September 20, 2009

Advice from Dr. Manhattan...

Given that I have been continuously trying to calm down through my techniques of self-care (yoga, lake-sitting, etc.), I am frustrated that I still find myself freaking out about my future. I find that I build up so much worry and anxiety that everything seems to spin around me making it impossible to even grasp onto a calming impulse.

Last night I had a conversation about the human ability to forget what is important and distance ourselves from the very things that keep us alive. I find that I am constantly thinking about what to do with my future, or how to be more accomplished, or how to do things better and more efficiently, but I forget what I really am, or what life is really about. I am constantly trying to be "good-enough" when I don't even know what that means or what that entails.

And then I remembered reading the Alan Moore's Watchmen and I thought about Dr. Manhattan. Dr. Manhattan is this brilliant scientist who became stuck in an "Intrinsic Field subtractor" where he was disintegrated, allowing him to return as a super-human being. Manhattan eventually becomes so disconnected from earth and human beings that he decides to live on Mars where he can find more meaning in the movements and developments of the lifeless planet. Eventually however, after speaking to his ex-girlfriend about the amazing fact that she exists in the first place, he changes his mind and decides human life is a miracle after all.

He tells her that he has discovered a "Thermodynamic miracle", in the fact that, "in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds against countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that precise daughter...until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged, to distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold..."

And I realize what I should always remember: the mere fact that we are alive in the first place is worth everything. That makes us good enough. The fact that we are alive is so amazing that we don't need to do anything or be anything to make us any more important than we already are.

So thanks Dr. Manhattan. I need to keep remembering that.

September 02, 2009

winged things

The Swans of Coole. Well, actually they are the Swans of Galway, (but they're close enough to Yeats' swans...)

A friendly heron just hanging out on people's boats. The head in the background belongs to a sea lion in the Galway bay.