Sunday morning thoughts on that which we call God and the formation of hell on earth

A thought keeps returning to me lately. When in the Christian bible it is said that the meek shall inherit the earth, perhaps what that really means is that lower lifeforms will inherit the earth. Think plants, protozoans, and prokaryotes. (Or, thanks to human ingenuity, perhaps even nanotechnology.) The smallest of the organisms. That would make sense, when you really stop and think about it, considering how the cellular level always adapts and eventually triumphs over whatever we attempt. The microscopic evolve much faster than we do, putting us and other higher life forms at an ongoing disadvantage, with no end in sight.

Also, consider the scripture where it was said that lions will someday lay down with the lambs. Maybe by that what is really meant is that lions and lambs (e.g., higher-level lifeforms) will both succumb to death, as in going extinct as species. Just a thought…

Seems to me life is crazier than we can imagine and that it’s so obviously not constructed to cater to our human whims and wishes.

Was just listening to a youtuber Christian that I turn to from time to time to hear his commentary on current events. Today he was complaining bitterly about how stupid we human beings have become, how our civilization project has led us to become weak and incompetent, comparing us to modern farmed chickens and how far from natural they’ve strayed. What he’s pointing at there is domestication, and yes, we humans are subject to this as well, as should be apparent by now. Does it make us lazy and stupid? Yes. We too are far from natural in nearly every sense, having forgotten in a few generation’s time how to provide even the basics for our own survival. I’ve bitched about this plenty over time as well, noting how most of us nowadays only know how to wave around money, not create things of actual productive value. Sure, modern economics is largely to blame for bringing us to this point, and overpopulation, popular socialization, and increasing technological dependence will keep us here. Is this trend going to lead to human extinction? Perhaps. But such concerns no longer bother me much anymore. C’est la vie. Special as we are, we’re not above Nature. Though undoubtedly a few of us will brave the storm and survive on in the future dark ages. Maybe. Or maybe not, depending on the disaster(s) that befalls us.

I can understand people getting riled up over these topics, angry that we humans can’t seem to change course. But at the same time I also try to accept that we’re not as smart as we like to think, or at least we’re not as quickly adaptive due to our mega social/cultural/political/economic systems currently in place. The individual maintains more flexibility than the collective, yet we’re all absorbed in a major collective scheme at this point in time, whether we like it or not. Indeed, we will go down with this ship when the time comes because there is no alternative for most of us. I accept this and reckon I would be one of the first to go down when that day comes, assuming it’s a big catastrophic event rather than a lengthy decline (the latter seeming more plausible). Is what it is. I, for one, am thoroughly dependent on modern conveniences and technologies and can’t barely imagine life outside of them. Being subject to the elements directly and learning to hunt and gather when modern weaponry have run out of available ammunition strikes me as entirely daunting and best left to the survivalist types who train for such scenarios.

This is the downside of domestication. We grow increasingly dependent on the Systems humans have constructed. We know this, and yet some become very depressed when contemplating this reality. I used to as well, but then I came to see that that’s my expectations acting up. Rose gardens were never in the trajectory, much as we love to envision a utopian future. It’s just not realistic. Especially when you consider who are attracted to wielding such power over and within these Systems and how they tend to get there (hint: not through truly democratic voting into office).

Personally, I don’t wish to see the future past a certain point. Wouldn’t know what to do with it. Continually reconfirms my decision to not have children, having no way to prepare them for what’s to come. Just trying to imagine what 20-30 years into the future will hold is mind-boggling enough, based on my readings of where technologies are heading. Where others see possibilities and easier living, I see enhanced domestication and surveillance. That in no way warms my heart or makes me hopeful for my species, though I do aim to maintain an open mind since I have no way of truly knowing how it will all shake out in the end. Maybe we will get lucky and knock ourselves back into a stone age, that seeming to me to be a better alternative than winding up within intensely technologically-advanced totalitarian societies. The future looks very dystopian to me and has for a lot of years now, try as I might to imagine things working out more in the people’s favor.

