The Elephant In The Room

It did occur to me however, that it might become too dangerous to continue this contemplative experiment of giving myself fully to this wild.

In a stream behind my eyelids was a long procession of the suffering, the sick screaming from their beds of torment, the homeless and starving stranded, the blasphemous drunks, all the failures with their heartbreaking cries, the dying drenched in the sweat of agony. 

I could hear them clamoring from inside of my own walls, so I let go of my power over them and allowed tenderness to take me over in successive waves.  

It was no longer only my weeping soul that left me surprised, it was all of humanity showing up in my thoughts, as the dazed and confused, “woe is me” multitude within myself disappeared into thin air.  

In this immense valley, all I could see was a chalice overflowing with mist and sunlight. The high desert sagebrush whispered in harmony with the babbling bliss of the stream surrounding me. Spring bloomed everywhere with its little bouquets of love scattered all about, and off in the distance roamed the elephant in the room.

Now that I better understood the unique aspects of each and every being, their hidden and opened wounds, how each one, in the end deserves more commiseration than blame, I began to better understand myself.

Over the course of my visits to this stream in the past few days, I have been discovering with each visit that my actions, more than words, were teaching me how the bottomless pit of human suffering deserved compassion more than indifference. 

My socially distant happy place.

I understood that one must be equally patient with everyone, including themselves, knowing that everything that had been heard—thoughts, opinions, projections, feelings—was inevitably subject to change, that brutality concealed fear, just as being aggressive covered up any weakness, and that for all of these thoughts, my own inherent contradictions had slipped out one by one, until finally making their way to the surface upon this stream of conscious.

From this height, it was no longer possible to be angry with those who took to being nasty: their nastiness was the cause and effect of their suffering.  And it is on this level I stand, not just perched upon a chair with a pen in hand, as this has always been the vision He had hoped for humanity.  

Every simple creation was moaning and this moaning was a warning to me: bliss would not be allowed as long as one human being was suffering in this life.

Sitting with my legs criss crossed under a weeping willow, I began to breathe even slower, calming myself into an even more contemplative state.  

I had barely succeeded through trial and error: some parasitical thought always managed to cross my mind at the worst possible moment, as a biting horsefly buzzed its wings about my ears.  I had to surprise the transformation of unexpected ideas, forgotten faces, and landscapes appearing from the deviations of old memories.  

Fortunately by way of consolation, I thought of a lesson Christ once taught to the disciples:  “If you practice just one-twelfth of what I have taught you, your salvation is guaranteed.”—although I had no clue as to what this one-twelfth of a fraction should be, although I have a pretty good feeling. 

Perhaps, it could be a simple dedication to the imagery of these snowy Sierra Nevada mountains, the purple hue of sage and Spring grazing upon the valley floor.  Or perhaps it is in remembering a quote that I hadn’t thought of in forever, “It is in You, You friend of the humble, that I find my only refuge.”

A CREATIVE REFUGE

But I had to escape physical refuge for the time being and so I gave up on time altogether.  At exactly high noon, the sun passed through the summit, the valley suspended in darkness: it was night in the middle of day.  The hours grew listless in this idleness.  Sparing any and all effort, every gesture stood out in the social distancing of space with the same sharpness of budding foliage against the skies of tomorrow.  Another quality of time such as this had emerged from the glaring absence of a schedule.  

With my breathing as slow as the hours and days passing on end, I slipped into the universe, repeating in mini stature, the phases of expansion and retention.  From the massive breath of silence I loomed over the futility of words.

A subtle modifying of my consciousness was taking place, the first signs of which appeared in my handwriting—I was keeping tabs on this journey—which suddenly, in itself, seemed so miniscule.

Without any resistance, I gave into myself as the angles of my personality began to round themselves out.  No longer regarding me as an intruder, the wild beast within me understood that I was no more a threat, but a confidante. 

A few grouse settled in the brush beside me, without any hesitation as to making their presence known.  And while I had yielded completely to contemplation, a family of whistle pigs dutifully whistled my direction, as the elephant roamed even closer.

At the end of the intensity of these past few weeks, I began to savor a special quality of things that signal the emergence of another recipe for reality, of a transparency, the gustation of a serenity where the soul wanders wild and endlessly. 

And in these weeks gone by, in the hazy hours where the foghorn of discouragement could have bellowed, everyday I find more comfort and renewed faith in the thoughts of the boundless inner wealth of each and every being.

It did occur to me however, that it might become too dangerous to continue this contemplative experiment of giving myself fully to this wild. My imagination, of course, made the first few attempts, risking its suggestions. Then I had to move around the over-processed feelings that someone had snuck into my isolation, and was prowling about my freedom.

It was then the mountains before me creaked and cracked, shaking the earth below my feet. I feared that a landslide of unforeseen circumstance would come hurtling down upon my state of mind.

