What is peace?

Once again, I have made peace with the world.

What is peace?

Peace, of course, is a concept, a label, a symbol, all of that.

I do not exist, therefore a nonexistent entity making something called “peace” is all imaginary.

The world is easy enough to grasp as both an entity and a concept.

At a multicellular level, I am not at peace, my body always fighting entropy, battling bacteria and viruses floating around in my system, breathed in and pooped out on a regular basis.

So what, then, is peace?

It means I have let go of the parts of me that in my youth wanted to explore the universe off of this planet.

I am no longer 5, 15, 25, 35 or even 50.

To be sure, age is just a number and more than one person my age or older has traveled to the International Space Station orbiting Earth but I am not them.

I am me.

It is in my personal best interest, healthwise, to fold up the circus tent under which I was entertaining people around me and return to the meditation platform in the woods where I can rest during the day whilst quietly spending half of the night shift working alone preparing blood product inventory for delivery to hospitals.

I am contented, not necessarily happy, but able to enjoy myself and no longer fill my thoughts with the lives of others who, although they gave me a level of exuberant happiness, also left me feeling old, unable to keep up with their busy lives, as busy as I was when I was their age 25-30 years ago.

I unattach myself from the surface of others whose lives I mimicked as a chameleon.

I am happiest here, writing, wherever my butt is seated and my hands have a keyboard or pen and paper on which I compose these ditties.

Peace is simplicity and frugality.

Peace is my thought set devoid of a running commentary justifying its existence, shouting for attention, and seeking quick thrills.

Delta, Dawn, Dune

Connections.

Networking.

Talking Sister Rosetta Tharpe with one friend, capacitors with another, and how to properly brew Piper & Leaf branded tea with a third.

All within the greater community connection that is dancing.

Yes, dancing has connected me to the following, at the least:

  • Cosplay/Dragon*Con
  • Oil change discounts
  • Barcode readers
  • Weekly social gatherings
  • Outdoor photography with friends
  • LGBT rights
  • Rocket/missile engineering/engineering in general
  • Juggling multiple jobs
  • Local Maker movements
  • Online roleplaying/multiplayer gaming
  • Massage/physical therapy
  • Haunted buildings/locations
  • Multiple emotional/mental conditions (depression/bipolar/dissociative/schizophrenic, etc.)
  • Traveling for weekend dance competitions (not unlike car racing, gymnastics, tennis, etc.)
  • Recruiting
  • Promoting/marketing
  • Local art communities
  • Municipal growth planning
  • Extraterrestrial exploration/colonisation
  • Greater exposure to different music genres
  • Polyamorous relationship management skills
  • Watching young people expand their talents into other fields
  • Watching people 40 and older rediscover the simple joys of living
  • The international language of dance overcoming all socioeconomic sub/cultural barriers
  • Myself

In times past, I spent Sunday mornings meditating on a subject or two, often asking more questions than reaching conclusions, setting up thought trails to explore the rest of the artificial seven-day block we call a week (trying living without a watch or calendar and see if you recognise a week; you might tune yourself into periods of a day and a lunar month but will you feel a week go by if there are no specific days you need to do anything?).

My latest electronic project has turned into the next evolution of the personal care chair, a seating device that senses your posture, wrapping itself around your torso and gently correcting your posture, working pressure points to ease muscle/ligament/tendon pain, keeping you alert when you need it and reminding you to relax occasionally, as well as push you up to exercise your body, tied as it is to your fitness tracking device (smartwatch, phone, wristworn activity tracker, etc.).

I started physical therapy recently to work my upper body, hoping to build muscle and bone mass in an effort to stop the bouts of vertigo my general practitioner/primary care physician believes is caused by pinched nerves in my neck/spinal column.

One of the physical therapists I also met through dancing.

Is there anything anymore in my life that isn’t related to dancing?

We live on a small planet, third cooling molten rock mass from the Sun, so I know better than to feel or act shocked that we humans connect through common interests.

Yet the child in me enjoys amazement and awe.

The teenage boy in me enjoys his own amazement and awe that is kept at bay for no other reason than I am what I am, an awkward nerd whose looks, age and ability to deflect people away from the real me through the art of conversation gets tiring after a while.

Sometimes I wonder why I carry an eclectic set of social data in my thoughts from which I can parse sentence structure and make sense in general conversation whether I know what I’m talking about or just am interesting enough that people ignore my ignorance, inferring from the few words I blurt/write that I know more than I do.

