I always try to keep a good attitude and an optimistic outlook because that is all you really have in the end. What we got, we were given or earned. What we don't have isn't here yet. What we do have is here, now, with little reference to future pursuits. Sure, a lot of life is preparation. A lot of it is planning and anticipation. But at the end of the day, what we really
have - what we own outright as a human being, and not because of some contract or piece of paper that says so - is our condition, sitting in the moment on a dirty park bench or in box seats at the opera or on a subway car or in front of the television or on the back porch or floating, face down in the swimming hole (momentarily, in an attempt to freak out your loved ones nearby). We all own the here and now and, by direct injection of physical motion or mental release, we have some mild form of artistic control.
When the world is bright and shiny and loud and all a little bit too much we can turn on the sunglasses and turn down the light. We can slit our eyes to the barrage of refuse and dross and all those other words that people love to use in place of garbage - as if it weren't garbage everyone were talking about - and we can personally control what comes into our little nest-like world on top of our pole-like bodies, swaying in the wind - our minds like little chicks peeping, wide-mouthed, at the entire universe: saying look at me, feed me, look at me, feed me
We can - each one of us - choose a course of bitter resolve or optimistic exuberance. We can pick fights or peace marches. We can deride every friend or paint them in a picture. When we finish these things those moments will have come and gone and all that will be left is us - that and a few vague reminders of where we were and a suggestion, perhaps, of where we are going.
Perhaps I'm starting to sound a bit like a hippy with all that here-and-now bullshit but that isn't my point at all. The present moment is just the only thing that is easy to concretely identify. Despite its ephemeral position, the moment is always here and always with us. All other things - ideas, thoughts, even people and places - things we think are more certain and substantial, things that we see and feel and touch, these are the things that aren't really there.
Okay, so I am not always optimistic and my attitude is hardly "good" all the time. I did say I try
. What happens is that I go into these little trances - 24 to 48 hours at a time on occasion - where I can't stop thinking about the immeasurableness of it all. I lay wide awake at night feeling disconnected, but in a bad way, as if anyone I could possibly find at 4 o'clock in the morning - whether in person or over the phone - would sound like an old record, far off and distant.
Every dusty stairwell and every faded photo I see makes me feel less attached. Each trash can and flickering neon sign, every bum on the street, and all the tiny pieces of litter on the floor - all of it piled up on top of me wouldn't be enough to make this vagrant float of mine go away. Close earth orbit is a thing of the past. Now I just drift farther and farther away. With a bad attitude.
And so I tether myself to all these non-existent things - the friends, the people, the thoughts. Even the ideas and the animals. Fervescently 'circling the wagons' so to speak, each item or person actually filling a chink in the armour of my soul, giving some small amount of warmth if only in the form of security.. security. Secure from what
I'll spell it out: I hope. So shoot me, this oxymoron of a blogger-come-crackpot. Tell me I am a hack and that there is irony in my warnings, that there is hypocrisies woven in my words. Say what you will. Tell who you want.. for we are all
It is this basis of thought that plagues the soul. The questions of why
having long since been passed over in preference for inquiries into state, position, being. What? Where? When? None of these questions can be answered properly, or at least not to my liking, for if the were right we'd be what and where whenever
we wanted.. wouldn't we be?
So in place of all of that we're left with some vague idea of hope or destiny or fate or or.. or. Nothing, not even the best journalist, can fill in the blanks following these five double-yous and so I am stuck with this stop-gap, bootstrap, dun-it-yerself solution; the figurative four-letter word, the idea that this moment could possibly be any
other moment if we just try hard enough (and the moments that follow and even those that follows those that follow, all coalescing into one - for what is reality but awareness of now
And that is hope for you, folks. That things could be better. That things would be better. That things should be better.. somewhere out there.. down the line. The concept that things now
will somehow transform and mutate into a whole different set of things then
In the end I at least try to keep a good attitude and an optimistic outlook because that is all you really have.