Crash

There was a movie made a couple of years back called Crash. I can’t say I was much of a fan of this movie because it seemed to use extreme stereotypes to deliver its message. Personally, I feel that if you are going to do a film or story with a ‘message’ then you have to go outside the box and find the story that delivers that message, rather than try to build a story around the message.

However, the concept was an interesting one – even a good one. To me, it posed the question: Is life a series of crashes in which we are all victims or do we create crashes in our lives in order to make contact with it?

In recent months I’ve been doing a lot of crashing in my life, with my life, around my life and to my life. I won’t deny that this has bothered me a great deal. While I’ve always been a person who ponders and at least tries to look at the deeper meaning of life, I have always been able to see the light side and tried to just enjoy my life, such as it is. I’ve even been known to find life an utter and complete joy for no better reason than the sun was shining and my garden was growing.

So, to realize that life has become a series of crashes, both real and metphoric was a bit of a stunner for me. And of course, I’m not talking about the good crashes. That fun and exciting, inexplicable slam into the swing of things. That amazing tango of new and exciting concepts, people, places and things. That banging out of the door to greet yet another glorious day. Oh no, my friend – not those types of crashes at all.

Rather, I’m talking about cars being damaged, employee revolts, headaches, stomach aches, tax returns, root canals, bad digestion, sleepless nights, frustration, self-doubt and the sense of being trapped in a small box, dancing in peanut butter while wearing a white dress. Old Chevy keeps breaking down, running out of money on my credit cards to cover it – okay, got a new car – oops now there’s a big dent. Job that I loved went to nowheresville, okay get a new job – oops, it’s hell on earth. Hmm, hangnail, let me just take care of that – oops, now I’ve ripped the whole nail out of place. Yep, it’s been fun. A real laugh riot.

But given the kind of person I am, I refuse to surrender. I refuse to lay down and die. Even though sometimes, I think I’m going to just expire like last week’s cottage cheese and go down in a blue flame of methane gas – some kernal remains alive and true to who or what I am.

I wonder if God is testing me or maybe it’s just me testing me. In the past, when I’ve become bored, a buttload of trouble followed. That sure got my interest going again. But there must be a better way to get interested in life again. There must be a less threatening way to feel alive than to have everything go to shit and then go through the tedious process of pasting it back together again. Right?

And the only answer that seems to surface is creativity. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sounds like something we could all do. We could just go create something. People do it all the time – it takes the form of hobbies, sports, gardening, singing, dancing, telling jokes, hell even re-arranging the livingroom could classify as something creative. Yet, it seems when you need them the most, the creative juices won’t flow. They’ve frozen and slammed shut the door that leads you there. The colors of the world around us sort of dull down. There are too many crashes going on around us. The door is broken, the cat is sick, your child is having a crisis, work sucks the life out of you. The most creative you feel is maybe voting for the least offensive American Idol contestant. Or possibly painting your fingernails (although the dry time is a bitch).

What’s a person to do? Life ganging up on one can sure seem like a pretty unfair fight. I mean shit, you against all of life? The whole universe? The entirety of the inertia of apathy that has snowballed and blocked your front door? Not fair. Not fair at all. Can you say, I surrender?

But here’s the thing. You have a choice. You really do. At least, I think you (I) do. You can just say, no. Really, you can. You can turn the tables and say, ‘okay life, what are you gonna throw at me today?’ You can laugh in the face of life and say, ‘big fricking deal.’ I know whenever I’ve read any book about a self-made, successful person that seems to be what they have done. They have made and lost fortunes several times in their lives. They have gone where few have dared to go. They had vision. They had guts. And man oh man did they have disappointments and troubles too. I’d like to think I could do that. I’m not sure I can. I’m not sure I have the nerves of steel or vision or whatever it is to do such things – but I must have enough gumption to get a little creativity going, right?

