The State of Matters

I love the past. Which means I’m going to love today, someday.

Preparing yourself, and being present. You can be either, but you can’t be both. While you’re preparing, you aren’t in action when people are counting on you. And you’re assumed to be present just about every moment of your life.

When you’re participating, you’re not preparing. Get good at toggling between the two, before your opportunity is lost. Because you can’t just show up and expect the best outcome. You can’t be home studying while the test is being administered. Your flaw would be the thought that no one could fault you for hitting the books. Another flaw would be not knowing when it’s time to snap back to the present again. Hitting the books may be a great way for a student to spend his time, but it’s not greater than showing up for the test.

Next week’s test will be for you to give me your detailed opinion on this idea: Fight your enemy until you welcome them into your home.

Next week a kid will come to class for that essay without having gathered facts, he will wing it, won’t even bring a pen, he’ll assume they’ll be provided and will also assume that what he can come up with on the spot will be an effort worthy of his name.

Another student will overwhelm himself absorbing books and interviews and film, whittling so deep his knife won’t extract from the wood.

Don’t write off people with flaws. Think of your mother. Not just what she taught you, but how you saw her stumble and fumble and show up to make it better again.

Your mother is anybody to everyone else. Be ready to think of strangers that way. Better yet, set your focus on yourself.

I loved an idea and it was gone like a child. I didn’t write it down, because I didn’t bother switching the mode and picking up a pen. That creation of mine wandered off, and shame on me. I can continue to come up with other ideas, but I can’t reimagine that one, ever. It was lost in the state of matters.

CAPTION: If your concentration is on what you have to do, you will not see what’s in front of you, right now. If you spend no time getting ready for the present moment, you won’t get the most out of it. This is called the state of matters.

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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4 Responses to The State of Matters

  1. Clive Donald Watts says:

    A nice piece which leaves me thinking about many things from my past.

  2. Mark Sylvia says:

    I can totally relate to these thoughts Ara, especially when it came to school, music, and some other things. So many good ideas musically were never properly captured and then lost forever. No matter how much I tried to recreate them, at best, there were still subtle differences. Thankfully music was not a wise career decision, or I would really be regretting what was lost.
    It’s gratifying when the end result of something I worked hard for turns out great and then I’m all that much more appreciative of the work I did to prepare.

    • Hey Mark. As your drummer for 15 years I appreciated your original music. You have great ideas and yes we didn’t grab onto a lot of what came out of you. One memory is when I was recording your guitar solo and thinking I don’t just want your solo, I wanted your channel recording all through the song because of the music you were coming up with as you listened back to the track. I was sitting there with the headphones listening to you adding this and that, you were getting your feel. Your playing was all gold. Your ideas kept coming, and I was thinking, we just need to have a live channel for this guy throughout the song. Not just the 15 second solo section. You brought feeling and personality to what was regular.

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