Random Writings and Photos

Random thoughts and/or photos

Archive for September, 2018

One thing to accomplish

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 29, 2018

Carrot Seed

Most of us would like to end our lives without regret. I think one way to do that is, of course, to accomplish something. To that end, I think I’d most want to have passed along some tidbit of knowledge, something that has made someone think. It’s not that I need to be remembered, because, as I’ve looked at that, I realize I’ll be gone, dead, without any way of knowing or caring about that.

Statues mean nothing to the dead. Moving tributes mean nothing to the dead. Our dead ancestors don’t hear us, except in our heads. We carry memories of people: how they lived, what they said to us, what we said to them, how we interacted, and all of who we think they were. We can interact with those memories; they can drive our behavior in the present. We may derive some satisfaction from following in someone’s footsteps, or following their advice, or perhaps doing something for ourselves that would have shocked that person, or disappointed them or even made them angry.

So, in a real sense, they are with us, not as a physical manifestation (a visible spirit), but as a memory, which is after all, the real ghost of that person. We all carry ghosts with us, and, perhaps not just of the dead, but the living we no longer see or interact with.

What I’m attempting to get at here, is that I thought of something, something I’d like to know someone I love would remember, something that changed them, or gave them something to pass on. But, in the time I spent preparing my breakfast until sitting down to write, I’ve forgotten what it was. I can come up with many things, but can’t recall what was on my mind an hour ago. Live a full, active life? Live for today? Love for today? All seem trite, but, then again, it may just be a very small thing, but small things can make a difference.

For instance, a carrot seed. (The Carrot Seed). I read and passed along Dihedral’s interpretation of that short wonderful story. He noticed that other people interpreted it in wholly different ways that he thought possible. Is it a story about gardening? about carrots? about a young boy? or the pointlessness of planting one seed? It is none of those things. I agree with the author on this one. Read it (linked above) and see if you do too.

So, what is that little carrot seed I could plant in the head of someone I love? I wish I knew. I’d want them to know that love is real, and real love is not about sexual attraction. So many people confuse sex with love. Notwithstanding that one can love the object of one’s sexual couplings, sex is not love, love is not sex. Leaving aside the Freudians, we do not usually desire sex with one’s parents, siblings, coworkers and friends because we love them. We do not (generally) try to have sex with every person we love. Some people feel that we should love someone before we have sex with them, but that presupposes that love is the object of the relationship. Sometimes, and often when we’re young, it is not. Hormones, loneliness, and sexual objectification can overwhelm us and actually blind us to who a person actually is. Sex is great, but it is hardly the be-all, end-all goal of life, although procreation is certainly a driving force.

I once read that love is when you care about someone without ANY anticipation of reciprocation or reward; that is real love. Infatuation? – no, you want that person, or at least sex with that person. Unrequited love (limerence)? – no, same thing, but you hope that person will feel the same way about you, and sometimes you believe it to be true, and you are hoping for your dream of being together to come true. You want your own satisfaction, you need something, and without that, you are miserable.

No, love is given freely, as trite as that idea sounds. I believe, when you love someone, you want what is best for that person, you want them to be happy, to have a full and loving life. You want that person’s success and happiness, even if you can’t be with them. Their successes make you happy, their happiness makes you smile. Their joy alone satisfies you. That is love, even if you never see that person again for the rest of your life or theirs. Many parents feel that way. Yeah, they love us, but they aren’t really expecting anything in return, in general. Some can demand your time or shows of affection. Or use their love for you as a means of control. I don’t think that is really love. Sometimes it is loneliness, and you’re handy.

But, I don’t care. By which I mean, I have discovered that I can love someone with all I’ve got to love them. I desire their happiness, their success, their joy, their zest for life, and their resilience to setbacks and hardship. And while I certainly enjoy seeing them, I can see only a photo of them smiling at an event posted on Facebook, or hugging a friend, or being on vacation somewhere in the world, or sending out a broadside message to all and every, and that gladdens me. I need nothing from them. Even if I knew nothing of their life anymore, even if they wanted nothing more to do with me, unfriended me,  ignored me, disappeared entirely – I would still love them. I know who they are, and why I love them, and well, that is not going to go away.

Friendships can be fleeting. Sexual attraction fades over time if you never see that person again, and know you never will. There’s a plenitude of people to know, and love, or have sex with, or all three. But when you discover that you love someone truly, you realize you will always love that person and that it simply cannot fade. It is not a wish or a hope, or a desire, but a reality. Something you know. You know. I cannot convince people of that, I’m sure, but, if I could convince that special person I know that: that is all they need, to love someone else, unconditionally, I will have done that one thing, passed along that one tidbit, that one carrot seed. That person they love does not need to be me, and I do not need to know it.

It certainly took me long enough in this rant to get around to it, but yeah, I’m pretty sure what went though my mind earlier was this desire to accomplish that: to leave this world having convinced someone that I love: to love, just love, and realize how wonderful that is, alone and of itself. Maybe I’m just full of myself, but I believe it.

