I woke up feeling a little like Bruce Springsteen in Better Days:

Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ round the bend
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend…

It’s easy to put things off until the stars have aligned just right, or you have enough time, money, or other resources. You want everything to be perfect before you begin. In my experience, waiting for the perfect time is just another avoidance tactic. Forget that!

Instead, begin now with where you are and what you have. There will never be a perfect time. Start small or start big, who cares? Just begin!

And if not now, when?

In fact, don’t answer that question, just start – NOW!

Here’s what I need to promise myself to do going forward from today and that is to re-engage with the world in a different way. Instead of trying to see it with new eyes, see it instead through older, wiser eyes.

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday. She’s a young twenty-something (not you, other young twenty-something, you just need to focus on doing and not thinking so much). Ok back to the story, my friend (twenty-something #1) has just come back from Mexico and is settling into the post-holiday blues of office life. She says every time she comes back from one of these trips she asks herself why? Why not just keep going? There’s so much she wants to see and do and sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen all day isn’t one of them.  Seems far from the good life.

Of course, I encourage her to go. She’s young. She has no ties. She has no weight on her shoulders. No ball and chain on her ankle. Go. Go then. Go! If only it were that easy right? Well, it is and it isn’t – depends on how much programming she’s had and how strong she is mentally, physically, and spiritually.  Does she have what it takes to unplug from The Matrix? Maybe Morpheus is right, you should never unplug a mind once it has reached a certain age (twenty-something #2, pay close attention to this video):

I dropped into the conversation my observations about the downside of going out and doing everything while you’re young. I did it.  Now I’m suffering from ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt.’  I’m facing the dark side of going out and doing everything when you’re young.  You get to a point, like where I’m at now, where it’s hard to get excited about anything because I’ve done everything. Ok so I haven’t literally done everything, but I’ve done enough to where everything seems like more of the same or a different version of the same theme. It’s like being a drug addict.  In order to get excited, I have to keep upping the level of extreme.  But what’s more extreme than being in situations where your life is on the line?  How do you top that?  Maybe I have to find the edge.

Then I remember what Hunter S. Thompson said about the edge:

“The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others-the living-are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there.”

So excuse me if I go a little off the rails here for a while. I’m trying to find that elusive something – my white whale, my golden barge that remains perpetually just around the next bend as Jephraim Tallo discovered. My ass has definitely been dragging and I passed a gypsie wagon the other day. And you can forget about my heart, it turned to stone a long time ago.

It’s been a long day and my brain is fried. I’m not tired of waiting for tomorrow to come, at least not tonight. Hell, I’d be ok if tomorrow never came. It’s always a good day to die.  But enough about that.  I need to pour myself a whiskey and get to figuring out how I’m going to find this edge.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Everyone gets everything he wants.
I wanted a mission. And for my
sins, they gave me one. Brought
it up to me like room service.;[/perfectpullquote]

If you’re into your war films, you’ll recognised that from the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now.  Martin Sheen, who plays Captain Benjamin L. Willard, A Special Forces officer, is in a hotel room in Saigon.  He’s been out of the jungle for a while and getting restless:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When I was home after my first
tour, it was worse. I’d wake up
and there’d be nothing. I hardly
said a word to my wife until I
said yes to a divorce. When I was
here, I wanted to be there. When
I was there…all I could think of
was getting back into the jungle.
I’m here a week now. Waiting for
a mission. Getting softer. Every
minute I stay in this room, I get
weaker. And every minute Charlie
squats in the bush…he gets
stronger. Each time I looked
around…the walls moved in a little
tighter.[/perfectpullquote]

And that’s about where I am at right now – these walls are moving in a little tighter – If I don’t get a mission soon well…

And it has to one that’s challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  I maybe setting myself an impossible task. How can I find something that isn’t just a variation on an old theme? If the writers of Ecclesiastes are right then I am doomed:

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Hell, it’s beginning to sound like I’m having a midlife crisis, but even that, I’ve done already.  Or is this a symptom of staring a half a century in the face and hearing that old Eternal Footman laughing loudly behind me and me knowing he’s laughing because I haven’t done a goddamn thing to disturb the universe yet? And I’m desperate too. Otherwise I am endanger of being Prufrock.  If I was honest with myself, I would go ahead and admit to you that I am Prufrock. But as I said last week on Twitter, we, as humans, have the terrible gift of being able to deceive ourselves most of all.

Excuse me, this domesticated primate has to go and make dinner now.

Listen to Mad Child and Evidence while I’m away…

And Shane’s going insane while basically in my prime
Can I rediscover my mind are we wasting each others time
I don’t cry I don’t look up at the sky and ask why
But sometimes I feel like I’m patiently waiting to die
Go thru the motions try to put the pen to paper with love
But I’m still holding back afraid of what I’m capable of…

OK. Back now.  How very routine of me.

Am I to seek and never see?  I had myself convinced at one point that my lot in life was to seek, that I was (am) a seeker seeking something I would never find nor wanted to find, seeking for seeking’s sake was (is) my fate.  But sometimes even pilgrims get tired.  And so I had to take a time out and rest but I’ve been resting too long which is what I think this about or  was I distracted?

Anyway enough about that, I’m back now. And I had the best news today.  One of my old-school blogging buddies has returned to the fray.  Shout out to Cathy, warrior-scientist and fellow New Jersey-ite… a Jersey Girl (although I’m not sure if she’d accept that title, but hey if Bruce Springsteen can be in love with a Jersey Girl, so can I.)

And here’s another draft poem for you:

I don’t remember touching her hand.
I don’t remember how I ended up
inside her waiting for the cigarette
to burn down. This is the way it all
ends. This is the way the world ends:

A frightened sob
A taste of regret
Fingernails in my palm

I only stopped by to say hello, we took
the book well beyond your silent song and
I learned, at last, my heart is dead.

I think I want to get a blogging logo made up, something to reflect the revolutionary, non-conformist, fuck the herd kind of attitude I have toward the current trend in blogging.

Viva la Blog

P.S.  Just as I typed those last words, the heavens open up.

P.P.S  I think I’ll power down now, read some Hunter S. Thompson and the sip whisky and watched the beginning of Apocalypse Now at least up until the two military policemen through CPT Willard into a cold shower to sober him up before shipping him out to the jungle.

Soundtrack: