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Mind Games #2

Check #1 for the general “rules.” If you need a little more explanation on this one, I can give it. But probably all I really need to say is Fight Club.

What kind of club would your Tyler Durden start?


Happy Thanksgiving

Tea Wrapper up today. I’ve been sitting on it for awhile, but there you go. I have my Mind Games answer ready. I’ll try to post it up later on, even if it looks like I’m the only one interested. I probably chose a bad time to start that up, right before Thanksgiving and all. I’ll try to pick a better time for #2.

Mind Games #1

Alright, here’s the deal: Boredom is a waste of time. Monotony is a waste of brain. Sometimes it’s a breeze to just slip away to somewhere else while I work, and my imagination flows freely. Most of the time, I’m just staring at the crumbs I’m vacuuming up and my mind moves as fast as a dead dog. For times like those, I have adopted a sort of game to get my mind working. It is a complacency-fighter. I know I’m not the only one who would like to think about something other than what they are required to do. So, I hereby invite you to play. Basically, I ask a question that’s designed to provoke some thought, and anyone and everyone answers it. You may answer in the comments section, not in Facebook if that’s how you found this. You can be as anonymous as you like. You can take it as seriously as you like. You can twist the question around to make your answer as weird as you like. Here is question #1.

How did your birth-order among your siblings contribute to who you are?

And they can see that from space…

I’m no author, but I like to write. And as a guy who likes to write, I am very interested in the processes of other people who like to write, (especially if those people are good at it). Stephen King’s On Writing is an excellent example of a man who writes well explaining how it’s done. I’ve been a closeted King fan since I was a little kid. A lot of people are put off by his content, and that’s not surprising. But the man tells a good story. And according to him, it’s accomplished through hard work. He stresses a regular work schedule with a set goal in terms of how many words you are going to end up with at the end. When he sits down to write, his goal is 20,000 freaking words. In a single day. 20,000. That, my friends, is why he is successful.

And yet, I remember reading him elsewhere answering a common question he receives from fans: “How do you write these stories?” The questioner undoubtedly wants to hear about his magical formula to creating such imaginative tales. They expect some fantastic scenario of King dropping acid and scribbling down plotlines in a fugue. But King replies with another question, “How did they build the Great Wall of China?”

And then he answers, “One brick at a time. That’s the way I write, one word at a time.” He went on to say that people don’t like his answer. They were happier with their own idea of how it happened.

But that’s not how life works. Life is one brick at a time, one word at a time, one step after another. How do you raise a human from infancy to adulthood? One day at a time. How do you earn your doctorate? One assignment at a time. How do you get over the mountains that life throws into our path? One step at a time. How do you get to the end of the day without murdering the insufferable idiots we all encounter so frequently? One breath, one minute, one hour after another. Through hard work. With perseverance. By never, ever giving up.

This is pretty much what I was talking about

Indexed is awesome.

Here’s Another

I came across a little 19th century wisdom for everyone. I love how he manages to get a dig in on just about everyone.

What does it matter where a man is from? Is it fair to judge a man by his post-office address? Why, I’ve seen Kentuckians who hated whiskey, Virginians who weren’t descended from Pocahontas, Indianians who hadn’t written a novel, Mexicans who didn’t wear velvet trousers with silver dollars sewed along the seams, funny Englishmen, spendthrift Yankees, cold-blooded Southerners, narrow-minded Westerners, and New Yorkers who were too busy to stop for an hour on the street to watch a one-armed grocer’s clerk do up cranberries in paper bags. Let a man be a man and don’t handicap him with the label of any section. – O. Henry

The View From the Bottom

I’m coming up on eight years of janitorial work. Honestly, I never struggled much with the dirty realities of my job, not until lately. Maybe I just never let myself think about it before. But it’s really starting to bother me. Other people’s pee. Other people’s used kleenex. Other people’s trash. I’m tired of the grossness, the indignity, and the thanklessness of it. I’m humiliated to be so employed. I’d like to never have to clean up after anybody else ever again.

I know I’m just feeling sorry for myself, but let him who has never felt sorry for himself be my judge. And the great irony of it all is that I was interrupted while writing this to help my son poop on the toilet, during which he peed all over the ground. Of course, no matter what, I’ll never be free of others’ messes. I’ll always have somebody around me that needs help. And I thrive on it. I love to be helpful. And those things which most others don’t want to do will always be necessary. Have I found my niche then? Will I always be on the bottom? And is that such a terrible place to be?

The bottom is the place Jesus chose. God became man. Man became servant. Servant became sacrifice. Well. That sure makes it hard to complain about what I do. It’s still hard. But I have Jesus not only as an example, but also as company. Jesus, at least, shares my view from the bottom.

The greatness of being tiny

The demands of my dogs required me to stand outside for awhile this morning. I can’t say how long it lasted. It was dark, and cold. I came away with dog slobber on my jacket. But it gave me no choice but to look up. I think the stars are for me something like what the ocean is for many people. I can’t ever just glance once and then go on about my business. I have to look. And in looking, I lose bits of myself. Pride, and self-importance are my primary losses. My posture relaxes. I didn’t realize I was tense before. But at those times, it always feels like my shoulders had been puffed up. It’s as though I am typically on guard against some sort of affront against my own personal kingdom.

When I look away, I’m a little more at ease, a little more well-adjusted. It is good to remember how very small we are sometimes. There is nothing I can do to effect those stars, no matter how good or horrible of a person I am. I can’t explain the reasons behind it, but that’s comforting. To be insignificant in the human realm can be depressing, but to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things is reassuring. Perhaps it’s because it is possible to be significant to other humans. There is pressure in that. If I work harder and do more, I can change things. Or there can be regrets. If I’d gone to school, if I’d made different choices, I could have made the world a better place. But when I look at the heavens, I am powerless, and I always will be. And somehow, that motivates me to taking a greater degree of personal responsibility for the small world around me. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. God is big. I am small. And that is the way things are supposed to work.