Dispatches From the Edge!
I've just bought Anderson Cooper's "Dispatches from the Edge" on Audio Book. I debated and debated whether to buy the book or audio book. I somehow feel that an audio book is cheating in some strange way. I want to read it all, I want to read to much, and frankly I wanted to dive into this book ASAP! I had seen Anderson on Oprah and read the excerpt in Vanity Fair (I think that was the magazine...it's been a long day!) I decided that if Anderson was going to be reading his Audio Book and that it was Unabridged that I would buy it. It was and included and interview, so I felt less like I was cheating and felt the knawing desire to purchase the audio book. I'm often driven by the desire of the moment...that's why I'm passionate about so many different things. I listened to it all the way home from work. I love the way he writes. One of the sexiest things I find in any human being is intelligence and the intellegent ability to articulate yourself in a profound, prolific, yet simple and human way. Anderson has just such a gift. The way he phrases emotions in such vivid analogies that drive the feeling straight to the core of your being. It's amazing to me how much more connected we all would be if we would peel back the mask and reveal our humanity both beautiful and ugly. How do we go about our entire lives playing a part, never really feeling, and afraid to feel anything real for fear of what it might cause others to see in us or the fear of what we might see in ourselves. The lies we tell ourselves until we have lost all connection of what is real.
I was also watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer today, and I was listening to the Audio Commentary by Creator Joss Whedon on one of my favorite episodes "The Body". Buffy's Mother Joyce passes away and it is the journey that Buffy, her family, and her friends go through in the first hours after Joyce's death. I honestly haven't felt a more real, raw, emotional representation of what it's like when you lose someone. The way you don't feel, the way you react, how you cope. Joss is another one I admire for his intelligence. He doesn't have a faith in the Jehovah-God, but it's amazing to me, and I'm sure he would completely disagree with me, how he display's Christ in much of what he creates. An artist who has clearly stated he is a "realist" with his artwork doesn't truly understand the "supernatural" aspect he displays in every aspect of the genuine humanity he bleeds in every frame of his work.
Going back to Anderson, he makes a statement on wondering if his life was what he was destined to live or a life half-lived from running and moving so that he wouldn't have to feel (I'm paraphrasing). How many times in my life have I said that I'm merely existing not living life? To look at Anderson you would pretty much think he has everything. Yes, he has experienced real loss, yes he has gone through all his human trials, but in the end he looks like a man living his dream. However, much of it was a way to run away from a reality he didn't want to face.
We always look at the grass as always greener...I think if I gain the world I will feel whole and complete and full...sastisfied off the fat of the land. The truth of the matter is that there is something missing in my life. Something that doesn't get filled because you have ambition, because you have faith in yourself, because your intelligent, or even sometimes with your faith in God. It isn't because God isn't big enough to fill us up, it's because we don't let Him. We choose to live bland lives. We are like once used coffee grounds, though the water washes over us the flavor the passion is gone.
So, how do I live in the moment? How do I live a real authentic life? How do I keep from moving from moment to moment thinking of what the next moment will be? How can I live so completely internally in my mind and yet not live in the moment? How can I dread over things that will happen a week from now, but can't let the sun warm my face in this day, enjoying and savoring the precious time I'll never get again? Why can't I live transparent instead of living the way I want others to perceive me to be.
Songs start flooding my mind...Sara Groves "This Journey is My Own", Ginny Owens "Gifted Artist"(I don't think that's the right title), Cindy Morgan's "Angel with Broken Wings"...I've forgotten not only how to feel, but I've forgotten how to feel God. I'm a Christian! What does that mean? How does that effect my life? Where does Christ fit in?
When Brandon slipped from this Earth and into the hands of the Father I found myself not wanting to feel. When I first found out that he most likely had cancer I thought, "I'm going to get to tell him what he means to me. I'm going to help him get through this." Jill and I discussed what kind of care package we would put together for him. When he died there was no closure...there was no peace, and I just didn't want to go through that again. I didn't want it to effect me. So, I decided I would be there for Moira...that became my focus, and when she couldn't feel for me I felt hurt. How strange is that? Then the emotions came, and I saw all these pictures of a life snuffed out way before it's time and the emotions were pushing, and I didn't want to go through it, I wanted to move passed it. I've had my share of loss, I've had people, young people, far closer to me than Brandon slip from this Earth, and I dealt with it head on, rationalized it, lived in, swam in it, dealt with it, and moved on.
With Brandon I closed up like a clam, and panicked every time the seal was cracked and the raw feeling surfaced. In the passed I would have embraced it. Brandon and I were close working pals, but we weren't social friends...we weren't close outside of work, but I felt his death closing in on me. Jill pointed out that it was because I was getting ready to make changes in my life and all the stresses that involved. I think that was partially true...I felt like why am I here...I can't even feel...I can't even be true to myself. Here was a man that lived every moment to the fullest, as his friend pointed out at his funeral he wasn't a resounding gong. I felt like a resounding gong...I still do. Clang! Clang! Clang!
I love all the encouragement I find on my blog, I sort of feed on it, but when one of you gives me a complement I can't feel it, I don't believe it. I find myself brushing it off my back and taking my attitude of being less than precious.
I've lost my ability to share my narrative. I live in the shadows, in the background. I'm comfortable being in the spotlight when people are praising me, but to be really true, to be really human, to share what I really think sometimes...that's just all a little to real, and just like those tears for Brandon I've smashed it down so far deep within me that I don't even know myself what my narrative is. I want to share my narrative freely and I want someone to share their narrative freely with me. Anderson talked about spending a lot of time in a bar, one of the only places open in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, he said he like staying there because there wasn't BS in that place. Well, I'm tired of BS. I want something real. Not only from myself but from others around me. At the end of our lives are we going to look back at half lived lives, empty shells of hallow human beings that never learned to live in the truth of their humanity. We are all the same. We were all made by a Divine Creator whether you believe that or not doesn't change that absolute truth. We all have the same fears, the same lack of feeling, the same sinister, scary, confusing thoughts...
My Preacher always says that we will never REALLY know one another or even ourselves until we get to Heaven...we have this need to impress, which is fed by the need for acceptance. We lie, we hide, we run, we give in, we're terrified of screwing up and that is usually when we make the biggest asses of ourselves, we are afraid to be alone, and we're afraid to really be with someone. We are 20 different faces for 20 different people groups, and we lie to ourselves that we are simply complex deep beings and that no one would understand us anyway...so we continue the dance untile our tap shoes are replaced by walkers and our skin is traded in for wings.
I want to bleed, I want to feel, I want to be real...I'm tired of mediocraty(msp!)
...re-reading this reminds me that I play this song alot...I'm feeling so much and nothing at all and I just want to write. I've been desiring to creative write again as well. I just wnat to spill out my guts. So that's what I had to do.