The wisdom of aging has its advantages.

Time was when I wished I was wise enough to seek wealth.

Then the training of my youth kicked in, driving me back to the monkhood for which I was destined.

I don’t know how to live in two worlds and the confusion has clouded my weekly meditative writing.

Two worlds, one which is the monkhood with my marriage that I gladly enjoyed for ten years, the second is the sexual attraction infused in dancing that counteracts my celibate marriage and draws me to see human bodies in a way that constantly confuses me since the nerd in me has no experience seeking out sexual relationships with others.

The denial of sex with others has fueled my creativity for decades, including writing and electronic gadget construction.

Dancing fuels my writing but takes away from my laboratory time.

At my age, 55+ years, and in semi-retirement, working for a local nonprofit, what or who am I?

Does anything matter anymore — labels, symbols, philosophical stances, subcultural beliefs?

The child in me and the future geriatric self wait for an answer that may not exist.

I return to the mantra that I do not exist, therefore I am not important.

I am at peace in my thoughts.

That much I know.

At my age, that’s all that matters.

I spend the day with my wife, give her the attention she seeks from her life partner, a person who lets me be me as long as she feels important (the primary person in my life), a person who feeds me and clothes me, for the most part taking care of me and my health.

What else am I to do because I don’t know how to care for myself?

I sit here and write, that much I know about feeling peaceful.

Everything else is just random interaction in the connectedness of the dance world.

I need not find patterns where they don’t exist.

I need not project the future in hopes of saving our species from global destruction.

I will die soon enough, might as well remain as peaceful as I have in the past, enjoy the ride and not question the beneficial/detrimental effects of the transportation device.

I no longer struggle with who I am.

My actions speak louder than words.

No need to be confused.

Breathe, eat, sleep.

A set of states of energy in motion which needs no overlay of symbols to justify its existence; i.e., the secret to happiness.

Live and let others live/die as they please, interference from me unnecessary.

[On a side note, I wonder if the Meclizine and ondansetron, combined with physical therapy easing decades of pain, have led to this new calmness in my thoughts…certainly, uncertainty about my vertigo and the piercing pain in my neck for 40 years have made me feel like I’ve always been running away from something; now that I have a solution, I don’t need to run away anymore, no need to pretend to be someone else in order to hide the real physical pain that has defined me since high school, from which I used to think there was no escape.]

Metal hinge

I was a teenage script kiddie.

Go ahead, laugh at me, I can take it.

Motivated by love for a friend of mine, a future computer engineering genius, I emulated his coding skills, mimicked his sense of humour in programming comments, hoping he’d approve of my own cleverness.

He never did, ridiculing my lack of originality, accusing me of merely being an engineer whilst he was the true scientist exploring uncharted territory through scientific experimentation.

He saw me as his assistant, the comic sidekick who was good-looking, able to score funding from parents and friends via my charm and personality.

In other words, he couldn’t live without me for a couple of years.

He wouldn’t admit he loved me, too.

Fraternal love, is it different than romantic love?

Do plant roots love rain?  Can they distinguish water falling from the sky, which has collected minerals in the air in its gravitational journey toward the center of our planet, from river water? Do they understand concepts of inflow and infiltration?

Every time I work on electronic equipment, in the back of my thoughts I think of Joey and the joy we shared building our first CPU-based systems, having “graduated” from single transistor and R/C/D (resistor/capacitor/diode) based systems. 

I say I build these systems now for Guin and Shelmi.

And I do.

But I also honour older relationships.

It is who I am, connected to sets of states of energy which no longer exist, knowing as we do that friends we had 40 years ago are not the same persons whose names they keep perpetuating.

The electronic dance partner taking shape in my laboratory will remain essentially the same throughout its period of utility.

Do we see what that means in how we define living systems?

Rate of change.

Labels.

Sets and subsets.

Summer solstice — would entities on other planetary systems understand that phrase?

Do I?

Time to let go of me (again)

Back in the laboratory where I feel most comfortable, where the only person I entertain is me.

I started a new life a few weeks ago, switching to the night shift at work, thinking I would free up my days and evenings to spend more time with people.

After a few weeks of this newfound freedom, I find myself back here in the home creative workspace where inventing new friends from electronic parts gives me a kind of joy that is spread out over a long stretch of time, unlike the quick roller coaster rides of joy on the dance floor that addictively attract me to those with whom I’ve danced.

