Redefine

Five seconds ago, I decided two words will now form my new basis for interpreting the world. I don’t know or care if these words currently exist, because my limitless creativity doesn’t have time for issues like that.

Subreal – the normal state of affairs which experience has taught us to expect. While often mildly disappointing, repeated failures have taught us to accept this as the status quo. For example, “Stuart woke up, and he became overwhelmed as he realised how subreal his day-to-day life was. This induced a surreal feeling of nausea.”

Supereal – the ideal, dream realm that we want to live in, but have never truly believed is achievable since the age of seven. While this currently resides in our imagination, it desperately wants to break into our mundane routine. “But, decisively swallowing all rising stomach acids, Stuart fixed his eyes on the supereal. One day, he would earn 22k a year, and all his problems would evaporate. Accordingly, he fell on his knees and prayed to the God of heaven.”

Obviously, there is the possibility to extend these concepts beyond the form of nouns. Currently considering starting a new branch of philosophy: subrealism vs superealism. Applications will open soon, but there will be an initial, £50 administration charge.

Before the intellectual world gets destroyed by shockwaves of revelation, I’ll explain the unique set of circumstances which birthed this revolution. For the past few days I’ve been sick, especially on Thursday. This meant that my innocent decision to eat tomato soup resulted in significant, digestive upheaval. I they lay in bed for an interminable amount of time, both fatigued, and slightly shocked at having vomited for the first time in eight years.

During this lapse, I realised that my inactivity seemed to be having little effect on my long-term goals. While I had to miss a day of work, by focusing on simple tasks, like cleaning my teeth, I was able to see past my illness. This made it bearable, even though spending most of Friday deciding whether or not to watch Pacific Rim isn’t the most productive use of time.

Being so focused on how I’m using every moment to it’s maximum capacity, I often forget how a positive mindset is crucial to achieving real change and process. While I can’t mooch in my bed forever, I don’t feel like my life has been catastrophically hampered by this ordeal. Maybe it’s best when reflection occurs naturally, rather than in engineered coffee stops.

Patterns

Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered one of my favourite pastimes is finding patterns, something I’m so fond of I can find little time to do anything else. Every experience, thought and feeling I have undergoes rigorous testing and interrogation, in the hope of answering the question: “Why has this happened, to me, right now, and how should I react?”

This enquiry is so inherent in my thought processes, it’s taken me ages to realise that it exists, and also that such analysis is not carried out by every member of our species. Recently, measuring how my future spirituality, career, friendships and relationships should pan, and trying to draw them into a coherent entity has taken up almost all my energy. As this has been mostly internal, it’s been extremely difficult to communicate this externally. How can you tell someone that you’re assessing the fundamental values of everything you hold dear, when even your preferred methods of communication are being thrown into doubt?

The other evening, I asked myself for the first time, “What if there isn’t a pattern?” It’s true, many things that happen to us are meaningless, at least in the sense that they had no positive or negative intent. I don’t believe in a supernatural, micromanaging deity, or people are always trying to exert influence over any other person or situation. The majority of the countless actions and gestures that are enacted each and every moment of every day, are no more than random occurrences.

But such a train of thought can only lead to apathy. However trivial day-to-day life may appear, I want to capture every possible moment of beauty available. The mundane can be constantly surprising. Even though I walk the same route into town every time, I am consistently surprised and overwhelmed by small details: facial expressions, the curves of roads, building aesthetics, and the sun shining through trees.

Conversely, I have also found times of artistic immersion, such as trips to the cinema, and album listening sessions, to be not only enjoyable, but essential. Such periods allow me to realign myself to what is most important. In the same way it’s important not to live in a fairy tail, I don’t want to stop hoping for the perfect ideal.

Reboot

For whatever reason, I don’t usually catch colds, but due to an unfortunate combination of circumstances, for the past few days I’ve been a constant vessel of infection and nasal spray. At times like, this only the most basic rules apply. If sleep doesn’t work, drink honey with warm water. Failing that, Lucozade. After that, my eyes are watering, not only with feverish tears, but those of sorrow. I refuse to resort to painkillers.

It was annoying, because until Saturday, I had the highest amount of control over my busyness for a long time. Then a day of work followed by a late-night worship event three everything off course. Partnered with a ready meal for tea, the stage was set for disaster, a so had to get up really early for morning worship at church. This was followed by an outdoor McDonalds lunch. I’m very attached to my gilet, but at six degrees, this was one scenario it was not created for. 

I do wonder about how much emphasis we put on our emotions when we play worship, though. Surely the time sacrifices I make, not just in the present, but all the hours of practice in my past, far outweigh any ecstatic feeling I may or may not feel in the moment?

There have been a few glorious moments, although it is sometimes difficult to discern between a passing of the spirit, and a hot flush. The highest of these was when I purchased a new notebook and diary, at the same time. Such an unprecedented shopping spree. A bright orange journal with “Reboot” written on it spoke to me, as well as an Alice in Wonderland diary.

Decided to write down my general life goals, all of which can be summed up by my desire for universal, megalomaniacal rule. It’s interesting how the designs and format of all my notebooks reflects on what general state my mind is in for that period. In my last one, I was writing down my thoughts in short lines, and turning over the page whenever I moved onto a slightly different topic. While wasting a lot of paper, that helped me achieve some separation between thoughts that merge so easily. This new one has no lines, so endless open spaces for my tyrannical intellect.

