Think …

So…I’m listening to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (cliche and corny…I KNOW!). I’m just sitting here in my office…looking out the window…and using this beautiful song to invite old memories back home. Join me. Take a moment. Pick a nostalgic song and think about all the places you’ve seen and all the things you have done. Chances are…it will amaze you. I know thinking about how many moments I’ve experienced is enough to set my nostalgia buzzers off…let alone thinking about the content of those moments. Appreciate time. For what it has been…and for what it will continue to be until you have no more of it. Live in accordance with this indefinite continuance of life. You’ll never get that last second back. Care to share your moment or nostalgic song? Comment! I love you all. 🙂

Digital Witnesses

So…listen to this song by St. Vincent:

This song makes a VERY strong point about today’s society. “Digital witnesses. What’s the point of even sleeping if I can’t show it, if you can’t see me? Watch me jump right off the London Bridge.” Well…doesn’t that say something about our social media use?

I think it hits something spot on. Social media makes life almost pointless. We spend hours scrolling through pictures of “happy people” who, in reality, spent more time trying to get that picture than actually doing what they claim to be doing.

It creates a monster in us that whispers, “Why do it if no one can see you?”

Why go to the Grand Canyon if I can’t show the world I did? Why go to that dance? Why bother sleeping without that last good night snap so they can see how cute my pajamas are?

See what she is saying? Or at least…what I took from it. Wow.

What are all your thoughts?

Certain things

Certain things make me nostalgic without ever having known me before.

I know I’ve written about how nostalgia affects me already, but this new-ish experience kinda freaks me out.

In a summation, I’ve had “nostalgia attacks” where I am thrown into my past moments by a familiar scent, sight, or thought. These have started to make sense to me. I feel things very heavily and I yearn for the past. So naturally, when something reminds me of another moment I’ve already experienced and that I miss, my mind is violently transported from the present moment to one of my past. Almost to the point that I lose touch with where I currently am…my thoughts become a physical presence.

However, now I struggle with these “nostalgia attacks” that seemingly sprout from no where. I am drawn to another thought of another time or moment that I haven’t actually had.

For example, the other day I was on the Metro and I caught a whiff of some guy who walked by. My mind did its strange little thing…and my thoughts ran wild…but not in some expectant way. It was more like…I had an intimate remembrance of the scent. I remembered it from somewhere…but I am almost certain I’ve never smelled it before in my life.

Now…this could be labeled as deja vu, but it was more personal than that, I think. It was activating an actual memory that my brain thought I had, but there was no actual memory there.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you think it means? Does it reflect some idea that we are connected with other’s in their memories? Could it be evidence of our “other life”? I’ve never really believed in those things…but what else could this mean? Any thoughts?

Hilda Spiel Helped Me To Understand…

“At this moment it becomes clear to me that from now on all my journeys will be shadowed by memories. Inevitably, I will transfigure my childhood- perhaps the only productive obsession of our time. Recently I read a book about James Joyce that writing was today “not an act of creation, but of evocation, saturated with reminiscences.” But I have not come in order to grieve for my early life. I am returning to my origin, alienated by long absence, steeled by many a loss and ready for a hard, presumably painful experience. Sometimes in dreams we unexpectedly stand face to face with ourselves. Something of the shock of such confrontations lies in the encounter with our past.” (Spiel, Return to Vienna 10).

This passage almost exactly explains what I feel every time I visit the Chestnut Hill Park back home. This park has basically watched me grow, as much as a habitat can. It became more than a place to me, though; it became an actual representation of my rights of passage.

Last I went to the park, spring break to be exact, I had an over-sweeping sense of nostalgia hit me. Spiel nails this feeling with her quote, “all my journeys will be shadowed by memories.” As we began to walk, I could not help but become almost inebriated by my own thoughtful images of the past.

The empty volleyball court became a stage; my mind’s thespians acted only for me, putting on the play called, “Dad and Steph’s First Volleyball Practice.” We then walked by a swing set inhabited by a mother pushing her child. However, my mind could only envision Matthew, age 3, with me behind him teaching him to pump his legs to make the swing fly.  I saw my best friend’s pavilion graduation party in place of the empty picnic tables. I saw the wooded area my friends and I once suffered poison ivy from, I recognized the cobblestone path that lead me to my first kiss, and it was all the same. Not a thing had changed in physicality, but time had made every moment into a memory. I can’t help but become bombarded by those memories when I go back to this place where nearly everything happened. Enjoying the park for itself is no longer an option because I get lost in my own reminiscent thought.

“Sometimes to stay alive, you gotta kill your mind.”

This quote sung by Twenty-One Pilots has been on my mind a lot recently. I want to know exactly what they mean by it.

First, I must request you listen to the song:

After you do that, please tell me what is meant by the quote!

I was thinking that it might refer to the idea that thoughts are dangerous. Sometimes, when thoughts get to a certain scary point, maybe the best way to deal with them is to completely reject their existence. Is this really a healthy way for people to deal with a negative mindset?

I suppose it is better to survive than to let your thoughts take you over to a place of desiring death….but is that really okay? To ignore what your mind is bringing to you? What do you all think?

Nostalgia

Have you ever felt nostalgia hanging in the air so thick…it covers your mind with a fog? Has a scent…a piece of music…a good book…ever thrown you so quickly and violently into the past you feel as though the present never existed?

I have these moments a lot. I’ll be schlepping about…and then one of my senses will be ignited by a familiar touch, tone, sight, or smell. I become paralyzed in the moment…and I am transported to another time.

This just happened to me. “I Gave You All” by Mumford and Sons came up on my Playlist. My mind jumped directly to a moment I swore never to forget from a few years ago. Even though my body existed in the present time in my bed here at school, my mind and soul seemed in a different place entirely.

