Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. -Dalai Lama
How much better could we understand each other, if we were able to actually inhabit each other’s bodies? Like some version of the movie Freaky Friday. I certainly know that I wished someone could inhabit my body(other than me) so they could better understand my point of view. However, there is the ability of empathy , but even that wasn’t enough for me or others that are in a crazy situation. Mere words were not enough, I wanted an absolute understanding and connection with someone. The support group I had gone to before, I left because it was too negative and seemingly a group of people sitting around griping and being sad. More recently I actually revisited the group and found it to be better. Although, there was an overwhelming sentiment of people just wanting a relationship. Some had even never really had a romantic relationship. Whether romantic or not, it seems that well and “sick,” people are looking for a real connection. Why is that? Even in an age that is so well connected.What makes it so difficult to connect with another human? Have we built up our walls of protection to be too resilient? Is it a lack of empathy? Perhaps it’s a mix of both. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we need to be connecting to more than just the internet. Except for anyone in an isolated circumstance, the internet becomes the connection. When you can’t really leave your house and your social life is hanging on by a thread, the internet offers some much needed socialization. Personally, I’m very social and I like talking to people so this was crucial for me. However, what about those who only see a caregiver and don’t really use the computer!? I have often asked the Woman that comes over to help me, how much She knows about the other people She works for. Of course, this is not done only to be nosy on my part. Knowing that some of those people likely desperately need a social life, why not help provide them with that? Sadly, not everyone realizes how important that is until it happens to them. Again, where is that body switching machine!? We really do need more understanding among us. Since this occurred to me I have become so much more aware of the spirits inside of some people. The World may see a smelly, street person, but I see the person inside who really just needs some compassion and acknowledgement. You don’t have to be religious, a guru, or “new age,” to see someones true spirit. You just need to pay attention in those places that the rest of the world(or those around you) ignore.
“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” -Oscar Wilde.
How often is it that you find a person whom you’ve never met that changes your life ? Even if it’s for only a day, it’s strange to think that even those so close to you now, were once not in existence to your knowledge. Stranger still, is the strong impact a perfect stranger can have on you through the power of human expression. We’re all connected by an invisible tapestry of networks, real or imagined. It’s through these networks and artistic merits, that through time and space, the presence of another can be felt. It is in doing these these things, writing, painting, music, and theatre that our personal or private life experiences become a shared one. Whether it’s through the sonic landscape(music) the written word,film, or the visual arts, it helps to know were not alone. You can find traces of a shared human experience, woven throughout the artistic tapestry. While technology has seemingly connected us in ways as never before, it cannot compare to the authentic emotions that are brought forth by a moving piece of art. We are one of the few creatures that possess the ability to create, and even fewer still possess the raw talent to bring forth a strong piece that speaks to our souls. Each of us have our own particular brands of artistic expression, as unique as our fingerprints. It’s nearly impossible to explain art, because it is as broad as the ocean is deep. What brings about “good art?” The answer is simple, inspiration. An inspiration, that funnily enough comes from being exposed to the artistic expressions of another human being. This is where the interconnectedness of the human experience becomes all too apparent. For without each other there is no inspiration. The cogs of the human machine come to a halt without the oil of inspiration to keep them turning. This is why We blog, why we create, and most importantly share. All these beautiful things are made in an effort to grasp something real, in a sometimes very fake and chaotic world. Through the act of creating, were bringing comfort to ourselves in knowing we’re not alone, and at the same time reaching out our proverbial hands in order to join them together. Therefore, run, jump, play, be wild, free, and most importantly, don’t cease creating.
Nice to “meet,” you.
“So often people act like they don’t want to be bothered, but I think they yearn for that.” -Iris Apfel
We all have a story, but how often is the cover of that book completely misleading?
The best connections and intimacies happen when We allow or are allowed to peel back the pages of another person’s book. So often it seems that were not allowed to do this. Paper books are read and written,but not our own. Why must We keep our personal stories so secret? It is this lack of sharing and misleading covers that keep us so very disconnected. While it may not be obvious, there is a strong undercurrent in humanity that screams out for connection. Why else are there so many blogs,gangs,addictions,attempted suicides,rich therapists,and internet forums? The very existence of such things is proof of the latter. As a society We succeed at many things, but it is in this realm that we miserably fail. During my recovery I found myself wanting to talk to everyone(even strangers)to the point of having to be reminded not to do it like some sort of child. I simply found myself actually wanting to know people. In having to take a closer look at my own story, I badly wanted to know others. Because at the moment my pages were(are)suspended in disbelief, and I desperately needed to find some common ground with my fellow humans. There are so many problems I see that could easily be fixed if there was some support. It’s as if since the culture of the Leave It to Beaver 1950’s,we have effectively learned how to remove our hands from supporting the crowd surfer overhead. In doing this they fall to the ground and hopefully haven’t broken anything. However, would any of us even stop to ask them if they’re alright? I’ve gotten some of the greatest pleasure in simply being allowed to get to know someone. It’s not often when a total stranger allows you to read their book. I have found that in places of injury(rehab) people are the most open and willing to have a connection. Devastation is the great equalizer. When the world is seemingly ending, there is no time to create prejudices, categories,or invisible rules. We are all simply people in need of love,safety,food,and shelter. The real tragedy lies in the fact that until someone tries to destroy that world(ours or actually)We blissfully operate in these divides. Never has it been more evident to me that “United We stand,but alone,We fall.”
