25 cent bliss

She blew me a kiss and I was inspired. What a muse—a beautiful creation, creating beauty.

Dear Journal,

I am calm in a way I sometimes forget is feasible, or achievable. I can breathe out and know that my air is that of a wind rolling across untouched grass. The water is still dripping off the ends of my hair. I guess I could have dried off first, but didn’t Dr. Heller say that it would be best if I wrote when I feel most lost in emotion? well, I have never felt more blissfully lost.

I wonder what my mom thought as she slowly noticed all her quarters dwindling. The imagination video plays the story in my head…

“Its gunna be—it’s ah, $19.86 miss.” The clerk says.

“Hold on, I think I have the change.” As she goes digging through her Coach wallet. The clerk is staring at her in annoyance. “You know, that’s the damnedest thing… Its like someone is just taking all my change.”

“What?” the clerk spits out peevishly. He is sick of the way these middle aged, house wives will waste his time digging for change so they can keep one more dollar whole. he hated all of them.

She is thinking, from now on its plastic only.

This is how I did it.

I pulled the loot out from under my bed. My treasure chest was a large cereal bowl I took from our kitchen. My treasure, well, it must be almost fifty dollars by now. The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how much it is. It was not beautiful yet, but I saw it’s potential… beauty glows in my imagination. I closed my eyes and tried to paint the stars.

I made the trip to the hardware store. I found the aisle I needed. I couldn’t help but wonder if the bearded guy that does Oxyclean commercials endorses one of these products. I like the way he seems to be yelling even when he should be talking. but where is he now. how am I to know which one to buy, after all? I bet Oxyclean really could get those deep grass stains out. Thinking this made me laugh quite out loud. this startled the the elderly woman next to me, and that made me want to laugh harder. my face was bursting.

“Oh, I’m sorry miss.” I stammered. “Its just…” she was already walking away.

the time had come. I kept my room uncharacteristically ship-shape for the ceremony. I sat in my room with the objects around me in a half circle. The treasure bowl to my left, a large metal pan directly in front of me, and my chosen liquid coin polish to my right. I found a large amount of inner tranquility in the ritual cleaning of my treasures. Quietly I sat, as they soaked and peacefully shed decades of human filth.

My bedroom was getting warm in that way that sun heats a room when the air doesn’t circulate, heating up stale oxygen. I must have fallen asleep. I had to peel my eye lids open like after a night of crying yourself to sleep. It was two O’clock in the afternoon. Its time—yes, the perfect time.

My favorite jeans, and an unseasonal orange sweatshirt, and my favorite sneakers was all I wore. I had never felt so comfortable.

It was so calm—so peaceful, and raw outside. The sun was breaking through, so harsh and blinding, reflecting off the metal of my treasure, causing me to walk towards my destination on instinct, and divine guidance. I held the bowl with both hands, very gently from beneath. The cement of my walkway was course and hot, causing my bare feet to bend and flex against the pressure of my body. I arrived at the edge of the pool, and I knew I had done this right.

I stood at the edge of the pool with my treasure on the ground to my side and closed my eyes, allowing my self to sway back and forwards in the peaceful lack of wind. I pulled my hood over my head—tilted back and let the sun warm my isolated face. I felt ready.

I grabbed as many of the quarters as each hand could hold, lustrous coins spilling from all the cracks in my grip. I held my arms out straight in front of me for as long as I could. A smile broke across my face. Silence broke across my lawn.

I bent my knees to a perfect forty-five degrees—back perfectly straight, my calves were spring loaded. It felt like slow motion as I left the earth. Soaring perfectly forward, I opened my hands and let the stars soar, ready to fall into place. I hit the water.

I waited a couple of seconds to open my eyes and veiw my creation. I felt bliss. I let my body drift back, giving up my every day physics to the nirvana of water suspension; I fell into place. I opened my eyes to take in what I had built. Each quarter holding its own brilliant place in space and time, displaying the perfect astrology—my stars. They tipped over and turned in perfect understanding with their universe. The sun gleaming off of them displaying perfect heads and tails. I had produced my perfect moment—I had created beauty.

