The Long Game. - I've reached that point in the term- Oregon State runs on a 10-11 week schedule rather than a semester system- during which I lose myself in a blind scramb...
Friday, June 4, 2010
Skimming, The Truman Show moments
"Have you ever wondered if everyone else were robots and you were the only real person in the world?"
We were skimboarding on Boone Creek on boards that we had largely made and shaped ourselves. It was one of those days where weather, the tide creating endless rides, our sense of time on a Sunday afternoon during our high school years, and the company of folks who could be and really were/are your brothers.
There was really nothing that led up to the question. Like most questions of its kind, it was plucked maybe from the bleachers, out in left field. There wasn't really a discussion that ensued, maybe a little, but I remember being floored, and saying so, that someone else had those kind of kooky thoughts. A kind that I had, and have, frequently. Existential paranoia of sorts.
Something like The Truman Show, where Jim Carey is the center of a ruse where everyone around him are actors, and his reality is completely fabricated, unbeknownst to him, but known to everyone else. He is the only one not in on it.
It's moments like the skimboarding robot scenario that give us a hint, I think, that maybe we aren't completely alone. That maybe someone else is like us in our various peculiarities and insecurities.
When evening was coming on strong, we all packed up and went to Pier Street and had soft-shelled clams (mannows) and nothing more came of that conversation, but I have since mentioned it a couple times to its poser about the bond that was deepened that day in the shallow skimmable waters of Boone Creek.
I am guessing a fair amount of us have those dark night/deep wooded angsty moments when the question of whether or not we are truly alone looms large. Thankfully, those moments are often balanced with others that seem to experientially give us an answer. These are huge affirmations that walk through a simple wooden door in plain clothes.
I remember conversations with my now wife, in our earliest "courting" days, when things just clicked and everything else going on around us seemed to fade to a low hum, with just the two of us in focus.
If you've ever fallen asleep holding your child where you can feel their heart thumping against you and the sleepy drool off their lip pools on your chest or elbow, you've got a pretty good glimpse that there is something more than you in the world.
Watershed of the soul moments. They can be monumental and large. Or they can be from a simple conversation, or an unexpected smell or sound. Or drinking Bud 10 ounce cans on the Choptank River with peeps watching the sunset.
The instances and experiences and people who, perhaps unexpectedly, poke through the paranoid facade we can create around ourselves and connect a few existential dots. Unless they are all robots or actors...;)