November 27, 2009

what if pain were public?

i often wonder at how backwards our social interactions are. everything's happy-go-lucky, people exchange information on what's new and great, going on with them--but there's scarcely ever a word about what's happening besides that, dare i say what's happening for real. the usual, "how's it going?," is no longer a question but a greeting. ask someone how their day has been and actually wait for an answer, and you'll be surprised by their reaction. or ask someone the question, and then ask it again. you'll see that the first one was just a throw-away. they'll be surprised you actually meant it. ground your feet into the earth and sink your awareness into your body while you do this. it will help them know you're for real, and you too.

i wish pain were public, as public as our façades of joy and excitement about the party this weekend or what have you. it's ludicrous to only share our positive feelings in this world and discard the rest. that pscychology is indicative of something. i think it's maddening that we can't lean our head on someone's shoulder on the bus and cry, or chat with someone in the grocery line about what a hard day we're having. i crave this. i crave this realness. i know we're all in pain at one point or another, so why the pretending we're not? i think a violent society capitalizes on our fear of rejection, but i think there's more to it than that. we seem to be push-overs in this regard. people don't seem to even consider that there might be another way.

i think of a world in which our pain were just as emphasized as our pleasure and pleasant feelings. what if we were all honest, all the time? of course, society would come crashing down because it's predicated on submission procured by physical, psychological, economic violence. but would that be so bad?
i see more equilibrium. i see more equality. i see more harmony, equanimity, and balance in the possibility of embracing difficult feelings as much as "good" ones. it would require more feminine energy, more receptivity and subtlety. it would require social systems of therapy and physico-emotional processing to deal with anger, depression, anxiety, and trauma. and our government wants no responsibility in this. it's created pain, but doesn't want to clean it up. but let's not think about that in this moment. let's think about where our heart is at right now, and if we might dare to take the leap to expose it to the people we see around us, not just keeping it to a select few, and especially not just to ourselves. but sharing as a reminder of our shared humanity, opening as a measure of solidarity and support, whenever we may need it.

i don't believe in strangers

[your comments are encouraged]

November 25, 2009


chelsea, new york
(foto: ipanema beach, circa 2004)

i realized it in dolores park the other day: in my speedo, my body exposed to the strong sun, a clear sky overhead, and the freedom to do with my day what i wanted, that this to me was the ultimate happiness.

people search the world over for their happiness. they conquer lofty feats or pursue expensive things, but to me it was that moment, that moment of near nakedness, of simplicity, of nature and sun, that was essentially the epitome of my entire existence. it was a sense of death, that we come into this world naked and we also leave it that way, that despite all there is to grasp for and collect in this life, we really only have a moment like i had in dolores park. we can experience our bodies, we can savour the freshness of the air, be grateful for the day, perhaps we can appreciate the view, but there’s not much more than that. and if there is, perhaps it’s falsity.
it seemed silly and even a little sad, that that was it for me. “i could die in this moment,” i said aloud, “and everything would be alright.” i thought,
the fact that i have realizations like this is what makes me freakish, different from other people. but perhaps this naked feeling is something that all people should one day achieve. perhaps i had just found it sooner.
but it was of no consequence. i just rested in my own happiness and freedom on the subject. aware of all the scrambling we can do in life. completely let it go.