The next thing I can remember is lying on my back, smile across my dripping face. I was lying in my harmony facing up at a perfect sun, and I heard piano somewhere in my head…

Doug

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 12:03 am  Comments (3)  

A Case For Philosophy

so this was a philosophy paper i wrote, and like always just thought i would share it. it is a critical analysis of Russell’s “The value of Philosophy”. an essay where he explains the, you guessed it, value of philosophy (one of Giggles favorite subjects). he explains the difference between practical and philosophical men… the idea that we live our lives one of two ways, and well, just read…

What value could be found in a school of thought that holds as a concrete ideal that no ideal can be concretely proven? In “The Value of Philosophy”, Russell puts on trial the way of the “practical man” Those that would put physical science above all as the ruling dictator of academia—those that find common sense to be a way of reasoning, and presents to us the a case for philosophy—a dying art in an ever changing world. Russell presents the value behind philosophy in three distinct forms: for pure intellectual enrichment, because the exploration of unanswered—and possibly unanswerable questions opens our mind to a world of possibilities, and to tear down the walls of a confined life of common sense conviction.

One might ask Russell in the spirit of debate over the value of philosophy, what has deep contemplation of pure abstraction accomplished? Surely our time and efforts are better spent in the world of physical science. Seeking to explain our existence must be a physical matter, is it not? After all, who would have dreamed that man would accomplish space travel, walk on the moon, and send cameras to Mars? But surely Russell, would respond, as would any philosopher, that with out wonderment, without contemplation, we would never have thought to leave our cozy little planet. But, does philosophy still have a place in the modern day world of intellectuals? “Physical science, through the medium of inventions, is useful to innumerable people who are wholly ignorant to it…” As no one can deny, science has changed our daily lives in monumental ways, only a small percentage among us could explain why, and benefit from it intellectually. The rest of us just mindlessly indulge, knowing that our lives have become easier, often times in ways that allow us to actually use our brains less. After all, we are not all born and bread science scholars; but can we not all become philosophers in our own right? As Russell explains the difference between the “practical man” and the “philosophical man” he makes no hereditary distinctions. Russell clearly thinks that we can all prosper in the light of intellectual contemplation. And although “it can not be maintained that philosophy has had any great measure of success in its attempts to provide definite answers to its questions…” we must accept that through the sometimes frustrating, tenacious, questioning of the world around us, we open or minds to pure intellectual enrichment, open to any man.

Now that we have accepted that philosophy has provided us with a new path to mental enrichment, and given us a means for a world of science, can we not abandon it, at least in some regards, for a more rewarding past time? Russell would warn us, although there are surely the easier ways of reasoning—the more instant gratification ways to interpret the world around us, “The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense.” The confines of the “practical man” are the mistakes of those who wait until the answer to their silent questions are hitting them in the face. Russell knows that most of us are looking for the easy way out in life and it may be our demise. Whether we are the creation of a greater being to serve some ultimate purpose, or the accident of a colossal explosion of the universe, we are all fighting the entrapments of the easy way out. “One way of escape is philosophical contemplation.”

“Many philosophers, it is true, have held that philosophy could establish the truth of certain answers to fundamental questions.” Yes, even philosophy occasionally finds an answer like a blind squirrel finding a nut. But of course, once things, that where once exponentially perplexing can be explain, measured or predicted, it graduates to the world of science. The world of psychology was once a great question of philosophy before the world of salivating dogs, and people getting shocked in laboratories, was a question of metaphysics; the idea of the mind was a separate entity of the body vs. merely an over complicated piece of physiology. But as our science and technology rapidly expands, and our understanding of the known universe with it, Russell reminds us that we must be prepared with an open mind, unconfined by the simplicity of abandoning philosophy. After all, Russell tells us “through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some share in infinity.”

Russell has presented you his case for philosophy—a necessary discipline in the world. He would tell us philosophy will enrich your mind and your life. He would tell you to ask your self in the ways of perception, and the action you take in the world, are you confined to common sense, or freed by your own right to question. Russell above all would ask us, are we truly ready for what we may discover in a world that is still so undefined?

Contemplating the idea that philosophy has value is a “no brianer” for me, to say the least. I believe it behooves each and every one of us not only to exercise the gift of human life by enriching our intellect, but to exercise our freewill by using philosophy as a true self help method. Everyday we should look in the mirror and ask ourselves am I being a “practical man” and waiting for common sense to smack me in the behind, or am I being a “philosophical man” and taking life by the horns—changing the world, and above all, inspiring those around me. I know that there will always be those who are far too pessimistic, or close minded to let down emotion and opinion and examine life for what its worth. But I will buy in to what Russell is selling; I want to buy in to my share of infinity.

Published in: on October 8, 2008 at 12:42 am  Comments (6)