Depths Of Discovery

Without leaving himself, one grows with the vastness of the cosmic scope within; and yet: the farther one goes, the less he knows.

“Backwards and downwards,” the laughter and then the deep breaths, for long durations there had been nothing else. These were the only pieces of me left intact, or that I was able to find in my animated demeanor.

I sometimes felt like a memory of three words, carried by a broken down glory on the back of an empty pack of cigarettes. But it sufficed. The experience of life has been both essential and delightful in regards to the growth of me.

Over in the corner, on the fringe of awareness, the light still lingers; and in a flash of two memories colliding, my sensitivity to the light has somehow improved. 

In the beginning brightness had been all over the place and everywhere the same. It was a shining spectrum of silence, boundless but uniform. Essentially, it was without flaw, still indeterminate. And yet, while It remains all that It has forever been, it was as though the gentleness of bliss had been limited by the interpretation of an activity.

Poetry. 

The first time I finagled with the rhythm of rhyme, I felt like my soul was bouncing all over the place. Funny enough, it was when I first stepped off a plane in Colorado with the deepest cut by my side some twenty years ago. It’s true—every movement in genuine love is poetic, if not hallucinoginec.

This is how I behaved over the next few years. I was determined to stabilize myself from this exercise in spiritual growth and self-recollection from the grip of an adolescent lesson layered with love and loss, all the while doing it with a smile. I felt that the aim of poetry would saturate the deserted depths of my arid soul, only to revive the active connection between my self and the divine powers that Be. I felt that it helped to heal. I realized that it was, as it is that follows.

Poetry is an activity that is at the same time a pattern, a kind of living lattice of discovery; universal, infinitely complex, and exquisitely delicate.  A vast web of knots and divergences, of parallels and spirals, of intricate figures and their curiously distorted projections—all shining, active, and most importantly alive.

It was from then on, that first written poem, that I wanted to drape the world in the radiance of poetry, but I didn’t have enough material, nor the confidence to boot. My first attempt ended somewhere back in my twenties between my head and my heart. Sure poetry was lovely and generous, with its fields of gold. Still its goodness was the sort of goodness society had long considered out of date, so I gave it all up.

Besides, the radiance I wanted to deal in was an antiquated kind and in short supply throughout this shallow world. What I needed was a newfound radiance altogether, something a little more gorgeous and chivalrous that wouldn’t allow my imagination the time to pine away in the darkness of me. My imagination had to assert itself so that the art manifested the inner powers of my own nature, that which is love.

Without leaving himself, one grows with the vastness of the cosmic scope within; and yet: the farther one goes, the less he knows.

Then I found it again, that need for poetry, out west, a few years ago, this time it hit pretty close to home.

Does poetry have the power to pick you up in California and land you in sunny Salt Lake City a few hours later? Could it validate the distance between ourselves, and that, which lies ahead of us? Some think it has no such power. And nowadays public interest only grew wherever power did.

In the days of old, poetry was a force to be reckoned with. The poet had real romantic strength in the material world. Of course, the material was different then. Souls were still being wrapped in the fabric of divine magic, right up until the Industrial age slithered its greed around the heart and soul of mankind.

The romantic poets of society’s influence have always done what they were expected to do, they sprinkle beauty amongst the chaos, only to eventually give in to the pursuit. They chase ruin and death harder than they chase women. They set their talent ablaze, followed by a mental decline just before they reach home, and they dive headfirst down a slippery slope that slides upon a watery grave.

No, society is proud of its dead poets. Most everyone takes tremendous satisfaction in the poet’s self-taught testimony that reality is too tough, too big, too damn much; too awfully rigid with an expectation that bounces off the emotional checks and balances of a soul.

It is often thought that to be a poet is a school thing, a skirt thing, a church thing. The weakness of an unhinged spiritual prowess was proved in the childishness, madness, drunkenness, and despair of such marvelous martyrs.

