Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Tract of Land Surrounded by Water and Smaller than a Continent...

It's weird how we're all at different points in our lives, all of us. The normal ones. I have to make exception for the murderers and sociopaths among us. I don't count them as us. They are they. The others. I'm not sure why I have to make exception for them, but I always do that about everything. I think in stereotypes and then I sort it out from there, unraveling the stereotypes or confirming them.

When I say "our lives" and "all of us," I mean the people I work with and the people I pass on the street and the people in their cars, filling up the four lanes of traffic heading into downtown Nashville at 7:30 am. And I mean my grandma, across the country in the mountains of central Utah, sitting at home all by herself, probably reading or planning to go out with the other seniors who live in the tiny towns of the Sanpete valley. And I mean the kids going to school, not knowing how their lives will end up; and the people who are retiring, not knowing how the rest of their lives will feel.

It's just weird. My grandma is at a completely different point in her life. The twilight years, I like to think, where everything feels more quiet and everything seems a little less pressing. It's more about waiting and walking slow. She was once like me. Really passionate, determined to shape the universe into what she desired. She's really beautiful and I miss her.

I see other older people walking around, driving their cars really slow, like the car is about to take off and spin out of control, and I get a little annoyed with them. But then I think of my own grandma. I know she has worries and fears and I know there were times in her life where she probably wasn't sure she'd make it. To see her now you'd hardly think she ever lost her composure. I'm not sure she did. She's always smiling.

It's crazy to me that there are different things on our minds, her mind and my mind. And the people I work with. And the people driving their cars, on their way somewhere, getting in my way. Some of my coworkers are older and I know, though I forget sometimes, that they have concerns that are very different than mine. Some of them are more worried about their retirement than me. Some of them are probably thinking about being the primary breadwinner. So we all sit in this little room and it's so quiet I could scream, sometimes, just to make a noise and shake things up a bit. The white noise coming from who the hell knows where, hardly covers the sounds of us typing or moving in our creaking chairs. Quiet, but how loud would the sound of our voices be if the buzz of our thoughts could be heard?

It reminds me of the beginning of the German film, Wings of Desire. I own that dvd just so I can occasionally watch the first scenes, where the angels walk amongst the people (it really makes you think about what it means to be human: the beautiful little things like how newsprint leaves its mark on your fingertips). They can't be seen, but the people sometimes feel them close. As the angels draw near to a person, they can hear that person's thoughts. They hear all the mortal concerns and sometimes an angel just touches the person's shoulder and usually the person suddenly feels hope.

It's just like what I imagine it would sound like to be able to tune into all the millions of thoughts. I'm not saying I want to, unless of course, all the freakos are excluded from the calling. See, I have to have an exception. I don't want to be concerned with psychopaths unless I'm being asked to be a superhero and I can use the power to stop crimes from being committed. I just don't want to go there, into the freaky realm. The scary door.

That would be the problem with me and any supernatural powers. I'd use it to do good. But would it be good, ultimately? I guess it depends on what good means. If it means no pain or suffering, then I'm not sure it's good. That's why humans can never be trusted with supernatural powers. We could never be given the power of foresight, like, the power to see into the future and to grasp all the possible paths a person might take.

Take, for example, love. What if all my prayers had been answered and I'd been spared the pain of the break up with that first boyfriend right out of college? I'd have never married Stoker. But if there had been a superhero standing by, he'd have forced the ex-boyfriend into marrying me because it would have been good by some standards of bad and good. But from my perspective now, it would have been bad.

In any case. It's amazing how our paths cross and how we weave our lives together to make sense of our loneliness. I think we are islands, ultimately. All alone in our heads. But still, we rely on each other. Uh-huh.


Dani said...

Islands in the stream, that is what we are....

Nice thoughts Nik. Love to read your blog.

Aries327 said...

Thanks. I hope Kenny and Dolly read it. They'd be so proud.