Revitalization's Weblog

For the curious, questioning, and wandering soul

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Mindful

The music starts to play, lightly, the piano sings a soft lullaby, lulling your mind, sweeping your thoughts into currents and eddies, floating effortlessly, moving with the air, with the wind. You watch the keys dance, ivory white leaping and diving in a choreographed ballet with their jet black partners following in suit. It’s as if that’s all they know, because it is all they know and all they will ever know. Their purpose and their intention being to follow their bony puppeteers, the true orchestrators, and translate thought into harmonious cadence, inviting unsuspecting listeners to be swept up in sweet serenity.

I’ve known love once

I’ve known love once. I fell in love once. I don’t think I knew what was happening, because I had never known love before. He was beautiful, he was charming, he adored me. Slowly, we fell in love. And there were moments, those outer body moments, where it was like I was watching us, so in love, wanting that moment to last forever and wondering if everyone in this world has felt bliss like that. I wanted to live in that heaven for eternity, laughing, smiling and in utter bliss. We had such beautiful moments, full of passion, utterly real, two people completely vulnerable, honest, and wrapped up in each other. I loved the way in smelled, the way he felt- his skin, his hair, his jaw, I loved the way my eyes met his. He showed me himself, he gave me everything. Needless to say, that when it ended, it was like a sucker-punch to the stomach, the wind was knocked out me, I saw my utopia disintegrate in front of my eyes, my heaven shattered. And in a split second, he was gone. I found myself alone, without my lover, my best friend, my person. I’ve never felt such pain, such distress, such confusion, such longing, such loss, such sorrow. It was like a death. I couldn’t understand, I couldn’t fathom how a love like that could fall, break, dissolve, disappear…. simply end. I don’t think I understand it fully, even to this day…. I don’t know if I ever will, but maybe that is because I was only half of it, half of us. But also, I don’t think any answer or reasoning will ever satisfy my deep sorrow for why it ended. Why our love wasn’t enough, why we couldn’t make it work. Still, I think I have gained some understanding, some closure, some peace because in my heart and in my mind, I know it wasn’t right, I know that if I went back it would have been settling, it would have been dishonest, it would have been cowardly, it would have been out of fear of being alone. So, there are two things I now know for sure: we were deeply in love and we should not be together.

Do I regret falling in love now knowing the gut-wrenching pain that followed when it ended? No, I don’t. I would never and could never regret that. Because now I have known what love is, what it feels like to love someone so deeply, and to be loved by someone so deeply. It’s like nothing else I’ve known. That gives me hope, that gives me excitement that there is even more to discover. It seemed like and still seems like finding love is like hoping for lightening to strike you. It seems like such a beautiful, awe-inspiring, and amazing thing like love would be such a rarity, that to be able to discover it again may be every so close to impossible, but I’ll take that odds. I, right here and now, take those odds, I bet on myself, I bet on love. Always bet on love. I’m better for the experience, I am more knowledgable and more understanding of what’s out there, and I’m even more excited and eager to discover what I have yet to know or experience. As I peer out towards the future, the unknown excites me, who I will become excites me, and who I will come to know excites me. I’m not waiting for love, I’m not putting my life, my aspirations, my dreams on hold, but I’m hopeful. Hopeful that I will find another love that is deeper, truer, and more enlightening than my last. I sit here, at peace, happy and ever so hopeful.

What is it?

What is it about a man?

Is it his eyes, that pierce straight into yours, beautiful blues and greens. Is it his smile? That genuine smile that crinkles the corners of his eyes. Is it his jaw? Strong, firm and covered in soft facial hair. Is it his shoulders? His arms? His hands? That pull you in and hold you tight at night, that pick you up and twirl you around, that wipe away the tears from your eyes. Is it his chest? The most heavenly place to rest your head and allow your mind to wander as you feel each and every lub dub. Is it his legs? Long, lean, powerful and able to run beside you. Is it his smell? So intoxicating, it smells of home, of familiarity. It’s a smell that comforts, that reminds you in an instant of the essence of him. Is it his mind? Utterly complex. A mind that knows the world but remains untarnished and unjaded, a mind that is humble and kind, patient and loving, giving and truthful.

What is it about a man?

The beauty and the bliss

Is it the loneliness? Is it the quiet? What makes heartbreak so darn heartbreaking?

