“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
“There’s no such thing as a perfect piece of writing or poetry for that matter. Just as there’s no such thing as perfect despair.” So said a poet friend of mine I knew back in my adolescent years. He’s no longer with us on this spun little sphere. Well not in the physical sense. I miss him, more now than I did then. He was awfully real in a forsaken world full of fake.
It wasn’t until recently that I could grasp his full meaning, but even back then I found solace in his advice—there is no such thing as writing with perfection.
All the same, I quailed whenever I sat down to write. The scope of what I could handle was just too limited. I could write all day about the elephant in the room, so to say, but when it came to the elephant’s trainer, I was prone to draw a blank. Writing needs that kind of built-in accessory of a subplot, wouldn’t you think?
I have been caught in the web of this particular writing bind for quite sometime—twenty plus years to be exact. Now color me crazy all you would like, but that is a very long time.
If one operates on the principle that everything that happens to us can be considered a learning experience, then of course life needn’t be so damned painful. That’s what they tell us, anyway. Life though, has a way of letting pain dictate the steps in which we take.
From the day since I have picked up this pen, time and time again, I have done my best to live according to that philosophy. As I result, I have been swindled and misjudged, used and abused, day in and day out. I am though, one hundred percent guilty of doing the same, if not worse, to others. I have also done my fair share of returning these favors, in my own shameful way.
And yet still, it has brought about many strange, distorted, and wonderful experiences. All sorts of people have told me their stories, some I’ve tried to figure out on my own accord. Then they left, never to return, as if I were no more than a bridge they were crawling across to get to where they were so desperate to go.
I, however, have kept my mouth sealed shut. And so these stories have stayed with me over the years until I have found myself sitting here today, walking out, not necessarily wound free, but happily, from my very own existential crisis.
The time though, has come to shake it all off and tell my story.
This doesn’t mean, by any means, that I have resolved even a single one of my problems, or that I will be somehow different when I finish. There is a very good chance I haven’t changed at all.
In the end, writing is not always an overeager step toward self-healing, it is in my opinion, an infinitesimal step, a very exploratory move in said direction of promise. But in order to get to where I am to be—with writing I must lean into honesty.
All the same, writing with the bittersweet taste of honesty is very grim. The more I start to write honest with myself and my words, the farther we may slip into darkness, but of the dark, it is true, the only way out is through.
Don’t take this as an excuse. I promise you—I’ve been telling the story as best I have known how, and this I will continue to do. But there will always be more to add to it.
A story, like life, is much like a tree. Branches grow, and branches must be cleared. They keep growing and you must keep trimming. Some will branch out farther than you could imagine, and those are sometimes better off left to grow.
I can’t help thinking with hints of confidence—if all goes well, a time may come, years or even decades from now, when I will come to discover that my self was somehow salvaged and redeemed from these articles of my life.
The elephant in the room will then return to the veldt, and it is of my hope, that I may tell the story of the world through my very own eyes with words far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
So with that being said, sit back, relax, and settle on in.
At this particular moment I must, almost in the delivery of a confession, without conviction, say that I do not consider that my birth began my original existence. Not yours. Not anyone’s.
On creative grounds, if on nothing else alone, I cannot accept the view of death taken by most everyone, and taken by myself for most of this life—on creative grounds I am therefore obligated to oppose that something so extraordinary as a human soul can be wiped away forever.
No, our dead are about us, shut off only by our metaphysical denial of them. It is as we lie nightly in our own little astral hemispheres asleep by the billions, our dead approach us in our dreams, sharing certain ideas upon the spectrum of our souls. It is possible that the dead may consider these ideas to be their nourishment.
And maybe, just maybe, it is that by seeing these ideas in our dreams come to life is all they really want in the realm of Eternity. And just like this particular idea of mine, all of our ideas could be considered as these sort of fallen leaves that maturity transforms within us as we approach the autumn of our lives.
Our souls are fields of fallen leaves that cover this life with layers of metaphor and spirituality. And there are times when we may find ourselves barren with boredom, and instead of getting creative to pass the time, we starve these ideas of our dreams with the aridity of our own doubt. We let them dry up and wither away, which yields our dead from ever harvesting the sweetness of life again, and this our dead do not like.
