Tag Archives: unique

Awareness in a World Where Your Insignificance is Expected

It has been a common complaint that “this generation” acts with entitlement. I use quotation marks, because no one really has a good grip on the generational time frames and I often make up my personalized group called “The Natest Generation.” Oh, sure, people can make up time spans just as easy, but until there is some real consensus I’m keeping my own. Thank you.

With this stock complaint is the sub-complaint that everything should be handed to us, we need an award for everything we do, and everything should be the paradigm of convenience. That goes along with the alternate complaint that we want to be mail-clerk CEOs, because working 30-40 years for that kind of power is ridiculously long, right?

Regardless that I’m personally an example to the contrary (apparently, I’m everyone’s “exception to the rule”), there might be some merit to those statements but in a not-so-derogatory manner. It’s quite possibly an unconscious act of defiance. The younger generations are unwittingly trying to make themselves stand out. A meta-understanding of self-awareness, if you will.

If we are to sit and review history in the last 2,000 years, we should notice something. How many people are remembered over that course of time? A few, all things considered. There are more forgotten, many, many, many more. How many of them were peaceful, law-abiding, good-natured, well-behaved folk? Even fewer, yes? In fact, people who touted the virtues of non-violence such as Jesus of Nazareth and Mahatma Gandhi were a big thorn in someone else’s side. Whenever I see a bumper sticker that says “well-behaved women rarely make history,” its de facto ignorance of the male perspective smacks of deception. Do you not realize how many “good little boys” have been forgotten in time? Simply put, historical figures were assholes to somebody.

Now that we’ve established it generally takes bratty behavior to be memorable, we should look at the underlying expectations of the last 2,000 years. If it wasn’t feudalism, it was slavery, and then strict social class delineations that were imposed by a handful of people who had power and wealth, whether it was royalty, slave owners, or an overbearing political structure. Society has relied on the majority of people being marginalized through one philosophy or another. The cogs of the machine must be properly installed for the press to operate.

Now, let’s take a look at today. We have a world that’s populated with 7.12 billion people. That, in and of itself, is overwhelming competition for identity. The Earth is settled for the most part. There are no “new worlds” anymore, and I don’t see a SeaQuest attitude about the oceans or a Star Trek attitude about the stars. Just ask the budget-weary NASA. Shocking philosophies such as nihilism and existentialism have become old hat. Culture and art have already gone through multiple phases. Music is recycling melodies and styles from decades ago. This is the perfect storm for another dark age. Anyone who doesn’t want to be treated like a serf has to act differently somehow.

Maybe we’re just all trying to live the happiest life we can, because there is  little in the way of circumstantial developments to be memorable about? What, should we start another war or something?

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Remembering Isn’t Always Painful

A storage unit is like a time capsule. If left alone long enough, the mind can pack away whole sections of your life. These can be unlocked with the right key, and maybe should be from time to time. Memories can range from good to bad, like any life will provide, and serve for reflection. Tonight is a night in which I’m feeling particularly sentimental.

While going through some old material of the past 10 years, I found this:

A memory

R. She was crazy, and that’s what made her great.
© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

In my mind, it was an hour’s worth of sketch and fun. It wouldn’t stand under the scrutiny of professionals and masters, no. It’s a joke of the drawing world. What it was intended to do, though, was masterfully executed. In the last fifteen minutes, I was able to remember three years worth of my life I had tucked away in the plastic bins of my mind.

I first met R. in a coffee shop. Aside from the knitting, she stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew she wasn’t from around here, and sure enough, I was right. She was, however, one of the most spirited, adventurous, and exciting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Fortunately, I’m not completely stupid in the ways of life.

Being the wet blanket on all things living, I knew she wouldn’t flourish here. The fields of Ohio are not for the vibrant, artistic, free-thinking, liberal, progressive, odd, weird, and freakish. I say all of that with the purest of love, as I would rather be uncomfortable on any given day with the aforementioned than having the tightness in my chest (true story) with traditionalists. Sure, average people are generally good. They’re not out to destroy the world, but a squeamish discussion about sex with Stalking Cat (RIP) would be a better use of my time.

During the handful of years I knew her, I learned of her adventures through America and abroad. We’d smoke Parliaments and talk, as there’s not much action in the fields. She was from the East coast, and had been a part of the NYC scene for a while. There is a cliche of rural folk wanting to see the big city, and I’m here to tell you there’s a reason. If you were born in a location where you’ve felt comfortable all your life, then I commend you. There are plenty that aren’t, and I’ll be damned if the want of human connectivity isn’t high when you don’t fit in. Large cities provide a buffet of personalities too irresistible to pass up. I should know. I miss NYC, too… OK, select portions of NYC.

To divert from the topic a tad, I also understand the children of the urban jungle. They’ve gotten lost, too, but in a different way. Odd rural children are singled out; normal urban children are lost in the sauce. Different situation, similar isolation. I think that’s why the adage “familiarity breeds contempt” gains a foothold. What is missing from that statement, though, is that the familiarity of what you don’t want in life breeds your contempt.

Regardless, she was all about embracing life with arms open and eyes shut. It’s that kind of recklessness that both intrigues and scares me half to death. I’m too cautious. I know I am. I’m boring to most people. I can feel their disappointment in my lack of outward appearance. I know it’s that charisma most people want, and it pains me to know I have little to give.

Like most friendships, we lost touch. It wasn’t out of bad blood, or at least not to my knowledge. From what I had heard from others, she had married back on the East coast and started a family. I couldn’t verify any of it though. So, who knows? While that does surprise me to some extent, it also occurs to me that she has wants and needs of her own. If I ever met someone (by now, the zombie apocalypse is more plausible), I’d like her to have similar qualities. I’m half tempted to buy a pack of pfunks for old time’s sake. Here’s to you, R., you wonderfully brilliant madwoman.

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