Hence why I can’t stand these gender-bent movements and racial movements and other ideological oddities intent on separating us from one another. Just creates more suffering in the meantime, and very little of what they have to say is actually relevant in the big picture. Not really. Just keeps us blaming one another while our ship rocks and threatens to sink, as if that will change a thing for the better. Even our stupid political divides have come to look like nonsense to me over time. Corporate-backed teams with more in common than not, parading as if competing in our media circus. Just another smokescreen, another illusion that we all-too-willingly buy into.

So I guess when I think about these things nowadays, I’m overcome with the thought that we should probably make life easier on one another in the interim. Maybe quit paving the way to hell in our own individual fashions so far as we’re able. Cease blaming others who weren’t alive when the ball first began rolling and who individually have no more power than we do to stop it. Guess I’m taking more of a hospice outlook on life at this point, though I understand that simply making ourselves more comfortable isn’t necessarily the best idea either. But screaming profanities at one another constantly and casting blame wholesale and telling others to get off the planet certainly isn’t helping anything. Much as I don’t like the notion of coddling our illusions, I also take issue with the idea of stripping them from people and leaving them with nothing to believe in. Seems the latter will prove to be a more dangerous tactic, leading more into nihilism and a sense of despair and futility, which will only further paralyze people. That doesn’t sound like the right thing to do.

As I was talking about with a couple friends lately, everywhere I’ve explored has eventually wound me up at the same place, which is to go to God. And by that I do not mean religion, though I’m not exactly sure what it does mean. That’s just the feeling inside my heart and head more and more these days. Like this is too big for any one of us to comprehend and to take on, and perhaps we’d be better off giving one another reasons to maintain faith in humanity and that which is good and proper and reliable, rather than tearing it all down and leaving people with nothing to believe in. This is an intensely personal and emotional topic for me and not one that I typically care to speak about with others outside of my closest people, so I won’t run on much about it here. It’s just a recurring thought, a pull in a direction that I’m not yet able to fully grasp the meaning of but recognize it as significant. That which I call God isn’t what religions have taught about, though past people tried to point toward it to the best of their limited abilities. It’s incomprehensible in a way, yet very meaningful in Its reminder that life follows a “plan” we can’t control and dominate, try as we might. Perhaps referring to it as life’s “flow” is more accurate, though we tend to conceive of it as if it is a plan since we can note that its workings indeed do appear to have some sort of rhyme or reason. Just not in line with our human melodrama, which then perplexes us. I won’t pretend to understand It, and I certainly won’t attempt to articulate my thoughts about It beyond what I’ve said already since I’m not the one to attempt to do so. And that’s fine. Striving for a personal understanding is all one really can ever hope for, considering we can’t help but experience this life through our own subjective lenses.

As someone who hasn’t been religiously affiliated in over 20 years now, I admit that it feels a little weird to keep feeling this pull toward that which is greater than us, not knowing how to describe it or what it all may mean. Atheists and skeptics would look upon someone like me and say that I’ve grown scared enough that I’m just grasping for straws at this point, when in reality I’ve actually grown calmer through this process of exploration. I was far more scared in years past, back before I began to release my expectations and try to accept life simply for what it is, good, bad and ugly alike. That transition maybe was brought about originally through fear and fatigue from fretting, but I didn’t go searching for it so much as it just crept up on me over time. And I don’t know why or how or what any of it means, but I’m willing to listen to It and accept not having answers. Because there’s nowhere else to go, quite literally. So maybe it is some sort of figment of my imagination — that’s always possible. But perhaps it’s a useful one, far more so than all this bickering and team-joining and politicking and expecting humanity to find its way out of our myriad conundrums. I don’t think we can, not in the foreseeable future. And I do believe there are people poised and ready to take full advantage of whatever power grabs become available, because that’s part of human nature to do so. We’re not a good species, but we’re not entirely a bad species either. We just are what we are, complicated as that can’t help but be. Shortsighted and tribal, power-hungry and nepotistic, sometimes charitable but also unavoidably naive…and on and on it goes.

