Sunday, February 28, 2010

Better half...

I openly declare that at this point in life, I'm going against this society's current common wisdom and education...

I want a relationship that changes me. I am not perfect, I want someone who helps make me better. I want to help someone else be better. I want us to both be a better half for each other.

I'm saying... I have issues, and I hope the other person helps me with those issues. I'm saying: I have issues!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dating, A Girl like you, The Girl that is you

Honesty and openness. I want long-term. I'm dating adult women in their 30's and 40's. All have moved cities at least once, some have even relocated continents.

A relationship is one of the biggest changes and impacts in your life. Yet, why is making time to get to know each other such a drawn-out thing? I question this social practice. It isn't time apart that magically makes relationships stronger, it is experience and attention. Yes, we need personal time to reflect, but there has to be a real experience to reflect on.

Part-time relationships seem all the rage. Priorities: Careers, hobbies, alone time. It isn't just me, I observe it all over the place in study of society and relationships. I've had shallow love, it seems easily found - I'm after a deep and lasting relationship.

If we can't work together to coordinate 10 hours of quality time a week, then perhaps a long-term relationship isn't what you want. If you are dating others and spreading those hours, then be honest and open - I'm dating, so I know that there are various stages of getting to know a person and it's a bit of a juggle act.

More important: is your life so independent that I'm not the right one for you? If you can't make time for your dating relationships now, how is the future going to be in hard times together?

You seem like a nice girl - but I am not wanting a fantasy of you. I don't really know you. I want to know the real you. I want you to know the real me. I am open and honest - faults and all - so you can decide and I can decide. Grow together and decide together. What's holding you back? I want to know the girl that is unique you, the total package, good and bad - not some dressed-up actress who is only on stage when presentable. I seek The Girl that is you. I won't get bored, you are ever-changing, I'm after that!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gettin' in Tune

Gettin' in Tune, Pete Townshend (The Who)

I'm singing this note 'cause it fits in well
With the chords I'm playing.
I can't pretend there's any meaning
Hidden in the things I'm saying

But I'm in tune
Right in tune
I'm in tune
And I'm gonna tune... Right in on you
Right in on you
Right in on you

I get a little tired of having to say "Do you come here often?"
But when I look in your eyes and see the harmonies And the heartaches soften

I'm getting in tune; Right in tune
I'm in tune...
And I'm gonna tune
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you!

I've got it all here in my head
There's nothing more needs to be said

I'm just bangin' on my old piano
I'm getting in tune to the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune to the straight and narrow)
Getting in tune to the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune to the straight and narrow)
Yeah, I'm getting in tune to the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune to the straight and narrow)

I'm singing this note 'cause it fits in well With the way I'm feeling
There's a symphony that I hear in your heart, Sets my head a-reeling

But I'm in tune
Right in tune
I'm in tune
And I'm gonna tune...
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you!

Baby, with you (Baby, with you)
Baby, with you (Baby, with you)
Baby, with you

I've got it all here in my head, There's nothing more needs to be said
I'm just bangin' on my old piano
I'm getting in tune with the straight and narrow

Getting in tune to the straight and narrow
Getting in tune to the straight and narrow
Hey, I'm a Getting in tune to the straight and narrow
Hey, I'm a Getting in tune to the straight and narrow

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Competing with Fantasy, working together

One reason I like Joseph Campbell's writing and work so well... is that his work is a form of compilation of various writers and philosophers. In particular, I find that it helps me sort out what is new about society and what is old (historic).

Confusion over love is not new. Some well-meaning people who think I must be "doing something wrong" just seem to not understand that love has many depths (shallow and deep), and many different forms. I'm not here looking for a one night stand or casual friends, although friends are always welcome. I am offering and seeking to share a much deeper and richer form of love. In this current society, it is more rare - and considered difficult...

This deeper form of love is time-consuming. It will require me to grow. I will endure sorrow of loss and pain of compassion. That mutual love will have substantial passion. That passion will sometimes take the wrong expressions, and working together to resolve that will require time and patience.

Working together, us/we/unity. That means time and effort. It can't always be scheduled, it can't always be deferred - and not all conflicts can be resolved. We do our best, we share our true selves, and we mend our errors as best we can. Each tick of the clock is a new opportunity.

Joseph Campbell:
Heaven and hell are described as forever. Heaven is of unending time. It is not eternal. Eternal is beyond time. The concept of time shuts out eternity. It is over the ground of that deep experience of eternity that all of these temporal pains and troubles come and go. There is a Buddhist ideal of participating willingly and joyfully in the passing sorrows of the world. Wherever there is time, there is sorrow. But this experience of sorrow moves over a sense of enduring being, which is our own true life.

