“?”

There’s a whole mess a-stuff buzzin’ around the ol’ brain today!

Perhaps the most interesting of which, as of 12.43pm, was arriving at the Dowton Abbey Krogers just as Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” came on. I love that song, I only missed the first bar and that may have played while I was struggling with the automatic doors to gain entrance. Or struggling to overcome the veritable wall of senior citizens that bar the way just after the doors.

Either way, when I grabbed my basket for easier travel (and pointedly ignored the discount candy display placed there just for me) I recognized my song was playing.

And so, even though the store was busy and even though I went down the wrong aisle as distracted as I was, I danced a little. A complete and full second of total exposure, though perfectly and instinctively timed so as not to be seen by anybody. And then I walked around singing with the tune and forget every reason I had come to store in the first place. I remembered shampoo, since that was the wrong aisle I had found, but what else did I need? I didn’t even need the shampoo.

However, that put me in a much better mood. I can’t understand why I feel down in the first place, soon I won’t have a job in the world! =) Ah, but that’s a bittersweet passing, I’ll miss those guys, but I have to do this stuff. My destiny lies elsewhere and ahead.

Somewhat recently, I posted a blurb about universal forces and cross-connections and just really putting all my effort into believing in what I’m doing. And that’s working, but it stands to reason that there’d be negative effects to this, too. Or, that temptations and frustrations go up by about 1,ooo% because I’m already upset. Which means there’s the 1oo% chance to give in to something. Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid alcohol.

Well, I was talked out of it, which is the half truth. I read a lot into it so that could happen with a single sentence. But that doesn’t matter, it’s a step in the right direction. And more, I’ll be away from all that stuff very soon. It’s clearly still on my mind, as I’m talking about it, so I’m not out of the woods as far as that goes.

It’s Earth Day, a day I look forward to. I guess they teach it’s about plants now, and that’s fine, but shouldn’t we recognize plants as citizens everyday? Or, right along with planting stuff, maybe we should focus on the global community. That’s as much “Earth” as replanting. Now, I know, on this day, of all days, will I try to live by my own words.

It was a thought like this that triggered the memory of another friend I had for a brief time. His name was John and he was a shorter fellow with glasses who was studying and practicing to be an animator. I worked with him at the Kennesaw (GA) Roadhouse for … six months?, before he packed up and moved somewhere to start following his own dream of animating.

He and I became fast friends and I guess he taught me something that I would never give him credit for until I remembered him today. Since it’s me, when I say “We became fast friends…” this means we hung out maybe twice outside of work. He lived in a big house with a buncha other people, some of whom I think were working with him on various projects. (most/all? of them college students) His own space in that area looked like any artist’s studio, no visible furniture at all, just art supplies, paper, canvas, frames, and an easel(/easle?).

This was probably the first time I had ever been exposed to the mind of an artist, even though I had known several people who exhibited talent and drive. John told me about the hours (after work, no less!) that he would spend drawing faces of people he knew from memory. He didn’t just draw, either, he also sculpted, and I’m sure he painted. I think I spied welding gloves in his closet.

It was John’s space, habits, and his sudden departure to do greater things that really stuck with me, even though I would forget him after a few years. He returned for a weekend once, while the Kennesaw store was still open and stopped in for a visit. He looked great, a-glow with that kind of inner light that a person has when they really know something important.

And so, to his credit, I don’t remember his last name, and I may even have his first name wrong…, but he taught me a lot and he was an interesting guy. I respected him instantly for already knowing and beginning to follow his dream, I would never have guessed (and maybe he didn’t either!) that he’d leave so soon. As much as I might have been writing then, I wish I could’ve learned more from him.

Specifically habit. I’ve given up trying to establish any kind of any while I’m still working. It’s too much of an interruption, though I do love the idea of a deadline.

My remaining goal to be started and finished is to work out a “test” schedule. I say “test” only because as I learn what my more “happily” productive hours are, I’ll tailor to focus more on those times. If that means I have to be a Hemingway and get up at 4am, then so be it! I do not see that in my future, however.

I saw the new “Jungle Book” yesterday with my enthusiastic friend, Jacob. I loved the movie, it’s a story that speaks to me, it began a phrase that I would cloak myself in even before I was ever aware of where it came from.

But, it’s strange. I must have floated on the same wave of thought as the writer of the screen play, because there’s a lot of scenes very similar to my “the Lion Bros.” In fact, if I was ever curious as to how that story would look as a movie, it was right there in front of me.

I’m not upset and in no way are our stories completely the same. It’s clear that we were inspired by the same body of work, the actual “Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling (and the old Disney original movie). We had the same thoughts and ideas, knowing how important water and fire must be to animals. We asked the same questions, I’m sure. It is rated PG, too, which means there isn’t really a set age limit, but it might scare young children. I don’t know.

