Cause wouldn’t it be such a shame if all was wasted…

I think I should spend more time listening to music. It always reminds me of who I am, at my core. It always brings me back to myself.

Something about hearing a certain chord with the right voices gets straight to the heart of everything.

I had an interesting conversation with my sister the other day. In the nicest way possible, I’m pretty sure she told me, “Enough is enough.” I’ve been hiding out since my unceremonious departure from law school. I devoted months of my life to studying for something I didn’t even want to do and when the whole thing became too much I completely retreated. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the whys. I have a lot of theories, but I think the reality is that I was scared. Academics are easy for me. I took the LSAT after doing two shows the day before, one of them that started at midnight, and then going out for drinks afterward. Went to bed at 3am and got up at 6am and did well enough to be offered several full tuition scholarships. I know this sounds like bragging, but it’s not. I can’t take pride in something that wasn’t that difficult for me. Given the choice between what was right and what was easy, I chose easy. I seriously need a Pocket Dumbledore to remind me that the easy choice never comes without a cost. But this choice is starting to become more expensive than I bargained for. I already paid with a year that I can’t get back. So perhaps the well-intended admonishment from my little sister was more timely than I initially realized. Because it made me think. I’ve been in full retreat for awhile, and while I’ve gained an impressive knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I’ve lost time that I can’t get back. Also, while I can blame some of my current ennui on my thyroid, I can’t keep allowing it to be an excuse. I told my wife yesterday that she could complain about something or she could decide to change it. (Disclaimer- I was not being my most patient and diplomatic self at that particular moment, but the words were true and now I need to start practicing what I preach lol.) So today I thought I’d brainstorm and come up with a list of some of the things I want to do and why I can’t do them if I’m busy hiding out and watching old sitcoms.

  • Scuba diving- I have wanted to learn to do this forever, but until I get my sedentary butt off the couch, I’ll never get in decent enough shape to make this a possibility.
  • Spelunking- I prefer to keep my thrill seeking at or below ground level, so you won’t see me talk about sky diving, but I am utterly taken with the idea of crawling around caverns. I’ve never had much chance to experience it, but what I have seen has left me with a serious itch to see more. But it’s the same deal. Even guided tours generally have some fitness/weight restrictions.
  • Aerial dancing- Can we just talk about how freaking amazing it would be to make art like this? But it requires CRAZY arm strength. CRAZY. And I don’t have that right now. And I can’t have that if I’m not doing anything more difficult than walking a 1/2 mi. to get coffee.
  • Surfing- You’d think a Florida child would have been surfing at least once or twice. No such luck. But I sure would love to try it. I’m pretty sure the real thing beats the heck out of channel surfing.
  • Tap dancing- I used to be a pretty decent hoofer, but I haven’t even put on my shoes for longer than I am comfortable admitting. An amazing teacher I had the last time I was coming out of a life rut told me I was a natural dancer. She pretty much made my life with that statement. But I got tired and started to forget myself again and on the way I lost the dancing. But I miss it. Gosh I miss it. Only now, and forgive me for making the uncomfortable statement, but I feel like that awkward fat kid in the back and I’m scared to go back. Logic always fails me here. It’s the one thing in the world that I want the most, but I’m terrified to go get it.
  • Performing- I want to be onstage again. The best part of me only exists when I’m actually being my best. My best me has been hiding out for awhile, sulking about being an old failure. But the only thing that’s done is start to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Every day that I spend avoiding the world is another day of failing and another day of getting older.

I think the gist of it all is that if I want to do anything with my life other than memorize obscure Angel quotes and reminisce about the golden days when I was full of glorious potential, I have to get back up. Falling down happens. Staying down is a choice. And maybe these are the golden days. Maybe that glorious potential is just waiting for me to resurrect it from where it’s been waiting while I was in hiding. I’m pretty sure it’s waiting in my feet somewhere. 🙂 Even at my saddest, my toes never stopped tapping out their rhythms. Something in me remembers the music. Maybe tomorrow will feel different, but today feels worth getting up for and that’s something to hold onto.

I will leave you with words from someone who expresses what I’m trying to say much better than I could ever hope to.

ODE
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
 
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.
 
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
-Arthur O’Shaughnessy
 
I want to be a music maker again. It’s time to resurrect some dreams. Thanks for the advice, little sister.
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My best theory is already in me…

I’ve decided to take a short break from The Book of God. I made it as far as the story of Joshua and the wall of Jericho before I got too bewildered and sad to continue. I’ve been plaguing my Catholic educated wife with questions and pleas for explanations enough that she’s relented and agreed to play catch up with me so we can have discussions about some of the things I take umbrage to. Ex/ I don’t get the Jericho thing. I understand that from the side of the folks wandering the desert for 40 years it was like finally getting a bite of the carrot that had been dangling in front of them for so long. But what about the poor people who were living behind that wall? What exactly did they do that they deserved to die violent deaths? They were just going about their business. It’s not like anybody put up a sign on the land that said, “Beware of impending death when we’re back to claim our place in 40 years.” Pretty crummy deal for those folks and I can’t imagine that it won any converts among the displaced. Any Christians out there that can explain this for me? My understanding is that the Old Testament is mostly the history leading up to the dawn of Christianity, but it still bothers me. I’m also having some difficulty understanding what I’m supposed to read as literal and what is supposed to be allegorical. In theory, there’s a good mix of both, so how do you decide what’s what?

After I took a break from that, I picked up The Path of a Christian Witch. Not deviating from Christianity with this one exactly, but I was intrigued at the idea of two such opposing viewpoints merging into a cohesive spirituality. Overall, though, I found the book to be a bit disappointing. The author does find a way to make peace with seemingly disparate belief systems, but not in a way that made a lot of sense to me. I did find it interesting that she came from a Catholic background, because they tend to be a bit more restrictive on thinking outside the box, but I think that same background prevented me from connecting with her. (One of the few certainties I have, religiously speaking, is that I don’t agree with the Catholic doctrine.) All the same, it was interesting to read someone’s story of finding their own path. I’m pretty sure my path is going to include little bits and pieces from everywhere, all amalgamated into my own brand of faith, so it’s nice to read about others who took the same approach and made it work.

I’m branching away from Christianity this week. Currently I am engrossed in “The Buddha Walks Into A Bar” by Lodro Rinzler. I’m not very far into it, but he’s made some key points about being patient with yourself through the process because enlightenment isn’t attained in a day. I feel like that’s important to remember. We live in a one-click world where we can get anything we need/want/desire delivered to us with little to no lag time. We don’t have to wait for letters to know how family is because we just check Facebook. We don’t have to take the time to cook an elaborate meal because we can order in or have it catered. Everything’s easily accessible. So we expect the same from ourselves spiritually. We should take an hour to meditate and that will clue us in on the secrets of the universe and how to be our best selves. Only it doesn’t work that way and Rinzler makes sure to repeatedly state that you have to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself whatever time you need to figure out who you are. He also makes a (deservedly) big deal about staying present in the moment, which is spot on considering most of us can’t last five minutes without some type of external stimuli. And it’s not our fault! It’s just the world we’re in. But being able to stay in the moment is a gift to yourself and everyone you interact with. It’s a powerful ideal to work towards.

I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of “Am I a Hindu?” and “Awakening the Buddha Within.” This whole process has already been incredibly eye opening and I’m excited to see what I learn next.