A Sea of Broken Windows

In the intensity of people you’ll often times find a misaligned suffering in which if you’re not careful could pull you under.  An amorous disposition here would likely result in a near drowning in the immortal songs of Jeff Buckley.  You hear the warnings of lifeguards, you see the no swimming signs, and for a minute you stand with apprehension and watch the sea swell and then break upon the shore.  The velvet of the sand beneath your feet massaging from ground up and basking in the sun of contentment should be enough to keep away a vehement desire to swim in an erratic ocean.  Digging your feet into the sand, there you go, running into choppy waters.

The mightiest of all emotions, passion, overwhelms reason every single time.  I’ve told people that there was only a small but significant window of time in which your mind has a chance to save you before you fall into the abyss of love.  But, at that juncture freewill is rarely exercised so you tumble downward.  You would think, I presume, since those are my fighting words that I would be exempt from love foolery.  Alas, I am not.  I am clumsy at best and vying for a second-coming of naivety.  Despite this awareness, I break windows. I just hope the cuts heal in time to collect the sea glass.


Butterflies and Tornadoes

The snow day, and subsequent cancellations of meetings, transportation, etc, got me thinking about circumstance.  Circumstance got me thinking about the Butterfly Effect (no, not the Ashton Kutcher movie though the concept was used).  The Butterfly Effect is part of the Chaos Theory that says the flapping of a butterfly can later cause a tornado somewhere else.  Moreover, a big effect from a small input.  Mostly, its associated with weather and is precisely defined as, “The flapping of a single butterfly’s wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month’s time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn’t happen. Or maybe one that wasn’t going to happen, does.” (Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141)

In a chaotic system, small differences could bring unsuspecting results.  We can pretty much apply this to many choices, circumstances and accidents, depending upon what you believe about ‘accidents.’  I won’t even get into that in this post.  Let’s start with choices, which is the most powerful right we have.  Rarely, does a choice only affect the one making the choice which is why I’ll never forget what a friend answered when I asked him how he knew he was a grown up?

“I started making good decisions.”

It took a while to fully understand what his answer meant, but now I do.  Good decisions can vary from person to person too and yet again that depends on what they believe about circumstance, accidents, and all the other things I won’t get into right now.   Imagine, which I’m sure you have already in life, a choice you could change?  One that comes to mind, personally, is the weekend my brother went missing.  He called me relentlessly, and I ignored it relentlessly.  A huge mistake.  It’s easy to stumble into regret and get stuck tramping through the slush, but I come from the “no regrets” school of thought, so despite my knowing the outcome (my brother dies) at this point I’ve accepted that my choice was where I was at that particular moment in my life.  I can’t regret that and had I answered I’d probably have had an entirely different last conversation with my brother. This is perhaps a bad example, but what I’m trying to get at is it is within these choices that we learn the most about ourselves.  It is within the loss of my brother that I learned compassion, about karma, and the most about who I was and what I wanted to be my legacy.  I think my brother taught a lot of people the same building blocks in life.

At any moment I can deliberately and consciously introduce something new into my life, make a small change, and the effects could be substantial.  Whilst the Chaos may still continue, the subtle beauty of the flutter is extraordinary.

Dear Jeffrey, 3 days until you’re 28…

I’ve learned that choices define you and (in more ways than even I can understand) others are contingent upon who I am to define parts of them.  Like you, Jeffrey, the choices you made while you were walking this earth presented choices that may not have been presented to me otherwise.  Some choices are poor and you can never take back, but at least they’re yours.  Though, a choice that takes away the choice of another is – in a lot of ways – a mortal sin that destroys the grace of not just the one left without choice but all those contingent upon. This becomes a domino effect of freewill genocide.

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, and sometimes I knew good-and-well I was making them (I file these under the ‘mistakes I knew I was making’). However, today my soul rings of the voices and experiences in my life that moved me…changed me in one way or another…leading me closer to my truth.  I’m no longer in a goose hunt for truth searching frantically for instant gratification at the expense of others.  Truth journeyed into my heart.  It’s within me already and so many others contribute to it.  In so long as I am honest with myself, I’m honest with the world and putting forth energy that builds meaning.  I admire you, Jeffrey.  The energy you put forth into the world had such unequivocal grace, and that choice defines me and has become my only weapon.

Eternally grateful,


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