So poets are loved, but loved because they just can’t make it here in the real world. We exist to loosen the grip on the feelings of experience by unraveling the tangled knots of life. We justify the cynicism of the hard-hearted men who say, “If I weren’t such a corrupt, unemotional piece of work, I couldn’t get through these times either. Look at these good, tenderhearted men, the best of us. The poor bastards perished by their own weakness, crazy sons of bitches.”

All the same, the desire of a poet will at times intersect at the corner of contradiction within himself. Maybe it’s an urge to be magical and cosmically expressive, shadowed articulate; to be able to approximate anything. Maybe it’s to be wise, philosophical, to find that common ground between the beauty of words, spirituality, love, and science, to prove that the animated emotions of the spiritual imagination are just as potent as any well-oiled war machine. Maybe it’s to believe in an ability to free and bless humankind with an unconditional love that spills from the light in the sky above.

But all the same, there in the shadows of his drive and desire, hides an inkling of expectation to be famous, and in this expectation of fame, there always hides a muse, a woman, there was always a woman behind the scenes.

Of course, it always came down to women. Freud himself believed that fame was pursued for the sake of the women. But the women were pursuing something else.

Everyone of us, both man and woman alike, are always looking for the real thing after being had and had by all the phonies. So we pray for the real thing and we rejoice when the real thing comes along. That’s why the world will always romanticize its love for poets. This is the bittersweet truth of poetry.

“Upwards and forwards,” I say silent to myself shadowed by a sudden glorified onslaught of distant laughter.

Once more a few lit fragments of self fall back to me—the same as they always were, but in some way associated, this time, with a particular light in the bright lattice of an intricate relationship, located somewhere in between what is right and what is wrong in the middle of me. It situates itself approximately on one of those little infinite nodes of intersecting alignment that shines from the core of all souls. I believe we can all agree from where in which I believe this light shines.

This pattern of intersection projects itself from another pattern, and within the other pattern I find another, larger fragment of me—a long lost memoir as a boy, scrambling out of the puddles of an adolescent ditch, wet and muddy to my knees in childlike poetry.  I shout at the shadow of a man above, “jump you chicken shit, just jump.” And as the shadow jumps, I hear a faint howl echo with laughter.

An indeterminable voice within my immediate surroundings introduces itself as gentle as possible to my contemplative state, startling both me, and my thought process awake.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated and fasten your seatbelts, flight attendants please see that all tray tables are folded forward and seat backs are in the upright position, and that all overhead baggage is put away and bins are secure. We are clear for takeoff.”

Yes, it is true that a poet cannot perform societal open heart surgery, nor can he heave a bird of pewter steel thirty thousand feet in the air at seven hundred and seventy seven miles per hour, only to land soft, gentle and safe in good ole sunny Utah.

But he can damn sure die trying.

—BeLove

A Little Light

Writing is, in effect, the act of validating the distance between us and the things surrounding us.

It was early in the morning, on a day long past, when I finally pushed away from self-doubt and started fighting with lead and words against this paper again. That morning I was triggered by a memory of something an old friend said to me some time ago. Like some refrigerated light of inspiration flickering in the dark, and as a shiver ran up my spine, I somehow managed to remember his advice word for word.

He said, “Writing is, in effect, the act of validating the distance between us and the things surrounding us. What we need is not necessarily sympathy, but more along the lines of a measuring stick.”

It was that morning I began scanning the world around me with measured intensity. This was almost three years ago. It was the year this so-called creative crisis began—three years spent abandoning one thing after another, all because of the elephant in the room.

Like a train plowing full steam ahead upon a burnt out bridge, I started casting out the freight, then the benches, then finally the poor old conductor, getting rid of the weight of everything while taking on nothing substantial at all.

Was this the right way? How and the hell I am supposed to know! Sure life is more or less abrasive like this, maybe more heroic, but I tend to get anxious when I envision what it will be like to be old and facing the task that waits beyond this life.

