Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shame Begets Shame; Regret, Regret.

I meant to write a long detailed post about this topic, but I've been busy, either at work (tis the season), or at home (tis the Ikea mother load in my bedroom), and my wife's mom has come to live with us recently (and speaks a foreign language that I'm barely functional with, though I do understand more and more--but it requires effort, such that if I must put effort into other things, my comprehension goes down).

The point was only this: if we feel shame about our previous actions, and it has been a driving force, as I believe it has been for my life, then it makes sense to think about just how much of a perverse incentive it is, and how much of our time we're spending feeling like complete shit--AND to recognize that it might be around for a real reason (like motivation), BUT that the costs are high.  And without being balanced by other more production emotions, through a process of gradual understanding of the role of shame, well, we're bound to go on feeling shame automatically when certain environmental stimuli occur.  The point being only that we can retrain our emotional understanding of ourselves, and our role in previous relations, in hopes of furthering a more productive and healthy image in the future, one with a little less pain.

Regret basically goes along the same lines.

Both emotions are purges of a sort, too, in that they allow the expression of some ugly stuff, but both are also addictive emotions, in that they provide crutches toward not facing some of the stuff about ourselves that maybe we should--they are shields against understanding things like this:

1) Maybe we're just not as good as we thought we were

2) Maybe some of the behaviors that upset us in other people are also perfectly embodied in our own actions.

3) Maybe we are the cause of our own suffering more than others and circumstances, and also, therefore, of our hope.

And with a little bit of hope--what's the line from Bill Frisell?  Lookout for Hope?  Ah, sentimental and  nostalgic in just the right forward looking way.  I'll leave this little blossom of spring.  It is a horrid quality pic from my phone, but real just the same.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Novice Guitar Playing: Technique needed for Strumming hand.

I'm not much more than a novice myself, but one tried and true problem with all novice guitar players is that they concentrate on developing their left hand, and not their right (assuming they strum with right and grab chords with left).

No matter how articulate the left, with sloppy inarticulateness on the right, you're sure to sound as bad as you can!  Nobody wants the worst version.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Perfectly Expressed Emotion -

This feat does happen, though maybe not often, and mostly in music.  There may not be a fit between the emotion I'm feeling at a perfectly expressed emotion in a particular song at all times, but when there is, boy does it feel good.

Which leads me to believe that people create things, at least in part, to get to the point of a perfect expression of emotion.  To give others what they had once received and been inspired by.  For instance, it is also illuminating to listen to perfectly expressed emotion music and discover what I'm really going through, especially after having endured muddied waters--even if the emotion itself is bad, it is revealing to share it and to know that there can be beauty in embodying it perfectly.

And so, maybe when people make music they are indeed chasing status.  I won't argue with that.  BUT, they're also chasing something more profoundly comforting and in an exceptional way, less opaque: momentary complete understanding.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not Killing Yourself Is Harder.

There's a fantasy buried into the egos of many people.  It says that suicide is in some ways a fantastical and beautiful transcendent thing, even when it is slimy and morose and deeply shameful--see, it is, concurrently pure bliss, the ultimate rebellious act: romantic.

But not killing yourself is much harder.  So killing yourself must be something else, perhaps: laziness.
Eating kumkwats and finding a way to habituate my brain toward a forward meandering sentences without pre-forming them conclusively, or tidying up all of the bows prior to creation.  It is a dichotomy I tell myself, that exists, in that writing, or producing, takes a place in the chronology of events, and editing comes afterward.  It cannot be untrue, though.  Without some product, there can be no editing.  And so, well, hence writers block.  You sit and think, and nothing is good enough, so you or I, we--we--mentally edit it until there's a little nub of confused circles and really nothing to actually write down.  Or at least nothing as close to the form of all of the mental edits told you were worth writing down.  Thing is, of course, that having the space to write down something--anything--away and afar from the internal editor, is valid in and of itself.  Creation and destruction, our old friends from freshman philosophy, and they are true.  As true as anything else these days can be true.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Runaway Audience Fantasy -

Most of what we do, even when alone, implicates or concerns other people in some large way.  I don't mean that there's a global supply chain and that it takes a host of folks to get me my tea (which is true). What I mean is that we, as individuals, so often act as if there were audience to act to, or for, that we often forget how alone we actually are.  There really and truly is often nobody watching.

This isn't necessarily depressing.  In many ways it can be freeing.  If our actions are broadcast out into the masses for collective judgment on a daily and micro-neurological level, we don't have to work so hard to impress everyone else.  We can, instead, honestly be free to figure out what we're interested in doing absent other people.  And, once we do that, we can reintroduce people to that activity to build healthy relationships.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


There are a lot of ways to be stumped.  One of the perennial favorites is of course because we don't want to appear stupid.  This is naturally quite an important feature for dynamic social interactive sorts of stuff, but if you're trying to produce something that can benefit from editing and hence, successive drafts, than getting out some ideas on paper, as it were, can be helpful to have the capacity to appear stupid and work through it, because you, or I, suffer only from self-judgment.  Notably harsher than it has any right to be, and frequented distorted as it is, it is not the end-all of anything. In fact, it is probably more of a beginning if it can incentivize harder work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm Single Now, he said to me.

At 7:30 this morning, "and 71 years old.  So I just love to come in here and eat this oatmeal, ya know, because I don't always cook for myself."

To which I replied, of course.  I completely understand.  But instead of telling him that my wife was gone for 2 weeks, abroad, which is true, I instead nodded again vigorously, to avoid the possibility that he would tell me that his wife recently passed away, making him single for the first time in 50 years.  And because I was a a stranger, I didn't inquire further, and we settled into silence for the next 30 minutes after some quaint talk about tehneed to keep stretching and working on one's body.

And when I said goodbye to him, and wished him well, there was a moment wherein he realized how searching and pathetic he felt before, how insecure, how reminiscent of his early 20s he may have been there, for that moment, in his early 70s, and I felt it too, he brushed it all away by being relatively gruff, instead of desperate, and I wanted to tell him it was okay, but I was also not willing, in the previous moment to endeavor down the possible dead-wife path.  So it is on a Friday morning.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Growing into a Stereotype?

Afraid that you, young adult, are slowly growing into a horrid stereotype of yourself, your culture, and your values, one that you were, just a few years ago, thoroughly repulsed by and found to be seriously similar to people like your parents?

I have the solution!

Stop idolizing stereotypes.