Here’s to You, Humanity (Now with foreword)

Some of you have likely already seen the content of this post. Those of you who have been following me for some time on Facecult especially. I’m posting it again here, because I need to have a quick-link to it, as it is something that I need to re-read every now and again.

About this essay: I wrote this on a very, very bad day. One of the worst in recent memory, though it was just under two years ago at this point. I was wallowing in confused anger, self-loathing, and general badness. It was not good by any means, but then I started to pity myself.

I can’t stand self-pity. Especially when I’m the one doing it. So, I took everything that I was feeling, and used it to drive me forward. I wrote this with a passion in a single sitting, crying the whole time. I was determined that, rather than let myself be consumed, I was going to create something beautiful and put it out in the world.

I hope you find as much meaning in it as I do.


Here’s to you, Humanity.

We all have had bad days, some of us bad months, even years. We all bear our private demons, each and every one of us. We have been battered, bruised, broken, and some days it seems rare to see a person with more whole flesh than scars, metaphorical or otherwise. Things don’t always go our way, and sometimes a single no will appear to erase all of the times an answer has been yes.

Maybe it was a hard time, harder than any we had previously encountered. Maybe there are far too many clouds to see the silver lining, at least for now. But that, in a nutshell, is what makes us human. The clouds will break for us.

Maybe not now, maybe not today, maybe not for years to come, but we persevere. At the end of the day, when the little voice of our demons whisper how it would be easier to give up, to accept what is, we wipe the sweat from our sunburned brows and press on. The night holds no fear for us when we walk as one people, the song of our collective hopes, dreams, and souls on our lips.

Look around us. We are ragged, tired, overworked. We are radiant, energized, fulfilled. We are the eye of the beholder, we see each others’ scars and declare one another beautiful. We march through the pain, pressing onward until our feet become calloused and strong.

It is through our trials that we discover ourselves. It is too often easy to look around and say that we are content. We can become better. What better is, we are still figuring out. The important thing is that WE do it. It is not for any one person to say what is better for any other. By uplifting our fellows, we become stronger as a whole.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, or so it is said. Ostracizing a weak link exacerbates the problem, it does not solve it. We are humanity. Human is a descriptor that we can all ascribe by. Rather than distancing ourselves from a problem, we can work together to strengthen the chain as a whole. Strength is whatever can solve the problem at hand. We are stronger than we know, wiser than we think, and together, any challenge can be conquered.

Maybe it’s all a pipe dream. Maybe we are stuck in a holding pattern. But, then again, maybe we aren’t.

We can do anything. WE are the embodiment of chaos and order, method and madness. WE are the force for change. WE may have had a bad day, but WE wipe the blood from our split lips and keep trying. WE have no use for obstacles claiming to be insurmountable, for WE have already defeated far worse. WE are HUMANITY, and WE are getting better.

So, here’s to you Humanity. It may seem bad today, but we’ve already done this dance. We know the steps, and though our muscles ache and our bodies bleed, we live. We live. WE are LIFE.

Here’s to you, Humanity. Here’s to all of us.

What a way to start this off…

This is just something I do to calm my thoughts when I am frustrated, or to extend my self-awareness as a meditative exercise, or even just to get me feeling good when I need the boost.

First off, get naked.

No, this isn’t a weird sex thing. Trust me, while I am perfectly capable, willing, and eager to talk about weird sex things, I will generally start the post off saying that such topics will be covered in today’s discussion, so that those who don’t care to read about weird sex things can, well, not read about them. This one is not such a post. Rather, this is a Deep Thoughts post.

So, is everyone who’s still here naked? Good! Now move.

Do a little dance. Stretch. Do some yoga. Walk through a Martial Arts Kata. Imitate that one thing that you saw on TV once and thought it looked badass. Whatever works for you. Just get your body moving.

Now, instead of looking around the room, or staring into space while listening to music, look down at your body. Keep moving while you do it, and pay close attention to what is happening. See the way your muscles work, the way your skin moves. Try stretching a bit, and try to watch the tendons extend as you feel the stretch in your limbs. Watch the way your chest moves with every breath.

Then try to take in the fact of what is happening. Picture your lungs working, organic bellows pumping the oxygen into your blood. See the blood flow through your veins, carrying that oxygen to the rest of your body. The valves opening and closing, sending the fluid to every inch of tissue. Imagine your joints as hinges, as simple machines. See the muscles and tendons pull back the levers and release them once more.

