15 November, 2012

Never Jam To-Day

presented by
Mystic Metals Body Jewelry

Never Jam To-Day

I'm way out there today, kids. I haven't had my pills for a couple days because I've been broke and I can't afford my bills. I haven't worked in close to two months. I'd like to, don't get me wrong, but it seems as if every opportunity my band gets to acquire work, someone in the band shoots it down for whatever bullshit reason or another. Of course, I'm the only one in the band who actually needs the band in order to pay his bills; the rest of the cats have jobs, so why would they do something they don't want to do, right? If anyone wants some bass gear, I'm looking to sell. All of it.

I think I've written about this before, but since this is the five hundredth or so blog I've written, I'm probably not going to go back and read all of them to check. Except that one about that guy who did that stuff. That one is great. Anyway, this is what I'm going to talk about today: Alice In Wonderland.

Well, OK, I'm not going to actually talk about Alice. I am going to use a quote from the book to frame what I do want to say. Later in the book when Alice is presented to the Queen Of Hearts, she has a conversation with the Queen that seems to make little sense. But since Lewis Carrol was a genius, there is a wildly absurd sense to it. Long story short, the Queen Of Hearts eventually says this: "Jam yesterday, jam to-morrow, but never jam to-day." Alice tries to reason with the Queen to say that some days must be today (since today will become tomorrow when there will be jam) which would inevitably mean jam, but the Queen contests that this cannot be because the rule is "Jam yesterday, jam to-marrow, but never jam to-day," and both can't be true. Alice is confused about this and damn near gets her dome cut off because of it. Then the rabbit shows up, and some roses get painted, and a drunk mouse, and there's some crazy shit that happens and that.

The quote is what is important here, and it applies to a very many things of which I can think. This is one. Beauty. What? Yeah. Huh? Yeah. No way! Yes! Now stop interrupting me. Here's the idea. We are never satisfied with ourselves and our beauty. We have our beauty memories, we have our beauty ideals, but what of our beauty present?

We have a closet of dresses from dances and weddings and a thousand engagements we went to and enjoyed. We look at those clothes when the mood strikes us, maybe the holidays and we plan a thrift store donation trip, maybe we rummage for shit that the hurricane survivors need since the federal government hasn't done shit to help them but it isn't a big Katrina media deal because it's white people with a black president instead of the other way around. Woah. Sorry. No pills = no filter. Anywho, we look at these artifacts of the past and from them we remember where our beauty was then. We lament and long because we are older now, and as we all know, old is super evil. We wish we were that again because maybe we don't fit in those clothes now, or maybe our hair won't do what we want it to now, or maybe we've changed in ways we'd have not so much orchestrated had we the choice. Jam yesterday.

So we look at the mirror. We think, yeah; I can be that again. I can fit in that dress. I can make my hair do whatever it is hair does. (I'm bald, so my expertise there is a little weak.) We get motivated however slightly. We decide to jog or diet or yoga or whatever activity. We get an elliptical machine for the basement or some weights or an inversion table, whatever it is those things do. We set a target. A number. A weight or fat ratio and we post it on the mirror like a boxer before a fight. This is what I will be, we think. This is the thing that is going to happen, we think. Jam tomorrow.

But like Alice argues, there must be jam on some days since today must come in between the tomorrows and the yesterdays because today will be a yesterday and was once a tomorrow. Why don't we indulge those todays when we look at our beauty? Solely because something was or something will be does not preclude that something is, right? It seems we do this with our beauty quite a bit. We invent a context of some seemingly ancient period of our lives and use that to frame what we would like to be on some indeterminate date in the amorphous future. In doing this we completely forego what today is because we are looking constantly at the jam and not at the day. Surely, striving for betterment is an excellent perception to have. We should always, but never at the cost of the extinction of what is. After all, isn't what is going to be what was after what will be happens? Today becomes the jam yesterday, doesn't it.

Aren't we all beautiful today. Aren't we the jam today. We definitely are. The problem is we don't indulge that idea much. And when I say we, you cats and kittens know that I'm not talking about some People's Sexiest Man pouty kind of idiot type of what men really oughtn't be, or whatever Twilight bullshit one dimensional actress with a terrible shoe is on the cover of Seventeen magazine. These are jam all the time types, or at least they seem to share that with all of us which makes sense because that's their business. I know when I'm on stage I make playing Call Me Maybe look like it is the greatest moment of my life. Breaking news: It's not. But we are the people of Wonderland. The normals, and in our quest for our own comfort in our jam today beauty, we indulge in things like modification or clothes shopping or hairstyles or face paint or whatever it is that allows us to indulge in jam today, everyday. Or so we ought. The trouble is that when we avert the attention away from the jam today, we tend to forget that today is happening. Yes, we had a certain beauty yesterday. Yes, we may have a certain beauty tomorrow. But do each of those negate the certain beauty we have today? Back in my day everything was great, and once this thing happens everything will be great. But what of today? Isn't today great as well? I'm talking about beauty here, just to remind. I mean shit; the wrong guy got elected so jam tomorrow is a bleak possibility, and the jam he fed us yesterday was just as sour. Woah. Sorry. Again, no pills = no filter. But regardless of what was or what is to come, what is happens to be equally beautiful. The realization of that can quell the most dreadful of minds.

Now, the aspiration to be better is a gladdening thing, to be sure. We ought to strive to do that thing that we assume will make us better. The quitting whatever thing we love because it's bad for us, or the losing the extra ten pounds, or the getting a higher paying job. (Good luck with that last one.) And yes, looking fondly on the past and who we were then can be refreshing and give us a sense of direction and wisdom, though nine out of ten says your memory is a revisionist historian. But what of today. That's the question. What of today. It oughtn't be diminished because it isn't what was and isn't what may be. Rather, it ought to be celebrated because it is a wonderfully unique thing in itself. The jam yesterday is a story to tell of what happened. The jam tomorrow is a story to tell of the speculation of what may be. The jam today, well. That's not a story at all, is it. It is just an is. And that is is as equally beautiful as what was or what may be. Stay beautiful, kids.

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1 comment:

  1. You've done it again, sir. This is a beautiful piece of work. Humor me and listen to Stroke 9's Rod Beck. Something about this, struck a chord. I could be wrong but it brings up the same feelings in me as reading this did.