on hammocks
April 22, 2014, 4:59 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

Hammocks might be the best things ever invented.

As a child, we’d go to our friend Jonathan’s house, and a game we’d play was to see how many of us could fit in the backyard hammock . Then the older kids would swing us until we inevitably fell out and scraped our knees and smashed heads. But it was awesome. And we’d climb back in and do it all over again. A form of self-torture that was too much fun to pass up.

The next time I used a hammock was the first time I got high. Much like when I was a child, my friends and I piled inward and were swung back and forth, cackling like idiots. It was much like being a child, only more obnoxious. My friend and I laid there for what seemed like hours staring at stars and feeling like grownups, even though we were proving to be anything but. I remembered the joy of the hammock as a child, and although this could have been the drugs talking, this felt even more meaningful.

A few years back, I set one up between two monstrous trees in our back yard. I tried to replicate the joy of my youth, minus the drugs and friends. It was okay. Nothing too special. I never felt I had the time to actually relax long enough to enjoy it. Toddlers will do that to a man. I took it camping and slept in it a few nights, in hopes that if would take me back to more carefree days. I tried afternoon naps on sunny, summer days. It was nice, but nothing could take me back to a past that was no longer attainable.

Nostalgia is funny. You can build up memories into these giant panoramas, making them out to be much more than they were. It’s like you paint a mural in your mind, only to realize it was nothing more than a finger painting.

My kids ended up using the hammock more than I did, often asking me to swing them as they giggled and got scared, the way I did as a child, minus the swearwords. Then my dog chewed holes in it, and I threw it away, much too cheap and unwilling to pay for a new one.

The truth is that memories only hold the power that we give them. While objects and people can take us back to certain places in time, nothing can replicate what brought us joy in the past. It wasn’t the hammock that made me happy. It was being with friends, laughing until I couldn’t breathe, experiencing life and growing up. A product can’t do that. If we spend our time trying to manufacture nostalgia, it will truly be a wasted life. If we expect items to bring us real joy, then we have no chance at experiencing the memories now that create nostalgia in the present, and will again in the future. We’ll be left unsatisfied.

Hammocks went on sale today, half price. I couldn’t resist, so I purchased another one. Can’t beat $25 for a chance to relive your dreams. I no longer expect to be taken back in time, though. That’s silly to expect out of a hammock. Besides, you need drugs to do that.

Maybe hammocks aren’t the greatest thing ever. But if your favourite thing to do is lie down, it might come close.

enough with the book reviews already…
October 28, 2009, 5:08 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , ,

it’s been one of those weeks where i question. i question everything that comes my way. i question my decisions. my motives. my heart. others decisions, motives and hearts. nothing seems certain to me these days. i don’t seem to be able to trust the same way i once did. and i know this feeling will pass. next week will be better, and my certainty of the goodness within myself and others will come flooding back. but for now…
i recently visited my childhood home, dauphin, mb. i love regina, and will never leave here as far as i’m concerned right now. but a piece of me will always be in dauphin. i loved growing up there. i had to drive through riding mountain national park for the first time in many years in order to get there, and it felt like an epiphany. memories came flooding back that were long dormant. the simple beauty of riding mountain (let’s be honest, here. it’s just a hill) took my breath away. those same curves i had driven many times before. but back then it was always about the destination. it was rarely about the journey. and at this moment, i was enjoying the journey. the anticipation of seeing friends and my old home was almost too much, but as i have grown older (25 is the new 40, so i can say that) i am learning to appreciate simple things more. things like autumn leaves. snow covered branches. a cup of coffee. roadkill. the drive was beautiful, and i had never enjoyed it in the past the way i did this day. i noticed all the old road marks where memories were made and relationships grew strong. those days…the only care in the world being what some lame girl thought of you and saving enough money for a band t-shirt. swimming at moon lake, and climbing the agassiz tower for the millionth time. blowing up transmissions in a small valley at 3 AM. and as i entered dauphin and saw that goofy old beaver waving at me, i couldn’t help but laugh at the time we thought it would be smart to go around drop kicking road signs off of snowbanks. or sneaking cigarettes at 2 AM. or getting kicked out of smitty’s for using too much cream. going to the most unreal shows of my life. down by the river. friendships that i wish would have lasted. friendships that have lasted, yet they aren’t the same as they once were.

thinking back now, the times spent in this place were as good as it gets, and i just couldn’t see it as clearly back then. there is something about growing older and wiser that is profound and beautiful, and you see life differently. but it’s also depressing. because you think more. you over-analyze a bit more. you stress a bit more. and while you see the beautiful moments a little clearer, you worry about more than just the lame girl and band t-shirts. your problems become real and pronounced. like a kick in the ukrainian perogies (dauphin cultural reference).

i don’t know what i’m trying to say. it was a good day. and a bad day. it reminded me of passion, which i sorely lack these days. it reminded me of simpler times, when it didn’t feel like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. all we cared about was getting high and going to shows. and it reminded me of a time when trust didn’t seem so hard. friends were friends. and while ‘the man’ was out to get you, you had a general sense of peace that everything would be alright and the whole system wasn’t going to come crashing down on itself. that day also reminded me of what i have now. which is more than i deserve. a beautiful wife. the 2 most amazing kids to ever walk the face of the earth. a job that i can’t believe they pay me for. remembering my past reminded my why i’m so thankful for my present. so why is it that trust is so much more difficult these days? trust in myself, others and God? this isn’t meant to be woe is me. but what is a blog read by 3 people if you can’t question life once in a while? isn’t that what blogs are for? to let those 3 people know what your thinking? i would never go back to that time, because what i have now is so much better. maybe i just don’t see as clearly as i thought i did. getting old sucks. this made no sense. which is the story of my life.