Updated at least twice a week! (best catchphrase EVER)


Cosmic Justice

First off, I haven't blogged in a while because I have been playing mass effect 3 multiplayer religiously.  That game is so fun.  Anyway.

Despite what many believe about my beliefs, I do not believe in a cosmic justice.  Karma, heaven, any reward system of supernatural design, I cannot bring myself to believe in any of them.  What I do believe is this: when I choose to go out and make someone's life better or choose to go do 'the right thing', I simply know in my heart that someone is doing the right thing.  From experience, that also let's me know that someone is watching or experiencing those good deeds.  From experience, that further ensures me that there is the chance those observers may pay it forward (if you will excuse the movie reference).  

I can only hope for a further joy after death for being good or whatever, but that is not my reason for doing good.  My reason for doing good is that in doing good I am making the world in the image of how I wish it to be.  I do not expect anyone to have that same view or expect that my views will ever come to full fruition, yet I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that the way I want the world to be is seen by others through my actions and through my actions the world is changed into what I want it to be.  This may be a nigh infinitesimally small change, yet it is more than enough to bring me joy in my waking life.  

Technically this makes me a nihilist, but the term is somehow wrong sounding given the circumstances of my philosophy of life.  No definition by nature, no word or description accurately grasps any individual in perfect clarity.  I have made peace with not describing myself in a word.  Therefore I will simply leave off with one last statement (for today).  

"Roar, oh lion of my heart, and tear me open.  Smash the cup in which I carry around the river.  Smash my cup so that the water I carry may become one with the river which will flow back to the source.  Roar, oh lion of my heart, tear me open so that I may experience being one with the whole of the cosmos."


A new take on an old story? Or an old story that had a new take?

Everyone remember that tale about the Tortoise and the Hare?

I won't waste much time reviewing the tale, but basically the Hare is incredibly fast and somehow the Tortoise, who is very slow, gets challenged to a race and accepts and the hare is so confident that he hops like 5 meters and gets tired from going so fast then takes a nap or some shit and the Tortoise who is slow and steady wins the race.

I hated that fucking story.  Sorry for swearing.  It never made any sense.  One, why would the Tortoise accept the race?  Two, the hare is faster; why wouldn't it win?

Part of me says that these are the tropes we teach our kids because they are just good kid stories.  They aren't.  Kids are brilliant in ways we just aren't brilliant in anymore.  If we understood that, we'd tell many different stories.  I'd tell the Tortoise and the Hare story like this:

Once upon a time, there was a very confident Hare.  She was so fast that she could outrun the sun and always have the sun on her back if she wanted.  Her speed was legendary and everyone knew how fast she was.  Everyone including the great green Tortoise.  Now the Tortoise is an incredibly slow creature.  Even under water where he is fastest, the Tortoise swims very slowly, but always has a nice big smile on his face.

One day the Tortoise waits for the Hare to hop by and stops her and says, "Hare, I would like to challenge you to a race."
The Hare laughs out loud, "Tortoise, my speed is legendary, I can outrun the sun, I can go all the way to Paris and back in a single afternoon.  What possible challenge can you pose?"
"I may be slow, but I can go all the way to America.  Can you run there?"
"No, but we are talking a race of speed, not a race I cannot finish.  I won't let you cheat me, oh slow one."
"I challenge you to a race to our respective homes.  I assume you can find yours from here?"
The Hare is stunned, "Of course I can.  It is in a tree in London not far from here, but why would I race you when I KNOW I will win.  You are a sea creature and I must assume your home is in the Ocean which is even further away from here than my house is.  Since I am so much faster than you, I am assured to win!  Why waste my time?"
"I will wager my 150 year life span.  If you win this race, it will be yours."
The Hare cannot believe her long ears!  She may be fast, but she only has a few years to take in the glory of the world around her, so she goes fast to see everything she can.  "And what if YOU win."
"Oh, it is no big deal, if I win I guess you'll forever be in stories as the fastest Hare that lost to the slowest Tortoise."
"No, Tortoise, I will go down in history as the oldest AND the fastest Hare in the world.  I accept."
Crowds of creatures from far and wide gather.  Birds fly screeching overhead.  Mortal enemies like Apes and Tigers sit next to each other to watch the race.  They yell in unison, "3. 2. 1. GOOOO!"
The Hare darts as fast as her legs can take her.  She could outrun the sun twice over at this rate.  She's running, running, running, and suddenly a Hawk swoops down in front of her.  "Hare, you have lost the race. I shall lead you back to the Tortoise, follow me."
"Impossible."  She cries.  "There is no way he won unless he cheated!"
"Come see for yourself."  The Hawk flies majestically back in the direction of the start of the race.  The Hare follows.
She arrives to see the Tortoise sleeping in his shell exactly where she left him.  "Is this some kind of JOKE?"
The animals all yell together, "See he sleeps!  See how content he is!  He is home!"
The Hare cries out, ashamed in her obvious loss, "No!  I can nap anywhere I like!"
The Hawk lands and squawks, "You lie!  You are only able to sleep when in your home beneath the tree."
The Ape pounds his chest and adds, "You are too paranoid and in a hurry to get anywhere and cannot even sit to enjoy the wonders of Paris.  You are too focused on making your time to there and back as fast as possible to enjoy it."
The Tiger growls, "I can run very fast too, but at least I pause to give myself a bath once in a while."
The Tortoise finally wakes with a yawn, "My friends, please that is enough," he says as he walks over to the Hare and gives her a hug, "can't you see that you hurt her feelings?  She can only sleep beneath her tree because she has no shell like me.  She is paranoid because she is very small and very fragile.  She is focused on making her time because that is how she survives."
A tear streams down the Hare's face, "Then why DID you race me?"
The Tortoise replies with the same smile he always has, "Because it is something I had never done and wanted to try.  Maybe one day you can sit on my back and I can take you and your family to America."
The Hare smiles through her tears.  "OK.  I'd like that."