Then came the stirring of soon-to-be insomnia, as I snacked on the last of my cookies, I wondered how I would fare—isolated in this valley so full of shadows—if ever I should have some sort of medical emergency arise.

I had drawn the story out in my head repetitively in short time, like caricatures of some spiritual conquest; the rising altitudes of the absolute replaced by the endless abyss, the raptures of bliss, of nocturnal terrors, mystical madness and mental illness, they all wrapped around me with the unraveling fabric of fear. 

Strangely enough, and yet not soon enough, the fragrance of sage and Spring refilled the emptiness of my senses.  And it seems as though through divine timing, my thoughts had refined themselves with finality.

THE SPOKEN TRUTH

In learning solitude, I have been in isolation for a long time. But to become fulfilled, man needs his creative purpose; it’s only later in life that he can withdraw to isolation, when he has the right to do so and his vocation has found solidarity.

In being taught that “nothing will come to pass until the right moment comes,” such solitary foolhardiness proves to be premature, exposing one to an upside-down life full of expectations, and for a long time I didn’t want to venture any further into my own depths for expected closure, but I had no choice in the matter.

I had, for too long, allowed my blossoming mentality to repeatedly follow the cycles of the seasons. It hasn’t been just a matter of a few years of precocious blossoming, with mentally sound flowers that blossom in the Spring, then wilted in the Fall, only to reopen the following Spring, but through the whole of my entire existence, for reasons I have yet to fathom.

However, the difference between the mind and a flower is that one starts over again from the same stem and repeats the same cycle, whereas the other, each time, departs from a rich understanding of past experience and sees that each new path is marked with the progress that came from the paths before.

But before I could truly sacrifice my ego, I had to acquire a new one, to construct and create it. I was at that creative crisis-ridden age that needed it for commencement and maybe it was the purpose of something rekindling my imaginative fire some time ago. It is why I believe I started writing again, because this commencement of change would lead to the cessation of who I was by entailing the shape and maturity of the man I am to become.

But before dying myself, I had to live in the throes of my childish self and my own creative stubbornness. I had to find a different kind of freedom. I had to see the city from a different angle, survey the landscape of life, blend in with everyone, as to eventually confront myself. Yes I did, I had to suffer and love, and just as much as to why I must, finally see this damn elephant out of the room.

—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

Free That Thought

When our thoughts and their understanding wants it, divine wisdom will flow like the wind through us.

The edge of the forest follows a row of hills in a line so straight it looks as if it has been drawn with a ruler’s perfect measure from Heaven above. Off in the distance sits something like a crumpling wad of evergreen construction paper. All I could make out of it was a vast and wild thicket of trees.

The branches shone with dullness in the sun all the way up to that point, where they disappeared into the infinite green. It seemed as though the landscape would continue like this for an eternity, or however far one was willing to go. I cannot lie, the idea excited me just as much as it did in the beginning. If this was how it was going to be, then bring it home to me.

I extinguished the negativity, stretched, and placed my eyes upon the sky.  I hadn’t looked to the sky for some time. In fact, it had been awhile since my eyes rested on anything, even me.

Not a cloud was visible in the crystalline blue sky above me. A veil of fog hovered in the silent air over the wild, as often happens in the spring, like an elusive membrane waiting patiently to be infiltrated by the endless sky above. Particles of sunshine trickled down like little drops of rain, collecting itself in a puddle, going almost unnoticed on the path before me.

In the warmth of this breeze, the light, as so often before, wavered in and out.  The air flowed synchronistic with leisure, like a flock of lovebirds flying between each and every tree.  It skimmed the forest lined slopes along the edge, crossing the path, and passing through the groves of me without so much as ruffling a leaf.  

A crow’s sharp cry cut through the gentle morning like an arrow, and disappeared over the ridge. The undulating mountainous wild ahead resembled a giant sleeping beast, cozied up with the warmth of infinity.

Suddenly I felt the sharpness of death from the pain in my feet, they were exhausted, and it was only growing worse.  

Or was it?

JUST A THOUGHT

It was then I decided to give in to the voices of my own mind speaking from within, from my own depths, and one of these voices said that there was my body, in nature, and that there was also me.  I was related to this nature through my body, but all of me was not contained to it. The same goes for said so-called pain.  It is all just a mental illusion that I am not at all contained too.  

In the mental discipline I have been practicing over the past month or so, and of which I am beginning to feel the positive effects, it is of the truth that stability and tranquility have been the practicing prerequisites in the establishment of my own peaceful thinking. 

Practicing these two things day in and day out, does allow one a promising result from will alone.  This will to better one’s way of thinking is a direct link which connects the dots of the soul to the world as-it-is.  Through practicing this mental will, the soul frees itself from the distraction of daily routine, as it delicately tunes itself to the spiritual instrument of dreams.  So please allow me a moment of fine tuning.

