Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Tao of the Macaroni & Cheese Puzzle

I received a 108 piece double-sided macaroni puzzle for my birthday this year. It was a great gift because I hadn't done a puzzle in a number of years. This particular puzzle, despite its size and low number of pieces, was extremely difficult. As I emptied the box, spilled the contents on to my artboard, and began to flip and separate the pieces, I began to contemplate life and love through the eyes of a puzzle piece.

In essence life is like a puzzle. It begins in chaos. We are conceived and spend nine months in the puzzle box womb of our mothers. As we are born the contents of the box are unleashed and we spill onto the drawing table of the world. As we grow and learn, the border pieces of our lives begin to take shape. Sometime during adolescence, the border is completed and the framework of what our life is to become begins to take shape. What we are left with is the lifelong, arduous task of arranging the remaining pieces into something beautiful, picturesque or logical. Each day of our lives we are in some way completing this puzzle. Forever trying to find the right piece to fill the parts of our lives that are incomplete. If we are diligent and patient, the puzzle begins make sense. Once it begins to make sense, the process of completion becomes a simple organizational task.

This brings me to love. We as individuals are a lot like puzzle pieces. We all are looking for how we fit into the bigger picture. We are all like a puzzle pieces because while we all have similarities, no two puzzle pieces are exactly the same. Some of us are part of 5000 piece expert puzzles, some are part of a far smaller, easier to complete puzzle.

There are three types of puzzle pieces: corners, edges, and interior pieces. The corner pieces are the rarest of the pieces, these are the visionaries in our society. Next are the edges, they form the frame in which the rest of the pieces will eventually fall. These are the professionals, the artists, the scientists, the architects, the doctors, the teachers, the engineers, the athletes, the musicians, the actors, the entertainers. Lastly are the interior pieces, the most common of the three. These are the workers. Without these pieces there would be no picture. All of these pieces must all work together to complete the grand picture of life.

When looking for love, this is especially relevant. The interior pieces have it the easiest. There are four pieces that one can be perfectly connected... four great loves. The edge pieces have but three great loves, and the corner pieces only two great loves. We stumble throughout our lives trying to find these perfect matches. In the process we try lots of wrong pieces, trying to make this connection. Sometimes, pieces look as if they ALMOST fit. The piece is the same size, color, and shape, but it's just not the right piece. That piece belongs somewhere else in the puzzle. It's another's perfect match and no matter how much we try to force it, the puzzle cannot be completed with those two pieces connected in an imperfect way. We are all looking for our perfect match. If we quit in the middle of the search for the missing piece, we can never hope to see the full picture of life.

So to all of you who read this, go out today and buy a puzzle. Open the box, spill the contents onto your kitchen table, flip then separate the pieces, and go to work on completing the puzzle. While you do so, remember these words. Remember your great loves. Remember when you were a child and didn't have anything to figure out. Remember when you figured out who you were as a person. Remember when you put your own life on its current path.

I see my own life in this process. Over and over again I keep placing piece after piece onto the puzzle and the more I concentrate on slowly putting things together, the more the picture begins to take shape. Hell... if I ever feel like I've got it all figured out or if I get to the point of completion, I'll just break it up into its original form and do it all over again. To me life is about the journey not the destination.

The Skratchman

Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Weekend 2011 Wrap-Up...

As I opened my blog, I realized that it has been almost two months since my last post... WHEW! Unacceptable... So much has happened since August 30th. Each year around this time I make birthday "resolutions" not unlike New Years Resolutions except I tend to take these a little more seriously. Its all a product of my daily quest to be better than the day before.

I don't regret not posting for a while... I live my life very publicly on the intrawebz, and often times I have to live an entirely private life. These memories I have made in these two months are mine. You guys didn't get to share them with me. If you are friends with me on Facebook and/or follow me on twitter, you know I've been doing well. That's all you need to know. I have, in fact, been doing well... fantastic even...

There's no time like the present. AmIRite??? Well, this brings me to October 21st, 2011. My birthday fell on a Friday this year, which means next year my birthday will fall on a Sunday since next year is a Leap year... Am I angry that 2012 has gipped me out of a Saturday birthday next year?? What a silly question! I could never be angry at 2012. We don't even know each other.

This year I turned 28... again. Friday was my actual birthday, and I spent it exactly how I wanted to spend it. I spent the day anxiously awaiting updates from Stephannie on her drive in from Austin. I had just finished reading "Jitterbug Perfume" the day before after taking an increbibly long time getting started by reading about 20 pages per sitting for the last month or so, I blazed through the final 100 pages on the morning Thursday October, 20th. The final chapter was still emanating in my psyche, as I continued to contemplate the actual significance of the novel in my life right now. "Am I Alobar, and she Kudra?" What a beautiful question!

At six o'clock, I begin my drive to Lafayette down I-10. I took my time and arrived in Lafayette around 8:20. I took the University exit and proceeded to the Racetrack to begin my wait. I realized something upon my exit to Lafayette. Lafayette has it bad from a public perception standpoint as evidenced by the exits off of I-10. You have the General Mouton exit which is probably the least sketchy of the four. But the other three, Johnson St, Evangeline Thruway, and University all cross through the poorest parts of the city. If you're an outsider coming in, you would NEVER think that River Ranch and Broadmoor even existed. I hope the plans for the I-49 extension go directly on top of the Thruway. This would allow the city to add a few more desirable exits into the city (Willow, Congress, Johnson St. Pinhook, etc...) This is what I thought of whilst I was waiting for Steph to arrive. It was ultimately briefly summarized in my Facebook status of the evening: "Waiting for my lady at Racetrack on N. University... Dude, Lafayette is so f*cking sketchy." Sketchy indeed, sir. Sketchy indeed.

On Saturday, I did Herb Import's Roktober fest... ALWAYS SUPER FUN, and I got my Professor Farnsworth action figure. So I was cool.

The details of the weekend will remain private. All I will say is that it was one of the greatest birthday weekends of my life.

As I drove home on Sunday, I had a lot of time to reflect on my weekend, previous year, my plans for the next year, my immediate future, and my 5-year-plan. I came up with a nice list of realistic goals for myself:

1. Be a better deejay

2. Draw more

3. Grow the business

4. Buy more plants

5. Explore new recipes

6. Continue to exercise daily

7. Write more

These are all realistic, and only further expound on things I'm already doing and would like to do more of. This is the first year a very long time that I feel a very real sense of liberation. For the last few years I had been a rut... plain and simple. I lost my way. Now that I'm on this new path, each step that I take along this path feels like a first step. 2011 has been a great year so far. I can only see great things happening for 2012.


The Skratchman