For What It’s Worth

A warrior does not give up what he loves, instead, he finds love in what he does.

The warrior stands rebellious, graphite sword in hand, contemplating over a cosmic plain.  Below him or her is a spinning sphere full of trials, tribulations, threatening adversaries, and tempting shortcuts.  Across the plain rises a mountain called mentality, full of promise but harboring a myriad of challenges. 

On the other side of the mountain awaits something of which they are not exactly sure.  Could it be valor, transcendence, illumination, possibly even enlightenment?  Or perhaps something more sinister hides behind the mountain in the shallow shadowed valleys below.     

All he or she knows is that they must carve a chivalrous path through life’s uneven landscape and scale the mountain, leading the way for those who seek something better on the other side.  They must guide with empathy and compassion through the shades of peril that lay ahead. 

They know that death is an option from which they cannot opt out of.  They are very aware that survival could escape them, but they are prepared and are capable of leading those they love to safety regardless of their own well-being.  And yet, they are also confident and their spirits can barely contain themselves.

FOLLOW YOUR HEART

The warrior wears their heart as a shield, protecting what they love from the evil that lurks in the dusk of fear.  They defy the nightmares of deceit, false beliefs, and the judgments that create suffering and false happiness.  It is a war that once was waged within their own hearts and minds. 

They stare fear in the eye with an awareness that the inner conflict of adversity has already taught them.  They know that truth, divinity, and unconditional love are what lie ahead on the other side of fear.  They know what is at stake and it is more important than anything else to them.  It is Freedom.  Or call it cerebral liberty if you will.

The warrior breathes benevolence for what they wish to protect, in this case, the reverence of love, and freedom of the mind. Their tears are hidden behind their eyes, for it is love, not hate, in which motivates them to create. They acknowledge that bravery comes in the presence of fear and not in its absence.

Afraid or not, they keep emotional arousal at bay and instead use its energy to finish the task at hand. They are confident in their skills of struggle and that conceit is an exploitable weakness. They feel everything that everyone does, but answer otherwise. Their commitment to peace and harmony is deeper than any river they have ever crossed. It is what they live, love, fight, die, and write for.

The warrior knows that in order to win the war against fear, requires awareness, valor, discipline, and a promise in order to transform the emotional body of the whole.  They know their inner strength is a weapon but how it is used depends on their hearts and minds, and of course their soul. 

BE AWARE

Awareness is the most vital tool of a warrior.  We often think we are aware but to be purely aware does not involve thinking whatsoever.  Awareness is unpolluted because there is no interpretation to the thinking process.  To be aware means that we perceive with clarity the truth of what is happening in the present without opinion. 

In the moment of pure awareness the dialogue in our mind stops.  We see from a point of view separate from the scrutiny of our mind.  It is in the awareness of an epiphany that balance finds its way beneath the warrior’s footing.

Awareness is essential because it is a state of consciousness that allows us to discern between the facts and the truth, and between the story and the lies in our mind.  Our mind is filled with false perceptions and false beliefs.  The mind is crafty, but it is also full of assumptions and limited patterns of perception, it is easily fed with distraction. 

Self-awareness is the clarity to know who and what you are, and not become so entangled in the image of yourself.  Your self-image that is your utmost distraction will often misrepresent the sense of who you really are.  False internal images can lead you to lower self-esteem and self-confidence.  They can even lead to being self-centered. 

MIND YOUR HEAD

If you have an idea of who you are, then contemplate that you are not that idea in your mind.  You are the one creating and discerning it.  When you become aware that the images of self that you hold in your mind are nothing but illusion, you recognize the essence of freeing yourself from self-importance.

The warrior has the courage to question his or her own beliefs.  By challenging their own beliefs, they begin to recognize the lies that cause their own suffering.  To challenge their own beliefs requires courage because it is a means to the end of the illusion of safety.  A warrior learns not to defend what they believe, but to challenge those very beliefs themselves.  It is in this way that they are able to sort the truth from illusion.

Discipline is of the utmost importance in the spirit of a warrior.  Discipline is stringent upon staying the course when faced with the inward challenges of the mind.  A warrior must have the discipline to continue to practice against his or her own mind, without any outside motivation. 

They must exercise their own free will at the command of their heart without outward representation.  This often means going against the fearful opinions in our minds that allure us with patterned illusions of both punishment and reward.  They must also carry close the discipline to follow their heart when tempted by judgment.

LOVE YOURSELF

The warrior must commit to self-love.  They can then extend that love to others that they care for, as well as humanity.  Self-love is required because along the journey we are certain to fall many times.  It is with love and a strong commitment that the warrior gets back up, again.  As it is common to fall upon the fleeting judgment of others. 

It is easy to love some people, particularly those who treat us with mutual respect.  However, it requires an incredible commitment to love in the face of those who reject us.  This commitment will challenge us.  It will challenge our beliefs about our own judgments, while teaching us that pure compassion is the only defense required. 

The warrior is committed to love beyond their own self-serving interests and what it will bring them.  This is how we become happy past our own paradigm of longing.  Over time, we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love.  This is what the spirit of a warrior lives for, to love.  They nourish themselves with the love they express.  A warrior will always express their love, even when challenged. 

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

The warrior always expects the best from themselves.  They may not always overcome everything they are faced with, but it is with certainty that they will give it their all to rise above failure.  They will make the best of every situation and seek to unleash their greatest potential even if they do have to dip into the madness of their own mind. 

They expect to set the example of what it takes to lead and inspire others, no matter how close to the edge they take themselves.  Therefore, they must be ready, willing, and able to carry the burden, even when lost in the arid desert of their mind.   

A warrior understands that they only have one life, so they treat it with reverence and fill it with those peculiar moments that make life worth living and with those they find meaningful.  Sometimes a warrior must walk away from everything he was to find out where he truly belongs.

THE TRUTH IS

But what do I know? I am not necessarily a warrior, I am just some guy who likes to write, but I believe in something much more greater and graceful than the good we are promised.  I have a vision and I believe in it with such passion, I will seek it out until the day I die. 