Seems to me there’s no good reason to loathe one’s own species, especially considering none of us are immune to its foibles and fallibility. This is who we are, right and wrong, and it’s what we have to work with. So many seek power over others, believing that to be supremely meaningful, but really it’s learning to exercise power over oneself that’s especially tricky. We’re not too good at that. Domestication may be partly to blame today, but this problem follows us back to the very beginning of human origins. It’s the perennial conundrum that most of us don’t even begin recognizing the importance of until we’re more than a couple decades into living and will struggle with for the rest of our lives. It’s certainly easier to deflect outward, to blame those over there for our problems, even those at the top, but really we’ve all been complicit in the games we play in this life. Whether we initially meant to be or not, we became so and remain so even after we start becoming aware of what’s going on. No political party or laws on the book can rectify this matter for us. It’s an innate flaw within us — just part of living as sentient life who are always growing and exploring and learning. Can’t be helped and can’t be altogether changed. So no, there is no utopian on the horizon, just more human errors in judgment and striving for power and popularity and playing of the games as have been set before us by previous generations. Plus more technological prowess that many of us don’t fully understand and that most of us will not be able to control.

And on and on it goes. Sometimes it feels very daunting to take in, but other times I feel relatively at peace about it, sad as it can’t help but make me. Am I still scared of the future? Sure. How could you not be if you’re really looking into what’s being developed and what ideologies are growing in strength and numbers? I worry a lot for my loved ones, but I take some solace in the fact that our lives will only last so long. Some say that’s pessimistic thinking on my part, but what really strikes me as pessimistic would be if we were designed to live 150 years or more. That sounds like hell on earth. Which gets me thinking about the reason why I lost my religion in the first place as a young teen: I couldn’t believe in infinite suffering in hell. That’s what broke me out of that faith originally, finding no answers to that question. And since then I’ve come to understand at least that hell is something we humans can create on earth, and I can’t help but believe that in the future we will construct a greater hell than has ever been known before. That’s not what I’d like to believe, but all signs keep pointing in that direction. Why? Because our good intentions don’t tend to jibe with reality, as has been proven time and time again, yet technologies can and will allow for the formation of far more invasive ways of life. And many people will embrace them, believing the hype and accepting the rhetoric claiming that these technologies will aid us in reducing waste and saving the planet/climate and becoming evermore efficient as societies and within corporations. People will believe it because they wish to, going back to that naivete mentioned earlier. And people will gnash their teeth and people like myself, calling us fear-mongerers and luddites and pessimists for not gleefully being on board. To which I say: we’ll inherit the life we deserve. So be it. We do not understand freedom and have shown nearly a fearfulness of it and the responsibilities it requires of us to maintain it. That much is clear by now. So we will get what we help bring about. Right or wrong.

I’m just grateful that life isn’t too long. Allows us to appreciate what time we do have and what people we’re lucky to know while alive. I can grieve for my country and my species in general, but it will change nothing. We’re an interesting lot, if nothing else. Life is indeed fascinating and mysterious, and I look forward to observing it continuing to unfold during my lifetime. I try to tell myself not to be afraid, that it’s just life and this is how it can go. That no suffering can go on indefinitely (though some torturers have demonstrated to the public that it certainly can go on far longer than one can sanely endure — hence our capacity for evil). Feels like a game of whack-a-mole sometimes where the objective for the average layperson is to not get shut up in a box somewhere, whether by a government entity or a crazed stranger or even in an abstract, ideological sense whereby the box is fictitious yet we treat it as if it’s real and keep ourselves within its parameters out of fear and/or obedience.

Life is crazy, life is mad. And it always will be, that much is guaranteed. But with the notion of God comes Love, and I think that’s of infinite importance right about now. Others in the distant past have said it’s true, but reality keeps demonstrating just how true it really is. But then again, that topic perplexes me too, so I continue to grapple with it, not comprehending what it’s even asking of me. Not known for being a very forgiving person myself, so I’m likely very limited in my understanding of what that all may mean. But I will continue to explore it, feeling that it’s very important and deserving of our dedicated attention and contemplation.