Shiva's dance is the universe. In his hair is a skull and a new moon, death and rebirth at the same moment, the moment of becoming. In one hand he has a little drum that goes tick-tick-tick. That is the drum of time, the tick of time which shuts out the knowledge of eternity. We are enclosed in time. But in Shiva's opposite hand there is a flame which burns away the veil of time and opens our minds to eternity.

Shiva is a very ancient deity, perhaps the most ancient worshiped in the world today. There are images from 2000 or 2500 B.C., little stamp seals showing figures that clearly suggest Shiva.

In some of his manifestations he is a really horrendous god, representing the terrific aspects of the nature of being. He is the archetypal yogi, canceling the illusion of life, but he is also the creator of life, its generator, as well as illuminator.

There are plenty of people who are happy in their lives. Great for them. I get to live my life. I'm not unhappy, I'm seeking something that is in my heart, something eternal. I can do it alone, but I choose not to cancel out life - I choose to embrace it. It is about discovering.

Look inside your own heart... can we share? A form of love that you have never known, never experienced; nor have I. It will involve knowing enough about life to embrace the unknown and not yet solved. I stand before you saying: see that mountain in the distance, do you wish to climb with me?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Critical feedback of my blog's message

A new person in my life was discussing my blog (I invited them to review it), and they said...

I think that love would avoid the writer of your blog altogether. Love would find your search through your blog similar to looking for a butterfly so you can tack it to a peg board. I personally felt a continual thread of latent bitterness throughout your entries, which confuses me.

This honestly comes as no surprise to me. I know myself, I have dug deep inside. I am also not looking for an animal to capture! I'm looking for an adult, mature woman - who is both honest and loving of life. Who has achieved independence yet desires to give it up freely to the mutual sharing with a person they love. This blog is to help explain (provide a roadmap) my future behavior, motivations, and innermost feelings. A human woman is a sentient being, not an animal I wish to capture - but someone I wish to invite with love and poetry. My poetry may be crude, the words on this blog page, but it is mine! To the right ears, I hope it sings of beauty.

Let me poorly (imperfectly) stab at the opposite of me. Professional mask wearers.

Politicians and actors on a screen are often not telling the truth! They are not seeming bitter, but often you find out behind the scenes (of politicians) that these people are hiding their private lives and feelings - but seeming as though they are not bitter. "Crowd pleasers". They are mastering expression, they are not mastering their spirituality or their self-knowledge.

Nor do I believe that being bitter itself is an accomplishment. Being bitter does not make me smart. I am not bitter, I am loving, but I am an unusual and seemingly unpleasant taste for most. I am like black coffee, scotch wiskey, black pepper, vinegar, and blue cheese. Take what analogy you like.

If you read my first blog posting, I reference the Erotic Irony - which gets into this. Being honest about myself is ironically driving away the very love that I desire. I am entirely aware of this, I have a name for it, and this blog is affirmation of this aspect of myself!

Do imperfect people deserve no love? Do you think that once you achieve success in life it is permanent? Life is a struggle, sorrow is part of the opera, and this sparrow is learning to sing his own song! It is a song of spirituality, mutual love, unconditional love - and unconditional forgiveness. I don't think anyone is perfect, including myself. Imperfect people deserve my love, everyone has love. I love myself. If you love yourself... are you willing to help create an us/we/together that loves each other?

I know how to be independent. This society, USA in 2010, is all about independence. Children are raised by single parents, people aren't bothering to get married, divorce rate higher for second marriage than it is for the first! It takes a brave person to stand up and say - yes, I am in an imperfect world, people are imperfect - but I will do my best! Including trying to fix my mistakes, learn. I also forget, and try to re-learn. I strive to both know how to criticize the world but also to love it!

Yes, I hear the feedback, but I suggest that the person who wrote it to me - I think isn't hearing nor understanding the deep meaning of Erotic Irony and why I identify it with the true me of me.

Joseph Campbell: "The writer must be true to truth." And that's a killer, because the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections. The perfect human being is uninteresting -- the Buddha who leaves the world, you know. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable. And when the writer sends a dart of the true word, it hurts. But it goes with love. This is what [Thomas] Mann called "erotic irony," the love for that which you are killing with your cruel, analytical word.

Bill Moyers: I cherish that image: my hometown love, the feeling you get for that place, no matter how long you've been away or even if you never return. That was where you first discovered people. But why do you say you love people for their imperfections?

Joseph Campbell: Aren't children lovable because they're falling down all the time and have little bodies with the heads too big? Didn't Walt Disney know all about this when he did the seven dwarfs? And these funny little dogs that people have -- they're lovable because they're so imperfect.

