Day 469: Nine Months In & Out
Well Blaze is nine months old today. It's official. As of an hour ago he's been in the world as long as he was inside Jeannette; give or take. He hasn't said much about the second leg of his Earthly experience, but judging by the current glazed look in his eyes, in addition to the snot running out of his nose and the explosions from his face that we're assuming are sneezes of some kind -with the occasional fart thrown in for good measure... judging by all this he's not too enthused at all about life in the world at this particular moment.
I have no doubt today is a tad more relaxing than nine months ago however, when in a spiralling gush of limbs and bodily fluids he came shooting out into the world, only to be caught by a rather stunned doctor who for some reason sat waiting for him to come out on his own, without any aid or guidance whatsoever. Once out he was then immediately whisked off to a sterile, steel bed where he was poked and prodded and snipped and tied-off and generally probed all over like a poor, slumbering trailer park sap who got beamed up from his bed to a particularly meddlesome group of aliens.
So today is more relaxing than that experience, we can safely assume, and yet not half as pleasant as the experience that led to his conception. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
So as he sits right now at the table being fed by Jeannette, he's somewhere in the middle of the two experiences and it's probably just as well. One can't keep up such extremes and hope to achieve any balance in life whatsoever. His poor heart couldn't possibly keep up with all the excitement. He'd burn out by the time he was five. It just can't be done. Probably good then that things have settled down for him somewhat, even if he's suffering through a bit of a cold to mark this rather momentous occasion. Not momentous in the grand scheme of a life I suppose, as most people only remember their birthdays, major accidents, awards and other such grand moments, but when you're only 9 months old you have to work with what you have. And today, at least, is a little bit special from his point of view... or at least, from ours.
He doesn't seem to give two shits what day it is to be honest. I don't even think he knows what year it is. What a big hill this kid has to climb! He knows nothing Jon Snow!! I suppose given that reality he doesn't really have time to revel in these types of celebrations as he's got a lot on his plate. He's only now able to pick up objects and hold them out in front of him for any extended period without accidentally spasming and throwing it halfway across the room. This is a big achievement and should help him figure out things like the date, and the time, as now, at least, he would be technically able to hold a clock in front of his face long enough to study it, or a calendar. I don't see that happening for some time as he's more focused on holding himself up in front of his new favourite toy, which happens to have a mirror -surprise, surprise (vanity!!) but in time I'm sure he'll figure it all out.
No pressure from this guy. I've got my own stuff to figure out.
I worked pretty much all day, as Jeannette and Blaze intermittently napped. We had a rough night last night as he slept between us, though perhaps "slept" is a bit of a misnomer. He didn't sleep so much as lay still for five to ten minutes at a time, as buckets of drool spilled out of his teething mouth, and would then proceed to suddenly cry out and throw himself into another random position -generally either sprawled atop, or sidled up against one of us- until repeating the jarring scene again and again until finally I got up in the am, bleary eyed, and went in to work.
I had about five minutes celebration today, when I finally completed my list of images to a point that I can start memorizing them; confident now that I won't be throwing it all out and starting again because I'm not happy with what I've done. Oh I've completed lists -of a kind- before, but as I said, I've never remained happy with them. Turns out I was doing the whole thing ass backwards. Now that I've at least finally committed to a process and have shown definite self-discipline in sticking to it and not throwing my computer out the window at any point along the way when things get a little complicated, tells me that in addition to Blaze turning nine months today, the completion of said list was another reason to celebrate.
Unfortunately, as I was saying to Jeannette earlier, the momentary feeling of euphoria lasted only that long, a mere moment, and was then overshadowed by the new set of tasks I've set before myself that are going to be difficult and time consuming as well. That is... learning the images to such a degree that they become even better than second nature... which is what?? First nature?? Who can say? Point is, it felt a lot like that episode of the Simpsons where Homer climbs Mount Everest, finally making it to what he thinks is the peak, until the clouds part revealing an even higher peak and he goes from elation to "DOH!"
I suppose that's what life is really like anyway, if you break it down to a metaphor, which is all we can really hope to do to properly understand each other. At least, that's what life is like if you happen to be the type to climb mountains to begin with, regular or metaphorical. If not then I suppose things must be pretty easy for you as you've already achieved everything in life you wanted to do. As my dad once said to a student at school who told him that he didn't want to become anything when he grew up, "then congratulations, you're already there."
Not so for me I'm afraid. I'm more like Homer, at least in that episode, with always another mountain to climb, never satisfied with the peak I'm currently on. Hockey, cartooning, animation, comedy, acting.. and now this new pursuit with a much more hazy, mysterious peak than those other activities. Never settled. Never satisfied. That's changed a lot since I left LA obviously, and I'm at least now enjoying this ascent more than I did those other ones, wracked by anxiety and fear as I was; knowing now as I do what it's really all about, if I'm not yet fully able to articulate it. This much is for certain though, in case you were wondering, just because I'm now living in the middle of the woods in rural Nova Scotia doesn't mean I've stopped ascending.
This final peak, the most difficult and rewarding of them all, should be challenging enough to take me right up to the end. Finally! A worthy ambition!
I thought comedy would do that. I really did. It was the one thing that never bored me as it was always the case that a joke would go well one night and poorly the next, leading to a constant cycle of tinkering and honing that would go on ad infinitum. Since there's no way you'd ever get to a point that no matter where you were or who you were in front of, the laughs were a given, the process itself becomes never ending, the game itself, unbeatable. It would then stand to reason, I assumed, that the comedy gas tank would never go empty and I would enjoy it forever.
Not so as it turns out.
All pursuits, if they are merely pursuits for the glory of the ego, will be ultimately unsatisfying. Pretty sure that's a cardinal rule of life. Which means -if we keep with the metaphor introduced earlier- that there really is, in fact, no final peak to ascend to at all, and we're all either blessed -or doomed, depending on your perspective- to just keep climbing. That's what you begin to see the more you look honestly into life, until it finally dawns on you that not only are there no peaks and no final destinations, but there are also no mountains.
All journeys, no matter how and where they take place, are undertaken within.
Can you tell I'm reading a book written by a yogi??
I'll leave you on that, and with one final congratulations to my son Blaze, for his nine month birthday. He's a good lad, with a great smile and penetrating eyes, who has helped gived meaning to a life that once had none. If I ever get pulled back into the realm of illusion I have only to watch this kid for a moment to re-find my way. He's like a bright oil lamp in the midst of a dense fog. No one else may celebrate a nine month birthday, but his mom and I certainly did, and we look forward to many more...
...even while working diligently on not looking forward at all.