The following entries are a varied lot. Consisting of different thoughts on different subjects, and of varying length and scope, most are short essays that have yet to be placed into a larger more cohesive body of work.


Friday
Jun032011

on doors

Almost exactly 10 years ago, I bought and moved into my current home. For those of you who've never been over for a visit, it's a condominium inside an old renovated mill. It's essentially a loft space with the living room and kitchen downstairs and the bedroom and bathroom upstairs. It has 12 foot ceilings with exposed beams and brick. It's also a historic landmark, which makes it a pretty cool place to live.

Over the years, I've tried to keep things up-to-date as much as my bank account will permit. When I moved in, I replaced the carpet. A few years later, I had the bathroom re-tiled. About two years ago, I replaced my water-heater and refrigerator. It's funny how I used to spend all my money on concerts and beer, and now, I'm constantly saving money for stuff that was practically invisible to me before.

Just this week, I hired a contractor to replace a window and a pair of warped and rotting French doors that lead out onto my deck. It's actually pretty damn exciting, since I've spent the last 10 years essentially slamming the damn things to keep them shut.

Although I don't know a lot about Feng Shui, I think that the experts believe that doors are pretty important parts of your home. If they are blocked (or warped and rotting), then that means something bad.... like maybe I have blockages of some sort in my life. Man... I hate blockages and restrictions.

While I was running earlier tonight, I was thinking about my new doors. Then I started to think about what doors can potentially symbolize in our lives. We've all heard the old cliche' that when one door closes, then another door opens.... which is a nice thought.

But, then I started thinking about Franz Kafka and his story about the doorkeeper. For Kafka, a blocked door is a challenge and a threshold we've got to cross in order to grow and evolve.

I actually like the idea that there are certain doors made only for us and that they have scary doorkeepers trying to tell us not to go through.

Maybe when one door closes and another opens, it's really just the same door in disguise. Maybe when we loose one job and find another, we will actually face all the same challenges in the new job. Maybe when we move to a new town, if we keep thinking and behaving in the same ways, we will simply re-create the same things in the new environment. Maybe if we date a new person before we've had the opportunity to learn from our previous relationship, we will simply re-live the same relationship. Maybe without facing the scary doorkeepers of our heart, we will simply repeat the same old mistakes over and over.

Maybe truly new doors don't present themselves until we have fought the same old stubborn doorkeeper, learned our lesson, and graduated to the next doorway.... with the next doorkeeper... who represents the next gate in our lives and the next part of ourselves we haven't quite figured out.

Lately, I"ve been taking stock of my doors and my doorkeepers - both inside and outside of myself. I've been asking myself what I am scared of. And, I've been asking myself where my good influences reside. Who are the people who bring out the best in me? Who are the people who help me grow and encourage me to be brave? And, who are the ones who don't? Who are the people who want me to stay the same? And, most important, who are the people who encourage me through the door, even if it means seeing me less often? Now that's a doorkeeper I'll remember and love.

I'm glad I finally saved the money to replace my deck doors though. No more slamming them shut. Now, I've just got to get new blinds - but that's another essay.

Friday
Jun032011

on happiness

Happiness is like a cat. It only finds you when you're doing something absorbing, something that you love to do. Pay it too much attention and it blows you off.

People who claim to be happy rarely are. It's like they're trying to convince themselves and all the people who keep saying to them.... "we just want you to be happy."

When you're happy you don't even realize it. Time flies.