Poetry In A Glass.

Poetry In A Glass.

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Can sunlight be distilled from wasted years? Can hope be rendered from the detritus of dreams, or peace be found between twisted broken bodies on the battlefield?

Poetry drips from broken oak staves where malcontent has been left to ferment.

Restructure.

I need to restructure my life, to concentrate on my goals and dreams. I need to work on cutting out all the cruft and create a better faster more streamlined me.

Ezra 2.0

There isn’t enough time in one human life to do even half the things I want to do, so I have to throw out the old and choose carefully the direction I want to go. There is no room for mediocrity.

 

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Focus.
Focus.
Focus.

After work, I went to a small trivia night gathering in town, and tried to talk and be a part of other people again. I tried to fit in, and to belong…

I realize just how much of my life I have missed. I work all the time, there is almost nothing else. I am a slave.
There is nothing outside of work and obligations for me, I am tied down to a job that takes so much time, and I don’t get out and do anything on the weekends either. I am a slave of my own making. I can’t blame anyone else. It is me.

I used to be a part of life, I played a part, I was involved in things that were bigger than I was. Sure I had my own little cliques, but I didn’t feel awkward around my peers, and I had things to connect me to other people.
I feel like I have lost some of that, I don’t really know where it went, but the last 5 or 10 years have not been good for my inner being, I have turned inwards and lost sight of my real purpose.
I delve deeply into my interests and find new passions, but these are nothing more than distractions, they are an escape from reality.

Where did I go off the rails and lose the energetic passionate entrepreneur that I was? I used to see opportunity where now I only see darkness, I used to pounce on an idea and take it as far as possible, now I hardly bother to make a move, I am convinced that it is hopeless.
Has this town finally killed my drive and positive attitude? Or is it something else?

I don’t see a way out anymore, I don’t see a future where I reach the goals I have always wanted. I only see perpetual mediocrity.

Focus.
Focus.
Focus.

Crossroads

I stand here at the crossroads.

Before me are a myriad of roads leading off in all directions, but there is no way to choose more than one. I must take my pick, and then stick with that decision for good or ill. I hate having to choose when it means that I limit my options from that point forward, I don't like to be bound to an idea without escape, to be trapped into a narrow path.

There is no way to continue like this, a decision must be made. Whatever path I choose will dictate the rest of the choices I make from here on out.

Do I take the gamble and wager it all? Or play it safe and risk very little?

Time

Eventually the things you own begin to own you.

I have far too many things in my life. I have too many obligations, too many items that require maintenance, too many expenses, too many dreams, ideas, and plans. All these things pile up and take away the one precious resource that I do not have an excess of: time.

Time slips away at a rapid rate and there is nothing in this world that can stop its inexorable tic-tock into oblivion. I am over 30 now and feel like I am on the top of the bell-curve of life, and rapidly reaching the drop-off point. I have this obsession with clearing away the dross and opening up a pathway towards a clean zen-like existence. I want to maximize the good parts of my life and minimize the machine-like drudgery in my day-to-day existence.

Today I went on a day-hike on the Morrison Run Trail, here in the Allegheny National Forest, and it was truly glorious to get out and spend time in the woods. That is what I want to do more of. I want to spend more time experiencing life, not spending my days scrabbling around trying to fix and repair the meaningless material things.

I spend most of my days doing just that. Fixing this or that, or just keeping my head down and trying to get through. I am better than that, and want to keep my head about the proverbial waters, and keep heading towards a better existence.

-Ezra Hilyer

Frustration

Why do I so often feel full of inspriation and ideas precisely when I do not have the time or ability to act on them? I am at work, or walking or driving and suddenly I get inspired to do something grand, or lines of poetry start to swirl around inside my head, but I can’t do any thing about them.

By the time I get home, it is all gone.

LOTRO Addiction / Rambling

LOTRO Addiction / Rambling

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I got sucked into a MMORPG. I used to never play games, beyond simple puzzle and iPhone games, I just never had the time to play, and no real desire to invest the time. The last time I had played a computer game and cared about it, it was QUAKE II, back in the late 90s. I just don’t play games.

Or at-least I didn’t. A few months ago we had some houseguests for about a week, and they kept talking about this ‘Lord Of The Rings Online’ game which they wanted Ami and I to try. I was actually pretty resistant to the idea because I really don’t have the time to spend playing an involved game like that, but they persuaded us to give it a try.
Now I am hopelessly addicted.

The game is designed around the world of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, which I have always loved. I read the books several times when I was younger, and went to see all the movies as they were released about 10 years ago. (wow! was it really 10 years ago?)

The biggest draw for me in this game is all about exploring and seeing the locations, the game designers really did an excellent job with this game. They put a lot of work into the locations, they feel authentic and each area does have its own feel and pace. A lot of similar games seem to lack that connection, and it really shows that the game designers are really fans of the master-work at heart.

I especially like wandering and exploring, there are a lot of areas that have less to do with game-play and more with just awing someone who stumbles upon them. The ruins in the hills and the gorges and waterfalls make me want to go there in reality.

