Posts tagged introspection
Posts tagged introspection
I was watching this video from Big Think on YouTube and it got me thinking.
While Penn Jillette didn’t seem to articulate his meaning very clearly, I realized that what he was getting at was really a profound insight.
To summarize the video: Celebrities act their best when the camera is on them. Put the camera on them for prolonged periods and they start to fatigue. They lose their composure, begin to act out of character and behave stupidly. He likened this to a kind of muscle wearing out after being contracted too long.
After a little thought, I realized this was basically true of everyone. We all find ourselves in situations where we must act differently than we would if we were just by ourselves. Be it when we’re around the family, strangers, children, on the job, whatever. At some point we find the need to censor our own behavior. This is an act of willpower. It takes effort. But just like those celebrities that lose their composure after hours and hours in front of the camera, we too begin to wear out after being different for too long.
How this applies to our lives will vary from person to person. But I suppose one could say that it highlights the danger of excessive self-denial. While the dangers of over indulgence are well known, I don’t think people realize as much how harmful self-denial can be.
Because Penn Jillette was right. It is like a muscle and if we don’t relax it from time to time, we get tired, it starts to hurt, regardless of the load we are carrying. And, eventually, if you don’t, it will give out and you will have a breakdown.
I’ve never been much of a speaker. It’s always been hard for me, due to speech problems inherited from my grandfather. But over the years I have worked to improve my speech and to learn to talk more.
I have, also a love of singing and always have a song in my head which rests just a twitch away from being sung. I love to recite from my favorite books and poems and I love doing accents and characters.
Please, if there is any kind of justice in this world. If fate has a sense of kindness. Let me recover from this disorder. Near fully would be enough. Just so I can talk well and sing again. It’s only been a couple days, but it’s already killing me. I can’t even smile properly… or even raise both my eyebrows. My capacity for outward expression has always been hindered before, I don’t need this on top of all.
I am grateful that I retain the use of my hands, though. If I lost my hands, I would truly go mad. I might survive without song, but I could never survive without my hands.
It’s very strange to me to think that some people don’t hear music in their heads.
There isn’t a moment when I don’t hear music… or some sort of sound, even my thoughts seem to be audible in my head. Though it’s not hearing in the literal sense, but… I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like seeing something with the mind’s eye, but only in sound. Sort of a ‘mind’s ear’ if you will.
Even as I type these words, I hear them in my head. In my voice, as if I were speaking them. It’s something I’ve had all my life and it still seems odd that this is an unusual thing.
Sometimes I feel that I’m not doing as well as I should. That my fears that I would be no better on my own than before would prove all too true. There are messes that need to be cleaned up and I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I would have liked creating art. The lawn needs mowed and I am not setting aside much money for future needs and I feel I’m spending too much time puttering around with the Internet.
But… perhaps I am too hard on myself. I cook for myself nearly every day. In the last three months I have eaten out maybe twice. The house, while not perfectly clean, is far better than my previous living space ever was. I am paying my bills regularly and I have no debt. I have been writing, even if it isn’t on my main project.
I have improved, but I’m not perfect. I am doing well, but not great. There are corners I could cut and slack I could take in. On the other hand there is only so much one person with a full time job can be expected to do without wearing themselves out and making themselves miserable.
A balance is needed, somehow. Between leisure and responsibility. Between order and chaos. And I suppose I can’t be blamed if I have trouble with something that virtually everyone in the world struggles with in life.
I do not fear pain or suffering. I fear no mortal ache or woe. For all such things inevitably pass with time. I fear no dark thought or failed hope. For in my hands, my mind and my will lies the power to shape my path.
I fear only the void of unfeeling. I fear that dark shroud of despair that squelches the soul, binds the hands and smothers the heart. To sit motionless as time and life slips by as the slithering of some spectral serpent till the bite of death ends all further hope.
For while I stand and draw breath, while my hands may yet grasp and my mind sill function, while life yet remains, hope will never die.
My home. I own my own home. Ok, so it’s a trailer, but it’s in a very nice town - a relic of a time when trailer homes weren’t always connected with low-class people. It’s a very old trailer park. It was here when my mother’s mother moved to the neighborhood, when my mother was not yet ten.
The trailer itself is probably of 1970’s pedigree, making it about forty years old. The previous owner was an older man and he must have done a lot of work to keep it in good condition. When he passed away, his daughter inherited it, and I I think she must have lived in it for a while before she sold it to her brother. Her brother is an unfortunate man who suffers from some mental conditions and he was unable to keep the place up for years.
So it is, then that this place has about it a layer of history, preserved in a covering of neglect. Everywhere I can see the signs of the old man’s work. The outlines of a room that was removed to enlarge the living room. A trellis carefully woven with roses. The remains of several flower beds. Just to name a few.
But, too there are the signs of neglect. The trellis was overgrown, the paint has been poorly applied, and the flowers are choked with weeds.
I can feel the weight of time and my heart goes out to the old man and his long labor on his final home. I feel sadness for the decay of so much hard work, whether it be from love or duty, the old man’s spirit went into this place. It deserves better.
But I live here now. And I am not an unfortunate man. And I feel compelled to make this house a home to be proud of yet again!
Imagine… If you’re mind never stopped. Imagine a constantly changing swirl of thought and feeling. Like the raging of some endless flood.
Imagine if you could see anything in your mind’s eye with just a thought. Images, motion, things vast and mighty, great battles and violent storms… Or the sun upon towering mountains or the drifting wind across a grassy plane.
All these things and more beyond imagining I see.
I need to learn more about working on my own car