I mean, what may be left of me after they bury, or better yet, cremate my old and withering corpse? Either a box of bones I become, or not even a chard of bone. Maybe it is just specks of dust I am to be?

My friend used to say, “People with dark hearts have dark dreams.  Those whose hearts are darker, don’t know how to dream at all.”

The day I heard he had committed suicide, the first thing I did was look to the sun splattered sky and I closed my eyes. It hit me in that moment as I prayed; all the dreams he’d spoke of and saw in his sleep for thirty some odd years had vanished into thin air. Without a sound—poof—they were gone like an afternoon rain on some midsummer’s pavement. Why had he given up on his dreams and himself? Were his dreams still floating around, lost in the ethereal sense? I think so.

I have one last little thing to say about writing, before I walk deeper into my own wildest dream.

I find the act of writing very excruciating. I can go a whole month without coughing up a few beautiful words, or I go on a spree and write four nights and five days straight, only to realize that the whole purpose missed the mark.

All at the same time though, I adore the tenderness of writing, maybe more than I should. Scribbling poetic meaning to the inconsistencies in this life is a piece of cake compared to actually living it.

I think if I remember correctly, I was in my late teens when I discovered the delight of writing by way of poetry. In the sense of completeness, it blew my mind wide open. I barely spoke to anyone for weeks. If I could just keep my amusing thoughts about me, I felt, I could convince the whole damn world to fall in love with love again, while digging up and discarding intact systems of standards, and maybe even revise the movement of time.

Unfortunately for me, it took me twenty years to see that this was indeed, all the more me, deceiving me. Had I really let my emotions control and fool me for so damn long?

When at last, in recent days, I gathered something from the weight upon my shoulders. I took a blank notebook and drew a line smack dab down the middle of the page; then I listed all that I had gained from this standard on the left-hand side and all that I had lost on the right.

It turned out that I had lost so much more—things long abandoned, trampled under foot, sacrificed, betrayed—I had to turn the page to write them all down, even then, I ran out of empty space.   The only word found written on the left hand side was also written amongst the lost on the right hand side, with the simplicity of, “Me.”  And that in it self doesn’t sound as simple as it really is. 

There is a gulf that separates what we attempt to perceive from what we are actually able to perceive. It is so deep that it can never be measured, no matter how long our measuring stick is. But when in doubt, one must either shorten or lengthen the stick however they see fit.

What I can put down on this paper is nothing more than a list. It’s nowhere yet near a novel or even literature, nor is it necessarily art. It is just a notebook with a line drawn down the middle of it. Though it may contain suggestions of something moral, if you look hard enough.

But if it’s art or literature you’re interested in, I suggest you look to the Renaissance period, or that of the ancient Greeks. Pure art exists only in slave-owning societies. The romantics of old had slaves to till the fields, prepare their lunches and row their boats while they lay amongst sun-stamped atriums, composing poetry while being besieged by geometrical theories. At least that’s what they say art is.

I am starting to lean in to the belief that art and creativity are just us giving ourselves away to the slavery of our own soul. Which is not, by any means a terrible thing.

But if you’re the sort of person who raids the refrigerators of silent kitchens looking for something to snack on, or even just a little light in the dark, at three o’clock in the morning, then you can only write as appropriately as is seen fit.

That’s who I am and who I aim to be, just as soon as We can get control of this damned old train.

—BeLove

Branching Out

“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.

It’s time this story begins.

—BeLove

Written With Love

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.

If you take anything from this post, let it be this image.

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.

THE TAKEOUT

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.

-BeLove

Be Wilderness

Above all else, guard your heart, for all that you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4 : 23

Over the last decade, I have had this intermittent dream.  This dream has sometimes haunted me but it has mainly kept my spirit fed.  It’s one of those dreams that feel very real in the midst of my slumber.  So real, that I wake up disoriented and it takes me a few moments to establish what is real and what is make-believe.  It was only until then, and now again, upon another rendition of this dream that I’ve started to claw at the surface of it’s significance with the hope that I can pin down the purpose of its meaning through intrinsic interpretation.  The dream always begins in the same exact setting.  My actions and decisions in the depths of the dream have always been the driving force as to which direction I take to reach my destination.  A destination that is still very much up in the air, because in the dream, I never reach it.  Not that I am aware of at least.  I would like to take some time now and share the dream with you.