The funny thing is that it’s right here within me.  It always has been, somewhere deep, and probably hidden somewhere pretty damn dark.  Though it is true, there is a light of faith in the darkness that will always shine through.

It is in these moments when I write that I find meaning.  The means of myself seem to meet with pen and paper.  For some odd reason, I associate words with leaving a mark on the world.  I’m not sure why.  And I do know, now, from firsthand experience, that it is flat out brutal to be an open book in a world that barely reads anymore. 

Yet, still, writing does allow my soul to saunter hand and hand with creative experience, instead of withering away to the misuse of boredom’s mediocrity.  I guess it allows my mind its daily serenity.  And by treating every minute as a gift—with a gift—is a great way to align my life the way that I see fit. 

THE TAKEOUT

So, let us stop wasting these precious minutes, and start running towards those dreams.  Starting with today, go get whatever it is you wish to deserve from this life.  Or you could just continue to put it off until tomorrow, but eventually, you will have to either walk away from what it is the spiritual path demands of you.  Or, you can stare it in the eyes and give everything last bit that you have left in the creative tank to get to the results that Heaven and the One Upstairs desire. 

And for what it’s worth, the warrior knows that he doesn’t have a lot to offer, but what he truly believes in—things like love, freedom, and all else in between—they are worth fighting for.  And he knows he can only get to where it is he is meant to be by staying out of his own damn way.

—Ryan Love

The Resource Of Self

The light in my heart is what gives me purpose, as it echoes through the endless space of all that is wild.

This afternoon as I was running up a rocky hill through the desert to escape the obscurities of my mind’s absurdities, I felt something rousing inside me as my pulse pounded with relentless perseverance.  The sun sat situated at its most potent point in the afternoon sky.  

My back, my chest, my shoulders, all burning, scorched from said sun.  The tingling upon my skin soaked through into the deepest depths of me.  It set my soul ablaze, and the bliss from it all left me shivering. 

BEING RESOURCEFUL

It was an energy from the purest resource of self.  It was when I started to fully believe in myself that I knew.  I knew that I could do whatever I put my mind to.  

Even with something unknown pulling the strings to motivate me.  I can only put my focus on the finish line.  Though, I feel something opening up inside of me, prying at the gateway of my mind.    

I take a breather while gulping water down by the half gallon, the sweat from my pores cools the blistering sensation. I resign from trying so hard to wrap my head around the paradoxical mind-altering thoughts that arise on these day’s when I was seemingly alone.  

I decide that rather than wander around in problem solving mode all day, overthinking every little scenario in what way I should fix about myself and my life, I should rather just pause for a few moments and bask in the light of what’s not broken.  That being my soul.

Something lit up within me as my heartbeat found a bit of resolve in its consistent rhythm.  The pain from my burnt skin subsides.  I feel as though I have been rewired with a celestial version of my true self.  I feel a sense of inner peace, an internal balance and most of all, a blissful love for myself.   

SELF-LOVE

Once these feelings start to take over, it is easier to become more in tune with the better version of yourself.   It becomes easier to take on the empowering posture of making those enhanced life choices that make such a difference in our lives, all the while following through with the actions that support what matters most, that being universal love.

My heart as it pounds pure, twists my thoughts into a place of positivity where they belong.  The negativity that surrounded me just moments ago vanishes like the fart I just let go into the wind.

LOVE & LIGHT 

The light in my heart is what gives me purpose, as it echoes through the endless space of all that is wild.  The wilderness sitting upon the backdrop of this desert, the stars hiding above, a river’s offshoot that trickles into a conscious stream—all of these things I feel as is I am one with.          

See, we are all extensions of a mystical and resourceful energy.  I believe this because we are all able to reflect this source within ourselves, therefore, we are all part of this energy, or shall I say, God’s energy. 

This energy it translates itself within the mind as revolutionary ideas, unseen synchronicities, and an unsurpassable intuition.  These intuitive feelings exert their influence upon our optimism for the betterment of ourselves and for humanity. With things such as love, unity, and oneness.  The awareness of this intuition occurs rapidly when the mind is open and receptive to receive.  

PRESENCE OF POSITIVITY

When the mind is open and present in the now—it finds itself at peace—instead of being preoccupied with the negativity of all the ego-related opinions of our past and/or future circumstances.  The mind thrives with reception of positive energy.  It evolves with the mystical experience of life.  At its core, this energy is the purest resource of our true self.  It’s God’s love. It’s where we are happiest.  It’s a perpetual state of bliss.  

But if we find ourselves creating scenarios for anything other than moment in which we are in, the mind will work its way back towards the void of negativity.  When your mental focus falls into this sort of trap, these negative thoughts, they will destroy you.  But the more you create these negative thoughts, the more negative emotions come bubbling up to the surface, and flows through all that you do.

This will carry you so far away from aligning with your truest self.  All the while slowing down the process of creating consistent awareness and happiness.  So one must be wise to try and remain in a balanced posture of all that is positive—think of a cross, if you would—no matter the negative externalities that try their hands at unbalancing your true alignment.

POSITIVE ALIGNMENT   

When you allow this energy to flow through you with the conductive element called positivity, you will become love and light yourself.  The power of positive energy alone creates harmony within your soul.  As harmony within, is vital to allowing us to see through all the external trivialities, as the essence of the soul’s vitality becomes immeasurable and its light will not be stolen by anyone. 

When running in stride with self-love and harmony side by side, it’s impossible to not feel the positive energy flow through you. And those that see you won’t be able to help but wonder what sort of magic it is that you have hiding within you.  It only seems like this to the wandering eye because it is experienced by so few.  But in reality it isn’t magic at all.  But it is available cost-free to every last individual being. 

This positive energy encompasses us all, as well as it’s within us all.  Because at its source it is universal love, it is light, it is the Creator of you, directing His energy upon you and your soul.  All you must do is properly align yourself within the light of all that is positive in your life.  

However you have to do that is up to you, as everyone’s version of happiness is different.  But be careful not to misalign yourself in the process, as it is misalignment that often leaves the heart and soul broken in half and the mind hell bent on destroying everything in the wake of its path.