How many different changes on a cellular level must have gone on in the course of evolution to make us what we are now? What vast, generation-spanning events must have cause the first of our land-dwelling ancestors to crawl from the sea, lungs filling with dry air? The great organic engine of the Human body, as inefficient as it is at times, is a marvel of genetic coding. When Darwin first began writing his books, did he sit back and try to ponder the great eons that passed in between the exodus to dry land and the first actual hominid? Our journey has been a long one, and we are still walking. We go from jetting along at a single-celled level to walking upright as the apex species of our planet, and still our feeble minds are unable to comprehend the passing of years that brought us here. We can put a number to it now, but even that is an abstraction. Time is vast, overwhelmingly so, and yet, here we are.

We are what has come out of it. Our ancestors fought tooth and nail to survive their environment, and underneath the clothes we have fashioned for ourselves, our bright artificial plumage, our shield against the elements, we are still animals like any other. Flesh and bone, at once intensely humbling and inexplicably majestic. We are beautiful, our movements capturing the results of the efforts of more species than we probably yet know about. A machine in skin, a thinking engine strong enough to comprehend this, and silly enough to think ourselves above it.

Being an animal isn’t a bad thing. We are not really separate from them. We eat of their flesh, as predators do, and although we have not always been the best stewards of this as a species, we manage population levels while doing so. We are built forward-facing, the mark of a hunter, with hands designed for fine manipulation. Move and stretch your fingers. See the tendons on the back of your hand. Why do we see the body as grotesque? There is a primal beauty to every aspect of it! Mostly because others tell us to in order to profit off our discomfort. To deny them, throw off the forced perspective. See the tapestry of you, with all of its minute flaws and minute perfections. Accept the flesh you wear, a moving meditation. Breath in and exalt in the sensation of the air moving through you, the feel of it on your bare skin. Rejoice in your senses, perceive the world as only a creature with your unique senses can. Adore yourself.

Ok, that’s it. You can stop moving. You can even put on clothes if you want. Whatever floats your boat.

In any case, that’s what I do. A sort of material-centric meditation, as well as a bit of exercise. If it works for you, I’m glad. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too. I also enjoy chocolate for all of the above problems/solutions. Try that.

In any case, you are beautiful. Yes, you.


The Beginning

Hello there.

It is a recurring theme in literature that I have read that, when describing an immortal character, the author will make some comment to the effect of “When the universe ends, they will be the ones who turn off the lights on the way out.”

Well, this is the start.

I don’t claim to be immortal (often), but one doesn’t exactly need to know the end of the story to open the book to the first page. This is me, opening the door and flicking on the light. The beginning of the universe, at least as far as this tiny section of reality is concerned.

What is to be here?

Me. Doesn’t really matter what portion or part, strict definitions are the domain of the deductive. As you can clearly read, this is the inductive reality. The slice of uncertainty that makes definitive answers impossible.

In other words, I don’t know exactly what the result of this blog will be, and I can’t know until it happens. However, I can indeed make an educated guess.

As a good friend of mine put it recently, I have things to say. These will be true things, bits of the world as I perceive it. They may be serious, silly, outrageous, hilarious, or downright weird depending only on the state of mind that I was in when I committed these sections of my thought process to writing. They may range from bits of my personal philosophy, to opinions I have about world events, to geeky things that excite me to an extreme and possibly undignified degree.

They will all be true, however. The realities of the world that we all inhabit mean that the social face we put forward is often a mask that truth hides behind. In this case, consider this blog a mask made of glass. Completely see-through for any who care to look. I can’t promise that we will always agree, or that I will make sense, or that you, dear reader, will even like what you see behind the mask.

And that’s okay. I’m not here to preach, be a guru, or claim that I’ve got it all figured out. I really don’t. The whole point of inductive logic is that all your known variables can be true and you can still arrive at a false conclusion.

I know that x=y, and 2y=z. Therefore, 2x should equal z. I can say that, in all likelihood, it is highly probable that 2x=z. The world, on the other hand, involves so many unknowable variables at any given time that it is never that easy.

I don’t know everything. I know X. I know Y. I can’t for the life of me know why 2x=Salmon.

That’s life. So I’m no life coach, selling a product made of two-penny wisdom and clapping for pixies. I haven’t got this crazy whirlwind ride figured out more than the next person, but I have learned some things that work for me.

And I have things to say. If I only make one other person per post think about something, then this has been a worthwhile venture.

If the concept of getting a closer look at the inner workings of my head is intriguing, if my life experiences can somehow give you a new perspective on something in your own life, or even if you’re just here for the geekiness, I welcome you. If you are here for some reason other than the above, I welcome you. If you are here just to be welcomed, I welcome you.

Let’s turn on the lights.