Consumption of Art

Although I’ve turned into a defender of life, sometimes I feel as though I’m a bit of an apologist, constantly finding excuses for life’s undesirable aspects. I’ve even said how boring life would be without such drama. But you know what, I don’t enjoy drama — I much prefer comedy. I do like romance and adventure, but only when the story isn’t too intense and the outcome is pleasant.

So in that sense, I find actual life kinda shitty. But living in this world appears to be necessary for the creation and consumption of art. And in this context, I define “art” as the expressions of human skill and imagination e.g. movies, books, TV shows, music, culinary arts, video games, gadgets — and this includes all forms of expression: blogs, Reddit comments, YouTube videos, even explicit material.

My life has always centered around the consumption of art — and I typically prefer engaging with art over interacting with “live” people. So it’s within this context that I defend life. I defend it as a canvas on which art is created. I’ve yet to appreciate the beauty in living out a mundane life — for me, living this life has been more of a means to consume art.

It appears that my point is this: I don’t have to like every aspect of life in order to appreciate my overall relationship with life. Life is going to do some freaky nasty things, and I’m not always going to appreciate those things, but that’s fine. I’ll have to deal with some of those things directly, but I guess that’s the cost of having such an amazingly immersive entertainment platform — sometimes it gets nuts in here.

Cyclic Existence

Why, when we experience something significant, does it strike a chord, is it the thrill of a thing first encountered, or is it remembrance, the thrill of reuniting with something once thought lost?

I don’t know if I’ve lived a thousand lives, but I feel as though I’ve seen this all many times. I’ve been old since I’ve been young. There’s a familiarity with what I encounter, sometimes it’s fond remembrance and sometimes weary repetition.

And often, after posing a question to myself, then pausing, an answer appears from within. I sought no council, ingested no novel information, I merely paused. There appears to be something deep within that knows more than my upbringing and experience would suggest.

Perhaps unfathomable depths do lie below the surface of this life, who knows. I’ve been told I was born in a hospital just outside of Boston a few days before Christmas. But to say that’s where I began, feels like an untruth. Am I delusional, or am I sensing what lies beneath?

What To Do

Should I be doing something?

You will be compelled to act by internal urges and external forces. For example, internally, things like boredom, hunger, lust, and curiosity, will drive you to do things. And externally, family, social pressure, culture, and the weather, will drive you to do other things. All “you” have to do is watch it happen, your participation is guaranteed.

These impulses will result in action, there’s no stopping them. But what’s nice, is when we accept these actions and view them lightheartedly. To see life as an enjoyable show, that’s what “you” should be doing.

Judgmental Anger

You’re angry and blaming her unpleasant circumstances on her poor choices. But perhaps you’re emotional because you’re scared — fearing that you don’t control your own life, so you’re lashing out.

If you can convince yourself that she’s in that position due to her bad decisions, then you can continue believing you have control. But if she ended up in that situation, without choice, then there’s a chance you may also end up there — because without choice, outcomes are beyond your control.

But don’t be afraid, life has gotten you this far, you haven’t been in control this entire time. So let go, accept life’s narrative, and be without fear or frustration.

Vital Self-Awareness

Consciousness, awareness of our own existence, may indicate that we’re here to observe life. We’re an audience.

A show without an audience is incomplete — consciousness adds significance to existence. Without a witness, our actions aren’t acknowledged, it’s as if they never happened.

Awareness of our lives is what makes living worthwhile. And, a pleasant audience watches patiently, receptive to the story unfolding before it.

Bloody Example

As I was putting a large sharp kitchen knife into an overhead cabinet, something metallic on the cabinet’s door rattled and I mistakenly believed another kitchen knife was about to fall on me. In my confusion, as I’m quickly turning away, the knife I was holding pierced my opposite thumb, it was deep. I yelled and dropped the knife, which was not a good idea since it could have caused collateral damage. I ran through the house clutching my hand, accompanied by a bit more yelling.

I didn’t choose to imagine a knife was about to fly out at me, I didn’t choose to turn away and stab my thumb, I didn’t choose to carelessly drop the knife, I didn’t choose to yell or run through the house, and I didn’t choose to feel all the associated stress. If choice played a part, I’d have chosen to avoid the entire incident.

But life is not a series of choices — I was compelled to take part and observe, as the scene played out before me.

In Patience

What are you saving your patience for — you can’t stockpile it, you can’t take it with you — it’s available only now, and only grows when given. Apply it everywhere, in every moment, to everyone. If you’re tired, frustrated, angry, annoyed, upset — let it go, and let patience flow.