Oh boy. My what a weekend. So many things, so many things. Talking to Josh was incredible. I felt like I hadn’t actually talked to him in 3 years. And he listened so well, and he cared so much. And his eyes were mature and I could nearly cry for all of the things I saw in his eyes that I have not been a part of. It’s ok, it’s ok…things change. And both of us being in relationships has led to a thorough shift in our relationship. What we can give each other. But it’s ok. Everything has changed. Nearly all my relationships with everyone in my life have changed. And things change. And things stay the same. And transformation is this great wheel of life and riding it is spectacular. And growth brings new things. And growing up and growing out and grounding down and maturing in has given me so many things. Taken so many away. But given me more than anything. I feel like I can actually live. Like I can actually make it through this life perhaps. When I was running at the speed of light I never had any sense that I would make it through the next week, let alone find a way to settle into an entire lifetime. So there are sacrifices. And gains.
But balance, that is a word I disdain. It’s never balance. It’s never even-keeled. It’s never flat surfaces and even lines. It’s rich as the earth and tempestuous as the sky, the swells of songs of insects, the murmurings of meadows as they roll and tumble back, the flightless wings of tides as they crash. It is mountains and the curvature of streams. It is only because we spend too much time in man made boxes, cubicles, streets, buildings, facades, store fronts, computer screens and television screens that we believe the world is made of, or should be made of, straight lines. Nothing about the world is straight.
It is a rhythm within chaos we must drum to. It is that melody within music that we find. It is the dance of breathing in and out that we ride. That is what it is. Not even-keeled balance. Balance in another sense of the word. Peace that is not stagnant – but vital with life.
And that is where I come to with relationships. The inherent sacrifices and gains of all paths. To loss of magic and butterflies that comes with being in the same relationship year after year after year…and the inherent folly of simply chasing that newness with a thousand new girls or boys year after year after year. There is something lost and something gained in each attempt. And I don’t know where happiness resides. Marriage becomes clouded with the idea of “boredom” and “stagnation” and the single life of consistently picking up and dropping a thousand new girls becomes clouded with obsession with the chase, becoming jaded, lack of profound connection and commitment, hurting others and ultimately- loneliness.
Mike Goldin was talking about how he was excited to be single because he was looking forward to that feeling of first falling in love and the butterflies and the honeymoon stage. And we lamented that you could not encapsulate that state and make it last for a lifetime. This, I think, ultimately…is what I am asking. How.
And we talked about the “next” mentality that comes with the New York dating scene and with the onslaught of tinder and dating sites. And I wonder if something irretrievable has been lost in this sense of too many choices. Too many choices everywhere. In the super market, in the dating world, in every store…in every way that we live our lives. We need to wrap awareness around the tight bundle we have set before our eyes and peel the layers off of one another. Step back. And recognize. The inherent magic that came with our grandfather’s age and our great-grandfather’s age. That magic would be inherently and truly created by the lack of choices. That meaning would be created in the simplicity of life’s unfolding. That we could focus, we could appreciate and the girl next door would seem infinitely more mysterious and magical because of our lack of context. Because we took things at face value. Because we had fewer expectations and more belief in romance. And I think it is absolutely a double edged sword. Perhaps their relationships were not as fulfilling and complex in certain intellectual and progressive ways, but perhaps they were more fulfilling and complex because they were operating under a different set of expectations and because romance was more easily attainable in a world less jaded. And perhaps there sacrifices in not KNOWING that it could be different. But perhaps we have placed a thousand distorted ideas and re-hashes of re-hashes of ideas all over relationships and ultimately everything is so convoluted, distorted and post-modern that we don’t even know how to walk. Nothing about modern love is coherent in the slightest. I always feel Woody Allen in my head and as much as I love him…I sort of want him and his ideas to vanish from my head and to fall back into the arms of Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart.
But what I ACTUALLY want is everything. I want a synthesis. And I want a coherent post-post-modern concept of love and relationships that takes EVERYTHING into account. That allows for all of human history to have validity. That allows all of the corners of my heart to live in one world. That allows for love to be a thousand things. That allows for Disney fairy tales and existential conundrums and endless romance and pragmatic contemplation all at the same time. And here is where I am an idealist. Because I believe that this can all exist at the same time. Relationships can be hard and fast and true and strong and partnerships and romantic and old fashioned and post-modern all at the same time.