ON A METAPHORIC NOTE

What the soul is, in my opinion, is but a stick—a fragile twig—broken in half by the separate entities within ourselves that pull us apart from both the inside out, and the outside in throughout our lives.

It is not easily recognized to the naked eye.  Yet when the fragments of our soul merges back into one sentient being by becoming aware of our own dual nature.  It is then that we must make sure that our soul, or twig is tied tight with the ribbon of love and light, so that the two separate entities within ourselves become wrapped in the beauty of One. 

The core value to be learned from this post; is that when the dual nature of our self becomes intertwined with what it truly is, the attraction of opposites, or duality fused back together as One.  Consider it the yin to the yang if you will.  

But in being aware of our dual nature is one of the most vital attributes to the essence of our true being.  It is this awareness that allows us to truly love ourselves by giving in to the glowing light within. 

 A LITTLE LIGHT

See, we are all wildly drawn to the light of those whose knots are tied strong with the awareness of their own duality and the love they radiate.  The soul—or twig if you like—that has tied itself together with its own accord will eventually form these bundles, tied together with the ribbons of love from another whole soul, and they will create an expounding energy exploding with universal love.

But before we can do this, we must learn to reflect the light within our own hearts from the resource of our truest self, from the love burning within.  This is the only way to deflect the discernment of the negativity and darkness in our minds that too often spins us around, sending in the wrong direction. 

I pick up my pace, the sunlight shining through me now.  I feel something grabbing at my feet.   Maybe it’s the darkness.  Who knows?  So I run faster, my knees almost pounding into my chest, and then the darkness is gone. 

I see a mound, a grave of sorts, built with the sole purpose of burying the past.   Above it is a cross with a simple inscription that says “that which revolves must evolve.”

And I think perhaps, when one finds themselves stuck in a revolving loop, maybe one should just try going straight instead.

Until the next time.

—Ryan Love

Life Is But A Dream

The reality of things is not something you convey to people but something you create.

It is this that gives birth to its meaning.

I wake up from my slumber well before dawn, not doing a damn thing but lying in bed thinking.  At roughly six o’clock I decide to get up.  I make myself some coffee.  Having nothing else to do, I go on ahead with some light exercising and start getting breakfast ready before the boy wakes up.

Not half an hour later, he’s up. 

“You’re up awfully early,” I say to him.

“Mmmhmm,” he mumbles.  “I was dreaming about blueberry pancakes and bacon.”

“Well kid, sometimes dreams do come true.  Here eat up.”

After pretty much a wordless breakfast, we do the dishes, tidy up the kitchen, and wash our hands.  

As we have done when washing our hands since he was just a tadpole of a toddler, we sing along to the song Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  You know the one.

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.  Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”  We sang it three times over with the harmony of an eternal bond.

Shortly thereafter, after a bit of silence, came a question that just might change one’s life forever.  Especially mine, as I feel quite the rippling effect creating waves throughout me.  

A SIMPLE QUESTION

His questions, they often range from the semantics of all that is silly to some that are downright mind-blowing.  And as he looked up to me, the look in his eyes meant I better buckle up for one helluva ride. 

“Dad, I am the boat?”

At first, I can only smile astounded.  Astounded at his modest cross-examination of a children’s lullaby, which leaves me wondering if said lullaby, now carries with it, the deepest meaning of any song.  Ever! 

After a few moments of unforeseen deep thought, I did what I do best.  I spoke without much resolve.  

“Absolutely kid!”

“Why Dad?” He asks with genuine curiosity.

“Because I said so, and because you are.  It’s like this.”

ROW YOUR BOAT

By rowing your boat you are aware that you must take control of your own life and nobody else’s.  And besides, our bodies are made up of 75% water.  So yes, of course, your body could be considered a vessel of sorts, or even better, a boat.  But you are the captain of your own boat and you choose your own journey.  Just as everyone else is the captain of their own life, or boat.

This is super important for you you to remember.  Never try to take control of anyone else’s boat, nor should you even try to take their paddles.  You may offer them direction if they are lost.  You may even offer them your paddles if you feel the need to help them.  But never try to take control of anybody’s boat.  It’s their boat to sail, and they must set the sails for their own journey however they see fit. 

GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM

And throughout this sea of life we must remember to row so gently, and not so forcefully.  By rowing gently we go with the flow of things, with the way our life is meant to go.  We must not keep going against the currents of whatever negative approach reality decides to throw at us. 

When you try and maneuver against the natural flow of things, your boat, or life, will struggle mightily to get through the angry, choppy waters of reality.  So don’t go about rowing angrily.  Nothing is worse than struggling through life when mad.  Because when you argue against reality, you’ll lose every damn time kid.  And who knows, but your boat may wind up upside down, and then you could sink, and maybe even drown.  

“Dad, I know how to swim.”  

“Besides the point kid.  Are you listening to me?  And what if there’s sharks?  Did you ever think of that?  Now, where were we?” 

“Good point,” he said aware.

See rowing gently through life represents the fact that we must row with finesse down the stream. It could even be considered that the stream, is but a stream of consciousness. Of being aware of all that is good in life.

You know, just go with the flow of consciousness.  Do this, instead of struggling against the flow, or going against the currents of the way things are.  However bad they go, just remember to row with hope.  Because struggling against the flow makes things really, really, uncomfortable.  So just go with the flow.  Whatever is meant for you will find it’s way to you without forcing it too, even the truth.

MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY

And also, by rowing merrily, we are confident and aware of all the happiness that waits out there in life’s endless sea, but we must not always take everything so damn seriously.  It is a lot better to see things through the eyes of silliness, instead of such seriousness.  Sometimes acting silly is all we really need to be happy.  Because, even though life can get uncomfortable at times, there is always something to smile about.  You can always smile and laugh at the little things that make you happy. 

“So don’t walk through life like you have a finger up your butthole all the time, and just laugh and smile instead,” he interrupts.

“Exactly!” I laugh back at him, spitting out the swallow of water I just took all over the place.