It’s been 3 months, and I still think about him every day. I feel my mind, my brain enjoys to revisit him in my memories. I feel my mind likes to revisit those thoughts, those moments that are so effortlessly permanent and accessible. As if my brain finds solace to go back, dig through the mess, the months, the days, to sift through it all and pull out the beauty and the bliss. Those moments of us laying in bed together, staring into each others eyes. Those moments of us making love so passionately. Those moments of us running and laughing, with such joy. Those moments of us holding handing across the table, having deep conversations about what makes us human. Those moments when I laid on his chest as he stroked my hair and I could so clearly envision our future, the years together, growing old, and going through life hand in hand, heart in heart.

I think we really, deeply loved each other. I think that’s rare to find. I think having a first love that deep and that true, well I think I’m lucky to have had that. I know I am. We were so in love, and I didn’t realize how deeply until after it ended. He expressed it often, and he expressed it sincerely. I never knew what that felt like. I never knew I could develop such a personal and raw connection with someone… a connection that held no ego, no whims, no frills. It was just us, ourselves.

And when it was great, it was truly great. And I can recall moments when I laid in bed with him, smiling ear to ear, laughing and really being present and realizing what bliss we had. I remember questioning if this could last, if this could continue forever. I remember thinking that I could live in that moment forever with him, in his arms. And I sit here, writing this, with tears running down my face, because…. because it hurts to have loved so deeply and to know, and understand that that person is gone from my life, cut out completely, a person who I loved so deeply, who cared for me so profoundly… is gone.

It’s hard, even now, to grapple everything that happened during those 13 months. But more importantly, it’s hard to understand, to really dissect and understand why we didn’t work. Why we fought, why we didn’t communicate, why we butted heads, why he kicked me out of his life, why I wouldn’t take him back. It’s hard to understand why someone who you love so much, could cause so much pain. Both in the moment, with words, but also now, with the absence of words. I wish so badly that we could be friends, because I find it so terrible, so fucking unfair that I cannot have any semblance of a relationship with the man who held my heart, who loved me so deeply, who taught me so much about myself and about the world, with the man who made such an impression in my life… why the hell can we not be friendly, why can we not for the sake of those blissful moments just leave things on good terms. Why does he have such animosity towards me ? He once said he would always love me, even if he hated me he would always love me. Where does that love go? Does it stay in the past, does it stay with those memories, superglued to our youthful selves, nestled within our soft kisses and warm embraces.

It’s hard. It really is hard to let go. I read once in a book about Buddhism that life is a constant process of letting go, of people, of places, of experiences. I think, during heartbreak, we so desperately want to hold on to the love, to the happiness, to those memories that made it all worth it, to that person that turned our world upside down, inside out and showed us a new version of the world that held endless possibility, wonder and promise. It’s difficult to let that person go, those moments go. It’s equally difficult to have faith, to somehow believe and trust that you will find someone just as powerful and influential again. Call me a skeptic, but it’s hard to believe one can struck by lightening twice. Something that felt so rare, so pure, so perfect. And it’s even harder to believe that one will find someone better, someone who is more compatible, someone who will stand the test of time, the ups and downs, someone who will weather the stormiest of fights and hold you forever.

As humans, we crave connection, we crave love, we crave unconditional acceptance, we crave companionship. I found it once. And I lost it once. I’m finding that losing it is almost as difficult as finding it. But, I firmly believe, that it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. And now that I’ve had a taste of it, of that beautiful love, of that deep and profound love… I know I’ll be chasing it again and again, perhaps forever.

 

 

Heavy

My mind is heavy, it’s weary even in its youth. Weighed down by tired thoughts that seem to stream through on repeat again, and again. It’s as if my mind is a junkyard, filled with dust and debris scattered here and there. On one side there’s a stack of cars, piled perhaps 10 high, flattened and weathered with worn tires from the miles they traveled, from the world they have seen. On the other, broken and forgotten pieces of home, buried toys of a childhood that is long gone.

Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley

You can feel the music, you can feel the love in the notes. You can feel his heart, his passion, with each pluck of the strings. It stirs something inside of you, the way he plays so freely, so uninhibited. It’s beautiful. No expectations, no judgements, just music that seems so effortless, so easy.

