Tuesday, May 20, 2008


There has been an internal shift lately.  It's been a long time coming, something I expected, but for the first time I'm noticing what it feels like at the moment when the world shifts.

A few years ago a lot of very intense things came very close together.  It was a lot of hard, deep experience.  It left me feeling very separated from other people- I couldn't expect them to understand the world that I see and live in.  It was completely alien to their experience.  At the same time, I remembered living in their world, but didn't see it from the same place.

The sense of alienation was summed up when I was looking for a new martial arts instructor and he started talking about "application" and "street practicality" and violence, and I got a feeling like an artist was trying to sell me a painting of my home and he had never seen it.

The sense, for the last years, has been a feeling of poking at the experience.  Thinking and writing about it, exploring it.  I knew that it would settle, that I would be past that treacherous zone where PTSD or "psychological scarring" or other self-important labels were a danger when the events ceased to be events. No longer things I did or things that happened to me, but simply part of who I am.

I've done this before. I've made that transition before, many times. We all have.

With age or experience or sensitivity or an increase in my navel gazing time, I felt the click.  The first thought that showed a transition had happened.  It was simple and profound.  KJ called me up to ask for some input on a seminar and my first thought was: "Why is he calling me? I'm nothing special."

Nothing special.  I can make the list- I know the difference in sound of tendon or bone snapping; have talked down psychotics without even a common language; taken point on an entry with a severed ACL; drunk chichu with a reformed cannibal.... intellectually, I know some of that stuff is rare.  It just doesn't feel rare or special anymore.  My default now is to converse from the assumption that everyone else has similar experiences.  Ho hum.

Neither side of this transition is or has been intellectually correct.  The experience is not normal; at the same time it never really turned me into anything unique.  Both were feelings, impressions. Maps of the world.  

This transition feels healthy.  Like it might be a good springboard to push another edge of the envelope.

1 comment:

Don Weiss said...

I understand the feeling. It depends on who you hang out with (friends, coworkers, etc). When the common experiences with your peers is looked at by outsiders, you are held in awe. When looked at by you and your peers, its a been there, done that experience. All a matter of perspective.