I can love all the world, that does not mean I have sex with just anyone. I can not even learn everyone's name if I spent the rest of my life. I can not spend all my time with all the world! Not practical! There are 6,800,000,000 alive on this earth - and many forms of love, perhaps more than people! I am not looking for a new brother, sister, or father. I am not looking for a one-night-stand of romance - I am looking for an equal partner in life's imperfection! Bring your imperfections, I bring mine, let's forge unity!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Relapse, Repeat, Remission

A wonderful woman I am dating right now doesn't want me the way I want her. She wants my occasional company but she just isn't interested in cohabitation. What can a guy do? At least she is honest, at least she gave me much of her time to get to know her. So I bark a lot to her about how she is welcome to break my heart, welcome to convert this to a friendship, and welcome to end the romance. The romance lingers... as love is love, life is life, even if it doesn't fit what I may seem to want long-term...

That doesn't mean there aren't rules to the game. We have already agreed to inform each other as soon as we have so much as kissed another person. We have fully disclosed our past sexual history. I've been strictly monogamous my entire life; cheating or wide-open relationships isn't in my past playbook. I'm after love and intimacy, I'm loyal. These are me, parts that have both their good and bad sides.

Such is the world of modern romance; Long-term, she says she doesn't want what I want. I don't particularly choose life to be this way. I feel that I have to meld my personal beliefs with society and the other person. That doesn't even get into compromise and working together - we haven't gotten that far as making such a commitment. I had hoped that she would change her mind after she got to know me - but truth is that it isn't really happening. In some ways we have grown closer together, in others, further apart. Logic and emotions don't always meet.

Joseph Campbell speaks for me, perhaps explaining better what I have witnessed about life first hand:

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? ... If the person doesn't listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic [like] crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. And the world's full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

She enjoys my attention, she enjoys my affection, she enjoys my company. Intellectually I think she finds me boring and repetitive. I often am fascinated by very subtle differences in life, and she often knows of it but thinks it a waste of time. I also sometimes bridge massive caverns of ideas, relating things that most consider absurd - you can't compare apples and oranges in a serious conversation. Oh, but I can! When dealing with people - I am pretty sure the grocer does know that people consider which one to buy depending on season and what flavor they are after. It's all a matter of what level the microscope is turned on 10x magnification or 10,000x. I admit, I do seem to switch magnifications in ways that people often get frustrated with.

Life is just that way to me! Complex and rich, but also fine and detailed. Does it seem at times I randomly pick things to mind and others to ignore - yes. It isn't even a matter of preference. I sometimes just stop at a random time and place. For example, I may spend 40 minutes looking to discover what I might have overlooked. I even try to close my eyes and listen, or block the sounds and look. But even with these attempts, I expect there is always far more than I can sense or measure. I honestly observe we are all this way, I just feel more self-aware and articulate about it. Furthermore, I don't even consider my self-awareness as better! As I seem to irritate people and frustrate them more often then not with my way of thinking...

As I posted on my first blog posting some 3 weeks ago - I am not trying to be a player here. I'm trying to be loud and clear that what I want is a long-term relationship. How many months does it take to get to know someone? Should we move in together after one-month so we can get to know each other? Should the process be rushed? Should I use my flexibility and freedom to what I consider important in my life? At my age, I'm finding most women are divorced with children - so that's a complication.

Love is mine to give, unconditional love takes only one. A relationship takes two. Working together takes time.

Jumping topics a bit... I may relapse, I may repeat mistakes, I may have months of getting worse and worse. This is life to me. Think of it this way: Are all movie sequels better than the first? Does every book author produce a better book with each new year? Is every day always warmer and none ever colder? - yet I feel like our society expects me, a human being, to always: learn from mistakes, get my act together, to be what everyone else wants me to be. Life, and me, don't seem to work that way. I'm not going to fake it with denial.

I'm still looking... is that spark there, will you make the time? Will you put up with my inevitable declines and remissions? Do you accept all of me into a newly developing we? Will we find each other and let love clear the cruft and crud of life from our eyes?

More questions than answers. I expect this will repeat. I don't make the rules, we do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rarely sacrifice, mostly about participation

Couples often grow apart in long-term relationships.  I'm not talking just about the stereotypical 7 year itch of marriage, it happens far more frequently in dating in the third or fourth month.  Does it mean the couple isn't exciting enough for each other?  That the person isn't the one?  To me, that's missing the point.  The foundation of a good long-term romance is ideally friendship; the fallback during dating should be friends.  I feel it should be openly talked about, the dual development of both the romance and the friendship.  Now, we humans are less than ideal on this front, I'm fully aware of this.  I only emphasize: are you, 1/2 of the participants, strictly acting out of circumstance and emotion - or is growth and learning a factor in your life? I'm far from perfect in my relationships, so I feel I have to work at it.