I come to be awakened on a mountainous boulder.  I stand upon shaky knees balanced high above an extravagant raging river flowing furious with Old Man Winter’s runoff. The morning wasn’t breaking so much, as it was infiltrating through my blurred vision.  I am entrenched in some vast and splendid wilderness.  The only sound other than the deafening silence of loneliness is the symphony of an unhinged river’s rage.  My first thought, is whether or not the trout are biting?  Where’s my fly rod?  I look all around and see that it is nowhere to be found.  “Son of a bitch,” I mumble to myself.  My head floats on a swivel as I assess my surroundings.  There is a vague plume of smoldering grayish smoke about a football field’s length from where I stand.  I assume that it’s the remnants of last night’s warming fire, or maybe it’s a burning bush.

Campfire

I am captivated at the spectacular scenery that encompasses me.  It’s the most picturesque sight I’ve ever laid my eyes on.  The morning sun is awakening from its slumber and painting the mountains purple in their majesty.  As the golden hour washes over the craggy cliffs that tower over me to the north, I think to myself what a sight for eyes sore with solitude.  There is a chilled crispness to the air that is evident with every breath I exhale.  I shiver with the essence of something similar to seismic activity rippling through the core of me.  Could this be a celestial vibration that I am on the right path?  This tricks my mind into believing that a shroud of warmth will follow in the friction of my frivolous movement.  Which it does, but only for a waning moment.

Without an inkling of warning, the radiant brilliance of sunshine is swallowed by the looming threat of a surging storm.  The wind begins to carry a swiftness behind it that nudges my stability into a stumble.  In the sense of simultaneous, I reclaim my balance and I manage to reorganize the awareness of my environment.  My complacent moment of reflection is now superseded with a sudden urge to seek some place a bit more sheltered.  I succumb to the shivering sound of silence again.  I am cold and extremely parched from thirst.  I barely gather myself and plot my escape from this elevated pedestal of uncertainty.  The only way down is a slippery slope soaked in imprecision.

Fog

I start my descent down a trail I have no familiarity with whatsoever.  The brewing storm begins to serenade the uncharted wilderness with a booming, marching thunder—sprinkled with flickering bursts of magnificent light.  A steady mix of cold rain and snow beckons from above.  My walk moves into an opportunistic sprint.  I sense a hint of fear and become scared; unaware of the conditional circumstance that awaits my lack of carefulness.  I stumble again but this time balance escapes me and I fall.  As I fall, I try and let my limbs go limp.  I do this under the instinctual cognizance that external limbs are less likely to break or snap like twigs when not constricted with fear.  In focusing upon this my head introduces itself to the hardest substance it has ever felt and I fall unconscious.  After a few moments, I come around back to my senses.  By hook or by crook, I manage to pick myself back up.  My head is screaming with a sharpening discomfort that buries healthy pleasure with an unsettling pain.

In the depths of my agony, I realize that I clumsily yet successfully maneuvered my way down the mountain.  I stagger around for a moment and slowly digest that I have no idea where I was before, let alone now.   The smoldering smoke from before is now thick and heavy—its density has consumed every bit of clarity I had left about me.  I start traipsing through the fog; I have no sense of direction.  I feel like Vertigo is just sitting back, waiting to confuse the issue more than it already is.  I walk for what seems like an eternity, feeling like I will never reach a destination.  I think to myself, am I dead?  Could this be Purgatory?

