Forget

I want to go somewhere else entirely.  A place where I will forget my own name.  How my face looks.  The sound of another heartbeat.  The feel of skin against my own.

Another day.  Another disappointment.  Another night.  One more heartbreak stacked atop the rest; just bricks slapped atop a layer of pale loneliness.

I want to walk so far and so long that I forget everything.  Let my memories bleed into the desert floor from the soles of my dead feet.  Don’t bother looking for the bones–let the sun bleach them and the coyotes crunch them down to powder.

Make me forget.  Make me invisible.  It’s what was bound to happen anyway.  It was meant to happen; meant to be.  My name was meant to be a warning, an illustration in apocalyptic form of how abjectly fucked you can be.  How it doesn’t matter what I did or how much I tried, it’d always end up the same.  I was going to be the one who could never quite fit.  The metaphorical “square peg”.  Quintissential.

This world was never meant for me.  I was never meant for greatness or great things, only to be someone’s toy.  A broken and pitiful thing, a chalk line drawn only to be washed away.  I can only imagine what others would say.  “Good riddance”.  “About time”.  “What a coward”.

Carve my name in stone.  Then forget about me just like all the rest.

Seeking

Let us not be strangers when next we meet; instead I pray we should greet each other as kindred spirits. Ancient souls inextricably and inexplicably linked together by thin threads of existence. Experiences shared would be our bread, emotion and empathy our wine and aperitifs.

Fortunate indeed would we be if we could pray in our own ways in this temple of the universe, our religion of sharing and professing a deep and abiding love. To wildly careen into an ecstatic and and effervescent dream with you would give the universe pause.

To what ends do these desires seek? To set hearts ablaze, purge despair, and slay anger. Is it a mission? A directive? No, merely an imperative bestowed upon us from aeons past.

I weep inwardly, knowing well the depths of my own darkness–knowing that you too possess such a well. The agony of such a wound, un-mendable by any hands untempered that know nothing of your struggle. I would know it, if you would but venture beyond yourself. Grant me vision into that well and know that these hands are tempered in the fires of love, quenched within the depths of compassion.

Breathe with me, and I would make it so. If only in seeking solace you would come to honor yourself, your struggle, and hold space and love for yourself. I would have you smile and be heard.

If only you would begin. If only.

Adventure and Recovery

Had a bit of a rush of creativity all of a sudden.  I had the thought: “What would a mountain-dwarf say about adventure and hitting rock-bottom?”  I’d imagine the conversation would look something like this.

You think me disturbed, standing here amidst the trees and the plain? You misunderstand me–and my people.

Though we are born of the mountain halls and seek the shelter of rock and stone, the wood and the water are no less joyous to us than they are to you. I am at peace amid the howls of the wind through kingdoms cavernous in much the same way that my heart overflows among the whisper of trees.

I, too, know the peace of sleeping beneath the Shimmer, of the refreshing bite of cold mountain streams beneath the inferno of a Summer’s ray. Long have I scaled and roamed through Father Winter’s cold rage, longer than you have lived.

Foolish indeed, for you to believe that I am somehow separated from my element. Though I am separate from my kin in this, my love for the world writ-large lies unguarded and open for all to gaze upon. If the mountains are the womb from which we are birthed, then the Earth is the body that cries out for want of formation and exploration. If this is true, then truly it would be a crime to lie in passive repose, cruel indeed to the mind that novelty remain undiscovered.

You believe I am mad for leaving the kingdoms of my forebears in search of myself and what wonders lie beyond. I hold naught but pity for you, for being blind to all else that I am and all the more that I might become.

Come with me now, let us be stripped-bare of pity and grief. If it is true that we have hit rock-bottom, then Fortune has smiled upon us and granted us a boon cloaked in pain–for upon this rock we will build the strongest of foundations.

Words

The younger version of me meant every word. Every ounce of anger, every “you’ll be sorry”, every single cry for attention, love, and validation. Some kind of proof that he didn’t “suck” and wasn’t just meant to die.

That terrible air; pregnant with promises never kept and many more never spoken. Proud and true we were, trying simply to be ourselves. “I owe you” never entered into the equation, there is no debt to be paid… not anymore.

