The last 9 months have been an odd and confounding time in my life. Around this time last year, I decided to leave my job with the Seattle Public Library. I set myself a deadline, used my remaining time to get things in order, and left SPL in mid-March. My initial goal was to start a mix of free-lance writing, part-time work, and a string of gigs to make ends meet and to pursue a bunch of put-off projects.
Well, to make a long story short, it’s January, and I’ve not yet managed to meet a lot of my goals. Nothing published, I’ve not been blogging. I have had some temping gigs, with some humorous results, which I’ll share later. I finally purchased a bass guitar and amp in September, and as of the last month I’ve been picking it up on a regular basis. More on that later….
Something that’s been stressing me when it comes to blogging is the disconnect I think we all have about how we’re percieved publically versus how we are in our day to day lives. At least I know I have this issue. My intent was to focus this blog on serious issues, of politics and public affairs, as a means of calling bullshit on the war on Iraq, of creating a public persona of the “deep thinker” with “serous things to say.” But it’s hard to have something serious to say when you’re spending your days watching Looney Tunes.
Despite all of my admonitions to “get serious” I think it’s a mistake to deny that I also have a silly side. So I will be doing more that blogging about the war and the Seattle city council. I think in order to do that and to it well, I’ll need to write about my obsession with Warner Bros. animation director Bob Clampett, or my conviction that The Who is the greatest rock band that ever was.
I’ve noticed that when times are the most glum, when I fell the strongest need to excape the big, hairy bullshit, I turn to culture, and mostly to comedy, or cartoons, or rock music. For every Bach CD I check out from the library to return unlistened, there’s another viewing of Fletch or the Big Lebowski. But at the same time I have to make sure that I remind, develop and reinforce my perspective. I’m trying to cast off my disparagement of mankind (including myself) and to address the indignities of living in the current times. Times in which I have so much, yet so little.
How did we get here? I am in front of a device that allows for instant global video conferencing, the ability to write and publish newsletters. I can mix multi-track recordings with this thing. I have countless ways to share my thoughts and observations with the world. I have a cell phone that fits in my jeans pocket, so I am reachable and can call anyone at any time. It’s amazing. Unfortunately, it also means I can’t really blame my tools any longer.
What’s lacking is not the means, but the intent, the focus, the burning desire to live and act according to my principles. And the confidence in myself that makes those principles worth a damn.
It’s a fucking struggle to overcome the perpetual indignities I have felt were neccessary to continue to survive. What I think I’m beginning to understand is that if I continue to accept the contradictions, to live in a state of constant compromise, I guarantee myself nothing more than survival. Every decision made out of fear of what may happen if I act according to my own integrity means a retreat into a lower state of consciousness that only perpetuates a life of crisis.
The only solution to a better world is to step away from the fear. See the fear, realize that it is an unhealthy state of consciousness, and decide to think another way. Develop your personal integrity.
(This should not yet be posted. I need to edit this. The ideas here are sound, but need to be edited for clarity and coherence.)