Thinking, the power to think and to know, is a source of freedom.  Thinking makes it obvious that spirit exists.  The physical body is a mere agent of the spirit and its mirror.  It is both an engine and a reflection of the spirit.  It is the spirit’s ingenious memorandum to itself and the spirit sees itself in my body, just as I see my own face in a looking glass.  My nerves and my illusions reflect this, much like the pain in my feet as of late.  

This earth, and all of its inhabitants are a literal mirror of thoughts, just as Heaven is a metaphysical mirror of love.  You see, in Heaven, you don’t reflect on love, you reflect it, and the tragedy with the contemporary thought is that it has forgotten how to be a mirror.

Yes it is true, we are all divine by nature, human by habit, and magnificent with glimmers as we meander towards our ultimate destination, that being death. And the habits of thinking itself is just an embodied thought, embodied by the fact of death alone.  

Death is the dark tapestry behind us that the mirror of Heaven needs in its reflection if we are to see anything through the eyes of love.  Every negative perception of an object causes a certain amount of death in us, and this darkening state is born out of death’s necessity. 

One will actually start to see the truth of this when one learns how to obtain the inward view of one’s self.  To do this, one must get out of themself and stand far off, in the contemplation of solitude and nature of our own wild. This is the only place in which genuine reflection comes.  One will then see, that death knows no mercy, and to quit worrying about every damn thing and just be.

In this life we attract the reflections of what we think. And we also attract what we judge in this life. If you worry all the time, those worries you will constantly find. If you think people are dishonest, you will attract dishonesty. If you are focused on sickness or disease, you attract more suffering. If you focus on poverty and being broke mentally, then you will gain nothing more than an endlessly empty account of the soul.

Every objective thought you hold in your consciousness becomes your cage of reality. Tune your focus upon abundance and honesty towards all, and that which you believe and see, will be. So instead try and embrace the good, embrace every little bit of love, and all the lovely and good things will come endlessly and naturally.

IN CLOSING

If there is nothing of a message in these words but some hints of egoism and its death, some illusion that my fate is being outwitted by my own self, or my own avoidance of the reality of the grave, perhaps my writing these words is not worth the trouble.  This of course, waits in the remnants of what is to be seen.  And maybe that alone is worth the trouble. 

But before we go any further, one must bear in mind the odd angles that the rays of love, faith, and light must take in order to reach a broken soul like mine, which you will find in the words I have long left behind.

It is just as well in this different perception of light, that I now understand in part, I think.  When our thoughts and their understanding wants it, divine wisdom will flow to us like the wind blows around us.

And what I mean by this, is that I have placed too much of a hidden emphasis over the years on the darkness of external things.  So now, I must deviate from said darkness, and turn my attention in the light of the right direction.  That being forward, towards the daunting mountain that looms lit ahead, and into the depths of the wild within me.

—BeLove

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

Somewhere To Be

And so it is now, this now is all there is, for in the moment is the only place we are truly meant to live.

Here I am, a sum of the parts of the man I once was, and the man I am to be. In this moment of truth, in these fragments that fall creative and free, I am still somewhat me. Though these words, sometimes construed, they are true, and they do carry me down this delightful path farther into the depths of me.

I’ve been thinking lately about the relationships that have grown on me, the ones I’ve yet to know, and those that have fallen away with time, with distance, and some with the misunderstanding of youthful exuberance, but most importantly the misunderstood parts of me. All of these relationships have played an imperative role in my life, like water saturating the roots of a tree.

I try not to confuse happiness with sadness, nor with regret. As this only confuses the issue even more. After it is all said and done, whether in his shoes, or her shoes, we all have our issues.

It is not the easiest thing to do at times, to not add to the confusion of the issues at hand. I’ll admit it. Though, I do not hold any regret that the uncertainty of things happened the way that they did, because it is the way things were meant to be.

I am more than aware and fully understand that I did have a choice in all of the matters that make up the landscape of me with these trials and tribulations so true. So I chose what I felt was needed to be felt, and I feel as though I acted as I should have acted in those moments that make up me.

And yes maybe I believe in fate a little too much. Perhaps I put too much pressure on the future, while still grasping at the purpose of my past.

It is more than likely not, or still even so, but insofar as I can tell there have been actions as small as the slightest glance of an unknown smile, the delicate laugh of an upset child, or a fleeting thought upon such an event as monumental as my very own death, they have pushed me in different directions oh so intricately. But you must see, all of these instances have placed me perfectly right here, right now, in the awareness of my very own clarity.

There was no other way to get here. This meandering, erratic, and crooked path of creativity has actually been the straightest of lines through my own mind, as I took the plunge into the creative core of me.

