Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This Monkey has Gone to Heaven

I'm a fan of the Pixies. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find my copy of Doolittle, and I have Monkey Gone to Heaven stuck in my head. I could just buy it again on iTunes, but I have the feeling that if I ordered this one song then I'd just get another stuck in my brain. I need to find the whole CD.

So I did the next best thing: I Googled it, and came up with a Wicki entry and the lyrics. I had no idea that the song was about environmentalism, I really thought it was a comment on how man loses the divine by being too materialistic. No, it seems that man loses the divine by burying Him in "ten million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey".

Actually, I believe that may be the case. I've always believed that one can see the divine in nature, and all we're doing is burying nature in a pile of trash.

Although I guess I can see the connection between materialism and trash. The more stuff we buy, the more we need to trow out. Plastic wrappings, boxes and eventually broken items that we go out to replace, beginning the cycle once again.

So I'm making a small commitment to buy less. Ultimately it may do little to improve our planet, or our relationship with the divine, yet it may at least show some positive effects in me, and in my bank balance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cuckoos in Foreign Nests

When people talk about their home towns, I feel left out. I don't have a home town. I don't even really have a home country. I consider myself American, but I was raised completely overseas, so I have very little cultural connection to the USA. I have an odd accent, one that doesn't quite fit anywhere. I'm a cuckoo in a foreign nest.

In my travels, I've met other cuckoos. Army brats, the children of diplomats or engineers. Well traveled and cosmopolitan, we are adept at fitting into our borrowed nests. Yet we are never quite comfortable in them. There is something in the blood that calls us to the road, so we tend to be travelers. We flit about the globe restlessly, looking for something or some place that will satisfy our needs. Nothing seems to fit.

We raise our children to be independent, and they too are well traveled. Even though we may stick to one spot long enough in a bid to give them a sense of permanency, somehow we always manage to fail. They pick up our restlessness, and as soon as they are of age they wing off to distant places. Now we will meet up with them on separate continents.

Living this life is not restful. The dreams a cuckoo dreams are always of the next horizon, and the nest never satisfies. Yet I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even a home town.


I'm not sure what separates the possible from the impossible. The line of possibility is infinitely slim, and it moves constantly. It is the line that separates sanity from insanity, joy from sorrow, or life from death.

What is impossible today, may be possible tomorrow. Humans are amazingly adaptable and inventive, and given a task they will push forward through innumerable challenges and suffer great hardships to reach their goal. In the face of a dream, the impossible crumbles like a sand castle before a wave. Or the dreamer crumbles.

This is the only wisdom that I have: each day, one must wake up and accomplish the tasks of that day. Each task may be small, or large, but one must try to push through to a conclusion. Then one can sleep, and dream again.

This seems to me the only way to live. To make each day a microcosm of life, to live it completely and then rest. Any other way, and suddenly life becomes too overwhelming. Dreams become impossible to attain.

I believe that anyone can climb a mountain, one step at a time.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


I have a novel in my mind. It's almost perfect, fully formed except for the tiniest details. I don't concern myself about the details, as they seem to fly from me as I write. Perhaps they already exist, somewhere deep in my subconscious, waiting for the right moment to burst into being. They are the furled flowers of my imagination.

The only thing this novel lacks is a Beginning. In the past two months, I've written countless scenarios in my mind, and on paper, yet none of them seem to work. I have felt like Prince Charming, trying to fit the Glass Slipper onto endless feet, desperate to find that perfect fit.

I write by hand, in black ink, on lined paper. It's old fashioned, and it suits me very well. My handwriting is very bad, and in some ways it's like a top-secret code that only I can decipher. I've written pages and pages of Beginnings, scribbled in tiny cursive characters, crossed out, redone, notated and finally shredded. I don't consider any of it wasted effort. For me, it's like cutting and polishing a priceless gem. Such things take time, and effort.

In my mind, my characters have become quiet. Usually, they are a rowdy bunch, demanding that I write about them, or develop their individual stories. Now they are silent, because in the Beginning they they were not there. There was only one person, and the endless reaches of the sky.

Perhaps that's true for every Beginning.