Makes me feel very humble reckoning with all this stuff, feeling like a little animal who’s just not competent to make sense of so much in this life. It can be very overwhelming, undeniably so. But I’m trying not to be paralyzed by reality so that I may participate in a more meaningful and productive fashion. However successful I prove to be at that is yet to be seen. My prayer today for all of us is that we be willing to reckon with all sorts of unknowns, particularly those which contemporary “wisdom” deems as off-limits, irrational, or otherwise heretical. I believe it will be good for us to do so, albeit difficult as well.

Your sex is on fire

Unfortunately I had to hear this song again today. The last one I could stand before leaving the bar this early evening, having stopped up for a few drinks after my gym appointment. Decided to upload it since it’s left its mark plainly enough on my psyche.

“Ep. 148 – Neil Strauss: The Truth About Relationships”

A very good podcast from James Altucher featuring the author and former PUA (pick-up artist) Neil Strauss:

http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2015/12/ep-148-neil-strauss-why-you-cheat-yourself-and-how-to-stop/

Listened to the audio version of his book The Truth a month or two ago and found it very intriguing. Would share it with certain others if they’d be open to reading it or giving it a listen. Struggled/struggling with some similar issues as Neil. I do feel where he’s coming from and our paths share a few similarities, though my own journey is veering in a somewhat different direction. Still working my thoughts and emotions out on that one.

Good food for thought regardless. The man earned my respect for his willingness to be so introspective, publicly transparent, and raw.

the_truth_neil_strauss

How do I, as a former escort, live with myself, he asks?

Thinking about what was written to me yesterday (as was showcased in my last post)…

When someone asks me something like “how did you live with yourself?” for working as an escort in my 20s, it’s a bit perplexing. It causes me to wonder how others can be so blind to human nature (as well as animal nature) that they view our sexuality as some sort of unique sin within human life. It’s really not about money specifically so much as an exchange of resources and companionship, yet others try to make it out to be so ugly and dirty and with their words strip it down into something it needn’t be. That innocence they all claim to care about is tainted by their own imaginations and words oftentimes more so than the reality of the situation itself. It doesn’t help that most people out in the public get their education about sex work from HBO or the bible.

Human sexuality can be very complicated, but it also can be very simple. When someone looks at sex work as the opposite of anything having to do with love, I think it depends entirely on the situation and the persons involved. It’s not automatically the opposite of a labor of love. Work in general can and does itself go either way depending on the situation and the people involved. I happened to like my job and most of the people I chose to spend time with while in it. Many of my clients were very sweet and accommodating, as I tried to be toward them as well. Bonds developed between some of us that lasted years. True friendships even developed in some cases, a couple even that transcended sex work and continue on to this day even when the offer of sex was taken off the table years ago.

Involving money doesn’t automatically preclude genuine care and concern. And money isn’t sufficient all unto itself to make a person debase herself. Just because money is offered didn’t mean I had to take up any and every offer, and it didn’t mean I felt obligated to do anything and everything somebody wanted. No. Nor did I. I was very selective about my clients, and rightfully so.

What people seem to envision is so far from the reality most of the time. We’d typically meet and then go to dinner, sometimes at very fine places I otherwise might never have had access to on my own. And we’d talk and get to know one another, with the emphasis placed on me getting to know them, working toward getting the man to feel comfortable in my presence. We might enjoy a couple glasses of wine, but that’d be it — rarely more than that since it’s important to stay on track and focused. Then we’d go back to the hotel room and lounge and chat until it came time for me to slip into a gown and light the candles and turn on some music. We tended to like to rub and massage one another. We kissed and embraced. And cuddling was a big part of our time together oftentimes. A date lasted several hours, sex being only one aspect of it. I used to say that sex might be 10% of a date overall, albeit a very important 10% of it. But still…just 10%. The rest of the time was spent talking and petting and snuggling. So it’s not uncommon that bonds could arise, even if they didn’t rise to the level of love the way some think sexual encounters properly should. But there was affection and intrigue and compassion…which people out in the public prefer to ignore or dismiss when they discuss sex work.

My goal was to make the experience as mutually enjoyable as possible. Though I was there to tend to their needs primarily, since that was my job — to make these men feel better for a while. To give them someone to talk to who wouldn’t betray their trust, and I’ve kept my end of the bargain ever since.

