The Importance Of: Being Smaller Than Life
I didn’t write much this year. I kept trying to think of something funny to say which is generally a good indicator that you aren’t and you shouldn’t. But something about the ending of years brings about abnormally introspective attempts at wrapping our minds around the odd feelings (or lack of) that is another 42 million beats on the ticker. Just a few days ago it was January then I farted and it was December. Neat stuff happened in between. I started making yogurt. I continue to derive immense enjoyment from the natural world, from good people and from making an image out of light and pixels and buttons thanks to the support of many wonderful friends and clients.
But it’s always weird to sort out meaningful lessons from the year amidst a shallow algorithm-driven spray of the 10-most-liked-photos-of-the-year and other digital fecal. But underneath it all is some super meaningful philosophical material, some real stocking stuffers. Just not here in this article.
“You’ll find it in the middle. Don’t forget about the middle.” said Jeffrey Martin in his song “The Middle.” That’s all you need to know. My gift to you. Enjoy your now-fulfilled life.
You hear a lot of hippie talk about finding center and maintaining balance but it’s not just about yoga. Those wool-clad, patchouli-smelling sons-a-bitches are on to something. The middle, it apparently matters (spoiler: really that’s the base theme of all past “The Importance Of:” rants). Stray too far from the center and you get all fringy and stressed and develop bad indigestion. Striking the right balance is as important in sun salutations as southern salutations (2 oz.Southern Comfort, 1 oz. Peach Schnapps, highball glass, ice and lemonade. Get the whiskey and schnapps amount mixed up and a mediocre drink becomes a devastating one).
Even when trying to be rational and balanced we tend to swing a bit in the human way from overly-cocky, aggressive laps in the deep end to jerky, near-drowning, awkward death strokes when safe in the shallows. During each of which we are often pleasantly oblivious to both real and perceived risks.
The basis of that weird swimming metaphor is simple. Sometimes we apply too much value to our lives, other times too little.
“You’ll find it in the middle.” *creepily whispered*
If we’re honest, all of life is an insignificant miracle — miracle because of the vastness and the mind-crushing complexity and the millions of neurons firing right now to allow me to write inconsequential blog posts and use pretentious, polysyllabic words like “inconsequential” and “polysyllabic” — insignificant because we within that amazing scale of the universe and space and time as we know it, we are a mouse toot. Not even an audible one. A tiny rodent S.B.D. (Silent But Deadly) that won’t even cause a slight wrinkle on Old Man Time’s bulbous nose (the nose and the ears are cartilage which never stops growing over the course of our lives, so he has to have a huge-ass schnozz.)
We put a lot of stock in making a name for ourselves and carving it in stone. Maybe a better end goal would be just to drop the name part– make ends meet, make art, make love, make due, make up, but a name for yourself? Most people that have done that don’t even use their real name. It’s weird. It’s also weird that once our basic needs are met (sometimes before that even) we move onto trying to figure it all out and being remembered (a privileged pursuit in itself). Maybe the real beautiful thing isn’t the wealth and fame of being larger than life, but the fortune of being smaller than it. With respect to the land for the things we made, to strive and aid, rest and fade, without imprint or name, an anonymous, small flatulent wonder of the world. What a nice thought.
This is probably all I got for 2019 too since I get less clever with age. See you in 2020! Until then here are a couple appropriated-celebrity quote memes superimposed over a doggie bag full of the largest canine dookie I’ve ever seen to immortalize the highlights of this article since deep down I crave validation and glory like everyone else.
I love you.
P.S. I tried to think of someone better than Steven Seagal to use for the second one but I just couldn’t.