Take away these thousands upon thousands of somewhat organized words, thoughts I once thought of as direction, written with mistakes, sometimes poetic, even those with regret, and suddenly I am a different person with a different history, an entirely different future.

Yet to think like this takes away from said clarity. So I would have to hold it steady with the heavy load of regret because it would take away from where I am to be, that being here, in the now, and in the key of me. So instead let us not think of such things.

Still here I still stand, so very thankful for the joys and sorrows of life, because without them, it is here I might not be.

I am just as well blessed to know all of those I’ve known, and was honored to meet, some were mere acquaintances, some just passing by, and some still the best of friends, and for those I’ve yet to meet, I believe it’ll be so very sweet…

Yes it’s true, we never know what joy awaits us unless we believe that it does indeed wait for us somewhere upon shores of believing in yourself wholeheartedly. But we are only human and the sorrows of our past sometimes get the best of us all, and it becomes that much easier for us to fall. Still one must remember to smile when rising back up to stand oh so tall.

THE TAKEOUT

A man who might be full of sadness and regret, who might not give a damn, or who might, just might, remember that the future is inevitable and the past is gone. It is to realize this, wherein waits the joy that comes with not knowing what tomorrow may bring. But tomorrow does not belong anywhere if I’m not here, in this moment as we speak.

This is the meaning of my free. The freedom I have found in the creative waves of my own deep blue sea. The freedom to feel what I feel when I feel it, and to write it down on paper. To be real and stand up somewhat haphazardly yet with stability in a world where the illusion of normalcy is more often than not—awfully foggy.

Still it is my pleasure to share with you what I believe, whether or not, it’s with me you might agree, nor what you might think of me. I am me and that’s all I can be. You are free to see me however it is you please.

And now I see that every experience whether good or bad, has led me, or will lead me to where I need to be—at the very least eventually. Every single victory, every little losing streak and the simplest of mistaken identities have all led me right here to the creative edge of me.

So let us not be afraid to shake things up. And just as well, maybe jump, knowing we should not expect success, and the awakening of our wildest dreams to come to reality overnight. What is meant to be will come when the moment is right. It always does.

For the best things in life only happen when we least expect them. The universe has her ways. And everything you could ever want, or have prayed for, will come to parade before you, if you would only allow it to, without expecting it to.

So go on ahead, get lost, and maybe get lost again. Harness the wild within, and find yourself again, then again and again. Work hard, hustle harder, and don’t quit until you make yourself present with life and proud of who you are, in this now and all the more presently, where life is forever beckoning, and all the while Heaven waits patiently.

And so it is now, this now is all there is, for in the moment is the only place we are truly meant to live.

But for now if you would please excuse me, I have somewhere to be…

—BeLove

Off The Beaten Path

When the path ignites a soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches the ground, but not for long.

Most people—by which I mean most of us who grew up on the outskirts of the American Dream—grow up, get an education, find a steady job, and then after time has passed, maybe fall in love and get married.

Yet in reality I started working at the ripe old age of fifteen years old, fell in love numerous times, got married then divorced, partied like a cliché, and never managed to graduate.

In other words, the order I have chosen to live my life is well on the opposite end of normal and most, more than likely, consider crazy.

Since my adolescent years, even before surrendering my childhood to puberty, I’ve despised the idea of working a stagnant, nine-to-five, cubicle ridden job.

I mean hell, I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. I found it fitting for my personality, all winded and flown. Maybe that is why I have come to admire writing so much, because these words often carry my mind away with them, while giving flight to my soul.

In my late teens and early twenties, after I had managed to burn a few bridges with some that were close to me, as well as the local law enforcement, I was eager to find my way elsewhere, and I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see me on my way.

So after much deliberation as to what I wanted to be at the age of twenty-three, I decided to head west to try and figure it all out. I went in search of a place where I could find and be myself tried and true. I went looking for me.

It was a simple, rather happy-go-lucky sort of idea: running away from all that you know, on the prowl for a freedom that had its roots firmly embedded beneath a dream bound by a white-picketed fence with a few beautiful children running wild, all the while living a life so carefree.

But I didn’t necessarily want the security of mediocrity, or at least that was what I told myself. I found that I was at ease on the road. Something about it felt like home. I was relaxed, readily patient to find my niche, no matter what it took.

It was then that I found myself forty-two hundred miles away from my home. The first leg of the search for myself had led me to Denali, AK. I had one friend at my side, only to be surprised as I stumbled upon the lifelong kind of friends when I arrived.

Still I was sort of terrified, yet somewhat excited about having not any idea as to what my future held, or what I might find. That summer is still etched with perfection amongst the canyons of my mind. The winds of life had carried me to the place I was supposed to be. I was at home not knowing where I was going next, and it was an ecstatic feeling.