The money was exchanged not just for sexual access but to establish boundaries. An important boundary was for me to let them go back to their lives without further interruption until we met again. And admittedly, providing for people in such a way can prove a bit draining on one’s soul over time, because life can be lonely and that sort of arrangement can underscore that feeling. It’s not exactly easy pouring your care into someone for a temporary amount of time, only to release them and then to go back to one’s own empty apartment. And it’s not easy when members of the general public deride you as a whore for doing what you do and say god-awful things to try to make you feel cheap and disposable. They know not what they speak. They just stand in judgment, unable to comprehend that there are people out there who appreciate you for taking up time with them in such a way and making them feel special for an evening.

Not everyone can or wishes to go out to bars or to play the dating game or to risk forming major attachments that may interfere with their jobs or lifestyles. Some men are married and are dealing with the passion fading in their marriages after having raised a family. Some men are nearing retirement age and just wanted to enjoy the company of a lady a good bit younger than themselves whom they learned about and interacted with online and found interesting. Some men are disabled and ashamed of their disabilities and have therefore had no success in the dating circuit. Some men are reclusive and going through hard times and just wanted someone to sit with them and hug them and breathe some playfulness back into their lives. Some men work long hours and didn’t have the time or energy to devote to an ongoing love affair with anybody. Some men were depressed after divorces and just wanted a no-hassle encounter where the conditions were understood upfront.

And I enjoyed providing that to them, so long as they were kind to me. Those who weren’t kind I walked away from, because no amount of money is worth scarring one’s psyche. Those wounds linger, so I was very careful to protect my interests as well as theirs. And a lot of us had fun. Enough so that many of the same men came back to see me again and again over the years, sometimes setting up regular arrangements from month to month.

I kept my fees very reasonable (comparably speaking in terms of the length of the date), because I understood the external costs the man bore for the evening, like the hotel room and dinner and perhaps also his travel expenses if he was from out of area. Because I preferred lengthier dates that allowed enough time for us to relax and feel comfortable with one another, I set it up that way and let it be known on my site. Because I wanted to be choosy too, I didn’t vie for top dollar for overnight dates (even when encouraged to do so). I strove to be reasonable and fair there, which allowed for more selection to choose from and made the dates affordable enough to where a man could visit me regularly. But it was enough that I got by just fine and was free to book usually only about 7-8 dates per month (a number of them being repeat clients, as mentioned already). This allowed me to focus the majority of my time on my school studies and reduced the sense of burnout that tends to come with a profession like that.

We had some really nice times. Lots of worthwhile memories. But then the naysayers on the outside looking in, plus my own sense of loneliness, eventually got to me…

What do people really want from you? They want everything. Too much. Sometimes clients get overly attached. Too often supposed friends and members of the public cast harsh judgments. But I learned long before ever becoming an escort that people are fickle and that they judge and condemn without much provocation or warrant. People like to call someone out of their name for anything and everything — for doing what they want or for not doing what they want or for doing with someone else what they themselves wanted. Or simply for entertainment, it seemed in some cases. And by this I’m referring to my teenage years too when it’s all-too-common for others (peers and adults alike) to harshly judge budding female sexuality — just automatically, without even anything to go off of other than perhaps their own sexual interest in you. I’ve listened to being called a “whore” since I was 13 or 14 years old, loooong before anyone could justifiably say such things about me. My initial crime was hitting puberty and attracting male attention.

We like to think that words do no harm, but they can get into a person’s psyche and become embedded. That’s proven true for me — the so-called whore. I’ve tried to embrace the term to lessen its stigma, but it always burns. Because it says to me that no matter what I do I cannot escape this word, this designation. Not unless I lived a life up on a shelf or perhaps if I proved to be tomboyish enough to erase my femininity (in which case they like to denounce you as a lesbian, so you can’t win for losing). But that is not who I am, and I always reveled in the exploration of my sexuality.