I’ve spent my time trying to reconcile with the wrong people, trying in vain to make it all mean something. To make it seem like my suffering wasn’t empty and meaningless.

But in the end, they’re just fuckin’ words.

It’s time to clear the air and leave it all behind. The transition from “I” to “we” to “me” has been painful and more enlightening than anything I’ve ever done.

In not knowing myself for so long, I’ve had to find something to cling to and to “be”. I’d put on different hats for a while and see how they fit, but often they’d lose their appeal as people lost interest. I was never at home or happy with myself, so the whole exercise was moot to begin with… but maybe that wasn’t the point. Maybe the point was validation.

I never gave myself the permission or the ability to be myself. Weird and wonderful and willful. That skin never felt comfortable because it felt vulnerable and that vulnerability terrified me on a level that I couldn’t fully communicate.

But I’m an adult now. I can go back to being “I” again. There’s no more use in remaining stuck in the past, with nothing but skewed memories of the past to keep me. That house was not my home; it was a prison. Twisted, demented, abandoned.

I meant every word when I was there. I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t need to go back there anymore. I can be me without being that version of me.

Save your breath, because I’ve had enough. They were just fuckin’ words.

Discourse and Dis-ease

Discourse and Dis-ease

What does the state of our discourse say about us as a society when we are concerned not with the necessity or efficacy of the expenditure of resources on those with less, but on whether or not it is “right” or “moral”?

At what point did the purpose of any appointed leadership role at any point in history stray from “the greatest good for the greatest number” to maintaining a status quo?

What does the current dysfunction of our government say about our society in the broadest of terms?

In these questions, I begin to ponder what it is to be American– and indeed, what it means to be human. To a further extent, these questions engender a kind of deep, unabiding hatred for systems of control and government that are not conducive to the growth and exploration of the human condition as it exists in its myriad states. Collectively, we are failing to more deeply realize the fundamental flaws of the economic, social, and political system that we hold so dear: that over a billion people are below the poverty line, the availability of clean water and air is becoming a systemic problem, and that our ambitions quickly outstrip our wisdom.

In the instance of atomic energy, we more readily (and more rapidly) built weapons of decimation that during the darkest period of our history were capable of covering the entire face of the Earth in death a hundred times over. Barely half a century removed from such time we still ride on the razor’s edge of madness, our collective wisdom having been snuffed-out by cold calculation, its remains crushed beneath the hardness of our hearts and the jack-booted heels of industry and warfare. The coldest ones among us cast judgement and condemnation from grand ivory towers, content to wager on games of thrones and luck, while not a moment spent in idle contemplation of the vast amounts of death that have been meted-out by the puppets they control. These puppets all guard the fortresses of kings they have never seen or met, and are all trained to murder at the first sign of a threat.

Ensconced within their halls of pale white, the plights of those deemed “beneath” them go unheeded. Indeed, poxes are heaped upon poor wretches whose only crime was to have been born into a life un-gloried by the splendor of abundant resources. Death comes for them frequently, and for many becomes the only escape. Self-destruction through substance abuse, rape, torture, and killing are often the only means for them to feel anything. Their life circumstances are shaped and moulded by corrupt men in aged halls who spend their time and effort glorifying themselves and their chosen vices, building halls of the dead more grand than the homes of the living. Ever do those chosen few spend time asking questions of the stars or working to best each other in violent feuds through which there is no victor but the rich.

It is from here, a place of true seeing and truth-seeking, that we should be able to see the world for what it has truly become: spiritually-bereft and morally-bankrupt. I do not speak of spiritualism in the narrowest definition of the word, nor in the sense of one’s religion; I speak of it in the broadest terms possible. I speak of the indomitable human spirit that perseveres despite hardships, that lives on the rocky, ragged edges of survival and remains long after those who have placed them there have shed their mortal coils. I speak of the purest joy in seeing the first breath of a loved one after a coma, that purest speechlessness that accompanies the birth of one’s children, the deepest sorrow at the passing of our greatest love, the highest emotional peak of achievement, and the darkest depths that defeat may cast us to.

