May 8, 2018
I'm sitting in my backyard listening to music on Spotify.
As the plane takes off over the palm trees of south Florida I ponder the best way for me to write the book I will write. In present tense? I don't like writing retrospectively because emotions change so quickly, that what was is no longer important. But in writing I want to make all the emotions important, and therefore the most accurate tense to be writing in is the present.
I sit in my seat twiddling my thumbs: Should I go or should I not? I sweat and measure my options. The shuttle bus will get to the Seattle airport soon and I will miss my opportunity to add the little tidbits I thought of in response to the man's queries. (And Heaven knows that I am a chronic regretter and can eat my heart for days if I don't let those additional ideas out.) My body almost budges and then I am compelled by a fear or two, and I stay put. This can go on for hours. I have notebooks full of these experiences from younger years: I was somewhere, I noticed someone interesting, I wanted to go over and talk, but fear stopped me and I never did. I remember a specific evening while in the army, which I wrote about at the time, in which I had a few hours out of uniform, and roamed around Jerusalem, eager to say something to any of those interesting people I saw around me. Some were old with white bears, some were young philosophers (in my imagination). I wanted someone to hold me with their words, and I love hearing others peoples' stories. I imagined myself going over and saying "Hi, you look interesting..." But, oh, me! I couldn't. I stayed put. Every Single Time. Years upon years. Even when my legs started moving in the direction, my heart raced me back into place, and I stayed silent amongst these brilliant human creatures crossing my paths. So many of them around me!
This time I say to myself, "have I grown or NOT?"
This time I push myself up. I walk back through the bus to where the man is sitting.
I say, "I was thinking more about your question..." (about the Israeli economy.)
He smiles, nods, and quickly removes his belongings from the seat next to him so I can sit down.
He later asks me if I consider myself an anti-Capitalist. I say I don't know enough about Capitalism to determine that, but I am an Individualist. (He jokes and says, "I've never met any Jews who are Individualists." I think at first that he saying that for real, but he is joking. Jews are known to be Individualists.) I had never used that term before, but I like it. It's true to what I feel.
I'm an Individualist in the sense that I believe we as individuals should be given the freedom and the incentive to do what is right for us and to not have our needs be trampled on for the sake of a larger cause. For there is no larger cause than the wellbeing of the individual (and the obliteration of suffering from the individual).
I think of this idea again when I am walking by a pond in Whatcom Falls Park and people are fishing. In my mind's eye, what I see is people making a hobby out of causing suffering to sentient beings. Why not do something else with your time, like painting, or picnicking, or playing golf? In my head is the age-old statement, "...but people have been fishing forever...." Yes, I will reply. But in the very act are individual fish who are being hurt and separated from their families/packs. So if we have the option of doing something that does not cause suffering to individuals, at this present moment in time (despite what our ancestors have done for hundreds of thousands of years), why not do that instead? I never think in the general, but rather in the personal, and that is why I care so much about each individual fish (and each animal whose life is forsaken and not taken into consideration in almost every industry in the modern world). I cannot tolerate suffering caused to the individual. And the individual consciousness of each of us is really all there is and all that matters.
I cook lots of thoughts in my brain, but what do I DO?
I am asked what I DO.
I realize that my ancestors have worked hard to make a living and raise a family. I sit here with the privilege of being in a safe and comfortable home with a safe and comfortable and loving partner. I have the privilege of sitting in my warmth and reminiscing and ruminating, and being unsatisfied. I have the privilege of having a mind full of wonders and eyes that see beauty and hands that cook food and write and caress, and I have the privilege of knowing that I have passion and potential that have not yet come to fruition.
I feel that if I, too, shall find something to work hard on, maybe it should be a book. That is really all there is that I can possibly find a direction in. Every other of my passions is now scattered, not centered enough. But the writing, well, the writing is everything to me.
Someone asks what animal I'd be, if I were one. I say a goat. Goats always look so absent-minded, and yet they are still friendly and cute that you just want to pet them and protect them.