See, when we row the boat through life merrily, we must remember to try and smile, even at all the uncomfortable things.  There is no difference in the way that anxiety and excitement flare up in our mind.  They fire on the same cylinder, so to speak.  The difference is how we interpret and react to what’s happening around us.  After all, it is Shakespeare who said that a tragedy is nothing more than a comedy misunderstood.

“Who’s Spearshaker, Dad?”

“Don’t worry about him just yet.”

AN OPTIMISTIC APPROACH

And we must always row with endless amounts of optimism, without trying to force ourselves in the wrong direction, or force our way into someone else’s flow.

Just because reality doesn’t always go the way we planned, doesn’t entitle us to force our own overbearing expectations of how things should be upon anyone.

And if I might add, never afford the future the cost of misconception, or else, against your heart, your mind has found it’s greatest weapon.

“What?”

“Pay no mind to that one for now,” I say with a shit-eating grin.

Though, it is said, that 75% of success, whether in regards to your coming education, or my ongoing career, is predicated by your optimistic levels.  By how much optimism you consistently operate with, or row with, if you would. And by how “healthily” confident we are about where we are headed and how we are rowing through life in the process.

By rowing happily—or, merrily for that matter—through life is proven, by both doctors and philosophers alike, to keep us healthy, both mentally and physically. 

So not only is rowing through life optimistic, healthier for us, but it also tends to keep us from getting sick so easily.  It is just as well, that if we do get sick, remaining optimistic helps us to recover much more quickly from any illness and we may even go on and live longer than expected.  That’s a fact, Jack.

LIFE IS BUT A DREAM

And yes, in the end kid, life is but a dream.  It’s absolutely a dream, and it’s a dream worth living to the fullest.

“So are we dreaming right now, Dad?”

“Boy, you are on one this morning. Aren’t you?”

I guess, in a way, yes.  Life is but a passing dream.  So it’s your duty to wake up to the truth.  You must wake up to the truth that every morning you believe that you are a more powerful being than you sometimes feel. And that you are given the freedom to choose how you see life.  You have the ability to manifest your dreams. To choose what you wish to do.  To view the things the way you do.  To say what you want to. How you live your life is up to you. This kiddo, is the God to honest truth.

But do not, I repeat, do not ever force anything upon the way others view life, or how they wish to row their own boat.  All you can do, is offer them direction, if they feel they need it, or even better, if they come looking for it themselves, on their own.  If they wish to climb aboard your boat because they want to join your journey, then let them.

All you can really do for anyone, including yourself, is offer consistent and unconditional love and support them wholeheartedly along their journey.  If they do not need it, or do not wish for it, then let them go about their own way, merrily.  Do not try to force them in the direction in which you want them to go.  And just move along with your own creative flow.

This my child—I will be 100% honest—is one of the hardest thing to realize when rowing through life.  So it’s imperative, you remember this, and start practicing it now, as your personality is being well put together and rounded out.

And you must understand that the reality of things is not something you convey to people, but something you create.

This is what gives birth to its meaning.

SEE FOR YOURSELF

So you’ll see, that every morning when you wake up.  You have two choices.  You can either say, “good morning God, it’s going to be the most amazing day ever, no matter what.”  Or you can say, “good God, not another day full of misery, what on earth can possibly go wrong today.” 

“You, my son, have the power and freedom to manifest the life you want, and how you wish to row through it. You’ll see for yourself, that it is entirely up to you and must be seen through your own point of view. Okay.”

“Sure Dad.  Whatever you say. But hey, so is God camouflage because I can’t see him?” 

“That’s enough questions for now kid.  And plus, we have art class in a few.”

“Heard, Dad. But I have two more questions pretty please.”  

“Shoot for the moon, kid!”

“Can we listen to my new favorite song first?  And what happens if there is a flood?

“Sure thing kiddo. And I’d be the first to guess, that we are going to need a bigger boat.”

Love,

Dad

 

 

 

         

     

Perhaps, Maybe

“So much for the past and present. The future is maybe called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future.”

I had retraced the path that had led me to the moment in which I was.  I put the record “Teaser & The Firecat” by Cat Stevens upon the turntable and set the needle to a certain song. I made myself some coffee and sat there beneath a sliver of morning light.  I watched the rest of a long-winded grey Sunday passover outside my window.  It was an April Sunday that would be rained out due to a tranquility that made it seem that everything would soon be crystal clear.

Tennessee Williams once wrote: “So much for the past and present.  The future is maybe called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future.”

Yet I must look back on the journey before I can move forward. I can only see in terms of a nebulous perhaps. But all I can perceive is in this moment I call the present, and even this moment is nothing more than what passes through me.

The clouds scurried across an afternoon moon like a flocking squadron of B-52’s, the thickets of a wild forest to the west sat on the fog like a fish-shaped paper weight, the stars seem to be reborn, one by one, like little glimmers of hope scattered about here and there…you get the idea.

Anyways, my thoughts were now attuned to the sights and sounds of a world I had yet to see to a splendid degree.  It was as if a veil had been stripped away.  I could hear things taking place miles away from where I was: the hooting song of a night owl, people shutting their windows, others talking of love, and even a baseball game. 

“What a relief,” I thought to myself.

LETTING GO OF ME

The hum of a metaphoric mental machine had vanished from me. Ditto to the thoughts left with no place to go.  Perhaps, there would be no fireworks displayed today in the fashion of a grand finale in the far off distance.  

From now on, I vowed, when my mind was exhausted, my sword seemingly broken, and the chinks in my armor rusted, I would lay myself down upon a meadow of worn out carpet and listen to the wind of my soul and let it take me where I was meant to go.  And I would follow that path, as I should follow it wherever it took me, whether that be to the bottom of the goodness left in me, or possibly further into the depths of insanity’s quarantine.  But either way, my heart and soul would find its way to where it was meant to be, probably perched somewhere upon my sleeve.

I know this brief prelude to the point of this post, will perhaps seem trivial to some of you, for there is no greater circumstance of triviality when dancing through the rain of one’s imagination.

But enough thinking. Enough of it altogether.  Instead I remember, perhaps, as to why I ever thought I was able to write. 

