I was trying to get past a difficult decision that would direct my career and could mean serious risk/success. I saw these.
I see a lot of old shoes. I see a lot of old shoes with their laces tied together. They are usually hanging on power/phone lines. There were a lof of power lines here, as can be seen in the background. But the shoes were on the ground.
I started thinking about laces tied together, and how that could limit reach and pace and balance. I thought about how someone probably flung these up, attempting a high step, and failed even here where there were so many power lines. Then they gave up, or were chased off. The old shoes were left in failure. Among too many goals even a simple achievement fails.
A lot of homeless/car campers hang out around here, and the shoes weren’t that bad. I imagined someone who could use them finding them and putting a few more miles on them. The attempted vandalism takes part of a new path.
There’s also the alleged meaning that shoes-on-a-wire may take on that has become meaningless by the frequency of the phenomenon. Tired steps become a tired semaphore.
This substation, or whatever it is, became an alternate context for the symbol. Trying to step high near the transfer of power failed.
Walking by the failure to step over the wire, I had dozens of new approaches to my contemplation. It was the best oracle I’ve found in years and it changed my life by changing my thinking.
I’ve made the decision with a confidence I don’t think I would have had otherwise. I did so not because I’d seen the future, or peered into an arcane perspective, but because my thinking was so suddenly and rapidly expanded past the troubled perplexity I had had a moment before.
This is why I look down.
I’m attending Wordcamp Portland and am surrounded by sparks of inspiration. The buzz and the tools and the cause are filling my mind with flashing todo items and means to do them.
First on my list is to blog more of course. When this entry is two months old and I haven’t added anything, I’ll feel horrible, but for now, dammit, I want to start writing more. Also, I need to return to the several plug-ins I’ve written, and release them into the wild. At least one of them contains some methods and techniques and fulfills the purpose of the gallery presentation here, and then some and it’s a shame I’ve kept it to myself and unfinished.
I saw this while walking through some worries. I have to choose between some good choices. Instead of comparing the various virtues and qualities of the choices, I was compulsively weighing risks, using long passed and irrelevant injuries as measure. Everything was incommensurable and awkward. I started feeling more and more inconfident, almost certain that I would choose the wrong path. I became lost. I saw this.
The reflex to cling to fear and apprehension outlasts not just the injuries, but the fear as well. I gave the barrier a nudge with my foot and kept walking.
I don’t know if it’s a media trend, or a cultural shift, but I seem to be exposed to more of the richness of human stupidity. I don’t mean the general ‘stupid mistakes everyone makes’ stupidity, or the ‘can’t understand it and don’t care’ stupidity. I mean the ‘screaming in your face and calling you wrong about something about which I have no clue’ stupidity.
Opposition to science, misunderstanding agreed upon premises, simple ignorance of simple logic fueled by a head full of hate and loud voice seem to get more play in our culture than cautious doubt or educational exploration. It’s nothing new or unique. Professional wrestling has outsold sport wrestling for decades. Now it’s the same for our news.
But what’s wrong with me is that I call this stupid. I scream that it’s stupid. I point a finger. I get mad. I raise my voice about it.
We can all think of examples of classes of people who were considered inherently stupid. Nobody bothered to educate them — in some cases it becomes illegal to do so. We all applaud those few examples of people who overcome this and become the person who was supposed to be stupid but became known as smart. The applause isn’t just because they became smart. It’s because they not only had to fight the stupidity we all have to fight within ourselves. They had to fight others’ as well.
I’m not saying I’m gonna stop getting all loudly cranky about stupid people. I’m not even planning to stop. But if I were a better person I would.
Nobody ever got smart by being called stupid.
It’s been almost two month’s since Brian died. Though I certainly can’t say I’ll ever be over it, I no longer feel that hurt shock when I think of him and remember that he died. I’ll keep a shrine to him. I’ll remember something about our time together every day. I’ll cope well.
I had a brief period where I wasn’t working, much. I got to work on some fun things–my sister’s site, configuring a laptop juuust so, backup strategies. The weight of not working when I should be making money was a bit much. How will we pay for a new roof for the garage? A kitchen window? A new phone?
The “wait” part of “hurry up and wait” is over now, and I’m likely swamped until a planned vacation stops my work. I can be grateful that we got to the beach and I got to relax.
My best friend died last week. I’m still unclear on the details of his death. When I visited, it seemed he wasn’t very clear about it himself. He was quite lucid on several occasions and I got some datum points in short stories: One year, one month, one week and one day sober; A 1.75 liter bottle of gin; Waking up in an ambulance at 2 a.m.; A seizure; A morning drink; A sponsor moving out of town; A lost job and a business buy out; A liver and kidney no longer working.
Before he took the nap during which I had to leave, he asked rhetorically “What if I die today?” I could only remind him that had asked himself that question for as long as I’d known him, and that he had come up with some good answers.
Among Brian’s many excellences and virtue, he was the best storyteller I’ve known. The last story he told me was about a woman he watched on flight. At take off she rubbed her face with lotion. She put on dark sunglasses and headphones. She wrapped much of her face in scarves and then sat motionless. She must have made prior arrangements. Brian imagined, because the stewardess left her completely alone until just before strapping for landing. The traveler unwrapped. She took off her sunglasses and headphones. When she got up to leave, she was the picture of vibrant beauty. That’s the only way to fly, Brian said as he buzzed for the nurse.
Through the fog, confusion and crying of the last week, the memory of a bold and beautiful man emerges. He was complicated and troubled, particularly at the end, but through to the end, he remained the Brian Walker I will always know.
I wrote a little plugin for Six Apart to allow their service to be used by wordpress installs. It was announce at the Mid-Atlantic Wordcamp 2009 today and got to be a big deal right away.
It was a great opportunity to contribute to a couple great organizations. I look forward to more.
My son and I worked on the willow hut yesterday. Today I worked on some inherited spaghetti code.
The winter die-off was woven in with new growth. It was difficult to find which part should be snapped off, which brought to the light, which woven back to hold the thing together. I snipped and pulled and made a mess of it. For a while it even lost much of its shape.
Now the ceiling is higher, though the walls are thinner. The door is a bit too tall and the back wall is still too thin, but this summer promises strong growth.
Flora put this above the door down to the basement, where my office is. This pretty much says it all.
We broke even in March financially, and in its first week, April looks good. I’ve got a part-time job with customerforce along with a few new gigs, and some huge possibilities.
After being in such an ill place professionally, I wish it didn’t take global financial strife to get me to a better place, but it seems that it did. Yay!
Added “Create A Decent WordPress them for your own blog” to the todo list.
I recently had a mention in BusinessWeek. Though it certainly wasn’t a This guy is awesome! You should hire him!, it did send quite a bit of traffic to my site.
This made me aware that my website and resume still suck, even though I’ve been leaning on both rather heavily. So here it is: my new home page and resume.
Spread them around!