And for some of us, the time comes in our life that we burn a lamp upon our fields of ideas so that our dreams may set our soul ablaze. It is damn near dreadful to think of waiting for our dreams to illuminate our natural lives with all that is love and light. Especially when time has become of the essence of all that is oh so precious. So instead of think, one must light the flame in the cavern of their soul and see what shows itself.
It is by setting fire to our souls we see that the flames of divine love burn on the pyre of fervor, as our wildest dreams come to life. This is the ethereal eagerness of creative development, that burning of the mind that wipes the slate clean kind of thing.
But to take a seat and watch this short little life pass us by without looking to leave behind some kind of mark is to invite death on our way to rock bottom, only to shorten the timing of its demanding pursuit.
Don’t kid yourself though; the dead are with us, protecting us, living with us in our dreams, and within our hearts they live through us. They are always watching over us on this spun little sphere, which is our institute of freedom. In the next frontier, things are much more cosmic and clear; the kind of wide-open clarity that eats into freedom with a certain balance of bliss.
We are free on this earth because of cloudiness, because of human error, and because of marvelous contradiction of law and limitation. It is as much because of beauty and goodness as it is because of the blindness of evil. These have always gone hand and hand with freedom. Good and evil, like life and death, are two sides of a coin placed long ago in the mouth of the Departed.
If we lived only one of our days to the fullest, filled with consciousness and goodness, we would find the density of an entire lifetime in the simplicity of one day. But we have become so intricately dispersed with our distracted recreations that natural life must allow us tens of thousands of days so that we may finally come to understand…
“In every waking man, death dreams asleep.”
But there is hope for us yet, and it sleeps in the possibility to be more profound than we were long before and way beyond that of good and evil.
For now though that is all I have to say about this matter. The songbirds are rustling in the distance, the sun soon to waken. Besides, all of these thoughts about a dream of death are likely to be nothing but a waste of breath, and now the time has found me in a hurry, under such pressure—all this unfinished business.
The best thing to do with solitude is to play it cool, but today something is heating mine up.
The sky is silver and warm. There is a patch of bare aspen at the bottom of the valley. The dying limbs sing their song with the wind that can be heard even up here. I hear a machine, a bird, and a clock. The clouds bloom astronomical and cosmic. Through them the inevitable airliner passes. It’s undoubtedly full of commuters from San Francisco to Salt Lake.
What kind of commuters? This I have no need to decide. They are out of my world, way up there, sitting busy in their isolated, arbitrary lounge that doesn’t even seem to be on the move—the lounge that somehow picked them up off the earth in California to suspend them for awhile with instant coffee and timeless cocktails just to bring them back down to earth in sunny Utah. It’s mere and marvelous, the suspension of contemporary life in contemplation that delivers you somewhere.
There are other worlds high above me. Other planes pass over, with more contemplation and complex modalities of concentration.
I see the armed plane, the warship of the sky with the bomb in it. It flies lower than the rest. I look up from the wild, in the direction of the closed bay. It’s but a pewter-steeled crow pregnant with eggs of destruction below its breast. A womb easily and instinctively opened by lack of patience! I do not consider this technological beast to be related to anything I believe in. Much like everyone else, I live in the shadows of these apocalyptic cherubs.
It is more or less likely that we are being surveyed by it, on an impersonal level. Its number distinguishes my number. Are our numbers preparing at some point to correspond in the benign mind of a supercomputer? Should this concern me, though I live in the solitude of my own soul, out here in the wild, as a reminder that I am free enough to not be given a number?
This is, and there always has been, in fact, a choice.
In an age where there is so much conversation about “being yourself” I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is a very vague chance of my being anyone else. Rather it begins to seem to me that when I am too intent on “being myself” I run the risk of impersonating my own shadow.
Still I cannot pride myself on the freedom of being me, simply because I am living in my own wild. Should I come to be accused of living in the wild like John Muir, instead of living in the desert like John The Baptist, all I would be able to answer is that I choose not to live “like anyone.” Or “unlike anyone.” We all love somehow or the other and that is that. It has become a compelled necessity for me to be free to embrace the necessity of the soul of my wild, or in other words, my very own nature.