An example from my own history of relationship conflicts.  Yes, I have some unsavory character flaws that I must struggle with each day.

If I become emotionally attached to a person, I can get upset if they are upset.  It can become a form of feedback loop, bringing the worst out of both parties.  When positive is going on, it feels great - I can sometimes 'tune in' to the heartbeat or mind of a partner.  Alas, it's the negative that seems to accumulate over time in memories.  Something a recent romantic partner outright admitted to me.

Modern relationships seem defined by the counting and severity of failures.  I suggest it isn't the failures that mater, it is how you choose to avoid, resolve, and grow from them.  I have experienced that those who reach too far for perfection or accomplishment end up getting attracted to denial and lies.  In my experience, denial does indeed seem to satisfy many people.  By not admitting problems or drawing arbitrary boundaries. For me, denial is a lingering poison that accumulates like toxins in a relationship.

It isn't about the short-term to me. It's about the long-term.  I can surely do idiotic and angry things in the heat of negative passion.  What I ask, clearly in advance on a calm day, is that you consider that the relationship we build is not defined by sacrifice, please don't stand there and take anger. Help me in my weak and tired moments; hold us to a higher standard.  Participate!  Participation trumps sacrifice in most common situations.  Let sacrifice be reserved for the rare times when time, effort and love has not bridged the gap.

P.S. partly, I'm writing this blog to acknowledge that I do struggle with relationships. I hope that anyone who chooses to become close with me considers that my own words, published here for all to see, could be of use in confronting me over my own denial or failure of ideals. I was born into this world as an animal, unable to speak English - I had to be taught to read and write - and some aspects of character are learned... and sadly forgotten. I hope such lapses are only short term, and I ask for your partnership participation.  I know I can survive without people in my life, I choose to be open and invite you freely. GROWTH WANTED

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day inspiration - through the eyes

So through the eyes love attains the heart:

For the eyes are the scouts of the heart,

And the eyes go reconnoitering

For what it would please the heart to possess.

And when they are in full accord

And firm, all three, in the one resolve,

At that time, perfect love is born

From what the eyes have made welcome to the heart.

Not otherwise can love either be born or have commencement

Than by this birth and commencement moved by inclination.

By the grace and by command

Of these three, and from their pleasure,

Love is bom, who its fair hope

Goes comforting her friends.

For as all true lovers

Know, love is perfect kindness,

Which is born-there is no doubt-from the heart and eyes.

The eyes make it blossom; the heart matures it:

Love, which is the fruit of their very seed.

-- Guiraut de Borneilh (ca. 1138-1200?)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'll let someone else present some of the issues...

A report from the chaotic postfeminist dating scene, where only the strong survive. I suggest you read the entire story, even if you don't agree with specifics.

I surely do observe our society is in a major cultural shift. Currently... freedom to experiment has not freed people from expectations, it has created many conflicting and chaotic expectations.  Such is the point in history that I see us currently in the USA.  I have experienced this, I have witnessed this, I have studied the history of this.

From the article:

The woman may be hoping for a hookup, but she may also be looking for a husband, a co-parent, a sperm donor, a relationship, a threesome, or a temporary place to live. She may want one thing in November and another by Christmas. “I’ve gone through phases in my life where I bounce between serial monogamy, Very Serious Relationships and extremely casual sex,” writes Megan Carpentier on Jezebel, a popular website for young women. “I’ve slept next to guys on the first date, had sex on the first date, allowed no more than a cheek kiss, dispensed with the date-concept altogether after kissing the guy on the way to his car, fucked a couple of close friends and, more rarely, slept with a guy I didn’t care if I ever saw again.” Okay, wonders the ordinary guy with only middling psychic powers, which is it tonight?
This article puts a lot of the questions and experience on the table for discussion. There's a point where even if I'm talking about it, I don't care to solve society problems. I've just been trying to figure out where I am standing, who I am, and to find someone who likes the flavor of me.  In the end, there is me. And there is you. That's all it takes, two of us.

I'm here. Sharing me. Inviting you. That much of me, I have figured out. I have my freedom and independence, including my choice to seek to give it up. My heart says... Partnership, imperfect, is perfect.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Preventative. High Maintenace

Last night, I got my first dedicated car since 2001. This car has survived 185,000 miles without engine overhaul, and I expect it can easily go another 100,000.

