Let me introduce an idea from the mouth of Ms. Royner, an Ohio State professor, who says that writing should be a full body experience-- one that involves the head, the heart, the stomach, and the backbone. And I say truethat to that. Unfortunately, a lot of us spend most of the hours of the day outside of this full body experience. Is this a repurcussion of complicated lives or a manifestation of masochism? Both. Now let me posit this: cavemen and children live more holistic lives (in a high quality sense, not a tree-hugging sense) than the average working adult. I think about cavemen a lot. I started thinking about them way before those stupid commercials. I think that if a caveman were placed in our society today and was placed in front of the Cavemen t.v. show he would be like: "what the hell is this?" I tend to think that cavemen, who were stripped of all unnecessities, probably enjoyed a more raw sense of humor, a more profound sense of triumph, and a deeper application to all things necessary in their lives. Did cavemen whine? Probably not. Did cavemen get lazy? If they did, they probably were the ones who got eaten. Whereas we can whine and laze all day with no consequences. Cavemen were also better at managing absolutely everything in their lives because survival was the only goal at stake. Salaries, malls, t.v., transportation, bills, addictions, and too much access to everything we've ever wanted have removed our bodies, our hearts and souls, if you will, from our work and hobbies. These gratuitious complications in our lives have removed true intellect, valor, and spine from many of the things to which we apply ourselves. That's why I prefer working in low-income areas. At the end of the day, some of my kids are just trying to survive. A lot of shit goes down. A lot of soul comes out. I think cavemen probably had a lot of soul (the ones who had fully developed brains) because they only did what mattered.
Children in the same sense have less stress, are better managers, and happier beings that I am most of the time. Whoever gave the word "childish" a negative connotation should reconsider their upbringing. Kids learn languages more quickly than adults, and they have an affinity for instruments that is impossible to harness if you start learning in your twenties. Kids throw themselves headfirst into attempts with little to no inhibitions. That's why they're always getting hurt-- because everything they do with their heads, there is a commensurate amount of effort and application coming from their bodies. Have you ever heard an exhausted adult say, "man, kids have SO much energy?" It's true. THEY NEVER RUN OUT. Kids run and run and run. They nap, then they get up and they run some more. When I was a lifeguard, I used to yell at kids "WALK!" from the lifeguard stand. The result was a painful, tiptoeing walk that quickly became a little trot, then a full-out unbridled, uncontrollable sprint. They couldn't control their forward motion. I never feel like that anymore! I want to feel it again!
So how do we become less complicated in order to feel more? I'm removing reality t.v. from my brain, I'm not picking up another mindless magazine, and I'm further reducing my cell phone minutes. I'm going to talk to the child in the grocery store who's staring at me (because we share this problem). I'm going to hunt for elk in Colorado to connect with my inner caveman. Maybe not, but I'm going to try and see/taste/touch/smell/what'sthelastsense?damn/listen! to the simple things I do every day. I am going to write, exercise, and listen more. I am going to let you know how it goes.