Category Archives: Thoughts

A Look Through the Rabbit Hole

Have you ever wondered what is “real” and what isn’t? As I wander through this life, I’m often greeted by the notion of whether the people, places and things I encounter are real or not. Is there a meaning to all of It or is It all a charade cast over our eyes to shade us from what is “real.”

In the story, Alice falls through a hole and into a world of make-believe. Or is it the other way around? Maybe the story isn’t about Alice at all. But through Alice we get our first glimpse of the real world. Maybe it’s through Alice’s eyes when we finally see everything for what It is.

At the purest moments of actualization we often see the world as turned on its head. Objects become creatures and creatures take on magnificent forms that rustle the imagination. We all have friends who in tandem communicate with us through distorted dialects of rhymes we can barely make sense of; and friends so hopped up on energy we can barely keep up with them. We often encounter sly and beguiling characters who test our wits and make us decide between the road less traveled and the road traveled less than the other. A group of some who at first appear mad, but whom we enlist as our mentors because we realize they will bring us closer to the truth than we could have ever imagined. And those who wear many hats…

We all “wear many hats” so to speak. Enough hats to the point it breaks our own sanity at times. So why is it peculiar when we think of someone embracing It? Do we fear this truth in the “real” world? That we are actually mad like the hatter? Alice wasn’t afraid. Possibly because it was at the point when Alice met the hatter, when the world suddenly became clear.

Of course there was the age-old battle of good vs. evil, or vice-versa. But this time the struggle over right and wrong, or white and red, was so closely attached to one another, it seemed almost fraternal. It bared in mind that we are not so much good, as we are not so much bad. It lifted the shade over Alice’s eyes to not only see the true order of the world, but to finally gaze within herself to see the true order of who she really was. As suggested in the tale, maybe there’s no “real” order at all.

Through the rabbit hole, Alice might not have necessarily fallen “out” of anything, but “into” everything. The rabbit hole was not so much an escape or exit from the “real” world, but a welcoming or entrance into the real.

There is nothing to fear here. After all, Alice wasn’t afraid. And it was just a story, wasn’t it?


What is Life?

Life has been called many things and defined in an infinite amount of ways. There are many interpretations of life – what it is, what it’s not, what it’s suppose to be – the meaning. Most of us want to know the answer to all of these. For they are all equally important in our search for the meaning to why we are here. However maybe it isn’t as simple as one or two answers or maybe it is. The other day I came up with my own interpretation of life. I was a little taken back by my thoughts, but as dismal as they seem, I believe they contain a great deal of hope. Because in the end, life truly is what you make it.

Life is merely something which exceeds our expectations or doesn’t. It’s something, like anything. A thing we are apart of, but not defined by. It’s a thing, I think, or maybe it’s not actually. Just this moment as I sit here on the bus, I realize that in order to be a thing, we must be able to grasp it. And life is anything but. We call a lot of things, things, but are they really? Life can’t be grasped due to shear magnitude and obscurity. It surely is something in the literal terminology, but not a thing at all.

I now believe life is an unattainable _____ (I guess that’s the best descriptor I have right now). If you pay attention you can feel life in small increments. Times of happiness, sadness and all the other emotions we are programmed for. Life is too vast and powerful to feel all at once or at least with any normal state of mind. It truly is a state which transcends the then, now and future. However out in all of this, it is still a ‘whatever it is’ which either exceeds your expectations or doesn’t.

As we go on we are confronted with objects, people, places, emotions and experiences which also do this. In any case, if you’re paying attention, you will realize, learn and cherish (sometimes whether you’d like to or not). The important thing is we move on. Such is or should be with life.

Life is not meant to dwell on, but to be lived in constant rotation with ‘whatever it is’. There is no great mystery to it, meaning or worth. It simply is what it is. Moments full of objects, people, places, emotions, and experiences. The meaning to define, if any, is our very own meaning. To define ourselves and who we are within the context of life. Maybe for no reason at all, but it definitely seems more attainable than the ladder. What you will find yourself doing is defining the meaning within the meaning. Superseding what appears to be important to everyone else and examining what is there for you.

Maybe if we can begin to open our eyes and see the personal paths set out for us by the objects, people, places, emotions and experiences we encounter each day, we will follow an uncharted road lined with the street signs of our past and road signs guiding us to our futures. Or maybe we’ll just continue to fall down the hole.

Does Anyone Say Thank You Anymore?

Walking the streets and subways of New York City I cross the paths of millions of people each day. Each time, leaving one room or place for another, I am faced with the awkward, nerve-wracking confrontation of doorways, gateways and tunnels. Now I don’t know why these crossroads of traffic cause this rush of anxiety over me, but for those few short moments I’m lost as to what I should do. I’ve tried holding doors open in the past, only to have someone brush by under my arm or around me without saying, “thank you.” I’ve even done “the long pause and go.” This is where you hold the door open for as long as it takes you to make it through. This of course left me with the same sentiments, or lack there of. I know I should probably be more concerned with dodging traffic and homeless people on the outside. However it’s these small encounters I have with my fellow man, or woman, which makes me wonder.

