Dear TRUE LIFERS,
I am glad you’re sitting down. If you were not, you would likely be experiencing convulsions by now–the result of the concussion you would have received from falling dead over and cracking your noggin on the corner of your computer desk. You would writhe around in exquisite pain, and I would feel guilty. So, thanks.
Yes. It is a mere week or so since my last post, and here I am. After so many false starts, I don’t expect any of you to take this one particularly serious. Nonetheless, here I am. This is, after all, my TRUE LIFE.
From the get-go, I advertised this as my LIFE in blog form. Me. And, for the most part, I believe that’s what you have gotten. All of me—or as much of me as I could offer at any given time. And, of course, one feature you’ve gotten (free of charge, I might add) is my (often problematic) inconsistent nature.
Heavy sigh…I know. I do it, too. Headshake…I get it. I do it, too.
I believe everyone has his or her cross to bear. More than one, actually. I have a few of my own, and this hot and cold thing is one of them. I am either on, or I am not. I don’t know why. Is it my nature? Is it some nurture thing? A little of both? Who knows? All I can say it is there, and I believe it’s something I was put here to work on. And so I do.
The Kamikaze Cowboy, himself, says every day to “wear your clothes and chew your rice.” Over the past four or so years that I have been something of a Dirk disciple–though not in eating habits, I have to admit. All that seaweed and macrobiotic stuff kinda creeps me out. And I lost 15 pounds in a week-and-a-half eating like that. I am, thus, simply going to have to do the best I can and risk the cancer. Yes, O, Great One, I will have my prostate checked regularly. I promise. I know you’re concerned.
Anyway! All joking aside, in the past few years, since I read Benedict’s book, this great Zen metaphor sticks with me. An offer. Every day. To get up and do it again. Every day a chance to get it right.
Because in this LIFE, all you gotta do is live. Mason Jennings, in his brilliant new work, Boneclouds (song Be Here Now), says, “The sun comes up and we start again.” I like that. And so that’s what I do. Every day.
And also in TRUE LIFE.
I never forget this blog. You may not believe it, but I think about it all the time. I think about what I might tell all of you. Being that I am kind of crappy at consistently sitting down and journaling, though, and I never carry a pen and paper around to jot down notes, most of the stuff I want to say dissolves into the ether of my subconscious. Sorry about that. I figure, though, that when I finally do sit down and write, the extemporaneous odds and ends that fly from my fingertips must be what I really needed to say to you at that time.
It is in those times, in fact, when I feel a little more in tune with the Universe. Because it is in those times I am, I think, trusting the Universe over myself. Trusting that—how funny…Jennings’s Be Here Now just popped up randomly on my iPod. See what I mean? Trust. The Universe. TRUE LIFE. For some reason, like the patterns mathematicians search for in never ending strings of supposedly random numbers, I search here in these ramblings. And I trust they exist.
Wheaton knew it years ago, “50,000 monkeys at 50,000 typewriters can’t be wrong.” You’re right, Wil. They can’t. I am still learning that.
Neither can one droll primate with an iBook. I am still learning that, too.
Keep banging away at it, and something’s bound to come of it. Right? When you’re tired, rest. Get up each morning, and try it again. When you can, write. And with each tap, when you can make it, you’ve another opportunity to get it right…another opportunity to uncover the grand design in the infinite stream of characters washing through you.
Or, depending on how you look at it, create the meaning..?
Okay…so what the hell, right? Where am I going with all of this? Because I am losing you, aren’t I? I apologize. There is a point.
Robbye and I woke up a couple days ago, and she complained about the sheets being soaked, like a fever recently broken.
A fever had just broken, I explained. Now, it’s difficult to explain all of it here because it’s LIFE. It’s complex on subatomic scales, which, strangely, seems massive when you really think about it. So much so that physicists describe the aggregate composition of space-time as something of a cosmic “foam”.
That’s the best they can do. There’s so much interconnectedness, so much interaction, so much “stuff” there, they can’t come close to seeing it all. At least not yet, with the tools they have available to them. All they can do is say, “Hey, at least I see the foam.”
Because before that, everyone thought space with smooth as a baby’s bottom. Pretty big accomplishment to see the foam, now, wouldn’t you say?
And space is neither good nor bad. It’s all of it. Everything. All foaming together. Like LIFE.
Our foam, meaning Robbye’s and mine, has been delicious. Perfect. Dunn Bros.—the one in Linden Hills, where they really know what they’re doing—cannot even come close to it. Make as many of those mocha lattes as you want, folks. Not even close. No hint of a cigar.
