Drew T. Noll © 2023, all rights reserved

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Under the Stairs, Spin Chairs, and Trunks in the Mist

Party-time was always difficult for me. I wanted to go, but when I got there, I was that weird guy that was sitting on the roof or outside in the tree, looking at the stars and thinking about whatever came to mind. When I danced, I was usually by myself, exploring the inside of things. The world around me pulsed and moved and I absorbed it and then spun and wove it into my own story. It was my narrative. It fed me and when I returned to my studio, where I would regurgitate the narrative in some fashion, I would revel in the knowledge that I had gained about the universe.

My narrative grew as my radio antennae gleaned from the mazal dripping from above and became a life of its own. It spun its way into many objects and images. Giant posters and murals of TVs and couches were sprouting around the towns that I lived in. Spinning living rooms and clay cartoons crept from my mind and splashed with clanks and splats, as they formed themselves from the unconscious universe, unknowingly collected by my soul from the rooftops and treetops of the world.

I parsed from one node to the next, often wondering what would be in the last place I would channel the narration of these precious experiences. I left the coastal plains and transitional elements of water and earth for the crisp isolation of snow packed cliff faces. I sat, listening to silence for 3 years, while the pellets of snow and ice flittered down and settled next to the hole I had carved, until my antennae vibrated. My radio began to twitch and channel surf the universe—slowly at first, but becoming a storm of boiling linseed oil and ice water.

Round, square, deep, passionate, silly, honest, wood, paint, gold, and charcoal screamed their way into this world riding my antennae. Monkeys with cigars, aliens in traffic jams, chairs with ballistic missiles, and stuffed animals waiting for a ride, all found their way. Banana frames and hover cows swirled with walking tables and spin chairs. The procession of light and wacky color became sleek and designed and transformed again into the wood and metal of function. Seamless Lego constructions, towering toward the sky, twisting with the antennae they had rode in on. Hidden and revealed flaws and perfection found a home as they reverberated off the history of dwelling alone in crowded rooms.

When I asked why, the answer I received was cold and hot and full of despair and of hope. I knew I had lived on a level of riding only the waves. I hadn’t asked what the waves were and why did they exist, so I climbed the tree again. Only this time, I climbed a tree that most could not see. It was a tree of fairytales and mist, but behind the fog at the trunk, it grew straight up like it was the foundation of the earth. I couldn’t carry my load with me—the one I spun and tied to my ankle, so I set it free. It had its own life now and I was ready for another level of awareness. I climbed and learned.

It has now been 3 years and I thought that I would be able to see the top of the tree by now, but I can’t yet. I can still see the party going on, but it is getting hard to hear what it is all about. I used to be able to duck in and ground-out once in a while, but now, I am finding it less appealing to do so. I feel like the tangled couples kissing in bleak halls and the hair-bounce, necklace sparkle people that emerged from under the stairs are all still there and will probably remain there. The sleek and racing striped sports shwag is glowing for love and desires to be caressed, if only one last time, but I am not able to listen.

There is a branch that I can just make out ahead that looks promising. I’ll let you know what I see, that is if I can still pay attention to the rage raving through the mist.

Shavua tov le kulam!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life is Growth

"Life is growth. Since stagnation is the antithesis of growth, it is also the antithesis of life. We can exist without growth, but such an existence lacks true life."

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Day and Age of Politically-Correct

First of all, I need to give credit to my Mom for not only not doing many of the things listed here, but also doing many of them. Oh, and thanks as well for forwarding the email quoted below!

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!!

“First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads. As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.

WHY? Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. --And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill; only to find out we forgot the brakes… After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Play Station, Nintendo or X-box. There were no video games, no 150 channel cable hookups, no videos or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and played with them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever.

The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas… We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of those born between 1925 and1970, CONGRATULATIONS! You had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives—for our own good.”

What comes to mind for me is that the more we have access to information sources, the more we defer to them. The more we defer to them, the more we lose our ability to grow and experience by thinking for ourselves. The more we lose our abilities in these areas, the easier it is for others to dictate what is right and wrong. As soon as that happens, to the extent it has in the world today, the more that inept crowd pleasing bureaucrats can control our lives, the lives of our children, and the future of humanity.

P.C. is Passé: celebrate diversity—for real, not the canned version we are being forced to choke down!

“Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?”