I exist under the canopy of a forest wild. I walk through the woods of myself out of necessity. I am both prisoner and escapee of my own prison. I cannot necessarily tell you why, born in Mississippi, my journey has led me to the foothills just east of Lake Tahoe in western Nevada, the perfected beautiful fusion of both desert and wilderness. I have considered going further, but it is not certainly practical. It makes no difference.
Do I have a “day?” Do I spend said “day” in a “place?” I know these trees here. I know the birds here. I know the birds in fact very well; there are precise pairs of a dozen different species chirping in the immediate surroundings of my own expanse. I share this expanse with them, forming this landscape of ecological balance. The harmony alone from this gives inspiration to the idea of “home” as a new pattern.
As to the crows, they form part of a different pattern. They are strident and self-justifying, like man. They are not two, they are many, and they are brash with vulgarity. They fight amongst each other and the other birds in a constant state of war.
There is a mental ecological expanse, too, a living balance of spirits in this corner of my wild. There is room here for so many more songs besides those of the birds. Of compassion, for instance, or hope, energy, maybe essence, or a newfound delight, or it may just be the dry confusing voice of myself, a half-assed poet with windy promise.
There is also love, whose climate is perhaps most suited for the climate in this corner of my woods, hot and humid, damn near smothering at times. It is a climate though that doesn’t warrant a need for explanation.
It is a good thing to find these feelings deep in these woods, to hear these songs in my own wild, but they also choose themselves to be here in the present in my silence. In any case, there is no lack of feelings.
Solitude is cool. It is a self-sufficient feeling of low definition in which there is little to decide, in which transactions are few and far between, if not non-existent. There are no packages to be delivered, nor do I bundle up packages and deliver them to myself. There is no intensity. There is no give and take of questions and answers, problems and solution. Only prayer. Problems begin down the hill. Over there under the waterfall at the fork in the path you will find the solutions.
Here there are woods, and wolves. Here there is no need for rose-colored glasses. “Here” does not look to warm itself up with references to “there.” It is just a “here” for which there is no “there.” Solitude is cool, calm, and collected.
Community as a whole is a fiery core. Fiery with words like “must,” “ought,” and “should.” Community is devoted to high definition projects—“making it all so clear!” The clearer it gets the more clarity must be had. It branches out. You have to keep clearing out the branches. The more branches you clear out the more branches grow. For each one you cut, back grow four or five more. On the end of each branch is a big bright-eyed and bushytailed question mark.
People are running all around with branches of meaning everywhere. Each to their own is very concerned and anxious to know whether all of the others have received the latest message. Has someone else received a message that he has not received? Will they be able to pass it on to him? Will he understand it when passed on? Will it be necessary to argue about it? Will he be expected to clear his throat and stand up and say, “Well the way I look at it is my…. way?”
The best thing to do with solitude is to play it cool, but today something is heating mine up. They keep thinking that you have a unique message. When they find out you haven’t…Well, that’s up to their interpretation and worry. Not mine. I’ve got my own war to win inside.
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.
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written in his works.
All roads lead to the heart of a man; where he plunges unhesitatingly into the rivers of passion that flow through his life. He swims with madness in stride, but love forever at his side.
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written in his works.
When one dips into the madness of himself, he has only two options. He can either tiptoe upon the edge of insanity as long as he wants, forever wondering how deep his depth really goes, just to lose himself even more. Or if he wishes to to become one with himself, to harness this madness, he can jump from the edge of his cultured conditioning into the dark caverns of his heart and soul. This is by societal standards, also considered crazy and insane.
Though by way of a mathematical apparition that skirts the fringes of an analogy, a negative multiplied by a negative always equals a positive. This in theory is a fact. And it is finally that after all the time spent in the adolescence of an standardized algebraic equinox, I have found a way to use it in the daily routine of a word spun mind. Is it not the little things that make us whisper Hallelujah to ourselves?
It’s with a fine fury and frequent fanatics that by making the leap into the great unknown of myself. I allow my mind the best opportunity to get to the bottom of my heart, my soul, and that of me. Those eighteen inches from the head to the heart, is a dark path, but with enough light left in the tank of the heart, love shines and keeps the engine purring with purpose.
