Friday, February 12, 2010

How it looks from here.

I used to go to bed early a lot of the time.

I'm not really sure when I stopped caring about sleep, or when it started to feel like a squandering of precious life time. Frankly, I enjoy sleeping. I've read that it is good for your health. I also have some pretty good dreams most of the time, including a real gem recently about a party I attended on Mars with the SRL crew where everyone was dressed in Victorian-era clothing and half the guests were really some sort of hologram-like androids, who were spectacular conversationalists.

But as of late I guess I just realized how many awesome things have been happening to me when in most usual humdrum scenarios I should or could or would have been asleep. Apparently there was a lot I was missing out on. Just snoozing!

When I was in college (back in '09) I took a class called Time Travel Literature, which was every bit as cool as it sounds. We read Eliot, Bergson, Pater, Faulker, Woolf, and Borges. We watched The Terminator, Twelve Monkeys, and La jetée. It was a dream class, really. It started before 8am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I barely missed one.

We spent a lot of time talking about the totally gangster early 20th century thinker Henri Bergson's concept of durée, which means
duration, which is really difficult and wonderful to talk about. I sort of understood it then as meaning forcing yourself to think about time not as a series of distinct, almost concrete units (as on a clock) but as a stretch of indisivible, uncountable freedoms to be and to experience everything subjectively and at the same time. Sounds pretty cool in a pretty abstract way, right? I mean, Bergson was a philosopher and a scientist, but the raddest thing about it is that he wanted to figure time out as it was experienced inside people. So then Henri got it that you can't really make an exact science out of talking about someone's heart. Then he was like, "Huh. Time is just a series of passing images, so it must really just be a creation of our individual imaginations. Because whatever jazzes us up really defines the way we look at life, and therefore, time, right?" And then everyone gave him high-fives. At least that's how I imagine it.

Lately, this whole thing has been making even more sense to me. It explains how easily experiences can make you feel different about the world in front of you. It also explains why Impressionism is so fucking cool. It was all about the way ART gives everybody a sort of multiplied sense of consciousness of what was happening around them, like experiencing a bunch of different lives at the same time, and just feeling so full of it all. It acknowledged that people have different realities, and disparate impressions of the world, but simultaneously it connected everybody by giving them a way to experience the highest quality of moments passing together. Like, this is what it really feels like to exist---look!

In the last three months, I have traveled on six plane trips and one short road trip. I have just been hangin' out in Seattle, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, and back to Seattle, just like that, in that order.

Some people travel a lot more than I do, and to farther off destinations. But for me, these were Big Adventures. In fact, they felt Important. I really, really love those moments when time just starts to feel like it's moving both faster and slower than it normally does. I think Henri Bergson would get it, and most people I have been working and creating with lately. You know, when you can just zone out and let your hands do the thinking and feeling for a little bit? Hours go by and you have no idea how--but they did, and you have something to show for it. Like you earned that time by being a part of it.

In the last few months, I have just been feeling like part of it all. That everything else that is happening is just happening, and I just get to be here and enjoy it.
That I truly exist!

Here are some moments lately that felt bigger than other moments, and that sometimes I wish would have lasted a little bit longer:

All in all, it's pretty good to exist. Pretty unbeatable.


photo credits: katie, ben, the sirocco research lab, and of course, our lizzie.

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