Thinking about the used car, the relationship metaphors of High Maintenance and Preventative Maintenance came to mind. My thoughts were already dominated by some short-term friendship issues and lingering romantic interest. In reality, no matter what, I consider a relatioship a labor of love... which, gasp, requires labor.

I have owned several airooled VW engines, such as those used in the Volkswagen Beetle 1938-1979. Owning one and driving a car as old as Seattle, I learned all about high maintenance. The heater that works off exhaust heat, the Seattle moisture condensation from old rubber seals. On the engine front, only in the final years were hydraulic valves introduced. A poorly tuned hot-running aircooled engine has a way of turning high quality motor oil into black muck in a rather short number of miles.

In personal relationships, I'm probably on the high-maintenance side. My valves can need manual adjustment. A nice greeting and "glad to see you" or "glad to be your friend" will go a long way.

This blog and much of my discussions when I become closer with people is to focus on preventative maintenance. For example, discussing certain somewhat predictable tripping problems and how to avoid them. Further, I focus on trying to accept that conflict is part of life - and can we just make the best of it?

I find that treating people all the same invites them to put on their social mask. I want to know the person, not the mask. Each person I meet in life is unique. Unexpected, Unanticipated. Differing in experience and viewpoint. Even that same person seems subject to change from Monday to Friday, or in some circumstances - hour to hour.

I'm in for the long-term. The total experience. I try to share mine, but realize that mistakes aren't always timely or desired. Preventative maintenance will perhaps help us deal with my rather high maintenance requirements. Some tips and suggestions:

  • I think about people in my life; but I don't always know how and when to communicate it. Each person is different, and I'm probably more expressive than most men. Writing this blog for all to see is somewhat an admittance to this characteristic of myself. Can you help me? Can you understand my inner need to say I'm thinking of you without always making me have to go first?
  • Have an emergency plan for conflict. I encourage gentle repeating that 'we are in this together'. 'Even if today doesn't go the way we planned, let's make sure we end this conflict on a good note'. In a conflict, you can't get the time back - but I believe you can restore the peace. Reach out, together.
  • Bring concerns up that are on your mind... but establish and remind that the main purpose is to share and express. You may need to remind me that you aren't looking to treat all issues as a "problem to solve"... as it can sometimes be my nature to want to help and fix - even if all I should be doing is learning and listening.

Most of all, I'm not suggesting any conflict or lack of effort is your fault. That's too simplistic of a view. It takes two, it's more than just me or you. There is no absolute one-sided cause and effect. We are always learning. Hopefully, with effort, always growing together.

Not my best writing today, that's part of me too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Metaphors of time & relationships

Let's jump up into the sky like Superman. Let's open our minds to impossible topics.  Let's let emotions blur tomorrow and yesterday.

Why do conflicts sometimes stick in our minds but good times often get taken for granted?  Why does time fly when you are having fun but drag on when impatiently waiting?  Let me suggest a song to listen to while you read...

The human mind can be awful funny about time. That means your mind, my mind. Religions of past and present, East and West, often get into concepts of Eternity and Time.  Is Eternity coming up after your death, or is your mind interfering with the now?

Joseph Campbell:

It's almost as though the future life that you're going to have with that person has already told you, This is the one whom you will have that life with. ... It's almost as though you were reacting to the future. It's talking to you from what is to be. This has to do with the mystery of time and the transcendence of time. But I think we're touching a very deep mystery here.

Joseph Campbell:
transcendent means to "transcend," to go past duality. Everything in the field of time and space is dual. The incarnation appears either as male or as female, and each of us is the incarnation of God. You're born in only one aspect of your actual metaphysical duality, you might say. This is represented in the mystery religions, where an individual goes through a series of initiations opening him out inside into a deeper and deeper depth of himself, and there comes a moment when he realizes that he is both mortal and immortal, both male and female.
 Joseph Campbell:
The Garden of Eden is a metaphor for that innocence that is innocent of time, innocent of opposites, and that is the prime center out of which consciousness then becomes aware of the changes. 
Joseph Campbell:
I think what we are looking for is a way of experiencing the world that will open to us the transcendent that informs it, and at the same time forms ourselves within it. That is what people want. That is what the soul asks for. ... Not only to find it but to find it actually in our environment, in our world -- to recognize it. To have some kind of instruction that will enable us to experience the divine presence. In India there is a beautiful greeting, in which the palms are placed together, and you bow to the other person. ... The position of the palms together -- this we use when we pray, do we not? That is a greeting which says that the god that is in you recognizes the god in the other. These people are aware of the divine presence in all things. When you enter an Indian home as a guest, you are greeted as a visiting deity.

