Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Fall Thoughts

Today I'm wearing a sweater and pants and my back is still cold. The coffee is not warming me up. It was 13 Celsius this morning. Amber and I run a sprint triathlon on Saturday near Berlin. I'm not watching the forecast. I'll just show up and do it.

A friend of mine just left for Afghanistan. It's strange knowing I'll know people who die over there, most likely. (We sent 4,000 soldiers from this post alone, many of whom saw me for an eye exam.) This is the closest to war I've gotten. A lifelong nonbeliever in wars and questioner of military, here I am inserting ideas and experience into my mind. Opening and questioning. How many Americans have a true connection with the military?

Our military is composed mostly of the lowest stratification of our citizens, yet they are the ones who are pushing the American agenda worldwide, while the rest of us sit home in our consumerist splendor. I wonder what we're attempting to accomplish, why we think everyone would want to be like us, why we think that capitalism, consumerism and growth are the answers to everything.

Today in the NYT, there was a little blurb on a 100% free store in Brooklyn. An interesting concept which wouldn't make anyone rich, but would serve the needs of others and self, by trade. Having a pile of "money" stored somewhere creates security and comfort. A feeling of freedom. But is it false? Where does it get you? I'm no different. I feel much safer the more I've saved. Like I'm prepared for anything.

Entering fall, I feel always a sense of death. A sense of impending gloom. Perhaps winter, perhaps a reminder that we are all slowly dying every day and to what? We cycle this life until one day, we're out. The day repeats itself with small variations. The only thing I can figure is to keep learning and keep wondering.

Sunday morning, I was out walking with my friend Ryan, through the hills of Germany. He said, "You still have the mentality of a student." I took that as a compliment. I value lifelong learning. Everyday I read, write, study, question and think a little more. I never expect to know enough.

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