by Citizen X
As a citizen, I march through my day-to-day existence facing everything from compassion, generosity, and sincerity to ignorance, corruption and deceit, which unfortunately results in a love hate relationship with my country and the people in it.
At times I speak my second language when traveling abroad in hopes that “they” won’t know that I’m American. Other times, I fling open my U.S. passport and proudly hold it up to the doorman at the absinthe bar in Barcelona. Just as the flapping of a butterfly, affects the world around me, I too transfer my energy and add to the definition of “American”.
As a resident, I insist on investing my time and money in-and-around my neighborhood. Eating at local restaurants, shopping at local stores, attending local events, and buying local art not only aids in creating a healthy local economy, but helps me sleep better at night.
I recognize that sustainable initiatives are a personal responsibility, and also respect the homeless who systematically go through my dumpsters looking for recyclable glass and cans.
As an artist, I understand the paradox inherent in the creative mind: Sane vs. Insane; Formalist vs. Conceptualist; Expressionism vs. Rationalism. I choose to live in extreme environments and associate with intense individuals in an attempt to open my mind and test my resiliency.
I indulge in life’s inescapable “extremes” which nourish the creative spirit and engage the senses. Peace and conflict, draws me from one inspiration to the next, propelling me into a creative frenzy.
As a human, I recognize the struggles I must endure while striving for a sense of balance in my everyday life. No to ignorance. Yes to tolerance. No to blaming. Yes to apology. No to crack. Yes to Yoga.
I’ve listened to “The Power of Intention“. I’ve watched “The Secret“. I’ve read the “Wisdom of Crowds“. I absorb all this to better understand what’s possible in my potentially beautiful yet ostensibly nihilistic human life.
Though I understand these things, as a vulnerable human being, am I any closer to achieving balance?
I’ve been called sweet, stubborn, diplomatic, impossible, handsome, horrible, supportive, egotistical, generous, self-centered, crazy good and crazy bad, but when called a “robot”, I was speechless. The remark was aimed at describing the way I can seemingly separate my mind from my heart. I’ve always thought the ability to disconnect rational thoughts from unpredictable emotions was necessary and even intelligent.
As this enlightening conversation continued, the word “balance” was prescribed; evidently this was the remedy for “Robotism”. The problem was that this diagnosis came from an unbalanced individual—as we all are. The bitter pill was in knowing that something which could be seen as inherently positive may inadvertently hurt people.
The choices are detachment or engagement; both can lead to self-preservation and destruction. Do I spout some proverbial bullshit? Or do I run to my cave and take a breather? I guess it depends on the situation at hand. I am governed by opposites. I have choices.
Though I understand these things, as a robot, am I any closer to achieving balance?
I’m not sure about that… but… I am certain that at some point during the life of every Bonsai, Suiseki or Ikebana Master, there comes a moment in which “balance” degrades to “tedium” and the Master contemplates the entertainment value of subtlety.