THE FIRST INKLING

The field was just as I remembered, the same shaved ice lime green, delicately mowed against the opposite pattern of a wilderness green, when which the two were combined, they spoke astoundingly of Spring.  The sunshine was as crisp as I can remember as I almost feel the scorching upon my skin, it was quite hot and biting for a mid April day.  I poured the peanuts into my coke and stood for the anthem.

The gentle, naked wind spoke soundlessly, as if it were slowly swinging an invisible shaft of light through the dark wheelhouse of my soul. And why was my mind racing through the darkness? Was it to allow the light, an opportunity to keep up with my fast paced imagination? Perhaps, maybe. But this was when the dream was a dream without my own applied substance.

So here I found myself between two glorious places at once, a memory and my reality, both on their way to a long lost dream.  And is there any meaning in the glory that will someday be lost, as passing glory is not true glory at all, so it’s best left to be. But this memory, it is something that passes through me in this precise moment of my reality.

A LONG LOST MEMORY

It was a sunny Spring day in April 1998, almost twenty-two years to the day.  I was in attendance of a Braves’ baseball game at Turner Field, in Atlanta, Georgia, you know the one, in which they built haphazardly for the ’96 Olympics.  It was not a long haul from where I grew up, a hundred and one miles to be exact.  It was against the Chicago Cubs, first pitch 2:10 PM.  I was a diehard Braves’ fan way back then, and I still am, thought not as rabid about the outcome as I once was. It is just a game after all, much like the creativity of writing has come to be.

But every so often, my buddy and I would drive the quick little jaunt into Atlanta to take in the sights and sounds of a game nurtured in the womb of the American Dream.  A game that spoke to the spirit of both mine and America’s personality.

Back then the Braves’ were a perennial powerhouse, year in and year out, with a pitching trifecta unlike any the game has still yet to see.  It was the rubber match of a three game series, Greg Maddux was pitted against Kerry Wood.  It was a pitching matchup for the ages.

So I sat back, finished my southern childhood snack of peanuts soaked in a coca-cola, and stretched out my soul with what I still consider the most refreshing beer I have ever tasted.  The stadium slowly filled with the leisurely approach of a Sunday afternoon, but I could hear nothing but the sound of the game slowly warming up, the leather being whipped around, the crack of wooden bats bouncing in echoes around the stadium.  It all reminded me so much of my childhood, that I felt like a kid again. It was all touching my soul in a way I had never known my soul could be touched.  That was when it all happened.

I noticed the sky sparkling in different depths of blue, the draft beer was colder than even cold knew to be, the ball strikingly white, outlined with with little red curvatures that spun in the shape of a heart if seen in the right angle of light.  Everything was so vibrant amongst the canvassing greens of Spring.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.

Then up to the plate stepped Andruw Jones, a young newcomer who had first showed up on the scene a few years prior.  The kid was a six-tooled phenom who took the league by storm in the World Series against the Yankees in ’96.  After Wood had pitched 9 straight fastballs in a 1-2-3 inning in the second half of the first frame, up came Jones to leadoff the second half of the second frame. 

On the first pitch, we all knew what was coming, and so did Jones, as he sent a high fastball into the bowels of the outfield bleachers for what would be the Braves’ only run of the game. It was a towering solo shot that the entire stadium knew was gone the second it left the bat.  The satisfying crack when the bat met the ball resounded through the stadium as well as me that one Sunday afternoon.  As the roar of applause echoed around me, I spilled half of the best tasting beer I have ever known due to the excitement that poured into parts of me, that I’m still not sure exist. Yet to this day, I consider it the best twelve bucks I’ve ever spent, as it is the most memorable beer of my life.

In that instant, for absolutely no reason at all, and based on no grounds whatsoever, it struck me unlike anything ever had.  I thought perhaps, maybe I could write after all.

BACK TO REALITY

As I lay here now, I can somewhat recall the exact sensation.  It felt as if something, like an angel disguised as a little white baseball, came down from the heavens with fluttering red wings, only to fall cleanly into my hands, minus half a beer mind you.  But I had no idea until that day, that chance could just fall into one’s grasp so easily, but that day it did.  I didn’t know then the power of chance, and perhaps, I will never know.

Whatever it was, it had taken place for a reason I have yet to fathom.  Maybe it was a revelation, or perhaps the word “epiphany” might be better suited for said situation.  All I can say is that something changed who I was that day in ways so dramatic that my perception of life was permanently altered in an instant—when Andruw Jones belted that towering, beautiful, soul-cracking home run into the left field bleachers on a perfect April day.

The Braves’ won that day due to Maddux throwing a gem of an 88-pitch shutout.  As we were about to get up and head for the exits, a flowering patch of fireworks burst onto the scene in the pattern of a perfect day amongst the backdrop of an afternoon twilight.

As I found my way back home that evening. I promptly grabbed my dusty old notebook and a fountain pen.  Smartphones weren’t a thing back then, and the computer was probably taken, which meant that the ink had to be spilled from a pen, each character, each word, each thought, had to all creatively spill away from my soul.  The sensation of creativity washed over me, writing felt so very fresh, as I saw my surroundings, so vibrant and new.

From then on I knew, I would never be the same.  I knew that each day I would have to write something, anything, whatever did not matter.  So I sat and I wrote.  And then I wrote some more. I wrote whenever I was free, perhaps in order to feel free from me.  Over the few months that followed I wrote practically and frantically about everything I could and could not see. 

And then along a came a girl in whose beauty, I saw things that went way deeper than even me.  Things a man like me should’ve never been supposed to see.  I was like a deer caught in the headlights of something more mesmerizing than even writing.  I saw poetry.  And the rest they say is history.

IN RETROSPECT

In retrospect, as I venture back from a memory into reality, it is only natural that I wasn’t able to produce anything good back then, and perhaps this is still true to this day.  Perhaps, it is a mistake to assume that someone like me who had never written anything in his life could spin the pitch of something so beautiful right off the bat into the bleachers of his wildest dreams.  And was I still swinging too hard to accomplish the impossible?

Then came the voice again, the one in which since that day in 1998 has led this pen.  And this is what it said.

