The hardships and poverty of my youth had been a good apprenticeship for this form of travel. I had been brought up to understand that material possessions and physical comfort should never be confused with success, achievement and security.
– Dervla Murphy
Such an important lesson to learn. Not only in your youth, but each day you wakeup.. With a heart swollen with ambition, and the day pregnant with opportunity.
There’s a lot to be done in the next few weeks, and I’ve been out of the loop in synthesizing my spiels to further cloud my perceptions of order and chaos.
Like everyone else, I always look forward to the silent moments of reflection, away from the noise of hustling through shit that needed to get done yesterday. I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously piling more onto my plate of expectations, because it significantly increases the appeal of being able to look at (lofty) goals from far away and say: I survived, or I gave it my best and I ain’t nothing less, or eff it’s not that important to my life. The goal is to come out of it the wiser man.
Have you ever ridden anything on two wheels? A bicycle? A motorcycle? When you’re on two wheels, you will go exactly where you look. If you stare at the arriving pothole, there your wheels shall cross. To execute a beautiful turn, you need to look out into the curve. When you are unsure, give it some more gas. Look at danger in the eyes. When you are unsure, give it more gas.
The Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him most, he said:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die,
and then dies having never really lived.”
I don’t want coffee with my Bento Box, so I think I’ll have:
Here’s a little reference if you’re slightly confused.
Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations, but must regulate their sleep by another’s, and their walk by another’s pace, and obey orders in those freest of all things, loving and hating. If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life pp.31-32)
Just ran into this, via. It’s not everyday that I find, or read things that immediately draw me in. I’m totally getting this book.
An excerpt from Indulgence, by Hendrick Hertzberg, The New Yorker (Apr 19, 2010 issue).
The Catholic Church is an authoritarian institution, modeled on the political structures of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. It is better at transmitting instructions downward than at facilitating accountability upward. It is monolithic. It claims the unique legitimacy of a line of succession going back to the apostolic circle of Jesus Christ. Its leaders are protected by a nimbus of mystery, pomp, holiness, and, in the case of the Pope, infallibility-to be sure, only in certain doctrinal matters, not administrative ones, but the aura is not so selective. The hierarchy of such an institution naturally resists admitting to moral turpitude and sees squalid scandal as a mortal threat. Equally important, the government of the Church is entirely male.
It is not “anti-Catholic” to hypothesize that these things may have something to do with the Church’s extraordinary difficulty in coming to terms with clerical sexual abuse. The iniquities now roiling the Catholic Church are more shocking than the ones that so outraged Martin Luther. But the broader society in which the Church is embedded has grown incomparably freer. To the extent that the Church manages to purge itself of its shame – its sins, its crime – it will owe a debt of gratitude to the lawyers, the journalists, and, above all, the victims and families who have had the courage to persevere, against formidable resistance, in holding it to account. Without their efforts, the suffering of tens of thousands of children would still be a secret. Our largely democratic, secularist, liberal, pluralist modern world, against which the Church has so often set its face, turns out to be its best teacher – and the savior, you might say, of its most vulnerable, most trusting communicants.
“You should spend more time with your girlfriend, instead of that bus.”
And so we’ve been preparing the past few weeks for this weekend’s Unique LA show, with the new display setup and a flurry of button design making from (mostly) Kat and I. Today was the first day.
There was this one girl who seemed really friendly, and genuinely interested in how our setup was made. Magnets, and a little bit of glue gun, I explained, which held the buttons neatly against the varnished plywood sitting on an art easel. Cool, cool. So she goes over our buttons, and points to one on the table and asks, “What does FML mean?”. And so I basically explained that it meant F ck My Life, borne from this website where people write down the story of their life, and everyone else votes if the poster either deserves it, or if his life really does suck. So she nods, and mentions something about it being funny.
And then she said:
“Those are my initials.”
Kat just sent me a text message:
Today a new boy pulled his pants down and peed on the linoleum with all his glory. I just scrubbed the floor clean Friday
Happy Monday, everyone.
The familiar adage floating in the VW forums rings true.
If you want it done right, do it yourself
As usual, it applies to the machinery of life as well.