dead deer

So…a friend swooped in and pick me up last night to go scrape a dead deer off the highway. Unfortunately, someone else already got there first so we had to make due with the backup art trophy – large pieces of tire tread.

Its funny how one person’s roadkill can be another person’s art, or food, or means to help rescue wildlife when most of the time we just look at them and go “ewwww.”

The rest of the day was a strange mix of being reminded what it is like to be present in other people’s life and how often that willingness to be present includes the willingness to admit that you have no idea what to do and often, there is nothing that you can do.

I updated the City, section 2 (the green text) the part where the Ocean begins to fall in love with the woman and decides to go to God to have a man made so he can speak to her. I got interrupted in full write so it is just a small update. Later today I will record another chapter and put it out (not of the city).

Writing the City is proving to be quite a challenge. There is a large part of me that knows I am flying by the seat of my pants and it won’t be until I really have enough to sit and record a read through that I will begin to actually be able to trim and cut and edit and begin turning it into a real, live thing. Right now, I write and chase ideas in a way.

But, in the way I have used characters in videos, often speaking only through their presence, this is the first time I have really written their words. It is different. As I go I can see the reflection in their words, the figuring out of all all the things that have gone on around me and in my life. And not just in my life, but in starting to really see how that relates to others around me.

How we all suffer from many of the same things, but our details are very different. And it is those details that come together to form our unique experiences. We forget that the nature of our histories is unique and try to lump sum what people go through and make the mistake that it is all the same.

All people in poverty feel the same way. All people in hunger feel the same. Love feels the same. Sickness. Worry. Stress.

It doesn’t.

One person (the memorial day example) can go and serve in a war and return chastened by the experience but otherwise fine. Another person can stand beside them and have the same experiences and it destroys them. It is not because one is strong and the other weak but that the two come with very different histories, and these histories are what can define how we interpret and respond to the new.

I say “can” because history is only an unquestionable determinant for as long as it is left unchallenged. And I don’t mean challenged in the sense of proving if it is right or wrong, but whether or not it fits the moment and direction of the person going forward.

Oh heck, I write that and realize that I should record the next chapter and post it with this.

When we look at life as chopped into segments with milestones and especially when we assign age to the milestone (mid-life crisis, the 20s being the beginning of adulthood) we abandon our ability to grow. We grow backwards and forwards at all times and at any time and unevenly.

Our histories are never undone, but they are re-interpreted, understood in a way that is inclusive of new experiences. Or they should be.

If you were to sit and make a list of the ten worst things that have happened to you and the ten best things and then look at them and assign age to when you became aware of their “status” on the list you will begin to notice something illuminating. You may be 40 years old and have constructed a life heavily influenced by an event that was horrible, but the interpretation and recognition of just how profoundly horrible it was is something you decided when you were 18.

While age is no indicator of awareness or maturity, it does mark the passage of time and accumulation of experience. 20 or so years prior to where you are now your exposure to the world and to yourself was very different. Your core understanding of who you are was at a different place and to hold to, without examination and further understanding, something that you defined 20 years prior with 20 years less experience as a shaping element of your life is…inappropriate at best.

Its like…saying you like music but you only really listen to music that was around 20 years prior to where you are now. Yes, you like THAT music, but you have ceased to like MUSIC because you have ceased to explore and grow and expand as music has grown explored and expanded.

Back to the concept of 100 year memories, when we go through the part of our lives where we find the beginning of our adult independent selves is generally where we stop exploring the worlds. For many people this is from the ages of 18 to 28. It is not an age thing really but situational. We have left the structure of schooling and are creating the structure of career and family. This inbetween time is when we have our few moments to get to know ourselves and then we give up that exploration because the demands and responsibilities generated by people outside of ourselves take up our time.

So we stop. And one day we are 70 and the only people we recognize as artists, writers or musicians – and the only time we recognize as being politically viable or full of life remains in that period – now some 40 or 50 years prior.

This is what people mean when they talk about the “walking dead” (Fromm, Frankl). It is the person who has ceased to examine life and integrate new experiences into their understanding of the world and themselves. People who are “dead” have ceased to participate in the world. They may get up and go to work, they may be political activists or creative persons or vibrantly active people but…their list of the the ten best and worst things in life is set in stone as seen through the eyes of someone who has not seen much at all.

Ok…now I am fluctuating wildly. I am tired. I will record a new chapter later and post it in the blog.

It’s a coffee thing.

All of this sits in the forefront of my mind as I write the City and because of the things in my life right now. Moving back to the cave, getting back on track – I am moving away from stopping. I was in close danger of stopping because I had begun to let other people define where my responsibilities should lie – and that was in sometimes very subtle ways.

But while things cannot change, people can. And part of being involved in your life is knowing when it is time for you to make a change. Here is where is falls apart for many – they will change the order or choice of things around them without changing themselves. Everything that we choose to do externally is an unchangeable thing. What is internal – our motivations, our reasons are the changeable things.

You could leave your house and move into a cave too but unless you know why you are doing it and why – completely – the cave will just be another house.

New diets, new exercises, new clothes, new religions, new practices, new habits are all just a form of external clothing. They do not mean anything about what is going on within you and neither can they change you. They can provide support to a change but in the end, you don’t need them at all.

There is another list, make one of all the things in your life that you view as important and a part of the expression of your being and then write down why. Start with the phrase “it makes me feel like _____” and you will be provided with a deeply educational experience about how many things you depend on to provide for a sense of self rather that your sense of self using them as tools that are nice to have, but not really necessary.

The morning doves are out. The mad kitten has a treatball. I am thinking of an early morning nap and then back at it.

I will record and post the next chapter later. And…cast around to see what I might read next.

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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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