A Worked Up (and Turned On) Adam Oh, Men Alive! The faint tintinnabulation of yuletide bells accompanying “O Holy Night” in the background on the family cassette player, my heart quickened as I unwrapped what I discovered to be the most thrilling gift I’ve yet to receive: an electric typewriter! How my mother and stepfather read more..
Oh, Men Alive!
The faint tintinnabulation of yuletide bells accompanying “O Holy Night” in the background on the family cassette player, my heart quickened as I unwrapped what I discovered to be the most thrilling gift I’ve yet to receive: an electric typewriter! How my mother and stepfather could afford such an extravagance was beyond me; but it was Christmas morning, 1994, that I came upon the concept of “second-hand”. Like the holey hand-me-down sweatpants my stepbrother discarded that I had donned, this humming, pulsating tool – which would help me access my voice and process my turmoil – was accomplished through that somewhat free-for-all allocation.
I gingerly typewrote in our little house on that dead end dirt road deep in the countryside the rest of seventh grade on through my senior year of high school – plugging into poetic license and song lyrics, and punching out personal letters and school reports. It brought me a particular gladness I now can only recapture if I resist the pull of my cell phone, un-prioritized to-do lists, and that close cousin of perfectionism: procrastination. I find myself, at 32, in front of a MacBook Air that is more than worn from worldwide usage – even further along in marvel at all that is than that tender 12-year-old who was staggered enough to seek electrifying lostness amidst the turbulence of adolescence. Now I have the pronounced privilege of obtaining charged escapedness from countless distractions.
Through this blog (and in responding to your emails and tweets) I try to tap into the current of meshing passed down ideas in order to really bite into life’s forbidden fruits, ransacking this thrift, and easily breathing a big sigh of relief that the eureka moment is in allowing the pressure to be off. I attempt to revive the spirit of the electrically composed.
And I have to wonder if this sense of bliss is in the vibrancy of aliveness and the voltage of existence as experienced in the present. To be lost and found in this twinkling, channeling consciousness and giving it form from my unconsciousness to these fingers to the fronts of your faces. Accessing the all-encompassing.
So often what masquerades as desire is obsession. I choose to ripen joy within myself and through what I do, but joyfulness cannot merely be handed over. It’s a man’s own work. Respecting my vocation, I have been called a “healer,” but I feel more like a “space giver.” And in this expanse I want to exemplify that joie de vivre – that extended delight, inner peace, and acceptance of ambiguity and anguish. It’s possible that the pleasure I give through the act of making love is so all-senses-employed powerful and appeals so much to something beyond two intertwined men that I frequently find myself telling clients “take it with you.” It doesn’t stop with me. “Man Alive!” is my struggling to not be a counterfeit and – instead – to push toward what I feel compelled to do for myself and my community. The act of merging and mishmashing for the sake of supplying a sample of awe through bolts of a familiar delight in our common humanity. Our analogous experience.
So inundated with information and prospects in the modern era, we have developed a limited capacity for astonishment at a given thing’s origin or application. All this contact, but so seldom much context. I want to mull things over and be elated by the details in order to ride a massive theme… that I’m approaching.
So here’s to that pre-teen who began typing himself away within his own confines into limitless feelings, and to comforting him through discovering myself overjoyed by anything that instigates this wonderment. And whatever comes about has just got to be good. I once found myself key-punching against fear and anxiety; now, the hunt-and-peck has me in a juvenile-ish hoping and groping. And in a couple weeks, when I start scrawling outside of the seeming security of these “introductory letters” – considering myself in self-imposed exile against my own constraints – I’m going to be fearfully and wonderfully gleeful!
SO after a life of motion and reaching, it seems the greatest frontier of all is the inner world in an industry and island and overall culture that strives toward the external, mistaking the symbol for the thing itself. In this final note, I simply want to assert that I intend for “Man Alive!” to be an exercise in altruism, patience, and humility. Giving to myself and my tribe the gifts of pace, space, and surrender.
Do give yourselves the gifts of pace, space, and surrender this holiday season and on into 2015.
PS – If you are encouraged by “Man Alive!”, consider sending it along as an inspirational present via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or email.
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