Something I like to do lot is just sit by the water. I don't fish. I don't hunt. I don't scuba. I don't spear, don't boat, don't play basketball or football. I excel at staring into space. I'm really good at that." -Iggy Pop
As someone renowned for spacing out, I adore this Iggy Pop quote. My monkey mind, as the Buddhist like to call it, is always going full throttle. I have heard it said that our greatest strengths are often our biggest weaknesses. My great ability to daydream is the root of my creativity, and in some cases even my compassion and intellect; I am always thinking. It is also the root of my history of mediocre grades, multiple jobs, and fierce patience on the part of family and friends forced to endure my endless scattered ways. I wonder if Iggy has experienced the same kind of triumphs and failures associated with his great talent, or does Punk grant him some kind of exemption? Celebrities do seem to get away with things us average people can not, like getting married a million times or wearing Chuck Taylors and sunglasses with your tuxedo. Staring into space makes Iggy more interesting. When I stare into space, however, I feel like I am a step away from receiving a permanent life coach, and an endless supply of Ritalin. Why is that?
"Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better." -Henry Rollins
I was at Cornfield Point this weekend. A small little beach tucked into the shoreline of Old Saybrook, CT . It has been "my" beach for as long as I can remember. My grandparents built a house there before I was born; a house my mother now occupies. I made sandcastles on its shore when I was a small child and swam drunk in its water while an idiot teen. I have walked to the end of its jetty in the middle of the night surrounded by nothing but fog while contemplating my place and future in this world. There is nothing empirically special about Cornfield Point. There are no palm trees. No Pina Coladas or Coral Reefs. It is packed every summer with local tourists, and the houses that delineate its beachfront have been there for generations. But its breeze holds the souls of my grandparents, and in its dark murky water, my memories float to the surface of consciousness like a dead fish finally finding its way to the sun.
"The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn." -David Russell
How many of us have come across this struggle in life? In what direction should we go, and do we look back once we have taken the first step? When I peer over my shoulder, it often feels like I have led a hundred different lives. Oh, the bridges I've crossed and burned; in relationships, jobs, academics, even on some occasions hobbies and interests. Although, the latter being much easier bridges to rebuild. The Native Americans have a saying, "when you reach a great chasm in your life, jump. It isn't as far as you think." So, then maybe we should just eliminate bridges all together? If we had to jump chasms rather than walk over bridges to go in the direction of our choosing, how would this affect our choices in life? Would we be more apt to sit at the edge of the status quo in fear of a potential plummet? Or would the chasms we attempted reflect the strength of our choices in a more positive, accurate manner; a Litmus Test in determining what we really want, from what we think we do. It takes guts to leap a chasm, particularly as one gets older in life, but our confidence in direction is certainly enhanced with each one we successfully clear. Whether jumping over the abyss or walking across it on a bridge, the importance lies in momentum. Like a shark who drowns when it stops swimming, we must continue to move. Some bridges we will cross, some we will burn, and others we will just say... who the hell even needs a bridge as we find ourselves leaping into the air. It isn't as far as we think.