But sometimes there is something a little more personal than I am willing to post in Facebook... and at those times it is nice to have some less known places to come and write something in a public forum.
And yet how easy it is to put down all those responsibilities, take a deep breath and embrace the simplicity.
There is such a lot around that pesters us to feel guilt, or to deny who we are and what we want... and it is so easy to fall into all of that.
I am doing a good life cleanse.
I think we all need to do that sometimes.
Because the tickets were sold out I am now being snuck in as a volunteer, and will instead have to perform my waltz skills on stage and participate in teaching others... this is a world of intimidating... but kind of fun in its own way...
I could probably pat myself on the back and have a strong positive outlook on this experience except for the fact that I know only the Queens Waltz and haven't done it for 2 years... and will be required to demonstrate the Pride of Erin Waltz which I have never seen...
Maybe I am the comic relief?????
I have a very blessed life. I know I have been through a lot of pain in the last few months... but that is in many ways the result of my own search for perfection. I know that... I have always known I ask a lot... a huge amount. I'll probably suffer for that again... but for now I am just going to bask in the bliss of life.
But life is so complex....
You begin to open up to it and it throws you so much that is amazing from all directions...
And maybe some of what I now have to choose between is hard... but it is still nice to have beautiful liberating choices.
I've been thinking about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs again. I think in our 'advanced society' we have managed to tragically twist the hierarchy.
It is obvious that addiction distorts peoples needs, the need of a cigarette or alcohol or drugs can outweigh the need for food. I was having a chat about a woman who had been a drug addict since she was 8, prostituting herself already at that young age, and still selling herself now to support a $1,000 a day drug habit. I understand how this stuff is a distorted need... an addiction that has become a priority... maybe the only priority.
What my brain is more interested in at this instant is the twisted priorities for pleasure goods and entertainments. People who are simply spoilt. You see it a lots with kids, lacking conception of the family budget and pushing for the latest play station because other people have it, and the parent buying it at the expense of food and shelter. What is going on there?
It is a perception of rights.
The child doesn't understand the financial situation, the parent loves their child and assumes it is the child's right to be the same as the other wealthier kids (who may in reality be in the same situation anyway) so rather than follow logical hierarchy of needs they buy the play station. A stand for their rights has a greater priority for them on the hierarchy than their basic food and shelter. It is a bit like a hunger strike. I am going to hunger strike for my freedom rather than eat... same thing... we deserve this play station, just like the rich bastards do, so we will get it. Even though we won't be eating for a few weeks.
I don't think it needs a child in the equation either. I have seen a lot of fucked up priorities in my time. People thinking that it is their right to this new clothing item (despite already having adequate if not excessive clothing) rather than paying off their mortgage ... somewhere along the way people have gotten mixed up with the concept of 'deserve'.
Most poverty in Australia, much of the Western World is comparative poverty. A person is not poor because they can't afford to eat... rather a person is poor because their neighbour CAN afford a Rolls Royce. As soon as the neighbour gets their Roller.. or their neighbour's kid gets the latest scooter thing... or the neighbour's kid gets the latest, greatest shoes (are Nikes still IN??), then in that instant, when their neighbour buys that better thing... that is when they become poor. Now I am a fan of a fairly equal wealth distribution, not totally equal, because lets face it two hundred thousand years ago we all did start equal... as many rocks as you could want and nothing else... and what we have now is actually the result of all the choices of all our ancestors handing on their little improvements to us and I can't really see how it is fair to just say "lets redistribute the wealth at this point". I am certainly horrified by the wealth distribution I in the third world and in the Middle East.. a very small number of Uber-Wealthy and a vast underclass. But we aren't that bad in the Western World.
The whole response to comparative poverty though represents a breakdown of the Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. That people will spend as it is their right to be equal... even though they are not... either they have not spent as wisely in the past... not had the same opportunity... simply chosen to spend their luxury money on other things already, then seen the new thing their neighbour has and developed an attitude that it is their right to have that thing too....Am labouring the point now... I simply see something wrong with the priority structure of many people.
Sometimes, even when we want someone to be worth it, the risk of being wrong is too great, the consequences too frightening, so we give what we’re afraid we’ll get back, and then find comfort in being right. We seek the familiarity of a world where no-one can let us down, by ensuring no-one ever has the chance to. It may be lonely, but there is safety in the predictable, and in safety we can breathe. The problem is, that when we quality control to such an extent that nothing risky gets in, we’re often left with no filter to weed out the toxins of our own creation. And eventually, we succumb just as surely as we think we will, if we were to open the window and take the chance, except that an open window can be closed if needed. A closed heart however, is far more difficult to budge.
I have been down to the beach a lot the last two weeks. It is one of those places that feeds my soul. I've always thought the continuous lapping of the waves on the shore might be the key to the magic... this repeated and very natural noise, that nothing can ever stop... subtle but in its way very powerful... but the magic might simply be that I spent my youth living beside the ocean... that I heard the sea and smelt the sea all through my childhood, even from my bedroom at night.
It also feels like I have processed a lot of what hurt me. I have gotten used to not having Jo as my best friend and lover anymore. I have also made a number of life changes, or at least dwelt on them long enough to understand what to change when next they become relevant. I am not over Jo. I will always love her very deeply. But I have put that in my past... sadly... but there it is behind me (little wave over my shoulder). I tried my best, and learnt that my best was actually pretty hopeless. Next time my best will be better. I will communicate better. I will say the hard things. I will not hold back over superficial things. I will not put up crap, I will talk it through. I will do many things differently. My priorities will not be so screwed up.
It was a hard lesson to learn. And the cost of learning it was deeper than any cost I have ever paid in my life.
But that cost is paid now... and over the last month or so I have made a number of trips into the credit union of life and paid off as much of the debt as I can... so the mortgage on that cost is now pretty low... just occasional uncontrolled flashes when I see a name or a place, or drive into the Eastern part of the city where she used to live, or when somebody who works at her school trots out and gives evidence while I am on Jury Duty.... all that will fade over time, and nothing will be left in my surface reality... all in the past.
A fellow could get kind of bitter about love... maybe for a while I was... but I am not now... I am back to seeing really beautiful things in life. Back to beginning to feel wonder again. There is spirit in my walk... I am drawing more... writing more... living more.
I have sold a painting ;-)
I have done something I have always wanted to do, but which I am not going to talk about... but "yeah James" none the less.
I have started two projects... two books underway... and I'd like to think what I have written so far in one is both funny and interesting... the concept of the other is brilliant and it writes itself... I was going to start it yesterday... but got distracted by women... must get a bit regimented and stop all that for a while...
I am getting workmen in to do the floor boards. As soon as that is done I will start refurnishing with nice stuff. I will make my cold man cave into a nice warm nest.
Life is progressing. I smile more. I like myself again, I lost that for so long. I am pleasantly changed.