Saturday, August 30, 2014

A better "Bob".

Chic-o-sticks and fun dip delivered from him. Seedy in a sea of cigarette smoke and dirty shelves, a new face in a small town; how was it always a new face? That was the cycle at Decker's depot. We're talking about 18 years of it. I grew up there. Not at Decker's per say, but I grew up in a town where such a place could not only exist but actually become a staple of functionality.

Recently - an odd word to define. Well, it seems recent anyway that the reflection of the past is not recognizable in the glass of the new surroundings. Decker's is still there; I am not. Hence the new reflection in this blog.

From white bread to free range crickets, from dusty trails to dusty trails, from humidity to... surroundings give context to understanding. Some things are different here. Some things are the same.

One of my friends says that "people don't change. they just get closer to center."

Grasping at a collection of memories that seem to paint a different picture, change seems pretty obvious. (insert json formatted aside) {"soliloquy" : "you might not know me; I choose the word 'grasping' to describe the access issue. Being conversationally on point is easy when we're standing in the stream - the present doesn't flow by, it's always right there. But standing in a stream means that at some point in time, one had to get there, and that's why I'm grasping. Fishing out a penny that was dropped along the way, well, that's laughably (if you like me) difficult. Maybe that's why I used to hang out with the Christians; they could forgive me when I lost my keys." , "meta comment" : "using the word penny? Hmmm...I wonder what kind of priority I place on a change/fix for such 'minor' things. I mean honestly, to others this penny is a rare gem, a monumental story, life's most important material good. I'm just trivializing the challenge or significance of entertaining it. Just thought that I'd admit that fact to you."}

The point is that memories, however shattered, can make individualism seem like a recycled dream or possibly a stunning turn in a memoir that no one will ever read. The Christians used to answer my questions with responses that boiled down to, "God works the big picture and you don't see it", but either did they. Saying that "people don't change [because they drift towards actualizing a static state of identity]", well, this seems like a similar response. A question starting with "how" is probably the wrong direction: how could we ever know when we're moving towards or away from center? That would be nice to know. I just doubt that answering that question is as important as recognizing the major premise: center exists.

I'm sure that you won't let me lay down a claim without a battle. You'll at least stop me and stay, "Well, maybe." I'll do the same for you.

So I'm going to start an argument. Ready?

The big picture isn't obvious when we're making claims like "people don't change". We can't see that centralized concept of self with it's gravity pulling us through awkward changes, releasing us from anxiety when it's alignment is satisfied. You could argue that we can feel it, but if there is a center, maybe it should be battled like any other dull whim that doesn't deserve a creative licence in this world. I reckon this situation to being a "Brian" with an center that craves to be a "Bob." I don't want to be a freaking "Bob"! =]

Seriously though, assume that center exists. It's existence may not be predicated on goodness and as such we shouldn't necessarily steer our lives to reconcile it's needs.

Ok, now let's back up. What I'm suggesting might be impossible.

Let's stay that center exists. I've suggested that we can fight against it. However, it's also quite possible that center may be cloaking itself in our intuition. As such, the "Bob" would be completely undiscoverable yet always active. We couldn't help but drift towards center.

Shoot. At this point, my two pronged conclusion might need some Fun Dip from the newest form of Stranger Danger at Deckers.

1.) Center is not inherently good. [I'm going to leave this claim and let someone prove otherwise]

2a.) If it is recognizable, then it's desires should be carefully judged even at the risk of increasing levels of internal discomfort (heaven forbid!).
2b.) If it is not recognizable, then give in to "Bob" simply because it is my internal compass against which I just all things. Battle is not possible.

So I have a question about changing "Bob". Let's say that I can't recognize my "Bob". Maybe other people can recognize him. Eh? Maybe, just maybe, that's why community is so important. Again, eh?Well, actually, community won't matter unless one thing is true: community needs to be able to be part of "Bob" alteration or else it's just finger waving at a brick wall. So then, I wonder:

Can community be the key to adjusting an unrecognizable internal compass named "Bob"?

We are now at the point of this post. I value friendship. The presence of 'community' gives friendship meaning (for me). And I miss you all.

To all of my friends who try to help me drift towards a better "Bob", I love you.

1 comment:

  1. I like Brian.
    You lost the 'center'? …that being bob or brian or God? and those feelings don't fit the 'centralized concept of self'…so aren't legitimate? you're debating brian/bob's goodness and God's goodness, both, but you don't think either are true. …i really wonder why. You know why the Christians were forgiving? Because they think they need it and God forgives. That's good news. How do they know? God gave his son to live and die in our world so that we can 'be reconciled'...or find center. That answers 2a and 2b. 2a) Brian is disconcerted but receives grace…to change. Heaven won't forbid it. 2b) Bob is really Brian and can't justify all things, not even unmerited forgiveness, but he does because he's the one Jesus came for. Will you trust him? if you maintain 'center' isn't good, I think you'll find not only that you deny Jesus but Brian is like Dr. Jekyll and Bob like Mr. Hyde. And there's no center.