TAKE The Leap
The industry and application of spilling my heart and soul through the medium of writing, poetry, or any other sort of artistic application has proven to both churn and calm the amplifying currents of my psyche. It is after all, by the writing of these words that hum from the timbre of my soul—I find the only place where I’ve known to resonate whole.
Some may call these thoughts and obsessive inspiration of my mind—madness—and some may call them beautiful. I for one, consider them my sanctuary of sanity.
Some see me as crazy, some see me as strange, and there are those who may see something genuine. But at the root of it all, it’s the nature of all that is wild. It’s a little feral and a whole lot of real. And nowadays it seems that the only thing real in this world is borderline bat-shit crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve flown the coop, bound away, butt-naked, clothes fluttering in the loose seams behind me, blazing the trail of my mental stability. Running off and away into the windy wilds of life, much like a primitive man would.
No, I know I’ve always been a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but I’m more than capable of foraging the fruits of wisdom from the seeds planted within this wilderness of me. The seeds by those I have loved and those who have loved me and those I’m learning to love with all of my heart. This is how I feed my own hunger for healing. Is it not in our roots, wherein lies our strength?
It is true that sometimes it feels like this journey up the mountain of my mind, and through the forests of my wild is nothing more than a metaphoric saunter through the dark night of depression and the bright lights of my soul.
Is writing my way of healing? My way of escaping the clutches of a mid-life crisis? I’m starting to believe that yes, it is. So with these sneaking suspicions of mine, it is of my chivalrous concern to turn the circumstance of my creative crisis in the right direction.
TELL THE TRUTH
It is when we search our soul via creativity, we come to see all things within ourselves through an inner eye. We begin to see that failure is fleeting, unless we give up, then failure grabs hold of the foundation of our lives. Success doesn’t give up. This is true no matter if others agree. The elastic youth of our souls have never been held to the shapes of constraint, and failure is a constraining shape only to the ego.
The judicial altitudes of earthly judgment do not have the true ability to rise to the astral heights from which we fell. It is through creativity, and it alone, that allows us to saunter through the landscape of our very own cosmic totality. To see the truth of the cosmic and divine law. And that truth is the exact same as the very last word we hope to feel before we die, and that feeling is love.
All of my life I have often took to the hankering of all sorts of mischief, the mischief of walking through life at my own pace, whether it be riddled with anxiousness or more geared in a sauntered stride of ease. I’ve always been one to look for things I can’t find, whether it either be my car keys, my mind, or the ability to understand something I’ve yet to learn, which could very well be unconditional love. I’ve always done things my own fumbling sort of way. I have questioned every damned thing, mostly myself and my own ridiculous thought pattern. And my style of writing through pain with healing in tow is no different.
EMBRACE YOUR PASSION
It is my god given right to choose my desires, my path, what it is that hurts me, which is proving to be myself and my expectations. It is up to me to choose the decisions that lead me in the direction towards courage, healing, detachment, and—sometimes—a touch of madness. And it is my god given gift to create however and whatever I may please.
It is important to embrace our passions and enjoy them with intensity. But there is not a need to renounce the pleasure and pain that comes with our passion; both are simply a part of life and should amplify the emotions to all who took part in them upon the landscape of our time.
We must not lose sight that the spirit of all “things” were always built to last, but is ourselves that get in the way. Nor, should we forget the bonding of lost souls that have been forged by the divine fiery parcel in the short time we’ve been on this earth.
Remembering this is more important than we realize. The small synchronicities throughout life teach us more than any textbook ever will, and this is only achieved in the awareness of the lesson that creativeness helps us to learn about ourselves. And I am learning this by writing with love and the truth.
While there is no greater priority than the truth, writing is also a spiritual discipline that is akin to all other prioritizing qualities of creation. It involves both the production of beauty and the beautification of the soul. As with other forms of art, writing involves a form of essence. The form is material: this paper, this pen, this table, my physical posture, my current state of mind, and so forth. There is a certain quality to the very act of writing, a quality becoming more lost in the age of twittering and emojis.
