When does living “start?”

“Wait until you reach my age!”
I guess I’ll need to wait then? Because there’s no other way in which you’re going to divulge the secrets of the universe you’ve amassed by living a longer time than me?

“Aging” does imply the potential for constructing a holistic view of the universe by mere virtue of having access to more information and the ability to see trends.
But what if you read the same book for 30 years?
Is “time” the only prerequisite for arriving at the temple that houses the holy grail called “wisdom?”

A discussion about the “validity” of teenage love sparked these thoughts about youngsters “not always knowing anything” about life.
Does the fire burn any less if it only consumes you partially?
Can we claim to understand the fire within any emotions that aren’t our own?
We’re quick to dismiss the vapid emotions and experiences of youth, but yet we adhere to religious scriptures that extol the virtues of seeing life through the eyes of a child.
What if the “wisdom” we so easily ascribe to our “well-lived” demeanor happens to be nothing more than filters that obscure the way life was meant to be experienced.
Our cynicism, complacency, hurt, jaded righteousness and tired souls may not be the fruits of wisdom, but merely the results of fruitless repetition.

So when does “living” start?
Is it the first breath we take?
Is living only legitimate once we’ve reached that arbitrary yet mythical and mystical milestone set by someone else— “Wait until you’ve reached my age!”

The opening notes of a song may not be representative of the epic middle part of the same song.
And the closing credits may not be indicative of what a movie was about.
Any age carries the potential for acquiring wisdom, even if only within a context that others could never understand.
I believe each perceived “stage” of a life has meaning.

I’ve read thin books that contained vivid imagery.
Even though the plot was often equally wafer-thin, the excruciating and beautifully-conveyed honesty made up for lack of bulk.

I recently reached the “age” someone “warned” me about 20 years ago.
And I’m still waiting for a revelation that will crack open the sky with incandescent pearls of wisdom.
But truth be told, I don’t give much thought to what I was supposed to be “waiting” for.
Life is happening right now, this very minute, and so is the truth and wisdom we might choose to notice or ignore.

Tricks of the light— Is “everything” important in your job?

I just had a conversation with someone who believes “everything is important!”
Unlearning the staid concept of “everything” can be more than a bite-sized challenge for many people!
I cringe when I hear absolutes like “everything is!”
If there’s one thing I would like to tattoo on my forearm it would be “Nothing ‘is,’ but anything can ‘become’!”

When everything is important, nothing matters.
We end up prioritizing priorities just to add an abstract layer of “importance” onto topics we have no real interest in.

If all the words on a page are highlighted, then none of them are.
If everyone is your friend then you’re truly alone.
“Everything” isn’t only impossible to deal with, it’s downright demoralizing and debilitating.
We hear so many stories about those who say they are “responsible for everything in the company!”

So what’s the real test for determining the importance of “everything?” — Do “nothing’ for a day.
That which is truly important or relevant to you will come knocking at your door, demanding attention!
Let’s not go overboard here and all abscond from work!
It’s merely a suggestion for facilitating an exercise to determine which things in your life cast dark shadows that tend to overwhelm you.

We often see long shadows without thinking about their origin.
But it’s still merely perception!
It’s a trick of the light.
Shifting the proverbial light source can change the entire way in which you perceive all that “is,” allowing it to “become” something completely different.

Allowing undiluted-reality to wash over you

People who crave “authenticity” are often quite willing to pay exorbitant amounts for a “raw” and “undiluted” experience.

Sure, everyone wants to go on the authentic safari.
We want an authentic diving experience.
Gravity-defying roller-coasters must provide real thrills and spills— An adrenalin rush that made queueing for hours worth the wait!
The chicken curry you ordered must be authentic enough to conjure up the Taj Mahal with each bite!
And when you are ready to settle down one day you’ll search for a partner who is the “real deal”— Without knowing what it means.

Getting yourself that “authentic” piece of “something” is all good!
What confuses me is a decision to filter experiences through opinions, likes, dislikes, and fickle preferences.
Without digging deep into the definition of “reality” you can ask yourself how often you possess the capability to see reality for what it is.
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To die for! A perspective on “toughness”

I guess this is a bit of feelgood comic?
I drew this one a very long time ago.
When I look at the art I go… “Aaargh no … wat the hell was that?”
But then I remember that we shouldn’t attempt to edit the past.
Even if I were to “redo” it for whatever reason it would still be a new comic.

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
― L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

Anyway, here goes, this is the quote that inspired the comic..

“Toughness is not  hardening, toughness is withstanding all the forces that want you to harden, whilst still retaining your sensitivities and your humanness.”
― Drishti Bablani

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Dragged By Angels.

She told me I needed to be rescued.
When I couldn’t be lifted up, or carried,
I would be dragged.

I held on as long as I could,
and managed to save an angel.

Dragged By Angels

I doodled this in 2018, it still feels relevant.
Not all who drag us down are demons, not all who gift us with wings are angels.

Dying Stars Burn The Brightest!

In the late 70s my youngest uncle was the first person in the family to own a VCR.
To be bluntly honest, he was the first who was able to afford a player.
VHS had just been released as the rival format to Sony’s Betamax!

Those were wonder years.
Being able to watch movies and music videos whenever we wanted to.

I’m older now than my uncle was when he passed away.
He built a successful medical practice.
A sporty Skyline Rs-Turbo and a beefy V8 Blazer ranked among his toys.
He also found the time to attempt some extreme sports, marry his sweetheart from the US and raise a family.

Much of his approach to life was summed up in a simple discussion we had before they headed back to the USA.
He asked me if I had any interest in windsurfing.
That was on his “next fun thing to do” list.
For some reason, there are certain scenes from our younger days that linger on as vivid journal entries of who we were and what we did.
This is one such scene…
I believe I told him that I didn’t see myself staying upright on the board for longer than a minute.
We were standing at his bar counter, complete with Cola dispenser and milkshake maker.
You can only imagine how impressive that was!
I took a sip from a creamy concoction in a tall glass.
He smoothed his mustache and straightened his glasses and simply said, “I’m looking forward to falling off a few times!”
Living was about the complete human experience, the success, and the failure…
The staying-on-top, as well as the epic wipe out!

Dad’s younger brother wasn’t a philosopher.
Occasionally he alluded to “living in the moment!”
I do believe, looking back in retrospect that he experienced some sense of not going to be alive for much longer.

I can’t say he left behind a legacy. Whatever “a legacy” really means.
Nor did he write a book with profound wisdom on each page.
But he lived!
He didn’t seem to ever worry too much about discovering a purpose for life but rather decided to “live” each day.
Yep, each day he worked, played and lived.
That was more than enough!
That was his purpose.

When the party’s over

Next time you attend one of those parties that you never to end think about it this way—The minute it’s over you can immediately start reminiscing about the amazing time you had!

Our minds can experience the gift of traversing memories without the constraints of time and space.
We can manipulate the very fabric of reality.
The party will never end—But only Because it did!