Intimacy is a beautiful thing — like a bird that has to remain free to land where it so chooses. You try to cage it, and there will be unforeseen consequences. You cannot trap and contain all of nature, much as people try. You have to let the spirit be free to interact and connect as it needs to. Love is the same way. You cannot force it, cannot coerce it — it is spontaneous in origin. Money cannot buy it, but nor does money automatically eradicate the possibility of it blooming. Humans do not seem to understand this.

I don’t know what my purpose in this life is. But I never regretted my time working as an escort and actually for a while there felt connected to something beyond myself in catering to my people. It felt right and undeserving of the cruel lashings the outside world likes to put upon it. It felt very much more innocent than half of anything that ever arises from the bar-scene, that much is for certain. By and large, it felt like human beings finding one another and taking comfort in each other’s presence. We each were searching for something and took refuge together when our paths crossed.

Not all clients were like that. Some came in with more mechanical interests. Some watched too much porn and thereby hindered their own abilities to experience intimacy in a mutually fulfilling way. Some clients belonged among online “hobbyist” groups where they bonded with other men over the sharing of (typically trumped-up) stories of their sexual exploits. Those clients wore me down and turned me off. I dealt with them as little as possible. Our agendas did not align. I had (and have) no love for so-called “hobbyists.”

And there were risks. It’s a risky profession. You take chances, even when you screen someone properly. I was very fortunate overall though. But there are some men who will hold you down and take what they want without concern for you or your comfort and safety. My experience has shown me you can meet those types of men anywhere, and through screening I rarely dealt with them during my time working as an escort. Much more likely to run across them at a bar or tavern, IME. I found that it was “civie” men (in other words, non-clients) who found out I worked as an escort who’d try to give me the hardest time, because they thought they could get away with it. They tried devaluing me far more than my clients ever did or would have dreamt of. Because in their twisted minds, that’s what I was there for. But no. That’s not what I was put here for, to be treated in an inhumane fashion by some stranger with a chip on his shoulder. No. And I continue to resent those memories. But they were not the fault of the industry and, as stated before, debuted in my life before I ever became an escort. Because that’s how some men are — always seeking a reason to see someone else as a toy they can use and abuse and discard. That points to something contained within human nature that is conveniently blamed off on the so-called whore because such men refuse to stand accountable for their own actions and choices and because they lack any real moral compass and only care about what they might legally get away with.

My disdain for men who act like that is a bottomless pit. They have earned my wrath, not only from what I know of them but also what I hear my loved ones suffered being put through by these types as well. If one wants to talk about evil, look there. They are the possessors and the controllers and the destroyers of innocence, because they care not. And yet they aim to conflate their dehumanizing ambitions with all of sex and all of love and all of intimacy that anyone else might be capable of experiencing. That‘s sick. It really is. But there it is, plain as day for anyone who cares to look at it.

I take issue with what we like to refer to as evil for this reason in particular, especially if the offense is done against a child. And it is this sort of shit that led me into studying the dark side of human nature and social dynamics, which I’ve spent the last decade or more learning about. As recommended before, the books of Erich Fromm help illuminate what I am pointing to here.

Some people are incapable of experiencing love, for whatever reasons, and yet they speak as though they are experts. And they denigrate the experiences of others by trying to make them out to appear pathetic and unworthy, when they themselves wouldn’t know a damned thing about something truly worthy. They live in their egos and are not interested in seeking truth. Reality appears to terrify them, for whatever reasons, so they try to construct their own. And they then preach from their pulpits to others, trying to poison the minds of the young and naive and downtrodden so that they too might turn out as miserable and thereby help validate the sick preacher’s distorted worldview.

I want nothing to do with that other than to study it.  But I am familiar and it’s THAT which ever made me feel dirty and low.

So, how do I live with myself? By walking on, placing one foot in front of the other, like so many out here. I’ve been living and learning. There are moral concerns with attaching “price tags” to sexual encounters, I would not dispute that. And there are moral concerns when it comes to dealing with married men, especially considering how popular it is in society to blame the “other” woman. I carry the weight of those concerns and have for over a decade. They undoubtedly will accompany me to my grave someday. I am not perfect and I never claimed to be a saint. Life is tricky and there is no purity here, not among adults. Everything’s a tradeoff. Pain and pleasure are not wholly separated. Love can be complex, and monogamy is much harder for some to stick with than others. And now we live in the era of full-blown decadence and temptation, which only further compounds these matters. Morality at this stage of the game is an interesting inquiry and one I take up a lot of time pondering in recent years. But I won’t claim to have the answers, especially not some universal answer applicable to all others.