It is my wish to hold fast to the lost art and to the reverence of writing. This wish is related to balancing the influence of my wild nature and the pace of human thinking.
The truth of writing, both as an act and a product of this act, involves a harmonious blend of love, purpose and beauty. One cannot reduce words to the tasteless function of mere vehicles of thought. Words and their placement have to engage our sense of beauty, harmony, music, and the love inside each and every one of us.
THE NATURE OF BEAUTY
This beauty is nowhere more accessible to a writer than within his own creative nature and through nature itself. Nature distills this essence that is the fragrance that emanates from the divine parcel, otherwise known as the heart; and it is of certainty that the catalyst for writing, is none other than the peaceful landscape within us that we see as beautiful. It is a landscape that carries with it the gentleness of green slopes that cascade into a lake in the sky, with a promise of a peak shadowed by the horizon of Heaven above.
The reverence of writing is akin to the loving landscape that leads to all metaphysical and spiritual summits. The routine connection of the writer with nature in the broad sense, is no more the source of inspiration as it is to the chivalrous actions of a romantic poet.
In the end, writing with love forms an integral context that brings balance and shape to our souls, and to the truth of who we really are, and maybe, just maybe to all hearts it will make a difference. I’d guess to put it plain and simple, we were all written with love a long, long time ago, by the Those above, and that is the Truth.
So no, I am not crazy, very far from it. I’m just getting comfortable.
My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life.
When someone goes searching for something, they don’t allow themselves the time to see what they have found. To search means to have a goal.
To find something means to let it be free, to be wild, when you find it. When searching—the goal is all our eyes set themselves upon—unable to see anything else, let alone allow a liberating thought into the mind. The suffocating grip of expectation clutches at our well-being and we lack the ability to see what we truly want without any clarity.
When I started writing again, I was searching for meaning in life. I didn’t feel like I had anything of clout to leave behind. So I searched.
Now that I look back, meaning was all around me. I just wasn’t looking at it right. Writing was my way of harnessing madness and the self-imposed crises that I stared down in the mirror of myself everyday—and my way of somehow weaving them into a form of inspiration. I thought that maybe I had the ability to turn my life around by volunteering my own self towards the universal dream, and that it would trickle down amongst the rest of you.
But above all else I picked up the pen again to leave my child with a piece of me, a bit of my wisdom, in case if I ever found the Pearly Gates a little earlier than He or I had planned. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could turn things towards a more promising direction for future generations, because in my self-assessment of the shit that surrounded me, I thought the future was doomed.
I searched nonstop, high, low, and in every nook and cranny for any clue as to what happened to love, where did love go astray?
How could its flames be relit with a passion unlike anything the world had seen. Was unconditional love just a pipe dream? Why was love left to mere ashes, while man fanned the flames with hate.
Both spread like wildfire, so who was the arsonist responsible for the fire of hate set upon love’s wilderness? Somebody is always responsible right? No, my perception was.
And all the while my soul was wandering elsewhere, far and away, it wandered on and on invisibly and wanted nothing to do with my life, yet my ego was thriving. You see love and goodness has always surrounded me. It is only human of me to sometimes focus on the negative instead.
In that never-ending search for my soul, I got lost, very lost. I was looking with inelasticity through myself, as well as all that I saw. I was looking too hard at the extremities of my surroundings, instead of looking into the depths of me. I was looking at the edge of the inner me from those outside, and it made me question my worth. So I went to work.
I was seemingly eager to take the pilgrimage into my own self but never eager to get down and dirty with what I might find. Instead, I would often drown what I found in a bottle of whisky and flush whatever goodness I did find, down the drain of disbelief. I have done it more often than not since I once spoke of the Zen In Zest.
As this whole derogatory approach to my dream has taken an inconsistent shape, it is shaking itself dry, with one line at a time. I still see the dream, and now I know the approach in which I must take.
The other day I took my son to one of the places my heart calls home. It’s one of those places that you don’t get to see everyday but when you do get to see it there is a quaint feeling that touches your heart. It has an effect that ripples through the soul for an eternity.
It’s the river on which I learned to fly fish, which was more rambling about from rock to rock with my head in the clouds, fly stuck in the trees kind of fishing, very similar to someone’s personality you’re growing to know.
