Saturday, May 03, 2003

Look here now, ye fools, and enter not, lest ye be devoured by your own lust!
Ooooh. Spooky eh? Well, not really. Just my flair for the dramatic emerging through my bleary-eyed brain waves. I'm feeble and shaky from hunger. And the tale of Rasputin's terrible death is unfolding behind on the TV.
Crazy fuggin' Russian!
But here's something for you to consider:
"There is absolutely no such thing as inevitability so long as there's a willingness to think about what is happening." The quotes, of course, are indicating that this is not my original thought, but it is a thought – a concept that's haunted me for many,many years. The phrase was carved into the wooden doorframe of a train caboose that had been transformed into a kitchen addition attached to another train car that sat at a right angle to the "kitchen." This place was in Casper, Wyo., and I remember well the overcast afternoon I happened to notice words carved into the wood that bordered the doorway between the kitchen and the "living room."
Who said it? Damned if I can recall. It wasn't Freud, it wasn't Kafka, nor was it Jung or Dostoevsky.
But think on that simple phrase. Spend 10 minutes contemplating its meaning. Try to plumb the depths from which that thought emerged and see if you don't feel a harmonic warmth rising in your senses. "ABSOLUTELY no such thing as inevitability ... ." That one word, absolute, gives the phrase a force, a momentum that knocks over one's placid thinking like pins in a bowling lane. But is it passive or active? Does the meaning suggest that one pursue confidence in one's own picture of life? Or does it suggest that one's life is purely a blend of chaos and regimentation, self-imposed by way of human nature?
For me, that phrase suggests that human beings can change the course of all behaviors and actions and, yes, even the course of one's own nature. Therefore, whoever you think you are; however you perceive yourself and your abilities, so long as you can think, you can change. And in change you can find freedom from any affliction, be it mental, spiritual or physical.
What do you think? I'm curious. Good night.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

A Crock of Sh*# Now, or dreams of Martin Sheen.
I've been remiss in keeping up with the many wonderful BLOG sites offered by Blogger and for that, I hang my head in shame. I want to thank Blogger (whoever you folks are ...) for offering this electronic podium for those of us who, for whatever reasons, feel an urge to place some sort of communication on the Internet. Sometimes just putting a few words on my BLOG can stimulate new lines of thought, new concepts and fresh points of view from which I can observe the world at-large.
Sometimes it's purely an ego thing. But more often than not, I am trying to self-analyze my motives for behaviors past and present, or I'm struggling with creative questions, e.g. "How can I kick-start this damn book in my head and stay on track throughout the process?"
That aside, I keep recalling that scene in the film "Apocalypse Now" where Martin Sheen, the amoral assassin sent to snuff out the rogue colonel (whatever Brando's character's rank is ... ) rises out of a mist-coated, brown river for no apparent reason at all. I've struggled with explaining that scene for years, ever since I saw the film upon its release. What the hell was Coppola trying to say with that scene? Help! This is important! What I consider a nearly flawless film was thrown out of sync for me by that single stream of frames. Sheen's character wasn't exactly required to be stealthy when he climbed the hill to waste the colonel (what was his name, dammit?). The voice-over says as much, to wit: "Hell, he wanted me to do it. He just wanted to die like a soldier," etc. And yet, here we have this, I guess, atmospheric setup showing a muddy-faced Sheen slowly rising up out of the filthy water, mist swirling slowly about his head as we see first the top of his head, then his forehead, his eyes and, finally, his full face, dripping water streaming from his nose and ears. Coppola went a little nuts with that scene, I think. But what the hell. It was still a great movie, deserving of the term "classic."
The world turns another day – or does it? What if you were watching, oh, say an episode of "NYPD Blue" and suddenly your brain exploded from an anerysm and your heart finally gave up the ghost from all that cholesterol clogging your arteries? What would your last thoughts be? Ever wonder? Well, I do, and I've come to the conclusion that I'd probably regret missing the thrilling 2-hour season finale.
Now I'm not sure what psychological implications this scenario presents, (who cares what psychiatrists think anyway? They live in a world of fantasy and exposition based on fiction!), but I think, in my case, it means that LIFE IS A CRAP SHOOT WITH NO POINT, NO RHYME AND NO REASON. Well, maybe not. But isn't it ridiculous that many of us actually die while sitting in front of a TV set viewing some rehashed plotline played out by people we've never met but who we "feel" we have a relationship with, if only from afar. Very far!
Why, you may ask, am I rambling about such a morbid question? No reason. It just occurred to me that were I to snap, crackle, pop out of existence at this moment it would be truly embarrassing (but only for my physical manifestation; I'm sure my spiritual 'self' would be back in the gate and ready for the next escapade into this so-called reality.
Really, I guess I'm suggesting that you might want to try and do something worthwhile with your life before it fizzles out. Whatever you feel is worthwhile (and legal, I suppose) will do nicely, I'm sure. There really isn't a scorecard being kept on your behavior in the celestial realms. And there isn't an absolute moral imperative, not on this planet. So do your best and aim for fulfillment.
So ends our sermon. Peace.