26 Apr 2011

What is my purpose?

What is my purpose in life? At least, at this stage in my life? I need to figure this out, because I feel so lost.

My purpose is... to package savoury. It's a job, jobs are good, they give people purpose. They give people income. I can get lots of hours, and steady pay. It's a recipe for insanity, but it's better than other jobs I've had. My co-workers are pleasant, in spite of, or because of their possibly-dangerous levels of blood-savoury content. We have savoury in our blood, literally, it's so dusty. My eyes are heavy, I just got off work.

It's no dream job, and yes, I'm a cog, but Cogswell isn't all that bad in the live action version, though he does have a mustache like in the cartoon. Wait, wasn't that Mr. Spacely who had the mustache? Anyway, when he drops by, it's not a drag. A purpose, not the purpose, could be found in packaging savoury. Running out the clock. Running on auto-pilot to keep the hands busy because it isn't break time yet, but break time is coming, Timmie's time, candy junk smoke cards time, am radio game-show time. Purpose in making enough money to live, if not independently, at least more than I have been thus far.

My purpose is to stop backsliding into the indulgences of protracted adolescence and ugly ego-trips. I've done those juvenile delinquencies to death, but it's been so wrapped up in this image of The Artist as Rebel, or something, that I still worry about becoming a goody-goody. It's time to leave the carnival funhouse mirrors. But I still get to look back and laugh every so often. And even take it seriously too, like a libran on tramadol.

It would be purposeful to accept that the "party like a rock-star" days are over for me. There's just no point in continuing to try and recapture unrepeatable, context-bound past glories. Until I find a new way to party, or to be a rock-star, I can deal with my nostalgia for the lifestyle I grazed by using the notes, song scraps, memories, and experience I accumulated over those quasi rock-star nights and days, for creative endeavors. For fuck sake, that's what I've been meaning to do since I started aping the rock-stars in the first place. But the means became an end. Many ends.

My purpose is to stay ahead of my opponent, the part of myself that's always dragging us down (slow anesthetized suicide, anyone?) in our neck-and-neck race - just in time for turning thirty, which is the new twenty, thus, adulthood, or something. Thirty! Fuck, that still gives me the creeps, that that's happening this year. The stupid waves are at record amplitude. I'm going through the wash, but I don't feel clean. I feel nauseous and out of place - a bit like Bingo the Clowno, except he did have a place in the circus, upon accepting his role. I don't have that luxury. But I do have a salvation army bed to fall back on, if things get too hairy. I haven't yet burned the bridge to the Wiseman Center. I'll even eat the Newfoundland fish brew they serve there sometimes - if I have to, in order to be polite, and take nourishment, literally.

Purpose could be had in quitting caffeine and re-growing the capacity to feel actual energy again. It's like I'm on pharmaceutical-grade proletarian speed all day. I substituted the high-powered club-uppers for a shitty drug that got its hooks in me. It burns out my brain just the same - it's just  less noticeable, that's all. But I'm clueing in. It might be nice to digest normally, and sleep and wake normally, and have more than a two hour time window to get anything done. While I'm at that, I could quit the trazadone, and learn to sleep naturally again, and allow my dreams to flow naturally again, and be something approaching recharged in the morning. Staying off the cigarettes goes without saying.

This lethargy problem is the bane of my existence. I never tire of saying that, anyway. It would be purpose enough to solve that problem. Whole chapters would follow from that, novels even, spin-off prequels, motion picture adaptations! Easier said than done. I don't know what the root of the lethargy problem is. Could be so many fucking things. That's why I'm always on about drugs, if not on drugs. Well that's reason number fifty-nine. Maybe it's parasites. Maybe it's what everybody feels when they get on the wrong side of their twenties but most people don't complain about it as much as I do. Maybe I can't solve the lethargy problem and I just gotta live with it. That suuuuuure wooooooould suck. But even if that's what has to pass, I could at least avoid using drugs as a quick and stupid way of feeling alive again. I could stabilize. It would take time, and more patience than I currently have - a lot more. But purpose would flower from just that state, the state of stabilization, manifold function like a marigold, unfurling. Crazier things have happened - not to me, but they've happened, I figure.

I could take purpose in keeping a clean head, if I could cultivate just a little more discipline. I'm not talking monastic shit, just more willpower than I've got now, the little that's been whittled to a sliver since addiction. With a clean head, I could work on my spirit - not with brute force, but a light touch - addition by subtraction, Japanese gardening. But I shouldn't drive myself crazy trying to live up to my fussy detail-obsessed standards concerning things that don't matter much really. They results in manic depressive cycles - no harmony or equilibrium.

