Mon 2 Sept, 1996
My band broke up last Thursday nite. I was pretty bummed afterward & drove my sister’s borrowed car out to the beach & hung out on the jetties, a quarter-mile or so out into the Gulf of Mexico. It really was a beautiful nite. The moon was just past full, there were just enough stratus clouds out to give the moon a huge glowing corona, and off to the west, inland, there was a fantastic lightning storm going on. Not in the mood for dealing with people, i avoided anyone i happenned to see. Luckily there were only a couple fishermen, and they where right at the beach end.
There’s something about the beach, about the ocean that soothes me. Mebbe it’s the timelessness, how the tide relentlessly beats against the sand, the rocks, whatever happens to be in its way. I kept thinking that in 100,000 years, these huge granite boulders i’m sitting on will be whittled down to just more grains of sand. All from this simple, soft water-stuff.
Then last nite at an art opening at the Peoples Art Space, a friend of mine who has recently decided to quit his excellent job as manager at Half-Price Books to go for an MFA in printmaking illustrated his motivation by quoting Thoreau: “the average man leads a life of quiet desperation.”
I’m also looking for a job, and not having the best of luck. That’s actually part of the reason Makak (my band) broke up. That and Keith, a fellow ex-Akkster, is going thru a particualarly ugly and disturbing divorce which is complicating my life by virtue of the fact that my only job right now is musical directing for his ex-wife. Plus, there are other comlications i dare not even go into here.
So you cd say i’m emotionally wrecked. I need a job baad. But am i living Thoreau’s “life of quiet desperation?” That is, am i pursuing a purely man-made, conventional goal? I don’t think so… I have a this cool PowerMac i need to make payments on. I’ve got a nice garage apartment to pay rent on. And i simply want to be able to afford to get married and possibly start a family someday. I’m not the “back-to-yr-roots” type that Thoreau was. Otherwise, i might prefer to live out in the boonies somewhere, do the hermit thang, and just zen meditate all day.
But i’m a Taoist. And what makes me categorize myself as such is that i don’t feel that meditation has to happen in a seated position– the Zen way. Rather, the whole of one’s life can be meditation. All’s you gotta do is BE FULLY IN THE HERE AND NOW. No matter WHAT yr doing. Washing the dishes. Typing on yr PowerMac. Breathing in yr lover’s exhalations. Tao literally means “the way,” and you simply cannot escape it. Not even if you feel that you are not part of it. That’s just part of it! It’s that simple…
This entry hasn’t really said anything earth-shattering or even witty. & that’s perfectly fine by me. After all, the only thing i’m wasting is a few kilobytes of RAM on a couple computers and your time. And if you’ve made it this far, you probably don’t even mind my wasting yr time…