Let go of trying to write with such sophistication, forget about all the little self-imposed spiritually prescribed ideas that meander through your mind on a daily basis, as they only force your thoughts into what they sometimes are not.

Write down your feelings and thoughts as they come to you, freely, and in the ways that you remember how good happiness felt, and the things you like, and especially remember those moments that touched your soul when you were exactly where you were meant to be, here with Me.

And so I wonder, as I stand from the floor from which I wasted away this lazy Sunday afternoon.  Could I rise with the winds of my soul, above all the parasitic thoughts, the accidental rhymes and phrases of so-called follow through, the mistakes of my misjudgment, the mere phenomena of my own poetic touch, the sometimes wasteful and randomly human words that spilled away in my writing, and finally be fit to maybe find my own little piece of Heaven on earth?  Or would I, could I perhaps, at the very least, hit the game winning home run that my wildest dreams were made of?

In the end, who really knows?

But perhaps, maybe.

—Ryan

 

A Fork In The Road

When it comes to forks in the road, your heart will always know the answer, not your mind.

When you return to the path that leads to the fork. Take it and it disappears as the choice lies both ahead and behind. Though both roads lead somewhere, one will take you nowhere.

To stop in the right way is to move on, to spend more of you (not to acquire anything, but to provide more.) To cling to something, to know one has it, to want to use it more, to squeeze all of the enjoyment out of it: to do this conscientiously is to really quit living altogether.

It is to stop fixing one’s attention and one’s thirst on what cannot satisfy it. Though life itself “goes on” and there is no “stopping,” life is forever content with itself, but does not know that it is so.

To leave things alone at the right time: this is the right way to “stop” and the right way to “go on ahead.”

To leave a thing alone before you have had anything to do with it (supposing that you ought to use it, maybe ought to have something to do with it) this is also stopping before you have begun. The less one wants, the more one has got. There is no need to wish for more. Use this philosophy to go on.

MOVING FORWARD

There was a time when we all wanted to make a difference in this fallen world.

It was towards the end of my adolescence when I decided to express only half of what I was feeling through the medium of writing. The reason was simple, but knowing me, one may never know the absolute reason.

This was at which point I discovered that I had turned into a person incapable of expressing more than half of what I felt. So I quit writing altogether.

Then it came again, that desire to to express myself through writing, to maybe exert some spiritual strength again through my rambled thoughts. This was three years ago almost to the day.

This time though it was different, it went deeper, a whole helluva lot deeper. Something grabbed a hold of me, it was as existential as it was ridiculous. It was a need for some kind of purpose that didn’t know the definition of mediocrity.

Was it right of me, to walk away from all that I have known in my life to seek said purpose, to walk my own path, the path in which place I haven’t a clue as to where it leads?

In the end, these are nothing more than open-ended questions that most ask themselves in order to keep life interesting.

And yet, still I continue with writing to this day, years have past, and here I am, employing my consciousness as best as I know how, with my heart on my sleeve, and always something to say, while living in a dream I mean to weave.

A CREATIVE CHOICE

A few posts ago, I had mentioned peeling back the layers of one’s self. And I spoke of the creative masks that some wear as a shield of said self.

Between writing poetry, fine tuning a novel, trying to keep up with a consistent blog, playing a patron of photography, and working as a Chef for a busy little bar and grill—I often feel like I have bit off more than I can chew.

But it is these outlets that help to keep my mind firing on all cylinders. It, being creativity, is instrumental in keeping my soul sane and my spirit unrestrained.

I’ve come to the realization that these outlets are nothing more than creative avenues that I have taken to shed the layers of who I thought I was, whom I was conditioned to be. They are all just the creative pieces that are slowly putting together the puzzle of me.

At the end of today, I’ll admit it, and tomorrow too. I have always been a hopeless romantic, through and through. And men this day and age aren’t conditioned to admit these things. All I am trying to achieve through creativity is to escape from the clutches of life’s cultured conditioning.

I have become more aware that the ends no longer justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means. Life means to carry us from unknown to unknown. Each moment filled with marvelous mysteries, and I know from where I came, but yet do I know where I am going. And this is what the creative journey has always been about.

I stare blindly with awe at the surprises that life and creativity have in store for me. It’s true though I often feel afraid all the same, but that is normal when on an unknown expedition through the deepest depths of one’s self. And yes, still I kneel and pray everyday that this may be the day that I finally learn how to get out of my own damn way.

THE TAKEOUT

I know that if I only think of the goal, I am nowhere near able to pay attention to the subtle signs that the universe shares along the way. It is just the same that if I only concentrate on the question, I will not hear the answers that have always been right here ringing within me.

This is why I must surrender myself to the great unknown of creatively weaving my own path. I cannot stop now, or else I may never know where my choice is meant to lead. And that is a “what if” I do not want to ask myself when old and grey.

WHEN THE TIME COMES TO MOVE ON, ONE MUST MOVE ON WITHOUT THE WORRY OF WHAT COMES NEXT.

Sometimes you have to wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality and we always have free choice, but how much is fate?

Is there always a fork in the road, and are there two ordained paths that are equally fateful? There are hundreds of paths that one could choose as this way or that—there’s always a chance, and it’s true that chance is the only constant.

It is to choose love with constancy and consistency more than it is anything else, and to make this choice with instinct is the only way that will lead us to the places we are meant to go. And oh, the places we will go…

WHEN IT COMES TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD, YOUR HEART ALWAYS KNOWS THE ANSWER, NOT YOUR MIND”

It is at this critical creative juncture in life, at this fork in the road of me; there is only one question:

What does love do now?

No other question carries any relevance. No other question has any meaning. No, there is never going to be any other question in your life as important to your very own soul.

I’d be the first to guess that we have to go back to where it all began, to remember why I started writing again…

—BeLove

Origins Of Love

I’m not interested in just being a lover, I’m interested in just being love.

To truly understand the origin of love and compassion means to understand the interdependence of all living beings. It means to understand that we are all part of one another.

On one hand, to know the origin of something gives one a better understanding of it.  On the other hand, ignorance to the origin of anything will give way to its inevitable abuse, and love is far from the exception. 