That was years ago though, and it was those same years ago that the very wound which still burns within was indeed smote upon the banks of this river. We will not talk about that wound just yet. This story is about healing not suffering.
As we came to the river, I felt something. It washed over my entire being—the hair upon my arms stood alert with chill bumps, or it is possible they were simply being industrious as progressing towards the sunshine. After scaling the surroundings much in the same way a wolf protects its pack, I saw no signs of impending danger. And I allowed the boy to run as wild as he wished, while for words, I fished.
I sat down upon the banks of that river and stopped listening to myself and allowed the river to overtake my reflection with it. My senses became sharp with the subtle swelling of green, the summer surrounded us, the clarity of the water with its granules of sand lingering between my toes pushed my thoughts to memories I have carried around since my childhood.
I remember the happiness I felt as a child after spinning in the sun all day upon the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. I remember my mother’s beautiful smile, my little sister and the bewilderment of her first time seeing the ocean. I remember the painted airbrush aroma that filled all those little whimsical beachfront markets. I remembered the bright lights and endless echoes of childlike joy from an amusement park once called Miracle Strip.
Everything in this moment of my mind was so gentle, pure, clean, and most important it was real.
SILENCE THE MIND
We were by that river for so long that time must have stopped. I rested with folded hands, while listening and watching him explore his new surroundings without searching for anything particular.
I started to see things in a way I never thought possible. I started to understand through his eyes, that he was teaching me more than I could ever teach him. He didn’t set himself upon any goal, at least not that I am aware of, he was just living in a moment of pure freedom. I saw the simplicity in the valiant wild of his finesse; he was grasping his wild and I must admit I gently wept. As I pulled it together, I started to pray.
I prayed for those that I love dearly, and those that I know are in pain, and those whose hearts are filled with hatred, division and fear. I prayed for him and his future. Then I moved on to myself and as I was wishing for some kind of sign, a burning of the bush, so to speak. Then I prayed for forgiveness, that forgiveness was for myself and from those I’ve hurt in my life.
It was then it came again—that sensation. It was reverberating; my soul had become a conductor of infinite proportions, as a current of electricity sent shockwaves through my entire body. Everything tingled from my head to my toes and my mind—it mingled. It floated away with the timeless stream of the river.
Everything was silent, except for the river. The once swiftness and churning of a rushing river had moseyed into a babbling brook. My senses were reeling with the aromatics of a summer’s day, the scent of a blooming wildflower, the purity of gentle stream flowing so clean, and the heat of the sun all coming together, with the finesse of a refined awareness.
The wound inside slowly started to blossom, my soul was ripening with the realization, or the knowledge, as to what wisdom was in all of its practicality. Had I reached the goal of what seemed to be a never-ending search?
You see wisdom is nothing but an eager finesse of the soul, a gift, a secret art to think gently in every moment while living life to the fullest—it is the experience of oneness, to be able to feel love for its divinity and not attachment. And for the first time in awhile, I began to breathe with cohesion.
And then it happened, a memory of pleasantry began to fill my heart with delight and as a tear trickled down my cheek, my mind had officially surrendered to my heart. This tear told me all I needed to know, after all a tear, means that love still lingers.
As something wise was blossoming from that wound deep within me, I opened up an eye and there was the boy within inches of my face staring, smiling at me, like he knew that I was waking up with inner harmony, grasping at the knowledge of eternal love of enlightenment.
As I came to, he looked at me with eyes that I seem to have known my entire life, my own. And out of nowhere he said, “Dad, I love you, but you don’t need to look anymore, you know what to do because its right in front of you.”
In the blink of a teary eye I no longer wanted to give it up, and by the grace of God my child had just shown me the Way.
A warrior does not give up what he loves, 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 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. But 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 belief, 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, which motivates.
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, they require awareness, valor, discipline, and 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.
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 a 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,
balance being extremely important, as we will discuss later on as we stumble
down this road.
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, or they can 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 our own beliefs,
we begin to recognize the lies that cause our own suffering. To challenge our own beliefs requires courage
because it is a means to the end of the illusion of safety. A warrior learns not to defend what we
believe, but to challenge those very beliefs ourselves. It is in this way that we 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.