There was nowhere to go but everywhere to be, so I just kept rolling right along through life like a star shooting through the night. Little did I know though that I would soon find a place where my restless carbon dusted bones could settle down for awhile. It was soon thereafter my time in Alaska, I found my way to the place I have called home for almost eighteen years now, that being Lake Tahoe.

There was a budding counterculture vibe taking root in Tahoe back then, still is, and probably was long before I arrived. It was a vibe that vibrated deep in the depths of my magnetic soul. I felt like a cicada longing for the light of paradise in the night, I couldn’t contain myself. It was my kind of place and I didn’t want to leave.

I managed to lockdown a steady job playing Chef at a little off the beaten path ski resort, just south of Tahoe, nestled away in the beautifully serrated Sierra Nevada.

Even back then, not so long ago, at the turn of the century, a place like Lake Tahoe cost a lot less to live than it does today, though it was quite easy to exceed the cost of any given liver on any given day. Life was wild, livable and lackadaisical, always on the go just to slow it down.

But I was always broke, working like a slave on a snow farm, all so I could afford to stay comfortably alive, while wetting my whistle with the blowing winds of adrenaline, if you know what I mean? Man is quite the universally thirsty race. Always thirsting for something one doesn’t need.

Lost souls like my own were running from all corners of the country to this metaphoric fountain of youth, on the hunt for just a hint of never-ending bliss.

My newfound friends and I were hellbent and determined to live a not so ordinary life far and away from any attachment, for a life we could call our own.

Yes indeed, life was headed in the right direction of love and light. I had found my niche. Yet even still, knee deep in myself and paradise, something was missing.

I soon began to realize that no journey carries one as far unless, as it extends into the wild around us, and that is as far as it goes into the wilderness within.

Before I continue the journey, now is the time that off the beaten path these written thoughts of mine must go…

All throughout time, yet not so much as of late, man has been eagerly pursuing, ever so curious at the precise whereabouts of “Heaven on Earth.” This exact curiosity could, and should be applied to ole Christopher Columbus. When he set sail upon the ocean blue, he went looking for bliss, in search of a different kind of freedom, and by God, he found it.

While the pilgrims brought with them bits and pieces of purity, scattered about spirituality, they also brought with them violence and supremacy. Let’s be honest, Plymouth Rock stood as promised with the poise of paradise and the white man was going to call it his own at whatever cost. And to make sure to institutionalize paradise, they, of course, quickly created a bank and a university.

Still spiritual men and sacred clerics throughout history believed without knowledge—even warning those on the hunt for something else—that to be aware of a certain inner kingdom was the foundation of freedom long built in a man’s heart. And to find that freedom, man had to travel to all ends of the earth just to find himself. And just as Augustine spoke of the path, “it is not with steps, but with yearnings,” to truly find one’s self.

See the journey has always been about moving away from one’s “fallen” condition. The condition in which we are not free to be who we are to be without the need to please. You see, freedom is about the journey and not the arrival. And to finally come to understand that after all this time…

Paradise simply exists in you, the person, the self, the untethered soul, but mind you, it is the radical self in its uninhibited freedom. It’s the beast, stripped of pride, no longer weighed down by the winter clothes of ego, call it a spiritual and enlightened nakedness if you’d like.

It’s instinct unleashed. It’s the soul set free from one’s own stupendous ways. It’s a light within that rises with the sun upon the land of milk and honey. It’s an inner salvation that shivers ticklish up the spine.

Yet how I came to the realization of all of this took thousands of petty mistakes along this journey through the depths of myself. And if I may be exact, it was up until this precise moment. Better late than never one would guess.

Til the next time…

—BeLove

Wisdom’s Will

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

In what a way does this valley awake today?  At four-fifty in the morning there is not a single noise except in this sleepy head of mine—the bells ring, thoughts begin.  Outside, nothing, except perhaps the cicadas, singing songs of yin and yang. The surreptitious and ceaseless whooping of a whippoorwill begins about five-fifteen; some mornings she is not always near.  Sometimes there are two whooping together, a mile a way in the wild just west of here.  The sun will soon wake without a worry. 

The first chirps of the waking birds mark the point of that blind, sweet spot of a new day, under a dark and deep sky that is yet to fathom light, except that of the distant sparkles of Heaven.  There is a twinkling of reverence and inexpressible innocence in this moment, when Heaven in perfect silence opens its eyes.  The night sky begins to fill bright with pastels of purple and purpose. 

The birds tweet towards Heaven, not with any kind of fluent song, but with an awakening question that is their dawn, their state at that virgin point of creation.   By the sounds of their condition, they are asking if it is time for them to “be.”  He answers “yes.”  One by one they wake up.  They manifest themselves as what they are, birds, and they begin to sing.  In the present, they will be wholly themselves, and they will fly. 