In other news, my dreams made no sense last night.  They were DRENCHED with emotion, yet their plots made no sense.

In one, I was a dog and I was trying to help a girl who reminded me of Terra from Final Fantasy running away from Sephiroth (I assume because he was casting Meteors on her as she ran).  I would warn her by running near her and nudging her away from where the meteors would land.  I could have easily ran away as I was much faster, but I stayed and helped her slow human body escape.  Near the bottom of the mountain, he lands and I just lose all sense of self-preservation and tackle him and start biting as hard as I can.  In a last attempt to keep her alive, I explode brighter than a star.  My body no longer exists, but I still feel my shape.  I close my eyes and fall backwards. My only thoughts are on her safety and how I wish I could have done more.  I don't hit the ground, I fall and fall and fall and begin to spiral in towards the center of the Earth.  I feel source and know everything will be alright.  I see her for just a moment as she arrives safely at a safe house.

In another, ... yeah, no I'm not even going to try going into detail.  It involved a little girl who could bend reality and at the end of the dream everyone tried to convince me it was all a lie.  But it couldn't have been.  I dunno.

Anyway, peace all.


Gas station dream

I had a dream about working for a very specific gas station.  This same gas station has now showed up in three if my dreams lately.  

After my latest dream ja vu, I am convinced this is a real place.  However, it is not a place I have yet been to... Probably.  The gas station has two buildings and a third larger car wash.  It is on a slanted plane on the corner of the road.  It is flanked by an elevated ledge with trees and other fauna behind it.  The top building is where the transactions take place.  Basic foods and supplies live there.  The bathroom and I assume a garage (haunted in a previous dream) are in the other building. The third is a carport of some kind.  I assume a car wash, but in truth I am not totally certain.  

This dream...  I really don't remember much of import really happening, but I am certain now of the whole environment and how each piece fits together not only in physicality, but also in my heart.  Why I had this dream remains a mystery.  


You are an angel

I give leftover food from my work to the homeless-- only things that would otherwise get thrown away. While illegal to do in most cities, I do it anyway and I don't plan on stopping.

Today I met a very grateful young woman who I have given food before and today she thanked me profusely for my leftovers and said, "omg these things are so delicious. You are an angel."

Without thinking and with a timing that could only be described as magical I replied, "not an angel, just a cashier."

The moment that followed was filled with so much shams. The silence and appreciation in the air was tangible as she smiled and took in what I said.

"No, I am pretty sure you are an angel."

I just smiled, said have a nice Friday, and continued towards my train home, a sack of one or two leftover meals swaying at my side.


I like that tone

So I was talking to an old student of mine. At some point she said, "when you come to visit" instead of "if you come to visit".

I replied with, "I like your tone, missy."

And I kinda sat on those words for a second because I don't think I have ever heard them said. I have heard, "I don't like your tone, missy" dozens of times, but I have never heard someone say that they LIKE another's tone.

I guess it was just a simple compliment where one was fit, but it stuck with me.

I think we need to compliment more where it is deserved. In a world of such negativity as it is, a simple compliment is one small thing we can do. Why ought it be that I have never heard those words together? Why can't I compliment my neighbor on her tomatoes as she compliments me on my cucumbers (wow that's not dirty) as we exchange them so we can both have a full dinner for the night? Why can't I compliment a badass pair of boots on a customer without her snootily thinking I am fishing for a tip? Why can't a corporation thank its consumers by maintaining high quality and fair prices without seeking a percentage growth every year?

... Ooh ok, that last one will need some heavy thought. Anyway, back to my lunch break. Peace.

Dream ja vu

Occasionally I get dream ja vu. It is a sensation I get when I am out in the world and I see a landmark that was in a dream of mine.

This morning it was a building that I had a dream of years ago. In the dream, I was tentatively spider manning on the side of it, but the building itself was clear enough to me that when I saw this building I just knew it was the same one. The sudden rush of all the memories from the dream flooding my mind was so ferocious that I had to stop walking.

That sensation of recovering lost memories by experiencing something from one world that corresponds with the other... That is dream ja vu. Does anyone else get that?


In other news, a day later and my baby cashier is out on her own and doing fine at the other location. Makes me proud :') hehe.

Teaching and motherhood

Was training a new cashier today. I had forgotten the feeling of teaching.

Of course I want her to do the best that she can, so my first instinct is to help her. Yet I know that she will learn best if I stay back and let her flounder a little. Teaching is an incredibly fine line between helping and watching. Too much helping and she will never learn. Too much watching and she won't learn the tricks that I can help her learn.

The hardest part about this line is that it involves watching her suffer a little. I have to quite literally hold myself back from helping sometimes. She is smart and kind and able to do it, she just needs practice and I need to let her go do it. My watchful eye is over her in case she needs my help and I help her as she needs, but I also need to let her learn and grow on her own.

Teaching to me has always been like being a parent. My love overflows for the ones I wish to teach. As if they were my own children, it pains me to see them flounder, but I know in my heart that I must let them flounder so that they may grow and learn. Too close and I coddle them and prevent them from growing. Too far and I neglect them and fail to teach them the things that can help them succeed. Just right and they feel like they have learned everything by themselves, yet go out with all the skills I have learned myself through sweat and blood and tears.

My respect for parents is enormous. I could not imagine the nervousness and requisite will it takes to make that balance happen to someone as dear as your own child. And I am lucky enough to have two parents who pulled it off pretty fucking flawlessly.

Thank you. Everyone who is or will be a parent. Thank you.

...Another thing about being a parent. I do not think there is a way to say, "she WAS a parent." Even babies passed away or unborn... Those parents are parents too. Forever.