Feb 4, 2011

Turn, Turn, Turn

One of the first grownup books I remember reading as a small person was a post-apocalyptic book called "Earth Abides" - fairly solid read, but what really got to me were the elements of personal philosophy that were interwoven between the chapters. One that to this day, so many years later, has still remained with me was the concept of perceived immortality.

Essentially, the idea was reflecting upon mankind's tendency to extrapolate their future purely from their past. Namely, that what they believed to be within the realm of possibility could only have been previously experienced, which inaccurately limits their ability to prepare for future eventualities. The examples thus were given: just because I've never broken my arm does not imply that my arm is unbreakable; just because I have not died does not make me immortal.

And yet, as a world and as individuals, we do that same delimiting comprehension of our expectations. "It's never happened, and thus it never shall."

What a load of crap that is, though.

Case in point:

Twenty years ago, I'd never recorded an album. I'd never written a novel. I'd never been married. I'd never had children. Hell, twenty years ago, I still had a full head of hair. Life does funny things to you whether you're paying attention or not - - - which was, by the way, the general intent of yesterday's blog, though I suspect the point may have been lost in my general sense of meandering.

This week has been far less productive in terms of book progress than it has in making a perspective shift. It's a challenging enough prospect to stand up and say "Oh hi there, I'm an author" after so many years of being so many other things, and I suspect perhaps it took a bit for the blood to make its way back into my head. But a series of powerfully well-timed conversations gave me the appropriate nudges into my present state of mind, and, as I know now so many other authors who find themselves either previously, presently or potentially in this same transitional state, I wanted to mark the occasion with a few declaratives.

First, it's essential to remember this - - you are as you decide you are. No one else has more power over your destiny than you do. Want it? Then be it.

Second, there is neither an expiration date nor an incubation period for happiness. Happiness is a choice, not a result. You want happy? Be happy.

Thirdly, if you want something done, get off your ass and do it. If you don't know how, ask someone. "The only thing stopping you is the stopping," as Jim Morrison once said to me in a really funny dream.

And lastly, never forget that this world is a pretty damned impressive place. If you're a student of life, a writer, a lover or a fighter, just take a moment to breathe it in, every chance you get. The only form of hell I can imagine would be the regret for a life unlived.

And on that note, I got some writing to do. Be back soon, hopefully with some news and a bit less soapboxiness.

Be well, peeps. Let me know how you're doing.

2 comments:

Erin Lausten said...

Ren,
I loved this post. It brought back a wonderful memory. My father was/is a philosopher. He's done many things, but is a philosopher. One day we were talking about reality and what is real really. He held up a ball and asked me what it would do if he let go. And of course I said it would fall to the ground. He let go it dropped. Then he picked it up and asked me again. I said the same and he let it go. It dropped. But then when he held it the third time he smiled at me and said, "but you know, some day it may go up."
I completely agree with you that you are what you decide you are. (Within reason, but even reason should only be seen as a minor difficulty and not the end of all).
But I could go on and on... so will stop while I am ahead. I love this blog and added it to my blog roll!

Ren said...

that's a great story about your dad - - - I love hearing great stories like that, it makes me feel good about the memories I hope I'm leaving with my daughter as she grows up.

Welcome to the portal - - - I'll be sure to say as interesting of things as I can possibly imagine! :)