Tag Archives: Goals

Mountain Climbing

Okay, so it wasn’t a mountain. It was more of a hill.

And I didn’t climb, I walked. Though I reckon the two verbs merge as angle of degree increases. Still, I would be hesitant to ascribe the perhaps exaggerated exertion of climbing to the route I took to the Hubbard Park Tower which was 90% paved road.

But the pavement part leading to the relatively level trail-inside-the-park had an ungodly elevation to it that suited the street names of Hillside and Cliff. Even the final street before the Tower Loop, Corse, sounds enough like curse and course to make it seem readily a part of such spot-on naming.

The frequent changes in inclination here are surely a wonder to behold, but they can also be a challenge to making pedestrian plans. A short and sweet route on Google Maps often gets a reality check that reveals itself to be longer and not near as pie-easy as originally anticipated.

But I kept faith in my chosen path, put one foot in front of the other, and made it to the tower. I climbed — stairs inside, so it is climbing — to the top and took a picture of the new view I had:

IMG_20130830_165518

Kind of a crappy picture, I know.

I did it with my phone and my face reflected back at me, so I couldn’t be sure what kind of view I actually had through its lens. Also, in retrospect, I should have used landscape view. Nevertheless, it gives perspective that a ground-view doesn’t offer and I like the isolated  house or two up in the hills that it captured.

However, the most important thing is that the path I walked took me where I wanted to go. The map may have obfuscated the difficulty involved, but it did not lie. I just had to follow it the best I could and, based on my previous knowledge of maps, I had certainty that my goal would be achieved.

I wish I had that kind of confidence in my other exertions.

I find myself suffused with doubt about my ability to do anything that truly matters. The kind of doubt that looks up a staircase of meaningless infinity and is overwhelmed from taking the steps needed to get anywhere. Indeed, the kind of crippling existential doubt that not only questions the chosen where, but wonders if there is a mattering where to be found.

So much so, I’ve let myself mentally and philosophically languish.

I’ve been in a kind of thought coma that I’ve been having difficulty waking up from. I know I should have deep thoughts, want to have deep thoughts, deserve to have deep thoughts… but one of the problems with deep thoughts is that any single one of them is only arrived at after a journey much more involved and difficult than a jaunt to the tower.

The other problem is the obvious one: the deeper the thought, the less clear what the best route is, or whether the route being taken is a good one at all.

It is like climbing a mountain where your footing not only is uncertain at best, but there is a nagging feeling that upon reaching the summit, if one is even reached, you will cast a gaze in the distance and realize you should have been climbing that one way over there.

I’ve been trying to squelch such depressing and disempowering thoughts, since the alternative is staying way down here where nothing grows and the way over there would still be way over there; we just wouldn’t know it.

On Amazon today, I looked inside the kindle edition of the most recent book by the septuagenarian philosopher Daniel C  Dennett. At the start of chapter one he has a quote by Bo Dahlbom that made me feel considerable — and deserved — guilt at letting my tools rust and my blades dull.

You can’t do much carpentry with your bare hands and you
can’t do much thinking with your bare brain.

Philosophical mountains call to me and I think my backpack’s been on the floor for far too long.

Ear We Go

I can hear in my left ear now.

I took matters in my own hands and can now hear again in my left ear.

Well, rather, took matters into Q-tip. And yeah, I know, you’re not supposed to do stuff like that. But several days of using Rite Aid home treatment and the world still mostly coming up soundless from the left drove me to it.

There’s a mostly there in the above because hearing isn’t the same all day. I didn’t know that until no sound at all came in. For far too brief packets I felt my ear almost start to open up, but then retreat to its clogged state for whatever unknown to me  bodily reasons. So I clumsily but effectively unclogged it, with all the grossness implied, and presto-chango I can hear.

Maybe not band conductor great, but hear compared to deaf is its own kind of great. As is being able to wear headphones again while I write.

And I need to write. I want to write. I should write.

But I haven’t done that good of a job of it of late. I haven’t journaled regularly in quite awhile and my once steady production has waned to the point of being an endangered species.

Oh, I could blame it on externals. The work-at-home job I do is far from slack-at-home. It is intense during those hours and it is tiring. There are also the seemingly endless administrative and household stuff that always need attention and they are their own form of tiring.

I could also talk of mental states; states of melancholy, depression, and the meaning of life in general seeming like the meaningless of life, especially in light of the casual disregard with which we treat the loss of it.

But the main problem with excuses is they serve no purpose for the self.

Oh, sure, they are useful for trying to get out of a ticket or explaining a missed deadline or, I reckon, for trying to justify why the hell you would acquit a man who chased down and killed an unarmed boy. And yeah, sure, another problem with excuses is that they are often bad ones.

But the primary problem with them is that they don’t change anything; post-excuses, the self is still the same self that hasn’t accomplished its supposedly important goals.

So I’m trying to figure out how to unclog my writing life and open it up again.

And if I didn’t write today, if I used some excuse not to write today, it still would be as supposedly important a goal to me as it ever was; but I would also be just as far from seeing that goal’s actualization.

Too bad there isn’t a Q-tip for the brain…

Oh, wait. But there is.

There’s this.