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March 6, 2005

On Keyrings and Who We Are.

Who we are is a big question. It has the same effect on us that the psychological white of a blank canvas has on an artist lacking inspiration. Inspiration is a name we give to a small idea. Big ideas are suicide. Think small.

(Do not write about the world. Do not write about your country. Do not write about your locale. Do not even write about your hometown. You're still thinking too large. Where will you start? Your street? Your house? Your room? Your bed? No, none of these things helps you understand anything. Perhaps the chewing gum stuck to the top of your scratched wooden bedpost might begin to be able to tell you something about life. But you may still need to dig deeper.)

I've long ago given up on the idea of knowing the most about myself of anyone on the planet. I will, however and without a doubt, think the most about myself of anyone one the planet. This is to be expected. But individuals have far too great of a conflict of interest to be objective about themselves. But we want to know about ourselves, which is why we think about ourselves so much. A paradox.

We are forced to look outside ourselves to see into ourselves. That's not as deep as it sounds. Concurrently, we also are forced to look at the small to begin to tackle the large. That's what this piece is about... My keychain. Now I have something to talk about.

The keyring itself is not really a ring at all. It is simply a long metal rod that has been bent into overlapping circles so that you can pry them apart momentarily to insert a key (or any other object with a small hole in it) through the loops until it is through and mounted on the ring so that an entirely absurd and unlikely chain of events would be required to remove it by sheer chance. And yet, I, Matthew Conrad Good, Destroyer of Worlds, can bring the removal of the key about with such celerity that is no wonder that I find myself to be the Ruler of All that I See. Attatched to this not-a-ring are most of my keys, and another not-a-ring. I have a key to the office where I work, a key to the computer lab in Snyder that I used to go to for one of my CIS classes, my mailbox key, a house key for back home, and my precious car key. The other ring is affixed to a broken, anachronistic ram chip that really serves as more of a talisman and a constant reminder of my own faulty memory, and two other keys - my dorm key and my dorm room key. They are on their own ring because i use them more frequently. The whole conglomeration is mounted to my belt loop (typically) by the use of a non-load-bearing carabiner. Somewhat hypocritical, yes, but only in form, not in function. The carabiner is inscribed with the words "BLACK DIAMOND USA."

When I lost my keys twice in a 24-hour period a few weeks ago, I had to "sleep" out on the couch in the lounge. I really wondered if I my mind was slipping away from me. I was angrier than many worse things make me. I cursed. I was angry at God. What is so incredibly important about these stupid keys?

I haven't been home in a while. I haven't been to Wash U in a while. I haven't been anywhere in a while. I miss taking car trips. Its that feeling of leaving Greenville behind. Not just the school and the mess and work that it symbolizes, but also my friends and the person that I am around them. I really sincerely deeply miss the feeling of leaving that community behind and finding a new life, even if just for one short weekend. Being someone else for a while is uncommonly refreshing.

When I lost my keys, I was angry because I did not have the physical capability of leaving this place in the dust if it came down to that. I was marooned here. Now, of course, I have had these keys since the beginning of January and haven't left yet, so I am tied down by other factors, not just physical ones, but it is deeply psychologically comforting to feel my car key bounce against my leg as I walk to class and know that given the right (or wrong) whim, I could easily be on either coast within days with the money I have in my checking acount.

This is my form of homesickness.

(Side note: Do I plan things like my ram chip being a reflection of my sketchy mental state? No. But is it really random? Of course not. I have a wonderful life set up so that I can live on intuition almost completely and things will fall into place. Its Zen. Its cosmic. Its easy. Its surprising. Its wonderful. I make conscious decisions that allow my subconscious to dictate what conscious things I do. An elegant never-ending cycle of being. It is marvelous how it surprises even me.)


We'll save the issue of why I feel naked without my watch for another day.

Posted by pedalboy at March 6, 2005 1:55 PM | TrackBack

So, I completely understand leaving the community behind to find a new life. Sometimes I also want to revert back to a previous life. I was talking with Kate the other day about how I feel change occurs most when we travel; when we get away from the things that define us most; when we leave behind the world that we know and explore the unknown, get out of our comfort zone. For me, change is comforting. This is not to say that I don't know who I am and have to travel to find myself. I know myself completely. It's the idea of opening my mind to new possibilities, seeing how much I can endure, what I can discover, etc. For me, change is reassuring and challenging...

Well, that's all. I'm done. I can't think. I've been doing bible interpretation all evening... sorry if this comment is no good.

Posted by: Katie aka I'm not sure how to comment on this, matthew good at March 7, 2005 12:33 AM

I cannot accept that you know yourself completely.

Posted by: matty at March 7, 2005 12:41 AM


We already discussed that I should not have used the word "completely." I tend to exaggerate. You know that...

Posted by: katie aka we already talked about this at March 7, 2005 5:33 PM
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