Yeah, I’m always going to have the bullshit stuff. Jobs, rent, dental visits – bills, problems, whatever… But I’ve denied myself my own joy of creating of late. I’ve denied myself the permission and pleasure to look around and see all the pretty things that surround me. Many of which I made myself. I took Roomies two pathetic strips of dirt in the backyard, which he was using for weeds, and planted a garden. Now I have lettuce, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and flowers. It sure didn’t cost much and really didn’t take that much time – but I sure do get a charge out of it. Every day when I get home from work, I say to my dog, ‘okay, let’s go look at the garden.’ She gets so excited she nearly explodes. So we go. Actually, I look at the garden and she runs around chasing her tail – but we both get a charge out of it.

I still have a pretty car, even though some joker left his mark in it. I have friends and I have ideas. And those may be the bestest and prettiest things I have in my life. Ideas. They are free-form and ever-changing – they are new and different and they are something wholly and completely made of myself. No seeds necessary, no fertilizer, no participation from others even – though those things help. They don’t weigh anything, don’t require closet space and I can take them with me wherever I wander.

So, I’m taking a do-over on my particular crashes in life. I’m going start crashing into my creative inner child. I’m going to crash into the sunshine and see what’s out there. If other people don’t like it, then they’ll just have to figure out their own crashes I guess. Maybe you’d like to give it a try too. If nothing else, it’s sure to be an adventure. Happy landing.

WC

15 thoughts on “Crash

  1. If we could all adopt this attitude, what a pleasant world this would be.

    It is the reaction to these “crashes” that can break a person down or spur one on and forward.

    Thanks for sharing this. We needed it.

    ~christine

    Hey Christine! Thanks – I think this post was a long time coming. Been trying to figure out how to put it in words. Luckily, I made some sense.
    WC

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  2. yep, have had several crashes myself, but than i guess i wouldn’t be the person i am today, without them, so i gotta take the good with the bad and keep going….

    l/y
    FC

    That we do, that we do.
    l/y
    WC

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  3. i have adopted a similar attitude, especially since my house is like a blank canvas, literally. white walls beige carpet. i actually got a tempting offer to party-harty last night and i turned it down. now that may not seem to be a huge thing but believe me IT IS. i LOVE to party, and for me to turn it down to go to my home and relax is anything but the norm.. i like it though, and i was able to get up and be bright eyed and bushy tailed today instead of draggin ass. i wish you luck on your happy venture!

    And I wish you luck in yours. A new home – what a wonderful adventure. 🙂
    WC

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  4. Hi WC,

    Fortunately, I am a good driver, so the last crash I was involved with was in 1988, and, considering I was stopped at a red light when hit, it can hardly be consider my fault. Unless you mean the desperate need for sleep which hit me around two AM at our last big Xmas party, no doubt induced by the incredible amount of adult beverages I consumed that night, in which case, I would point out that several of our guests had to sleep over before being fit to drive.

    Although, it could be that you mean an emotional crash, such as I suffered when I lost my last “real job.” Fortunately, even though I did the expected self loathing phase, it turned out to be the second best thing that ever happened to me. The top billing, of course, going to finding my wife 🙂

    the Grit

    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    Well, it seems then, that it worked out in the end, yes? Nice that you gave the Missus top billing. I’m sure she appreciates it and deserves it. 😉
    WC

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  5. Your euphemism of “crash” is quite descriptive and a much craftier way of saying that life is a series of small adventures. I’ve heard is said so many different ways; success is in the journey not the destination, and all the others.

    But, you’ve recognized a universal truth, we can all swim through life, letting the waves and current takes where they want, or we can actively engage each of life’s hurdles, gaining valuable experience from each one.

    I’ve always been told that each crash makes us stronger the next time. But, I like to think that each crash teaches us something that will help us avoid another one.

    Philosophy has always been my weak point, I can never truly express myself so loftily and theoretically. Its refreshing to read someone who can.