Ever since watching the films, I have wanted to live in Rivendell, I love the half-outdoor half-indoor settings, and the way the leaves cover the walkways. I know most of that is just CGI, but imagine how wonderful it would be to really live in a place like that? The stone simplicity, the rushing water and the bite of the winter wind. the smell of the moss and lack of cars, busses and wagons.

Imagine the quality of life if we could live like that? Using the natural world to make our homes, much like the birds and other wild creatures do. Stone is beautiful when if blends with the rest of the environment, and we are better people when we are connected to our environment and not isolated inside an air-conditioned, steel and glass box. I want hobbit-houses and Rivendell style places to be real, and not just in the imagination.

Why do we insist on living in a card-board existence and hiding ourselves away from the natural beauty that is all around in the woods, fields and mountains?

I will quote one of my favorite authors: George R.R. Martin

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real .. for a moment at least ... that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to middle Earth.
            -G.R.R.M

Quite well spoken.

-Ezra

Balance

Life is all about balance. Between pleasure and duty; between desires and reality.
I can’t seem to find a good mix between my Maker side, and my Minimalist side.

On the one side is my obsession with creating things, fixing broken stuff, and modifying and generally tinkering constantly with electronics, bikes, cars, you name it. This makes a huge pile of parts, pieces, bits, odds and ends.

On the other side is the rest of my personality which is driven to simplify, refine, purge and clarify. I don’t like stuff lying about unorganized, and I also resent the time I have to spend thinking about the detritus of my life. I see those pictures of the minimalist rooms with everything perfectly aligned and nothing out of place and I am frustrated at my own lack of zen.

A few times a year I set out to just drop anything unnecessary, and get rid of all this clutter in my mind and also in my house, but each time I go through the boxes of parts that I keep organized, I feel torn.

Why can’t I be single faceted?

-Ezra

Career Choices

Why is it that nearly everyone expects, and wants a career that is dependent on others? A larger entity than ourselves seems to offer stability and control, we don't feel like we are all alone on the seas of change, we are anchored to something larger and greater, and that gives strength to our small petty lives. A career is something like that, it is a system of climbing up through the ranks of others who are doing just the same, and who are fighting you for a chance to be where you want to be.

I have always looked at the idea of a career with apprehension and suspicion. It seems to be only a gilded coffin to climb into and then pull down the lid, and nail it closed with your own hands. The idea of staying inside the same system year after year, and moment after moment is so limiting and degrading. I want my horizons open and the skies clear of clouds. I like to keep my bags packed and always be ready for the next challenge. After about 5 years of doing the same thing, and being the same place, I start to get itchy feet and want to head out and start new.

Several years ago, I worked in maintenance at a manufacturing plant, and there were several people who worked on the production lines who had been there for 20 years doing the same job. That would be torture for me. The complete end to everything I am. I would shrivel up and die if i didn't have variety in my life. I can simply not imagine a life that is unchanging like that. How can one possibly cope?

I remember that they were nice guys, but their who life revolved around going home and cracking open a beer in-front of the TV. How is it possible to live like that?

-Ezra

Neutral Education

I want to send my daughter to a good school. What parent doesn’t want that for their kid? I want her to learn the skills she needs to survive in this damn mess we call a society. What I don’t want is to send her away to be indoctrinated into a narrow-minded view of the world. I don’t want to send her to the Warren PA public school system because I have seen what comes out of that school system and I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want the influences of the kids she will be around, and I don’t want the constant undermining of our parenting. I don’t want her to be indoctrinated into secular humanism or any of the other narrow mindsets of modern public schools. I don’t want her to come to see the state as the solution to all the problems in the world, I don’t want her to lose sight of who she is, or to be bullied into submission. I want her to learn critical thinking.

So the obvious choice from there is to send her to a private school, but the options around here are very limited. I want a school to focus on academics, critical thinking, and history. Once she learns to read well, the rest will naturally flow from there. I learned nearly everything I know simply from reading books and observing life, I have no reason to believe that she won’t be the same. So I want a school who will allow her to come to conclusions based on facts, who won’t be a harmful influence to the upbringing of her parents. This seems impossible here.

I most want her to attend a Montessori school, I believe that she would do well in that setting since she is a naturally very bright kid, and she takes to things with excitement. She does have trouble following tasks through to completion, but the environment that would foster her creativity is what would do her the most good. Trouble is, that there are no Montessori schools near this horrible little town of Warren PA.

There are only a few choices around here for private education, and most are nearly as dismal as the public schools. We will probably end up putting her in Lighthouse Baptist Academy in Jamestown NY. I am not thrilled at that prospect since it is just another form of indoctrination that we will have to overcome, but my wife attended there, and we do have some friends and contacts who send their kids there, so it won’t be all bad, I do think that they will give a strong early start to her education, and since we won’t be living here long-term I can allow it for the time being, but I want so much more for her. She is such a bright little kid that it would be a cruel shame for us to continue to live in this cesspool of a town and settle for a redneck education. I will not stand by and let it happen.

-Ezra