Saturday, March 28, 2009


That's me. But, who knows, maybe I'm changing my mind? As far as I can remember, I've never won even a raffle prize in my life, and frankly I've always held onto those tickets with dread that I might have to walk up and take the booty.  I don't know where that cringing comes from, but there it is. But I'm also never quite able to throw the ticket out and walk away from the possibility that I might just win. I also confess that I actually bought a lottery ticket. Once. Some weird sense that this number just kept coming up. Embarrassing. 

But I do root against myself.

Yesterday, when I told the two guys who work on my team that I would be leaving my job, I was extremely touched that they were actually stunned. I guess it meant that I hadn't let my burnout show all that much. And their own genuine sense of loss turned to congratulations as they realized what I would be turning away from, and toward. I was focused on what I would be turning toward (although I do tend to gauge my jobs according to how much I don't hate them). I have a sense of brave new worlds. I do.

They sweetly bought me lunch at an extravagantly upscale castle - we ate outdoors overlooking a springtime hazy Finger Lake. We laughed a lot and hoped the folks inside couldn't overhear the jokes (we guessed the maitresse di suggested the terrace table, where we would be alone in the slight chill, based on our IT uniforms - you know the style, engineer plaid and dull).

So, as I plan for a menial job supporting a menial life, there come these little glimpses out of some rear quarter to my awareness. That I am extraordinarily well deep-background-briefed on China. That I am extremely high-level qualified and field proven to make sound decisions surrounding Information Technologies. That I am as free as a newly graduated 21 year old. Why not something that feels more like success?

I guess there is some inner conviction against it. But looking back, I haven't done so badly. It's as if by accident I couldn't quite crash and burn too hard. That there's some sense of balance which keeps me upright. Even against my career cluelessness.

So, on the negative, if I were to gun for six figures and a travelling life, I think it would feel like a wedding to a settling bride. I just don't want marriage that much. I sure can and do live without that sort of intimacy, and won't bargain away much to get it. And the easy life just isn't enough of a draw, no matter how sad I am at the prospect to leave behind all my dark overstuffed bookshelves and leather woodfired cozy reading spots. I mean it really makes me sad, but not enough. 

Those who know and work with me see much brighter prospects for my future than I do. They see me as geared toward success; where I see myself as resourceful, diligent, persistent and hardworking in whatever situation I find myself, but never in a situation I've made for myself or that could be called winning. I make the best of where I am is all, and keep the dreams in check. I wouldn't know success if it bit me in the ass. 

And yet, to my amazement, out from the detritus of my life's shambles, I still do retain this missionary contribution I wish to make, which I've now hung back a full "life at 50" span waiting for someone else to come forward to announce. No one's done it, hell and damnation, and so, for crying out loud! its still up to me. It makes no sense. I'm still holding that ticket.

While I might actually have six figure skills, I have nothing left of youthful deftness which so glibly sets out to "save the world". I have no well-disciplined accomplishment, which I certainly should have by now. I have never had anything close to the assured talent to devote any real commitment to developing it. And yet, here I am holding this ticket.

For Crying Out Loud!

Maybe I should play some political card. I've just now finished - finally! since I spend way too much time writing (for therapy, dear senseless reader) - Hot Flat and Crowded. I'm glad that he agrees it's all about politics and leadership. As you know, I'm super glad we've got a remarkable combination of both in our new Prez. Watching him prepare for this was like watching Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron. This was no accidental coming forth of talent search stardom. Obama worked for what he got, and is certainly of the right stuff to lead.

But what he needs most is pressure from the bottom; from you and me. So my political card, or ticket if you will, involves that thing Edward O. Wilson attributes to ants and denies us humans. Community intelligence. I'm not all that big on worker bees and queens, but hell people do have different roles to play. We sure don't want any more Bush's at the helm. (although I guess you have to credit him with carving out the territory for someone better to exploit). 

What I object to is the branding of kids in school, as if there is some deficiency in worth for being less than superstar quality. And likewise getting branded superstar so that you can crash and burn on your way toward the one or two lottery spots you'll never get (a boss I had actually did win the win for life and every other raffle he ever entered, so unlike me!).

What's important is not to fan the flames Limbaugh style, of the lower energies in each of us. This "Hussein" baiting which could easily have cost the presidency, if our guy weren't so steeled against it. To move instead our higher instincts, to fan our aspirations instead of fears. This is the highest calling, and mobs respond the same either way. "I have a dream" works just as well as "nuke the ragheads" or "they want to clone your kids, and teach buggery in school." We all respond to shame. The internet's good at exposure.

Maybe the internet's good, or could be, at mobilizing mass movements. There twitter now, and facebook, which seem to work at getting crowds located. But there still has to be some motivation. Not fear, but dreams of better tomorrows.

I'm not so scared of changing our Constitution. Maybe it's time for that? Some way to stop the gerrymandering of votes. Some way to block the blocks against national resolve short of war, or its metaphoric misappropriation in goon squad paramilitary encroachments against the body politic. Some way that corporate legal persons can be blocked from other only metaphoric "free speech" expressions that trump those of the rest of us, to where lobby triangulation is strangulation of any sensible direction good leaders might lead toward.

Or maybe it's not even necessary? Maybe the tools already exist, just waiting for that bell to ring, which announces simply, hey look at this. Try it at home. It's simple. It's true. It can be virally spread and then it can't be stopped.

It's risky enough, this leap into some void. And the only prediction that gets fulfilled is the one you measure inwardly. There is a kind of certainty to love, which trumps the one of hate each and every time. You know it. Each and every one of you.

It's not the Jesus tale, exactly. That God, so very abstract, must be a Man. I'm talking gender here. To call Him Her is not only just plain silly, it gives the game away to hate and fear and silliness. She would never be that abstract justice oriented. No, Mama is way more earthy, and is just now getting up to dance. Her beat rocks. This love is here on earth, where Jesus has already descended, to each and every heart. Incubus. Awake. (gotta run)

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