Goals you meet, resolutions you keep
Another eight-week drought. I also failed to mark the 10-year anniversary of this little publishing enterprise; I'm generally just not moved to write. That's bad.
It's one of a set of symptoms I'd like to address in the New Year. Is that really possible?
I don't have a tradition of making Resolutions. It creates an unattractive aspect of "destined to fail" that I generally prefer to avoid. On the other hand the roll-over of the calendar is a natural arbitrary marker for personal orienteering. With all that's been going on in the past few months, in some ways it legitimately feels like 2012 will be something of a new chapter.
That's a seductive thought: turn the page on the day, the month, the year. Start fresh. Start a new direction. Not just minor tweaking around the edges but a whole new path.
This isn't a "burn it all down" blog post. I'm not about to leave my job, my lady, move to a new country, or otherwise attempt change via external vector. Other than losing some weight ("damn Phife you got fat") I don't think there's much outside-in work that needs to be done: everything is really going great.
And yet I can't write. That augers for something internal.
One of the better pieces I put together back in the day revolved around the interplay between ideas, actions, and the wider world we all co-inhabit. To wit: while we don't have very much control over the universe, we do have at least some control over how we think about it, how we perceive, and this makes us better (or worse, or just different) actors, which is our only real chance to "make a dent" as they say.
Further, this is a recursive and social phenomena. Things can catch on and re-enforce, and catch on and spread. Better ideas producing better actors make for better outcomes make for better ideas, and — cue the strings — we gradually iterate our way to utopia.
Given that this is still something I believe — just writing the above felt great to be honest — my own saga over the past few years has been somewhat spotty. Brief flashes aside, I haven't been quite up to my usual levels of energy and enthusiasm. I haven't dazzled or surprised myself in a while. It's a familiar little lament, and part of me is disgusted every time I make it, but what's the alternative? Just shut up and fade away? I don't think that's right either.
Creating inside-out renovation is literally easier said than done. It's the source of every cliché about "walking the talk". Hypocrisy is tempting because it's so easy, and initially feels so good. It's junk food for the soul: espouse great things, squirm around the practicalities, rationalize, dissemble, lather rinse repeat. That's how a lot of us live for long stretches at a time; hustlers of the self.
This is a cyclical thing too, recursive and social just as the above. False proclamations lead to hypocritical actions lead bad outcomes lead to cynical take-aways, and bad moods have a way of spreading. Surround yourself with cynics and soon you can't even get it up to proclaim. You hit bottom; no energy; spiritual heat-death.
That's the risk, but nothing ventured nothing gained. As above, the first step is "espouse great things" — to have some values, to take a risk, to reach a bit. The rest is keeping the faith: listening to the results, being open to what happens, not coming up short.
The problem with being stuck on writing is that's where proclamations begin. Without words, how does one espouse anything?
Maybe a couple resolutions are in order. In addition to starting to sweat off the blubber of 2011, I should start writing by force, "do the pages" as they say. Writing is like a muscle, and mine is shaky weak and slack. Worth a shot anyway, but for now I'm off to load up on new music and hit the gym.