I suggest... when you are in conflict, you are in conflict with yourself.  Both your left and right hands must let go, the conflict ends with a mutual release.  If someone or something has conflicted a dozen times in the past, do you really let that determine your future?  Who exactly is in charge of compromise?  Who determines when you are tired but the other is wired?  Consider that, in a few special circumstances, 1+1=2.5 or even somesum greater.  A relationship is all in your head, isn't it?  That there is something bigger than you at play, regardless of the metaphor your mind associates it with.  Please to you and me: do not let what we call "transcendence" or "god" keep you and I apart... let it bind us together.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trust first, ask questions later...

I know all too well how often I seem misunderstood. I am well aware of my differences. It is those differences that I seek to share. It is the differences in others that I love. This gets into the Erotic Irony concept again. I love the "faults". As for my own differences, they are part of what I have come to peace with myself, except when they keep me apart from people in life...

I am not trying to play some act of a "misunderstood genius" that "knows more than everyone else." I am not acting, it isn't fake. If I had to explain what I am today, I would say this: I believe we are all unique, that the differences between us as individuals are vast. However, society and common culture requires us to wear a mask that washes away many of the details. I have spent much of my life with the freedom to explore myself and culture, to find out what I feel inside and contrast it to outside. Further, in the past three years, I have taken the time to study past cultures, primarily through the teachings of Joseph Campbell. I find that these 'masks' that individuals wear differ greatly throughout history and even other parts of the current world.

It's not an act or game. It is me. I have lived a rather unique life: my travels, working at home for over a decade, my learning-centric career. Alas, my unique style seems to be unpopular with many people who get to know me closely. To me, based on my own personal observations of life, the concept of "trust is earned" seems backwards. I know why people do it, but I don't personally agree with it. I am only trying to follow my own heart. For me personally, "earned trust" in relationships is living in fear.

I was in conflict with a friend who just told me I was going to get into trouble trusting people blindly. I don't trust people blindly, but I do trust those I consider friends and romantic interests. This friend was 100% on the "trust is earned" approach. I have come to terms that in my heart this was 'me', a part of me that I had wrung out thorough life's experiences and found to be true. Later, reflecting on the contrast with my friend, my creative mind thought of the phrase "Trust first, ask questions later". I decided to put that phrase into Google and search for it.

I found a book that uses that phrase. Most interesting, the book summary gets into much of my life and ideals.

Unnatural Leadership: Going Against Intuition and Experience to Develop Ten New Leadership Instincts. I quote:

Dotlich and Cairo challenge conventional wisdom about leadership such as "be in control" and "hide your flaws." Instead, they identify ten "unnatural acts" that effective leaders regularly commit and are, in fact, the best response to an "irrational, chaotic, and unpredictable universe." These include: Refuse to be a prisoner of experience. Expose your vulnerabilities. Create teams that create discomfort. Trust others before they earn it. Coach and teach rather than lead and inspire.

Unnatural Leadership is a realistic and truthful road map that provides a practical manual for anyone who longs to be both authentic and effective.

The authors' ten unnatural traits challenge other traditional assumptions such as:

* Rely as much on innocence as experience.
* Surround yourself with people who create some discomfort.
* Acknowledge the "shadow" side--your failings--publicly.
* Connect instead of create.
* Trust first, ask questions later.
* Grapple with right-versus-right decisions.
* Coach and teach rather than inspire and lead.

That list really hits home to me. That gets into the concepts I posted earlier about the outer garment ("effective") and inner garment ("authentic").

I don't really wish to be a leader of a 300 person company. I have never wanted that, I just don't have the social grace for that. I also favor a peer-to-peer approach, more like one finds in the Open Source software community

More to the purpose of this blog, I want to lead my own life and find a partner who understands this aspect of me and accepts me for who I am. It seemed like any parter close to me might benefit from this book. I haven't read it yet, but that summary page and chapter listing sounds like exactly what has been evolving in my head and life the past 15 years. I don't feel the need to lead, I just want to share mutual/us/we/unity.

Perhaps I am destined to be a loner and more isolated most of my life. I am reaching out. This blog is an attempt to give away what I have to offer. I'm not out to hurt anyone. If you can't tell, I take all his rather seriously.

Two years ago, I was President of the Austin Linux Users Group. I was a relative newcomer to the group [& Austin] and could sense that I likely wasn't going to make lasting changes. I had been an effective president of several groups in the past, but Austin seems different to me. Yet, I tried to make change anyway. Nobody really wanted to lead the group in new directions, as many had failed in the past. So, I was elected. I felt there were some new directions to explore, regardless of the outcome. I used the phrase "A leader without followers is just a guy taking a walk" (not my original phrase). It rings true to me in many parts of my life.

