Another way to waste time

I couldn't see what the fuss was about stumbleupon until I tried it. Basically, you tell it what kind of stuff you're into (music, art, technology, etc) and it sends you to a web site it recommends based on your interests. You tell it whether or not you like the site, and its recommendations get better and better. I doubted this last part, until I told it a few sites I liked. Its recommendations were dead-on, and I immediately found incredibly useful sites I hadn't even known existed.

Nothing to lose

I had an epiphany of sorts the other day, when I was feeling desperately low. This isn't really making sense to me yet, so I'm going to try and flesh it out a bit here.

I wanted to say something to a loved one, but was afraid of the potential reaction. Then I realized, I have nothing to lose. I've already lost everything at some future point, given the impermanent nature of all things. It could be said that I never "had" anything to begin with. Nothing is mine. I don't own any thing. I don't own any person. Or relationship. Or concept. There's nothing I can hold in my hands and say, "this is mine, now and forevermore."

When I operate under the delusion that I can "have" things, people, relationships, I act in ways that facilitate gaining or keeping them. I act in unnatural ways because I don't want to lose the one I love, lose my source of income, lose some thing I own. I can't act in any sort of pure fashion, because I'm concerned with keeping these things intact. In the process, I become just a collection of these things I keep, and I lose my real self.

When I have nothing to lose, I am perfectly free. I am not concerned at all with grabbing and clutching and holding on. Nothing has a hold on me, either. I am unfettered by possessions, by concepts, by that-which-I-can't-live-without. I can live without any of it. Or not. I don't even own my body. It will die and fade away. I can't make it younger, I can't keep it alive indefinitely, and to cling to it is a kind of madness.

There is no such thing as failure when one has nothing to lose. Failure is losing, and if there is no losing, there is no failure. Therefore it frees one to try anything - absolutely anything at all - because there is no clinging to some idea of "success" or even worthiness. I can't succeed at this blog post, or at my relationship, or at life. I can't lose, either.

to me, this lays to rest the conundrum of emptiness in buddhism. Why try, if nothing matters? Why do anything, if it's all empty and impermanent? Realizing there's nothing to lose, one can say "Why not?" Time is infinite, not limited. Everything that's ever existed, and ever will, exists right now, and it's not going anywhere - just constantly changing form. The leaves that were on the tree yesterday are on the ground today, and will be swept up and bagged tomorrow. No leaf was lost. Nothing went "wrong" in that scenario. If I had picked the leaf, if I had burned the tree, it would produce a different outcome, but still nothing was lost.

There is no point in keeping it all in. There is no point in restricting oneself. Consequences abound, but when acts with compassion, you cannot go wrong. Only when you fear you have something to lose will you go astray, for then you will cling and clutch and grab to avoid losing that thing. You cannot have love and fear in the same breath. Only the truly fearless can truly love.

Stay tuned

You know the old adage, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? That's why I haven't been posting. I feel as if I'll drag down the collective mood of the Internet with what I have to say.

I have been twittering, however, and the short sound bites seem much more manageable in a state where taking a shower is a major effort.

So funny I cried.

OMG. I am sitting here with tears flowing. This is possibly the funniest thing I've seen on the Internet, period.

(Some knowledge of the stupidity of Yahoo Answers required to get the joke.)

Finally, some common sense.

One person died and hundreds were hospitalized during the Chicago marathon last Sunday, when temperatures were unseasonably warm and water supplied by the race organizers ran out. Immediately after this story broke, I wondered, "Why didn't they just stop running?!" It just seems unfathomable that you would run until the point of total exhaustion, unless you were being chased by a bear or an ax murderer. Finally, someone in the media is asking this question. "If the water supply runs short, here's a helpful hint: Stop running. It's just a race. Don't die for it."

I don't think I've written about politics at all in this blog, though it's probably not hard to guess to which end of the spectrum I gravitate. All I have to say is that my conservative fiancé is now going to vote for a Democrat because of the war in Iraq. Also, 3 out of my 4 grandparents served during WWII. Two of them think this war is a complete load of crock. The other one passed away before it really kicked into high gear.

The war is a big middle finger to the people of this country (never mind the rest of the world!). This poster, found on, sums up my feelings just fine.

Doing, not thinking

My life has seriously gotten off track in the past four or five months, and I've come to realize that a large chunk of that is because I spend a lot of time thinking, and not enough time doing. I think about my situation (financial, emotional, relationship). I think about where I got off track. I think about why I got off track. I think about what I should be doing. I think about why I'm not doing what I should be doing (yes, I see the irony in this post). I think about making plans to do what I should be doing. But I actually do very little.