Sunday 27 January 2008

I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there. Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there.

Ants won't cross a chalk line. If you see them coming in your window, you can draw a line in chalk through their march, and they won't cross it. You'll see their frustration and their intelligence put to work at that chalk line, but they will not cross it. I don't know why. If there is a line of ants walking through your house, you can draw patterns in chalk and get pools of them that are encircled in chalk and don't know what to do about it.

I was thinking about hunger yesterday, about how we're all really just open books of information, however much we'd like to disguise it. It seems incredibly obvious, but we all just actually are what we actually are, regardless of costume. I suppose it's only really remarkable because of the elaborate games of fa├žade building that are so much a part of how human beings socialise. So I was walking along the street feeling kind of hungry for something I couldn't quite name, and got the sense that whatever it was was probably attracting some kind of resolution scenario, whether I was aware of what was going on, or not.

Do you ever do that thing of looking at some particular other people's lives and think about how their lives seem to make more sense than yours? That they seem to be less complicatedly complex and more straightforwardly simple and quietly, daily burning with some of the key elements of life that burn in a huge pyre in the middle of your dark winter's night, and then not come again for weeks or longer? I do, sometimes.

People are different to a really very limited extent, we have different variations of the exact same desires and experiences of life, and usually, I think, most human beings ricochet around exactly the same tin can of humanness, just finding themselves lying on its side or its lid at different times, and for longer or shorter periods. (If you don't get the tin can metaphor, it's slightly but not really oblique, so just take a deep breath and read that sentence one more time, and it'll crack open its rusty beans to you, I promise).

What distinguishes us is the way our lives look to other people, and of course the kinds of activities that happen, the kinds of activities that don't; temperament; and how a person has been shaped by their experiences. Even within that, I don't think the variation is so extreme. And yet we all act like it is, or actually, feel like it is: we get huffy or passionate with each other, we like and dislike each other intensely based purely on how we think we're being perceived or understood, we respond and don't respond to each other's descriptions of exactly the same experiences of living, depending on the language used. We're peculiar, I suppose. Tigers don't seem to be like this.

And then there's the whole sense of expectation of life, based on desires that may go deep or shallow, or just stick around for a long time. And so it's kind of easy to look at your life to see if it's fulfilling those desires, and so find fault or sorrow with it if it isn't. But human perception is a highly volatile thing. At least, mine is. My humanness is at the mercy of the wind and the sun and the moment and what's happening in my body at any given time. When people ask me what it is that I do (for a living, or passion, or whatever) I usually have to stop and think about it to figure out what it is this week. This is, at least, how I have been living for a few years, now. I feel very unknown to myself, in kind of a very fundamental sort of way. I am amazed and embarrassed and surprised by myself quite regularly (usually in different moments, though there are those crazy times when all those things come at once and usually it's hilarious, at least, when it does. Mercies.).

You know, people change their diets and their whole world changes. Moods, energy, thoughts, the lot. It's amazing what happens. Truly awe-inspiring, the diversity and unpredictability of this life.

I met this chick last night who kept touching my arm fondly, and saying things like "I'm so glad you're here", when she had just met me two minutes ago and those two minutes consisted entirely of her saying how fab I was, and this continued throughout our brief acquaintance. So maybe she blows some people's minds by doing that, it's an easy enough tactic to execute once you see it usually goes well, and you know, it's kind of cool to be someone who goes around blowing people's minds. Sometimes. When it actually happens, though, without any wile or guile or lipstick pouting, it's a real conversation stopper. And that can be a drag when you're just keen for a chat.

And blogging these thoughts does seem like a kind of insanity, especially when you're sober and it's four in the afternoon.

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