My book of the weekend: "Philosophy: Who Needs It" by Ayn Rand. Those of you who have ever seen an interview on youtube or read one of Meg and Dia anywhere on the web, you have probably heard us talk about the pleasure we find in reading. Anywhere that "reading" is mentioned, you have probably heard me mention Ayn Rand. Anywhere and anytime I can I promote her work. So since this is my blog I'll do what I want. ha ha. Read Ayn Rand! I read this passage that I found particularly moving. You won't know what context it is in, so I'll write it here and explain later.:
First of all Ayn Rand wrote an article on the Alcoholics Anonymous' serenity prayer. If you haven't heard of this prayer let me enlighten you now.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference"
Those are some of the most powerful combination of words I have ever heard.
This is the Ayn Rand excerpt:
"Unable to determine what they can or cannot change, some men attempt to "rewrite reality", i.e., to alter the nature of the metaphysically given. Some dream of a universe in which man experiences nothing but happiness-no pain, no frustration, no illness- and wonder why they lose the desire to improve their life on earth. Some feel that they would be brave, honest, ambitious in a world where everyone automatically shared these virtues- but not in the world as it is. Some dread the thought of eventual death-and never undertake the task of living."
I thought, my goodness, this is me. My old tour manager used to always say in anger " You Frampton girls can never accept reality the way it is!" He would say this after we wine about not being able to find a starbucks on an abandoned highway on tour. And now that I'm older, and I'm finally accumulating a very decent amount of hardships and sorrows (if I do say so myself) I'm angered that I can't have my perfect happy world, which is why I sometimes inappropriately long for my childhood again. (I am writing a song about this now by the way)
But if I can only accept that terrible things could happen... I might be unemployed, maybe my family will break up, maybe somebody I love, or even myself develops a serious illness tomorrow. This is real life you know? I can't be upset at myself for being irritated in traffic or for mouthing off to my band members in practice. No one is perfect. We aren't all robots. All of us emotional beings are flux in the universe and I have to accept that. I have to accept death, and even though I want to be immortal I've only got a finite time to live.
We all have to accept all of it, the good and the bad, and not beat ourselves up when we can't find perfection.
I even find myself in my current relationship becoming upset over things he did that weren't perfect and things that I might have said that were less the "princess dialogue" maybe even on the edge of hurtful, and I want our "honeymoon stage" back. I long for the beginning of the relationship, when this man was perfect in my eyes are there were no such problems as "who's going to pay for what meal" and who isn't "spending enough time" with who. I have longed for the beginning of the relationship just like I have longed for the beginning of my life, my childhood.
But, while I have been down south, visiting my family, I saw my younger sister. (Not Dia, another one who is nine). I'm jealous of her little life every time I visit. She has school, and friends, and no responsibility. She is always bright and happy and incredibly intelligent. I want her life...usually. But finally I have come to the point where, after passing my little sis in the hall on my way outside to ruminate over my churning thoughts, I think to myself "No, I want my life. I want my life with all the problems, complexities, subtleties, mistakes. You know why?
Because it's colorful.