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snowtone 06

copyright matthew schuler 2010

Matthew Schuler

on 21 June 2011

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Transcript of snowtone 06

one moment at a time the economy of language moving pictures secret identity bio
shop "when I'm flatlining, with nothing left, going fetal on the couch or wanting to melt into the ground at the end of the day and never return, I build, create, generate. when I'm amped, accelerated, animated with a powergrid of spirit, when the magnificent humans that fill our world inspire me and spark me with a white-hot headrush that my body cannot contain, I create, construct, breathe. I match my pulse to the heartbeat of the universe, and give back."

blog >>> snowtone.org/blog
email >>> snow@snowtone.org back coming soon It’s interesting that jealousy doesn’t explode at distant superstars. We envy our closest friends. The more like us they are, the deeper the resentment.

Until we understand that creativity is far too big to define as “better” or “worse.” ”Higher” or “lower.” And that success and failure are two sides of the same LP. What if we embraced both?

What if we fueled each other like a well-oiled machine, letting the “better” in others fill our own shallows? What if working with someone “farther on the journey” wasn’t a slam to identity, but seen as a gift? An opportunity to leap forward. The married friend. The published roommate. The celebrity sister. A new, radioactive fabric of innovation that creates it’s own feedback loop, building on itself through a churning torrent of creative collusion.

Identity and individuality are important, of course, but personal work could be better, farther, original. Competition redirected from undercutting and outshining, channeled into cooperative collaboration. Something that amps us. And explores us. Something like a headrush. sparrow Another bouquet with a note about hope and prayer, but Erin likes flowers, so I carefully lifted it and moved across the room. It would look good on the empty ledge beneath the window. The city was busy today, but the sky was quiet. The trees tried to blend the silence into the city, but it didn’t work. I need a tree, perhaps it will blend silence into me. Two commercial airliners traced scars across the sky, I wondered if I could call them and they could pick me up. Or perhaps I could take the hospital’s chopper, it had been sitting on the helipad for the last three days. People would say, ‘Why did he take it? It should be used for saving lives!’ They wouldn’t know that it would be saving mine. A small bird smashed into the window and I dropped the vase, petals and stems exploding on the glossy white floor. Erin yelped and tried to sit up, arms flailing against the blankets, almost like she was swimming. But I just watched the sparrow fall, pinwheeling with shattered wings twenty stories to the ground, its broken body disappearing amidst a sea of moving people. We lost the baby. The last time I lost one, I wrote a check, changed my phone number, and moved to Boston for school. Misplaced might be a better word. Willfully misplaced. Sort of like ‘losing your phone’ so you don’t have to be bothered with it. I watched Erin’s stillness, her breathing at 12 cycles per minute, the same rhythm ocean surf waves against the shore. Three sleepless nights, and finally a veneer of peace. I wanted to contact the baby soul depository and barter a trade. I was usually good at that sort of thing. I walked to the nurses station and borrowed the area directory. No listings under ’soul’ except fish feeders and palm readers. I called a palm reader named Regina’s Revelations, but got an automated recording. I flipped through to ‘punishment.’ An ad for requestlegalhelp.com. Then ‘justice.’ A listing for the Boston Association for Justice and Peace. I called. They were closed.

I walked back to Erin’s room and the sea of cards, quietly reading from the already-opened stack. I wanted to tear into new envelopes and find one that said ‘gangrene,’ or ‘ovaries,’ or ‘feet.’ They were all positive, which was a lie. I looked up at the half of Erin above the sheet-line, the part that was human. I followed the curves of the blankets that covered a mess of tubes and army of sensors that spilled from her lower intestine and replaced her legs, like a mechanical jellyfish. The large blue box beside her fluttered two small blips, Erin stirred and settled, her torso alive for a brief moment. Everything below her waist had been black, her uterus was gone, her stomach blown apart and hanging in tatters beneath her skin. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be through her arm, not her throat, for the rest of her life. I hope her life is short. I hope mine is too. Competition usually helps. It focuses evolution, buffering unoriginality and imitation, allowing us to create at a level worthy of the world’s attention. Open, honest criticism forces us out of mediocrity and into a global, magnetic web of collaborative art and vision and invention.

But competition can also nuke your soul. Since arriving at Fuller, I’ve noticed a quiet selfishness growing the in cracks, lacing words and smiles with hints of ego. Not a Princeton level of cutthroat, but subtle and selfish, thousands of micro-comparisons every moment. Envy. Factoring “personal success” into “changing the world.”

Which, unfortunately, keeps it unchanged, and eventually becomes intellectual rape and pillage, night-sticking friends and family the back of the knees just to jump past them on the social success ladder. something like a headrush Because we aren’t really a materialistic society, are we? We don’t really want “things” as much as we want the social rewards that those things offer. And eventually, we begin to realize that it isn’t a ladder at all. It’s a flow. A shifting swarm of collisions and interactions every moment. And that we’re all in this together. Your successes are my successes. And my successes are your successes. Almost like we’re one body. And that low self-esteem isn’t tied to failure, but rejection.

There is always a gap between how we want our life to be and how it is.

“Life balance” is bollux, no one can be a rockstar at everything. Pouring into certain things causes other things to suffer. And it takes a while to stop wishing we were someone else.
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