In my personal life, I'm not even trying to be a leader. I am just being me. I am inviting you to walk with me. Two independent individuals who choose to come together. The only real changes I ask you to consider are changes that help us get closer, to become we/together. I'm not after a clone of myself, I see no purpose in that. I am after someone who helps me grow by sharing what they have. I am trying to share what I have.

Share what is under your mask. My mask is already off. This is why I describe myself as "open". And yes, I'm a trusting fool.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where to live, who to love, business, personal time

Joseph Campbell in 1974 Audio Lecture:

Now the problem that all of the great masters give us is that of finding the inward way and holding to the outer way. This is a formula that the old Sufis worked out in the following way: they spoke of wearing the outer garment of the law—that is to say, the order of society in which one is living—and wearing the inner garment of the mythic way.

Now in order to find the inner garment you have to take off the outer garment and let it go. There is a long season very often of inward turning this way, and throwing the world away.

But unless you can put the other garment back on again, you haven’t really come to the sophistication that lets you know that this is that, and that is this—that this outer garment is the outer reflection of the same laws and principles that you’re finding within, so that you should be at ease somehow in the two worlds. This is an old mythological story.

My inward season is ending. I am putting on my outer garment. Like anyone else, I have to juggle the realities of self and society. But for me, many specifics of my life, what most people would anchor around, are up in the air:

  1. Do I live in Austin, Chicago, or even India/Tibet? The next 2 months or the next 9 months?
  2. Growing friendships and relationships takes time and effort, together. I have to make decisions based on who wants to spend time with me.
  3. I own no car, I have been renting. This was partly in anticipation of moving overseas.
  4. I have several new business ideas and projects underway... but this decision is intertwined with who I know and where I choose to live.
  5. Visit my friends in Lake Havasu City and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both cost and time considerations.
  6. Visiting my father in Central Florida. I choose to spend the holidays here in Austin, but I want to visit my father in the next 2 months.
  7. Financial considerations. Not all choices are financially practical. Going to India/Tibet is far more of an investment and harder to return from. Do I live cheap and share a place or get my own private space?
  8. My health. Food allergies have been rearing their head the past 2 weeks and it has made me more irritable and tired. Being in North Austin away from a place to lay down (San Marcos) is a practical problem when I'm feeling ill. So far, I haven't been able to nail down a specific cause of this allergy. The good news is that it isn't nearly as serious as my gluten allergy was one year ago. I'm damn glad for the health I have now, but experience has told me to take these allergy symptoms seriously - no matter how minor.

I'm debating at the moment if anyone truly wants me in Austin. I have a couple really great friendships, but they are not filling my romantic needs. These friends will be there no matter where I go, I appreciate that.

As far as romance and dating... I don't want to be hanging out where I'm not wanted howling at the moon - irritating people. No person at the moment may share my romantic ambitions, but I feel I need to actively extend my hand. I am not of the school of thought that I should give up on what is in my heart. I do not feel I have a greedy heart, I feel I have one that is actively seeking.

I continue to feel the need to continue seeking a mutual partner in life's crime. However, I'm closing out the active hunting season soon. Partly I started this blog to acknowledge with self-awareness: I know I'm complex - which means difficult to most people. But to the right person, I hope to be wide open simplicity.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More on why... and Who I am...

Joseph Campbell, describing what I have come to accept as a defining characteristic of me:

And that's a killer, because the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections. The perfect human being is uninteresting -- the Buddha who leaves the world, you know. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable. And when the writer sends a dart of the true word, it hurts. But it goes with love. This is what [Thomas] Mann called "erotic irony," the love for that which you are killing with your cruel, analytical word.

My analytical and honest nature is really what most people dislike about me. I have discovered this through experience. I am not afraid. I am not perfect. I believe in being open and honest, that there is something bigger to life than self-preservation and this-moment's identity.

Society wants me to behave certain ways, even in a personal relationship. These are often called expectations, assumptions, conventions. Where do I begin and society end? where does inheritance taper and new growth form? Where do yesterday and tomorrow meet, in the moment. We are all unique individuals, yet we can all come together.

Joseph Campbell: Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?

These are not ideals ordered from a shopping catalog. These are what I came to know of life and myself through 40 years of experience... and only later study of books helped me put it into perspective and words. The books and words of others provide outside reference and communications tools for me. Just as the English language I use to craft this page is not something I invented. The words provided by hundreds of books, movies, songs were studied... but only a tiny fraction comes close to resonating and reflecting what I found inside myself.

