The River

Wherever the mind wanders,
like water it takes the easiest path.

But just because a river flows
doesn’t mean it’s the shortest, best, or truest path.

When we see a river…
or waterfall, stream, or flowing water
we know we can’t move the water with our hands.

We must dig a path, create a space, or provide a cup
somehow indirectly, we provide a place for the water to go
and very naturally it continues to flow.

But a man must work for many hours to dig a space for a lake
Or create a trench where a river can grow
And just like our thoughts
our attempts at re-directing it can always go terribly slow.

But hour by hour, day by day
with continual effort the river begins to create a fork in the road
until finally the day will come
when one riverbed dries up and the other one flows.

So it is often that I have seen people try
to escape the labyrinth river of their thoughts:
those images of shattered windows and burning houses
or shooting people and murdering spouses
jumping out in front of cars…

or death by a million small lashes
weeping, misery, cold-alone in a barren room
shouting, yelling, anger, at the grievances of the world
outrage contempt, jealousy in the fragile heart
and empty, walking, tired, through the concrete Earth…

when it would be easier instead
to simply redirect and build
a new maze and line it with flowers
just dig a path
create a space
and work the hours that will let a new river grow.

And so it seems that many of us have these thoughts
and to each of us a choice to make
of what thoughts we’d like to change…
for the lonely man who strikes a smile when he walks alone
for the saddest orphan who loves all others despite his remorse
for the unappreciated mother who bears her family’s pain
for the saints that continue on when the world won’t change…

when anger, rage, and all-consuming fire fills their minds
or wicked, terrible, murderous thoughts towards others fire
when love and faith are too far gone
and being normal is all you want
when every moment death reminds
that everyone you love will be killed off soon
when things could take a better turn
but reality says that’s just absurd…

it’s here I see these kindred souls
who let not their thoughts stop them from their hard work
it’s they that choose to follow faith
and continue on despite the worst of days
though weary and beat and awful thoughts remain
a solemn decree to work alone each day
to dig a path, create a space
for their thoughts await a shining day
when love and grace is the river they’ve made.

Cognitive Dissonance

If it wasn’t apparent before, I hope it is now… I take a lot of notes in my spare time. Although I very seldom check them again. It’s as if the act of writing it down was enough for me to believe that I had remembered it and that information wouldn’t be lost.

Here are some notes I took in 2012 (Junior year of high school).

The group paid $1 had no outside justification, so they turned inward. They altered their beliefs to salve their cerebral sunburn. This is why volunteering feels good and unpaid interns work so hard. Without an obvious outside reward you create an internal one.
That’s the cycle of cognitive dissonance, a painful confusion about who you are gets resolved by seeing the world in a more satisfying way. As Festinger said, you make “your view of the world fit with how you feel or what you’ve done.” When you feel anxiety over your actions, you will seek to lower the anxiety by creating a fantasy world in which your anxiety can’t exist, and then you come to believe the fantasy is reality just as Benjamin Franklin’s rival did. [See Ben Franklin effect] He couldn’t possibly have lent a rare book to a guy he didn’t like, so he must actually like him. Problem solved

And yet again, I am surprised that I even typed this. But I guess that’s just who I am. OH WELL.

Did you catch that? Cognitive dissonance. BAM.

 

Marriage

Apparently I got a head start and started thinking about marriage during 1st/2nd year of college.

Nov 22, 2014 4:16pm

Context: While reading I thought of something and I want to remember it. I was reading 7 principle of Making Marriage Work and it got to a list of common “dreams” (aspirations)

Exploring an old part of myself I have lost

^ Is this important?

I might have missed the point of reading a marriage book though since the author included the list so people could understand the spouses dreams… not their own.

Regardless, here’s the list:

From 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work (pg 218)

Context: List of common “deep” dreams

1. A sense of freedom
2. The experience of peace
3. Unity with nature
4. Exploring who I am
5. Adventure
6. A spiritual journey
7. Justice
8. Honor
9. Unity with my past
10. Healing
11. Knowing my family
12. Becoming all I can be
13. Having a sense of power
14. Dealing with growing older
15. Exploring a creative side of myself
16. Becoming more powerful
17. Getting over past hurts
18. Becoming more competent
19. Asking God for forgiveness
20. Exploring an old part of myself I have lost
21. Getting over a personal hang-up
22. Having a sense of order
23. Being able to be productive
24. A place and a time to just “be”
25. Being able to truly relax
26. Reflecting on my life
27. Getting my priorities in order
28. Finishing something important
29. Exploring the physical side of myself
30. Being able to compete and win
31. Travel
32. Quietness
33. Atonement
34. Building something important
35. Ending a chapter of my life -saying goodbye to something

John M. Gottman, Nan Silver

Numero 20 resonated with three years ago me. It still resonates with me now, only this is three years later me exploring the old 3 years ago me. I wonder what the 3 years ago me felt like he lost and wanted to explore. Did that make sense?

Onwards!

The System

A quote after my first year of college during summer, wrote in reflection of existential angst (2014).

“Life’s meant to get you, to fuck you, to beat you when you’re playing dead. It knows you’re not dead, continues beating, until you resign to actually trying again. Then down you go, faking dead as never before. And sometimes it works.”

But my own writing took a turn that I didn’t expect.

“Everyone forgets you, you forget yourself, the world wins, you win, everyone wins, you outsmarted the system. But you feel lonely. It get’s to be more difficult playing dead than being alive and fighting. Plus, everyone else around you playing dead are beginning to stink… wait. Anywho, when you get tired down there, get back up, and when you get back up, wipe that shit off your back. Like literally, no one wants to walk around with shit on their back. And if that’s too much effort for you, just remember what your parents told you. Better yet, remember what I told you. To remember what your parents told you.”

More quotes incoming…

Gestalt

Walked into river
River much too cold

Cold is bad
made me think to want warmth.

Fire is warm
then hand get closer

Hot is bad
made me think no good at all.

Met a good man
he gave many gifts (wine and food)

Gifts are good
made me think to do the same.

I gave gifts (wine and food)
people angry, say I try to please too much

Gifts are bad
I will not give as much.

Good and evil
both the same

Will you dare, to make this claim?

The Cold

To all I can see
I am unclean
bathing in waters
I shall never leave

Let the cold waters
run through my soul
and find fire within
does it douse it out — no.

Moving on fire
walking on ice
The simplest bridge
towards passion and vice

Told me your hour
was still yet to come
what have we done
but squandered our lonely —
bear with the pain I see, the ocean waves will never cease
And here I know what’s in my soul
It’s nothing I will ever be

So broken and shattered
I’m waiting for you
So making it past me
Is something I knew

And what’s more for me, the evening of death
And where do we stand in loneliness.

Hm

Shine a light, my waking moment
Closing light, a dawning time.

In angels wings I rode to heaven
And in the battlefield, they stood and fought

My abandoned values, I watched as they starved themselves, maimed the others, spoke, and loved, and spilt their blood, as I left their lands, cast above.

Could I not see? Could I not but hear the muses sing? Oh but there are no muses, I have been deceived! Who called out that this is where the miracle speaks?

Who calls out? The air my dear. And I have left my values, fighting as I stare.