We can step back. We can say there is validity to this, falseness to this. There are sacrifices with this way of looking at love, and sacrifices with this way of looking at love. Nothing is perfect and nothing offers ALL ways that love can be. And I want to feel it all. I am not afraid of any edge of love and I want to experience all that she has to offer. So we can walk towards that synthesis in the middle. Where we are aware of what is beautiful, what is lost, what is gained, and we have EVEN more complex relationships and spans of our lifetimes. And I don’t know what they would contain.
I imagine I’d like to see people on the one hand more willing to commit fully, to dive in, to believe and to give love a chance, and on the other hand…more entirely open and understanding to divorce. No shame at all, no sense that you were misguided or made a mistake or anything of the sort. Just that the world curved and twisted and you both grew in ways that you could never have expected…and the world continued to turn and both believed at one moment in time that it was right and now you no longer do. And you would mourn the loss of that belief. But you would not claim that you should have known better or that you COULD have known better.
And I don’t know what we’d have. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. There would be less judgment. Less fear. Less self-shame. But more of everything that love is. More honoring the great beast that love is. Everything all at once. And we would chase love not ass. And we would honor and recognize the ways that love plays with you. The way that love is never wrong. And everyone’s path would be much more complex and dynamic. And we would recognize it as a path…not a series of choices that get you stuck. A series of choices that you either made right or wrong.
I’m an atheist and a believer at the same time. Everyone is right. Everyone is true. The universe is much larger and much more mysterious and complex than I can imagine. Everything exists in some form – imagined or real…who is to say what is what? The universe is large enough for all of the Gods and Goddesses that have ever been conceived. Conceived by human mind or not, there is room enough for all of them. And in the end, they are just shadows of shadows of shadows of conceptions of human minds. The reality of what is truly moving the wind and rain is much more magnificent than an anthropomophized concept created by a small group of humans. And yet they are beautiful creations none the less. And I honor them because I honor humans and I honor the power of mystery and my own humility to say I don’t know what the truth is. But I believe it is bigger than names we have placed on images of goddesses we have storied out for ourselves. But I honor the power of oral storytelling, the way that our collective unconscious has imbued these characters with a sense of archetypal meaning. And I trust that that archetypal truth has genuinely attributed some inherent meaning to these characters. Conceived, created or inherently true is sort of irrelevant. The fact that it may be a placebo or not is sort of irrelevant to me and disrespectful to the way the entire human brain and psychology works. If religion is a placebo or not is irrelevant. What is meaningful to people, what creates meaning and what carries meaning through ages and eons of human telling and retelling of stories and sounds and symbols and songs is meaningful. It is all we have. It is all we are. To dismiss it because it may or may not be rooted in “objective truth” is meaningless. Because we have NO objective truth. ANYWHERE. Everything is a dream. Everything. And so if your dream contains beautiful imagery, poetic words, artful storytelling and meaningful names…that is meaningful to me. And that is meaningful to humanity as whole.
I think I just contradicted myself about 7 times. But that’s what it is. It is everything. My mind is small and weak and feeble and every once and a while I get this sensation of just how tiny my thought processes are. And our thought processes are this way for a reason. To create this meaning. To create this magic. To create any sense of any reason of any impetus for us to do anything at all. Because if we knew what the stars knew, we would laugh at ourselves for doing any of the things that we do. For caring so heartily about any of the minutae that we do. So to create this theatre, you have to put it on a stage. Give it conditions, give it scope, block off the edges with curtains, keep the actors in the wings…and erase the script from your head. So you can believe for a moment that where you are is where you are and what is happening has meaning. So we believe. We watch this theatre in a dusty old theatre and we see the pieces moving. And we don’t see the director, we don’t get to read the script, we see the characters illuminated in stage lights and costumes…so that we can believe for a moment…that they are who they are.
OK well I guess I just described Plato’s cave. But what I’m saying. Is life is but a dream. And the words we have for what we believe is happening in this world are tiny and futile and small. But they are all we have. And it is a beautiful and special and unique thing that we can BELIEVE they mean what we have created them to mean.
If we had all the answers…where would there be any meaning? There would simply be a pattern of letters and number that all equate. We need the mystery. So we have had the answers taken away. Forgotten. So that we can create all of this. So that we can reach. Create. Be invested in the magically minute lives that we lead.
Belief is all we are.
And The Dreaming is where we live.