In reverse order a coder, a yoga teacher, a student of Buddhism, a member of the post production staff of The Bachelor (for seven years!), and then a person rambling through odd jobs as a youth. But before all of that, I was a writer.
The Doom of Kickball
[DISCLAIMER - I don't always feel as I do below, but sometimes things get very dark. What happened below truly transpired and did mark me, but I have been able to change. Most days are much better than this, but when things are sad, I sometimes remember why.]
Space Admiral of Nothing
There were three cartoons I was more or less allowed to watch once I finally made it home from school. More often than not I missed at least one of them, as the trek home from San Francisco to Berkeley, as a sixth grader, alone, on public transit, was grueling and lengthy. I tended to miss G.I. Joe, and rarely minded. Jingoistic conditioning rankled me even then. And while I did enjoy the transformers, I didn't mind arriving home too late to catch more than the last few minutes of an episode. I was only ever sad when I missed the horribly abused (I didn't know it at the time) Macross series that those of us here in the U.S. had to take in as Robotech.
I presume that I was like most children in the United States in taking great pleasure in Halloween. Not in the costumes, mind you, rather in the practice of collecting vast quantities of totally unearned sugary treats. It’s not that I believe children need to be earning candy as if it was money, or do chores and be rewarded with it. Rather, I have always felt that Halloween candy somehow dodged all usual parental and societal conventions. For these reasons alone an excess amount of sugar could end up in the hands of those humans who, if we’re honest, don’t need, and should probably not have, any of it.
I wish I could be more human more of the time. I realize I'm not defining my terms here, but I think leaving things a bit vague and up to the observer is going to sharpen my eventual thesis. You see, I think we're all really eager to be in control of our lives. Part of being able to do that is feeling comfortable knowing what's going on around us. But knowing is a fool's game: we bump into massive amounts of data and phenomena, but what we actually know about it–what we can speak to with 100% certainty–especially those shadow boxes called people, is, let us be brutally honest for a second, immeasurably small. As a result, to get that feeling of control, we pass judgment: we make assumptions about people and things. Huge, stunningly vast assumptions, and then work from there when dealing with people and the world. To cope with the world we invent most of it, set that mess on top of reality like a terrible 80's horror movie death mask, and then produce upset sounds and hand-wave irritably when the two don't match-up to our satisfaction.
Buddhas Buddhas Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
Jesus was the first person I noticed when I walked into the mess tent. He was very hard to miss. He sat, gently giving off light, surrounded by eager students, at the table closest to a short end of the tent through which I had just entered. He had a large bowl containing some kind of legume, and was partaking heartily as he interacted jovially with the people around him. The light he gave off was lovely. Somehow bright, but not on such a mundane spectrum as our own light bulbs, and so the brightness was registered only as awesome, calming, and loving, and did nothing to hurt the eyes. I could feel myself getting uneasy.
I invited all of you into my heart. Soon after, each and every one of you became a sword and flew outwards, screaming about your own destinies. The shreds of my own core, mere scraps, could not resist the small breeze of everyday life, and all that remained was blown away.