The Buddha tells us that it's all, in a way, a dream. And that might imply that things are already set up decently enough as they are. So would it be surprising, naturally, when people fight against the stream, because then they are removing themselves from the dream, in which things get ironed out anyway in accordance with the greater logic of it all. Why fight? Find something mildly pleasing, some natural thing, a bike ride around Hains Point in the moonlight, fighting the wind one way, with it coming back, not making a big splash, not doing anything violent, just basically going with the flow. Just to get here is ninety nine percent of the effort, to be incarnated as such in this life in this world, and the rest is simply behaving, doing good things, spreading kindness and light. That's why I never get the cold aggressive type; 'what are you battling against? what are you going to win? what are you going to conquer? Then what?'
Sure, unaware, or not getting it, yes, we do a lot of dumb shit, this is true. We get puffed up, egotistical, think we're competing in something more than a simple competition with the self to be the best you can be. And even writing, it's just a sport, something we do to keep in shape, keep the electrical flow running around in our heads, a working of a particular muscle group...
I came back from my night ride, feeling good, fall into a nap on the couch after showering. I should have eaten dinner, but I nodded off, and when I wake up, at 1 AM, there's an open bottle of Chinon in the fridge from the night before, a tumbler poured already on the top shelf, and so I dutifully figure I'll drink it, not let it go to waste, and then the good feeling begins to recede into a kind of confusion, which happens when you turn on the TV. I end up drawn into a Bergman film, Frannie and Alexander, and by the time the good uncle passes away after playing Hamlet's father's ghost and the pretty young mother marries the sanctimonious priest and things get creepier and creepier there with the priest, I was spooked. And here's the ghost again, appearing to the boy, and the priest is a real bastard, his house is a dungeon. And that's the kind of shit that will get to you. Damn, why did I ruin the good vibe I had going, having earned it being a good boy, exercising? I had woken back up feeling pretty stiff, still with laundry to do, so chalk it up to my imperfections. I get to the ending of Bergman, things turning out for the kids better than I thought at one point, I eat my hamburg patty and brown rice, beat off, shower, and go to to bed.
There remains my honest regret, worth exploring in a psychological sort of way, I think, about turning into a bad student my senior year in college. I don't know what possessed me, made me sort of bite the hand. A good part of it was my growing difficulty with the large amounts of time I spent on an English paper, the demands of finding the fitting answer. The point was to write a paper, and yet I somehow just gave up on them. It was all unnecessary, because it was something I was good at. Did the writer part of me somehow feel offended by the process I saw going around me in English class, the freshman kid comparing something to Wilfred Owen to show off that he knew about Wilfred Owen? Or was it on the other hand something going on within me, maybe dealing with the perceived rejection I had made up in my own mind from the girl I liked? I know I was bored, a bit unengaged, and I drank more, thinking that was part of being a writer like Hunter S. Thompson with your own view on things. A grown man looks back at such chances, such opportunity, and no wonder now your life is fucked up and your still around drinking and never even started any career as you should have had, so no wonder if my older brother thinks I'm a freak.
Maybe it's that when you are stressed and nervous and not getting enough social reinforcement, that year I was a senior, not enough positive feedback, and wondering what to do with yourself after graduation and only having this incredibly unrealistic dream of being a writer, what to do with that, maybe, yes, you don't always do the right thing, retreating, not responding.
My father tried to steer me toward being an environmental scientist, and I should have put aside my games and taken the path he suggested. But somehow, I was too possessed being an English major and all that that implies.
But one hopes that the body is in the process of learning what's good for it, what's good for you personally, so that you shit well, don't have joint pain or acid reflux, that you take care of yourself like you'd take care of a your dog, taking him out for walks, letting him sniff and piss in nature, keep him watered and fed, socialized with other dogs on occasion. As if you were to learn too late in life, how to take care of such things, to do yoga and meditate and get in your bike rides and read books so that you didn't feel imprisoned. And the thought grows, if I didn't have to tend bar, that is if I made a living as a writer, as an intellectual, or as some sort of sage advisor through words, then I wouldn't be drawn to drown out the sound of the stress within, thus throwing my body and mind out of balance again.
