Deconstructing Other People’s Thoughts: Elements

Blog No. 84

All my life I’ve been called pessimistic, serious, a stickler and many other more nasty synonyms.  For the most part it’s all true (thought I still maintain I’m a realist).  I am a person who thrives on the rules.  I love consistency, organization, and planning.  I am much more comfortable at home alone than out with friends.  There are certainly exceptions.  I can be messy, especially when I find myself busy or overwhelmed.  What I’m not sure about is why.  Have I really just been morose since childhood or has it all been reinforced every time I was told I was too serious?  It’s a moot point now.  Over the years I’ve managed to find a middle ground I can work myself up to when I have the energy.  I may never be a joiner or a catalyst, but I do get those urges to hit the town with my friends (as infrequent as they may be).  Justin is not me.  He is almost a polar opposite in personality and temperament.  He is happy, slow to anger, open minded, welcoming, generous, kind and in my opinion, sometimes corny (or at least a tad mawkish).  (For the whole rest of the post I’m going to be referencing the guest post Justin made a couple weeks back.  Feel free to go check it out if you haven’t, or not.  That’s the beauty of freedom).

Justin wrote a nice post for this blog and I am very thankful for it (but I totally disagree with it).  The entire position fills me with rolling eyes and vocal scoffs.  The four elements, their energy and our connection to that is exactly the kind of thing that I have come to think of as silly or pointless.  The only way I interact with the elements is through their influence on the coffee I’m currently drinking.  (You know, the water used to brew, the fire that boiled the water, the earth that grew the beans and the wind that wafts the aroma to my nose or something).

I’ve struggled to be open minded all my life.  I like to learn things, but if anything ever contradicts things I already know (or are established as the way things are) I have always dismissed it as ridiculous.  Thankfully I have been proven wrong a few times and forced to learn a lesson but I think the biggest lesson I learned was from my friends.  Unfortunately my judgmental attitude tends to poke its head when I meet new people too.  That lesson has definitely been learned many times (the one where I don’t judge people prematurely).  I never would have gotten to that point if it weren’t for my friends – the ones like Justin who welcomes everyone and sees the best in a person even when they aren’t at their best.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to welcome the elements and their influence into my life.  I still think it’s dumb and pointless.

I didn’t intend to be so negative when I started this post.  I really did like Justin’s post and I value our friendship.  Our differences challenge each other and help make us be better people (yes, even my cynicism).  I was going to go over my feelings on the four elements (maybe it’s because I’m tired) but I just couldn’t do it.  I’ll buy the creative boost that comes from showers, being by the river, sitting near a fire, or digging in the garden (though a lot less with the last one).   The shower one is easy.  It’s been found that our body produces dopamine, which causes us to feel happy, relaxed, and generally good.  The same goes with pools (it’s being surrounded by water).  The river (where we live) is often a hive of activity.  There is a ton going on and lots of people doing what they do.  A cool breeze and some distraction (along with a nice view) can add a lot to the creative process.  A fire (whether in a fireplace or fire pit) is often a communal thing.  More pretty, more distraction, more experience.  I can’t really get my head around the garden thing.   It sounds like a lot of hard work and I’m not really down with that.  Plus, it takes way too long to clean the dirt from under your fingernails.

With all of those activities there are actions and events that take us out of our immediate task, causing us to find the solution by not trying so darn hard.  And all that is besides the influence and inspiration we’ll stumble over on the way.  What is really comes down to is, whatever helps someone find that creative moment, get over a hump, or just feel better, that’s awesome.  Justin’s open mind and free spirit makes him who he is (which is a good friend of mine) and I have come to appreciate that.  I still think it’s dumb.  Also, other than this comment, I am going to completely ignore the comments on astrology.  That’s just too much for my negative mind to constructively discuss.

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2 thoughts on “Deconstructing Other People’s Thoughts: Elements

  1. JO

    A shot gun fires a whole bunch of pellets in a wide pattern and hopes that some of them hit the intended target. Evolution does that too. It makes a wide variety of people-: physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically. Some people end up being open minded and others not; both are both advantages at times but not at others.
    You and Justin do work together and support each other so you are open-minded. You’re just sticking to your road and leave him to his; evolution doesn’t like all the eggs in one basket. It’s good to embrace who you are, making the most of your strengths and being aware of your weaknesses.
    Tamora Pearce’s Circle of Magic books are about a group of people who are ambient mages. In that fantasy world magecraft is learned through study and is powered by a person’s personal energy. The ambient mages are the rare exception, for they draw power from the world around them, sometimes elementally. You and Justin are both writers, mages really, for you create that which did not exist. Perhaps you are powered by your personal energy, which you must grow, nurse and recharge, and he is more of an ambient mage, powered by elements?

  2. You have a really good way of telling it like it is JO. You are right, we are contrasting people who sometimes conflict, but more often compliment each other. It’s the people like Justin in my life, who have broken down much of my callousness. I am thankful for that, but we are who we are, and at the end of the day, I just don’t have the energy to look to anything outside my current sphere of understanding.
    I have been able to get to the point where I’ll support a friend in whatever they are into though. So I’ve got that going for me.
    I’ve heard about Tamora Pearce a few times now, I’ll have to check it out.

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