On Switching Gears

   I left my dead-end job yesterday. Not in a slam-the-door-wave-the-finger blowout kind of way, the company and I separated on amicable terms, but nonetheless it’s over. Quitting your first ‘real’ job post-college is one of those particularly distressing decisions no one really prepares you for. I was shocked at how difficult it was to come to terms with putting in my two weeks notice.  First came the guilt, in case you haven’t notice finding a decent paying job isn’t exactly easy nowadays. Even though I couldn’t sleep Sunday nights and was sneaking into the woman’s room at work to hide my panic attacks  I’d think, “this sucks, but hey at least I have a job”.  Then the work doubled and the impossible assignments became more frequent. After getting home I’d finish whole bottles of wine in one sitting. Life started feeling like a slow march towards death.  Work took all of my energy. I was stuck in an industry I wanted nothing to do with, in a position with no room for advancement, that utilized none of my skills and was teaching me nothing.  So I started saving my money and I quit. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m frightened. The economy might crash (thanks GOP) and I can’t live on my savings forever. But staying there would just have been an excuse to be miserable and lazy.  The future is very uncertain and I feel like I’m floating in space. But I know what I want now, I think I know where to find it, all I have to do is build my ship and get there. 

If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life but what I will call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know you will never become anything, and that is your reward.
Oscar Wilde 
So, yes, death. When you’re young, you think about it… Well, you don’t really think about it, you know - you have the intelligence of raspberry jam, you’re not thinking about anything. But it’s there, as a motive force, making you do things. Go and get a job. Go and find a flat. Find somebody else. Put them in the flat. Make them stay. Get a toaster. Go to work. Get on the bus. Look at your boss. Say, "fuck". Sit down. Pick up the thing. Go blank. Scream internally. Go home. Listen to the radio. Look at the other person. Think, "WHY? Why did this happen?". Go to bed. Lie awake! At night! Get up. Feel groggy. Put the things on - your clothes - whatever they’re called. Go out the door, into work - same thing! Same people, again, it’s real, it is happening, to you. Go home again! Sit, Radio, Dinner - mmm, GARDENING, GARDENING, GARDENING, death.
Dylan Moran
The Japanese have an expression that seems to capture the sense of pathos that is at the heart of our all too human dilemma: mono no aware, “the slender sadness”. Simply by living we take life. Leather shoes and belts, breathing in and out, a cup of water, a flushing toilet, a stroll in the forest, raising mustard greens, flying here and there, the daily newspaper: in each, a thousand things are dying and being born.
Thich Nhat Hanh
If we affirm one moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence. For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event - and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.
Nietzsche 

Black Magic & Magnolia Suns

Incense, sandalwood, and a half lit cigarette rest by the window in the bedroom of my new apartment. Soft rain drops in small intervals. The air is sultry. It’s heat, soil, and salt. It’s the promise of a new summer. Late nights turn into magnum colored dawns. Unfamiliar faces slowly smile. I pour my sixth cup of gin. Pangs of love-gone-by still prick somewhere deep inside from time to time, but followed without regret. I’ve let go, but I’m not quiet sure I’m ready to move on, just yet. The hot summer is wide open. I only have to walk out the door.