Apparently, Americans have a lot to learn

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Recently, I stayed in my first hostel. If you’re ever in Austin, check out the Hosteling International there. It’s like summer camp except with beer and foreigners.

On my first night, I met a pair of brothers from Switzerland, travelling across the United States down to Mexico through Cuba and somehow ultimately ending up in Panama. We started talking about the differences between Swiss and American life, beginning with our education systems.

After determining that “college” to them was “high school” to me, and “university” to them was “college” to me, the blonde brother said:

“In Switzerland, we go to University to learn…I don’t know how to say in English what I’m trying to say..we go to University to…we study for four years to learn…to learn hand job.”

“In Switzerland,” I said, “you have to go to school for four years to learn how to do a hand job? I didn’t know it could be so complicated! Have we been doing it wrong all these years?”

“NO, NO! We know how to do that! I mean to learn job we work with our hands” he assured me.

PHEW, I thought. We Americans may have a lot to learn when it comes to fiscal responsibility, economic policy, education, foreign policy, diplomacy, domestic policy, healthcare, militarism, capitalism, democracy…but I was really beginning to question things when I thought we might not even have know the proper way to do a hand job. I always thought that was the real cornerstone of our society, the one thing we would always have in the bag. If these Swiss bastards are dedicating four entire years to studying hand jobs we really are in big trouble. But, not to worry, it turned out to be just a simple misunderstanding. Keep calm and jerk on, my fellow Americans. It’s all good.


Writing decisions instead of making them

October 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

What is the world? Who am I to it?

When you have nothing to write about, you clearly haven’t been thinking lately. Or, maybe you’ve been thinking too much and you’re too trapped in your own head to experience the world as it’s happening around you.

If you made this decision, to start somewhere new, you would be leaving something behind.

What would you be leaving behind?

A job that makes you angry. A few people you may never see again. A neighborhood you’d have no reason to go to anymore.

You’d be moving from happenstance to circumstance. From a decision made for you to a giant leap you’ve made for yourself.

Would it be a good decision? Does it matter?

D.H. Lawrence on love

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

My apologies for the sentimentalism/romanticism/idealism that is about to ensue. I may be losing my ‘Cynic for Life’ card, but Lawrence’s discussion of love is just too beautiful not to share.

“There is,” he said, in a voice of pure abstraction, “a final me which is stark and impersonal and beyond responsibility. So there is a final you. And it is there I would want to meet you — not in the emotional, loving plane — but there beyond, where there is no speech and no terms of agreement. There we are two stark, unknown beings, two utterly strange creatures, I would want to approach you, and you me. — And there could be no obligation, because there is no standard for action there, because no understanding has been reaped from that plane. It is quite inhuman, — so there can be no calling to book, in any form whatsoever — because one is outside the pale of all that is accepted, and nothing known applies. One can only follow the impulse, taking that which lies in front, and responsible for nothing, asked for nothing, giving nothing, only each taking according to the primal desire.”

“Only there needs the pledge between us, that we will both cut off everything, cast off ourselves even, and cease to be, so that that which is perfectly ourselves can take place in us.”

“I want to find you, where you don’t know your own existence, the you that your common sense denies utterly.”

Once upon a new moon

October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am a tree, rooted, deeply connected to the earth. Though I am connected to the earth, I am connected to myself.

I am the starts, glowing, floating through the dark sky. Though I am floating in the sky, I am connected to myself.

I am a child who feels happiness, who feels excitement, who feels comfort and freedom and love.

I am a flower that blossoms and dances in the sunlight.

I am a vibrant and radiating light that comes from the earth and reaches to the sky.

Where Am I?

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