 

Hallelujah

I close my eyes, I feel my breath. I feel my chest rise and fall, my heart beats calmly. I listen to the melody, I bask in the beauty. I see the ocean, I see the sky and the clouds. I see the waves roll in, blue water washing ashore. I feel the sun, warm and strong. I feel it in my bones. I feel connected, I feel in place, I feel a part. All is right with the world, in this moment, all is right. I peer out, as far as the eye can see, nothing but blue skies and ocean stretching across the horizon. And in this moment, that’s all there is. Hallelujah

the earth may not blink, not even pause for a moment

let the politicians figure it out. let them fight the fights. let the soldiers go to battle.

sometimes, I think it’s all overwhelming. I think all that is here, on this earth, it’s too much–all the people, all the suffering, all the fighting, all the arguments, all the killing, all the sadness, all the joy, all the beauty, all the births and all the deaths, all the life changes, all the milestones, all the relationships, all the animals, all the diversity, all the open spaces, all the deep oceans, all the stars in the sky, all the vastness, all the evolution, all the religion, all the politics, all the thoughts, all the beliefs, all the misunderstandings, all the relationships, all the marriages, all the families, all the childhoods, all the nightmares, all the fears, all the faith, all the rivers, all the trees, all the woods, all the shorelines, all the specs of sand, all the cars, all the planes, all the trains, all the poverty, all the disease, all the hunger, all the hopelessness, all the damaged, all the injustice, all the talk, all the noise, all of it. All of it, constant and real.

how does one wrap one’s mind around all of it, constantly changing, morphing, evolving? how does one keep track? how does one make any sense out of everything? It’s terrifying, and amazing, sad and joyous, earth-shattering and awesome. It everything. And, when were in the middle of it, in the thick of this madness, in the center of the storm, in between foresight and hindsight, I can only find indescribable fear that one day, it will all be gone.

All of it, gone from memory, gone from conciousness. And the earth may not blink, not even pause for a moment, not even flinch. Time will go on, people will keep moving, talking, and the noise will only get louder.

I don’t understand. I cannot comprehend why there is such cruelty, such disregard. To experience something so awesome, so tantalizing, so inspiring, only to have to leave it, leaving not a trace and taking… nothing.

Jack London’s Wolf House

never forget the miracle of what you are

Be forgiving to yourself. Be forgiving, be non-judgmental, be kind.

Look at you, you miraculous being, alive, breathing, full of life, full of inspiration and creativity. Look at who you are, look at what you have, look at what you have accomplished.

Never, and I mean never, forget the miracle of what you are, of what we are as a human race, of what life is, of what being alive is. You are here, right now, in this moment- relish that and act upon it. Move, travel, explore, grow, do everything, exhaust yourself, suppress feelings of failure and REACH! Leap, take the risk…. go on, be great. There’s a whole world, and a whole mind to explore, there’s only everything to gain.

plant a tree

Someone once told me that the best time to plant a tree is… 25 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree… is today. These simple words represent such a complex idea, a duality of emotions that I grapple to embody. On one hand, we all have regret. We ponder, we sit upon, we dwell on the past… thinking and thinking about what I should have done, what I could have said, how I would have done differently… 25 years ago… if only… We hold grief, we hold sadness, disappointment, anger, etc, etc, about a missed opportunity.

And on the other hand, we all have the small flicker inside, a tiny urge to make a change right now. To swallow that fear, and face it today. Right now. Take the plunge, and don’t look back. Gamble, and risk it all. Just do it. Just say yes.

I find myself all too often living in the past, wondering, pondering. Reflecting about how the combination of my choices and miscellaneous happenings throughout a lifetime has led me to this point. I think it’s important to acknowledge the past. It’s important to express and acknowledge the grief of a lost time, countless lost moments which could have led to… who knows where. But it’s equally, and I mean equally, important to live now. Build up the courage, and give yourself a little shove. Make the decision to plant that tree today, give yourself a little shove…. smiling and quivering, take the leap and find happiness in your decision to take the risk

22 and looking for love

Here’s the honest truth put bluntly. I’ll admit it: I want hollywood love. I want all the romance he’s got, I want the man to pursue me. I want the man: the tall, muscular and fit man with blondish-brown short hair and minimal scruff, who can look amazing in a suit and a fitted black t-shirt all at the same time. I want the man: the confident and witty, yet sensitive man who has every ounce of passion for life that I have and perhaps even more. I want the man: the honest and kind family man who will be a fantastic father, husband, and lover. Are you starting to understand that I am slightly delusional in seeking for what I and millions of other single women would term perfection? But can you blame me?