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Autumn in Albuquerque, Make a Right

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 24, 2018

bugsbunnyquote

If Bugs Bunny was coming east from Los Angeles and the Warner Brothers Studios located therein, a left turn at Albuquerque would first take him to Santa Fe, where Chuck Jones lived for many years and was a major contributor to the Opera. But in August, going left, or north, leads to colder and colder climes. Quite cold in the northern mountains of New Mexico, very cold in Colorado, colder still in Wyoming and Montana, and then you enter the Great White North. Not only is it a very cold place to visit in winter, but you’d have to put up with Bob and Doug McKenzie 🙂 So it would likely be a better idea, near winter, to go right into Mexico, Central, and South America.

Anyway, here are some photos I took at the Rail Yards market, located in the old blacksmith shop of the former Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Rail Yards complex in Albuquerque. You know it’s Fall in New mexico when chile’s a roasting.

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Almost Autumn on the Pino and Tree Spring Trails

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 23, 2018

First off is the Pino Trail, on September 6:

Followed by the Tree Spring Trail on Sept. 13:

And, well, that’s all the hiking I’ve managed to do this month, except for a quick cardio hike in the foothills on September 10, for the exercise, no camera.

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Anger Mining

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 20, 2018

So, as part of my acting class, I need to have emotions on speed dial. One of those is anger. I’ve been going into myself, mining deep, to touch those feelings, tag them with a keyword that I can use to retrieve them. There is, after all, a range of anger, from annoyance to rage. A lot of that is buried within us, and many of us actively work on remembering pleasant memories, creating, sometimes, a “happy place” to go to, or just trying to keep destructive emotions from boiling up and spilling over in situations that don’t call for that. Anger management is all the rage these days.

But, as an actor, I need those emotions. If I fake them, pretend to be angry, or pretend any other emotion, it’s going to look like that: pretense. I need emotion to come from within and express itself in my face and body language. So I have memories I can mine for that: my father, especially, and the irrational demands he’d make on me when he got pissed. I was married twice. My first seven-year marriage dissolved suddenly in anger, but the anger was short-lived. She said she wanted us to separate. Since I’d never heard of anyone who “separated” getting back together, I said we should just get divorced. We decided not to stay married, and eventually went back to being friends after the divorce. The second marriage had a long run, fourteen years, but the last few were full of intolerance, recrimination, and angry blow-ups that were ignored, passed over and buried. Great fuel for an actor.

I often tap these feelings in class, and have done so just before I do a monologue. The monologue becomes much more powerful, and real.

However, I had a dream early this morning. My father was raging at me for something. The dream had a lot of details, I could see him quite clearly. We were in the basement of the last house we had lived in as a family. I saw the concrete walls. Oddly, there was a shelf on the wall nearest us, and there was a stack of dinner plates on it. There hadn’t been any such shelf or stack of upside-down stacked plates, but the brain does what it wants sometimes. I was listening to my father, and getting angry. I was also tired of hearing all this crap from him. I grabbed a plate and threw it on the floor, shouting at my father to cut the crap as I did so.

The plate didn’t break on the concrete floor; it just landed there with a dull thud. That was not very satisfying. We both looked at it. I needed to get his attention back on me, on my anger. So I looked at that stack of plates and made him look at them. “You know,” I said, “I can start breaking all of these on your head.” My anger rose. I said something to the effect that I wasn’t going to take this anymore. I felt we could just go at it here right now, beat the crap out of each other, and have it all out. I could feel my chest tighten, I could feel the adrenaline in my body. I was pumped up and ready to fight, and the emotion was taking over my body. It felt overwhelming, like a terrible rage.

THAT woke me up. My heart was racing. My chest ached. I was shocked to be feeling such anger. My dad could do that to me. He did it one last time in real life. He was slapping my teenage head back and forth, and back and forth, and I snapped. Knocked him on his ass to the floor and tried with all my strength to stomp his head into bloody pulp; really wanted to see his head explode. Fortunately he was stronger them me, even in that state, and he was able to leverage his arms against my leg so I couldn’t bring it down. His anger had dissipated. In fact, I remember him smiling. He had always wanted to toughen me up, make me fight, not take crap from anyone. Guess what, Dad, it worked! And you were the one I wanted to take on the most.

I did love my father, but he died many years ago, in his fifties. I had moved away long before that, and never heard from him. He and my mother had divorced not too long after I’d left home at 18. After I got the early-morning call that he’d died, I was numb at first, and then sad, but by evening I was overcome by emotion and tears. I remembered all the good things, and regretted that I’d never see him again, never spend some time talking, never be able to ask him any questions. Still have those regrets sometimes.

But, I’ll say this: Thanks Dad. I think I’m going to find all that very useful.

Posted in 1960s, Dreams, family, madness, My Life, relationships | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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