Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sometimes it is harder not to see the leaves falling. No matter how much you try to stay in the summertime the autumn comes. And it becomes not a matter of attempting to be in the present, not a matter of should... but a matter of not being able to. If you haven't done a little practicing it can take your breath away. Of course you miss out on your life if you are focused on anything besides what is in front of you. I think we all know that. But I also think we know that you just can't help it. The mind travels too fast to cage. And if you can, like a butterfly, it tends to lose it's magic. But then the leaves fall. You see the gray hair in the mirror in the morning. You start to forget the sound of someones voice. You just can't help but notice that life is short, and getting shorter everyday. This thing we share is amazing. It hurts, it makes us laugh, and it makes us reverent. While I don't put much stock in shoulds, it is hard not to make a recommendation: Take a breath. Open your eyes. Watch the the leaves fall. And smile.

Friday, October 2, 2009

When it comes to possible experience, there is so much in any direction it is almost overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like I want to catch up and experience everything I have missed. The reality I suppose is that choices determine the stories we collect, and nobody can collect them all. We can only walk one direction at a time. That is okay. What is important is to value and experience each story as it unfolds. Without presence, there is no quality to the world. We must demand to soak in every last detail of the life we surround ourselves with. We must take it in to ourselves, and allow it to reside in our character. And when the next decision presents itself, we will be ready for the direction we travel next.
Today, I am headed to Golden Gate Park.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It is difficult to imagine the potential for change in people, and in general. Black swans exist. And not only do they exist, but sometimes they change from black to white. As I walk around on the streets of downtown San Francisco I am impressed by the amount of wealth, and poverty sharing the sidewalks. What impresses me more is living in a place where it really is possible, although difficult, to go from one extreme to another.

Of course it is easy to discount my own metamorphosis because of luck, and the hard work of others. Still, I recognize that it hasn't all been handed to me. I had to learn some skills to be able to walk around in these clothes and pull it off. It isn't so different in that respect to the life I lived before.

Once again, this narrative is not about me, but I must filter the observations I make through something, and in most cases it is my own experience. This is especially the case because my education is of the experiential variety. As I look around at all the different people on the streets outside my hotel, I see how close we all really are. Last night I offered a beggar a dollar to take his photograph. He refused to do it for one dollar. He demanded two. At first, I thought to myself that he was in no position to be so choosy. However, upon a little reflection, I realize he is in exactly that position. I applaud him for it. At some point, an opportunity may present itself to this man. If he doesn't let himself get sold short, he may just fall in to a better situation.