a long ramble

Last night I did a reading with China Martens (The Future Generation), Al Burian (Burn Collector), and a couple of other people whose names escape me (sorry!). I hadn’t done a reading since last summer. This one went much better than the last, I think. It occurred to me that maybe I should do readings more often. It also occurred to me that maybe I should promote my zine more than I do. I have always been bad at self-promotion. It goes against my nature.

After the show, as I rode my bike toward home through the narrow city streets bathed in orange street lamp glow, I thought about how insular my life has become lately. It used to be that this was a common occurrence: attending some event, often paired with frenetic social interaction, and then riding the streets late at night in the silence, breathing in the air around me and feeling the pedals move me forward. This doesn’t happen so much anymore. Because there is always the push-pull within me: to hibernate or throw myself out in the social fray. It has always been there, and I expect it always will be there. Sometimes I think I forget how much control I have over my own life and my own experiences within that life. Sometimes I definitely forget what’s good for me and what is not so good for me. I am forever scrambling to balance what needs to be balanced. Dropping little experiences here and there on either end of the scale, trying to keep one side or the other from crashing to the ground.

But do I miss the constant repetition of those nights? The more than occasional sense of futility at their end? What was my motivation? To stave off loneliness? To kill boredom? To seek a mate? Certainly these were factors. Of course now I have found a mate, and no longer feel the cold breath of loneliness wafting over my neck. So that’s two motivating factors that are now crossed off the list. I would not say either that I am often bored anymore. However, I think I can say that I am under-stimulated. It is after nights like last night that I realize this. When I am bound tight and deep in the monotony of the day-t0-day is when I am not even aware of this chronic under-stimulation. But brief flashes alert me to the fact that I am not creating enough; I am not exercising those channels of release that I need to keep free and clear. They are clogging with the effluvia of complacency, and that is something I do not want to happen. I think that people easily use the excuse of aging as a way to remove themselves from the uncertainty and spontaneity of the more erratic lives so many of us have lived in years past. It is an alluringly simple excuse to give when we don’t want to face the facts that we have become complacent; that we no longer seek out the necessary stimuli to keep us questioning, to keep us creating, and to keep us living lives of exploration.

Well, I don’t want to stop exploring.

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