Monday, April 03, 2006

oh, for the probable moment.

while reading this post, i think the most suitable song to listen to would be watashi wa's song ten years and separating...
let me be up front and honest. i have no idea what i am going to write about. i look back at the last couple weeks and try to wrap into words all that i have learned or experienced for some type of reading enjoyment. so instead of giving some psuedo-grandious story i will chop it up into my to-be-expected adhd rantings.
i applied my philosophy that i adopted from leonardo di vinci of being a universal man/women. 'it is better to know a little about alot, then alot about a little.' instead of being one sided when it comes to music i have been exploring the last couple years... but my latest discovery is the blues. my favorite song these last couple weeks has been 'i live the life i love, and love the life i love,' performed by buddy guy. jazz is the pop version of blues, blues comes right out of the abolishment of slavery. its heartfelt lyrics of sorrow are more easily swallowed than the swooning and complaints of some kid and an acoustic guitar from suburbia today.
while in sacramento we played a show next to a jazz club. i went in and met an elderly man named stan, he asked what i wanted to drink and in the spirit of striking up a conversation i asked him to pour whatever he liked the best. i think he was hesitant as to my curiosity into his knowledge of jazz and blues as he probably looked at my hair/skin color and my attire and second guessed my inquiry. i think i overtook him when i named the album playing quietly in the background. it was dave brubeck, and i exclaimed he was one of very few white guys that i would ever listen to play jazz, he laughed, then agreed. we went on to chat back and forth about favorites.
the funny thing about the whole thing is i know so very little about jazz and even less about blues, but instead of living in my callowness i felt i would i could learn more by acting like i knew something, and to hang on every work he had to say. most were opinions, but i was more willing to take his opinions as truth than my own inclinations on the subject. i think that in some way we can learn so much from just the simple pursuit into the unknown.
last night was amazing as well. wondering the placid and exiguous streets of salt lake city at 1 AM on a sunday night can be, well, uneventful.
passing a broad street right off of main st. two hippies were sitting on the bench talking in low hushed voices, the young lady asked for a couple bucks for a beer. instead of letting the probable moment pass by i asked if they wanted to join me and i would buy them one. sarah and josh acted like they were reacquainted friends from some time ago, she had very clear green eyes with just a slant of yellow in her right eye. i loved how inquisitive she was, he was a little more uptight but was very appreciative to the situation that we had just met. i on the other hand wanted to know everything. what brought them here, what did they learn from a life so separate from mine.
sarah clearly could have fit in in the '70's even though the amount of black she wore spoke of living in our day and age. she had a constant smile on her face, and i couldn't figure out if it was because she was trying to act if the whole time was not uncomfortable or if she was genuinely content. for a time in her life sarah worked at a burrito factory to afford the bare necessities to live a life of part seclusion upon a nearby mountain. fascinating. the one thing she said that her time in the mountains had taught her is that there are good people and bad people wherever you go. whether it is in the mountains or in a beach community, whether in a cafe' in paris, or in salt lake city on a sunday night, there are good people and bad people everywhere. noted. i walked away thinking though socioeconomic class, color of skin, or religious differences people are people. we are all the same, some more intelligent, some better looking, some lonely, some quiet, some outgoing, but no matter where we are/or who we are all connected by an inexplicable force called humanity.
and that's where this short novella ends. a lesson in my life learned, and hopefully yours.
your assignment:
first, sometime in the next two weeks find someone you may know or recently met and have them teach you something completely foreign to you. whether its there music, culture, history, or opinions seek them out.
secondly, go and meet a complete stranger and ask them what life has taught them up until this point in life.
please post comments and tell me about who you met and what they taught you.

17 comments:

Jackie said...

Hi, I just started using blogger. Hah, so anyways, I came across your blog and I must say, you are one deep person.

It takes a lot of courage to get to know people let alone strangers. Well, it does for me. Maybe I'll do your assignment someday. It really is a start since well, sometimes I think I could be a introvert (well social wise).

I read your previous post and I am just wondering how your mom is doing. I'll pray for her.

Anonymous said...

i use to be kind to strangers, thinking i would learn from them...until i woke up the next morning...with a bigger lesson.

Anonymous said...

I know this is childish...and useless...

but the tears in my eyes beg me to say it.

Will you marry me?

Meggios said...