I do not consider it a strong ego to have high ideals. Through the trials of my life, I have learned I can shed my ego - that my identity can be both flexible and firm. To most people I meet, this is confusing to them, so I try these days to educate people in my life on why and what it means. It is part of my individual humanity. Yes, there is a real me, it is often the person in front of you. I have come to realize that I do not wear a "public persona" as frequently as most people do. There is no "social mask" like most people carry. me, is me, is me. My mistakes are openly expressed, my truth is the best as I know it at the moment, always open for challenge and growth. Yes, I can put a mask on for fun, I can role-play and wear hats for business and entertainment. Yet, I do not love my mask. I do love myself, the true inner being. I affirm life. I invite you.

It is this inner being that allows me to connect with others who choose to open their heart. It is what connects me to the universe. I am not detached from life, we are one. I affirm life, even if I express myself imperfectly. I am not important, time is important. It is that we make time for each other that is the topic of today... unity/we/together/us. Physical body, mannerisms, choice of words, smiles, how tired one is, persistence, effort... these will all factor into our working together, but there is more to it all than a pile of characteritics. There is the freedom of each new tick of the clock, to learn and grow, to be something more than the total sum...

You see, I'm not looking for a one-night stand. I'm seeking out an open heart, one that accepts who I am, including my ability to change. I am seeking unity/we/together/us. I'm here in this moment, open and looking... are you? Friendship is the basis, time spent is the construction, let us start building...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday - February 1, 2009

My current status: Alone on the field. Not committed or promised to anyone. I'm not in any regular/committed sexual relationship either. I'm monogamous, but available. Not after "one night stands", but not afraid of "first of many nights". Isn't that special ;) ?

Monday, tonight's event: Erin Ivey show at The Ghost Room - 7:00pm. I'm in San Marcos.... so have to get to Austin. I'll probably have to borrow roommate's car. Roommate is wanting to stay home tonight, so just me.

It was 1099-MISC tax stuff today, so I'm looking for relaxing time... 7pm to 9pm at Erin's show is the kind of thing that sounds good. Open to a movie or whatnot if you wish. Let's work together...

My roommate: you are always welcome to go with me. There is no such thing as imposing on me when it comes to you. Why you put up with me is beyond the reach of my mind ;)

Girl #1 - well, I was married to you and loyal for 13 years... these days, I know there is less chance of you going out with me than there is the sun will explode tonight. Anyway, my heart has been purified on this matter, so I'm always open to see you. Friends or old times, ball is in your court.

Girl #2 - I'd love to see you tonight. I like you, but you decided you don't like me enough. Oh well, such is the way things go. But I still am pretty fresh off that romance, so the invite is very real. No matter what, I am your friend.

Girl #3 - well. I seem to step on your toes but I don't even know my way around. You seem so concerned about fixing yourself that you can't seem to realize that I just want to get to know you - even if it is just friends. I like you, but I don't know you... and I have strong desire to know you - better! Isn't that amazing‽ You are rather likable, nice, attractive... if I knew the right words, I'd bark them.

Any guys: Sure, of course, but there are lines drawn on how far love goes... I'm strictly hetro... at least as far as I've discovered to date.

Any unknown or overlooked love interests, business interests, friends, etc: Sure, of course. Contact me, I'll probably be alone tonight anyway ;)

I don't expect anyone is going to go out with me. That's just reality. I'm not trying to make a fool of those I'm pursuing, I'm just trying to be honest and open as to what's important in my life.

Tuesday: went alone, had a good time, enjoyed the show and being out of the house. I'm not afraid or unhappy being independent, I'm just trying to find a partner in crime.

Purpose of this blog

I've come to terms that I can be too much for most people. My expressions of interest and affection seem to actually drive some people away in my life. So, how is dating and romance supposed to work...

So, in Erotic Irony fashion, I'm going to just embrace this aspect of myself in a healthy way. I hope I have nothing to hide about my romances other than considering other people's privacy. It should be obvious that I'm an acquired taste, serious about my relationships, and a great big Quixotic fool.

If you think I'm a player, let me prove to you otherwise. I frankly suck at the dating and unfamiliar part... My heart know only long-term. My heart knows only that once I love you... I won't let go... unless you send me away. And even then, should I not express how I feel? At least I can send it to this Inbox of nothingness that only a few will grasp or bother. Mostly harmless, that's the idea.

Instead of putting romantic interests in the uncomfortable position of declining my offers, I'll post some here - open for anyone to read. Then I'm making a fool of myself, they can actually see that it is just the way I am, and maybe actually come to terms to accept me for that imperfect aspect of myself!

Thank you Thomas Mann for giving a name for what I all too often seem to accomplish with my love ;)