Wednesday, February 5, 2014
For each of us alive today, we have a world within us, as well as a world without. One might define our interior world as being made up of our physiological self...organs and life systems that allow every living creature to be alive. In addition to this, humans, especially, reach another level of within, as our minds allow us to consciously think. Our conscience allows thoughts and ideas to bounce around "inside" of our heads. There are those who get so far lost inside of their heads that they lose touch with the outside world. There are times when I feel that way. I have had times throughout my life where my waking consciousness so influenced my "within", causing my dreams to manifest those thoughts in such a real way, that upon waking, I cannot tell if what "happened" was within me or without me. My paternal Grandparents were both born prior to 1920. My grandfather was born in 1905 and my grandmother in 1916. My grandmother is about to celebrate her 98th birthday! Unfortunately, over the last year, she suffered several strokes...but up until then, she continued to live by herself, in her own home, taking care of herself (with the help of my Aunt & parents, when needed). Once the strokes started, her mind started to slip. It seems that there are moments of complete clarity, mixed with moments of accusations based on "imagined" (but real to her) concerns. Firstly, I cannot imagine what it must be like to be near 100 years old. Second, I most certainly cannot imagine what it must be like for her to live in a world, by and large, that she cannot relate to. After all, she was born before computers and cell phones, before television sets were de rigueur for every household that could afford one, even before electricity and plumbing infrastructure was the norm. The world we live in today is so greatly different than the one she grew up in and yet, she exists in this place where her without cannot be more different than her within. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this juxtaposition and what it must be like to look for ways to relate. I suppose that is why, as we grow old, many of us look for the familiar and surround ourselves with that. I have also thought a lot about what it is like for those who suffer Alzheimer's or other degenerative brain disorders. It really calls to question how do we define reality? Is reality within us or without us or, maybe, somewhere in between? Should reality be defined for us if our brain has degenerated enough not to be able to "comprehend" what is without? Or perhaps, what is within is what really matters when you reach that point. There is a saying: "You can make your own reality". On the surface, this seems like a very simple comment and offers positive reinforcement, but when I think on it, there are a lot of doors that open onto questions that open onto other questions and I am off, spinning. What is reality? For that matter, and the ultimate question in my mind, why the need to define?
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Something happened over the weekend that spawned a thought process in my mind. Saturday night, I, along with 4 friends and fellow DJ's, played records for our monthly party that we call WHERE IT'S AT! (https://www.facebook.com/events/444727435653769/?ref=br_tf) All of us had a great time playing records, dancing and enjoying the general good vibe of the venue and our friends who had come out to support. Unfortunately, someone decided to crack that good energy in half and slip us an anonymous note, basically commenting on our skillz in a negative way, as well as calling what we're doing "hipster B.S.". Instead of coming up and introducing themselves to us and then talking to us about what we do and then maybe offering up their constructive criticism, we got that note filled with negative commentary. I would like to be the first to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I do believe this to be 100% true. As many humans as there are on Earth is the same amount of different perceptions you will find. Of course, we all gravitate towards other humans who perceive things along the same lines as we do and that's how we are able to create friendships and bonds. We cannot expect to please each and every person who might show up to the bar where we are playing records, nor can we expect to please each and every person in all of the things we do on a day to day basis. My frustration lies in the negative approach to offering criticism and the need to "define" things based on personal perception & bias. But therein lies the ultimate problem in humanity...language. Language is a necessity in human functionality, but it is also limiting in the fact that each word in our vocabulary is a definition. Everything we see, feel, hear & touch is "defined". And there are those humans out there who choose to abuse the privilege of language and connect words in ways that produce negative feelings, energies and intentions. I feel that each human looks for ways to define themselves, but may not always be appreciative of the kinds of definitions others might put onto them. The moment our lives are conceived, the defining starts. Before we are even born, we are defined by our gender, our ethnicity and a variety of other societal preconceived perceptions. Once born, we are then defined by our weight, height, hair & eye color, spoken language and then the continuous details that will forever add on to the original basic list. Irony is found in this continuous defining. We want to "belong", yet we want to be "individuals". I do believe that no matter how we define ourselves, that those outside of us will define us in completely different ways. I also believe in the multifaceted make-up of each individual human, based on the idea: "there is the person who we think we are; the person others think we are; and the person who we really are". I believe that the person who we really are is hiding somewhere between the person we think we are and the person others think we are....but then again, the question arises, why the need to define?