I don't know how I missed this article (click here), The War On Stuff, published in The New York Times Magazine last month. It's about de-clutter guru and phenom Marie Kondo, and a sort of national obsession with living with fewer possessions. The idea itself was certainly long overdue and all anyone over the age of 30 or so has to do is inventory their family possessions now and weigh it against what they grew up with to know... that we simply have too much fucking stuff. I'm currently living with about a quarter of the stuff I had last year at this time and it would be less than that if I discounted the shelves and various stands that I keep my stuff on. It is liberating, in a sense, to be stripped down to only my clothes and the physical items that hold an emotional attachment, though now I'm teetering on the brink of having to examine those emotional attachments and living with even less. People do it, and I suppose I could do it as well, but my heart twists up at the very thought of say, getting rid of the music collection, which has been my primary source of solace since I was a young boy. I don't know if I even know another way to self-soothe and comfort myself. The books I got rid of last year, most of which I'd carried around with me more as trophies to show anyone who might enter my house than as containers of valuable information I may refer back to... they were much easier when re-framed in an honest context. Furniture? Well, I no longer own any. I'm living in a semi-furnished room. Most of what I had was garbage anyway. Not garbage, but easily dismissable, I guess. So is my life more comfortable with less clutter? The jury is out on that. As much as it was a relief to strip down to bare bones, it was really out of necessity and not a spiritual pursuit. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have to. I am still open to finding some other reward in it, especially now that I may have to go a step farther.
WINNING AT ANY COST
This is still weighing heavily on me. Perhaps my takedown a few nights ago was overdue karma for the number of times I went for the throat. I can say that I never took the low road with people I cared for, but maybe that's a cop-out. All I know is it really hurt. It's a good reminder for me that no one person's pain is less than another person's. That zinger... the object to "win" at any cost... what's it really worth? If my friend (former friend now?) knew the pain it caused, and not so much the content but the willingness to take me down to "win" a meaningless exchange... fucking pointless. I never want to be that person again. Not the victim. I don't want to be the bully. Ever. But silly me, I surely should have known that if I stuck around long enough it was going to happen. I've been there myself, where the bullet can't be called back once the trigger is pulled. Then you smile for a half a second, all pleased with yourself, until you realize you just shot someone you love right in the heart. Too late now. It's all too fucking late. Bullets and words can't be taken back.
It's funny (not haha funny) that I see it on a national level too in this election year. It would be easy enough for me to point fingers at Donald Trump, and anything I could say about him would be well deserved on his part, because he is a right cunt. It's not him or his supporters (Does he have supporters or followers? There is a difference, I'm certain. I would say he has both. His supporters are those who are disgusted by him but will utilize him for the sake of winning. His followers are those who've been impatiently awaiting a national voice for all their own ugliest thoughts. Anyway...) There is a bitter irony though that those who oppose him, and you can call them those who I am forced to support simply to cockblock Trump as he attempts to fuck the entire country, are willing to play dirty to knock him down. I'm speaking specifically at the moment of their attacks on his wife, Melania Trump, whose only crime really is truly abhorrent taste in men. She has received more bad press than he has in recent weeks. First it was the issue of her speech, which she didn't write. Hell, most presidents don't even write their own speeches, so was it her fault it was plagiarized? This week it's her immigration status. Now call me naive but I think it looks really horrible for the party who is trying to position themselves as the more compassionate on immigration issues should so publicly attack an immigrant (and despite her marriage that still makes her a member of one of the most vulnerable populations nationally). The Democrats have lost sight of the real issue here, and that's Trump himself. HIS vulnerabilities lie in real world issues, not the least of which is that he simply doesn't have the knowledge required to be president. We can then move on to the fact that he is one of the most loathsome creeps to ever hold aspirations to the job. Go there first! Attacking Melania just makes you all seem like petty twats. It's just not good enough to "win" at any cost. What do you gain by acting like a desperate low-life?
THE ISLE OF CONEY
Still pretty much obsessed with the idea. I don't know why it never occurred to me before. There is no place in the five boroughs anymore that puts me more... at peace? Something. I don't know how to define it. I just know I need to be closer to the salt water. More later.
Still struggling to get it together after how many... nearly seven years? The last year or so has been a good exercise in living with less. Good life lessons...
I took this photo a year ago today on a residential stretch of 7th Avenue adjacent to the Greenwood Cemetery. Homeboy buzzed around a bit and alighted on a fence post right next to me, as if he had chased me down to impart some bit of knowledge. When I planted my feet, he planted his.
"The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.
The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life. - See more at: http://www.dragonfly-site.com/meaning-symbolize.html#sthash.EF6QFGXJ.dpuf.
I feel silly in a way, reaching for meaning in what could easily be a random occurrence, especially given the difficulty I've had with the concept of gods or spirituality. Yet I've been seeing a lot of dragonflies again recently, and the one in the photo above came about during a time of rapid change in my life. My eyes were only just opening, and now again I find myself riding the waves...