New Things

It’s funny how new things bring states and sensations that are not only hard to predict but are usually counter to the intended effect. We often say we’re seeking change just for the sake of it, throwing ourselves at something unpredictable in an effort to shake something loose inside us. But when we choose something new, be it music, a shirt, some new place or situation, the idea is to bring on a specific change – there usually being some really specific ideas involved, highly conceptualized results desired. Irony wins again! We get what we asked for instead of what we wished for: we’re quickly immersed in new, sometimes uncomfortable, and always revealing, perspectives.

I bought a fairly expensive zip-up hoodie a couple of months back, it was a concession to myself as I was feeling like shit and thought that indulging in a fashion ubiquity, one I’d been slightly guilty and embarrassed about liking, would improve my mood – I would, however briefly, be street cool. Instead it just made me feel old. Which was okay, actually. Kind of helpful, in fact. Ultimately the hoodie just made me feel exactly as cool, fashionistically speaking, as I’ve always been, which would accurately be described as un.

It’s a small example, I can totally do better.

A while back I made a couple of pretty big changes, circumstantially and philosophically, in an effort to bring on the tumult of life. It was meant to disrupt and then sand blast the chaff away from my psyche and soul, leaving me raw, fresh and totally sensitive to my new surroundings. I think in my head I would be hotter too. It was meant to reveal the real me, all undimmed and radiant. It was to be dramatic: transformation through trauma. [aside: everyone was to be terribly impressed]. Instead the tumult and turbulence not only failed to manifest this being but actually subsided below normal levels, consequently bringing to the surface aspects and vantages that I’d hoped would be the chaff.

Intention seems to be blind and perspective wears cleats (it needs traction to properly leverage the kick to the nuts, you see). Plus, everyone should be aware, irony is a motherfucker.

Perspective is definitely the thing and people, annoyingly enough, are the key. People are the changing perspective that takes a static image and make it all swooshy and 3D. They keep on moving around you, looking at the same things you’re looking at, and saying stuff, fucking up the clear sight line you thought you had to the horizon. I realized, at some point (let us pretend it was long ago), that my penchant for solitude to aid clarification and enlightenment, was often just retrenching. Remove the hard stuff from your view and you don’t have to work so hard to focus around it.

I don’t mean to bash solitude, me and solitude have totally got each other’s back, it’s just that if you’re using solitude to abridge your existence rather than adapt it the time would be better spent with your hand down your pants (I don’t mean to bash masturbation… oh, wait…). I reckon, after one has taken one’s space in order to facilitate a process of inner harmonization, if that harmonization can’t take contact with people then it’s not harmony, it’s just humming with your fingers jammed knuckle deep in your ears.

By consequence choosing someone new in your life is a huge thing; the instant, unforeseeable perspective jars and quests at you, forcing knowledge both ways, through the sieve of evolving personal context. It’s said that the great thing about a new person in your life is that you get to retell all your favourite stories, reveling in the fun and drama. It seems to me that it’s the shake up they get under someone else’s gaze; these old truths, myths and legends getting a good airing so you can see which bits have rusted and fallen off. The bits that fall off tell you stuff in quiet, clunky whispers no one else can hear.

Our stories always change because the end is forever different. I love getting the chance to hear my friends tell new people stories I heard years before – spot the differences and figure out what changed and why. I used to think it was lying but it’s really the opposite of that.

So coming to know someone is ultimately renewing, allowing a triangulation of selves that promises or hints at all sorts of stuff in the past and future. It can be really disconcerting stuff, no matter how cool and exciting, but only if you venture a certain distance into that new relationship, embracing it and being willing to live with it’s redefinitions and challenges. And that’s why the gods gave us orgasms. It’s a balance thing.

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5 responses to “New Things

  1. This is very wise and resonant for me. Good work, chap.

    Now, where do I pick up my orgasm?

    • Oh, I’m sorry! The orgasms are only available to subscribers in the southern hemisphere. It’s our new reducing carbon miles shipping policy.
      Geez Margo, I was eating dinner and you almost made pie come out my nose.

  2. OK the only way I can make a comment after the foregoing comments is to pretend I didn’t read them 🙂

    Great post. I think you’re so right about getting things straight in your head versus having to respond to other people. Being social is hard!! But totally worth the struggle.

    • It’s funny. I was telling someone close to me the other day how you happened to teach me how to get through a particular social exchange I always struggled with. I really don’t know why I struggled as it’s pretty easy, but I always used to get stressed out and panicky when people would say ‘it was good to see you’ at the end of the evening or whenever. I would get all grateful that they’d lie to make me feel better and include me (just a little insecure) and i would freeze up and not know what to say or how to express the gratitude. So one night I was at the Moon visiting you guys with Paul and Jen and at the end of the night, when the things of farewell were being said, and I was getting all panic stricken, you calmly touched my shoulder (I was always impressed that you noticed and understood my panic), looked in my eyes and said, ‘just say, it was good to see you, too’.
      It may seem silly, but that was actually a particularly important social turning point for me; because it was good to see you, too. And because that was true it seemed that the inverse could be.
      Thanks Grace.

  3. Oh, you made me choke on my Milo! That’s very funny. I don’t remember that, but I’m glad something I said was helpful 🙂

    It’s funny, I think the things people say just before “Goodbye” can be a minefield. “Don’t be a stranger” often means the reverse. “Look me up sometime” or “We must do this again” generally mean “don’t!” or “you won’t see me for dust!”

    I would hope that if someone told me it was good to see me, with a smile, that it really was good. If they told me it was good to see me while looking the other way and edging down the stairs, perhaps not.

    What a blessing language is! Allowing us to clearly communicate complex thoughts! or lie our asses off.

    Much simpler if you pick fleas off people you like, and bite those you don’t. At least chimps know where they stand.

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