Down on the World

Today my co-worker told me that his mom’s cancer seems to be in its final stages, and he may be out of the office a lot as a result. They’ve worked very hard to find any possible solution for her health, but apparently to no avail.
As we sat at Whole Foods eating organically-grown veggies and semi-healthy pizza, surrounded by many Silicon Valley success stories, the world seemed to close around us. We dared each other to think of something good happening in the world. The news is so bad it’s almost impossible to listen to. Health of family and friends are poor. A good friend in the industry recently passed away suddenly. My brother had an awful experience coming back from Japan. In that moment, neither of us could come up with something positive to say.
Why is it that in times of sadness, it’s so difficult to find the ray of light? Why so hard to grasp onto one beautiful little thing and pull oneself out of despair?

Today the world just seemed like a very sad place.
But then I came home from work. Feeling lousy as I usually do these days, for some unknown reason, perhaps just stress and allergies. Got home, grabbed a roasted chicken and some carrot juice from the store, and played a little Dance Dance Revolution. That got my blood pumping, cleared my head, and even cleared my sinuses a little. And then my eyes awakened a little.
And I realize that it’s the little things, the things that I take for granted, that I really have to appreciate. But I frequently only notice them in their absence, or in odd moments:

  • Today was cloudy, and I missed the sun, but in missing the sun I noticed how beautiful the clouds were.
  • This morning I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Around 5am, frustrated, I got up and walked to the living room. Watched two minutes of TV and then I noticed a huge spider on the ceiling. I caught him in a glass, watched him run around frantically, then settle down. What an intricate little creature. I let him out in the flowers outside.
  • This morning I watched an ant in my bathroom. Damn ants. They’re getting through a crack in the shower grout. But this one little ant, he was crawling around on the sink. I wonder what he was looking for? I wonder if he had a plan? What would his path look like if I followed him around the room? I feel bad when I kill the ants – I figure if they’re smart enough to get in, then they have won – what I need to do instead is block them from coming in, make sure to keep the place clean, and worst case entice them to stay outside by giving them some reason to stay out there (food). 🙂

Okay, that’s a peculiar list of things.
My point being, there are things all around us, things we take for granted, things which are beautiful and complex and mysterious. But they’re there all the time, so we don’t see them. Open your eyes up, and see the world. How could you possibly be depressed then?
Here’s something else that brightened my day that I was surprised to see: The Electric Company Digital Archive.






2 responses to “Down on the World”

  1. Brett Schulte Avatar
    Brett Schulte

    Mark – just did the Forum myself. Write me.

  2. John Byrd Avatar

    Hope your Saturday night is free. Check your e-mail.