“What if we’re still doin’ this when we’re 50?”

No one’s going to recognize that quote. Here’s another clue: the next line is “It would be nice to have that kind of job security.”

I’ve been thinking about that all day. It’s a mundane line from a great movie, which is why I’ve been thinking about it. The people of New Orleans have more in common with the city now than ever. Our movies have all merged and we; we as in the city and everyone who loves it, are in the middle of mundane lines in an great movie. The plot thickens – the characters develop. It’s a strange, cheap analogy but it seems to fit nicely in my head. And like everyone else, I suppose, I’ve been spending more time these last few days in my head rather than my heart.

I like intuition. That’s odd because I’m a very logical person in most ways. But there are times when your head is no good to you. Your head never makes you giggle. Your head never sees the people you love; not really, at least not the way they are. Your head can store a memory but it has no meaning all alone up there. It just sits there idle….waiting.

Your head is good at a few things. It’s good for problem solving. It’s good for thinking critically and making judgements. It’s a good place to put your glasses so you won’t forget where they are but then lacks the self awareness to know the glasses are there. ah, my old friend irony.

But your head doesn’t miss anything. To your head, something long gone is still there – stuck up in your head. And when your heart goes to your head and retrieves that memory and tries to make it real it never works. Your heart becomes annoyed at the head’s clever ruse. And your heart vows to never fall for that again. But it will. It knows it will, you know it will. It doesn’t make sense that it will unless you really think about it. Why would the heart do that? It does it because it has to. Because even though it isn’t real and won’t every be real again, at least it isn’t nothing.

So I’ve been hanging around in my head, sorting and filing memories. Trying to decide what to throw out. Trying to assign value to this or that memory while my heart sits in the corner annoyed and ignored. It isn’t really working out. I think its time for things to come together a little more gracefully. It’s time, to be sure, for us to find a place in our hearts and our minds to let these things reside. If it hurts then let it hurt, if its funny then laugh. Either way it won’t be any more real than what you carry around with you and that isn’t such a bad deal.

Now I’m not saying everyone throw up their hands and call it a day. I’m just saying that, at least for me, its time for things to get back to being centered and whole, if not in the world I live in, then in the place where I hide from the proverbial storms of life. It’s a nice place where my parents whisper ‘I love you’ to a five year old me, where my grandmother makes breakfast in the other room, where no one ever leaves, no one misses home, and everybody giggles for no reason at all. That’s the place I think that’s been the hardest to rebuild this last year but that’s where the progress should be measured. It’s a simple question and there is no wrong answer:

How do you feel?

7 Comments so far

  1. luckydog (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

    I feel insulted when anyone who is not from New Orleans is critical of … Anything – because they do not know what’s going on. You have to be here to know.

    I feel helpless when I see friend’s relationships break under the strain of the times.

    I feel terrified that I am going to lose my business and not to be able to pay the SBA.

    I feel that I overreact to most things in my mind these days, but am not able to stop.
    My outlet for anything uncomfortable is always laughter. I have noted that crying is a more prone instinct now.

    The compartmentalizing in your mind is a survival technique that I have practiced for many years. I can not answer your question with any certainty or clarity. I can simply answer a question with a question: Is there ever an answer that does not create another question?

    I feel confident that the first day I wake up and there is that cold crisp breeze blowing through the air I am going to giggle, and the world will be a better place for me in New Orleans.

    That line sounds familiar to me.
    I do not remember lines from movies any better than I recite the alphabet backwards, but it sounds like Office Space; a very funny movie if you have ever worked in corporate America.
    I also took note of the phrase as I was sitting on a bar stool at the Mayfair – and swore never at 50.

  2. jack Ware (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    Thanks Luckydog for the *only* comment.

    Is this thing on? [tap] [tap]

    Must have been way off the mark with this post.

    I’ll try better next time….


  3. termite (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

    No Jack, it was a very good post. But trust me, you don’t want to hear what’s going on in my head. hell, i don’t want to hear it.

    have a good weekend.

  4. Kenny (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

    I was totally going to comment yesterday because I became excited when I recognized the Office Space quote right away, but then I realized that someone else beat me to it, which made me feel defeated and worthless. Then, upon second read, I thought that maybe when you said “nooone’s going to recognize that quote” that you were being sarcastic, and I felt defeated again for feeling good about knowing something from a movie that is widely adored. Further, I felt compelled to respond to your end question, but by that point, I had gone through quite a bit emotionally and also maybe thought that your question was rhetorical.

    You see, my lack of commenting was due to my over-analysis of your post. I ended up reading it at least three times, though, because of that. That’s got to make you feel good, if you know what I’m saying.

  5. Stacy (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

    Jack, I wanted to comment yesterday when I first read this, but I didn’t think I should because I’m not a “local”.

    I’m not sure if you remember or not, but I met you at Kim and Craig’s wedding. We had a brief conversation on the front steps but in the brief conversation you were somebody that I really “listened” to.

    Ya know how sometimes you are talking to someone and your mind tends to wander off and you aren’t really listening? Well, that didn’t happen during our conversation. It was almost like I couldn’t even look away from you because I was listening so deeply to the things you were saying about your city.

    This post really shows your heart, Jack. I have read it several times, yet haven’t posted until now. This one has truly touched me. I just keep coming back to it.

    I always enjoy reading your blogs. Keep up the good work.

    Hopefully I’ll be back again soon so you can buy me that beer you promised me.**

    ((**You didn’t REALLY promise to buy me a beer but I just thought I’d toss that in there to get you thinking))

  6. Rayna (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    It’s time to accept things as they are and move forward. Maybe put down the hammer for a little while and take some time to heal yourself.

    Somedays I need to just take a deep breath and relax. What needs to get done will get done but all the work is worth nothing if I am a shell of a person when I get there.

    My heart made me move here definately not my head. And now we all realise it won’t be the same but the people like us who live here now are the ones shaping the future of the city. I don’t want my head to get carried away and not let my heart settle in for the good stuff.

  7. MW (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    your post left me speechless- in a good way. my heart was full but my head was empty. so i remain silent until my head is full and my heart is empty.

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