••• A Noonish Good Morning •••
So it’s just after noon here on Friday morning and I’m feeling rather dumb. For one thing I spent almost five hours face-timing last night with a wonderful girl who lives about 2000 miles away. She might as well live next door; it’s not like we could see each other anyways. I’m thinking I’d throw an unhealthy amount of caution to the wind for this sweetheart if she was really that close. Welcoming these unexpected sparks into my life and actively panning for more isn’t why I’m feeling dumb though. Not in the least. Though at a glance the long game here looks bleak but I just don’t believe in dropping something that feels this good out of some pragmatic or existential reasoning. People who play too safe and live by some chanceless, idealistic bent tend to cut themselves down before the finish line. They may be happy to trudge home with the “participant” ribbon but you know the whole while they’re wondering what it feels like to hold the gold.
I’ve learned that if you want something then you have to stay the course and deal with the obstacles as they present themselves. Not give up before there’s any resistance. In my experience this is the only way the impossible can become possible. Right now I don’t care that her and I doesn’t make sense on paper and that we are separated by three solid days worth of driving and that both of us are heavily embedded in our own locales. I can’t think about that now. If this is meant to work out then it will find a way. I mean, saying that is sort of a non-sequitur because we can never actually know what would have happened that time when we zigged instead of zagged. What’s that quote? and who’s it by? “You lose every chance you don’t take?”
I’m not so stupid to believe in something as empty and vacuous as “The Secret” or that simply praying to the universe will bring what you want. If that shit worked EVERY TIME then I’d be a believer. The fact is things sometimes work out and sometimes they fall apart; it’s always been that way.
Over the ages the charlatans have figured out that it’s easy to manipulate our feeble intuitions into believing there’s something behind random chance. People can’t help but to find patterns in the static, significance in the insignificant, spooks in the shadows. A face on the moon. We’re built for making sense out of this mystery we’ve been thrust into. Us human would never had made it this far without these great powers of deduction. But this machinery is still running on overdrive in a modern world that’s best understood through math and science. Those simplistic sentiments are as ridiculous as they are popular. I mean there’s very smart people who believe in numerology after all. I’m still waiting for them all to win the lottery. But winning the lotto is also chance.
My point? Look. Like each of you there’s tons of instances where I wanted something so badly and was even convinced my chances of living a good life depended on getting it… and in the end things still didn’t pan out and I didn’t die. All the praying, all the good thoughts to the universe, all the miles walking on the righteous path and most importantly, all the grit and grinding and still no reward… How do you square these moments with the results after telling yourself to just wish harder? For me the best way is to notice your surroundings and the very spot where you are sitting. All these dashed hopes and near misses contributed as much to where you are as all the success’s and wins did. As long as something feels good then I think you need to go for it. It doesn’t mean you’ll always get what you want but it might be that you get what you need. I have to give credit to the Stones for that tidbit of philosophy; I think they were dead on. Dawes, speaking of bands and songs, deftly grazed this fundamental truth of life as well. Dig the these lines from When My Time Comes.
“So I took what I wanted
And put it out of my reach.
I wanted to pay for my successes
With all my defeats.
And if Heaven was all
That was promised to me
Why don’t I pray for death?”
Right?!?! …and then there’s this line I rather like a lot…
“You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks.
Yes, you can stare into the abyss, but it’s starin’ right back.”
Check out this Dawes song and their accompanying video here below. It’s stellar.
So I’m gonna keep leaning into what feels right because I don’t know how to do it any other way. The odds probably favor frustration and heartache if strong feelings develop but in the end (to use another well-worn cliche) you can’t win of you don’t play.
Okay, things just got pretty unspooled there; its been a long while since I’ve had a woman on the brain to such a degree and I’m no longer used to it… ah well. Moving on and I’m now realizing I still haven’t told you why I’m feeling so dumb today… It’s because throughout the duration or our five-hour chat I was sipping straight Tito’s vodka. This on the surface sounds nut, I know, but hear me out. This manner of imbibing has been a successful ‘life hack’ of mine I put into practice starting late last fall. I really like Tito’s vodka but not enough to gulp it straight. No way. The stanky burn of 80 proof spirits has a built in self-correction mechanism that works remarkably well for me. Part of my problem with alcohol has always been that I simply drink it too fast (i do the same thing with coffee and seltzer water). After a few drinks my governors often fall off and I lose the instinct to keep track; it’s just what happens when you’re having fun. By drinking it ‘on the rocks’ a single scotch glass worth tends to last me way longer than say a beer or a mixed drink would. Way longer. For instance, while playing in Key West with Ben Balmer in January one drink usually survived the full duration of our 4 hours sets. It has really worked for me but can’t I remember the last time that I drank for 5 fucking hours. So there-in lies my mistake. Live and learn right?
••• Trump in the time of COVID •••
Though the mental fog has dampened my day some there is still plenty of room for love, light and laughter. I mean the headlines this morning were just fucking priceless. Trump seems to think you can inject people with disinfectant to stop COVID… I wish the word “retard” was still permissible to use because it would have fit perfect here….
Oh and here’s a crazy yet related thought: Is it any wonder why the most ill-educated people in this country think Trump is the Second Coming of the Messiah?
Everyday I can’t believe things could get crazier but the alternative facts just keep flowing from the disgraced oval office.
In closing… maybe the president will save us all some pain and take his own advice:
••• “To my friends and relatives that still believe in Trump” ||| The DailyKos •••
A distant relative who I recently connected with sent me an article today. He said it made him think of me. Our values and sensibilities when it comes to scouring the planet for good information seem to be very much aligned. Not gonna get into the how’s or why’s but take my word on it. Had I found this bit of writing first I believe I would have sent it his way.
The opening venn-diagram really caught my eye. “Thoughtful People that read and think critically” in one circle and “Trump Supporters” in the other with VERY little overlap. Though this might seem like a easy jab it’s really not; it’s a clear fact for anyone willing to look with open eyes. For me this has been, and is, a constant and uncomfortable observation being that I’m related to a inordinate amount of Trumpers. Can’t say I have a single non-related “friend” who supports him though. I don’t really bother with anything less than great company and being able to think clearly is a prerequisite; every one of my close acquaintances are whip-smart.
Anyways it’s as impossible to not notice the lack of thoughtfulness in that tribe as it is to find pro-Trump arguments that are halfway coherent and don’t quickly devolve into something about Obama using those deflective “yeah-but-what-about” fallacies. The sad truth is that his supporters, for the most part, could give a fuck about a solid argument or they wouldn’t be supporting that one-dimensional sociopath in the first place. Seems they could give fuck about thinking all half the time. Instead they’d rather let the twisted fear mongering right-wing propaganda channels think their thought’s for them.
Let me share my youngest brothers opinion on tagged article; he’s always great for a smart take on something. Our sensibilities are also almost always in alignment. I count myself very lucky that I can send a good write-up like this to both of my brothers and it won’t be construed as an insult. But unfortunately I have my doubts that it will track much outside of the larger of the two circles.
“This article was great. It’s nice to read fact based things like this that try not to be partisan and still show how unqualified he is for the job. I know Trump supporters would still call it liberal propaganda but that’s the world we live in.”
Click the brilliant venn-diagram for the article.
••• Making Sense w/ Sam Harris: A Conversation w/ Caitlin Flanagan •••
Sam Harris is my jam. This dropped yesterday and I haven’t started it yet. But I will asap.
Hit his website at https://samharris.org/ and subscribe to his podcast
Also check out his awesome meditation app: Waking Up