I felt as though I had actually flown back to a memory from home…to that beautiful night sitting on the porch, listening to Mumf and watching the sun go down. As I closed my eyes to better picture the moment, I could even smell the faint aroma of rain still lingering from the night before.

I couldn’t really tell you why this night was significant. Maybe its serenity struck my soul as an ideal. Maybe it’s all I ever wanted. I could have stopped there, and I would have been happy. Either way…a simple song brought me back there.

I wonder about nostalgia a lot…and I thank God for our amazing human ability to appreciate moments enough to store them as our own little keepsakes.

“Love isn’t love until you give it away.”

I was listening to the music from Sound of Music (1. It’s amazing…but mainly 2. Lady Gaga’s performance was incredible and has it on my brain). In the Sixteen Going on Seventeen (reprise)…Julie Andrews’ Maria gives Liesl some simple…but incredible advice. That is… “a bell is no bell til you ring it, a song is no song til you sing it, and love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay…love isn’t love until you give it away.”

While I DEFINITELY recommend you go and listen to the rest of that beautiful song…I’d like to spend a few minutes really diving into this idea. Does love not actually exist until it is shown?

I’ve always wondered about this…because I think it is a beautiful idea. Love cannot exist without showing its face. If you feel compelled to hide love…does it really qualify as love? I’m not sure it does. I think that part of loving someone is wanting the best for them. And…I think a sort of appreciation for the person you love…whether shown with actions or words…is necessary in bringing them to be their best self.

I think love needs to be given away to be real…but does that mean it has to be shared? This brings me to another question.

Does love have to be reciprocated for it to be real?

I don’t have any sort of logical argument for this one. Is love really a feeling that has to flow in two directions? Is it really not possible for love to be one-way?

This seems silly to me. I think I actually believe you can love someone without having them love you. I don’t think it goes against any sort of “general love principle.” Apart from the fact that I don’t believe love has any general rules because everyone is different…I do acknowledge the fact that it has some general ‘guidelines.’ I’m wondering what the general thought on this quote is.

But yeah…I think it can be a singular thing. How do you explain people who are stuck pining after someone who doesn’t love them back? How do you explain Jesus and His recommendation to love everyone no matter what (especially your ‘enemies’).

What do you all think? I’m very interested. Indulge me please!

Quote to Live By

This morning I woke up to a few of the daily emails I receive regularly. I went through my Skimm feed…giving me the daily news in snippets…and I went through my daily blog reminder, and eventually I finally got to the one I look most forward to…Gretchen Rubin’s Moment of Happiness for the day:

“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything…we deny,denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to realize it as such.” -Henry Miller

Background before I go into the quote: I read Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” over Christmas break this year…and it was AWESOME (I think you should all go do that…now!). In the book, she wrote about a blog she started…and I couldn’t help myself…I looked it up. Turns out…she has one!…and it’s awesome as well…http://www.gretchenrubin.com/ (check it out!). I signed up for some awesome daily emails…including the option to receive quotes about happiness EVERY day. You should sign up too! Her dedication is inspiring…and the quotes usually make my day.

Going back to the awesomeness that is the Henry Miller quote, though…What do y’all think?

Personally, I love this quote. I don’t know quite what to make of the beginning…but the last part has truly molded my day. Every moment I would become angry or flustered…I just thought about how precious a moment really is. How could I waste any moment angry when there are so limited a number of them? We have set, fixed day-numbered lives. We might as well live every moment for its beauty.

Because the beauty is what makes us smile, laugh, and appreciate…why don’t we look for it in all things and all times? We have been gifted brilliant minds…minds that are able to change our moods and feelings…why not use them to change perspectives…and make the ugly beautiful?

Then I think to myself…does anything actually exist ugly? Or…does it have an innate beauty…and we just look at it in a certain way that forces us to perceive it as ugly? I don’t know. Maybe I’m going too far with this. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

My first narrative…wallflowering on my co-worker

“I’m sorry, honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”

That’s often all I hear coming from you on these Thursdays. You don’t have to be a servant to her anger. I’m telling you. You know…we are at work…you shouldn’t be on the phone anyway. Why doesn’t she get that?

Your species is familiar to me…that kind of overwhelmingly beautiful (and yet hard to reach) soul hopped up on some sort of depressant or stimulant (would you believe that both seem to be used as a cure for the same problem?) I’m sorry ADHD is something so difficult for you. I can see the blurry film it puts over that innermost part of you that pushes your head from side to side rather than allowing it to sit peacefully still. I can only see it because I remember it from my own childhood…my brother ended up being an extremely valuable empathy lesson. I know how easily he was taken advantage of. I saw it.

Every day you miss out on the million miracles that wave a friendly hello at your your windsweeping eyes because she is so far away, and she makes you feel like she is the only thing that understands you no matter the distance. Well…she isn’t…in fact…I don’t think she understands you at all if you don’t mind my saying so. She seems stuck in the world of the squirmy eye-browed norm. I know that is the only face you are used to when you get into your passionate obsessive speeches. I see the passion in them. I would love to hear them from you all day long.

Does she? Do you really have to sit there and take her yelling about not hearing from you for 10 minutes, or for the time she wasn’t expecting that surprise, or even just for talking with me? You’d be amazed at how loud your phone is when she calls (or is that just how angry she is?)

No matter. I just want you to feel how important you are. Feel it in your fast-paced, ever changing heart. Calm your mind and try not to see those stares or giggles as you pass. I want you to know that it is okay to talk for 3 hours straight about Muse and what they mean to you. Spend 14 hours trying to find the philosophy in your video game when it sparks your fancy. That’s okay. I know your brain is 200 times bigger than mine. Never any less…never any rest…but beautiful all the same. Make her appreciate that…if you believe her when she says she is truly yours.