Well, since I have moved to England, I have enveloped a book load of information about this culture, though different, is very much the same. I have learned by living here that people are the same no matter where you go. Take for example if you were to go to Africa, the people there would still sit around and talk about the newest gossip, their families, & their troubles.
I think that it is important to constantly learn & take in new things by talking to people (especially people that are passionate about something), but not to always believe everything that they are saying as truth (because alot of times it can be onesided).

To cut my comment short, I must say that people are all the same inwardly, everywhere, but have different lifestyles & ways of doing things.

Francious70 said...

Very insightful, as always. It's amazing what you can learn about life by talking to other people you don't know. Kinda like this blog here. I've never met you, but by what you write I'm able to learn from your life, and experience what you've experienced.

Lianne said...

What I recently learnt is this: Use All The Changes You Get. This motto is for thát kind of situations, when you see someone and youre thinking "gosh, I would LOVE it to ask that person something. Or draw him or her, or take a picture, or just smile, or give that person 1/2 of what I'm eating now." Etcetera.

I used to think that so much, and I still do, but something changed in a positive way. I never did what I wanted to do, because I was scared. What would they think? Would they find me weird? Would they be offended? Afterwards I always felt so disappointed by myself, and I kept thinking "what would have happened if I just said that, did that?"

And now, every time I come in such a situation, I just force myself to really do what I want to do. And that becomes easier and easier every time you do it. The persons that say 'no' are soon forgotten, but the memories of unexpected conversations, thankful smiles and long-wanted portraits in my dummy are worth it.
[January 26th]

Lianne said...

What I recently learnt is this: Use All The Changes You Get. This motto is for thát kind of situations, when you see someone and youre thinking "gosh, I would LOVE it to ask that person something. Or draw him or her, or take a picture, or just smile, or give that person 1/2 of what I'm eating now." Etcetera.

I used to think that so much, and I still do, but something changed in a positive way. I never did what I wanted to do, because I was scared. What would they think? Would they find me weird? Would they be offended? Afterwards I always felt so disappointed by myself, and I kept thinking "what would have happened if I just said that, did that?"

And now, every time I come in such a situation, I just force myself to really do what I want to do. And that becomes easier and easier every time you do it. The persons that say 'no' are soon forgotten, but the memories of unexpected conversations, thankful smiles and long-wanted portraits in my dummy are worth it.
[January 26th]

Anonymous said...

last weekend i was working with a girl who was raised Mormon. i had my Blue Like Jazz book and during down times i would try and read some. She asked me what the book was about, and i told her, then she asked me "what do you think of mormons?" and i told her the truth: "to be honest, i don't know pretty much anthing about mormonism." this suddenly hit me and i thought how could i be an effective witness to those around me when i don't know where they're coming from? so i made it a point to read and learn about various religions...to learn a little about a lot of them, so that when opportunities present themselves i can be better prepared.

shypoet83 said...

Jazz huh? That's cool.

One thing I want to learn from Josh is German. I told him that I wanted to know when his friends were insulting me. Nah but seriously...I have been learning some...like Ich Libe Josh

Haha...

seriously though, next time you see us, my German is going to be so good...I hope

inevitable said...

I love hippies. ;)
(...and so what if they stink Stephen)

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some confusion about my previous post/'proposal'. Just incase you were wondering...

I was NOT serious (I can’t delete it, I tried. ).

I was just trying to say I appreciate Stephen's unique view and I hope more guys like him exist out there.

I guess I should have known not to use such a statement without the ability for inflection. I will refrain from using such ambiguous and/or sarcastic phrases in the future.

Anonymous said...

i agree with the proposal girl, will you marry me?

sj. said...

haha stephen..
i agree with anonymous.. not that i'm asking you to marry me but dang it would be super to have friends in real life like you.
i am always amazed when reading this blogorama! awesome.

sj. said...

oh.. and hippies are super!

d said...

probably a little late for a comment on this post. i totally relate to the part where you talked to the guy about jazz. you should read "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin.

Joanna said...

You know what this reminds me of? An old woman I had the chance to talk a few years back on a cruise. She worked alongside many of the presidents, her favorite being Clinton, and told me of all the stories of being placed in situations that would soon be placed in history textbooks. Jean was her name and she was in her early 70's. It was almost like a behind the scenes perscpetive of our government.

Anyways, this post just reminded me of that trip.
Haha Im sorry, I could probably go on a few other people if I let myself.

:)

Story of a Girl said...

SACRAMENTO !! yaay:) How awesome. I would love to meet random people like that. wow. that's a good assignment.