the pond; the world dismantled and tumbled into that black hole of eyes. If you and I looked at each other that way, our skulls would split and drop to our shoulders. But we don’t. We keep our skulls. So.

He disappeared. This was only last week, and already I don’t remember what shattered the enchantment. I think I blinked, I think I retrieved my brain from the weasel’s brain, and tried to memorize what I was seeing, and the weasel felt the yank of separation, the careening splash-down into real life and the urgent current of instinct. He vanished under the wild rose. I waited motionless, my mind suddenly full of data and my spirit with pleadings, but he didn’t return.”

And later she writes….

“We could, you know. We can live any way we want. People take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience–even of silence–by choice. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding, not fighting. A weasel doesn’t “attack” anything; a weasel lives as he’s meant to, yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.

I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you’re going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles.”

 

If you love this as much as I do, google it and read the whole thing.

Some advice: live deeply, live passionately

Here’s a bit of advice for you. It’s what I’ve learned in the few years I’ve been on this earth, it’s what I’ve come to realize as I’ve started to grow up and up. My advice is:

Live while you’re young. Go out and go wild! Seriously, leave your home, your computer, your iphone and ipad and ipod, and go! Lace up your sneakers and walk out the door. Walk down the stairs and down the streets. Find an adventure. LOOK at the world around you. It’s beautiful, vibrant and alive. It’s there, waiting for you to soak up everything it can possibly offer. We have only minutes left, minutes and hours and years. Believe it or not, it’s a limited amount of time that we have here on earth. Where was I…. Oh yes, go out, down the stairs and down the street. And… Look around at the people. I mean really look at them. Every single solitary person has a story, has a history, has a past. Every single person has a mother and a father, has a childhood, has had heartache and joy, anger and sorrow, happiness and contempt. One of my favorite things to think about as I walk down the street is how each and every person is so enveloped in their own small, little world. Their brains buzzing away, mind chatter. They’re thinking about where they’re going, who they’re seeing, and what they’ve done. They’re worrying about this, they’re regretting that. They’re smiling on the inside because the cute coffee guy flirted with them that morning. Everyone has a story, I’m sure all interesting, all equally epic. I love that.

Ok ok, more advice. One of my most favorite favorite favorite things in the world, is to travel. I love it. Travel to foreign places, the more obscure the better. Don’t plan, just go! Pick a buddy, pick a friend, pick a lover, or pick yourself up and go. Do it for you. Go to Greece, Indonesia, Bolivia and Bali. Tire yourself in endless exploration. It’s exhilarating, it makes you feel so alive. I say, strap on a backpacking backpack, pack a pair of hiking shoes, grab a Lonely Planet guidebook, and book that plane ticket to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Make it happen, because we only live once and we’re only young once. Make your time count, this second and the next. Because time is dripping and slipping, leaving and never coming. Traveling is great, you can see history and culture, you can taste flavors that are foreign and far between. You can meet the most sincere and amazing people whose life stories and utterly heart-breaking and inspiring. I’ve met some of the most courageous people abroad, all trying to grow and learn, and most of all, learn about themselves and this world. That’s all there is, really. It’s here and it’s now, and that’s that.

So go out and  go wild, look around, look at people, travel, explore, live LOUD and live hard, taste and feel every single thing you’re feeling and never hold back. Live deeply and live oh so passionately. We’re aging, ever so quickly. Recognize that the present is here; take advantage and see your life in the highest regard.

Just some advice, just something I’ve learned and try to live by