Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Led Zeppelin

"Led Zeppelin is universally revered because they offer something for everyone: The thrashing beat appeals to the extrovert and the complex recursion intrigues the contemplative mind."
-Editors note Phychology Today
October 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008


This post is rough, but an achivement none the less because thoughts were so difficult for me to form in my head and transfer to papper.
“I’ll be right back.” I quickly told my husband. I started off through Sears, past big plasma screen TV’s on my right, took a left at the children’s clothes, and weaved through three shelves of shoes, into a bare hallway straight ahead. I paused briefly to look at photos of friendly Sears’s staff and then opened the door to the Woman’s Restroom. A picture on my left in front of the first stall caught my attention. It was of a waterfall, flowing down a man made stone wall into an illusive abyss. Beneath was the caption:
“Imagination has no boundaries”.
“That’s not true.” I thought, out of acknowledged impulse and a bit of frustration. I briefly pondered my hasty reaction, but the image had no lasting significance to me and rapidly drifted to the back of my mind. A few days later, however, I discovered via internet that Branches was focusing their September/October issue on various aspects of “Imagination”. Intrigued by the coincidence, I felt challenged to assemble my vague impressions on “Imagination” and “boundaries” and their importance to me and record the conclusions.
Here is a scenario my husband produced. Imagine an alien…an alien bearing no resemblance to any creature, mineral, or vegetable. It cannot be created with lines, it cannot incorporate material of any sort, it cannot be purely formless, it cannot be a bleak vacuum, and it cannot be a simple blob. It must be formed of something, entirely, completely, from top to bottom, original, holding no resemblance to anything in existence. We cannot produce such an illustration. Imaginary imagery is knitted from collected bits of the surroundings we have encountered. Imagination does not work independently in our minds. It does not have the power to entirely originate, merely the influence to recover, combine and reproduce memories in a unique order.

While the act of imagination is indeed vast, to deem it immeasurable, unlimited, without boundary is naive. Imagination is only as powerful as the mind in which it resides. And despite our smug outlook, even the cleverest of human beings is restricted to the finite. Life however, in and of itself is finite, restricted to what we can see, smell, feel, and touch, and life is all we can be sure of because it exists, and existence is all our finite selves can rationally prove. Of what consequence is this? Maybe I am taking the matter a little too serious...after all, more or less, wasn’t this merely an inspirational saying; intended to stimulate us to remember our own worth and potential? Perhaps. And while I am always one to encourage others to expand their minds, to think positively and independently ( even if their conclusions deviate from my own understandings) I also believe it is good, humiliating and right for us to recognize our limitations and not be swayed to think of human potential as omnipotent.

Reality is the most sensible, logical state in which to inhabit. We should confront it, both the stirring and dispiriting facets, because then, we can modestly grow to understand more about ourselves and of life itself. But, what exactly is reality? In essence do we each make our own? Well, we all begin as infants, and use our senses to explore our surroundings and later mature to a more established awareness of reality, not full comprehension , but, a rather foggy impression of the universe, based on the environment in which we were raised and our own physical and mental capacities. And everyone is restricted to physical confines. If any human had an unconstrained capability to imagine, he would subsequently have the potential to limitless knowledge and understanding, which no man has. Being aware of our inability to obtain full knowledge, we will respond accordingly. For instance, we will know that our own conclusions are easily erroneous and we will then be more forgiving of others in their irrational or flawed beliefs. This is a form of humility, and meek individuals, being childlike, are eager to acquire more diverse varieties of information and consequently rise to superior understanding.
A friend of mine, who nonchalantly believes the closest explanation of humanity lies in the movie The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, gave me a comparison of us humans to ants. He said, “Imagine an ant colony. They are puny and cannot comprehend us greater animals. They do not even have the ability to imagine us. Yet, simply because they cannot detect us, does not invalidate the legitimacy of our existence.” First off, I will reiterate my proposal that we are limited as humans and can only speculate within the boundaries of our nature. Further, although an ant can never entirely comprehend us, our existence can and sometimes does, affect an unsuspecting ant, so could the existence of a higher power or intellect bear any weight on our existence whether or not we can comprehend it (if it indeed exists)? This struck me. Maybe we are like those ants, in a universe with superior intelligence, but we do not have the capability of grasping their existence.
So then, acknowledging our limits in imagination allows us to seek out one of the most important questions of humanity. Is there a God? The confines of our imagination allow only for speculation of higher existence because physically, it cannot be detected. If reality, and what we can touch, see, and smell are all that exist, then limitations in imagination are merely an extension of reality itself and eternity, and all-knowing, has no true bearing. But then, there is that wonder if existence as we know it, has a manufacturer, beyond our imaginations, too vast for our intellectual capacity and this supposition could never be disproved by the restricted, physical realm in which we live and have our being.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Artist