Perhaps most importantly... I could continue weening myself off the zoloft, until I get to zero, and stay at that baseline, that I haven't known in so many years - and see what it's like. Reconnect with the full weight of my emotions. Something like that really happens after quitting anti-depressants, I hear.

Purpose could be had in going about my day-to-day life with sufficient satiating focus on the here and now - and not worrying about a goddamn career or a degree, or where the start of my path to martyrdom or artistic maverick is. I don't know what the hell to study or do with my life, what my vocation is, what I'm suited for, if anything - and what's the point in banging my head against a wall trying to solve that koan?

Purpose could be had in playing one or two more shows with "In The Flesh", polishing those cover tunes, then quitting the band to focus on my own stuff. There's also.... sigh.... the For The Love of Learning collaborative album project, tentatively titled "The Drop Ins", that I started last February, since abandoned. It's more than worthwhile, for so many reasons. I want to finish that. But in the purpose-driven future, I shouldn't take these draining logistical nightmares for art projects. Rather, I should be true to my own artistic drive, and follow my creative bliss. It's still in there somewhere, I feel, but my compass doesn't work too well here. There's so much noise. Ringing in my ears, campaign signs on the streets in clusters.

My purpose is in keyboard improvisation technique. To be a one man Keith Jarrett, that would do. I mean, the attempt is purposeful, obviously the goal is absurd. Improvisation is where my damn soul is, I'm just realizing that! Maybe if I was in Nellie-town with Malik and one of his many fine bass-playing colleagues, my purpose would be in doing the power trio thing we talked about, but here and now, it's improv, and not for an audience! It's my improvs, that's exactly what I should be throwing myself into, if I had to pick one thing - and maybe I fucking well should pick one thing, cause I'm spread thin and stagnant, at least to the behaviorists. My mind is smoldering, but the fuel to set it blazing is buried under some uncooperative brainlobe. Maybe in the next life chapter I could incorporate an audience. I want to get away from ego trips. Okay, and into solipsism, but that's not quite the same I don't think.

My purpose is to gradually improve myself. Let's be realistic. Run with Briar, around town, around the lake, down the jogging paths - and see if it's really true that there's such a thing as going from this flimsy body I'm stuck in, to something noticeably fitter. Watch her when she starts a new painting session and learn the basics. Conquer my fear of the canvas and give in to my latent fascination with oils.

Purpose could be had in eating better - and allowing that to be a new paradigm. Cooking with Briar. It's amazing what I enjoy, that I would never think of myself. I could see there being a chemical spiritual interface there. I already have an inkling about how to eat a peach and not merely consume it. Zen may not be purposeful, but it could serve, for me. There are shadows of forests, but it's hard to make sense of it.

My purpose is to love my woman. Yes, I feel possessive these days. Not like I own her, but like there's a bond. I don't know if that's that the done thing, to blog about this sort of thing. But just because I was sentimental once, on a blog, about a relationship that failed, well, that doesn't mean I ought to censor myself forever after, does it? I'd refer you to The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - you know, that sort of thing. Things rarely feel worth blogging about. Nonsense is usually the best subject matter, it takes a rare bit of sense to attract words from me, in sentence case, no less. I could become someone she could lean on, one day, when she would trust me and herself enough to fall like that, into my arms.

My purpose is to love my family. And let them know that in ways less run of the mill than my standard repertoire.

My purpose is to love my program family. Not take them for granted or forget how many times I've been welcomed back into the rooms. We could go on hikes again, that's the best way to break the ice with them, things were gooey last summer but they froze a bit this winter. Purpose could easily be in not letting anything drive me to drink again - but rather to reach out - even pick up the fifty pound cellphone.

My purpose is to love this land, as an adopted home, for now - especially over the coming spring and summer. Enjoy the days.

My purpose is to love my friends back west. Write them more often, pick up the phone occasionally with the faith that the dread I feel when dialing someone I haven't talked to in forever will, before long, fade to laughter and informative Kootenay trivia. Use Skype for god's sake. Maybe get a webcam.

This is my purpose now, and I need to write this to feel right, cause I'm lost and exhausted and a little messed up. But there could be purpose in a few things, hypothetically speaking.

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