Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Dog's Life

Every now and then I look at my dogs and think, “Man, wouldn’t it be nice to be a dog?” I mean, to play and eat and sleep all day with no worries about the future or what you should do. Even if you do something wrong you’re too darn cute for anyone to be mad at you for too long.

Yes, maybe it’s silly to long for a dog’s life. What is their impact on the world? What is the extent of their emotions? Their experiences are in fact very limited. They have little options of what to do with their lives. They are at the absolute command of others – forced to entertain with monotonous tricks and being cute on demand. It’s not exactly enviable.

BUT, beyond that, if you belong to humans like my family, it really is a pretty good life. And we might even learn something from the way our pets live their lives. They pursue only the things that make them happy – food, a toy, or the most comfortable place to lie. They get excited by the most simple of joys. They forgive without thought; their loyalty is beyond compare. The sole purpose of their days is to love their people and to receive love in return, no questions asked.

Of these things, perhaps we could only try to achieve the last. Perhaps that would make our lives more meaningful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Sex and the City, Season 4, Episode 1, first cafĂ© scene. Everyone has favorite books and TV shows, movies and songs. I have favorite episodes, favorite scenes, favorite lines. I read the last sentence of any book before I begin it. I love particular glances shared between characters, the delivery of a line that induces a certain truth behind it, descriptions that emote. I have an obsession with moments that I’m pretty sure I’ve transferred into my real life. This is good, and bad.

I developed a love of everyday photography studying abroad in Britain, where every day was an exploration. Photography feeds my obsession; it allows me to stay in a moment long after it has passed. I’ve told people for years that I don’t like posed pictures, my favorites are the snapshots that capture personalities and emotions. Emotions that are fleeting.

“Carpe diem.” But what happens when that day, and the next, and the next are not to be seized. What happens when you have nothing left to do, nothing but wait. I’ve been told that I’m a free spirit, that I have nothing holding me back; I can do whatever I want. But in this moment, there is nothing to do. And for someone who is obsessed with moments, that’s like torture. I have to wait, be patient – aahh.

I get stuck in moments, and some linger longer than others. I string moments together to make up my existence. The experiences that are defining and memorable create a life. I cherish the moments that I encounter (they help to inspire my blogs), but it makes all the lapses between them dull and unbearable. I suppose patience is a good thing to learn. And resilience, if necessary, but I’m clinging to hope.

“This is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence. And if nothing else, you will be remembered as the one guy who ever did this. This one thing.” - Garden State