Public service announcement

This is a public service announcement, with regards to the daily updates. The definition of “daily” is now more fluid, and may be interpreted as every other day, sometimes, when I can be bothered, or when I have something interesting to say. This decision has come straight from head office, to provide the main character of said stories with the necessary space to think without expectation, that he often desperately needs.

October 29th (untrivial pursuit)

Something about this prayer thing seems to be working. Don’t know what it is, and normally hate the formality, but since yesterday my life has been amazing. Apart from a drug and alcohol fuelled woman relentlessly barraging our door at four o’clock in the morning, convinced it was another property. But these are minor details.

Was in chameleon mode at work, effortlessly and deceptively switching between multiple roles, to the extent that I’m now very confused as to my true purpose. At home, I revelled in the glorious ness of hair washing. I waited long for that moment.

After listening to Jess Glynne, embarked on a huge Hillsong United worship journey. Thinking about how sometimes Jesus speaks really dramatically, and other times whimsically, but whatever he says is never trivial. It was in Isaiah 55, “The word that goes out from my mouth will not return void.”

October 28th (three)

Integrated a period of fervent prayer into my morning exercise. It’s rarely I do this officially, but I was in dire straights. Adopted Jeremiah’s plea: “Lord, lift me from the pit.” Was calling down blessing on every aspect of my day of work that entered my brain, metaphorically on my knees, but physically in the classic tree-hugging pose.

Something happened anyway, as it’s the first Saturday I’ve ever worked without sustaining some level of stress trauma. Three people in the kitchen is the key; in all situations this is the magic number, apart from perhaps marriage, and thumb wars. Almost got ahead of myself by having two coffees on my break, but the latent fear of uncontrollable urination kept me in check.

I was therefore delighted to fill my evening with stressful recreation, such as the deceptively simple task of transferring audio files from CD to iPod. After three hours of whirring, and erasing and replacing my entire library, I met with success. Eventually surrendered and listened to Amanda Cook for an hour in worshipful bliss. My first day I’m a while where over fifty percent of stuff has worked out above average.

October 27th (balance)

Had a short-lived early morning crisis, as I thought I didn’t have enough time for Chi Kung. Then realised that is woken up an hour too early. My energies remain balanced. The three-day work run began today; a fitting warmup for the brutality to follow on Saturday and Sunday. Not crawling up the walls yet, but we’ll get there.

My anointing was strong, as caught the perfect bus two seconds after leaving. Headed to the Williams’ for legendary pizza, an occasion where gluttony is not only accepted, but actively encouraged. Got off the bus early to enjoy the last bit of the leafy walk, an unprecedented move in our time-obsessed culture. Stories of fatal experiences and a high average of calories were par for the course. Highly aware of the fact I was wearing my blandest t-shirt, as I hadn’t had time to change. A shame everyone didn’t get to experience the real me. Will try and wear a particularly politically incorrect one next time.

October 25th (unspeakable emotions)

I thought I’d amassed enough internal energy over the past few days to rival a small, nuclear power station. How misinformed I was, having been reduced to a shivering wreck by a irrational lunch rush at work. I cannot understand why such a large number of people decided to eat at such an unconventional time. But my life is full of constant surprises, with no follow-up explanation. 

Massive revelations about church and Jesus’ love tonight, in the form of relentless mental rants, unbeknownst to my companions. Ok, I really understand why being in community is important, but how many carrot cakes do we need to eat before we decide to be friends? I feel sorry for people with lower metabolisms than me.

Also, we’re always approaching God’s love like it’s something to be attained. People, it is inside you, waiting to be comprehended. When you can’t sense it, that feeling is not enough to evaporate it’s reality. Listening to Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, connecting with those lovely, unspeakable emotions.

October 23rd (embrace your humanity)

Monday’s are the only day at the moment when I can lie in, but are also designated as my Chi Kung and Pilates, pre-breakfast killer combo. This means I go from my highest state of lethargy to intense exercise within the space of an hour. I never stop breaking limits, with breakfast and lunch merges intonation unbelievably short time. There is no limit to my time efficiency, provider I’m allowed a ten minute leeway to any appointments.

Yet again, certain piano lessons concluded with surreal, improvised prayer songs; the best kind. And then followed by the coffee trip, where I balance my aversion to chain organisations with my need to sit quietly for an indeterminate length of time. Thinking about being a real person, and dealing with problems. When God created us, he said, “His is very good.” That statement covered our potential for success, but also unlimited failure. So why do we often act as if Jesus is hampered by our difficulties, like they need to be dealt with before “progress” can be made? He’s not as squeamish as we think.

October 21st (extremes)

Enjoyed observing the aesthetic on the walk to work. The placement of every tree, underpass, building and pavement is very fascinating. There is a strange comfort in the predictability that when I turn a corner, the same journey lies ahead as the day before.

Work was surprisingly manageable, with only a sustainable level of kitchen madness reached. Although my meditative, outdoor break time was defiled by a guy from the café next door talking to me. The walk back was like a mystical, ritual cleansing. When it’s raining heavily, it’s really fulfilling to get drenched when it doesn’t matter. These are the extremes I live; sweat in front of a grill, drown in a deluge.