In the most recent episode of Black Sails Anne has a great dialogue with Jack about how perspective and distance can change the way you see things.
Jack: Last night you said you’d thought about not returning, but?
Anne: Standing there on the jetty in Port Royal I realized that was the first time you and I had been separated by that much water since we was f!@#$%^ kids.
Anne: Being that far away, you see things differently. Helped me see what we are. Maybe what we ain’t. You saved me from something awful, Jack. And I owe you my life for it. Maybe there’s some part of that you just can’t owe.
Regret is the type of loss that you don’t feel right away. It is like the slow heat of an Asian spice vs the instant fiery burning of Mexican chilis. Sure you feel them both equally the next day as they make their painful lava like exit from your behind but with regret you don’t feel anything at first.
The birth of a regression pain is, well, painless. That is why it is so easy. You just get so caught up in whatever moment you were in you fail to allow your macro values dictate your current micro actions. It happens to us all. The pain and loss of regret isn’t even noticeable until we are distances away from the situation that caused it. Only then do we have that, “Oh sh!@,” moment.
Regret is easily identifiable by some key indicative phrases we see in common usage everyday.
The thing with regret is that you don’t realize you have lost anything until it is too late. Maybe you lost a lover, an opportunity, your car keys at the bar last night or all of your money in a high stakes investment company (You knew Robotic Rabbits was NOT going to be a thing right?). In the end most of us just lose the trust of another person or ourselves. How could we be trusted if we were so ignorant? Surely this indicates a repeating behavior and we are all horrible people?
No. You are not horrible. You are just human (Unless you are a robot. (01110011 01101111 01110010 01110010 01111001).
Tomorrow we can talk about how to make less mistakes and how we can harness the present to prevent a burning sensation in the future.
You should know that there isn’t one person on the planet who cares about that one time you forgot to wear a belt in grammar school and your pants fell down. Just you. Late at night. Trying to go to sleep. Oh god! Why?
The prompt today was to be brief. But sometimes you just can’t.
Danny Machal April 10th, 2015
Loss is like a bucket full of water bleeding out after a plug is ripped from its bottom. The bucket is going to be empty eventually but not before it feels every agonizing drop slowly drift out powerless to stop any of it. At the end however, it will feel lighter, it will get a new plug and it will fill back up again.
People are like these leaking buckets when it comes to loss as it feels exactly the same for everyone. The only difference is how big the bucket is and how much water that plug was holding back.
The prompt today was to write about something that we have lost and stretch it out over a three part “series” of posts. Since loss feels the same across the board, the way I have felt losing someone or something, is going to be the same as you and the next post you read. Dealing with loss is a simple formula: pain -> sadness -> discovery -> healing.
Let’s move on and talk about a certain type of loss, where it comes from and how we can learn to avoid it. Cool?
I want to discuss the loss that is felt on account of ones inability to appreciate the present.
You know this one. Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday sums this up pretty well.
“…You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff…”
Regret is probably the most ubiquitous form of loss. You hear gurus and “#yolo#swag” hipsters preaching it all the time, “Live with no regrets (man? Oh, let me comb my beard first).”
Anyone who tells you they live with no regrets is simply a coward unable to own up to their own mistakes and I don’t have much tolerance for those toting self perceived invincibility as bravery.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss the different mechanisms that generate regret. I’ll also touch on what forms regret manifests itself in our minds before transforming to aching chest muscles and watery eyes.
Danny Machal April 9th, 2015
Music is one of those colorful things in life that don’t serve any great purpose in our mammalian survival instincts. The pings, twangs, booms, strums, screams and swishes of a great song do something to us on another level that make them important to us.
For all the advances in technology and all the theorizing of time travel through the ages -music is still the best time machine there is. You know what I mean.
That song happens to be Witchy Woman by the Eagles. By the time I am done writing this sentence the most important song is Redfoo’s Ridiculous. You see people don’t actually think about songs they way they sit and think about an important decision. Lyrics and beats (at least for me) are floating around in my head like a swirl of unstable particles just waiting for that catalyst forcing a mini big bang in my brain. Every once in a while the stereo in my head decides to play a track based on my mood or something I’ve seen, smelled, touched or just experienced. Even a simple memory can illicit a new track to push play. DJ Brain knows what it wants me to hear so that is why his current pick is the most important.
