Changing Colors

it seems that one day is blurring into the next…but in the most beautiful of ways…

it’s a blur but with the most clarity that i have ever had…

it comes from compartmentalizing in a way… my collaborator John (of the Night Bears) is a huge “thin-slicer” and compartmentalizer. this used to drive me crazy because i don’t like putting things in boxes and making separate categories (that often leads to labels, which, because of my dual nature, i tend to resist). but i now see the value of both, which i believe in across many situations and circumstances, if not all of them. i am (and have perhaps converted John to) a “devotee of the Church of Both.”

but part of being exactly where i am at any given moment is encouraged by compartmentalization. if i can separate things from each other (which is not my tendency), i become clearer about what each thing is in any given moment. and then i can make it a choice to blend them, to create hybrids, and to find universal meaning.

one goes too far with this and we start to label things, people, and ideas—then we start to make generalizations. universal rules and laws begin apply to everyone and everything in that category. and while i believe (in a Joseph Campbell-esque way) that we are all one, i equally believe that each person is incredibly unique. the dangers of compartmentalization can lead to stereotypes, to prejudice, and to dissonance of the extremely hateful kind.

but if we can separate some things and group other ones together, and most importantly, never forget that just because they are similar does not mean we can treat them the same, then every person can be special, every moment can be a unique and fulfilling encounter.

i woke up this morning at our Villa in Bali—a quaint and magnificent oasis surrounded by rice paddies and away from the hubbub of the touristy city and beach areas…

my companions, Stephen, Toshi, and Paul, are out surfing. i imagine them like dolphins, freely gliding along the waves in and out of the shores…

i will join them in a surf adventure later and revisit an activity that i haven’t done in over ten years.

there is a certain level of anxiety in this seemingly mundane task. because growing up on Long Beach Island surfing, being around surfers, was my life. but i never mastered it or got anywhere close. and i had long since left it behind.

i realize now, that i couldn’t do it because i was scared. it was an extremely fearful time of my life—being an adolescent teenager. it is for many people, if not most, right? and can you imagine growing up being this strange hybrid creature in a land full of humans who seem like they belong there? who built this civilization to be as they desire? i became a master at the skill of chameleon (which came in handy later as an actor), but it meant that i largely changed to fit my surroundings and negated the other parts of me that were present and yet, unseen. i was an interloper, and i realize that now. i wasn’t traumatized by it growing up. in fact, i never gave it much thought. if i thought about it, i would have had to acknowledge it. it scared me, but it never stopped me.

and neither will the fact that it has been so long since surfing last, or that it brings up some of the demons associated with that lifestyle and those times. i feel more balanced than ever before in my life. and more prepared to ride the waves of my dreams and destiny, wherever i belong and wherever they may lead…

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Written by lobsterbird