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Sound and Fury

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying Nothing.
-WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
 

Many people consider this to be a cynical commentary on life. I don’t. I think it sums up in 10 lines a very accurate account of how we live life. Not all the time, but enough to take notice. What we choose to Strut and Fret about is not so much the problem; it’s just the circus. It’s that we think it has so much significance…

We human beings are crazy. We are the best show in town. That’s why reality television is so popular; it just doesn’t get any better. To start, we don’t admit that we are collectively living life under some sort of threat. Not just sometimes, but most of the time. Sometimes low-grade. At other times, it is as if we are pinned down with a heavy boot across our neck, choking the life out of us. We also have a collective conspiracy that we want people to think we are perfect and there is nothing threatening us – that’s called marketing. I often thought that the Editors of People Magazine should change the name to People You’re Not.

We want others to believe that all is well; that we are happening (and you are not). But, it doesn’t take much to set-off the “Sound and Fury.” Sometimes it’s a benign comment. A person who’s driving too slow or too fast. Getting lost. Being late. A bank statement. A bill. All the things you can’t control. People in your way. People stopping you from getting on your way… We are in a low-grade resting place waiting to explode.

There is a reason video games and weed are so popular; they postpone the “Sound and Fury”. Those are just two of the many answers to this dilemma. There’s also greed, sex, alcohol and other drugs, having a million “friends” on Facebook, having a killer body, and plastic surgery. There are lots of solutions to the problem, but like all solutions, they more often than not affirm the problem rather than solve it. The more you try and solve the problem, the more the problem exists. 

We are a world in “SURVIVAL” – a world run by fear and shame. We are a world in reaction. Rocked back on our heels. Trying to stay upright. Now, as crazy as this sounds, I don’t think this is bad. I just think this is a very significant part of how we human beings are designed. I don’t think it’s the whole story; it’s just the one I am telling here. Just like Shakespeare wasn’t saying this is the whole story, but it is part of the story and for the most part, it’s being ignored. The nature of a “Survival System” is to survive. So, what better way for it to survive than to give you a problem you don’t have, and then get you to dedicate your life to solving a problem you didn’t have in the first place? It guarantees the survival of the system but it also guarantees that you have an itch that will never get scratched.



Smell of Summer

The smells of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle remind me of my boyhood summers. I am reminded with an ear-to-ear smile and boundless energy. I am reminded as I bounce out of bed. There is no preparation for the day. I am always prepared. I am reminded by all the possibilities that are in front of me. The beach, my friends, catch, my brand new Schwinn bike. I am torn in all different directions.

I never walk; I run everywhere. I have no purpose but I am in a real hurry. I run past all the smells of summer. Mint and jasmine. Salt water and heat. Fresh-baked bread and diesel. A dog barks and follows me for a time. I speed up. I am out of breath. I am always out of breath. I run over people’s lawns. I run with delight through Mr. Crenshaw’s sprinklers. “Get the hell off there, you damn fool,” Mr. Crenshaw says from his porch in his bathrobe and slippers. I wave and shake the water off me like some dog. Mr. Crenshaw just shakes his head. I start running again. How great it is to be a “damn fool.”