Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quatrain #13: Fluidity Interrupted

I think there is something to be said about the idea of flow. The word gets used all the time to convey the essence of one's ability to get things done efficiently, and with fluidity. Workflow, for instance, is used frequently to define a pattern of efficient work habits, regardless of whether the task is being completed with traditional or digital methods. It's common jargon in a photographic context, as it's used to define the dynamism of an artist's interaction with their hardware, digital assets and software procedures, but ultimately, it defines their psychological flow of getting things done. I'd like to take this a step further by suggesting that flow also has this implied sense of patience, harmony, and even peacefulness.

If (when) my flow gets interrupted, then the disconnect becomes all the more amplified. I find it really ironic, actually. With all this flow that we can experience in this era of hyper-technology and interconnectedness, let me ask, how often does your psychological flow get disrupted by eMail, the phone, a text, a TV, or whatever else is going on around you? Ever think of just turning all that off sometimes just to find your flow?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quatrain #12: Liquid Enlightenment

The boys high school water polo season concluded recently, and now swim season is here. Practice begins Monday with a 5,000 yard workout, and then virtually every day on the calendar thereafter is charted with practices or meets until mid-March. It's an impressive routine that makes for no less than an 17-hour day for my son.

As if school doesn't start early enough for teenagers, let's toss in 6:00am practices for good measure. That means, get up around 5:00am. Practice for two more hours after school? No problem. That'll keep those hormones from getting the upper hand. Hey, toss me a chocolate milk!... research has proven that it's the best recovery drink around. Got homework? Get it done by 10:00pm so you can get some sleep for gosh sakes, because if the GPA slips, then you're diplomatically dropped from the team. Maybe High School can be re-named High Stress instead.

Don't get me wrong. I think all this drilling, trimming, timing, stroking, styling, flying, breathing, kicking, and tapering, does wonders for a teenager. I swim two, sometimes three times a week myself and wouldn't trade it for any other form of exercise in the world. My selfish sarcasm is aimed at the idea that I should have a chauffeur's license rather than the standard issue Michigan driver's license. I have an ocean of driving time ahead of me. But on the other hand, I suppose that if I wasn't getting around town so much in the last year doing this, then a good portion of the quatrains wouldn't even exist. Hmmm... I'm torn.

So I'm not sure what my complaining and bargaining is about. Wait... oh, yeah, that DABDA thing... 'B' is bargaining. Zoiks.., I'm grieving! The fact is, his experience of high school exponentially transcends what mine was like, and that's a good thing. But this kind of commitment is something that I never, ever anticipated seeing when I signed up to be a parent. Sorry to dump on you like this, but thanks for listening.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quatrain #11: Pressurized Instincts

It has been a crazy couple weeks... literally. I know a guy that has taken what many people might consider to be an unusual act. He dropped everything, and went to Russia. Can I blame him? Considering his situation, not really. He's just trusting his gut to find his idea of happiness. With respect to his family, I won't elaborate why.

Being on this side of the equation all I can do is chalk it up to, the older you get, the more losses you tend to incur. The reason I say this is because just within the past few years, I have witnessed several people abruptly change the idea of who they are, what they are made out of, where they live, when they can be contacted, how they choose to love someone, and then... why they even exist. It's stunning. It's courageous. It's nature taking its course. Each of us are standing on the sidelines of each other's life... watching... wondering... supporting... etc., and sometimes being their witness leaves us bewildered... cheering... enraged... etc. Intervention, and jumping into someone's issues from the sidelines to encourage a change of direction takes a massive commitment of time and resources. Ultimately however, change can only be made by, and from within the individual.

Midlife crises? Perhaps. The people I am speaking of range in age from early 40-something to late-50 something, so I guess it's all relative. Nevertheless, I like to think of it this way... life can just squeeze what appears to be working just fine into a complicated mess in a fraction of a second. The undeniable pressure of their lives eventually crushed them to the core, and the only path that remained visible and survivable was trusting the way of their instincts. It's not about being right or wrong, it's an affirmation that all we have left sometimes is what nature tells us to do.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quatrain #10: Peculiar Singularities

Today, I need no commentary
Today, I do not need to speak
No explanation necessary

Song Lyrics quoted from David Gray; A Clean Pair of Eyes; Lost Songs 95-98