Here’s my instant review of Blue Planet with David Attenborough – things want to eat and breed and not get eaten. The ocean is big and mysterious, underwater photographers experience some serious beauty.
What struck me in the tub at ~2:30 AM was the role of adult animals. They live for their young. Since it’s all about me, I thought about my role as an adult animal sans young. I was urged by Swami Bua to have a family, why? Perhaps because it’s a necessary phase of spiritual growth? A experience that fosters understanding and empathy? So I can have a little army of caretakers in my golden years? All the above? Well, there doesn’t seem to be much likelihood of this occurring so I’ve got to acquire these boons some other way or not at all.
What about making art, does being a parent help or hinder? Of course both and neither. There are the young years when prodigies are prodigious – making movies or paintings and setting the foundations for future retrospectives. Yet what can a young person really offer the world, having tasted so little of life? They offer the very energy of their lives, which – whether squandered or auspiciously channeled – is compelling. No deep insights needed. They create. Perhaps they breed and then do both, raise kids and keep creating.
For me this is all conjecture. I avoided parenthood because I wanted my own experience, without the responsibility of kids to limit my options. I guess my options were already so limited due to my interior situation, what I believed I could get away with. My universe was proscribed and I didn’t even know, consciously. I must have realized intuitively, because the idea of having kids was anathema. Marriage too.
What I am getting to here is I didn’t have the courage to follow my bliss way back when, so creating additional obstacles was just right out. Perhaps I learned by example, my parents appeared limited by having my brothers and myself, their lives were not very compelling to me, so why would I follow that path? Looking around as a kid, I didn’t see one example of parents who were having adventures and doing groovy stuff, so that’s that.
So much for second guessing distant decisions, the point is did I miss some character building opportunity? Do I lack key fortitude because I was never a dad? Can you see the fundamental routines running in the old bean dear reader? Lack… what’s wrong with me? Is there something wrong with me? Ha!
It’s just a flavor of thought. Gosh – who wants to eat ice cream cones 24/7?
Now the big gorilla in the room, the most intense introspection – unfinished projects. I returned from Brooklyn a couple years ago to finish unfinished projects. Progress certainly, yet as much deck clearing yet remains I have felt a shifting of late. Let’s inventory and assess.
From ~ 09-10-12
• Projects unfinished •
Brooklyn – too many failures/heartbreak
Hello World still busted after second expedition 2010
Sailing gear disorganized
Raft unlaunched, rusty
Back room / bathroom / roof
Accounting / Taxes
Tai chi teaching
Sword and ru yi
Film gear organized
Garage organized and clean
Projects finished (within 4 years)
Myriad collaborations with nyc artists
vfx demo reel v.9
As I am alone, I become aware that there is no one to continue in my stead, with no children or woman to believe (in the great work 09-19-12) and carry on. Thus I must neaten up my life and clear the way for passage into the next, not leave a big mess for someone else to clean up, untangle. Simplify.
I dreamt I was falling. First I was happy because the ground was far, far below, and then I got terrified as the ground rushed up. But no matter how close the ground got I always managed to swoop away. Then I was exhilarated because I could fly, which is falling forever. We are all falling forever.
“Double your success rate, triple your failure rate.” Og Mandino.
That could be a description of my life approach, I just haven’t been acknowledging this as deliberate. It’s just a slew of random incomplete projects that i was afraid to look at. If we define them as massive opportunities for failure, ongoing efforts that have hit a wide variety of obstacles and are all in various stages of problem solving, then this could make a hell of a lot more sense.
Plus, Rosie is not an unfinished project. When I bought her, I set a clear objective. To convert her by the fall into a viable spare bedroom for the house. In the meantime to stabilize her – fix her leak. This has been accomplished. Further goals can be set and met, but to say she is unfinished is quite inaccurate.
Back to 09-19-12
I wrote the inventory then a few days later revisited and added the Og Mandino, after hearing Doctorow mention it I think. A deep blogging on this topic has been on my agenda since, so here we are.
Regardless of the rationalization, the fact of unfinished projects is justly antagonizing. When I look around at the clutter and scattered energy I am embarrassed. Not a very competent playing of the game, not a very adroit application of resources. I want to be surrounded by efficient and conscious environs, right now. Of course, undoing the damage of decades isn’t an overnight affair, or remediated by a week of frantic activity. It’s the long haul.
It’s a practice and a priority. An expression of who we are, nowadays. I don’t have to surrender any delightful qualities or break my nature, I am deciding on an enhancement of all the above. Imagine how much more rapidly I can manifest, knowing where things are and what’s available?
Alright, so protocol. It’s daunting, I’ve still got great boxes of unsorted material, but maybe more sorted than un? Is that true? I’d say at this point, possibly so. We want to identify all the projects, everything we’d like to get to. So we’d need a expanded list.
1 page for every year of my life – From Gurudeva, a fascinating objective. I would want to have a listing of historical events for the first few years of my life, slides and movies available. Moving into my later years, I’d want my own drawings and writings. I imagine this as a blog, heavily supplemented with movies and pictures. Includes my cast of characters, detailed bios on everyone I can remember and how I felt about them.
This would mean organizing and sequencing all my papers, phew! Compiling whatever family archives exist.
The supplemental material is for sparking memory, but I could always start, like this.
I was born, I suppose. I don’t remember that right now, maybe I will someday. Born in 1963, on May 18 at 10:30 AM or so my birth certificate says. Mineola, Long Island. My parents are/were Eileen Mary Kelly (Redling) and James Barton Kelly. I am was born on Earth by the way. I’ve got brothers but it’s not yet time for them to enter the story. Let’s just stick with being born and the events I can remember. My first memory I have assigned to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was president of the United States of America. This is the country I am supposedly a citizen of, though that doesn’t really mean all that much to me now and certainly didn’t then. I remember a kitchen, light blue and white patterned wallpaper. Again, I assign this to Pound Ridge, New York and our house on Kinnicutt Lane, the wide window looking onto the backyard and the distant stacks (Big Alice) is to my left, the sun is out and blue sky fills the frame. There is the black rectangle of a door just ahead leading into the house proper and the stairs down to the finished basement. Perhaps there’s a phone mounted on the wall to the left of the door frame? I am in a crib, facing the ceiling, so I suppose I was lying on my back. I remember radio voices and then shock in the room, I believe I was picked up, perhaps more for the comfort of the adult (mother, grandmother) than myself. The words on the radio were unimportant, President John Kennedy shot. That’s all.
I find on Wikipedia (remember Wikipedia?) that JFK was shot on November 22, 12:30 Central, or 11:30 Eastern Standard Time. I would have been 6 months, 4 days and 1 hour old approximately. Is it possible for a 6 month old to have such a detailed memory? Sure, why not? I haven’t checked the web, but let’s have a look at the circs. The president is shot, perhaps dead. That’s big news anywhere. He’s also a Catholic, and in my family that’s key. Every adult in the room would have been horror stricken. The level of ambient grief would have been unprecedented in my short life, therefor it was a singular event and even without language, any brain certainly would have tagged the sensory data for later analysis. I don’t doubt that there are other examples of infant memory.
So what else can I say about my first year of life? Aside from the mundane recitation of kin, geography, world events and whatnot associated with start of my life, I have only my wonder. Who the hell was I to come to this planet? So much waiting to wake up, did I even know I was waiting? There are other memories that don’t have a specific age, perhaps I’ll relate all these now and then later link back to them. Of course, baby hood is full of possibilities, my first year on earth. Just ponder.
Now that’s not quite a page, but it’s a start and an indication of how to proceed.
Anyway, now it’s an unfinished project. Doh!
TBC in Chapter 2.