    You’ve captured an excellent idea in the post, take charge, give a redo and keep going. Don’t roll over and let the tides of despair bring you down.

    Hey Ham,
    Thank you for saying such nice things. I don’t really think of myself as philosophic at all, so that was a bit of a shock. But, if you found some truth or got something out of the post, I’m happy.

    I really do like the do-over concept, don’t you? Truly, how many things in life are there where we can’t do a do-over?

    Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comments.

    WC

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  6. Good luck with the mulligan. We all need one from time to time.

    Hey thanks, buddy……what’s a mulligan? I thought that was a stew or something. 😯
    WC

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  7. Awesome post! The crash and burn sucks. You are absolutly right, creating something, anything, stops the burning. Gotta remember that!!

    Well sweetie, if anybody lives this philosophy it’s you. Duh! 😉
    WC

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  8. Hmmm the last time I crashed I left EVERYTHING there. I surrendered, but I did not give up. That was over 15 years ago. I discovered that when a man (woman 😉 ) has nothing left to lose they have everything to gain. And you know what girl? You are doing “it” the same way I did.

    Sometimes ya just gotta give the world the finger and move along. Those that love you will be there tommorow.

    Sometimes today is a matter of sweeping out the crap that is “crashed”. That is the stuff that makes you “crash”. What is left over is what truly matters.
    Our God
    Family
    Friends
    Dogs
    Gardens 😉
    Creativity
    You get the picture

    Those things ain’t broke.

    PS I am still alive and I thank the Good Lord you are here.

    Oh and Bsue and are still trying to find a way out your way, but these dang gas prices are putting a real dent in our plans for vacation this year. More later.
    Squawk

    Squawky!
    Gosh, haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!

    You know, that leaving everything that crashed THERE is a fine idea. I think I may have to try that. I really do.
    You’re right, the stuff that matters is still here, isn’t it? Those are the things that stick and truly make the difference in our lives. Thank, God!

    I’m glad to see that reports of your death have been greatly exagerrated 😉 I was beginning to worry. What happened to the big co-op blog?

    I’d be thrilled to see you and BSue out my way but lordy the gas prices here are probably worse than anyplace in the country. You might be better off, coming by rowboat. 😆

    Stay in touch, my friend. I miss your bushy face. Regards to Mrs. Squawky.
    WC

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  9. Sorry, it is a golf term. Means a do-over.

    Oh cool – there’s an actual name for a do-over? I like that. And it sounds irish too. 😉
    WC

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  10. WC, blown away by your writing as usual. I can rest knowing you are hitting the real issues in life and I can keep writing about only what I know how to express; Is the Duncan Donuts man messing with my mind?? HA! HA! I wish I could express myself as beautifully as you do – I’ll keep coming back for more 🙂 You really do have an interesting perspective and outlook on life. I too, am constantly questioning events and looking for the deeper meaning. Have a great weekend. I have you set up on my google reader and look forward to new posts. Thank you!

    Hey Bella,
    Aw, you’re too kind. And hey, the Dunkin Doughnuts guy could be out to mess with your mind. Just cuz you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you don’t have reason, right? 😆

    It’s funny to me when people say things about my perspective or outlook – because there is a part of me who is still a geeky, gangly teenager who feels invisible and childish and can’t believe anyone values anything I say or think. But I do appreciate the compliment more than you could know.

    I’ve added you to my gang of bloggers and will be by often as well.

    Bummer about that promotion/non-promotion – your boss must be a real wanker. No worries, your day will come. 😉
    WC

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  11. Dude….nicely said. Now if only you could take the do-over and get the damn synopsis off…..
    (if that’s not the pot calling the kettle black)
    J

    This is good – I need the nagging. But…who is the kettle and who is the pot? 😯 Thanks, dude.
    WC

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  12. They don’t weigh anything, don’t require closet space and I can take them with me wherever I wander.

    I loved this statement.

    Thanks, St. J – it is true too, which makes it even better. 😉
    WC

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