Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Pen and the Sword, or: Death and Taxes

I enoy writing. I feel like it's a medium through which I can communicate and be understood, or at least understand myself. I'm starting to find a voice, and as I go through my day I hear this voice in snippets that beg to be put on paper (Whether digital- or cellulose-based). I don't expect that I'm especially good at it, but it at least puts in a singular stream some of my thoughts that would otherwise flow as a confused and multitudinous river. Music stirs me emotionally and intellectually, though I can't pen a note or a chord and expect any greatness of it; writing, on the other hand, is something tangible to me that I can share with others as they choose to partake.

I'm not sure what to make of myself. Sometimes I feel as though the birds are chirping and the sun is shining and all is right in the world, but there are other times that I feel miserable and downcast and wish that I was more. There are too many things for me to improve upon for me to even count or comprehend - I could be smarter, I could be better spoken, I could brush my teeth with more vigor and vim - and sometimes, when confronted with all of it, I'd rather just shut down and ask "why me." I could no sooner cease to be, though, than could any matter or energy, or for that matter any intelligence whatsoever. It seems then that the only path I can choose is to continue and progress in my chosen course.

Some people seem to choose a sort of apathetic doomsday approach to life. For them, the rain is always falling and the IRS is always on their tail to steal their money. It is better to passively complain than to seek any change, or it is better to be silent than to seek good. So many choose to walk with their eyes at their feet, looking only to where they're going and not toward what's around. But really, what's the fun in that? There's so much around to see if we just pull our heads up and decide to see it! People get trapped in filling their expensive Mercedes with expensive fuel on the way to their expensive job, and they seem to forget that they have souls. They forget to yearn and hope and chase and desire and love the good and great things in life - they forget to wonder at how magnificent everything really is and decide to peer at everything through nuclear-waste colored glasses.

I should hardly be speaking, though. So often I forget that the grim and the bleak is transitory, that though death and taxes may be certain they are hardly the be-all end-all of our existence, and there is so much happiness to be attained through other means. The simple things can often be so fulfilling; pedalling away on my (overpriced, underused) bicycle through glade and glen as I search for new places in my mind and on the road leaves me feeling elated about myself and others in a way that I rarely otherwise experience. I think everyone has a sort of special place to go, in which they can experience the flow - the quiet, content, and intent focus - that makes things meaningful and special where before they were simply the mundane. I know people that love to rock climb. There are others that like to paint, or sing, or dance, or run, or any number of other things that make them, for that brief moment in time, free.

It seems, as I think about it, that we desire entirely to be free but sometimes don't know how to accomplish it. War is wonderful and swords are stupendous, but the things that really make us happy and that drive us internally are our own personal arts. I find an artistic beauty in the whirring of my wheels and chain as I drive myself along, being an engine and deciding my speed and my path as my faculties combine to propel me down the black tarmac. Similarly, those with greater fine motor control than your average whale probably find great joy in taking what is in their mind and filling a canvas with it. Art can come in so many different forms, and it seems that we need it to live and survive.

I don't know what direction my life is going to take, but I'm very much excited to find out and get there. Anticipation can be a wonderful and evil thing, and it's with great joy (and sometimes greater duress) that I look toward that bright and glorious future (by which I'm NOT referring to socialism). Hopefully I'll remember to continue as I ought, and though my feet may be on the road less traveled by, I can keep my chin up and be alert, and that will make all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Ryan. I hope when you're older, looking back on this will make you smile.