Accepting Chains


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Your primary instinct, when caught in a frame, is to attempt to escape. Ever notice how normal people, if confronted with a video camera, shy away, as if held at gunpoint? This applies to any attempt to capture, to confine, to reduce any human being. We shrink. We shy. We hide. We are afraid that what will be caught is not us. It will be our greatest fears, our ugliest indefinitions.

This is why we are drawn to the stars of Hollywood. They are captured by the camera eye with poise, beauty, and supreme confidence. We all know that this is not an easy thing to do, to be confronted by the cold observant eye of the screen, the bullet point precision of the pixels. To be taken out of context, to be simply image, simply surface, to be only what is given and shared and defined.

In our lives, our first instinct is to run when we feel caught. I feel this at my job on a frequent basis. Caught by the limitation of my similarly stunted peers, by the need to project a professional image, by the performance of a role that is not always clearly defined. I want to run, to leave, leave it far behind me. I work hard without many people understanding how hard I have to work. One of the hardest parts is in having to distance myself from my workers in order to perform my function as a manager. Sometimes this entails disciplinary verbiage, or the delegating of unsavory tasks. And sometimes I can get so caught up in my duties that I forget that I am not really that person, either. That in fact, the best way to manage others is to simply maintain my own personal integrity.

To see how you appear to others, fully, is painful sometimes, when you have been hiding. It hurts to realize just how distanced you’d become from yourself. Just because you are too busy performing. Too busy playing into some role that you were given. That was already predefined.

It’s too easy to blame others for your insecurity or inability to be flexible. You could say that the stringency of continuous gossip, the limitations of your function within the whole, the economic confinements of your small salary, the regressive mentalities and pettiness of your peers, etc, etc, are holding you back. That the staff ain’t working hard enough. That the weather is shitty. That you are developing cancer in some remote and cornered part of your body. But all that can really be said is that you are not developing. That you are not allowing yourself to awaken, to grow, to extend your boundaries beyond blame, beyond fear, beyond bitterness.

Because every little thing is this world is a mere form, a mere shell, a role, a given function, a time-spatial placement, a part of a whole, a piece of the universe. It is what fills, what flows, what connects, what expands, what moves, what transcends that truly defines what is, not the lines, walls, and titles. The energy that sparks to fly across the vast and petty emptiness between synapses. A symphony, a sonnet, a wedding, a sentence: these are all hollow forms that are defined not by their structure but by their content. By what feeling flows through their spaces. A house contains conscious thought and space. Designed intelligently, it can hold power beyond wood, beyond stone, beyond itself. By uniting with the wind, the sun, and the earth.

It is more than what you are given. It is in what you bring to it. In what energy, what love, what fresh hope and positive vision.

I don’t want to keep hiding. My job might suck sometimes, but I’m going to keep exploring myself within it as long as I am working it, until I am truly ready to leave, to expand, to move, to flow. Not because I have to. Not because my money is made from it. Because I care about myself.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Accepting Chains”

  1. I adore your writing. Your words have exactly the effect on me, that I seek to create through my own writing, however insufficient I still am at that. When I read this post it was, again, as though your words made their way to the deepest parts of my being, and resolved much of the tension I have been walking around with lately. Your words have a very special way of making my soul, not just vibrate, but resonate in a very beautiful way.

    Thank you

  2. Cool. Keep trying, keep living, keep dying everyday over insignificant occurrences. Being sensitive to everything and letting on to nothing. Being hip and geeky and able to take a toot with any tinker. Know what I’m saying? Write yourself in the sky with a sabertooth pencil. Puff yourself into neon gold rings strung like confetti through other peoples hearts. And still get up there on the dance floor and shake the touchous like there’s no tomorrow. Peace!

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