The warrior must commit to self-love. They can then extend that love amongst others, as well as humanity. Self-commitment is required because along the journey we are certain to fall many times. It is with strong commitment that the warrior gets back up again. 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.
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.
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 pretty damn dark. But it is true; there is a light of faith 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. I do know it is borderline
brutal to be an open book in a world that barely reads anymore. But writing allows my soul to saunter with creative
experience and not wither 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.
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 or stare it down and give everything that you have got 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 is worth something, as long as he can manage to stay out of his own damn way.
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.
When a man makes up a story for his child, he becomes a father and a child together, listening.
It is of hope to me that some would come to discover that the most impenetrable landscape, that the most unusual adventures are the ones seen and experienced from within.
Clearly creativity springs from something that rises, rolls, surges, and spills into us rather than from something that just stands there hoping that we might, however circuitously, find our way to it. In this sense we never “lose” our creativity. It is always there, filling us or else colliding with whatever obstacles are placed in its path. If it finds no inlet to us, it backs up, gathers energy, and pushes forward until it breaks through. The only way we can muster its insistent energy is to spin it in a positive way as to continuously mount barriers against it, this is so it can be diverted away from the channels that are poisoned by the destructiveness of negativity and negligence.
If we are gasping for creative energy; if we have trouble holding onto the imaginative, the morality of our own creation; if we struggle to focus on our personal vision, acting on it, or following through with it, then something has gone wrong at the spring of the source, between the headwaters and the tributary. Perhaps one’s creative waters are flowing through a polluted environment, whereas the pollywogs of imagination are killed off before they can grow into maturity. But more so than not, if creativity is bereft of constant flow, sometimes you have to let it build, like a pile of driftwood gathering from a Spring runoff, holding its own, until it’s time had to come to break the damn levee…
My mind may have well gone ahead and volunteered for any one of the dozen marathons going on this time of year. It was moving constant and in all directions. These marathon states, how should I describe their phenomena? In a marathon state I infinitely lack something, my heart swells to the point of sickness, it feels like a tearing eagerness ripping at the fabric of my being. This two and a half, “going on twenty” year journey into the creative depths of myself has bled through a lot of things that spill from the core of me.
The sentient part of my soul often wishes to express itself in ways most are not accustomed to. There are some symptoms of an overdose of caffeinated emotion. Or it could be that these butterflies intermingled with a heavy heart and lightheadedness were just some subtle vibrational twitches in the direction of all things synchronistic and full of surprise. I have at times had sense of being the instrument of a higher power. I often feel that I’m either being used as an example of human error or as a mere shadow of the suitable things to come. Which in the sense of excitement and deliberate expectation, was pushing me closer to the edge.
I was not so completely unrealistic that I failed to ask myself whether by a sensible person I meant myself. It was evident I had become one of those proud sensitive kind of gentlemen who liked to give so much trouble because I have been adorned with this passion for such internal matters that seem of slight interest to any so-called sensible person.
As I found my way swimmingly to the edge of the bank, I gathered my things with what little bit of wit I had left. My smile went wide with the framework of contentment. I had fallen under the influence of all things speculative and metaphysical. It was time to approach the premises of universal eagerness, asserting that the appearance of mankind on this earth as a whole, was a good thing, a little bit more immature and held to a lower lack of accountability then generations passed, but nonetheless curable in the esoteric sense.
I was starting to become keen again, to the peculiarity of things, within the depths of which certain secular tendencies often touched on “not” telling the truth. It’s these thoughts that sent my mind into frenzy nowadays, with their accelerating rhythms and paradisiacal philosophical deliriums that provoked the explosion of layers of an unknown consciousness deep within me. It was my hope that by reducing the strength of these outlying forces, that I might not run through the fire, perpetually on the edge of chaos before throwing myself into the depths of the river, all the while panting with joy and amazement.