In the meantime, the most delightful part of the day fast approaches.  That moment when creation thrives in its innocence and asks permission to just “be” once again, as it had to have done on the first day that ever was.

Wisdom has always sought to collect and manifest itself at that blind, sweet spot. That point of innocent creation.  

My wisdom though does not always succeed, for I have fallen into a shoving match with self-mastery and do not seek the permission of anyone.  I have too often faced these mornings with a lost and fearless purpose.  And still I am not entirely sure what that purpose is, but I am breathing, and that means there is still time.  

I know that time is what I have, to often, used as a method to dictate my own necessary terms. I suppose I was born with a inward ticker within my chest that has proven this to me from the very start.  I know what the time is and isn’t important.  I am more than in touch this morning than most days with the inward universal and divine law.  I talk to myself out loud as to what I wish to lay with the day ahead. And if necessary I must maneuver my steps with the necessary adjustments to make me meet whatever it needs.

As for the birds there is not a time that they are aware of, or I’m not aware if they are. But it is at that virgin point between darkness and light, between nonbeing and being, when they awaken.  

I tell myself the time by their waking, this from my experience of timing.  This folly though is left to my own undertaking, and not theirs.  What’s worse than said folly is that I think these birds and this rising sun are telling me something I consider to be useful, for example, it’s six o’clock in the morning. I’ve got to start getting ready for work.

So the birds awake: first the stellar jays and some that I do not know.  Later come the song filled sparrows and pacific wrens.  At last, come the doves and the crows. The waking of crows is most like the waking of myself—querulous, boisterous, fresh, and a little raw.

I listen to the silence of the wild. In the silence I hear an unspeakable secret, spoken with the sun and through the whippoorwill. Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. 

Heaven is all around us and we do not understand.  We cannot see, because with love we do not listen.  It is as wide open and free as this sun saturated valley.  

The blade of reverence is being ripped from our hands, and we do not know it.  Each and every one of us are off, “each to our job and another to their merchandise.” 

Lights on.  Clocks tick. Thermostats rise.  Ovens cook.  Cash registers cha-ching. Smartphones fill the universal radio with static. Reverence for life suffers.

“Wisdom,” cries the morning sun and the birds beacon, though we choose to ignore them.

“But should we?”

—BeLove

Lost & Found

All roads lead to the heart; where we plunge unhesitatingly into the river of passions always flowing through life.

“Just on the edge of the forest, rises a mountain, and passed this mountain lies a lake. On this lake rests a village, to the west of the village is an island. On this island sits a blissful sanctuary with endless charming bells,” spoke the lovely woman.

The boy saw she was genuinely dressed with her own eccentricities and wore a veil of light that was covering half of her face. He had never seen her around the town before.

“Have you ever visited the sanctuary?” she asked.  “Go find it. Go tell it on the mountain and tell me what you think of it?”

Captivated by the woman’s beauty, the boy climbed the mountain, and found the village by the lake. He sat down on the rocks next to the alpine lake and stared out at the horizon, but he saw only what he always saw: blue sky, sunshine, and jagged peaks.  

A bit disillusioned, he walked to the nearby fishing village and asked if anyone there knew about a hidden sanctuary with beautifully ringing bells that was once situated on an island?

“That island hasn’t been around for many, many moons, since the years that our ancestors first settled here,” said an elder fisherman. “There was an earthquake, and the island was swallowed up by the mountain under the lake. Although we can no longer see the island, we can still hear the bells from that sanctuary when the lake starts churning from a summer’s wind, and the mountain below starts moaning for air.

The boy went back to the rock by the lake and tried with everything he had to hear those bells. He spent the entire afternoon of a summer’s day there by that lake, but all he heard was the gentle sigh of the waves, the sailing wind, mixed in with buzzing bees and that of an osprey’s cry.

When night fell, he was gone from home for so long that his family came looking for him. They found him on that rock and took him home.

The following morning, he went back to the rock. He was stumped that such a striking woman misled him. He thought that if she ever returned, he would tell her that while he didn’t find the sanctuary, he heard the bells bellow with the waves from the mountain moaning beneath the lake.

Months and months had passed; the woman never returned and the boy forgot all about her. He was now convinced that he needed to discover the treasure buried deep within the submerged sanctuary. If he could ever hear those bells, he would be able to reveal the sanctuary’s whereabouts and salvage what treasure was yet to be swallowed up by the mountain underneath the lake.

He lost interest in his daily routine and even in his friends so dear. He became the laughing stock of the other children’s jokes. They would say: “He’s not like us. He prefers to sit by that lake, gazing into nothing because he’s apprehensive of competing and being beaten in our games of societal influence.”