In life, people strive for the best in any aspect of the human condition. We seek the best tasting food, we try to show the best sense of style, we attempt to satisfy all of our personal desires with the very best, given material limitations. And in love too. If one considers the nature vs. nurture scenario in my personal conundrum, nurture wins out ten-fold over nurture. Since an age when we start to perceive so-called beauty, our environment is quick to define the version of perfection.  It’s ultimately what I described in previous sentences. Images of beautifully rugged men fill every angle of our peripheral vision each and every day. But not just images. It’s the notions, the personalities, the embodiment of values in combination with an extremely fortunate DNA. We are duped into believing that this perfect man is out there for every un-expecting, small-town, girl next door.

I fully understand that my expectations are undoubtedly shallow, unrealistic, and unattainable. But, I simply cannot help lusting over this ideal. And I can admit that this is my downfall: that I find faults fast, that I am unforgiving, that I pass over the just as amazing, nontraditional men. But, it comes down to the fact that reality cannot compete with an idea that is rooted within our collective conciousness. Ultimately, real men on earth simply cannot compete with made-up men who stand among gods.

the perfect body and the perfect mind

I can appreciate perfection. I can appreciate complexity. I can appreciate beauty. It’s all I strive for.

a much needed release

here’s what I want to tell myself: just let go. It’s so exhausting to have an iron grip on everything, on every action and thought. There’s hardly anything one can control in life. It’s time to exhale. It’s time to release. All of this worrying, all of this dreaming, fantasizing, I fear life is happening in the background. Take what you get, it’s all you can do. Oh sure, it could have, would have been different. But, while the past in solid, it’s secure, it’s never-changing, and always will be, the future is a complete unknown. It’s the ultimate plasticity, it’s malleable, it is undecided. Perhaps. I guess, the goal is to be content, or not so much content as okay with, at peace with what has happened, what has occurred. All you can do is live in the present and look to the future. All I want, all I want is to let the past fade away, whatever I was, whatever fears and fantasies have held my hands, I want to let them drift with the wind. Step forward, and take what you get. It may not be ideal, in fact, it probably won’t be. But it’s something. Work with the cards life hands you and adapt. Only those that adapt survive. So in those moments of uncertainty, just choose. One path. And go full force, with every fiber. Don’t look back, adapt, and go after everything, everything.

Where does the plasticity go?

This momentous day. This moment that may be defined by years, by decades. It’s supposed to be a turning point, the start of a future so bright, and the close of a childish past. I thought these years, these past four years, would give me answers. I thought that I would exit with answers to the so many questions I entered with. But, I think I’m coming out with so many more. Questions, curiosity, wonder if decisions made were good, were right, were supposed to be. I have a hard time grappling with my decisions, I have a hard time not considering the contrary, and wondering what if, what would have happened, and what could have been. It tortures me, to think of all that I have potentially missed, all that I potentially lost. Oh sure, I’m certain some decisions were right, were good and were fruitful. But, there has to be that other half, that other 50% of decisions, actions, thoughts, and doings that were wrong, that should have been different, altered, changed for the better.

I guess it all comes down to regret. Regretting decisions, regretting actions or, more likely, non-actions. Stifling actions… well that just stifles self-growth. Agh, what am I really even talking about?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that uncertainty is cruel and inevitable. All you can do is go with your gut, but moreover, push yourself to take that chance. Take that risk that may seem a little risky, a little uncertain, but the potential gain, potential being the operative word, it is quite huge. Staying with the safe, staying with what you know, well…that stifles.

So here I am. Once again, constantly returning to this one place. This one edge. In my mind’s eye, in the depths of my cluttered imagination, I see a cliff. Behind me is a lush, tropical rain forest, and before me is a sheer drop. I can see the horizon, and there are clear, blue skies above. The wind whips my hair back, air circulates through my nostrils, into my chest, and back out. I can feel the presence of something bigger than me. I feel surrounded by nature, nurtured almost. I’m peering down, into the depths, but I cannot see anything. It’s so peaceful here. I stand at the edge, I peer below, but I don’t jump…. I just stare below in wonderment.

Well. I wonder. In this fantasy, in this mind’s moment, in this figurative scenario that seems to have been built up in my mind by the figments of my life experiences… I wonder if it’s symbolic or simply bull. Am I standing at the edge of some big decision? Am I supposed to take this big leap, this big lunge? Will things change, will my life change for the better? There goes my fear of uncertainty again… it’s so hard to control sometimes. But it’s so true. The uncertain. It’s a scary place to grace.

