Friday, July 5, 2013

The Seedy Underbelly

I have seen it. The seedy underbelly of rural America. And you know what? It's not as frightening as I thought. The thing of it is, I've come to realize that keeping an open mind about people, places, and things that normally would be outside your comfort zone is actually beneficial to your personal growth. In case you were wondering, I am unabashedly non-conformist. My hair is a bit on the long side. I don't wear suits. I'm most comfortable wearing thrift shop clothing. And I don't eat fast food. And while I don't talk politics or try to argue my views, I suspect I would baffle a lot of people when it comes to how my convictions are formed. Same thing with religion. My views come from within, are not altogether on one side or the other, and are not swayed by the opinions of those around me. Now about the company I keep, here's where my spiritual beliefs come into play. My associations astound me. Through no design of my own, I find myself collaborating on a close and personal basis with people I typically wouldn't give two shakes about. I chalk this up to finally allowing myself to be open to anything and everything in the vast world that surrounds me. I am not a redneck. I am not a religious fanatic. Hell, I'm not even a Hoosier. Yet here I am playing in a redneck band at night, and a praise band on Sunday mornings. All in the great state of Indiana. No way I could ever force these collaborations. Therefore I must chalk it up to intelligent design. What I do serves a purpose, even though I might not understand all of what that purpose entails or even how that purpose affects the grand scheme of things. We are by nature visual people. When most people think about God, they try to form some sort of picture in their head of what this God might look like. Over the course of history there must be thousands upon thousands of paintings, drawings, and sculptures of what man (or woman) believes to be a depiction of the almighty deity. Where does this vision come from? Well, in my belief system, all creativity comes from a higher power. Given that, maybe these depictions are accurate. Yet they are all so different. So in my view, the Almighty, creator of the universe, can take any form depending on the needs of the recipient. If you're comfortable envisioning God as an old man in a robe with white flowing hair and a long beard sitting on a cloud, then that's what he is. If you're vision is that of a young woman colorfully dressed with eight arms then...well, you get the picture. So back to my original point. I've spent much of my life being closed minded. Too much. Looking down your nose at people, places, and things has cut down on the number of experiences I might have had even though I determined early on in life that experience is really the pinnacle of our purpose. It's why I write. To take my experiences, regurgitate them into something entertaining, and send the results out into the cosmos. So in order to do that to the best of my ability, I need to be open and positive about allowing myself to fall into situations I previously might have backed out of. And lastly, although I'm no longer a youngster, I need to be mindful that I still have much to learn. And for that concept, I'm thankful I figured it out. Now if I could only figure out how to make the perfect mac n cheese. Hee Haw

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