Thursday, December 11, 2014

What does it mean to live fully, to you?

That is the lifelong question. I want to know your answer, because it will speak volumes about who you are. I think it changes every day, and every year, depending on what we know, and what is lacking in our lives.

In this particular context I was thinking about the struggle of the writer: do you spend your time observing and fashioning descriptions of life, or are you fully in the moment, present, living it? Do I throw myself into love; consequences, time constraints, and emotional vulnerabilities be damned? Or do I keep myself withdrawn and give myself the discipline and structure it takes to be a better artist? Can I do both?

But living fully for me in general means a few things right now:

Being loved, and loving. Improving the world using my skills, thoughts, and energy. Exploring the world in its multifaceted and dangerous splendor. Eating great food. Pushing myself, and getting stronger. Illuminating the darkness for those more fragile. Bearing witness to the end of days. Going down all roads in search of truths. Being uncompromising about truth, when I can see it, and thoughtful about it when I can't.

I am typically of one of two minds. For entertainment purposes, let's paint them in their extremes.

I either wake up in action, uncoiling like a spring, with a gasp, and I move. I want to boldly and uncompromisingly assess challenges and take them on, honing my mind into acuity in response to the twists and turns life throws me. I am strong, and virile, and laughing the triumphant laugh of a joyful and wrathful god, many headed. I want to dance and sing with the glory of living. I do not want to crush my enemies because I have no enemies, I only have challenges that make me stronger. Everything improves in my presence because I love everything and I am alive.

In this mindset, my purpose on this planet is to use my mind, my body, my charisma, and my determination to improve the world. This is the version of myself that wants to run the Bicycle Collective, that wants to write a best-selling young adult novel that shows kids to confront their fears and insecurities with joy and love for their allies. The version of me that smiles when talking to a homeless person because I have the capacity to love them and in that love is salvation for both of us.

Or I wake up slow. I want nothing better than to find refuge from the world, in someone's arms, in food, in distraction. By running away. I acknowledge the frailty of the world and my own frailty within it. At these times I feel things like thunderbolts, and the calamity of the human condition leaves me a cold vessel. My eyes no longer crackle, they become repositories of dread and sadness.

Here, I am meant to be a measure of what is real. I am meant to feel what can be felt, and decipher it into poetry. The hurt can hurt me, but I am protected from it in my role as a recorder. I loathe the damage that the teenager receives just by being surrounded by other broken people. The homeless person terrifies me because I might soon become them. And the sky's darkness is the harbinger of the future.

The compassion of the quiet me and the radiance of the bold me can serve two purposes.

They can be poured into another person, who absorbs them, learns from them, nurtures them, is emboldened by them, or maybe even is broken by them.

Or they can be poured into text like charged ions into batteries. Wrapped up into complicated emotional talismans to tell the human story, and hopefully, save the world.

Ideally they serve a combination of the two. Which is where I figure my shit out.

For you?


j0bi1 said...
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j0bi1 said...

Davey, you're as beautiful inside as you are outside. That's been apparent since the day I first met you and it's how I knew we'd be friends. You're like some magical creature who isn't from earth, yet at the same time, who is composed of the most essential and choicest of Earth's most potent particles. Seeing you is like watching the Northern Lights, it's mesmerizing. Dynamic. ..and I wonder how long it will last...this time...a visible manifestation of the processes of good that protect our fragile lives from some of the more harmful elements of the universe.

When someone like you writes something like this, those who know you feel the truth of your words because you actually live them, and mean them, and breath them. And it helps us know that we can aspire to greatness too. And yet, someone like you doesn't have to write something like this, for those of us who know you, and love you, already know this about you.

Still, there's something about putting the words in writing that makes them something to touch, hold, and handle, to see how they lie upon our own individual forms. Not that I presume to speak for others, but I can just tell... the seeming silence to your post isn't insouciance, it's the exalted stillness of esteem. What can anyone say?

When God told Abraham he'd spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorra if he could find one good man, it was you they were looking for. And it's not divine favoritism, it's because truth is vital, and someone who thirsts for the vital truths of fully living and loving and burning with the beauty that is life's potential, is worth so much to the world. That was the symbolism of that story. And all of this despite your weakness, or because of your determination to rise from the ashes and build in the fertile soil of it's residue.

So from my perspective, life is not about not being weak, or hurt, or broken; it's about embracing life, love, and passion despite our weaknesses, hurts, and injuries. I want to live to love all the things. And I hope that by my own life, I can enhance the conversation of loving. Loving truth, loving friends, loving strangers, loving life with all it's facets and complexities of chaos.

In the timeless realms of quantum entanglement, even comets live forever. You, Davey, are an eternally brilliant comet racing through the glorious glowing shimmer of darkness in the quantum moment of a never ending night sky.

In the immortal words of Jack Kerouac: “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

You're the kind of people for me, Davey. Keep on truckin' <3

Davey D said...

Laron, that's probably the nicest thing anyone's ever written me. I aspire to live up to that perspective. I've been thinking a lot about how people are perceived vs. how they actually are. When someone admires you, it makes you want to be the person they see, even if you want to temper their admiration by pointing out your various shortcomings.

I love the comet and the Kerouac quote, even though I recognize the danger in wishing for infinite energy. A lot of the responses to this quote are about balance, I think the older you get, the more living fully is about achieving balance. In my mind, if you've got the fuel, you should propel forward when you can, and never feel regretful when you can't.

I think your perspective is beautifully summed up here: "I hope that by my own life, I can enhance the conversation of loving."

I hope so, too!