Loose Extensions And Connections

“In the end?  Nothing ends, Adrian.  Nothing ever ends.” 
   ~ Dr. Manhattan in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons “Watchmen.”

My first thought for a title for this post was “Loose Ends,” but that, like so many things, didn’t seem accurate.

As Frank Herbert once said, “There is no real ending.  It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

And most of us can stop most of the stories we are involved with at any time.

We tend to find connections where we seek to find them.  And vice versa, we tend to find disconnections where we seek to find them.

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Numerology (and horoscopes too) are so flexible, open to broad interpretations, that people who choose to believe in them can probably find the support they are looking for – if they desire enough to find connections.

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It may seem the items in this post are disconnected.  But I see connectivity.  As close to poetry as I generally come, preferring linearity, clarity, and brevity over ambiguity or mystery.

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Speaking of never-ending, the houses of Isaac and Ishmael escalated their violent conflict these last couple weeks.  That conflict has being going on as long as . . . wait a minute, that conflict already is the cliché example for longstanding conflicts.  Nothing funny therein.  Tragic.  Complex.  Probably irreconcilable conflicts of interest.

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My orthopedic surgeon tells me my knee is loose.”  More likely my ACL is severed.  To play basketball today, I had to wrap the knee up in two wraps and a patella strap – tighter than a drum I suspect.  I’m having to deal with the realization, that from my age onward, more of my injuries will never heal – a concept I’ve long feared, a reality I’ve long fought.

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On some level, in reading or watching most stories, we want to learn if – something we have often wanted to see if it could be done – can be done.  And as with a clever ending to a joke, if the story combines things we have not quite fully connected before, that can be delightful.

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The more important question may not be these questions:
– How wealthy did you become?
– How many people liked you?
– Who loved you?
– How much did you excel in your career?

A more important question might be:
- Did the people who connected with you, loosely or closely, briefly or never-endingly - did they benefit from those connections?

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A Gift That Empowers Those Around You

There are so many people in this world who are never given positive feedback for their rare aptitudes and skills.  It’s very sad to see an older person, who you know if you’d been their friend or colleague when they were young, you could have given them needed encouragement they never received.

One of my abilities is to see other individual’s talents and to give them encouragement in those areas.

There are so many people’s lives and skills that are untapped or under-utilized because the people close to them don’t encourage those skills. 

I love seeing a person’s strength, letting them know I see it, and giving them either financial, social, or consulting support or incentives to enable them to work in an area where they are uncommonly able or gifted.

The world would be a better place if people focused less on making themselves a great success, and focused more on seeing and encouraging people around them, helping others become more productive and creative.

If you ever get to a place where you recognize you’ve personally had enough success and received enough support, it may be time to devote more time to helping people close to you recognize their gifts and helping them facilitate working in their areas of strength.

Sometimes it may mean giving a person just some small financial reward for work they’ve always done for free – to give them monetary feedback, to show you recognize the value of their skills and work.

I’m not someone who is good at encouraging people to go do “missionary work,” like flying to some far off country to help strangers.  That may be one of my weaknesses and faults.  But I am someone who strongly advocates helping people to whom you are already connected.  Start with what and who you know.  Make sure the people close to you, who may benefit from your informed perspectives, receive the tools, encouragement, money, contacts, and resources they could use to shine.

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Question:  What disconnections will likely stick with you the most?

Answer:  The disconnections with people with whom you miss their regular company.  The disconnections with people with whom your chemistry with them created great things for each of you and those around you.

When you believe great beauties, pleasantries, and wonders likely could have been created from your chemistry with specific people (if the connections had continued), then the absence of those chemistries can devastate you.  When you are confident there are many amazing creations that never came into being because specific chemistries ended, those losses can be irreplaceable, non-replicatable.  To be human, is to acknowledge the irreplaceable & non-replicatable losses, and still find great motivations to make the best of the chemistries and connections that remain.

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“Communication is the problem to the answer
You’ve got a number and your hand is on the phone
The weather’s turned and all the lines are down”
   – lyrics from “The Things We Do For Love” by the 1970s band 10cc.

In significant-other relationships, sometimes the problem is not a lack of desired verbal communication or connection.  Sometimes the problem is a lack of physical communication and connection.

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Question:  If you were disconnected from people you loved, would you send messages to the whole world, knowing the people with whom you are disconnected could read them?

My Answer:  Yes.  Of course.  Who would elect to stay silent instead?

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A sidenote:  I removed my last post from public view.  In it, I gave a recommendation to read the fantasy novel “The Name of the Wind.”  But until I complete the first book (or maybe the whole trilogy), I’m going to withhold that recommendation.  Call me old-fashioned, but when the protagonist I’m rooting for douses their juvenile adversary with alcohol in an attempt to permanently burn their face and skin (in an act of non-self-defense revenge), I stop rooting as much for the protagonist.  The protagonist was in no immediate peril and didn’t live near his adversary.  Nor did he have any sense his adversary was seeking him out to harm him further.  The protagonist’s choice made no internal sense to me.  It seemed inconsistent with the book’s definition of the character up to that point, a character whose family and liberal community probably would have carefully taught him to avoid such a violent course of action.

Having said that, Rothfuss is still a great storyteller and as with most interesting characters, redemption and repentance (realization of wrongdoing and an expressed and followed intention to stop it) are often major themes.  I’m not stopping reading the book, but I have to withdraw my encouragement for others to do the same until I read more.

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Personal notes:  My personal world and daily life has changed remarkably in the last month as great responsibilities and their commensurate loads have been placed on me.  Life.

On health fronts, there are days when after exercising a few hours, I find myself crying – a cocktail of fatigue, recognition of the difficulties, good fortune, limitations, and time expenditures.

As I said in a recent email to my family:

“it is important to consider that it may be a privilege to be able to extend the competition in a battle you know you will ultimately lose.  I get frustrated when I hear anyone say, ‘Well, you’re going to lose that battle anyway, so why fight?’  As with life and death in general, I think that focus is misplaced.  In my opinion, it is a privilege to have the option to extend the fight in an ultimately losing battle.”

Sometimes our aches kindly signal us where we need to strengthen ourselves to avoid pains.

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Connecting back to the top of this post:  The “Before Watchmen” comic shown above is the first issue in a mini-series by the exceptionally good artists: J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes.  Through the first two issues, it is excellent and amazing.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.  None of the other “Before Watchmen” mini-series have garnered or maintained my interest.

“In the end?  Nothing ends, Adrian.  Nothing ever ends.”
   ~ Dr. Manhattan in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons “Watchmen.”

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