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THE SKINNY » Insane Ramblings

Archive for the ‘Insane Ramblings’ Category

A Matter of Opinion

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I was quite excited about the concept of blogging but by my second blog entry I had hit “the wall.” I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. Every idea I had seemed to be based on an opinion. This conflicted with the zen concept I had recently read that advised “do not seek truth, but rather free yourself from opinions.” In a world where so much conflict and woe emanates from differences of opinions, I thought, “Why add to that mess?” Opinions seem so rooted in ego. They simply seem to fulfill one’s need for personal recognition, or the need to be correct, or even the need for conflict. 

I decided to consult the writings of historical thinkers to give me guidance and inspiration.

“Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.” - Epictetus

“A man’s life is what his thoughts make it.” - Marcus Aurelius

“What a thing is to an unknowable extent is determined by, or influenced by what we think it is.” - Joseph Chilton Pearce

“We clothe events with the drapery of our own thoughts.” - James Allen

“All that you are is a result of all that you have thought.” - Buddha

Now I was getting somewhere! This is the direction I wanted to go, no opinions, no judgements, I like this neighborhood. It reminded me of something Lao-Tzu (551 -479 B.C.) said that always stuck with me. “Success is as dangerous as failure.”

He must have more of that tasty cheese, let’s see: 

“If you close your mind in judgements

And traffic with desires,

Your heart will be troubled. 

If you keep you mind from judging

And aren’t led by the senses

Your heart will find peace.”

“The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind. He has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.”

Well it seems like I’ve outlined what I don’t want to write about, I’m still left with the dilemma of what I want to pollute the internet with. I’m sure I’ll think of something. I’m full of insane ramblings.

In Dreams I Walk With You

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I don’t know. I’m now thinking that this whole blogging thing may be the opening of a real can of worms. I used to get thoughts and just live with them, and maybe share them with those closest to me. Now, I get thoughts and feel like I need to share them with the world. It just smacks of ego. It feels like a trap. As if by somehow sharing my pathetic realizations will somehow give meaning to my puny and absurd existence. I can see how people get addicted to the internet and it’s just like me to straight to the “hard stuff.” Not just using the web to obtain information, but going straight to “being information.” Oh well, into the rabbit hole. 

I named this blogging category insane ramblings the other day as a joke. But after reading this entry, some will say, “he wasn’t kidding.” But, rest assured that I don’t really think I’m crazy. I might think the world is crazy, though. This world, this “reality” is like some weird dreams I’ve had where things don’t make sense, but like in a dream, I accept what happens in this life as real because I am caught up in this dream. It’s rare that I wake up in a dream and know that I’m dreaming. I’ve only had a handful of lucid dreams in my life. Three things can happen when you wake up in a dream and realize you are dreaming. One, you get so excited by this realization that you wake up. Two, you lapse back into your normal, unaware dreaming state. Three, you hold onto the realization that you are in a dream and you control the dream. 

I had a dreaming experience the other night that was strangely like a lucid dream and is also the reason for this blog entry. In my dream, I was with a group of people going to a destination to perform in some way. My car broke down, and we sought help from a house nearby. They gave or sold us some warmer clothing to aid us in our travel once night descended and it got colder. It was up to me to coordinate a hitch-hiking expedition to get us to our destination on time. I only had a general directional idea of where we were going. 

This was the basic dream. What made this dream strange was that I would wake up periodically through the night and after I returned to sleep I would go right back into the same dream. Each time I awoke I would feel the residual frustration of not being able to get where I wanted to in my dream. My frustration grew throughout my waking interludes and I began thinking “Where am I actually going? Why do I have to get there so urgently? Who are these people I feel responsible for? Why don’t I have a map? Why don’t I just call Triple A? Isn’t there a bus station in that town?” Finally, as the light of morning was starting to creep in and my frustration with my dream reached it’s peak. I thought in my last waking interlude “It’s a dream, stupid, just call a helicopter to come and get you.” I went back to sleep and back into my dream. I still hadn’t become lucid in my dream, but before I awoke for the last time, I remember hearing the unmistakable sound above me of a helicopter descending. 

This puzzled me as I got up and fumbled through making a pot of coffee and retrieving my morning paper. I thought, “I often use information from my dreams to aid me in my waking existence, but this is the first time in my waking life that I’ve assisted myself in my dreams.”  People who know me always hear me say, “This life is an illusion, this isn’t reality, this is a dream.” This is my mantra and it has served me well in navigating my existence on this planet. But now I’m thinking, I need to listen even better in case there is an even more real me trying to influence me from the position of a more grounded “reality.” So there it is, my second big blog entry. I can already feel this getting out of hand, but just for fun, if you read this and then you encounter me in person, say to me as you approach me, “Is that Marcus Amerman? I must be dreaming.” I will respond to you (ala Merlin from the movie Ex Calibur) “To some I’m a dream, to others…a nightmare.” And then a huge bolt of lightning will strike and thunder will crash, and I’ll laugh demonically. It’ll be fun. You needn’t worry, I control this dream.

Animals I’ve Seen on My Patio

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Wow! My first blog entry! What a responsibility. I’m just hoping I can deal with the pressure. It must be like winning an Academy Award, you’re on the stage and you have short amount of the world’s attention to express something. Do you simply thank all those who made this possible? Or do you push your political agenda? Or do you relate a humorous anecdote? My first instinct is usually the one I trust. So here goes. 

Animals I’ve Seen on My Patio

Bunnies, lizards, cat, dog, squirrel, raccoon, coachwhip snake, magpie, crow, raven, woodpecker, cedar waxwing, hummingbird, butterfly, moth, bee, robin, redwing blackbird, grosbeak, junco, house finch, bobcat.

I spend many hours doing beadwork in my living room. My beading chair faces four large windows that look out on my patio so I naturally see everything that occurs out there. This is my world. This is how I spend a large share of my existence on this planet. “Animals on My Patio” is what happens in my life. 

Seeing a bobcat saunter on to my patio, rest on its haunches and then move away was an amazing site. I was scared to open the door even though I wanted to. My most incredible sighting, however, occured on the day I’d finished a beaded portrait of Quanah Parker, famous Comanche warrior chief. In the background of the portrait was a large flock of redwing blackbirds in flight, a species common to marsh land and lake areas and indigenous to Quanah’s Oklahoma homeland. I live in a high desert. 

On this day I had wild bird seed sprinkled on my patio as is usual. Suddenly a whole flock of 50 or more redwing blackbirds descended on my patio and surrounding trees. They took turns eating my bird seed for about 10 - 15 minutes and then they all flew off as a flock. I have never seen a redwing blackbird here before or after that time. 

I’m told, and I believe, that seeing animals is often very meaningful and that sometimes it is a gift from the other world. As I finish this blog entry just now, “Scratchy,” the neighbor’s cat walks across my patio, stops, looks at me through the window for an instant and then moves on. Thanks for the shout out, Senor Scratchy.