I have had thousands of thoughts lately, and several topics have come to mind which I could blog about. Sometimes I write things in my mind while driving in my car, which I wish I had written down. Sometimes my mind plays things out like poetry. Alliteration is automatic, as is assonance, and rhyme. I figure this is a very good thing. What better way to live my life? During the days, when I am driving an hour or more for work, I am at my best. I am doing my job, following a structure of some sort, and it is all somehow very easy for me. I praise God, and am very grateful. I listen to Scripture, spiritual music, and sometimes way too much talk radio.
But when it comes to stepping outside the mold, being creative and supporting my many talents and new ideas, I often fail myself. Measuring myself by the world’s standards is a grave mistake. I dare say no great writer or artist ever truly sized himself up that way. Such worldly success comes and goes. And book sales, record sales, or what have you, hold no real difference between 13 and 1300. Even 13,000 is too small a number for sales by today’s standards. So why contemplate numbers at all? I am guilty of falling into this worldly mold. Partly it occurs when I meet someone who I know will not be impressed by my ambiguous and yet poetic thoughts. Such a person sees things in tangibles, and the truth is, I have far outgrown this.
New Jersey is like this sometimes, everything is very cut and dry. People here often seem to be black and white in their thinking, and any thoughts to the contrary frequently fall under blatant persecution. Once I ventured to ask the maintenance man at my apartments about a particular rule that didn’t make sense. “Why do I have to pay $25 to have my door unlocked?” I said. He answered “because it’s in the lease.” He seemed completely incapable of thinking for himself in order to come up with a legitimate answer. I asked him again in more detail so he would understand, and he became frustrated. Imagine how I felt. I was merely asking him to think. The next day I had to ask the people at the office, who were a little more advanced in reasoning skills.
The courts can be this way, one is given tickets for silly things that cannot be reasoned out of. After a while one develops a sort of “learned helplessness” and goes with it. If thinking is a crime, then one is set up to kill a part of the self that is punished for wanting to live too much. In churches, places of work, and some educational institutions, one is expected not to think, but merely to be quiet and follow. This, needless to say, is painful for an artist. If one cannot reason. and thereby be human, what is left to live for?
When I meet a guy who is a member of this mindless narcissistic trend, I run into trouble. Something in me cries to be seen and known by one whom I’ve identified as being the “emotionally unavailable” type. Such a man refuses anything which is outside the norm. This type of person, I’ve observed, cannot handle adequately a life full of real people, and real, ie. unpredictable and uncontrolled connections.
And so I myself am left, abandoned if you will, in a place where I simply cannot connect with such a man. The mask he has likely always had is adequate for the duties which must be performed. The conversations though brief, are friendly enough. This person is too busy to have to face the fact that real living comes with knowing and being known, having friends who see you, not only as a superstar, but also one who is capable of failing, hurting, stumbling. When one insists on being a superstar only, he is so high that no one touches him, and he, or she, is utterly alone, and he falls and hurts alone.
No one really believes he is a mere superstar. But he is the only one who doesn’t know this. There is much love thrown his way, which is unfortunately never caught. The mask receives the applause. The real person underneath feels he has adequately fooled everyone, but remains unloved. Real people long to reach out and connect with him, but honor the lonely man’s wishes to remain woefully distant, above all, and separate.
Such persons whom I would rather connect with, I must break off contact with instead. In trying to believe that what is in me is worthwhile and not a waste of time, I have to create distance from one who is so convinced that only functional activities such as making money and building fame could be deemed worth while. This belief system is poisonous to me. It is the death of all I am made to do! What’s more, anyone who says in effect that such artistry’s are not worth their time or attention, is simply wrong. I can love them, I can be present and reach out, but I can never need anything from them, and this is not true friendship.
So much in the soul desires to live. The ongoing challenge is to not let the life force come out in addictive, and thereby wasteful ways.
It is an effort for me to create music and words, dance moves, and so forth. It is a fight to state in actions this life in me is worthy of expression. Such persons who feel their way is far above mine, I guess because in New Jersey such creative ambitions, and self expressions are in the minority, they may suffer all they wish. But I must insist on living more and more each day, to the degree I am capable of pulling off this challenging feat.
Can I say “I believe in me” just because God does? Well, maybe getting close to God in order to think like Him is the only answer. During my recent vacation home in Michigan, I listened to Psalm 119 over and over while laying by the pool side. This is the longest Psalm, and talks about the Word of God. I realized that hearing the Word helped me think like God. This was a very good thing, because the reality is that God’s thoughts toward me are amazing. And He does and always will value me more than the worldly system that seems to naturally always want to reject, and confuse.
The reality is that just living day to day, we are naturally conditioned to think like the world, and in reality this amounts to the death of the true self who, in the likeness of the God who created it, wants to live. We are taught without our knowing that such living is not a good thing. We should put off our own thoughts and ideas to receive those of our culture, whereby there is an extremely strong premonition that they are right. Therefore it is imperative to get our life back from the Word of God, as it is continually stolen from us. Anything else is just an alternative life force from this world, which ultimately amounts to death.