As I get older, as I become more familiar with this world and as I learn more about myself, I find it hard to change. I find myself getting set in my ways, in my beliefs. I find it hard to make that change, to take that risk. Why is that? Where does the plasticity go?

do not read

So let’s write. Right from the top. Play words like piano keys. Music from the mind.

Big sigh. What to write about tonight–dim lit room, it’s quite calming, really.

Blink. Blink. Um. . . . . . . .   .   .   .    .

10 minutes have passed.

4 more.

mind blocked. locked.

days dwindle and time prospers without you

As I’m hummingMatchbox 20  to myself, as I am oo-ing to myself, I’m thinking why. Why, and always why why why. Music is amazing to me, so so wonderful, it’s painting with the mind. Singing too, it’s gorgeous, it’s complex with all the minor, miniscule intonations. While I’m listening, I try to dissect–I try and pick out the little switches, changes, flips and dips. I try to figure out how the artist changes her/his voice, how these split-second decisions are made. When I listen to an amazing singer, an amazing, classic, heart-stopping, heart-throbbing, one-of-a-kind, stop you in your tracks kind of song, I must listen to it again, and again, and again, and again, and again. I listen and I learn, I try and observe every aspect, every angle, every dip and every flip. Sometimes, I can listen, and I can close my eyes, and paint in my mind. With a broad paintbrush, dipped in red paint, sometimes green, sometimes teal, I paint. It’s surreal, it’s luxurious, it’s beautiful. I can make art in my mind while I listen to the music, it flows.

Inspiration for art. It comes from music, it comes from life, it comes a lot. Sometimes, I can come across a thought, I can come across a scene in my life, and I can imagine it as art. Like a movie scene. A snapshot. I see something new.

I see a movie theather, with couples and singles scattered about. All facing a bright screen, black heads block some light from your vantage point.  I see myself in the middle of the theater, surrounded by strangers, all watching the same film, the same fate. I mean, can you imagine, seeing your life on the big screen? The first scene: your birth, you- a screaming baby enters the world with no warning, with no idea. none. Then you see your childhood, you see your transformation, you see development, you see your parents, your siblings. You see yourself starting to categorize the world, you start to learn judgement, you start to percieve, you start to realize your own thoughts, unique to the world. Then fast forward, you get taller, you get older, you age and you attain awareness with each passing year. There goes your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s. Can you imagine? Seeing past today, into the future. You see yourself as you will be. All the more scary and exciting…. could you imagine knowing one’s fate in this moment. Knowing where life goes, where you go. Knowing everything that will ever happen, right now, on the big screen, surrounded by my myriad strangers. You see yourself go gray, you see yourself age. Surreal to think about…. I mean, right now, that future doesn’t exist. It never happened, so it never will? Oh sure, every human goes through it, aging, but it’s singular. It’s unique and it’s belongs to oneself. I think experiences are unique, and while we see others go through them, their uniqueness, thier singularity is never tarnished. Childbirth, oh sure we know what happens, every detail, every moment. But, to experience that, well, that is unique. That is something special, and something that belongs to only a few. Death. That too is ultimately unique to every person, every life. Oh sure, we see people die, we see….people die. People die. But, to experience death, to experience, first-hand, it’s indescribable, it cannot be shared….And back to our featured film. You see yourself age, go gray and grow elder. Days dwindles and time prospers without you. Will you be remembered? Will your life, so unique and special, so wonderfully delicate, so singular in this booming universe, will it cause an echo? An impression? Will anyone even notice when you fade away? Oh man, I can’t touch that. I can’t go there, I can’t imagine that. I can’t. I can’t see that. I can’t. I can’t imagine bright lights going black.

Competing With Creation

As humans, we are always creating. New technologies, new medicines, new expectations, new standards. With progress comes improvement, or so we believe. But, are we creating things we cannot compete with? With unachievable standards of beauty, fitness, life accomplishments and more, it’s hard to believe that modern humans will ever be satisfied. Magazines, TV shows, and movies are all sending signals, messages, and cues about what life should be, and moreover could be. And so we begin to crave that, strive for that, reach for that… But do we ever reach it? Or are we constantly falling short to the standards we place upon ourselves? Perhaps we are our own worse enemy in some sense.

Why care?

Why do we care? Why are we concerned with not only ourselves, but about others. Go farther than family. We seem to care about strangers, as we are all selfless. Caring for the well-being of others… but why? Why do we want to reduce poverty in the global south? Why do we want to cure infectious diseases and cancer? Why do we want people to stop smoking, start exercising, and eating healthy? It seems altruistic on the exterior, but I don’t believe it.

