Tuesday, February 2, 2010

So much more, indeed.

On Friday night, as I stood outside Melrose Pub watching a long-awaited, decent snowfall here in Nashville, the conversation between my buddy Ian and me delved just slightly into the unfathomable realm of dreams. Dreams are some of the most curious of phenomena that we get to experience. They're so very telling.

Although I find dream interpretation incredibly fascinating, fascination may be the only real value to them. As Dumbledore said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." What's so telling about dreams then?

Some people say we humans use only about ten percent of our brains. Ten percent may be an inaccurate figure, but it seems true that we're nowhere near optimal utilization of the capacity of our minds. I think dreams are a huge indication of this. As the dream world is a place where we don't necessarily have to play by the constraining rules of reality, it's a place where thoughts involuntarily stretch into freedom. Seriously - sometimes we wake up and can connect the dots in our dream to events from the day before. Sometimes, however, we wake up wake up wondering "Where the hell did that come from?!?" In dreams, we arrive at thoughts that NEVER could have manifested in the chaining sobriety of being awake.

In my newly-found, somewhat-forced addiction/obsession/habitualization of reading AND my learning how to listen better, I've begun to start my mornings by reading other peoples' blogs. I think it's awesome how I can actually hear some of my friends' voices when I read their blogs, and some of them seem to have this alternative personality who comes alive in the blog world.

This morning, I stumbled onto the blog of a friend named Greta Weisman whilst checking out the blogroll of my friend Hitoshi Yamaguchi. You may recognize Greta's name from some affiliation with the great HootenAnnie Parsons, through whom I originally became acquainted with Greta. Ok, I'm done name-dropping now.

Anyway, Greta's blog from yesterday detailed some of the pangs of being a first-year teacher. She eventually came to a comment to the effect of "I'm not just a teacher." Greta, you're so very right.

The world we've built on top of the original creation is incredibly binding. What I mean is that our human value structure is often so myopic (money, superficial beauty, status, etc.) that it prevents us from blossoming into our intended individual beauty. It's so common for a person to think they ARE their profession. I'm a teacher. I'm a doctor. I'm a handyman. Period. These are all honorable employs, yes, but as Greta highlighted, it's a mistake to stop there.

I am a man whose occupation is being a handyman. Graham Scott Stoner was created, however, to enjoy music, running, reading, writing, building things, eating...the list goes on, and will continue to grow as I age. THAT is who I am...not just a handyman. Generally speaking, the majority of things that make me who I am are not things that make me money. In this year of discovery, these are the things I hope to start learning about my friends. I hope to stop telling them apart by what they look like and what their job is. I want to tell them apart by the thoughts/desires inside of them that make them who they are.

Kudos to you, Greta. You most certainly are so much more than a teacher.


  1. Awww, Handy Graham... Thanks for the shout out!!!

    You rock. :) Oh and hey-- thanks for being such a stellar friend to my favorite girl!

  2. Stoner, I wish that I had joined your and Ian's discussion. I wrote about my own thoughts on dreams back in December, here: http://rwjones.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/interpretation/

    Anyway, I liked this post. i too need to be reminded that we are much more than our professions!

  3. A conversation between Graham, Ian, Rod, Greta, and myself would basically be my ideal way to pass the time.

  4. you nailed it brother. luckily my job title changes every month or so, so I can't even identify myself by what i do.

  5. What a lovely, lovely plan.