I was becoming altruistic in the realm of all that is romantic in a short period of time, this writing, somehow had it’s hand in the digging of the depths in the trenches where which I often dove headfirst. I often think that the sickness in my heart somehow spread into a sort of high-strung emotional poetic disorder. This is how I sometimes felt, and still do from time to time. Too often I am washed over with a sense of being, poisoned by an eagerness, and a congestion of tender impulses finessed with fever, spun with all of it’s enthusiastic dizziness. Love did after all bring out my deepest peculiarities.
It’s not to be considered a bad thing at all; I’d be one to guess that it belongs to the nature of this path that leads to my own sort of inner salvation. And so it is that owing to my eagerness, I began to connect breathing with joy again, and owing to the gloom of sickness, I looked to connect that joy with light, and owing to the absurdity of my own thoughts, I allied the light that shone upon the walls around me with the light that burned inside me.
I had materialized myself as one of those Hallelujah and Glory types. Furthermore concluding that man, this one in particular, is nothing but a continent of creative divide. One minute you are creating this, the next that. Though it belongs to those who are sensible, they are the ones who look to offer their personal experiences as a helpful lesson to the rest, hoping to energize the hearts and minds of others and do right by them—an intensive sort of public relations project. And for those who share no sensibility, or offer no empathy, let them be as they may. They will wake up sooner or later.
There are times when I see all of these thoughts of mine with copious amounts of idealism spread about. But there are other times when to me, all I see is pure external delirium, a toxic entity of animosity spreading far and wide, burning the fields of indigenous love, and sucking God’s Muse dry of Her very own blood. With everyone so sold on gold and the so-called good, it has become much easier to bat an eye at evil while we tuck it into bed for the night. But it is a certain gold that greed seeks, and there is certain honey hued Inner gold that builds and spills from within.
Some will only understand this once they themselves are sufficiently stripped of their hodgepodge of ideas, considering little by little the blandness of ordinary conversations, that are often too careful to avoid the essential subjects, such as the purpose of life, and the path to the other side. Instead some are left to measure just how dull it can be to waste time playing solitaire when going up against the stacked deck of subversion.
Though it is of hope to me that some would come to discover that the most impenetrable landscape, that the most unusual adventures are the ones seen and experienced from within, where beauty blossoms with the ordinary, where each moment can be richly unique, where the splendor of honey-filled joy is found where it’s least expected, if only one knows at which angle to capture the light, which in my opinion, is an angle that bends from within. Maybe they would finally realize that once they reached the Stairs that leads to door of the Inner Kingdom, they would see that everything else is barren poverty.
I have grown exhausted of everyone looking at everything with a negligent set of eyes. In my refusal to participate in the decline, I no longer wanted to be one to trample millenniums of wisdom, or to accept the reign of cynicism and the establishment of barbaric beliefs. Nor would I any longer find comfort in being an accomplice to the establishment of greedy manmade ideologies, all of which spread one way or another with the idea of repressing consciousness, all the while converging on the excessive accumulation of possessions. I had to find myself hidden in the midst of them all. I finally came to understand that with this undertaking, in spite of its discretion, very well could capture a collapse better than anything else. So off to set the foundation of an Inner Church I went, as it is so to speak, I took to the canvas of God.
We’d all be much better off, if we all went to work on ourselves, as much as we go to work just to live. As I get in the car to drive to work, this river, this valley, it swells subtle with summer and new beginnings. Life was being drawn in the grass with the glowing green of growth. As one last thought runs through my mind, I find it unfortunate that we have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart the atom, but we have been standardized with this fear of looking inwards at ourselves because we have grown customary to the belief that this is where all of our contradictions will flow together within the confluence of the inner river. But it is only if ourselves, would allow the decongestion of our ability to choose the ethical choice between what is right and what is wrong, we would find that free will ain’t so bad after all.
In closing, man is an ever-flowing river of creativity until the very last breath he draws. There are no limits set by this eclectic and electrified universe upon man’s cosmic totality, or his multiplication power. Each man sets his own limitations in accordance with his desires. He may Be a tiny stream which gathers little energy and carries a weak current or he may be roaring river, with the weight of eleven hundred and eleven cubic feet flowing through him at all times. This is true of all the energy borrowed from the universe by all of us. It is there in infinite quantity. The gauge for the kind of flow each of us have within us is set by ourselves.