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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Remembering to laugh

It's a Saturday night. It's a little past 7 PM and nothing exceptional is going on, nothing particular happened today except when I walked to the a 7/11 a block from the apartment and bought a soda. I mention this because at the same 7/11 I bought a movie that I watched on one of my trips to Florida and have thought about many times since. I was particularly excited to pick up a used copy for $6.99 at a place I least expected - isn't that how it goes in life? The movie was "Sunshine," a sci-fi film about the sun dying and earth possibly going extinct if a team of scientist fails their mission, etc. etc. It is a phenomenal film that I highly suggest (and I know Lucas would back me up on this :) ) anyone who enjoys an end-of-human-civilization-on-earth type movie.

I bring this all up because I have had a rough couple of days and in an odd scene during the first few minutes of the film I found a weird sensation of peace. My days have not been rough in any other sense of the word than trouble finding peace, happiness, general contentness with my life the last couple days, no months, no a lot longer than that. I have no job, no structure, no purpose to my days. It's just been the past couple days/nights that I have had dreams that I am killed - a slit throat, tortured to death by being water boarded, bit by a rattlesnake in the middle of a desert, etc. My friends have no sympathy of my long, unproductive days because they work everyday. They come home to deal with the day to day chores, go to bed, get up and do it all over again tomorrow. They also do not see or understand my envy that they have figured out what they are supposed to do, or at least what they need to do right now. I can't figure out what to do for more than five minutes of my day other than to run and they all have jobs, careers or school that consume most of their days. I don't understand why anyone would envy me - I have 24 hours in a day to think, which can be as bad as torture by water boarding some days.

Anyways, in the first five minutes of the show a fight breaks out and a member of the crew talks to the ships shrink, "It's the time. Sixteen months you can get used to anything, you just loose track. . . From now on I'm not going to loose track again." The shrink makes him go to the "Earth room" a simulated reality where three people are standing on a ledge while waves crash up against the railing (presumably a viewing point for Niagara Falls or something similar). Why do I bring this up? Because the crew member was right - sixteen months and you can get used to anything and forget things that are important. You don't have to be in space. You don't have to be away from civilization or confined to a limited space. We all loose track of time. It's how we survive our days. More important, in that simulated reality of the crashing waves in a two dimensional movie I realized that I forgot how to forget time and reality. I forgot how to laugh at the simple pleasures in life and therefore I forgot how to live at all. I somehow got so lost in my real time that I forgot what is important - the lack of time.

How is it that children have a wonderful way of loosing themselves in a magical world with no restriction of time or reality, but adults are so constrained by it? What happens in between? Where does that lackadaisical appreciation for the absolute, most simple things in life go? Did we loose track of time or did we loose track of life? When did I forget the simple joy of laughing at a crashing wave splashing me with water or jumping in a pool on a 100 degree day or feeling the sunshine sneak through the window and warm up my skin while I take a nap on a lazy afternoon? When did I forget how to laugh at nothing at all? When did I complicate my own life by worrying about how I spend my days rather than just spending them? I don't know? I fear it's too late to stop worrying now. Is this what it means to be a grown-up? To forget the simple days. I fear, as I fear the end of Earth as I watch the Sun die in the movie, that maybe it's too late. I'll turn 28 in two weeks and all I want to do is go back to a time when I could sit in our 'circle yard' the with our border collie, Sam, and watch the clouds for what seemed like eternal summer afternoons. Now, I realize how delicately numbered each one was.

Maybe there is a reason I enjoy watching the human race struggle for survival in movies. Maybe I'm struggling for my own survival or survival of what is, no was, important once upon a time.

The movie is "Sunshine" directed by Danny Boyle. It is a wonderful film that will take you far from your own reality if even for a few, precious hours.

I guess after rereading this all I'm wondering is why I can't just be happy with what I have the way I was when I was a kid? What in the hell has changed?

Me. I changed. Now how the fuck do I change back? I'll start with remembering how to laugh.

The Last Few Months

Hello again! My apologies that I haven't updated my blog in sometime. I had some technical difficulties and considering I can barely manage to open Word and my email most days you can imagine the frustration I had trying to fix my blog. Lots has gone on since my last post and I have done some writing so I will try to post some of them and catch everyone up on where I've gone and what I've done this summer. Right now I'm enjoying the heat wave in San Diego and trying my best to stay cool (but nobody has air conditioning in their houses/apts so we have been escaping to such fine establishments that do have AC like the Ould Sod or movie theaters to enjoy some relief). I have done plenty of traveling to/from and around Southern California, but right now San Diego is home. I enjoyed housesitting a mile from Venice Beach in LA earlier this summer, traveled to wine country up north for a bit, went to the desert east of here more than once (a reminder that this heat wave is nothing compared to the good 'ol desert). I am still unemployed and trying to figure out my next bold move. In the meantime during a moment of temporary insanity, I signed up for the New York City Marathon and will be running 26.2 miles around my favorite city in 63 days (not that I'm counting). I will not be doing this alone. I somehow convinced my friend/roommate, Jill, to sign up and run the race with me (apparently insanity likes company). I have rediscovered my love for running this summer and find that waking up and running anywhere from 5 - 15 miles has given my life some structure.
In other news I will be promoted to Captain on September 1st. This sounds strange to most people because I left active duty in February, but I am still in the IRR for a few more years so I can volunteer or be voluntold during this time and promotions still run for us in this limbo status.
Also I have had two essays published this summer! They can be viewed at The Sylvan Echo
and The Splinter Generation. Please check out both sites as they have published some very talented new and established writers.
Well, it is 0615 on a Saturday and Jill and I have made plans to go for a run before the heat index becomes unbearable. I was just told it was breakfast and Mimosas after the run - not going to argue with that. Please be sure to check the site as I will be updating with adventures from this summer and adventures yet to be. As always thanks for reading. Cheers!