Photography ©Levi Govoni | The Pinhole Project | www.theboxingbuddhist.com

Staring Into Space

Something I like to do a lot is just sit by the water. I don’t fish. I don’t hunt. I don’t scuba. I don’t spear, don’t boat, don’t play basketball or football. I excel at staring into space. I’m really good at that.” -Iggy Pop

As someone renowned for spacing out, I adore this Iggy Pop quote. My monkey mind, as the Buddhist like to call it, is always going full throttle. I have heard it said that our greatest strengths are often our biggest weaknesses. My great ability to daydream is the root of my creativity, and in some cases even my compassion and intellect; I am always thinking. It is also the root of my history of mediocre grades, multiple jobs, and fierce patience on the part of family and friends forced to endure my endless scattered ways. I wonder if Iggy has experienced the same kind of triumphs and failures associated with his great talent, or does Punk grant him some kind of exemption? Celebrities do seem to get away with things us average people can not, like getting married a million times or wearing Chuck Taylors and sunglasses with your tuxedo. Staring into space makes Iggy more interesting. When I stare into space, however, I feel like I am a step away from receiving a permanent life coach, and an endless supply of Ritalin. Why is that?

My great aunt Laura, a college professor and amatuer astonomer, once told me shortly before she passed away that I was a “Stargazer” just like her. I have been labeled many things in my life from weirdo to [insert euphemism for weirdo here,] but being a Stargazer like my brilliant and fascinating great aunt, well, that was a label I could embrace. I have always been different. The blackest sheep in a family of black sheep. Quirky and odd, I often wished for a whiter coat. If only I wasn’t so damn good at this staring into space business, perhaps I could fit in somewhere more conventional, as well. Alas, I am destined to continue to space out; to gaze out into our world and beyond with the only hope that I will meet upon other Stargazers just like me… and Laura and Iggy. There is a drummer lying down a different beat for each of us. We can either march to our own or stumble and fall to the beat of another. In the end, this weirdo choses his own. Rat tat tat. See you in space.

Originally published on September 24, 2015 at the author’s blog, The Boxing Buddhist at www.theboxingbuddhist.com

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