Have we strayed so far apart from one another that we cannot even offer up a salutation of gratitude?

I’ve seen people go out of their way, increasing the length of their trip, just to avoid this very moment of confrontation. Is it the actual saying of the words, “thank you,” we fear? The obligation of offering up to a person nice enough to make sure the door doesn’t slam in your face (which has happened to me quite a few times), a simple phrase?

There are exceptions however. Women with baby carriages, old people (sometimes) and pregnant women. We see these people as being in a less than compromising situation which implies a nice gesture. But do we know what “the others” are going through? We simply see an able bodied person and think they are plenty capable of catching the door before it causes some type arterial damage. But what about the personal aspect I touched on earlier?

In a city inhabited by millions of people, not one of them wants to consider the other ten or twelve million. I don’t believe it’s because they don’t care, but simply because they do not want to engage with anyone else. We fear the simple statements and remarks. The awkwardness of having another person pass by you or possibly even touch you. Maybe it’s because no one wants to lose “the race.” Half the time we’re rushing to places we complain about being at anyway. Why not take an extra couple seconds to do something nice?

I guess this is just the direction we’re heading in. A nation of people racing past each other at speeds which makes it hard to consider the fact someone else exists. The rat race in all its glory. We’ve shed the layers of our humanity for the fur of vermin. No better than the ones walking the rails. Spinning the turnstiles without any care of who’s on either side. 

I mean the world stops for no one right? So why stop for anyone?

Social Media: Hate the Player or Hate the Game?

I was thinking today about the joys of social media. I was tweeting from my work desk as usual. Catching all the news as it slips past my eyes. Replying and retweeting before the thoughts fell out of view. Then, I started to analyze my tone. Confidence seemed to pour out without interruption. Hiding behind my safety wall (the internet), I spoke as an untamed beast in the electronic jungle. It’s a shame the same confidence doesn’t transpire across the circuitry into the ‘real’ world.

There are very few times my true opinions flow flawlessly out of my mouth. I’m certain my body language isn’t communicating any bode of confidence either. But behind my pic and 140 characters, I speak with authority. The best part is, I can redefine myself every second. The speed of communication is fast enough that my thoughts are erased as fast as their processed. My identity online becomes a passing glance with every new tweet and post. I guess it’s good because you’re always redefining yourself, right?

I’m torn between whether online social interaction is a way to self discovery or mental trickery. Does it allow those who can’t express themselves in the ‘real’ world to find their ‘voice?’ Or does it create an alter-ego to struggle with as you move through these different realities? Smart phones must make it exceptionally hard for someone to balance themselves. Constantly switching between different persona just crossing the street. Who are you when you get to the other side?

Will all social interaction soon be held behind closed doors? I know a few people who prolong a face-to-face interaction because their online ‘game’ is so strong. I’ve even seen people instant messaging the person sitting across from them. I get it, it’s fun, but is it healthy? When do we learn to co-exist with each other? On the streets we are just passing glances. No one even wants to muster up the strength to thank someone. I can guarantee the people who shrug you in the subway would friend you in a second online.

I can only hope this new way of communicating is a means to an end. The old “knowledge is power” proclamation. If we know more about each other before we actually meet, it will make the courtship smoother, stronger. Who knows… At this point I’ve already lost most of my faith in mankind. Maybe this is just another drop in the bucket for a society which fails to understand itself. 

Lessons From Children

It’s amazing what we can learn from children. They are the last truth sayers we have. Children haven’t yet learned to lie, connive or cheat. Aside from their alternative motives when they want something, children say it as it is. I’ve had kids tell me when my breath stunk, when I was “so drunk” and how bad I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Without fear of insult, rejection or controversy, the truth pours out from them. Is this something we as adults have lost?

I find myself locked in the confines of a world concerned with “saving face”, political correctness and diplomatic relations. When in fact, this theology does more bad than good. We delay the inevitable truth. Piling more and more bullshit on the situation until the methane ignites and showers the sky with flames. The newspaper is filled with stories of those who bury the truth. Digging a six foot grave at first, until it turns into 12, 24, 50 feet. Next thing you know your in above your head, lying with the worms and maggots.

It’s a shame responsibility, ownership and honor are things of the past. We’ve locked them in the vaults with our gold, muscle cars and social security. I guess some things don’t stand the test of time. This new era is meant for someone who can’t remember past things lost. It must be easy for those who never knew what a handshake meant or a promise. I can say from experience that it’s hard carrying those memories with me now into this new world.

Little did I know, high-school was preparing me for life. Notes in lockers turned to pink slips on desks, but at least break-ups still happen via text messages and people continue to talk behind your back…or over Facebook. I guess I’m a little prepared, but what’s going to happen when the new generation comes for me?

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