Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dreaming and doing...

Some things need to creep up on you through necessity or involuntary repetition to become a permanent fixture in life.  Breathing, blinking, loving. Some things take an effort, like writing. You don't just wake up one day and write.  You learn a language, you read, you familiarize yourself with the grammar and write something less significant than you imagined would be your greatest work. An e-mail, a pithy twitter or a greeting card. Gradually you'll learn to love the possibilities of your preferred communication and you move on to love letters, diaries and other more personal but not less important staples.  Something that clears your head or gives you food for thought, something good for you. 

You do not however progress directly to the almighty and ever looming goal you have set for your self.  Why is that? Don't you trust your work-ethic or worse, your talent, or even worse, your imagination. I've been in love with this idea of man made things.  Where something useful or beautiful, or best of all both, springs from a single thought, and a single person, just the one person who has the courage to pursue this possibility of realizing this idea. I am also a coward.  My own ideas aren't good enough, I say to myself, they lack originality, they aren't personal enough, I don't know who I am and so on and so forth to perpetuate a cliche. 

It's all bullshit, there is no originality or personality, there is just what you can do and how you do it. Right now I am just exercising my writers muscle. Trying to build this habit of putting words to paper, or digits to disc. There is just what you can do in the time you have allotted to the task at hand. Nothing romantic and nothing magical. We all have a need pushing us towards something. Much of our energy and time is spent in suppressing this need for practical purposes. Those of us that live our lives in a succession of time sensitive tasks on the outside, push through because of our other life that rages on the inside, sometimes completely independent of what you experience and pursue in real life. 

This inner life will out though, and now its time to put real life skills to good use.  Build that habit, excel for yourself instead of in service, make the time to figure out if your self worth is tied to the paycheck or to the dividend of indulging in your need.  I think I am about to find out.... I hope. It gives me courage.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back to life... back to reality...

A while ago my grandfather passed away. He was elderly and very fragile physically and it should not have come as a surprise to anyone that his life was drawing to an end.  However, for some reason, my whole world shifted in an instance. Not physically and nothing was different per say, but there is a giant gap where this man used to be.  

For me he was the essence of my life, always a cornerstone, non-intrusive, stable and constantly present even though I live in another country.  There was no other person alive I loved as long and unconditionally as my grandfather and no other person who loved me the same way.  It is a rare gift to grow up in this faint but ever-present glow of love and with a caring parental figure who`s kindness was evident from the first breath you ware able to suck down. 

My grandfather was someone who embodied perseverance, integrity, and humor as his core values. No doubt acquired through years of fuck-ups and comebacks we can only imagine as his generation was not prone to share, especially in tragedy and failures.  I always got the sense he made it through anything by his love for his family and I`m sure it was tough going at times in the 89 years he managed through wars, recessions, personal and professional ups and downs and other marvels designed to break any spirit. 

We didn't exactly make things easy for him either, but one thing was always clear, he loved us, all of us, even when our very existence seemed somewhat a waste of space in the big picture.  But he always had hope for us.  I'm not entirely sure whether any of us ever lived up to what we imagined he expected of us, but we still try, for him, for us, for our own kids, because it makes sense to us to be a better version of ourselves despite the shortcomings. We learned this from him. All of us. 

We may just have been filling in the blanks for these particular life lessons as we were growing up at his table, reading the morning papers, starting with the comics, and then the little words and then eventually the crossword, all of us gradually soaking up his presence and laughter and hanging on his every gesture.

I miss my grandfather, but I miss myself with my grandfather even more.  It's selfish maybe, but I haven't felt evened out ever since he died and most of what I do doesn't make sense to me anymore. I guess I'm still grieving, who knows. But perhaps I need to remember the simple little mantra from a man that always made sense. Take care of your health and heart and you will be happier than most.

So, on I go another day, stepping quietly, slowly but surely towards better health and a fuller heart.