Thursday, August 14, 2008

Turning a corner

It's now been more than a year since I put anything here.  In that time, I've worked on some creative projects and neglected my housekeeping chores.  I've given up a promotion at work and returned to a role at which I excel.  I've culled many of the plants from my home.  I've bought a lot of expensive books.  I've looked at LiveJournal every day to see what's new out there.  But I've put nothing here because, well, I have had no idea what to say.

I read a couple of really great books recently, finished King's Dark Tower series, and lamented the death of Arthur C. Clarke.  I've watched a number of movies, some good, none great, some awful, some highly overrated.  I've purchased more new CDs this year than in the last five combined, some great reissues and some awesome new material, much from bands with whom I grew into adulthood.  It's 1983 Redux.  That makes me really, really happy.

So what have I got to say for myself?  I don't know really.  I do know that I'm unhappy in the world the way it is.  In the last year I've admitted to myself that I'm really ready for this to be over.  My undisciplined mediocrity gets me down sometimes.

On the other hand, some things have come to my attention that have made me think uplifting thoughts and feel better about my crumbling little existence.  I've been maudlin and gloomy for most of my life, and so has the world..  I'd like to think that I can change.  

I'd like to think that I can change others too.  

I'd like to think that humanity doesn't need to rush about and drive giant cars.  I'd like to think that cellphones are a cultural frivolity and that people can put them down for an hour.  I don't know how to text-message.  I'm a Luddite.  Is that bad?

I'd like to think that people don't want to hate, even though it's really much easier than love.

People aren't nice enough to each other.  People aren't sympathetic with others.  People don't enter into a discussion except to espouse their own point of view.  People think the trivial is important when it should be, well, trivial.

I can sum up what's wrong with the world by summarizing a recent customer service phone call I answered.  "You don't understand," the customer said.  "It's summer and my children NEED the TV, so if you can't fix it today, I want it replaced!"  In my head, I said, "Have you considered sitting with your children and reading to them?  Playing cards?  Talking about what they're making in the sandbox? Maybe even hugging them and showering them with affection"

But I didn't say that.  As Stephen King observed often in The Dark Tower books, "The world has moved on."

So what can I do about it?

I can do this.

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