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31 October 2018

Kaleidoscopic Vision, the Great Onion-Peel of Time

by Andrew

Kaleidoscopic vision, I have to add here a disclaimer, re-reading again. This post is everywhere. Though hopefully little specks of color each, I'm not even going to try to fix, though I share it:

I recognize myself less & less. And that's how the time goes slowly, the days feel like eternities. Or, that's a part of it, anyway, this never-ending onion-peel—which seems to happen more & more frequently, at the momement, at least.

Kapil Gupta wrote of it, I read before, about a man who built a sandcastle every day, & the tide would destroy it in the night. I think it went like this, if I remember correctly. And at the end, the man sees a child, who'd also built a sandcastle, but who playfully knocks it down himself, however, at the end of the day.

I don't even know if I got the story right, so I won't analyze it. But it's something like this, that onion-peel. I replied to a tweet by the startupdaemon one day, that went something like, "What are you grateful for?" that I'm grateful for the fresh slab of marble which must be molded a-new each day.

Which is part of my theory—for now, anyway—of being an artist. Every day, you start from scratch. And every day, you iterate faster & faster—momentum-like, you get better & better, so that on day 200 of building sandcastles you're much improved than you were on day 2, for example, eventhough every day you're beginning with the same nothing.

Which has to do more with technique, though, I just realized, the paragraph above, sharpening your knife, learning to play your instrument. But this onion-peel is similar. You tear yourself down—by picking at yourself some weakness, it's been for me lately, if that's how it always goes or not, I've no idea. And then you re-build, I wrote of in my last post, a cold re-boot, you come snapping back to your core, life presses-in all round you again.

Which is new to me, these 2 seperate ways of starting from scratch, the technical & the emotional, let's call them, I kind of like this idea. The technical is almost automatic. Every day, it's a blank page staring back at you, regardless. The emotional is more difficult.

When I'm having self-defeating thoughts, this is the trigger, I've recently recognized. I used to feed these thoughts, to indulge in them, to focus. Which is not a good idea,—for me, anyway—it's a slippery slope into the black-hole. You get all depressed, melancholy, on & on you fall, it's nasty. But now,—of late—I notice these thoughts, when I'm beating myself up. And I give them their reign, it's difficult to, still. But I do it "absent-mindedly." I don't think on these things. I don't dwell. They're like evil voices spinning round your head, these un-attended, darker thoughts, it's a bit frightening—a bit delicious to watch, however, somewhat removed, savouring. It's what madness must look like, if I had to guess, this cyclone of thoughts you can't control.

But by not dwelling on these poisonous thoughts, they pass. It feels so re-freshing when they do. You found your way back, you're very sharp & clear-headed. Another layer of onion has been knocked-off, you're at the core again. And then the layers begin to form again—the scab. Life crashes down again, like Moses un-splitting the sea. But you have new limits now. That last outer layer is gone.

Call it cognitive dissonance, if you will,—but throwing some salt right on the wound, which you use the power-of-duality to help define, or to put you somewhere near in the general direction, deciding the exact cause of this dissonance—that you recognize & that you let go for a spin till it passes—you hope, anyway, you trust. And this has been more & more frequent of late, the passed 2 months. I feel like a completely new person about 6-times-over in these passed months, a stranger (though familiar) who doesn't even try to recognize, I just keep-on marching forward. Your sense-of-self becomes stronger & stronger, your own personal programming, in which particular direction your 1's & 0's are turned, it's like you're discovering, knocking away the excess.

But if I do stop & try to think back a bit on these "passed-selves," the weeks feel like years. The months feel like decades. Time has been stretched, & continues to be the more & more I spin through this cycle.

But this is only one aspect of this time-slowing, one cause of it, this onion-peel, I've another hypothosis. How I have nothing to do, nowhere to be. I lose track of the days, I lose track of the hour—though, I do have an excellent internal clock & can always guess the hour to almost near accuracy, no more than a-half-hour off usually, when I call upon this ability. But the date & the days, I lose count of almost un-remorsefully.

Because I have no schedule. I have no appointments. I have no job I must be at by 9:00, no kids to pick-up from daycare by 17:00. It's only me. The days, looking back day-to-day, they feel like eternities, each.

Because I have time for everything. The slightest things set-off my attention. Like the octopus put it, like a boiling pot of water, it goes quickly when you ignore, & slowly when you're paying attention. I have all my time to focus my attention on whatever I will. And I do. And the time creeps.

Re-reading, I remember that there was also another moment in my life when time seemed to slow & stretch. When I drove the truck. Which I'd hypothosized then, that it was because of all the scenes I was seeing day in & out. Every day, it was a new place, the wonder of it, eyes of a child, the new thoughts inspired by new surroundings, continually, continually.

And I'd call my mother about every 2 weeks or so. Now, she has a job & such, takes care of the nephew, his schedule, her schedule. So she'd say that it felt like yesterday we talked. Though it felt like months ago to me, I could barely remember when we last spoke, it felt it'd been so long ago.

I have no idea about any of these things, however. I'm only observing, noting times when time has stretched for me—off of constant marijuana use. Which is a very valuable commodity,—if that's the correct word—to be able to slow time, you extend your life: When no frequent change of environment, work on the emotions, peeling back the layers, & try to lose the schedule. You must always be focusing on the pebbles.


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