Thursday, March 7, 2013

Profoundly Blah

I don't know what's wrong with me.

I'm not depressed. I'm not sad. I'm not angry. I'm just...blah.

Profoundly blah.

I can't seem to find beauty, not in photos, not in words. At first I thought it was the weather, but it's not the weather -- in the past I've found inspiration in all types of weather, and all the hues of life, from gray to gold. To tell you the truth, I think I've lost touch with something inside -- whatever that compass is that points me to life and love. And I think I've finally figured out why.

I'm deeply interested in why people do the things that they do, and why they think the way they think. I think about it a lot, especially when someone does something vastly out of the ordinary. It seems that we have a lot of that lately. Why do people act in extreme ways? Why are people so violent? Why are they so fearful? As our thoughts go, so go our actions, and I think fear and violence are extreme reactions. Given time to contemplate, even very difficult circumstances, we can usually react in a less fearful and less violent way than maybe our initial reaction. At the very least, we can manage and restrict those extreme tendencies.

But we don't anymore. And I'm trying to figure out why.

My conclusion in that we don't spend enough time with our own thoughts, honestly assessing how we feel, and why we feel that way, and when you no longer have thoughts that last more than a few fleeting seconds, you have no choice but to make extreme reactions. We no longer act, we only react -- which means we are no longer in control.

I think a large part of the problem is the world we live in today. We are mentally bombarded; continually stimulated by media of every form -- music, television, video games, news, social media, radio, movies, magazines -- and of every type and degree of those forms, with no time to sort the important from the petty, before the next onslaught. We can't digest and process the information. We are no longer thinking for ourselves. We live in echo chambers, where we only associate with people who think and speak the same things we think and believe. We do that because it's easier than having a nuanced dialog with ourselves, about what is happening to us, and figuring out how to act or react appropriately. We have come to prefer pre-packaged off the shelf solutions for the ills of the world --whether they work, or not.

I think this kind of mental beating eventually hardens us, and numbs us. We become cynical and sarcastic and ironic. We see less value in anything that is not like us. We lose hope in the future. And, when we lose hope, we have nothing else to lose. That's when the inmates take over the asylum.

Which brings me to me.

I think it's the bombardment that is getting to me -- mostly the endless idiocy that passes for politics and policy. Guns and gun control. Fiscal cliffs, and talking heads. Blame and vitriol. I feel attacked from all sides. I find myself flitting from one branch to another, and blown like a dandelion in a tornado. I find myself checking news websites, and reading comments on comment boards -- stupidity spewed by illiterate people, incapable of putting together a single coherent sentence and in love with the sound of their own voices.

Not that I have strong feelings about it.

I find myself becoming numb. I find my vision clouding. I find myself losing hope, and I refuse to go there. That's not me.

I know there is beauty. I know there are good and thoughtful people. I know there are profound, and life affirming experiences to be had. I know that compass is still inside of me. I know that I have an instinct for exquisite experience. And I know I was given the gift to be able to share it.

So, I'm checking out.

I'm going to spend a week with as little conscious contact with the superficial as possible. I'm going to listen to music that moves me, and read words that expose me to thoughts I've never had. I'm going to look inside and find the hope that I know is there. I'm going to explore happiness, and take some time to understand why silence matters.

And maybe I'll replace that profound blah with a smile.

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