Five Card Story: Step 1: Turning Pain to Gain.

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a Five Card Flickr story by Jaron Neufeld created Sep 09 2012, 10:52:18 pm. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) Serenae (3) Serenae (4) krutscjo (5) bionicteaching

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September 9, 2012

I was in Vancouver for the week visiting a friend and recently ventured through the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had recently fallen in love with ancient philosophy at school and was drawn to a Greco-Roman styled sculpture. However, this sculpture deceived me from afar, and had a different style then expected. I saw these people wearing loin-cloth, supporting a roof together. After I had left the gallery, I sat on a bench and began to appropriate that sculpture as I had encountered it. I asked myself, “What purpose were those people achieving?—what reason would draw them to assemble in such a fashion?—how did they view the meaning of their lives within that context?” I drew upon swelling feelings of how important those people were to each other at that moment - yet, at the same time, how their lives could so easily seem absurd in that moment, appearing to deny themselves and perform the purpose of a pile of bricks indefinitely. I felt an deep, empty pain by their actions and their indifferent facial expressions, that they were doomed to suffer a deep internal pain undermining their physical exertions.
I sat up and walked back to my hotel, and was reminded of my neighbors I grew alongside of: Brenna and Melissa. I was reminded of when life didn’t seem like the rat-race I was beginning to picture as. I felt like I was inhaling a fresh breath of air at the image of Brenna, Melissa, and I, waiting for the bus to school one morning. Yet, at the same time, I was drawn back into my current context, walking into my hotel, and was also reminded of the stale vices I had in my life. I remember wanting to ask Melissa out, but too scared to ask—always waiting for the right moment to come along that never existed. I looked up as I entered the lobby of the hotel to find myself greeted by a security camera in the corner of the room. I thought of how lonely I was at the moment, and how I missed the gaze of someone who cared about me, as opposed to the glare of a black machine in a corner. I knew that without these feelings of wanting, I would never have the desire to care for another person. I guess, in a sense, I desire this king of suffer in light of the prospects of achieving a purpose that does not involve any suffering in the future. This whole art gallery trip seemed to throw me into some kind of downward existential spiral. Moreover, what the heck was a double decker bus doing in down-town Vancouver? Maybe it was because I found myself in a new setting away from home? After all, I was going to see my best friend tomorrow, who I haven't visited in years.

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flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) Serenae (3) Serenae (4) krutscjo (5) bionicteaching

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