But it’s been foam. Which, I believe, in all comings together (or it is “coming togethers”? I don’t know), this is the case. People have been writing about it for thousands of years. Without the foam, Shakespeare would’ve had squat. Great Love, like great love stories, require it. It is part and parcel. And the coming together—we writers thank God!—churns up the foam into beautiful and poetic, bubbly peaks with a sweet little swirl on top.
So here’s the deal…I can tell you a hundred stories about our coming together. I might, of fact, as time goes by. Probably will. Most are really happy—ecstatic, as a matter of fact. Which is, I am learning is an amazing and wondrous bi-product of finding this Great Love. Some are difficult; some are downright hard. Because that’s the nature of things. That’s the nature of the foam.
You all know what I am talking about—or at least I hope you do. You have your own foam, right?
But courtship, bringing a family together, moving, clearing the way, “uncrowding the room”, getting married, trying to launch two businesses and two careers, keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads, trying to not lose track of each other and ourselves. Pretty damned foamy! And the foam? Think back to Dunn Bros. Hell, think about ocean swells and excited molecules. Friction. That’s how heat is created. Thus, the fever. Get it?
And we finally woke up the other morning, and the fever—this one, at least—seemed to have broken.
Crap, TRUE LIFERS, it’s been a wild ride thus far. And thus it has also been, beyond compare, the best one ever. And I know that the foam is there, and I am irreversibly changed for it. I can never go back. Space will never be smooth again.
And thank God for it.
For now, in the relative calm, we take a moment to breathe. We take a moment to assess. We take a moment to celebrate. We take a moment to prepare for the ride to come.
And we take a moment to tend to this, TRUE LIFE.
This blog has, and continues to be, a beautiful force in my LIFE. As abused as it has been, it is always there. Waiting. Content for whatever attention it gets. How many other things in our lives are like that? Not many.
Basically, this TRUE LIFE thing rocks. And so do you—whoever you are—that are still reading this. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for still being here. I appreciate it.
One of the really cool things that has come from Robbye’s and my LIFE together is that I am gardening now. I’ve never done that before. And I often find myself asking why that’s the case. I love it! It’s both goal-oriented and relaxing all at the same time. And that whole weeding thang..? Zen discipline Nirvana!
Ever feel like you’re gonna explode? Try pulling dandelions and creeping Charlie outta your magnolias and sunflowers. Give it an hour. You’ll feel like a million bucks.
This blog has been my garden. And, when it’s been tended, it has yielded some very lovely things. That’s cool. Beyond my best expectations, it’s been very cool.
You all saw, however, one day when I recently changed the design and the tag line. Out with the “droll primate…” and all. I didn’t comment on it then because I was swirling in the foam and hadn’t quite reached the peak yet. Still in the fever. Since then, I have made some other massive changes that I clue you into now, and I want to talk about what I want to have happen from here.
In all gardens, sometimes you need to till everything under and start again. Turn the soil and ready it, make it healthy to receive new growth. That’s what I have done with this garden.
I have deleted everything from what I will call the “old” TRUE LIFE. All of the posts. All of the albums. All of the lists. All of the comments.
Well, okay…actually I saved them to a document that I retain safe for my own keeping. The idea is, however, that I have cleared them off the Internet. TRUE LIFE has, thus, been tilled under.
Why? I needed to do it. The whole thing was getting too big. Too heavy. Too many plants; too many weeds. I mean, why do you think I’ve chosen such a simply and minimalist theme for the new design?
It’s my LIFE now, folks. Pare down, simplify. Clear away everything that obscures the view to get a better look at what’s really around, really there. What’s really real. Or at least what’s next. Make some choices for a change, rather than being washed around by the random tides. Or maybe just to clear the way, so I can plant new things…design a new garden according to the parameters of this new LIFE.
And so…though you might not wee it this way, clearing the way and starting fresh is, in fact, the most TRUE LIFE thing I could do with TRUE LIFE. And so I did.
And so I begin anew. Beautifully anew. Everywhere.
Ever day. Wearing my clothes and chewing my rice. Every day. In the glorious foam. Every day. All about this, TRUE LIFE.
Welcome, TRUE LIFERS. Welcome again, for the first time, to my blog. I’m glad you stopped by. We’ll see where we go from here, huh? See what grows?
–July, 2006, Bloomington, MN