Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Can the unexpected be unexpected when you are expecting the unexpected?

"We came all this way to explore the moon and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth."
-Bill Anders

I moved to California four months ago. I came here for very specific purposes and reasons and with very specific intentions and goals. Not plans. I didn't have plans. My only plan was to not have any plans; to let whatever happened happen. And that has certainly... well... happened. I came to make music. However, there was a kink built into this chain of hope: I had been living out of a suitcase for three months. In case you were wondering, pianos don't fit in suitcases. I tried. They just don't. So I came here to make music and the closest I found myself was singing to my iPod while walking to work, which had adverse effects as the homeless population doesn't like the common folk stealing their thunder (and apparently some 'common folk' seem to think I am crazy. It's fine). Needless to say, I found myself exceedingly frustrated. From this frustration bred some form of nostalgic loneliness and abject self-loathing which naturally had an ironic and peculiar result...

So first, grant this one question:

Can the unexpected be unexpected when you are expecting the unexpected?

To that I say oh heavens yes! It is incredible how we, as humans, in our daily lives never realize that we are having 'a moment' until that moment is over. We live in our memories! I find this sad, and frankly, all too true. We have all these moments of which we aren't even aware, and then we have one that seems so significant that we are suddenly presently aware of it and we can't handle it. The impending result, is a nervous breakdown or the occasional panic attack. We call this emotional reaction, 'surreal.' I had one of these said moments not too long ago. No, no. Not one of these moments. Rather, the last two months have been one, giant, on-going moment. I feel confident in saying however, that now after so many of these circumstances in such a short amount of time, I am more able to remain present in such a heightened level of awareness, and therefore, have been able to skip right over such a breakdown, or panic attack. Nonetheless I was, ironically, caught off-guard. I suppose I was caught off-guard because I wasn't allowing myself to be present. Therein lies the conundrum. We are always expecting particular events to come to pass in the future, and yet the future we are expecting is materializing right in front of us while we are still waiting for what is happening in the present to happen to us in the future! We never realize the power of self-fulfilling-prophesy. We are waiting for and expecting these things to come to pass and expending so much subconscious mental and emotional energy on them that we subconsciously materialize them and they end up happening right in front of our faces, and still, we never see them... and we keep waiting. It is a cycle I know all too well; to always feel like you are waiting for your life to start, only to realize that it has been proceeding, ever onward, without you. And better still, the universe, or God, or what have you, is all the while trying to make this very fact known to us. Usually by as small a means as possible...

So begins my example. My 'ah-ha' moment came after a series of bus-related events that started with a recurring err on my part by way of a lack of patience. About which I have learned that one who is patient is one who is present. But that is a whole other blog. The actual moment though, came about as I was walking on the beach this last Sunday. I was allowing myself to become lost in worries, negativity, and more specifically loneliness. I was walking and thinking deeply, not allowing the incredible surroundings I was in to truly sink-in, when I felt an intense sharp pain in the bottom of my bare right foot. I quickly became present in the situation and looked at my foot only to see a small sand-covered sliver sticking perpendicularly out of my foot. It was, however, upon further inspection not a sliver at all, but the stinger of a honey bee. I then saw the bee on the sand, motionless, just inches from my foot. It would not hit me until moments later what an important lesson I had just learned. It struck me odd that, after the intense
sting of the bee, the first thing that entered my mind was sadness. Not anger. Not frustration. Not even physical pain. Just sadness. Sadness for the bee! This was my train of thought: "Ouch! What is that? Oh, I got stung by a bee. A honey bee. The honey bee is dead. Honey bees are a threatened species. I just killed a threatened species. Sadness. Oh yeah, that hurts like hell. Poor bee." And there I was. I was back on the beach. I felt the water on my feet and the wind on my face. No more loneliness. No more negativity. Just more life. Just more music.

And so it was. Something as small as a honey bee can rip us back into the present where we belong and show us that our lives have been materializing right in front of our faces. Or right under our fingertips... or by way of "the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue."
Be it necessary to continue reading... or perhaps listening...?
A honey bee taught me the fine art of the possible.

High Life Scenery-The Rocket Summer
(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay-Sara Bareilles live version
Hills and Valleys-The Rocket Summer
Bottom of the Barrel-Amos Lee
Morning-Amos Lee
Skipping Stone-Amos Lee
Smash Into You-Beyonce
Refuge (When It's Cold Outside)-John Legend
Ain't No Reason-Brett Dennen