Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Istanbul was Constaninople

Sometimes why you feel something doesn't matter. Feelings defy intellect; sometimes quite directly. You get yourself a strong feeling, and all the whys in the world don't add up to a two-inch speed-bump; they're going to go where they want to go, and they're taking you and your flailing brain along with them. Right or wrong. Good or bad. Smart or stupid. Safe or dangerous. Emotion just loves to remind you that words are nothing but nonsense sounds we have assigned meaning to, and their meanings are as ephemeral as our imaginations.

You can choose to follow blindly, and be carried away to paradise/utter oblivion/nowhere in particular/right back where you started, or you can dig your heels in and fight it, kicking and clawing. And who's to say which is better? Your gut's right at least as often as your brain, and your brain is a lot righter than your gonads, but where does your heart fit into the equation? What exactly is the percentage of correctness of the human heart? Well, first of all, it depends on whose heart, right? You have to look at the heart's story; its training, its abuses, its accidents, its victories, and its defeats. And perhaps just as important as where it is, is when it is (although it's arguably the same thing – see Einstein, spacetime continuum, blah blah blah). By that I mean when/where it is in its personal history; in its timeline of experience, education, and evolution.

All illusions of "rightness" aside, here is my current philosophy, somewhere in the middle of this, my twenty-seventh year: The needs of the heart are above all, but you can't just follow your heart, because your heart doesn't have any brains. At the same time, your brains don't have any heart, your gut is frequently full of shit, and your gonads are almost certainly either a dick or a pussy. Like humans, dolphins, monkeys, and dogs, though, they can learn to communicate in some ways, despite their vast differences. Feelings can, at least partially, be understood, and as we gain understanding we can enlist the support of more of our faculties. When you can get them work in tandem, rather than opposition, you can find a better path toward getting what you need.

I suggest this: Listen to your heart, first. Then consult your gut and your brain to come up with the best plan. What you do with your gonads is your business.

(end entry #1)

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(start entry #2)

Now. All that sounds fine and good, and it was that philosophy that I was clinging to about two hours ago when I starting writing the above entry, but now, I wonder if it's just the excuse for cowardice. This is where Old Brent and New Brent meet and do battle. There's the Wide-Eyed Brent of the past with his love-will-conquer-all fanatical beliefs. Then there's the Grizzled and Harried Brent of the present, with is bruises and scars, and burn-marks that maybe aren't quite healed through. If I know these two well (and I certainly do), I know they'll be up all night, arguing over the validity of the above entry.

If the question is, "Do you believe what you wrote?" The answer is I don't know.

I will say this, though: The best path between you and what your heart wants is seldom a straight line – but your heart doesn't know that. Your heart will dart toward what it wants like a starving dog for its dinner, and if there's a field of cacti and volcanoes in between, so be it. Your gut, however, is pretty fucking adept at sensing danger, and your brain isn't entirely useless, either. Like I said, though, don't even get me started on the gonads – those fucking things… *

That's all the wisdom I've got for tonight.

Happy trails,

Brent 4.29.07 10.48pm

* 10 points for anyone who caught that pun.

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