Life tosses opportunities your way and you do with them what you can. All in all, when I look back, I am not ashamed of those life choices. It was a very human and humane occupation. Why must I regret that? Why have so many people pressured me to regret that? I cannot and I will not. It provided me with useful perspective on a lot of things, plenty of which might not even seem directly correlated in any way. We have this one life to live, and to spend it tucked safely away and above all scrutiny from others was never my ambition. I preferred to live my life and to do so on terms I established. If that’s wrong, then I apparently am incapable of being right in accordance with the ideals of others.

Thoughts to be continued another time…

[Updated the next day for greater clarity and to correct typos.]

Blue Million Miles

“Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles” by Captain Beefheart:

Another song that makes me think of special people in my life. But when I stop and think about it, I’ve always been attracted to blue eyes for some reason. My own are brown, but when I ponder back most men I’ve dated had blue eyes. My best guyfriend has bluish-grey eyes. But both close women in my life, my Grandma and my best girlfriend, have brown eyes too. This allure seems to be reserved for the men in my life. And when I listen to this song my companion’s eyes shine through in my mind. His eyes are a blue million miles in their own right.

Beautiful, humbling tune.

“Glimpses into Existence, Lecture 3: Underground Men, Inquisitors, and Saints – Fyodor Dostoevsky”

Another interesting lecture/discussion by Dr. Sadler:

The only book so far I’ve worked through by Dostoevsky is Crime and Punishment, but now I’m intrigued to eventually check out his other works.

Changes

A personal update: Been a long month. Been a long summer. Been a long year. Happens like that sometimes. Things get heavy. Sometimes it’s even your own damn fault. Sometimes I get to be the asshole, I get to play the part of “bad guy.”

Living and learning.

And what can you do about that? Takes time for things to turn around, even under the best of circumstances. And yes, of course, things could always be worse, as we all know. This is not the end of the world, this is just a tough spell, but things are improving. Turning over some new leaves. Making necessary changes. Keeping the faith and “nerdling” toward a better position. [Note: “Nerdle” is a term conjured up my boyfriend to describe my “nerdy turtle” tendencies. In other words, I apparently qualify as a slow nerd. Ha!] Not everything will happen overnight, and this isn’t the beginning of this transformation process — just another leg in an ongoing journey. This is an opportunity to redouble my efforts and to reassess what all I expect from myself and wish to explore in this life from this moment forward.

Everything winds up being a learning experience in the end. Down certain avenues I’ve seen enough. But change doesn’t come easy and we all have a tendency to gravitate toward what we’re most familiar with. The problem with aiming to change oneself isn’t only identifying where you’ve fucked up or pondering on what a better outcome might look like, but rather it’s figuring out how to get there. It’s the steps needing to be taken along the way that I’m still figuring out.

So, yeah, times like these demand comedic entertainment and lighter-hearted distractions. And a few beers in the evenings when time permits. There’s a time to be a go-getter, and there’s a time to stop and spend time with yourself and to think deeply about all that needs to be thought about. And that requires mental breaks sprinkled throughout, to add levity and keep it all in perspective.

That’s what I understand right about now.

Haters will hate. That’s a fact of life. People like to bark about what others ought to be doing at any given time, dictating how they think they should be living. Flinging guilt trips where able. People say to one another that we should be activists out there running around in the streets, holding signs and getting angry, screaming about how we demand change. Others content themselves with at least playing the role of online activists, spreading their messages far and wide, shaming and harassing those they feel deserve it. Doesn’t strike me as a particularly productive use of one’s time, but hey, folks can knock themselves out. The people who make the greatest impression on me both online and offline aren’t always necessarily witty or the smartest, but they come across as having heart. And if they’ve got that, there’s something to be worked with.