Open up your book!
I realize I have not been completely honest with you dear reader. In my definition of strength, I thought it meant you had to remain a pillar toughing it out on your own remaining positive. While I am quite hopeful and idealistic, no man is an island. On the surface the water is calm. However, drop a rock of fear in and the ripples of doubt and worry unfurl into a large splash. If I let one little pebble of fear in they quickly accumulate into a boulder. Since I began reading this book(look!) my definition of strength is changing. Because, in the act of going it alone and not asking I’ve essentially left people out rather then let them in. The truth is when this tragedy occurred to me I had a lot to lose)and since I awoke in a Hospital rehab it has been a small step away from spiraling into a black hole. I’ve gotten quite good at shutting my thoughts off. If one little pebble of fear does eke it’s way in it’s a slippery slope. Therefore, you have to find things to keep looking forward to. All of a sudden a mall trip actually becomes a lifesaver(I don’t even like malls) the key is distraction. Besides distraction it becomes imperative to surround yourself with positivity and keep it near. Not only is positivity a must, but so are good people. One of the strongest forces in this universe is love and during difficult times you can’t get enough of it. If you truly love people enough they will give you everything. In other words it’s not about material belongings or gifts but human connection. All of us are asking, “Do you see me?” As most of us know already(I hope) material goods are of little use or value if your not happy and healthy. I found myself so detached from consumerism( quite a change for me!) that my Mother had to tell me to quit giving things away. When the winds of life pushed me onto a different path I seriously began to question the need for anything but the essentials. When I was in my early twenties, I scrawled this quote in black sharpie(of course) on my wall “ The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.”-unknown. If I remove a picture on my wall it’s still there and how funny it is that this message from the past to my future self still holds true, take that Back to the Future! If something I have can bring happiness to someone else, I can’t give it to them fast enough. It has boiled down to, rather then a new sweater I’d rather make someone happy. Life is for sharing not accumulating things. It reminds me of the junk troll in The Labyrinth.
She roamed David Bowie’s magical kingdom with a heavy load on Her back. Rather then making the load more weight bearing, I’m attempting to get rid of mine. I want to breathe lightly and clear. It’s the air filling our lungs that keeps us alive. More burdens steal your breath. Whether it’s meditation, church, or remaining idealistic and positive that helps you breathe, whatever lightens the load for you keep playing that hand.
I leave you with a lovely tune,
Everyone has a blog,reads a blog,or is currently the writer of one.A Google inquiry of how many blogs? Yields results in the millions like this one: On 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.
The internet has not only become a means of big business, but also a main facilitator of human communication and expression.Therein lies “the blog,” an omnipresent entity among the tech savvy movers and shakers.Not to mention the social butterflies, It is a great way to connect in an increasingly disconnected world. The one where everyone knew their neighbors seems to be a thing of our Grandparents day. Concerning all these personal gadgets and media I can recall one comedian’s observation ; “Thank you Apple for giving NewYorkers another way to ignore each other.” As a rule social interaction is not encouraged on the subway. It makes strangers uncomfortable. While I completely understand that,it seems this may be happening on an even larger scale.When faced with a lack of social interaction, it seems We have taken to writing creative letters in cyberspace to an invisible audience,if only in our minds. However I’ll admit I quite like having the ability to pass out well designed business cards that say “I’m a writer and I have a blog.” Therefore I must be interesting, right? I find, like many I’m sure that writing is cathartic.Whatever your reason, it’s a great way to spend your time! It’s certainly more productive then sleeping or being a couch potato that’s for sure.Personally I’m not doing it for money.Perhaps in the beginning I had grand delusions of using it as an additional source of income..That has since changed more into a means of personal satisfaction, and ultimately helping someone else.Furthermore have you heard of such glamorous workshops for more serious bloggers called Blogcademy!? I was unfortunate enough to miss the very first one, but caught one in Chicago(see here!) which was great and fun.Being a fan of creative things I find blogging to be enjoyable and like the ability to change things around like it’s silly putty.Not to mention I take satisfaction in knowing that my ex boyfriend’s blog is not as interesting nor as well designed(Ha!) that gives me some odd sort of revenge.Although, revenge aside it’s creating a whole community, and were seeing things like bloggers being invited to fashion shows,being tapped into promoting a brand,and even gaining large followings and internet fame much like some Youtubers.At any rate,I say let the bloggers blog!
Cheers and Happy blogging!,