Each of these things is forgotten in the world of measurement we find ourselves living within and slowly becoming one with. We measure the length of life in the number of breaths we take, the amount of material resource with which we may live in excess, and our ability to reach the peaks of popularity amongst our peers. Instead of giving addition to the number of breaths that are taken away in splendor, the gratitude that we might have felt from another had we only given that which we did not require to sustain ourselves, and understanding that the adoration of the vox populi does naught for anything except one’s own ego, we allow ourselves to be moulded and guided on a trail of tears, ultimately to be led to the end of our lives having achieved nothing, helped no one (save ourselves), and remaining in death that which we were born into in the first place: servitude and anonymity.

It is in this, this heightened sense of things, that we must immerse ourselves in the deepest truths we can perceive. We must not only break our own chains, we must also spring the locks of those around us– until the last lock breaks, none of us are truly free. We are embattled, bitter, and exhausted; but we must not give in. Too easily in its ebon embrace would Death take us gladly, and so we must have the strength each day to look it straight in the eye and say “Not today.”

We must find the conviction and the courage within our very souls to continue to tell the whole truth of our varied and different existences to those who would seek our doom, and to embrace even those who would see us destroyed. Confrontations need not occur with violence and conflagrations, but instead can occur through even the slightest jarring from the stasis of their spirit. It is on this battlefield that we must now engage; not with hate, but with love. A deep and abiding love, one that acknowledges not a single truth, but many truths of different circumstances of birth, life, and culture. Upon this battlefield, there are no casualties– save only for the discarded trappings of lives spent in bitter hatred and ignorance.

It is a war of words we must all win, with many battles of spirit and understanding that we all must endure if we are to understand each other and to come out alive and better for it. We need not be moral, right, or just–only just and magnanimous enough to understand that no human truth is The Truth. Only our understanding of each other as it is relayed to us from one another. It is in this place of understanding, love, and tolerance that we must work to build our collective future, lest we find ourselves carelessly and needlessly embracing Death.

This would be the greatest tragedy of all.

Masks

I can feel the cracks being exposed in the facade.  I can hear the pieces falling to the ground, smashing themselves to pieces in a calamitous cacophony.  I can see the reactions even behind the masks of others, and it’s spreading.  Like a rampant and contagious disease of the skin, the masks are starting to come apart.  The hastily-built edifices and structures are failing, their occupants fleeing to seek familiar and stable ground, while the misguided rally to leaders filling their minds with impossible promises and false hopes.  Their folly will crush them beneath the rubble of the ruinous things that they have built and supported with their weight for so long.

I have spent a great deal of time in quite a few places, but here I have felt something different.  I have felt the strength building within me, feeling it push against every fiber of my skin and even expose itself through the growth and experiences that I have accumulated.  It seems to scare the others, though I know not why.  There are a multitude of reasons as to why someone would be sent scurrying away from a font of truth and insight, especially when it goes right for the throat and tears-open the soft under-flesh of the problems to expose the solutions.  Like opening a festering wound, insight and truth are like a scalpel and forceps: bearing open the incision to expose the core for repair and healing.  Turning one’s attention to the masks and throats of others is often simple, as we are able to pick-out the flaws in others without expending much intellectual capital, but the flaws of others are more often-than-not just dim reflections of the flaws in our own selves.  It’s a feat of intellectual and physical contortion to expose one’s throat to oneself and render it as you would render others’: exposed.

But through this process, I have found people to be patient and understanding.  These are my fellows– my “tribe”.  They themselves are going (or have gone) through the same process, and some heal the wounds better than others.  Others, it is readily apparent what kind of personal trauma that they have experienced, while others must expose themselves in the most revealing ways to show out their scars and scabs, but we all recognize each other in our purest form: human animals working to attain the impossible goal of self-understanding and self-mastery.  We embrace the pain and inflict it upon ourselves for we know the true cost of avoiding the pain: illusory lives and living behind self-reinforcing masks.

And I feel all of this at the deepest levels of my body, feeling the conflicting emotions and expressions, the crystal-clear knowledge that a lie to others is just another way to lie to myself.  Being honest with myself and expanding that truth outward is the most difficult task I have ever embarked upon, and yet it encompasses every moment of my existence at this point in my life.  And it requires discipline– oh-so-much discipline.  An iron-strong-death-grip on the single thing that matters most in this world: truth.