I am at heart a solitary person who likes romantic walks under the stars with himself writing poems to imaginary people, sharing my writing with real people who most closely match my imagination.

Do I know what love is?  Not really.  I understand what working relationships are, where we pay attention to the needs of our fellow human beings, selflessly exchanging goods and services (including time) to meet the needs of others.

Otherwise, I don’t know what love is.

I don’t even know if I love myself.

I pause here in my life, taking a break from having fun imagining what it’s like to have fun with others, to let go of my selfish pursuit of friendships and look at these electromechanical parts in front of me, figuring out what I can uniquely do with them that I haven’t seen someone else assemble from their imagination.

Woz is right — motivation is better than knowledge in the realm of human endeavours.

I love to dance, love the people who love to dance.

I also love being alone.

I am not alone in this feeling of balancing social life vs. personal alone time, so sitting here alone in the workshop on dance night is not unique in itself.

It is 21:39, an hour and a half away from when I should leave the house and head toward my night shift job doing my part in the healthcare business to save lives.

I heard from “Helen” on social media.  We are still connected to each other although we haven’t seen each other in decades.  The short years we spent together in high school and college seemed like forever at the time.  The nearly fatal motorcar smashup which gave us both head concussions and shoulder/neck injuries almost 40 years ago still plague us today.

From that car wreck, my brain’s neural network changed, instantly forcing me to question the reality of everything I see.

I equate what I felt in the 30 seconds of regaining consciousness in the backseat of a car after the concussion to the dissociative characteristics of hallucinogenic entheogens.

I see everything differently, more so than when I was five years old and woke up to see brainwashing aspects of social training.

It does not make me any more different than others.

I have talked to myself in sufficient quantity tonight.

Talk to you again soon, Rick!

Maybe you’ll shake off this dull edge of lack of sleep and find happiness.

As your wife told you the other day, you haven’t truly laughed in pure joy in a long damn time.

Are you ever going to laugh and have fun again?

Does trying to have friends, trying to understand what they’re saying, when you can even hear them, require such hard work that it’s not fun anymore?

Right now, sadly, it seems so.

Boo hoo, the luxury of middle class, midlife bourgeois quasicrises! Ha ha ha ha ha! rofl

Close this self pity party blog entry and get back to work, you slob! Your future self will thank you!

Mars bars

How do space travelers relax?

Not the jet jockeys of early spaceflight days.

No, I’m talking about regular, nerdy scientists and engineers trapped together, strapped together on a flight to Mars.

What will they do that’s any different than the time they spent together training on Earth or in the ISS?

And why is that important here?

Well, I sit on the steps of the lone goose saloon in Rocket City, loud rock ‘n’ roll music blaring out the open doorway, sipping a carbonated soft drink, wondering.

I wander from place to place seeking answers, devoid of all but one close friend (my wife), able to contemplate being alone for i am alone, indirectly connected to billions of people, wondering.

Am I ever alone, always close to people on Earth I don’t know personally but with whom I exchange friendly greetings easily?

In space no one can hear your scream outside the capsule.

How about here?

Here in cyberspace where invitations for casual gatherings occur even as I type this…

I am not as alone here as I think I am.

On Mars the invitations will be limited, the permutations of random people gathering to have fun and share easy to calculate (small).

Is it worrisome?

Machines built by us don’t feel alone or lonely.

Time to build my next machine, eh?

Time for a little of that old radioshack magic!

Personal health

When, if ever, do tinnitus, scintillating scotoma, vertigo, and arthritic vertebrae have anything in common?

Is it the brain?

What about simultaneous GI tract issues?

One’s body constantly changes, subject to age-related deterioration, which is itself subject to the “law” of entropy.

Meanwhile, I pursue my art in the midst of life-altering if not life-ending body issues.

What would I do right now if I knew I was going to die tomorrow, next week or next month?

I am doing those things now.

After all, I am self-actualised! 😉

Ten years was long enough

As part of my life journey, I spent ten years as a celibate thinker, a meditative monk fully immersed in the joys and sorrows of life.

On my birthday this year, I decided to end my celibacy and move on to a new place, taking the next steps in thought and action by sharing my body with another person again.

Sometimes, taking risks are their own rewards.

Risking ridicule to share myself with another has generated great fear in the past. Whether through age, wisdom, or both, the fear is gone.

The journey goes on…