Thursday, June 28, 2007

Growth Quote

I found this quote the other day that I liked very much:

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow
sometimes in one dimension, and not in another;
unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are
mature in one realm, childish in another. The past,
present, and future mingle and pull us backward,
forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of
layers, cells, constellations.”-Anais Nin

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

La Vie en Gris

I had this thought today that was a complete one, one that I looked at from all angles that I was capabale of and could not find any discernable cracks in the logic. But it made me terribly sad to have realized what I have. It made me feel like there was nothing left to think about for me. That it was all finallly summed up.

The thought went something like this: Anything that we think is an absolute, is not. Things are so ambigious and changeable and life is one long continuium of greyness without any real black or white at the extremes.

I am drowning in a pool of greyness right now. I am overthinking things. Please offer me a black or white solution.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

System Breakdown

Its your first day of the semester, you have a nice crisp notebook, sharp pencils, some binder contraption, a mind heavy with both a deep sick fear and a bright optimistic anticipation for learning new things. And you are absolutely blindly convincing yourself that THIS year will be different.

This is the year that you will write neatly and establish a system of keeping your papers and thoughts organized in such a way that will allow you to retrieve whatever piece of information that you need in an impressive 5 seconds.

My question is this. When does an organizational system ever really last? It always seems to break down at some point. When you are tired and then busy and then lazy and then someone else changes it and then it spills and scatters like several shiny colorful marbles and as you watch them swiftly roll away beyond your grasp, you are disappointed, but not surprised.

The you that expected so much sits down quietly discouraged and foolish and the you that is now-is ranting and shuffling papers and waving hands in the face of the structure of discipline that it once actually attempted to embrace.

Only to start the next semester, or project, or living space, or file cabinet, or excell document with the same clean sheet and open heart and so on and so on.

The Pages of You

You know how when you are at work you conduct yourself differently than you do at home, and different still than when you are at a restaurant or at a museum or a baseball game or when you meet someone new.

I know that modification of behavior for the purpose of acting appropriately for the environment is very necessary. You cant go around taking your socks off in a museum, and putting your feet up. But this multiplicity of self, is getting very exhausting for me lately. There are a few people who I can think of who have versions of themselves for work and play that are very nearly the same person, but I can never manage to do this with any success.

What if everyone you knew from all different parts of your life wrote one page about you and then all the pages were bound together in a book. Would the pages read the same thing one after another, or would the descriptions shift and undulate into a wildly diverse tome of You through the eyes of others?

When I think of it this way, like a book, it makes me want to wear different hats all over town-because that would make the most interesting book. Because who wants pages and pages of the same darn thing? No one would read it.

THIS JUST IN: I just found a quote that seems a perfect ending to this post:

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”-Anais Nin

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lace becomes Words

I have this habit of going into a clothing store and seeing some beautiful flashy print or bright colored item and admiring it immediately. Sometimes I buy these items. Sometimes I have the guts to wear them. Sometimes I dont.

When I get them home their loudness pulses in my closet-and I ask myself “can I really do this?”

So, it seems fitting that I have sort of done this with my wedding dress. I am getting nervous about wearing it, so I am going to write an ode to my dress, to make me feel better and to convince myself of its perfectness:

Its delicate and light
like a petal in the breeze,
a feather in the wind,
or love in the air
Yet it makes a bold statement
as if it were pink
or the darkest chocolate
and brightest sun.
It nods to days gone by,
but vibrates with modernity.
Its demure, yet sassy.
Its ego is distorted and diminutive,
but large and obnoxious.
It wants to hide,
but it cant
Sweet as sugar but may be,
hard for some to swallow
You will hate it,
and love it
Its a wallflower with wit
A cool drink with a twist
An adorable rebellion
A baby bunny with
dynamite in its mouth
Its a perfect tea rose with a thorn
Its a kiss followed by a
smack in the face,
followed by another kiss.

Now I feel better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

From The Hand of Another

Do you ever feel like you just cant seem to create something as beautiful as you want to? I find that things that other people do are always more beautiful than the things I do myself, from typographic treatments to eye-shadow applications. And it is not just me being hard on myself.

I think this is the case because the placement, color choice or texture that you are able to create is limited my the perimeter of your sensibilities. Nothing can be unexpected or have that flash of spontaneity when you have done it yourself and looked at it so many times. Something fresh can only come from the hand of someone else.

There is probably a way to infuse more unexpectedness into ones own work and to create something that surprises you with its brand of beauty. But I have not found it yet.

Ascertainment bias

I really liked learning about ascertainment bias in scientific research. It is when false results are produced because you may be looking too hard for only what you are looking for.

For example, you notice there are so many people in the world who have Birthdays in October. But really, its only because your Birthday is in October, so you are hyper-aware of those birth dates only.

I think that when people give advice they fall under the spell of ascertainment bias too. Maybe a neurologist thinks your problem lies in a pinched nerve, but a dentist insists its an abscess. I have been given some advice lately that I know was only given to me because the speaker has the same issue, and thinks that I do too.

So, if you have experienced something before are you more likely to think the whole world has what you have? or will you be detached and aware enough to admit when something new and mysterious is actually happening, that may lie beyond your scope of familiarity?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who Cares?

My new goal is not to over think things. It is my nature, but it is killing me slowly. My new way of dealing with getting worked up about something is to stop and breathe and to ask myself “who really cares” and I dont mean it in a bad way, just in a “relax” kind of way.

Soap and Minds

I hate blanket statements that are not well thought out, suffocating us all together in a fluffy comforter of made of ignorance. But I love when I think of something that I can honestly consider a blanket statement that is really accurate, it makes me feel a cohesiveness to humanity.

I thought of something like this yesterday, now it may be that I only think this is true of everyone because I am in competitive NY where everyone wants the last word. But I will be damned if I cant apply this to every person I know, including myself. Also, I am not judging. I dont consider this a bad thing, it is just a thing:

Everyone always wants to be the one in conversation who can say they know someone who did it differently. Whatever the topic may be, from flyfishing to hoola-hooping to tax returns. The purpose of this tactic is so they can open up the conversation to new perspectives and possibilities. I relish the times when their is some judgmental talk going on and then one is able to bring in an alternative way of thinking or doing something that has the ability to cut the criticism off at the knees. “Oh, thats true actually.”, “I hadnt thought that that could be the case.”, “that never occurred to me.” I keep thinking that it is the intangible equivalent of those old commercials for the dish soap Dawn; when they drip a drop of soap into a greasy pan and the greasy water swiftly moves to the edges and creates a wide clean space of non-greasy water. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Living Up To It

Lets say a friend tells you that another friend of theirs is so funny and that you would like them. When you meet your friends friend for the first time, are you more likely to be extra skeptical of their funniness in search of why your friend thinks they are great, or are you more likely to be swayed by your friends suggestion of their greatness and gloss over some clunker jokes or weird statements and just laugh and love it?

Does suggesting that someone is great bring on more scrutiny or more acceptance of greatness? Probably both I would guess.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Song of Yourself

I came across this service that creates a “style statement” for you. So what they do is talk to you and ask you questions and then come up with a two-letter description of your style. This is meant to guide you in all of your life–designwise and otherwise. It helps you make choices that are more streamlined to your tastes.

Some examples are “Simple Bohemian”, “Enduring Bold”, “Natural Simplicity” etc.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate them on successfully starting a company that charges $500 for two simple words. That is truly amazing, whether you agree with what they are doing or not.

Secondly, I would like to dissect this, as per my usual:

It would seem to me that having yourself defined in such a way, by someone else, would limit you. Also is it not an implied requirement of life to define your own style for yourself? After all, it changes over time. Maybe a “Simple Bohemian” evolves into a “Rustic Sophisticate” over time? And this discomfort in not being sure of who you are, in relation to this paint color you are about to put on the wall, isnt that also manditory life experience?

A part of me loves this idea though; I really do, because I yearn for a definition of myself, but dont we all? Also, I love words like the ones used in these descriptions, they are mostly all adjectives I suppose. I love the blustery, bright, effectiveness of adjectives. Also, I relish distilling something down to two simple words; it is truly brilliant when it’s brilliant.

But did you ever read your own horoscope and think that it was perfect for you, only to read the one below it for Sagittarius, which you are not, and think that that suits you too? I watched the website scroll through all the style statements and I wanted more than one of these for myself.

I will end by quoting something that I have quoted before but need to bring it up again in this particular context.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.” -Walt Whitman (from Song of Myself)

click on title above for link to the “style statement” service and see for yourself.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Few Words from Jimmy

A friend quoted a song this weekend, that I had never heard but I thought was especially funny and may become my mantra:

“If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me”

-Jimmy Buffett

Friday, June 8, 2007

Not Too Far Above

He called me at work and with his bounding enthusiasm that I cherish so dearly- he told me that someone was doing amazingly perfectly choreographed skywriting. I sat at my lab bench saying “that’s really cool.”

I miss Joe during the day and even though technically we don’t work that far away from each other, it feels like years.

He urged me to look outside my window to see. I knew that I wouldn’t see anything. But truly I have no concept of distance, especially when the sky is involved, it seems to skew and twirl distance into irrelevance.

Sure enough, I could see the writing too. I didn’t even care that it seemed to say “Bob is From Cincinnati” repeated two times, I was just so happy to know that even in our respective workplaces-that seem like different ends of the world-we could still see the same things in the sky not too far above.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Buying Love

One of the things that has been consuming me lately is my consumption of high priced goods and services. I cannot get over the materialism of it all and yet, I cannot get beyond it either. But something just occurred to me, some of the best wedding preparation moments have been shared between me and a salesperson and/or a product of some kind.

I know they were just trying to make a sale but it didn't matter, I basked in the fact that that they didn't know me, that I am just another bride and not their blasphemous daughter or friend that is letting them down or leaving them out. I felt safe because for the most part, if I wanted something, I could have it and no one was there to tell me that I was wrong or inappropriate. I wanted to hear the words “great” or “Its all set” when I made a decision about something. I wanted to hear their little opinion and then not follow it seconds later but have them smile with a graceful silken approval anyway. And I know it was empty and shallow but I liked it when the lady told me that I would be a beautiful bride.

And most of all I like it how my perfect new wedding shoes dont talk sass to me or make me uncomfortable or sad, they just sit there and act beautiful and charming waiting for the day.

When Mac Was Swimming

I just like these lyrics by The Innocence Mission for today, so I thought I would share:

When Mac was swimming I was running late,
walking around New Orleans looking for a birthday cake.
It was a great surprise to him so many people came.
Nobody knows, darling.
Nobody knows how they are loved.
Don't worry, my darling, the sun's coming up.

Let's get up early now, dive clear into the day.
Let's get out of the car with open arms,
not wait to be embraced.
The flowers that grew, the things that happened
since the day you came.
Nobody knows, darling. Nobody knows how they are loved.
Don't worry, my darling, the sun's coming up.