It’s a movie that is centered around a human kid amid animals’ cubs, which means that there would have to be some violence. It’s inherently suggested by involving the animal kingdom at all and so it was a good lesson for me to see where that line might be. The same being true for the emotional content and I’m still learning that, but I’m coming around to the idea that you have to make it powerful, so that the reader feels something, too.

And that’s the secret. If the reader feels something, then they grow with the characters, even if I am preying on social fears. Growth feels good in the brain, plus it carries over into all other things. There’s a very palpable difference in a brain that feels that it can grow, that it wants to, than one that can’t. I know this because I slip in and out of that feeling every day, it seems like. I would bet that it’s much easier to keep a mind like that when one is well rested. But, it may just be as easy as saying “I want to grow!” because I do.

My future award-winning book, “A Crash Course in Becoming a Hermit,” just sold its 3o,ooo,oooth copy (in the future). That’s one for every recycling bin.

To return, the point there is that maybe the down mood is because I’m tired and don’t want to grow. I have a long day ahead of me. There’ll be bright spots, lots of disappointment, a mad-scramble of disorganization. Or maybe it won’t be. It’s a full moon tonight.

The brain needs a lot of energy to function, so it does take more of a toll to want to learn. Plus, the idea to want to want to learn. I’m sure there are those, even at five, who think they’ve learned enough. There exists the phrase, “All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.” as proof. Just having the conscious thought probably ups consumption so that the brain is in “absorption” mode.

This state, undoubtedly, has been my secret to success. I have paid attention to nothing, even things I’m actively reading (which is an activity that is not going well), but somehow, the stuff goes in there. Some of it even sticks around, tacked onto other stuff that’s swirling around in there, an instinctual mneumonic device so that the two are always together.

“Pssh, who does that?” you might scoff, but every one does. Going through life and its relationships forces you to learn something, even if they’re painful lessons. Lessons that we attach that emotional state to so that later, when we recall that event, the emotions are right there with it, maybe even more so if we’ve been festering for a while.

But, that absorption mode is a state of openness, maybe not just to information, but to people and all that. That may seem obvious to some, but to a misanthropic anthrophobe (< whoo! Redundancy!), it’s a big deal. Since I’ve begun this undertaking to give authorship a try, I’ve put some of that growth into the people area.

I’m a long way off and fear of my pastdone dental surgery is what caused me to lose my growing mind. So, frustration sets in, which instantly kills every barrier set up to make me “behave,” I refuse to or won’t grow and things get worse.

Worse, it wasn’t a surgery performed by a robot, like I was led to believe. I don’t think they said “robot,” but they did say “machine” and I did expect there to be something other than the standard drill-to-the-face. Well, it wasn’t a drill, it was some kind of sanding tool because my mouth is visibly divided into carnivore side and herbivore side. So, the dentist had to sand down some of my sharp tooth so whatever other thing he was doing he could do in safety.

But all that’s over! I survived that ordeal and then I saw “the Jungle Book.” It has enough to invoke the old movie, a few references (known in the industry as “Easter Eggs”) to keep the adult crowd on its toes. Some(all?!) of the old songs return, though in different forms and in different ways. A lot of the soundtrack has some of the main themes, which does help in that recollection.

It’s a whole new movie, though, and not just because it is. There’s a lot more grounding in the original work, but it isn’t the same as, either. “What kind of story is it?” Why, it’s the same story I’m currently writing, a coming-of-age tale about a boy and his dog.

That’s the basest form and “the dog” is more than that (a whole slew of characters) and becomes even more by the end. Strangely, Pumbaa (of “the Lion King” fame) said it best in another film (see: “the Lion King”), “Home is where your rump rests.”

Ah, there’s more, but I’ve run out of time by about a million.

My temper is short. It will be a HUGE struggle to overcome how tired I am to how I want to feel. I want to grow, I’m open to it. I want to learn! It’s the only way I’ll survive, let alone all the other idiots on the planet. I’m prepared to pay the cost, I will be nice to people, even if it is only for today. For a better Earth!

Also, and lastly, there’s a million bees outside. (Three or four.) I sprayed a canister full of noxious stuff to prevent just that, at least in my space out there, but it was useless. They drove me off, because I’m a coward and they’re endangered and important. Plus, I eat their clover honey on my toast.

That was probably Nature’s way of encouraging me to remember that I want to grow. A thought like that and Gloria Gaynor’s words of wisdom helped me not buy a pack of cigarettes at the store today. The first victory!

On this day of all days, I miss all the friends I ever made, even if they’re still around. There’s no way I could ever recount all the players and their words and actions and how much I absorbed from them. Piling away information didn’t make me a happy kid, but it really should have. Physically. I don’t know what to do about nuthin’ so the rest of the time before work is to think of a schedule for after work is done. Forever.

-j.

PS: Writing without the spelling/grammar check active has NOT made it easier to not edit as I type and so for that reason, I’ve remembered how to be a good speller. =)

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