Back in Black

February 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

Another unmentionable.

Remember This

February 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Remember this, that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.” – Marcus Aurelius.

Tonight I’m working on jettisoning something a little more vital but a little less physical than my standard rot. Skewed perspective. Like a cracked or warped mirror it offsets the appearance of things reflected.

I’m no longer dooming myself to the view from my rotten mirror anymore. And already, things are beginning to look a bit brighter.

“Damn Everything But the Circus”

February 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

As Corita Kent once famously said, “Damn everything but the circus.”

I really can’t help but agree with her. Of course, this lovely design wasn’t created by her talented hand. I got this shirt in 1997 during one of my elementary school’s spring fundraisers called May Madness and I believe it was designed by my art teacher. I haven’t the faintest idea as to why I was hanging onto this thing. I suppose it just reminded me of warm days of freedom, when the happy summer vacation stretched out before me, promising nothing but books, games and the always dependable trip to Chincoteague Island, Va. for boogie boarding, sand castles and homemade ice cream.

If you’ve had the misfortune of hearing the top 40 recently, I think Avril Lavigne is saying pretty much the same thing as Kent in “What the Hell” (though she probably doesn’t know it). That’s one thing that I think the circus, or namely, carnival has right–the human need to invert logical daily life once in a while, to put on a mask and be free of your responsibilities for a time. Yes, that’s right, I believe I’m referring to escapism. That said, carnival usually precedes a more important event, lent, providing sober reflection and balance.

But when it comes right down to it,  you have to side with Sister Kent once in a while.

Purging the Rot

February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I just found out that Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs was named the best album of the year. This means one of two things: good music is finally getting recognized by people other than 16-28 year olds or I’m the one getting old and liking what the old people like. Either way though, they totally deserve it. Great band. Check them out.

I bring that up mostly because the things that I’m jettisoning on this fine Valentine’s Day is rotten, moldy stuff from my fridge. Things that don’t need to be photographed.

However, I did purge something else from my life today. Negativity about Valentine’s Day. I feel like I embraced it, enjoyed it and had some good laughs with friends and I even received a single red rose. It doesn’t mean I didn’t bust a few jokes out today, but you know what, life is better when you’re not a sour lemon (which frankly is one of the things I am throwing out this evening).

So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of your lovers out there. And a very Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who aren’t lovers.

Waits for Inspiration

February 13, 2011 § 3 Comments

I got this shirt from my very generous father who would always either take me to the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland, or bring me something from the Rock Hall when I couldn’t be in attendance. As much as I love this shirt, it’s simply too small. I held onto it with the idea that I could give it away to someone who might adore it, or simply because I liked it that much, but jettisoning often means that we have to part with some things we really do care about. This is certainly the case here.

If you don’t know about the Rock Hall of Fame, you should. On the water in a lovely area of Cleveland, Oh. it’ houses some of the most impressive Rock memorabilia that exists. I’m quite impressed by their inductees this year especially Tom Waits. Check him out reading a poem by Bukowski. May it send you inspiration at the end of a rotten week or a brilliant week.

Broken Strands

February 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

I don’t remember where I obtained these beads but I’m sure I didn’t do anything incriminating to get them. Broken, they’re headed for the trash. But at one time they served a purpose–a token with which to celebrate.

The word ‘break’ has what seems to be endless connotations. Meaning “separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain.” It can refer to a cut in the skin, to open forcibly, to sustain a fracture or even the use of a piece of paper currency to pay for something. It can also mean to “interrupt” or “fail to observe,” “to crush the emotional strength, spirit or resistance of.” All are heavy things to consider.

But in our western culture, everything has become disposable. I bought a vacuum cleaner the other weekend. It was only $40 but it came with a two-year warranty from the store that I bought it from. I was amazed to hear that if the vacuum breaks for whatever reason, I can send it back to the distributor and they’ll send me a new one for free. What ever happened to our concept of repair? What if it’s something minor? I can see those plastic parts in a landfill somewhere forever.

Guiltily, these beads will meet that fate.

Nor the Zebra Change Its Spots…

February 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

We’ve come across animal print before and today when I looked at another unmentionable that I’m jettisoning, I couldn’t get this proverbial question out of my mind, “Can a leopard change its spots? Can a zebra change its stripes?”

It comes from the Bible, Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”

Curious. Clearly when we say it we are querying the ability of any person or creature to change its innate being. But this Greek proverb assumes that humans can change their ways, leaving absolutely no room for predestination or determinism. What if our actions are out of our hands? I don’t know what I believe but I certainly don’t believe in determinism enough as to not take responsibility for my actions and decisions (whether or not they are actually mine). If we do believe in free will, then we have to consider the impact every decision has on everyone around us present and future.

I recently read somewhere that some crazy scientists believed that the actions of our great grandparents are still affecting the current generation in a large way (if I ever find the article I will update this post!). I understand and agree with that to a certain extent but you have to consider, I guess, but what that means besides their choice of a life mate, or their decision on whether to take that job or refinance their mortgage. What if it’s the little things too?

I don’t know if the decisions I’m making on a daily basis are what I would want to build the next three generations after me on. Perhaps if we all made decisions based on far away goals and not tomorrow, the world would be look a lot different.