Yak Milk

April 02, 2004

A couple of days ago when I was in my shambling hungover state, I accompanied my mother to a mindblowing exhibit on ancient Egypt. There is nothing like standing in front of a beautiful wood figurine that was carved by a master artist approximately 5 500 years ago to make you realize how small and insignificant your life is. The person who carved was a master of their time. The person who was carved was an important noble or courtier. Both very important in their time and both largely forgotten. These were important people who did important things 5 500 years ago and now nothing is left of them and their deeds except a 30 cm figurine in a museum on the other side of the world. No matter what you do in this life, nothing will remain except, if you're lucky (if you call this luck), a picture of you may be in display in some future museum on one of Jupiter's moons or something.

Now, before you rush and call me depressed (as one of you did yesterday – tu sais qui t'es :-P niaiseux), this isn't such a bad thing. If you don't worry about a legacy, you are free to do anything you want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Once you allow yourself the choice of ceasing to make vast efforts to prove that your existence is justified and worth something, you'll do something that you're truly passionate about and probably wind up making a larger mark by the very virtue of the honesty behind your actions. I mean, if I quit worrying about what I'm supposed to be doing, I can run off to the Himalayas and become a distributor of Nepali yak milk if I want.

So, this was my meditative trip as I stared at sculptures that Ramesses himself actually posed for. It was partially the semi-hallucinatory trip brought about by the after-effects of a night of ale and good cheer. It was partially the power of artifacts that are too old for me to truly comprehend. It was partially the fact that I was the youngest person at the exhibit (apparently only seniors, unemployed snobs, and their mothers (whom I refuse to acknowledge as a senior) go to museums during the week). My mind was struggling to take me to some other form of consciousness.

It could also have been in anticipation of some New Age, crystal-impregnated aspect of the lecture on health promotion I would attend that evening at Organization #1. These things are usually interesting, occasionally informative, and usually make me titter or jeer inwardly as we inevitably are forced to do somethingorother to get us in touch with some sort of inner core or light or child or something. In fact, Snobby was even shamed into participating in the hippy-dippy portion of the evening. The facilitator actually chided me, saying, "I see someone's eyes are open...you're not sharing with us" as I sat there contemplating the deep fact that I was missing Enterprise at that very moment. In the interest of welcoming diversity with an open and sharing attitude and in not creating barriers with my speech, I kept my mouth shut and contemplated Enterprise and Trip's pecs and Mayweather's butt with my eyes shut.

I am happy for those who practice such techniques that they get so much out of it. It's often difficult to maintain happiness, so we all do what we can. However, is it too much to expect that, when I attend what is supposed to be a lecture on various strategies in HIV/AIDS prevention ad campaigns, I actually get a lecture on various strategies in HIV/AIDS prevention ad campaigns? Should I have expected to be scolded for not wanting to sit for 5 minutes listening to air rushing in and out of my lungs? Is it fair that THAT was the facilitator's sole defining criterion for the level of my participation in the entire evening?

I felt so much more in touch with myself trying to comprehend the life of someone who existed five and a half millennia ago than listening as someone stumbling through a fumbling and inappropriate attempt at access to self-awareness. Why do people think we need to be told how to be ourselves?

Moving on past that innanity, check out the wacky new wing on the ROM that should be done in a couple of years. Between that, the new AGO building, this thing, and all the glass towers sprouting up everywhere like wild flowers, this city is going to have one odd looking skyline in a few years. And say what you like about tall buildings, I like ‘em. The taller ones are more of a challenge to leap in a single bound. Plus, they won't exist in five and a half millennia, so enjoy!

PS - did anybody else get a little sniffly when Jerri was kicked off Survivor? I don't understand why people hate her so much. I think she's kinda cool.

posted by GreyGuy on 2.4.04 | Permalink |

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