Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Uncomfort Zone... don't we all live in it?

I noticed the other day,  that I was getting comfortable being an old fat man, can't run, can't ... you name it and there are many things that I can't. What I found interesting was the idea that I wasn't comfortable being an old fat man - acceptance, I should be aware that I am more than what others and I see when I waddle, or limp, or walk down the street, but that I should accept what I am -- shouldn't I?  No, I am Earl, and I am a game changer... from the time my mother heard me breaking the crib slats so I could escape the afternoon nap (which I always thought was her rest time more than mine) to the jumping out of the second story window to escape to go down to see the circus parade... I wanted my way and I was going to reach it.

We work hard to make life good, adventurous and meaningful - and do best when challenged by being uncomfortable. I have been blaming women for civilization for years, men would still be living in caves hunting fishing drinking and swapping lies and brags and periodically paying attention to feminine companions. But no, women wanted more for their little piece of a man's life and the cave was cold and damp, and if they had to stay with the babies all day they wanted running water, fresh air and more of everything. Men are still stuck on hunting, fishing, drinking, swapping lies and brags -- they amount of time they listen to women has increased beyond measure - not that they are paying any more attention to them. Civilization has arrived.

Comfort sells: recliners, mattresses, a good night's sleep, snake oil medicines, pain relievers - words like easy, warm, dry, smooth, simple, and ready. Politicians use them constantly to assure the people they are being sensible, taken care of, and secure. But then politicians lie a lot, almost every time they open their mouths to speak. When the politician needs a vote, the language brings messages of comfort. When the politician needs you obey - the words will all strike fear into those listening.  Normally when trying to make a bad idea work.

So I am watching Helen of Troy on dvd, comparing and contrasting it with Brad Pitt's Troy and Homer's Iliad (in English verse). I am comfortable watching something unreal and still heroic, based on some long ago war between tribes in the bronze age - and Helen is hot and lightly dressed or totally naked periodically. If I could I would have merged the two visions of the war, no real humans nor animals were harmed in the making of this production - although the real story is based on human brutality. I have always told those that want to know what war is like, about and all - I have always told them to study the Iliad, it says it all.

Homer left out the sweating at the oars, the digging in and erecting camps, the wasting of the land the stench of the rotting dead that didn't matter enough to burn in honor, the screams of the wounded animals and men, the despair of the losers - panic, and the calming heroes standing against the discomfort of ruin and rape. He covered the important stuff - but real life and war is full of little problems, irritations and things to drive you to drink or anger or frustration - little uncomfort zones.

Best get out there and struggle against the overwhelming tide of time and truth... get into and destroy that which makes one's uncomfort zone. I just want to be loved... don't we all?


  1. What really got me when I read the Illiad was how very gory it is. I always wonder just how a blind poet could come up with those descriptions. Not always blind? Not blind at all? Not written by Homer? A composite much like Shakespeare's plays? Etc.

  2. +1 on Yoda... and you're right, too comfortable means we won't be capable of anything when we NEED to do something...