To know love and its origins, we must look to the book of beginnings—where it all began.  To know, that love came from eternity and will eventually make its way back to eternity. Love is a spirit and it dwells in eternity.  Before time, love was, and after time, it will still be.  Love is the same, yesterday, today, and forever too.  

It is apparent that love came into being by divine intervention.  Love fell upon our reality to fulfill a purpose.  So of course, it was left no choice but to manifest itself at that sweet blind spot of creation when it came onto the scene amidst the cosmic chaos. 

LOVE’S PURPOSE

You see everything, even all of us, on this earthly realm are here for a purpose.  If we did not have a purpose, we would not have been manifested in the eyes of divine timing.  It’s the same reason that we are not simply here just to be a living being, but are here for a more clear-cut and unique purpose. That purpose is to create love.

That is why we are here now, as a manifestation of love. Love was created for us and we were created to love. We were created from One’s certain image, and I am damn near positive that image was layered with shards of love.

The wisdom of love is within us all and it is infinite. But love has its seasons of which we must also be aware, and which is why it comes with its unique nature, outlook, demand, and gratuitous levels of graveness.

The difficult adjustments of life and love to these said seasons and their deaths are what better allow us to see love’s unconditional worth. This worth of course, makes it easier to undertake a creative activity that help love’s creation fulfill its purpose.

The misunderstanding of love and its seasons will ultimately result in its abuse. The abuse of something, such as love, impairs its purpose, and for this reason, the importance of divine intervention can never be stressed enough in every little situation.

A TIME TO LOVE

Because timing, and time itself, help to repair the purpose of healing ourselves and the landscape in which we are surrounded in the holistic sense.

Appreciating the importance of the little things that love and its celestial timing bring to the table, could be the most crucial aspect that distinguish our purpose on this earth. The nature of love operates with a remarkable sense of timing, which reveals the mystery of love’s essence.

And this essence of love is in fact, God. The sun knows when to rise and when to set, just as the birds and the bees know when to be wherever, whenever they need to be. For they see that love is not about the destination, as much as it is about its endless journey. A journey long, winding, and to be honest, often confusing as hell.

But we as human beings are essentially one with everything. And this we see in all the lovely little intricate and infinite signs that life shares with us every single day. In the nature of everything we find the essence of ourselves, every fawn, every blossom; every bird and wilting flower. These are all metaphors meant to address the nature of our soul.

METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING

These metaphors with their symbolic demeanor try to reach us by teaching us a fundamental truth of life.  That we are part of an external exchange, that we are infinite transformations of pure beauty.  They teach us that love and growth are all a part of the journey on the road to what we are meant to be.

They also tell us is that there is a season for everything.  And that seasons change and blend together. But there is a path, unaffected by these seasons that lead our mentality in every which way but loose, yet sometimes haphazardly in the direction of that what is within you, that being love.

There are times to be, and times not to be. It is how we see the world around us which teaches us that the only way to make things better, is to see things within yourself better. Then you will start to see everything else as, better. Maybe you’ll fall in love with yourself all over again. And once you look at yourself from the standpoint of your soul, you’ll become addicted to bettering you, and you’ll start to see that love is all around you.

Though love, like life, is a daunting path through the seasons of the soul, its summer, autumn, winter, and spring, or as in the desert, arid and hot, then damp and cold. But to come to understand these seasons enables us to prepare ourselves for the gardening of surprise conditions, while love grazes in the barren pastures of our hearts, with only the intent to feed the soul.

TO UNDERSTAND LOVE

Understanding that the timing of love is infinite is the springboard for finding our true purpose.

In the gardens of Psalm it says that we are all created for a purpose and we’re given an exact time to fulfill that purpose. When this time is not used for its manifested purpose, it is wasted and lost forever. What makes the issue at hand so critical is that at the end of our lives, we will all have to stand before the pearly gates and give an account of our time on earth.

But what if….?

All we can account for is what we’ve given. Because we only take with us what we give and all we can give is the sacrifice of ourselves.

Yes, we are all stewards of love, and love, much like time, does not belong to anyone, as we belong to it. As it with life, time begins when we are born and ends when we die. And though we may pass and time no longer exists, love keeps giving itself away.

But to waste time in the sense of idleness is suicidal to the creative spirit of love. Love is something that sets time and the spirit ablaze, burning it all away, as to shed a little creative light on the darkest corners of the mind.

IN CLOSING

We are all given twenty four hours in a day, with seven days, making up a week. What distinguishes love from the other things is the premium one places on their purpose and how tall they rise amongst the confusing illusion that it takes to see that the journey is never-ending.

It’s about loving life every step on the way, it’s about finding and creating inspiration in the things that feed your soul. Its about getting back to you, and finding the love that grows within you, by spreading it far and wide.

And It Spread.

In the end, our purpose and our being constitutes the very essence of love, and the only way for this purpose to truly be is to be proud of who you are, as you are love in the infinite sense of all that is considered as pure and unconditional.

The origins of love implies that you are dividing yourself between the lover and the beloved. But if you find that place inside of you that is love, you will no longer just love yourself, you will just be love.

You just have to remember who you are, and where you came from, which is what the confusing journey through the creative wild has always been about.

—BeLove


The Path To Understanding

When it comes to self-isolation and shutting the world out, things are bound to get wild.

In the beginning of his experience as a thinking being, man faced a vast unknown. Everything was unknown until it was experienced, and even then its function or, we may say, its cause and effect continued to be unknown. Man was more than able to reach a valid explanation in his own mind, or at least with own his way of thinking, upon the fact that fire was hot and water was wet. Experience validates this.

He could not, however, explain the change in the seasons of both the external nature and that of love, or the change from daylight to night. Nor could he fathom the changes that took place within himself mentally and physically as he grew through the various cycles of life.

It is as well he could not find a satisfied explanation in regard to the phenomena of nature’s wild accord, such as an unforeseen winter storm, the sonic boom of thunder, a bolt of lightning, the eclipses of both the lunar, and the solar kind, and as of now, a certain virus, let alone any of the other magnificent and novel wonders brought to you in part by mother nature and quite possibly the media.

In this sense, man once faced numerous more unknowns than man today, and still after many many moons and millenniums of existence man still lives in a universe much of which remains unable to be explained.

To many individuals the word mystical fosters images of strange and mysterious practices and ideas. When in actuality the mystical is nothing more than the meanings that lie beyond the range of ordinary knowledge. That which one cannot explain or is beyond comprehension one classifies as unprecedented.

For example, the antiquated man, who couldn’t understand where thunder and lightning came from, decided that they were actions or the result of actions demonstrated by a being which he was unable to see, a being that was beyond the range of all his physical senses.

It is an idea that may have presented one of the building blocks that caused man to develop superstition and religion. This as to assign the cause of conditions that were beyond his immediate apprehension, beyond the grasp of his environment, to the factors outside himself and outside his environment, which led to the establishment within his mind of the concept that there are celestial forces that lie beyond his ordinary range of perception.

Therefore, all that existed outside of his experience which had been accumulated by memory and in the mental misinformation that lay in the area between that of the grand insane and the great unknown, is a concept that is paramount to the beginning of mysticism.

A PROGRESSIVE PURPOSE

As man progressed in his thinking and uncovered the boundaries of the unknown into the known, he developed what we now call science. That is, man studied the phenomena with which he had to cope with and gradually dug up the answers to some of the questions that previously hadn’t been unearthed.

So the concept that mysticism has to do with strange or weird practices, a concept so very prevalent nowadays, is not without some basis. Science, as we know it today, has taken over the boundaries of much that was considered mystical in the past. What was unknown has progressed into the known and no longer hides in the shadows of doubt.

The mystic still confirms, however, that there are experiences still not completely understood. We are not able to explain the philosophical problems that occupy the mind throughout the ages, or the sweeping hysteria of fear-induced fascinations. It is in this instance though that the problems of philosophy are considered suffice enough for us to touch base on.

These problems of the philosophical offer a plethora of possibilities which often include, but are not limited to; the question of reality, the nature of God, and whether or not fate, and or purpose actually exist in the universe.

It is also on the fundamental basis that we are not able to ever truly know the meaning of life, or the whereabouts of the soul. Nor are we to figure out the perennial problems in regards to the nature of evil, and the relationship between our heart and the mind, without looking within ourselves first.

There are some out there that criticize philosophy and its purpose for never reaching a concrete conclusion. It is valid criticism, because when a final conclusion is reached, the subject has been handed over to science. The problem that is solved has been passed through the realm of speculation straight into the lab to be dealt with on a concrete basis.

This does not mean that all such problems in the arena of science have reached final solutions, but the trend often heads in that direction.

Philosophy though, leads man to a deeper understanding. The depths of this understanding then leads him to the creative experimentation of certain things. And from this experimentation he is led in the direction of accumulative laws and principles that become the basis of an inward quarantine that leads to him understanding himself.

Man will use this knowledge to the benefit of all that is positive, or to the detriment of his well being. This all depends upon which way he wishes to exert his creative energy, and how he responds to the environment in which he finds himself surrounded.

And so it is to be believed, that philosophy, man’s wild contemplation of himself and the universe is considered a prerequisite to science, has its roots firmly embedded in all that is mystical.

THE UNCERTAINTY OF THINGS

There are some phenomena which are not yet explainable through physical science, insofar as much as we know, the mystery of what comes next is left to speculation. This mystery is nothing more than a mere extract of the mystical, the invisible immensified.

Neither are these mysteries dutifully explained in present day psychology. As the realm of the reactionary human mind is less explored than the realm of the entire universe.

Thus leading us to consider our self first via isolation and then by gauging our surroundings and the underlying methods in which we see fit to survive within our own inner environment, all the while trying to explain the circumstances in which we cleverly operate and live our individual life.

To contemplate upon our purpose and our placement in the universe, we must think in terms of philosophy, not as a rigid discipline, such as mathematics, physics, or chemistry, but with an inward speculative and healthy discipline, albeit spiritual.

Many may consider this way of life as being too detached from actual day-to-day experience, too visionary, and therefore, pretentious and academic. When it is the opposite that should be seen as the popular concept. And we are all about to get a healthy dose of detaching ourselves from the conditioned routine of life.

Yet philosophy, at its core, is a reflection of your own solitary thoughts and the conclusions in which you reach. Anyone whom has considered a thought after an experience has happened, becomes a philosopher. Each individual has developed their beliefs throughout their lives, which in turn, will guide their actions on the path to their fateful purpose.

The Path Leads Within

These actions are the means that lead to certain ends of things. These beliefs and aspirations help us to chart the course through the turbulent waters of life. The process of charting the course is all about setting a new aim for ourselves, which is in itself a healthy and philosophical function.

We may come to conclude that life is a process of thinking, about both the positive and it’s negative. Man is a wild thinking animal. And the process of the way he thinks is just as important as the steps that lead him through a wildly unknown experience, as he directs much thought towards his place in the universe.

Thoughts of such wild nature lead him to his reality, his philosophy, his own way of life, and the actions he takes to get his point across while coming to discover what life really is all about.

THE TAKEOUT

In the end, man is always intrigued by what he does not understand, in our daily routine we read of events that are mysterious and unexplained. These always attract too much misinformed attention.

The report of an unknown object moving through the night sky, the report of an individual who seems to gain knowledge other than through physical perception, the reports of a sort of virus sweeping the globe with its pandemic fear—these the cynics will say, are not verified. Some will state that miracles cannot take place in a universe controlled by established laws.

Possibly the cynics are right, but also possible is the fact that there are events and conditions that do not give in to the existing limitations of human analysis. There are unforeseen forces playing in the universe which in terms of man’s advancement go, sometimes seem to have no basis for valid explanation. And yes miracles do exist if one believes in them, and all of the mysticism they have to offer.

So with that being said, live life to the fullest while being careful out there, stay healthy, always avoid unnecessary exposure to certain things, and most importantly look deep within yourself and maybe create something more beautiful than you ever imagined, like love.

It is in the way that I have long seen things, when it comes to self-isolation and shutting the world out, things are bound to get wild.

—BeLove