Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

I think of flying down in your sea of pins and feathers

At 3:00 AM, I just finished watching The Reader, which stars Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. Strangely, coincidentally, the movie has a tone which echoes my thinking lately. The movie concerns things which cannot be undone. Like all good drama, the movie is rich in "what if's." I've never been someone bedevilled by regrets. I believe if you act in a manner that is upright and which conforms with reality and keep accounts balanced in cases where you have caused injury or done something wrong then regret is pretty much avoidable. Even when it is not avoidable though, it rarely results in anything productive. All in all it is a pretty useless emotion. "What if," though, is another matter entirely.

Human existence is an incredible tangle of choices, coincidental events, and pure serendipity. I don't understand people who make plans for their whole lives. It seems a pretense of knowledge that nobody has, and yet some people make those plans. Entropy is a fact of life. Time does not run backwards. Things cannot be undone. In many ways, despite the fact that many people experience regret, I think that being able to undo things would merely create infinitely more chaos in existence. For everyone who has ever considered a regret, I wonder how many have actually sat down and thought about what it would take to undo a regret. We read stories like The Monkey's Paw and see movies like It's a Wonderful Life, and more to the point, movies like The Butterfly Effect, so I know that at least some people understand what I mean by untangling. Existence is a vast web of causes and effects. Sometimes I imagine "what if" with respect to things that have happened but which I wish had happened differently. I always conclude that it is better that things are what they have been, for better or worse. It is hard enough untangling the future and figuring the correct choices to make without the infinitely more complex task of having to untangle what has already occurred. I don't believe in fate anymore than I believe in gods.

For the past two weeks, my brain has been rather preoccupied with questions. I've been trying to untangle some things and figure them out and understand them. We cannot untangle the past, but the past shapes our perceptions of the present and the present is where we plot the course of our futures. The song playing now, referenced in the subject, has been on my mind this evening. Just for a lark, I typed it into Google and pulled the lever. It's surprising how music affects us. The first link took me to a page where the author was thinking about almost exactly the same kinds of things I've been pondering lately. Serendipity. I am surprised and amused. I disagree that our pursuits and questions are meaningless but perhaps the book of Ecclesiastes is right to observe that there is nothing new under the sun.

I disagree with the author's views on God, and consequently, his understanding of the meaning of existence, but other than that, I could write very similar things to what he's written on that page about relationships and connection. I suppose that I believe in soul mates, but I am no longer certain just what that concept entails, exactly, anymore. The only thing I can really say for certain is that I know what feels good and I have obtained, with much introspection, intuition, deduction and induction, some insights into why some things attract me and feel good to me. My understanding is by no means comprehensive. I find the gaps in my wisdom and knowledge to be disconcerting in their potential for peril.

Why do we end up wrestling with questions? Why do these things happen? To a large extent it is because we build and set into motion these Rube Goldberg contraptions of cause and effect, emotion and circumstance, every day with our choices, which seem so straightforward at the time. It gets funnier when two or three people, each making what they consider to be straightforward choices and rational decisions, set in motion complex tangles of circumstances, some foreseeable and others, not so much. It never ceases to amaze me.

One thing about a hermitic existence is that it is simple and understandable. The thing is, I don't know how hermits manage it. Life breaks through with its questions and strivings, always. That's its nature. There is a collection of fears, apprehensions, desires and longings sitting on my plate lately that I had begun to think I had sorted out. I don't know. Maybe I am making something out of nothing and mountains out of molehills. I just don't know and that stirs up quite a bit of quandary. Perhaps I should let sleeping dogs lie. I have too much curiosity to sit and wait comfortably though. Maybe I should just wait uncomfortably anyway. I suspect that there is indeed such a thing as being too proactive. I really don't even have any kind of course of action requiring any decision from me in the first place, although the potential of being faced with portentious decisions leaves me scratching my head and wondering just what I do know and how do I really feel about certain things. I think I should just stay alert and jump to as few conclusions as possible until I actually see what may be coming down the road. Now is the time when a more zen brain would be really useful. It's too bad that I don't have one of those.

So much for running in circles. I should just get some sleep. That's been rather elusive this morning as well. One thing about it though, despite the insomnia, having something on my brain which exercises my neurons this way does proviide some interesting material for dreams when I do sleep. Yesterday morning I had a dream of flying. I haven't had one of those in years. It makes me wonder what got into my subconscious.

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Off-Topic, perhaps...

I think that "one right person" stuff is mystical crap.

That being said, it's really nice when you find someone(s) you can live life with. Ironically for me, that person didn't happen to be one of the people I fell deeply and tragically "in love" with (read: dopamine overdose.) It's like I totally skipped the romance phase and went straight for the oxytocin.

Of course, to really converse at all I should probably start by watching that movie (I've never seen The Reader.)

Re: Off-Topic, perhaps...

The movie actually has very little to do with the topic at hand, other than the point that they both concern considerations of human actions in the past which are irrevokable and yet those actions continue to bear consequences in the present and future.

I believe that "one right person" is mystical crap too, as does the author of that piece I linked. As I said, I don't believe in fate or destiny or a "divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will." We make our own destinies, albeit not always with full conscious intent or even good foresight.

I've spent years in therapy with what if, although the regrettable actions were not my own but those of others.

Perhaps rather than endless introspection hermits and those in a cloistered life strive to dwell only in the present. It seems to me a luxury that few can afford.

I don't know if it is better to be stuck in the past or stuck in the future. I think it is more productive to set future goals but if the idea is to berate oneself for not being there yet it is just as pointless as lamenting past behaviors.

I love having dreams of flying. It's so easy in my dreams that I've tried it when awake but the most I achieve is lightheadedness. When I was a kid I would lay down in the dark and practice floating and I don't even achieve that anymore.

Giant steps are what you take walking on the moon

When I was a kid I used to lie on my back and pretend walking on the ceiling. Even as a child, I understood that flight was impossible from a human physiological perspective, but that didn't stop me from attempting to glide. Unfortunately for me, having no understanding of aerodynamics at the time, my fascination with the possibility did not result in my inventing the hang-glider. Heh.

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