Friday, August 17, 2012

Maybe This Is A Life

My return from the week or two journey was uplifting. I looked forward to coming home--something I rarely felt in Memphis, or other places in the last decade or so.

I had texts and messages from friends on the coast and here on Ballistic Mountain expressing the sentiment that I was missed. They even sang to me in one voicemail. That was very cool.

Now we are back to practices up here, and practice with the other group in Poway. I managed to lure a pretty girl onto the property, and even made her a cappuccino with Cuban coffee. I've done some work, and have more work ahead, and I feel primed to finish a particular creative project which has been on hold for some time.

Hot as it has been, the gully washer which assaulted the mountain this afternoon was quite welcome. It truly was a gully washer, as the road up past me now has deep crevices that most cars can't navigate. There is enough flat path on the edge of the road for them to make their way on up, I guess. It was a spectacular rain storm. Intensely hard rain.

Back to reading Michener again. The last one I read is called the Novel, and like My Mexico, it gives plenty of insight into the writing process. The Novel delves a lot into all the facets of publishing, as of maybe 1990. Even though that world has radically changed, I think it provided some timeless insights. The fact that change was on the horizon did not escape him.

I've got books scattered everywhere, and all of them have been read, so it is time to haul them into the used book store and trade them for more. I'm so illiterate in ways that I will never be able to catch up to where I should be, so I select what suits my purpose, and holds my attention.

I revisited the film, Artois the Goat, and I still consider it a brilliant screenplay. Low budget, obviously, and made in such a way that that adds to the charm. Some of the humor is silly, but so well placed. Kind of like Monte Python meets A River Runs Through It. I very rarely watch a movie more than once, but I found watching this one again was not at all boring. Of course, plenty of time had elapsed since my first viewing.

Code Contemplation

There was a conversation that ended quite badly some weeks ago. I've mentally reviewed it and tried to look at it from both sides. My conclusions are inconclusive.

After experiencing events in which much alcohol was present, I thought maybe the other party was somewhat drunk; had reached that point of belligerence which happens sometimes when you drink, especially when talking to someone who makes or contemplates choices you wouldn't make.

That conversation was worrisome. If the other party is unaware how questions were put to me, then my answers probed for more detail, then when detail was offered I was assaulted with angry complaints about the topic, then there is a serious problem which needs to be addressed. I can't make it happen, and I suspect any direct suggestion would bring more rage.

Another case of a person getting super angry because I did not care to entertain unsolicited advice about matters which affect only me. The subjects came up in response to queries, not from me introducing the topics out of the blue.

It was either a conversation tainted with some mind altering substance, or possibly influenced by some health issue or outright mildly psychotic episode. All my experience with such interactions proved in the end to be the result of depression tempered by drinking.

Where the code comes in is this: I will not tell you how to spend your money unless you ask. If it makes you happy to buy an iphone for every day of the week, then I'm happy for you. That is not my business. I won't step in uninvited claiming I'm doing it because I care and am your friend. Some things are simply the result of how a person chooses to use time, resources, and whatever else life is offering. Ridiculing innocuous choices is just a way of raining on your parade because one refuses to accept that he is ignoring his own. Or her own.

My code differs from that of some people. Just like I am very hesitant to apply the concept of social cost in supporting measures which ban or require certain behaviors; like helmets, use of poppies or pot, sugar, and a host of other things. If I see a real and present danger to what a friend is about to do, I will speak up if I can. Sometimes it only sends them over the edge, so discretion is needed. Let it look like someone else's idea. There are times when giving up the credit for an idea is the surest way it gets implemented. I've used that trick many times. I was more interested in the result than getting my ego justly boosted. That's kind of an ego trip in itself.

The code is largely about boundaries. That is a form of respect. It has to do with knocking and waiting to be admitted before barging in. Not like they do in the medical profession--knock on the door as they open it. Why do they bother knocking if it is not a polite request for admittance?

Defining those boundaries and what constitutes respectful approach is kind of difficult at times. I know the rules when the situation arises. Sugar coating the breach does not change anything. You can't humiliate or ridicule a person's nature, then justify by saying you are only trying to help them, it is only because you are a friend, or that it is for his own good. It is a strange way of killing trust. It certainly does not ring of the respect the one offering the character assassination claims is the motive.

There are things one can not fix. I think it is when the personal code of one person is too different from that of another.

We see it all the time. There is a growing difference of opinion in this country over the definition of the word "right"--as in right to a free press, speech, etc. Some believe in a right to brain surgery, higher education, housing etc. Others believe in the right to earn or pursue such things;you have a right to buy a house if you can, as opposed to the right to have that house, regardless of purchasing power, willingness of the seller to sell it, builder to build it, etc. That bit with rights goes on and on. There are people who think their right to free speech includes the right to stop traffic and more. Sometimes I think semantics clouds the reality to which the discussion allegedly refers.

The point is, not everyone is on the same page, and that can be fine and dandy until one's understanding conflicts with another's in a way which makes it impossible for them to peacefully occupy the same space or conduct a pleasant conversation.

A perfect example would be the situations in which someone gets emotionally involved over whether someone else does or does not eat meat. If you don't do what I do in a situation which has absolutely no affect on me, then you are no good. People have been on this planet too long to be such idiots. No excuse for it.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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