Thursday, March 21, 2019

One Of The Boys

One of my favorite things about coming to the coffee shop is listening to the old men talk.  They're great conversationalists, and I like to think that's why they made it long enough to be old men.  One day I want to be an old man and talk in the coffee shop with my friends, just like them.  They're my heroes, actually.  They know how to live.  I do too, because I'm here with them.  I fit right in.  I am one of the boys.

Living a long life doesn't mean living a happy one.  Happiness requires spiritual fulfillment, and spiritual fulfillment can't be acquired with money.  When people chase money, what they truly seek is spiritual fulfillment, and they will never get it because they are pursuing the wrong end.

Having money without meaningful work or meaningful relationships does hell to a person's character.  A rich young person without spiritual fulfillment is an egotistical douche bag without any real friends.  You may know some people like that.  A rich old person without spiritual fulfillment is a greedy, grumpy, lonely, old miser.  You may know some people like that, too.

Spiritual fulfillment can only be had through meaningful work and meaningful relationships.  If you have meaningful work and meaningful relationships, you've already won at life regardless of whether you ever get rich.  You don't need a lot of money to beat life.  You need meaningful work and meaningful relationships.  If you have those, you have everything that matters; and you won't starve, which is what I was afraid of when I changed careers.  It didn't happen.

I believe the road to meaningful work and meaningful relationships is paved with radical truth and radical transparency.  Once you start being transparent with yourself and with others about what you really want to do, and start holding yourself accountable for taking the steps you need to do it, then you are well on your way to having meaningful work, meaningful relationships and a fulfilling life.  That's been my experience.  I don't want to just be an old man, I want to be a happy one too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Gardener

I'm not trying to escape my life
I'm not trying to escape the truth
I'm not trying to escape reality
Not anymore

I'm trying to enjoy things
Because truth and love and reality
Are all the same

What's real is what's true
And what's true is love
Love is the only thing that's true
So love is the only thing that's real

So love is the only thing worth paying mind
The garden grows where you tend it

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Legends Live

I wish I knew you better
Like a vivid dream
You still seem real

Once a giant
Now bones
Nothing is safe
Nothing ever will be
Even the mighty
Become dust

But you still seem real
The tales are true
Legends live

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Doing What Writers Do

As I walked to the gym this morning, the thought occurred to me that maybe I am an idiot for thinking I can be successful as a writer or artist or creative person.  But then I thought, even if I am an idiot for thinking that, I'm still less of an idiot than I was before I changed careers.  So I didn't really lose anything.

Then I gave myself permission to quit writing and art altogether.  I told myself I could walk away and I don't ever have to write for the rest of my life.  I don't ever have to pick up my guitar, either.  Or get dressed to go to the gym.  Or play with the dog.  Or draw pictures.  Or go volunteer as a tutor tonight.   I gave myself permission to cancel all the things I signed up to do - all the things I believed in.  

Then I thought about what I would do instead.  There was nothing.  I don't want my day to look any different then it does right now.  If I couldn't do any of the things I am scheduled to do today, it would be a shitty day.  I want to do all of them.

Giving yourself permission to not do the things you don't want to do is scary, if you aren't happy with your life.  It can feel like you're letting go of everything.  Your job.  Your bad habits.  Your bad relationships.  Your whole identity.  But today, it wasn't scary.  I didn't have to quit anything.  I didn't want to.  I couldn't wait to write today.  Why the fuck would I want to quit that?  If I couldn't write right now, I'd be doing something else and wishing I was writing.  There's just nothing else I should be doing right now.  

This is where I am meant to be, at this moment.  Sometimes I start my journals with a line like, "Here I am again, doing what writers do."  So here I am again, doing what writers do.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Everyone Wins When I'm Not A Dick

Today I got an unexpected lesson on the importance of speaking up.  I walked into a Starbucks and set my backpack down at a small table in the middle of the main dance floor.  I ordered my coffee and noticed a bigger table open near the window.  I came to do work, so I took the bigger table so I would have more space to get my work done.

I moved my backpack to the bigger table, picked up my coffee, sat down at the new location and took out my tools.  Only then did I notice that the table was designated handicapped.  At that exact moment, with all of the Universe' most precise and perfect and beautiful and poetic timing, an elderly woman walked through the door on a walker.

This gave me a dilemma.  Do I pack up all of my shit and move to made the designated space available?  I couldn't stay seated without feeling like a dick, so I asked the woman's care taker if they would like to take the bigger table.  The care taker was very kind and gracious about it, and told me I was fine.  I was instantly relieved of feeling like a dick, and was free to get on with my work in luxury.  Hence the importance of speaking up.

Not only was my conscience clear, but I also felt good for making a nice gesture.  Furthermore, the other people in the coffee shop heard the conversation.  That's not why I did it, but it's always reassuring to see strangers being nice to each other.  Even when you're not the one who's on the receiving end of a random act of kindness or generosity or gratitude, they're still nice to see.  It brightens up your day and makes you more inclined to nice to other people.  Kindness is contagious.  So is being a dick.  So from my experience, it's best not to be dickish; for my own well being, for the well being of those around me and for the collective whole.  Everyone wins when I'm not a dick.  It's a beautiful discovery.