The weather lately has been sad and sappy. Big, soppy, black and gray, beasts-of-clouds hovered over L.A like a mechanic’s washrag all week. It’s hard to get enthused about anything these days. The mood around town has been lethargic at best. Beautiful people just don’t have the will to exert much effort when the weather is this depressing.
It rained so lightly today that my car didn’t get a free wash as much as the dirt simply was diluted into mud. It rained while I slept so I didn’t see it either. As far as experiences go, I could have done without today’s rain. In fact, I essentially did do without today’s rain, all except for seeing the puddles and drops on the cars. Having gained knowledge of said rainfall, though, I immediately felt a little sad for having missed it. Funny how the brain needlessly punishes us.
We all want perfection, all the time, but if we were to ever receive it it’d probably bore us in nanoseconds.
What we really want is comfort, I think. We want to be able to predict what the next day will look like. It is our lives’ mission to eliminate stress. We marry in order to know who we’ll be waking up to and who’ll we’ll buy Valentine’s day flowers for. We get careers so we know where our bread is going to be buttered. We buy marble tombstones so we know our final words are going to last.
The pitfall of all this activity is often comfortableness and happiness are not the same thing. At the end of the day there is still a nagging sensation that our lives could be bigger, better. ‘I was meant for more meaningful things’ is a common refrain when this happens. We like our lives but they’re not as great as the ones we imagined for ourselves a long time ago, when we were young. It’s like we bought a suit we thought looked respectable at the store and once we got home and put it on realized it’s not quite right, but we have no choice because it’s our only suit and we can’t just walk around naked.
We only have the ability of looking at our lives through one set of lens, ours, and that unfortunately means everything is slanted and sideways, biased. We see the world exactly how we feel about it. When everything is going along swimmingly and great you think clouds and rain and the grumpy homeless guy yelling are all charming trinkets of a beautiful life. If you’re in a shitty mood these things remind you how sad and ugly and smelly life is.
The way you think about the world colors your perception of it which reinforces your previously held belief. We do all this, of course, without thinking about it. An endless loop. On and on. No off.
It’s not really anything to tear your hair out over, though, it’s just how Man was programmed to deal with his environment. How we’re able to exist in an universe of endless stimuli. We’re hardwired to repeat patterns so the brain doesn’t have to work so hard conjuring everything from thin air. Can you imagine if you actually had to use your brain and think when you saw a stop sign, a burning stove, or $20 dollar bill. It’s because our brains immediately knows how to process this stuff that we can stop behind the line, avoid burning ourselves, or pay our bar tabs without too much mental exertion on our part.
The trick is acquiring productive habits and patterns.
In the words of the great Spencer Krug…
You know your heart
But it’s an idiot heart
I like to come up with games only I can play, and that aren’t really even games as much as exercises, just ways of looking at the world really. Today I’m going to notice color. Every thing I see I’m going to think, ‘Oh, there’s a blue car. A green door. A yellow pad of paper with blue lines on it.’ You should try it, it’s totally fun except it makes the day go by really slowly.
Have you ever been at work and daydreamed about being home on the couch watching telly and drinking a cold beer and then at night when you’re home in front of the television with a delicious Stella Artois in your hand you daydream about stuff at work?
Life is a fleeting glance. All your memories equal one snapshot. The present, however, is a vivid, hi-res movie that you’re staring in, occurring Now, and always compelling. Even when we don’t think so, you have to admit, life is pretty fucking compelling. Don’t think too much about the snapshots. Don’t worry about something that doesn’t exist. Nothing exists except for Right Now. It’s a basic — maybe the most basic — fact of life. Both past and future are just concepts. The present is the only thing you’re ever going to experience. It’s the only time frame you can touch. However obvious this fact is we still operate 90% of our lives in the past or future, always waiting for something good to happen, or if not, remembering when something good was happening. And yes, I did just pull that number out of my ass.
It’s Saturday. An ugly, dreary Saturday. But it’s life. And I’m not going to let a few clouds beat me. I’m going to stomp on the sky and dance my heretic’s jig. I’m going to stay right Here for a minute and drink a beer and think of nothing else but drinking that beer and the way the curtain string sways like a pendulum, back and forth, even though there isn’t a draft and nothing to move it.