What I do believe is that humans, and all animals, are selfish to the core. Our actions, our decisions, everything we do is always for our own good. Directly and indirectly. Take, for example, eating ice cream. We eat ice cream because it feels good and sends endorphins to our brain. We educate ourselves in order to get high-paying jobs. We exercise because we want to live long and disease-free. But, we also help others because it helps ourselves. Perhaps out of ego and pride, we advise others because it gives us a sense of superiority, we look for cures because it satisfies curiosity, we lend a helping hand because it makes us feel good.

Altruism- the act of being unselfishly concerned for the welfare of others. Not possible. No no no. We are all selfish, even if it is for the purest intentions, we always gain something. From every action, we gain something.

Entropy

It’s a universal law: all systems will naturally tend towards chaos. The entropy of the universe is constantly increasing,ever since the big bang, everything is getting more and more chaotic. I think this is also true for human life: we begin as children, young and innocent. Bright-eyed and awestruck at everything around us. Life is so simple, pleasant. There’s usually love, there’s usually simplicity. Perhaps I am idealizing this universal notion of a childhood, or perhaps it seems this way looking back, but I can surely say that times were much simpler back then. We were urged to be creative, learn, grow, and run.

But, as we age, things get complicated. It occurs slowly and we start growing up. Responsibility and realization. The grimy truths are revealed and a pessimistic world unravels before our eyes. We begin to notice evils, wrong-doings, war and violence. We begin to recognize negativity and understand that life is terminal, everything is terminal.

I can only imagine that this will continue. As I enter the next decades, life will reveal more and become increasingly chaotic.

I find it difficult to grapple with. I find it difficult to not fall prey to it all. To not lose faith. I find it hard to hold onto the good, to the positive. I find it hard to grasp, with every fiber, onto the tiniest glimmer of hope. I find it hard to not slip into the negativity, the faithlessness, the questioning. It’s a struggle and it’s draining– to keep fighting for what you want in life, to keep pushing towards some unknown aspiration, to keep striving. It’s exhausting and it seems so much easier to give up. To let yourself go, to not care anymore, to just drift through life, coasting and taking whatever comes nonchalantly.

But. I don’t think that’s right. It can’t be right. It’s a struggle, it’s a fight, it’s a boxing match against all them demons. When you run until you can’t anymore, when you push your physicality to the last limit, when you aim higher…. well that’s a feeling that cannot be contained. Achievement, power, strength, will… It’s hard to attain, but perhaps good things are worth struggling for. Work hard and life will be fruitful.

I’m not saying that I know this to be true. But it’s something that I hope is true. The other option seems all too easy, all too worthless. I guess we all must invite the chaos and keep reaching for things just out of our reach.

Thoughts Are Free

Driving down the road, the sun is bright and radiating. It’s shining and rain patters on my windshield. Naked rain. When the traffic light turns red, I slow down and stop. I look to my right and I recognize a man. I have seen this man only once before, perhaps one month ago. I have seen this man at this same spot. He was sitting on the same bench, on the same side, with the same look upon his eyes. Distant.

From appearance, I assume this man is homeless. He is adorned in the same clothing as before, has a bushy beard, and is covered in a film of dirt from head to toe. As I passed him the first time, I became curious. And passing the man again today only reminded me of my initial interest.

I thought about stuff. About how each or most of us have stuff attached to us– a house, clothes, a bed, a television set, an ipod, a laptop. But we also have other things we are attached to– our parents, our friends, our society. We live embedded in a web of stuff, hoarding more and more as we grow old. But this man, this homeless man who sat on the bench, well, he has less stuff.  He has less. But we share one thing. We all share one thing, one stuff, one intangible item: thought. We all hold thoughts, experiences, emotions.

The mental capacity to think, to remember, and to reflect. All humans have it. This man, perhaps he had no job, no home, no family to go back to. But, he has one thing. He has his thoughts. Thoughts that are all to himself, thoughts that he owes to no one. I found that idea so invigorating, so inspiring.

Decartes said “I think, therefore I am.” The act of thinking, of ideas, of questioning one’s existence and the reality around us. Thoughts are free and freeing- it is all that life truly is: thinking and thinking… until our last day… until our last thought

a rude reptilian brain

It’s hard to control your thoughts. You know, those bad thoughts. The thoughts you wish you could take back. The kind of thoughts you don’t want anyone to know you had. I just had a bad thought. It’s hard to control your thoughts.