They all went to the shore to see for themselves. There he was, legs crossed and all, staring into oblivion upon the horizon. They all laughed at his expense and left him to his own devices.

Although he still wasn’t able to hear the sanctuary singing from below with the crashing waves, the boy learned about other things.  He learned how to unlearn himself.  He began to realize that he had become so used to the waves that they were no longer a distraction.  Soon thereafter, he became habituated to the cries of the osprey, the buzzing of the bees and the wind blowing through a wilderness full of trees.  

A year had passed since his conversation with the lovely woman. The boy could now rest mindless of all the other noises and distractions, but he still could not hear the bells ringing from the hidden sanctuary.

The fishermen in the village started to come by and talk to the boy, always insisting they heard the bells daily, while offering their perceived advice on how to hone in on the hope of hearing them.

But the boy never heard them. 

It was some time later, however, the fisherman tainted their tune: “You’re wasting your life away thinking about those bells hidden in the depths of this lake. Forget about them and go back home to where you belong. Perhaps it’s only us fishermen who can hear the bells.”

Another year had passed, when the boy thought: “Perhaps those fishermen were right. Maybe I would do better to grow up and become a fishermen and come down to this rock of mine, because I have come to love it here.” As well he thought: “Perhaps it was just another myth and the sanctuary was destroyed by the quaking earth many moons ago and those bells haven’t truly rung since.

That afternoon, he decided to make his way home.

He walked down to his rock to say goodbye to the lake. He took in the scenery one last time that had surrounded him for so long. Because the bells no longer consumed him, his smile took to shape beneath the shining sun; he heard again the harmony within the buzzing bees, and the cries of the osprey blowing with the wind of a wilderness breeze. Far off in the distance, he heard childlike chatter, and he was glad to be becoming on his way towards his home, where he would resume his childish antics with his friends.

The boy was as happy as happy could be, as only a child can know, as he was grateful for being alive. He, as sure as shit assured himself, that he had not wasted his time.  He had learned the contemplation of nature and he respected it more than himself.  

Then, as he stared into the sun, with the harmony of the bees and the cries of the osprey, and as the childish voices meandered with the wind, as it blew through the forest of trees, he heard the first bell.  And then there was another.

Then they came in sprawls of rhythmic beauty, until, to his great joy, all the bells in the drowned sanctuary were ringing. 

A couple of years later, the boy returned to the village, a grown man. He returned to the rock by the lake. He was no longer consumed by finding the treasure in the sanctuary hidden beneath the lake. Perhaps the treasure had been a byproduct of his imagination after all, and he hadn’t really heard those sanctuary bells ringing, so loud and clear that one lost adolescent afternoon. He decided to sit and contemplate upon his rock as he had always done and listened for the other half of his soul.

Imagine his surprise, when behind him the acoustics of a crackling autumn’s leaf startled him.  He turned with leisure to his wonder. He saw the lovely woman who had spoken to him about the sanctuary and the bells.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I was waiting for you,” she replied.

This time the veil was lifted, and the man felt like a boy again amongst the glow of her timeless beauty, despite the passing years, she was becoming more beautiful; much like her, the light she exuded before had not faded with time.

She handed him a dusty old notebook, filled with blank pages.

“Write: A warrior of love and wisdom values a child’s eyes since they are able to glance at the world without resentment. When he wants to find out if the person beside him can be deemed worthy of his trust, he looks to see him as a child would.”

“What is a warrior of love and wisdom?”

“We both know that you know that already,” she replied with a glowing smile. “He is someone capable of comprehending the miracle of life and its rebirth, of fighting till death for something he believes in—and when hearing the bells that rang from the sanctuary within yourself, you know He is the one who set them ringing from the depths of your soul.”

He had never thought of himself as a warrior. The woman seemed to hear his thoughts. “Everyone is capable of these things. And, though no one thinks of themselves as a warrior, there inside the depths of us, we all are.

The blankness of aromatic redemption canvassed his senses, and as he fanned through the empty pages, the woman beamed again.

“Write for the warrior,” she said.

—BeLove

When a man makes up a story for his child, he becomes a father and a child together, listening.

A Wisdom Whole

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

-Aristotle

Devoid of thought—I sit with ease in this creative room.  The fountain of my mind moves with the tranquility of a winter’s brook.  From the silence comes a light, followed by a prosperous thunder that shook the fountain loose, and a stream, it flowed through an open door.  Low and behold, behind that door sat a man with the silhouette of a wolf at his side.  He observed with content and about him was a homeliness that alleviated my senses, and the words that follow are the words I spoke.

The differences of conflicting forces in this world that surround us arise with an immediacy that is evident to the senses, and not just as an ample illusion.  But as men, we become too intent on analyzing these variations—divvying them up between good and evil, and that which is essential and detrimental.  It is true that the more we analyze these variations, the deeper they become immersed in illusion.

