Friday, June 25, 2010

Something's Coming

I don't know
What it is
But it is
Gonna be great....

(That's from West Side Story for all you non-musical buffs out there.)

There has been a lot of thinking buzzing through me this week. A lot of reading, a lot of researching, and a lot of taking time to feel things as they are.

I think it all started with the TV show Life. Life is a show about a police officer, Charlie Crews, who was in prison for 12 years for a crime he didn't commit. Once it was proven that he indeed did not commit this crime, he got a huge cash settlement but went back to his old detective job. It is one of the best shows on TV in the past 5 years and it was canceled after two seasons.

Sooo not the point. The point is that while he was in prison Charlie got into zen. He listens to zen tapes all the time. He eats tons of fruit (partly because he didn't have any fruit in prison and partly because fruit is a big zen thing- a direct connection to the earth).

And yeah, it's a TV show but that zen stuff really does make sense. The interconnectedness of the world, how what you do to someone else ultimately you do to yourself. It's deep. It makes sense. And I want to learn more.

I found this video on youtube that is an interview with a Buddhist nun. She's amazing. She talks about spiritual journeys and how difficult it is to change, how suffering might be good for people because you when you are waiting for something you are happier than when you get that thing and realize that it doesn't make you happy like you thought it would. My favorite quote: "It takes tremendous, tremendous, amounts of effort to become effortless."

I've been reading a memoir called "Confederates In the Attic" where the author travels all around the South to learn more about the Civil War. He talks to war buffs and historians and tour guides and people in the Daughters/Sons of the Confederacy and black people and white people and so many others to get their take on the war and what it meant. Mostly he wants to know WHY it is still so important to people. I have been surprised at the variety of interpretation there is in what exactly was being fought for. It's a complicated time in history. But is it good for people to live so much in the past? I'm not saying that the reasons for a war should ever be forgotten, but is it really important to hold on to a belief that because your great-great grandfather fought for an ideal that you should still uphold that ideal?

There's an excellent website you have to check out called Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It is a conference held once a year (you have to apply to get in and it costs assloads of money to attend- thousands and thousands of dollars, or you can watch the simulcast from another location for the low low price of $3700) which is by and for big thinkers. But the talks are online for free. (Yippee!!!) I bet you can't watch just one. I posted a video a few weeks ago from TED about the fashion industry and copyrights, and I knew I had to check it out more. Well today was the day for that. I have watched Tony Robbins talk about how to, well, live, and Mike Rowe talk about work and why we need to change our attitudes about it (I blogged about that a couple of years ago- I didn't know this was the catalyst), and Temple Grandin talk about different kinds of brains and how they work and how important it is not to marginalize those who think differently because we NEED them. And Adam Savage gave a fascinating talk about his obsession with recreating objects, because he loves objects.

These people are amazing. They are interesting and excellent speakers and I feel inspired watching these talks. I also feel a little boring and I could do so much more with my life if only I knew what it was.

My favorite talk is this one by Elizabeth Gilbert talking about the creative process and how to keep it from destroying you. It is awesome. Watch it.

And I don't know what is going to come of all this thinking and wondering and reading and exploring, but I feel like there is a process happening here. Sort of like a butterfly chrysalis, or a hibernating bear, something is changing. Stay tuned....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: Buddhism -- reading a fascinating alternate history of the world in which Christianity dies out in the 1400s due to the plague; as a result Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Native American spiritually vie for the minds and souls of the world. I've learned lots about the religions and it is a captivating story. "Years of Salt and Rice" by Kim Stanley Robinson.