Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Youth. The freest time of our lives. How should we spend it?

Let's get down brass tacks. This blog will be a little confusing, but I hope my point becomes clearer as I go. I am going to have to give you some context before I get to my main idea, so let's begin.

Here's a big question for you: What is the meaning of life? Well--here's my answer, or semi-answer. Whatever the meaning of life is, it revolves around people. People, relationships, friendships, encounters, acquaintances, kisses, hugs, handshakes, smiles, glances...it's about people. Memories.

Personally, there is nothing more fun for me than to go out to a great restaurant with people I love. Eat, drink and be merry, right? Being in good company for a great meal and having time to talk is my idea of a good night.

Here's the part that comes out of the blue: Some memories can cost money. Some of the more magnificent memory-making settings cost a LOT of money.

For example:

Today in dance class one of the guys made an announcement about a music festival that will be held a couple weeks from now. Music, camping, food...basically a mini Woodstock. I was really interested until he announced how much tickets cost.

"Tickets are fifty dollars."

Well. Never mind then. I don't know about you, but I can't afford a $50 ticket to a two-day festival. I need that money for...for...wait--what DO I need that money for?

Oh I remember. For boring stuff. Loans, tuition, gas, clothes, prescriptions, blah blah blah. Yes, I know I need these things, but that goes back to what the point of living is. Yes I know, life isn't just about having fun. But...in a way it kind of is, right?

Why shouldn't we spend money on the memories? Why not go to that music festival?

Youth. The freest time of our lives. How should we spend it?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Penelope and Bloom

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching a movie called "The Brothers Bloom" which could quite possibly be one of my favorite movies to date. It's a movie about two con-man brothers, one of whom wants out of the charade, and the other always wants a little more. Together, they agree to pull one more job that involves the lovely and eccentric Penelope Stamp.

Now this is where I could ruin things for you. But I'm going to try to keep that "could" from turning into a "will".

At the end of the film Penelope says to one of the brothers, "...then we're going to live like we're telling the best story in the world." Even without context this one half of a line has so much meat on its bones. It says everything I've ever wanted to say.

After hearing that line, I began to think about all the memories my grandparents have told me...all the adventures my friends have been on, all the love stories across the ages. Imagine combining the best parts from all the stories into one legendary tale...and then living it.

Music: Meet Joe Black-Whisper of a Thrill--The Film Music of Thomas Newman

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ever noticed how damp clover feels cool and sticky on the bottoms of your feet?

Ever realized you smell like earth when you come in from the outside?

Nothing beats sitting outside on a blanket, soaking up the sun and playing with the breeze on a day like today. Simple, earthen, clean, dirty, fresh, cool, open, and alive.

Things make sense when I'm outside. They get smaller and less significant in comparison to the bright blue canopy over my head. Threads of conversation are no match for the threads of bare branches against the sky. Green envy pales in comparison to the green clover beneath my feet. Whispers of trouble are drowned out by the quiet stirring of leaves in the breeze.

Being outside is being young again. It's running again, laying in the grass again, not caring about dirt or sweat or how you look. Being outside is freedom. No one can tell you you're captive when you have the sky above you.

No one can keep me captive when I'm free.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Memory triggers are fantastic.

I'm sitting in the commons adjacent to the laundry room of my dorm waiting for my clothes to dry, smelling the detergent, and listening to songs that I grew up with. The Lion King's "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John just ended and now I'm listening to "Caribbean Blue" by Enya. Both songs conjure up the best feelings.

Lion King always makes me think of my sister. We used to act out the intro to the movie when Simba is presented to the other animals and I remember I was always the zebra. It brings back flashes of my old house...the smell of freshly cut grass, feeling the dark blue carpet underneath my feet...seeing dad mow underneath us as we played on the swing-set. This is tending to be stream of consciousness, but I don't mind.

Enya brings back a very specific memory. I don't know if this actually happened, but this is what I see when I hear "Caribbean Blue". Mom and Dad were having a party of some sort at our old house with their friends, the Fergusons. Somehow after dinner, I ended up underneath our dining room table. I don't remember if anyone was with me, although I wouldn't be surprised if Amber was. I just remember sitting there under the table listening to this song, and feeling very comfortable. No one was paying attention to me, and in that moment, I liked it. I just sat there and watched everyone talk while the other kids played. It was home personified. I feel so relaxed when I listen to this song because it reminds me of home.

I don't know if you readers think this is interesting at all, but I had to share.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wait, what's your name again?

One of my biggest fears is that people won't like me as much as I like them. Looks like he did a number on me.

I'll meet someone and be amazed at how well we got along, or how well I thought we got along. Then I'll walk away wondering why I never got her name or his number. That cliche line of "Did I do something wrong?" starts taking affect and I begin scrutinizing what I said...what I didn't say. It's discouraging. You find someone that you really think you could be friends with and then they don't...like you.

Then I start to wonder..."Maybe I should just..." But no. I don't want to be annoying. Nothing worse than a pest. I hate that kind of internal dialogue. The kind that complicates and mucks up everything. "The ball is in their court." Mental tennis matches drive me mad.

I wish I could say that I didn't care. I envy the thick-skinned. The social butterflies that can make up for lost friends in the blink of an eye.

I suppose I just don't like being the expendable crewman. Lost in space and forgotten in three minutes.