Monthly Archives: January 2012

Minimum

I suspect I’m in a season of silence. Not much to be said that’s suitable for a public journal.

Work is stressful. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of working with mechanical devices instead of mechanistic people. I had a moment of clarity last week; I’m not trapped. I can leave. I’m only existentially bound to my projects and coworkers. As a former manager of mine said just before he left to work for the competitor, “You have to look out for what’s best for Shawn, Incorporated.” But would I leave?

Outside of work, I need to find something to help me relax. Something that I can win. But even then, most of what I do too closely resembles actual work. There’s no relaxation. I mean, I know I have music projects, website projects, writing projects. I have things I could do, if only I wanted to. All of these projects are unified by the same internal drive. Without the desire to generate my own movements and craft my internal desires into external fruits, none of these projects will get done.

That same internal drive also motivates me to reach out and connect with people. I know some of you would love for me to call, to hang out, to spend time with you. It’s nothing against your character that I don’t take the risk. Without that drive, that ache, that itch, that fire, I’d rather sit inert and stare at the screen, listen to the conversation, feel without touching. It bothers me that, at age 39, I’m practicing to be the old man slumped in his chair, staring at the wall of the retirement center. I just want to be passive, for somebody else to push my chair to the garden.

Talking requires The Spark. It requires effort. Speaking in a dialogue takes more energy than random confessions, than verbalizing personal memories, than talking about myself. This blog is easy. Facebook comments are easy. Chat room ramblings are easy. Talking with people about real stuff is hard.

So expect not so much of it from me for a while. I’ll come back around soon enough.

My Political Creed (a Screed)

I’ve avoided putting out any sort of statement regarding my political ideologies because, frankly, I don’t want to defend them. In my mother’s household, any form of arguing was punishable, so I never developed the innate desire to defend or attack. But I’m a grown man now, and quite honestly, I think I’ve learned the difference between debate, arguing, and fighting. This isn’t any of those; it’s just a confession. If you agree with them, then great, you’re my echo chamber. If you disagree with them, then great, you have an opinion of your own. It’s a big world, and it takes all kinds.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts on where I stand. Continue reading

Chosen Hell

Quick joke. You’ve heard this before.

A man dies and, due to his decisions through life, gets sent to Hell. After entering, the Devil takes him on a grand tour where he’s shown three rooms from which to choose his torture for eternity.

The first room is full of people standing on their heads upside down in an ankle-deep pool of shit. The man curls his nose and asks to move along.

The Devil takes him to the second room, where everyone is standing on their hands upside down in a knee-deep pool of shit. Desperate, the man asks about the third room, and the Devil takes him there.

Inside the third room, everyone is standing upright in a hip-deep pool of shit, milling about and drinking coffee. “This doesn’t look so bad,” says the man. “I choose this one.”

The Devil nods and ushers him in, points to where he is to stand, and then rings a bell, telling everyone in the room, “OK, break’s over. Everybody back on your heads.”

Keep this in mind when you go back to work this week.