The Buddha's wisdom though to me holds some water, and I observe people fighting reality, being stupid, that I can take some heart and say, oh well, at least I was passive, more or less... And nothing has to make sense necessarily, you just have to admit it and get it down on paper, because who knows, maybe there's a reason behind it all, who knows. Write it out, bit by bit, pained as it may be.
Who are we, what are we, what's our purpose being here anyway? And all the people seem to not want to be alone in life, but really it's not so bad, at least for some of us. My gut has always been seeing all those people who are trying to belong somewhere, putting on some sort of act so that they will belong, whereas life really can be pretty simple, just that self-interested asshole types are always proclaiming "me me me," the illusion of self shit that turns your stomach. You'll have your friends, enough of them, coming out of the blue as it might seem, as is all part of the dream, part of finding the happiness and peace out in nature riding your bike in the woods along the stream thinking your thoughts.
Yes, I will admit to my own confusion, the perfect confusion of conscious thought when this is not the real serious part of our true thoughts, the truth of how we think and feel, which we can only very rarely come across, and to be healthy, I think you need to keep that flexibility about yourself, to not fall into a conscious sense of knowing what you are doing because of this and this and this... which keeps yourself guessing sometimes, not a very happy feeling looking at it one way. Yes, it would be far more satisfying to say, ah yes, here is what I am thinking, for my conscious mind, through its rigor and seriousness has concocted my way and made it safe and secure and profitable and look how happy I am, look at what I have to show for my efforts. An argument the deeper mind can never really directly question, perhaps unfortunately.
Yes, I don't want to be freak; I want things to show for it after all my efforts; I'd like a respectable career, life, please the family and make it proud; I don't want to be the asshole; I want to fit in too. But I also don't want to be one of the sheep, blindly accepting the things we all seem to accept even without knowing what truly really is happening and how it will all turn out the way we are going, such as it is.
Hey, I'll be the first to admit it: I don't know what the hell I am doing with my life. I can admit to feeling led astray, to feeling like I've made absolutely no decisions in life. I hardly know what to do with the energy and daylight of a day off, except really just to carry on and live healthy. Go grocery shopping, go buy tea or Book 2 of Knausgaard, a bottle of wine just in case, do yoga, meditate, I have no idea, but some of it will happen.
And then I wake up again with a headache, an empty bottle of Pays D'Oc Pinot Noir next to the kitchen sink, it's already mid afternoon, the bike on the stand in the living room from a late night indoor ride, and it's like, "what the fuck.' And I think simultaneously of my falling into the excesses of high school rock bands and also the last substantive conversation I had with my father, and also what the neighbor said back in those rock band high school days about how I should be led by a stricter hand, and look where the fuck I am now. I step out on the back porch to empty the water that has dripped out of the air conditioner unit into a plastic flower box and it's ghastly hot out, Jesus Christ. I take the bike off the stand. Do I walk down to pick up the mountain bike my best friend Dan has for me down at his shop? It needs an inner tube, so I'd walk, I guess, and maybe swing by the Whole Foods, but certainly not for meat or anything perishable. Dan's friends are having a party to which I seem to be invited.
Yesterday was spent taking an online course and then the certification test for alcohol awareness and server training, every two years, how long did it take? Enough of questions that seem to abide by the own personal logic of whoever designed the test, so enough worries while finally taking the test, multiple choice, but confusing ones amongst very very easy ones. I end up getting a 92 on it, at 2 or 3 AM after a post grocery and dinner nap. At least I am stocked up on green tea. If I go to a party tonight, it will start around 8, and I will then have to start drinking, but if I stay home alone, well, maybe I'll just read and live a monk life but then regret not being social, and tomorrow it's back to work anyway so I'm already a lame duck.
Wild Man, never be a Wild Man, though you can't help it if you have a certain kind of Type O blood flowing in your hairy skinned veins. Yes, I look around, too many neglected books to want to go to a party tonight, and I feel the ragweed allergy, though the reports I check first thing say today is low and I did shower after a lame outdoor bike ride at dusk the night before. And when are the thunderstorms going to come?
Green tea, thank god for a nice well-made pot of green tea, a full strainer of Dragon Well, timed three minutes, and things aren't so bad maybe.