I suppose it would take some conditioning. Some practice. But who is to say censoring your own thoughts to yourself would be a good thing. Auto-brainwash? Hmm- probably don’t want the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind type of scenario here. I suppose, then, you’ve got to go past the point. Go to the source of the bad thought. Which comes from… well, I suppose that comes from nature, or is it nurture? Don’t want to get into that either..

Ok, bad thoughts… the source is impression and perception. Because thoughts are simply perceptions of what experiences we have, right? I think that’s right. And perception comes from… well, I suppose perception comes from some innate something. Somewhere deep in our reptilian brain. Perhaps perception is a trait, a gene that’s evolved and encoded for. I suppose perception and originality for that matter came from some distant evolutionary shift, positive selection; it must have been favorable. I suppose perception must be conditioned through what we see and hear, from what we experience, we build up these perceptions and judge the world by them.

Maybe that’s where my bad thought came from.

sun and grass and wind

The drums are beating. Take a deep breath and exhale. Look up and see the sun. The great ball of fiery wrath. Or beauty. Whatever you’d like, really. Feel the grass, green blades bright, towering over tiny dirt specs. There’s the wind, whipping your hair, natural air into your nostrils.

Snatching the Unattainable, Only for You

Fuck this shit. FUCK this. These expectations are too high. You put them there, on the highest shelf. Out of reach. Criticize and criticize, until you’re blue in the face. Fuck this shit. I hate it. I cannot handle it. I’m supposed to be hard and tough, build a hard, plastic shell around myself to protect my fragile innards from the verbal wasteland known as your mouth. Well, I don’t. I don’t have a shell, perhaps I tried to build one, make one…. but it has cracks, deep cracks and go straight to the core. and every time you poke, every time you comment, it sticks that dagger a little deeper, it widens the crack a little more, revealing a swirl of vulnerabilities.

Ok, so I’m not good enough. Is that what you’re getting at? That I’m not worthy of this time and this money, these resources and all that you’ve given me? Is that it? Because I cannot achieve the best, be the best, be the one and only BEST, that I am not worthy. This may have been a bad investment. I may have been a bad investment, because I certainly am not what you want, what you desire in your heart.

You, you want perfection. You want this from me. How cruel and undeserved. You tell me I’m wasting time, I’m wasting money, I am wrong, I only do things wrong wrong wrong. I can hardly take anymore. It is hurting my heart. And I’m afraid that there may be some permanent damage.

Oh sure, you’re blind with a vision. You’re blind with ego. But, you don’t see what you’re doing to me. Breaking me down, with every small comment, telling me oh so very indirectly that I am imperfect and wrong. Never right. I can never be right or good.

Disappointment, that’s all I ever feel. Well, perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but that’s what I feel right now. Disappointment because I cannot attain the unattainable. Because I am not good enough, and you expected more. You set the bar too high. And while I have tried for years and years to reach that bar, standing on the tippiest toes, I always stumbled, I always bumbled in your eyes. You don’t see me, you only see my faults. You only see what could be, what should be. You don’t see what I am, and what I have achieved, what I have managed to accomplished in the endless pursuit of trying to appease you and your thirst for perfection from me.

Oh it’s tiring, oh I am tired. This has been an arduous journey and I feel myself breaking down. I try to shield my fragile beating heart from those words, I try to persevere. But, there comes a time when you get through to me. You cut right into me, break me down and tell me to stand up to take some more.

How am I supposed to be a confident young woman, outgoing and smart? How am I supposed to tackle this world and believe that anything is possible, when, you have undoubtedly shoved straight into my face that hardly anything is possible, because I have achieved almost nothing.

You break me down, but I still come whimpering back, trying to please and appease, trying to gain your approval and praise, trying, desperately trying to snatch the unattainable-only for you. I try, I try, and I keep trying.

looking uP

honey. I’m here. I’m right here, standing bare-foot in sinking mud, my hands spread out and my head tilted back. The sun is bright, it’s burning white light. Everything is lit. I’m standing there, in sinking mud, my hands spread out, my tilted head, and my chest expanding and contracting with every inhale. Every deep, solid inhalation of clean air. I can breathe.

The mountains, the graphite mountains of gray, black, and white are shooting straight up, jaged and sharp. Shoot into a sea of blues. We’re here together, in this dusty sandbowl, looking uP