"What does it mean "to write well"?
An artist--using the word in its genuine rather than childish meaning-is not a craftsman who knows how to evenly distribute "lively images", "telling details of everyday life", "colorful landscapes", and other trifles in his books; an artist is the one who finds a rhythm unknown before, and enlives and permeates the world he has created by this rhythm."

What Drives Me

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire
to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the
world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
~Elwyn Brooks White
In a world of constant chaos, it is sometimes a wonder that I so willingly continue to trudge forward. At times I feel worn down to the point that all I want is to crawl into my own little hideaway, safely tucked away from civilization and responsibility. Nonetheless, inevitable demands continuously draw at me form every corner and deadlines mercilessly emerge. Dazed and with a rapid beating pulse, I half consciously acquiesce to each commitment until I, somehow, reach the end of my day and collapse late at night…still unavoidably unfinished with the days obligations. However, even through this, I know, oh so clearly, why I press ever onward. I know so vividly why, whatever comes my way, I will continue to do so in the future.
I love life. I love knowing everything that I do is active and living, that what I do is impacting the world, even if only to a slight extent. My world is small, so I am able to see where I affect it and it pleases me to be a part of it all. This is one of my greatest desires, to impact others. I want to stimulate people to action, to dream, imagine, and to think, mostly to think. This is what is inside of me. I have a great inner craving to learn, explore and understand everything that I can. I want to experience life to its fullest. I want to experience pain, joy, fear. I want to experience plain logic. I want to embrace spirituality. I want to indulge in pure selfishness. I want to give selflessly. I want to engage in the taboo. I want to be seen as pure. I want to experience as many feelings and impressions as I am able to. I want to indulge in every excitement I can afford. In everything that I do in my daily routine this awareness is in the back of my mind. I think this as I work. I think this when I am with friends. I think this through my art. I think this with the strangers I meet; and I want to challenge others to do the same. I want others to feel passion and curiosity. This world is so vast and there is so much to do . Somehow, we have been placed in an amazing wonderland and are able to explore it freely. Life lures me with its surprises and discoveries. There is so much here to grasp. If I spent all of my life studying and mastering one single topic, I would still not scratch its surface of information. I could study it every day. I could put all of my time and energy into it and it would still remain a mystery to me. Who can say that life bores them? Who can be displeased? They have only themselves to blame. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is strangers, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. --Albert Einstein"
However, life is not all dreams and mystery. Life is real and harsh. Life is cold and we are not given endless time to explore and discover. No, there is the humdrum routine, monthly bills, children to feed, there is sickness, and the daily grind and then all too soon there is death. Anton Chekhov said that; "Any idiot can face a crisis – it's day to day living that wears you out." This is true. Daily life is a trial. It is tiresome and you are constant cycle of trials. You reach the end of each day too exhausted to explore, too tired to do anything but rest. It is up to us to make the most of the little that we are given, some succeed in this and others do not. It is a matter of how well you play the hand that you are dealt. I choose to remain alert and feed off of every sensation and I am overjoyed with the results.
-the edited version is copyrighted by Branches