I walk these streets now seeing some in mid-surgery, others in varying degrees of decay, and yet others still chewing away at the scar-tissue that covers the wounds that they have sustained.  I am far from done in my own pursuit of truth, strength, and wisdom, but I am beginning to feel it well-up from deep within.  It is enthralling, feeling this strength like the roiling waves of heat off of the blaze of my soul.  I only hope that one day others might feel as I do, and that we all might be united in the truths that will smash our shackles and free our spirits from bondage.  My strength stalks alongside me, like a wolf on-the-prowl, ever-watchful for signs of falsehood and faltering discipline, and it is my constant companion now in this ride we call “life”.  Only now, it chews on what remains of my mask as it falls like the bones of prey.

Feast heartily and with vigor on the remains of your false selves, my friends, or it may be the false self that feeds upon you.

I Know You

(Poem originally by Henry Rollins, adapted and transcribed for the internet)

I know you. You were too short. You had bad skin. You couldn’t talk to them very well.
Words didn’t seem to work. They lied when they came out of your mouth.

You tried so hard to understand them. You wanted to be part of what was happening.
You saw them having fun. And it seemed like such a mystery; almost magic.

Made you think that there was something wrong with you. You’d look in the mirror and try to find it.
You thought that you were ugly. And that everyone was looking at you.

So you learned to be invisible,
To look down,
To avoid conversation.

The hours, days, weekends; Ah, the weekend nights alone…
Where were you? In the basement? In the attic? In your room?
Working some job? Just to have something to do? Just to have a place to put yourself?
Just to have a way to get away from THEM?
A chance to get away from the ones that made you feel so strange and ill at ease inside yourself?

Did you ever get invited to one of their parties?
You sat and wondered if you would go or not. For hours you imagined the scenarios that might transpire.
They would laugh at you, If you would know what to do, If you’d have the right things on…
If they would notice that you came from a different planet.

Did you get all brave in your thoughts?
Like you going to be able to go in there and deal with it and have a great time?
Did you think that you might be the life of the party?
That all these people were gonna talk to you and you would find out that you were wrong?
That you had a lot of friends and you weren’t so strange after all?

Did you end up going? Did they mess with you? Did they single you out?
Did you find out that you were invited because they thought you were SO weird?

Yeah, I think I know you.

You’ve spent a lot of time full of hate.
A hate that was pure as sunshine.
A hate that saw for miles.
A hate that kept you up at night.
A hate that filled your every waking moment.
A hate that carried you for a long time…

Yes, I think I know you.
You couldn’t figure out what they saw in the way they lived…

“Home” was not home…
Your room was home. A corner was home.
The place they weren’t, THAT was home.

I know you!

You’re sensitive…
And you hide it because you fear getting stepped on one more time.
It seems that when you show a part of yourself that is the least bit vulnerable…
“Someone” takes advantage of you.

One of THEM steps on YOU.

They mistake kindliness for weakness…
But you know the difference.
You’ve been the brunt of their weakness for years,
And strength is something you know a bit about…
You had to be strong to keep yourself alive.

You know yourself very well now, and you don’t trust people.

You know THEM too well.

You try to find that special person…
Someone you can be with…
Someone you can touch…
Someone you can talk to…
Someone you don’t feel so strange around…
And you find that they don’t really exist…

You feel closer to people on movie screens.

Yeah, I think I know you.

You spend a lot of time daydreaming, and people have made comment to that effect:
Telling you that you’re self-involved, and self-centered…

But they don’t know, do they?
About the long night shifts alone;
About the years of keeping yourself company;
All the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself so you could imagine someone holding you.
The hours of indecision, self doubt;
The intense depression;
The blinding hate;
The rage that made you stagger;
The devastation of rejection…

Well… Maybe they do know.

But if they do, they sure do a good job of hiding it.

It astounds you how they can be so smooth…
How they seem to pass through life as if life itself were some divine gift.
And it infuriates you to watch yourself with your apparent skill at finding every way possible…
To fuck it all up.

For you, life is a long trip:
Terrifying and wonderful.
Birds sing to you at night;
The rain and the sun;
The changing seasons are true friends.
Solitude is a hard won ally; faithful and patient.

Yeah… I think I know you.