Monday, November 5, 2012
I can think of exactly one regular reader who will understand that. So don't panic. I will explain. I started learning a little bit about writing code for work about a year and a half ago. The really neat thing about programming languages, and computers in general, is that when you break it down to the smallest parts; they are very simple. In fact, the statements I wrote above would probably be clear after the simplest of tutorials in computer logic. Let's go step by step.
The "if" statement is straightforward. If there is a green light, you go. The "else" statement is also straightforward, but it's trickier to read. It simply means "if that IF statement above is false, do this down here instead!"
I can still think of only one regular reader who understands it now. Here it is in english.
If there is cancer; julia is. If there is no cancer; julia is.
I am a very logical thinker. It's probably my greatest fault. I like things to make sense. I assume that everything has a condition that makes it true. The sun will rise, and the leaves will always blow from my neighbors yard in to my own. It is silly but this kind of thinking gives me comfort. If all these different ideas can have these "true" states, then perhaps there is a global equation that ties them all together. Some sort of greater good, or even that elusive idea of "right." I don't have the answer but it does help me to defend my own pursuit of perfection.
This sort of thinking worked. It guided my actions and decisions for a long time. It still does. But to be completely frank, Julia screwed it all up. Meeting Julia was the first time I had considered that I might not only be wrong, I might be REALLY wrong.
Julia is not a logical thinker. Yet it would not be fair to just say she is an emotional thinker. It's astoundingly more complex than that. You see according to my thinking, and computer programming, the parenthesis and the semi colon mean something.
It means that there is something inside julia that does something based on whats given to her. And what the logical mind wants to do is to figure that all out. I want to know the exact blueprint that goes from ziplock-bag-full-of-red-skittles to gigantic-smile. (julia likes the red skittles). I'd also like to know why she thinks the top of the dryer is an appropriate place to leave dryer lint.
You want to know what she is trying to figure out?
The perfect outfit for her upcoming birthday party.
The perfect activity for all her guests at her upcoming birthday party.
The perfect "house cocktail" to serve to her guests at this upcoming birthday party.
She's got cancer and she's planning the world's greatest party.
I really want you to think about that for a minute. She is so not concerned about this silly disease that she is picking out the best nail polish to go with her invitations to the world's greatest birthday party. Spoiler alert, it's the one with the most sparkles.
You would be amiss to pass this off as foolish, childish, or selfish. Even at an event that historically celebrates her, she is most concerned with providing a great time for her guests. That, is probably the best "definition" there is for julia. Giver of gifts, and provider of good times.
So back to the computer programming idea. Since we said "if there is, or isn't cancer, julia will still be there" we have really opened the doors for anything. If there isn't cancer it could be a rhinocerous, or a new car, or anything else. It could just be life.
So I'd like to amend that piece of code at the beginning.
It's a little simpler that way.
But there is more.
Since we (I) have established that the definition of julia is parties and good times I would like to take it one step further
I really hope this doesn't sound like a trite rehash of ferris bueller's famous soliloquy about "life moves pretty fast." What I'd really wish to impart is that I'm somewhat grateful for this cancer. It has shed new light on the equations I form in my head and also helped me to redefine my view of julia. This new view encompasses the idea that maybe things don't need to be broken down to their smallest elements to understand them. I can just accept them as they are and probably get the exact same result.
I know that julia and I get to spend future days worrying about more cancer or more life, but it's comforting to know that as long as life is still happening there is still a party to plan.