Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

99 cents of focus

I live a goal-oriented life. I pursue this objective or that objective, or both simultaneously, with multi-minded focus. Good comes of this approach. Bad comes of this approach. The good amounts to a sense of self that leaves me little room for despair. The bad wreaks in me a certain lack of comprehension of other potential approaches, which perhaps causes my empathy candle to burn a little less luminously.

I admire people with specialized talent--people who play the piano well, for example,people who build websites, or people who can circuit-bend electronic devices safely. My skill set lacks that form of stick-to-it-tiveness, although I surprise myself once in a great while with what I can do. It's rather like a time on an island in Hawaii when we walked down an impossible valley and then climbed back up again. I lacked the ability to do that,really, but do it we did.

I wonder sometimes at how simple-mindedness equals both a blessing and a curse. Though I am moderately reflective by inclination, my moment-to-moment thoughts are arguably as predictable as raisins in the bran. I think of women I know who speak or write of the men in their lives as interesting enough but afflicted with a nearly fatal incomprehsnsion of the rationale for their spouse/lover/girlfriend's behavior on this point or that.I think this stress on this theme arises from gender socialization, somehow, rather than genetics, but I think that this whole area is a minefield for which one may not have one clear answer. I do know that I have a mind whose complexity is prehaps less like a puzzle and more like a simple drawing. Is this nature? Is this nurture? Is this even universal at all? I do not know.

I think that familiar grooves of thought fit there,in the same way that at our local Garland Boston Market, they know which turkey plate and sides I will order the moment they see me arrive. One groove I am in lately is the headphone groove. I used to fly more than I fly this very moment.
I listened to my CD player while on the plane. Routinely, my headphone wires would get caught on something and then the headphones would break. The loss was not enormous, as I don't buy the impressive sound-cancel technology, but instead buy cheap headphones. It became a ritual of sorts that each plane ride I'd ruin another set of headphones. Stand up, stretch cord, break cord, keep walking.

Last week at the 99 Cent Store, my favorite shop, I bought 99 cent mp3 player earplugs which said "DJ quality". I usually worry that DJs in dollar store parlance own low-wattage pirate stations with poor microphones and poorer wattage. I love the 99 cent store,though, so try it I must and did.

It turned out to be a sonic joy. The headphones were the real thing,and they reminded me that 99 cent store stuff is not always bad, but unpopular. What a great store people set in the familiar brand, the familiar song and the familiar quarter-pounder with cheese. Off brands are often neglected despite being of worth.

Today at work the temp who helps us right now with our front desk was out. I was on a business phone call. Someone came in the front door. I had to put my call on hold and see who it was calling. As I stood, between phone call and caller, the little headphones caught on something. The wires got ruined. The headphones were a loss. I am a bane to headphones.

No matter what changes, I think simply about the complexities before me, and I have to take care to preserve my listening ability.


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