Unceasing

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Life never stops moving all around us. When we are young, we believe that the world is ours to command, that time is endless, that we can live whatever life we want to live. Youthful but naïve, we hope that one day, all of our aspirations and dreams will miraculously turn into our reality. But the world isn’t that simple, we come to understand. If we don’t watch closely enough, life slips by, and soon, we are older and life hasn’t worked out the way we would have hoped.

Recently, I was lying in bed on a cold winter night. It was dark outside the window, a kind of blue, haunting, suffocating dark. Lying there, journaling, as I was, my mind slipped facilely back into the past. Memories of former dark nights came rushing back. It was as if, for a moment, my mind had slipped away into the high clouds of my memory, resurfacing things that I hadn’t recalled in quite some time. Unearthed, the memories frightened me. Had my life really gone so far off course from my meticulous planning without me even noticing it? Had I really lost my way so easily, without any awareness of what was going on?

I have been moving so frenetically in order to simply keep up with the ways in which my life is progressing that I have not had time enough to check back in with my master plans. My life and my world have been rocketing towards my future so swiftly that I have only had time to hang on tight and struggle through the piles of work yet undone. And it never ends; the rush doesn’t subside; the days don’t grow remarkably longer.

Life never stops.

When we are young, we believe that we will have all the time in the world to realize our dreams; we believe that reaching our dreams is simple.

We grow up, the illusions end, life moves ever faster, and we are left to decide how best to nurture the shrinking remnants of our dreams. We are forced to open our eyes, noticing once and for all that life is short and we must push harder and harder if we are to grow and closer to our dreams.

Dreams don’t build themselves. So I looked back through my life the other night, recalling so many things I have done. I began to recognize that I must use each day to its full potential, pushing myself to work harder, be more focused, learn more, love more, and, most importantly, live more. My days speed by at an ever increasing rate and my life seems to be moving towards the future rather expeditiously. But still, life doesn’t stop to wait for me to catch up.

But the real question in my mind is whether I’m heading towards the future I have worked so hard for, or an entirely different future.

So as life speeds on, I push forward, growing, working, and dreaming each day. Only with daily effort can my reality become my dream reality. Life never stops; neither can I, my future depends upon me alone.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

A Perceived Reality

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Sitting, watching, rolling along in the world, people go by, places disappear, and we never wake up.

Lounging, observing, living life to its fullest, people go by, places disappear, and we will always remember.

A tree can be many things. A tree can be a botanical oasis, a deciduous wonder, or a sculpture of nature. A tree can be a companion, a goldenrod firework, or simply just that which it is, eternally a tree.

Driving along a highway, one’s eyes dart from the roadway sporadically, leering at a passerby, observing a provocation of mild interest. But do we really reminisce or even simply ponder what we are actually observing?

Being an artist, a musician, a designer, or a writer, one learns early on that perception is paramount to one’s own art in addition to one’s reception and comprehension of others’ art. For an artist, it eclipses purely the art world and so perception and observation become the rawest essence of daily life.

Perception is fundamentally applicable for all though, not simply the artist. From the way we perceive sounds and lights and noises and colors, to the way we observe the more subtle and inconspicuous world of emotions, personalities, ideals, and aspirations, the observations we collect and the assessed perceptions we feed off of fuel our minds and our lives more than we can begin to cognize.

And so for some the tree may be just a tree, a biological organism complete with cells, molecules, and a carbon-based composite we call wood. But to the lucky few among us, that tree is something more, something existentially greater than originally assumed. That tree is a manifestation of beauty, courage, joy, transcendentality, and most of all, vivacious, unabashed life. That tree may be gold or green or even red, but that tree is a pictorialization of life and death, pain and resilience, and most importantly, love and loss.

So perceive life how you will, but comprehend and discourse with it each day. For each day is uniquely divergent from the last; lessons are learned, people go by, places disappear, and we will always remember.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Solitary Comprehension

 

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When we look at a life, what do we remember? When we look at a day, what is it that sticks with us?

Waking up each morning at 5:35 AM reminds me of how much life happens when we are alone, utterly and truly alone. Darkness in the early morning is both all-encompassing and isolating. One thinks so much about one’s life in the solitary darkness that is the morning. One remembers the days gone by, the people they miss, the dreams they’ve lost.

When I wake up in the mornings, lying in the blackness, alone in my boudoir at night, and on the solitary drive to work, I tend to think about the people I love, the dreams I hope to accomplish, and the past as it will never be again. I think about the meaning of life, trying desperately, as many have for millenniums, to understand my purpose for existence. Comprehension of our own existence is the one adversity that we will all struggle with and most likely never overcome in our lifetimes.

When I am alone, I try to dig as deeply as I can into the depths of my soul, groping for the answers I so perilously desire. But alone time also leads to magnificent insights into the existential truths of life. The biggest asset we all possess in life is that of our ability to think critically. For when we delve deep into the mind, only then do we begin to really understand life, love, emotions, and relationships fully.

One can spend a lifetime thinking about living, but without immersing oneself in life, one can only begin to comprehend the vast number of minute complexities that make up the incredible existence that is life. One must think and learn and grow every day in order to better comprehend everything that life discloses to one.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Dreamers, Always

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I have always considered myself a dreamer. I don’t just live for now, I live for the future and the past as well. I dream because I am happier in that perfect dream world, rather than the reality I live in. Dreaming inspires me to reach for the sky and challenge myself every day. When I dream, I’m inspired to get one step closer to my goals and make my own future possible. I am inspired to work as hard as I can to get what I want. When I dream, I am in love. Every person I am in love with loves me back. I am in my dream job, and I’m young and attractive, even in middle age. That’s my dream world.

I dream because in the roughest of times, dreaming and hope are all that get me through. I dream to be inspired, to be enlightened, to be loved, to feel hope. America is the land of dreamers, from the coasts of California, to the soaring skyscrapers of New York City. We dream because we want a better life. We want to have love, respect, joy, and fulfillment. The American Dream is about living the high life and making it big in the land of opportunity.

When I dream, I dream of New York City. I dream of the view from my downtown penthouse apartment window. I dream of meeting the love of my life, and spending every night wrapped in his arms. I can see the lights of the city and traffic far below my terrace. I can see the paparazzi following my every step and the legendary runway shows I am holding weekly. I can see my grand piano in the corner of my apartment, the golden lights hitting the top of it like glistening ice. I can see my design studio in the heart of New York, with my sewing machine and my sketch pad and a window overlooking Central Park. I can see the shiny hot pink limousine waiting outside the glass double-doors of my building just for me. I can envision the Broadway musicals I’d go to, the friends I’d meet, and the fame I would acquire. I can see my closet, as large as a small house, neatly organized and comfortable as a plush blanket. I can see my makeup, artfully arranged in the glass cabinet of my bathroom. And I can see the beautiful living room where I could sit with nothing but my gorgeous husband, and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

The reason I dream is to feel like I am weightless, without a worry in the world. I dream to envision what my perfect life is like, with the perfect guy, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect life. I dream so that I have something to work towards, so that I have something to live for and to remember when all else in my life seems like an utter failure. I dream to design, to move on, to remember, to live. I dream because I feel that I lack so much in my life, that maybe, if I wish hard enough, it will all come true. Dreaming gives me the strength to live my life, to challenge myself, and to work so hard that every single part of my dream comes true. I will be a dreamer forever, always loving and hoping and living.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones