The Character of a Life on Fire

"Goodbye Summer. We miss you. Write soon. XOXO ~Life"

Song of the Day - "Sidestreet (Mary J Blige)" by ZitanB [Free Download]
"title" by artist
Make no mistake, I am a whiny little pansy when it comes to winter. Not that Austin has a winter. If you showed our weather from December thru February to someone in the Dakota's, they'd call this "fall". Me? I call this "not summer"... 'n that's all that matters. It's NOT! Summer! Did I mention the "whining" part? Fortunately, "not summer" ends when the month of February comes to a close... at the latest, the beginning of March. The above collaboration is a tribute to summer... in all it's warmth and hazy glory.

But this winter *ahem* brought a warm surprise. A fellow traveler and a bright soul stopped off in Austin for a few hours on her way West. As most of my traveling friends don't even set foot on American shores, it was a special treat. I'm actually going to write more on this in a different post, as it really was awesome having Sayward in town for a few hours (and they were very full hours). Look for that post soon.

...and now we come to the point: character. Catching a ride with a friend the other night, I asked him what his van was named. He gave me the "are you mental?" look, then said: "It's a car. It doesn't have a name." That struck me as "mental" in itself, so I poked him about it and started talking about character... and naming things.

In our tribe, almost everything gets a name. An apartment? It's not "home" until it has a name. A car? Won't get you anywhere that matters if it ain't got a name. We name hoodies, notebooks, each other... water bottles. And it's not just naming. Most of these have a story... a history. The laptop I write this on (named "The Crone") has its own story... and an amazing one at that. I can point at my production computer and tell you who gave me the monitor, the trackball, the soundcard and more. Given. You see, gifts (especially) require names. As more than ninety-percent of what I own are gifts, that's a lot of character.

We remember our past homes by their names, by who lived there and by what point in time that meant to us... we remember them as friends that live on in our memories. This goes for clothing as well, such as the long lost Hoodie of Eternal Darkness. Hmmm... in fact, that's a long story. Most of these are long stories... and that is almost entirely the point. The fact that a lot of people own things, use them, but they don't "matter" to them... they live a life entirely based on function, without any form of character... and without a name.

"Memories. You're talking about memories."
~Deckard, Blade Runner

Naming, character and history bring everything to life. They light life on fire. It's not just a laptop, it's a mad rush to make a deal with a programmer in the last hours before leaving on a half-year roadtrip... where everything barely works out... but pulls thru at the last minute. It's a machine that has provided countless hours of song production, graphic design and networking with a tribe that has been scattered across the face of the earth. It's called the Crone. Her two sisters have less history, but they've all served me well... and the history is well worn into her cracked casing. Most techs would stand in awe that she still works... let alone works so well. But she has character... 'n she's well outlived her time.

I can't imagine a life lived that isn't filled to the brim with character. That is what strikes me the hardest whenever I'm reminded that most peeps don't live their life this way.

It's a life lived without a name.