Man will then lose sight of the deep, underlying connection of these opposites within him because he becomes obsessed with the posturing of his separateness.   It is in reality that the distinction to be made is not between this unseen force, which is good and true, as against that force which is evil and false.

Rather it is the perception of our underlying wholeness that holds the key to the locked door that leads to the truth and the goodness of You, while attachment to the superficial separation of us leads to inaccurate and ethical errors.  So let us use this key and open that door.

“to God all things that are good are just and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right.”

-Heraclitus

And in the mystic of You underneath this splendid dusk, let us speak.

You see all things as good and right, not in their separateness by which they are so falsely contrast to all else, but in their inner harmony with these so-called opposites. In the end it is man that separates all that You have “united.”

This instinct that You have placed within me, it has allowed me to see through the smoke of materialistic multiplicity, which billows from the “Fire” of unity.  This “Fire” burns from the fuel of You burning within me.

This “Fire” has blazed its way through the landscape of the old me, clearing the way for the undergrowth of a new spiritual and dynamic principle within me within You.  Is this not the hidden meaning in my dream?  The foggy smoke always wrapping around my head, leaving me lost and afraid, while the wolf—he trails close behind?

The “Fire” of You, it is the comforting warmth I have always sought.  Yet, when I came so close I ran from it because all I could smell and see was smoke and all I could sense was my fear of the hungered beast, which in turn made You and the dream seem so illusory.  And I must apologize for that.  I now see it as true that instead of running from the fear within me, I had to turn inward to face the reality of the darkness within me, to find You.

I had to come to grips with all of the clumsy slip-ups I have made in this life, with my lack of self-control—I became to compartmentalized to communicate within my own self clearly.  Yet, I have learned that I shall run in the direction of my inward ways moving forward with full control.

The “Fire” I now see it everywhere I look, and within everything I see.  It burns with divine energy, a powerful manifestation of You within me.  And now I see the power of You move through all things.  Good, bad, happy, or mad, there You are, to remind me that I am on the right path, after all I am still breathing.

This “Fire” it burns different within all souls, with its different aromatics of love and faith, like varietal perfumes that blend with the beauty of You.  This is how You move through the infinite variety of beings, as they manifest You however You choose within them.  These words that follow from Your scripted garden are the words that You have chosen to move through me beneath this beautiful twilight.

When he balanced the foundations of the earth;  I was with him forming all things and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times;  Playing in the world and my delights were to be with the children of men.

Proverbs 8 : 29-31

You are not just the “Fire” or the combination of any of the other elements for that matter.  You are the energy that works through the world by showing itself, much like a child’s endless energy. Then you seek to hide in the “nature” of all things with Your wisdom.  This wisdom isn’t so much “at work” in nature, but is rather “in play” throughout the wilderness of us all.

“Time is a child playing draughts. The power of a King is a child’s”

-Heraclitus

This reference to a child playing the game of draughts is a metaphor for the flow of Your wisdom through us.  The understanding that Your cosmic wisdom is always in a constant state of becoming and change—like a child playing in this world—and this cosmic interplay of elements in its state of constant dynamic flux is the true expression of Divine Law. The hidden harmony with its unity—is what keeps everything in balance in the midst of conflict and movement.

True wisdom must grasp upon the very movement itself, and infiltrate the thought within this dynamic harmony of Your Love moving through us.  If wisdom is one thing—it is to know the thought by which all things are steered through all things through the love of You.  It is in these beautiful and lost scripted words of Yours below that these fragmentary thoughts of mine shall complete today’s puzzle.  Let us introduce you to the Book of Wisdom.

And all such things as are hid and not foreseen, I have learned:  for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, has taught me.

For in her is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtle, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hinders, beneficent.

Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, and again subtle.

For wisdom is more active than all active things: and reaches everywhere by reason of her purity.

For she is a vapor of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.

For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God’s majesty, and the image of His goodness.

Wisdom 7 : 21-26

It is through these words that I feel the Presence of You moving through me like never before.  Wisdom—it is a metaphor that looms of woman, the nurturer of all knowledge, the Mother of all men, and the purity of all that is divine.  It is from the time Your seed is planted within the womb, and through childhood, through adolescence and now adulthood, the answer has always rested within the motherly Love that reigns in all women.

Your Presence, I feel it stronger than ever in this precise moment, as sure as these hands are shaking with vibration, they manage to merge with the redemption and divinity of Your wisdom.  I feel an attunement within me never felt before, and it feels whole.

At my side the wolf, he paces with patience, held by a leash tied to Heaven above—his whispered howl echoes through my entirety.  The moon it glows full, raindrops fall upon my soul, showing a path laden with spiritual goodness.  One that I have long aimed to ramble about.  This wilderness is about to get wild.

-BeLove