Much of the rest are just spewing frustration and rage. And much of that gets misplaced on people who appear to be standing in opposition to us. But are they really? Are their motives automatically sinister? Are they completely lacking in rationality and civility? What makes us so sure that they know what they’re doing any better than we do? And what makes us so sure we know what the hell we’re really doing? I don’t know about all of you, but life’s affected me every step of the way. Amazing the difference a decade can have on your outlook, or even a couple crazy years. Everything we do in this life impacts us, shapes us, opens or closes the door on so many future opportunities. We may not possess 100% free will, but we possess enough of it to where we can’t help but be responsible for a good bit of who we become and how we act. And I’m writing as a bit of a hypocrite, admittedly, but that’s understood already. Who isn’t a hypocrite? And do we remain as such if we’re able to be honest with ourselves and, to whatever extent, others? No human is an island, and like that Brodie man mentioned in the Memes audiobook I uploaded clips from, we exist in constant conflict between what others expect of us and what our own selfish interests try to lead us to. Welcome to the human conundrum.

Rambling periodically is good for some of our souls. I’ll aim to edit this post tomorrow. Out.

Quick clarifications

Thoughts strike me from time to time that I’d like to share on here but don’t due to not being up for writing some long piece. Blame laziness and beer. Worn out. Had a LONNNG month. August will be busy as well. Which is good, not complaining, just not up for doing much in the evenings that requires concentration.

So, tonight I’ll stick with basic, quick replies.

I’m not anti-feminist, per se. Feminism as a movement is problematic, as are plenty of people who refer to themselves as feminists. BUT, lots of women call themselves feminists yet don’t deeply look into or keep up with what their movement is up to. So I try to be clear that I take serious issue with the direction the feminist movement is heading in, but not with each and every person who happens to call themselves feminists for whatever reasons.

Don’t see myself as an anti-natalist. Love it when people use birth control and wait to plan their pregnancies with one another when they’re ready and after they’ve thoroughly assessed their situations. But I’m not against all breeding, even though I do use the term “breeders” sometimes.

Not a foreigner, for those out there who keep telling me to go back to my native country on YT comment threads.  lol   american_smilie

And I’m not Hispanic, for the record. In everyday life people mistake me as well sometimes, even actual Hispanics. *shrugs* Took some Spanish courses in high school, and have tried learning the language via instruction CDs. Haven’t had much success and probably never will considering how much English trips me up already. haha  But yeah, not of that ethnicity.

What else?

Ya know, returning to this entry a couple hours later while listening to Mama Cass sing:

…I’m struck with a thought that dumbfounds me regularly when reading comments or watching videos posted by disgruntled men, some of whom refer to themselves as MRAs. They talk like women have always been using men, never giving them their props, not loving men, just using them. Yeah, right. That’s asshole talk. If you can’t look back in history and around you and see that there’s plenty of evidence of love and gratitude (though it may be waning), then what’s there to discuss? Love was real and always has been. Daddies and Papas mattered and plenty still do. How is that not noteworthy?

Johnny Cash wrote in his memoir how much his family meant to him and how much joy they brought to his life. They shared real, deep love and committed bonds. They were right for one another. They stuck by and aimed to be good to one another.

Love is not dead. Yet people speak as though it’s a non-issue, like it’s somehow becoming irrelevant. And to that all I want to say is it’s the only thing that is truly relevant anymore. Extremely relevant. Without the bonds of love, who and what are we all? Strangers who go bump in the night?

We’re not all going to love one another, that’s a given, but we can carry a love for humanity, and we can and do form close bonds with special others. And that’s life’s joy. That’s what makes this stupid rat race tolerable. That’s what makes us look forward to coming home at night and motivates us to head out to work everyday. Love is what challenges us at our core to change our evil ways, because we hurt people when we act recklessly, impulsively, compulsively, selfishly, without thinking deeper about the consequences of our actions to ourselves and others. I’m typing this to myself mostly, because I need to read it.

Life is crazy, life is mad…. to quote an Enigma song. That’s all I’ve got this evening.