Danny Machal April 8th, 2015
Relax into the pain.
That is what they train you to do when you can’t open your eyes without feeling like a thousand tiny torturous men are trying to drill to the surface of your skin to escape. It burns on the inside and it burns on the outside. Backpacking for a determined overweight person is like that. Every part of you hurts. Each step rubs a new fiery blister as the over abundance of fluid you carry between your tissues creeps down into your feet.
Your back is in equal agony.
No matter how high or low you try to adjust the weight of the pack your spine still feels like it is being twisted and crushed. For as big and strong as you are -you have only been minimally conditioned to carry your extra fleshy burden and not anything else. Soldiering down the trail slowly and determined through the pain you carefully place each step to avoid injury. Your gaze is constantly cast into the dirt as to not get discouraged when you see the next rise in elevation that will require more of your strength and will to summit. Strength and will that are quickly running out.
‘Why are you doing this?’ you ask yourself over and over.
Danny Machal April 7th, 2015
I signed up for a Writing 101 Course through dailypost.wordpress.com and had forgotten about it until this morning when I got the first email with the “exercise” for the day. Apparently this is a 20 day program to work on story telling and blogging in general. Now I haven’t really written anything except technical blog posts since NanoWriMo of last year (Winner!). So this 20 day exercise seems like it hit me at the right time as I’ve become quite excited to try it out.
Last year was my second NanoWriMo victory. Doing those novels once a year has taught me twice now that I have the ability to dedicate myself to a daily goal and complete it. Not just any goal -but a WRITING goal. Writing everyday is like going to the gym. It is difficult to get into the routine of writing regularly at first but once you are in the groove it just becomes something you do like taking a shower or eating dinner. This is true for most ANYTHING in life that you need to do in repetition to be better (eating healthy, playing an instrument, etc.).
The exercise for today is to Free Write for 20 minutes. The timer started as soon as I typed the first sentence. I’m a big believer in stream of consciousness writing to get the brain working so I enjoy exercises like these. They say that writing is like a muscle and they are right (write?). There are more people who don’t write anything claiming to be writers than those that are actually in the trenches cranking out words. The actual literary foot soldiers do not have the time nor desire to vomit on their social feeds about their accomplishments. But the “wannabes” sure have plenty of time to tell the world what they are (not) doing.
I had plans this year for my writing. I composed a big list of all these literary competitions I was going to enter. The list just stares at me from my starred email items now as my fiance and I had a baby in February. He was very early at 32 weeks or so. With the new addition to our family my work suddenly became a priority as my primal need to be a provider took over my artistic side. Being a legit family man and the sole income generator shifted me into a new mindset that is already barely being held up by a questionable foundation. Things are settling down now and available time to work on my own interests is creeping back into my life. This makes me a happy guy as I don’t quite feel whole if I am not progressing or accomplishing SOMETHING everyday.
I do feel a tinge of anxiety about even making this post. If you were to judge my writing 100% on this website I STOPPED sometime five years ago. This will be the first post I have made in a VERY long time and here I am going to slam 20 of them in a row? If that doesn’t put my feet to the fire to actually write more -nothing will. Even going back and listening to some of these Podcasts I made and thought were BAD makes me a bit nervous because the reality is this: “They are actually pretty good.” So there is something here…
The funny thing though about writing is the romance within ones mind about it. For most aspiring writers it is like a lover you watch from a great distance but have never actually talked to. You can’t even really see her features but oh you see her form and you imagine what a wonderful life you could have together. You play it out so much in your mind that you never actually go an talk to her because it can’t get any better than what you have already imagined.
But it isn’t true and you are not being honest with yourself. You owe it to yourself to go out there, REALLY get dirty, shamed, embarrassed, experience REAL victory and experience the reality of what it means to write.
Time Spent: 20 Minutes
Music: Halestorm’s album “Strange Case of…”
Danny Machal April 6th, 2015