Thirst is all I can think about, what I wouldn’t do for one sip of water.  My head is still screaming at me and the smell of some metallic tinge is following me like a wafting cloud.  The genesis of exhaustion steals my strength and I decide to take a breather.  I lay down with my burdens in hand, crossed upon my heart and I close my eyes.  Thirst and warmth fill my mind but even the comforts of home can’t keep the exhaustion at bay any longer, I fall asleep.  Even with all of the misfortunes that have graced the short-lived morning I sleep like a rock.

I am startled awake by the sound of a snarling animal.  Scared, scarred and shaken, I quickly stand up—dizzy.  Sudden fear enshrouds the wooziness in my head and I make sure my presence is noisily felt.  Adrenaline alone allows my equilibrium a chance to achieve even distribution.  I can see nothing in the fog, but the snarls are now more of an echo and seem further away than I originally thought.  I gather anything I can find that will help me defend myself, nothing more than a few sticks and stones.  “Hopefully they wouldn’t break my bones,” I whispered to myself as I collected them.  “At least my sense of humor was still going strong,” I thought proudly.  With a ginger demeanor, I walk in a brisk manner towards the opposite direction of the echoing snarls.  They seem to be growing closer the further I get from them.    In the shuffling madness, I catch my breath and I start to run again.  All of the sudden, the stability of solid ground was flooded by an icy soaked, but buoyant brook of excitability.

Hallelujah, it was water.  Miraculously, I had happened upon the river again.  In a baptismal elegance I fall to my knees, submerging my aching head into the rivers depth; my hands interlock themselves into a chalice.  The river is littered with glacial silt.    I remind myself to not let gluttony get the best of me.  I allow myself enough to quench the parched feeling that had hindered me throughout this shortened pilgrimage.  I am tempted to indulge until my heart’s delight, but I know that will only be detrimental to my well being down the road of this journey.  In my ecstatic behavior of blessedness, I neglected to notice the snarls were still very much on my tail.

The Perfect Swimming Hole

The denseness of the fog was lifting itself in a tedious manner and visibility was beginning to show itself again.  The only way to safety was through this river of Doubt.  I vaguely glance upon an echelon of rocks, strung together and placed conveniently for my stride.  I take the steps one by one, slow and steady wins the race, I thought.  I turn to look for whatever it was that has been trailing me since my fall.  In the faint distance, I can finally see what has been hunting me.  I see a wolf that looked to be plotting his next move, for he is as thirsty for blood, as I was for a drink of fresh water. I have a hunch that I haven’t seen the last of him.

I continue upon the stepping-stones with ease to my stride. The river grows mighty in its wake.  The farther I follow this path into the remote midst of this river, the more vibrant and sunny everything becomes.  The air has a warming touch to it now and I was gaining strength as clarity was becoming more constant.  The steps were starting to demand longer strides and I even had to wade in the water from time to time.  Then came the next challenge.

I was walking these stones for at least a mile and still no sign of the west bank of this river I have now dubbed Doubt.  Now here I stood on the last solid rock.  The glacial silt seemed to ablate itself from Doubt.  Roughly twenty feet below me was a budding stretch of backwater; followed by another pattern of rocks that perceived a promising path.  I carefully careen myself down the last slab of solidity that I could see.  I am knee deep in Doubt now, her waters, clear and chilly.  I drink from her until my heart’s delight.  I am amazed at the pulsating autumn hues that grace the forest around me.  The bursts of orange, yellow, and red—paint the landscape with a buffering beauty.  I shiver again from the soothing sensation of vibrational purpose, and wade with bewilderment.   The reverence I have for this wilderness is deep.  As deep as the river Doubt is about to get.

Up Close Waterfall

The pattern of rocks only got further away from one another as I waded towards them.  In my carefree comportment I didn’t notice that Doubt’s waters had risen with rapidness.  I began to panic, and as it grabbed my legs, well you know?  It pulled me in.  The icy and submerging blanket of water acted like shock therapy and triggers that everlasting instinct for survival.  I notice a large piece of driftwood floating with more poise than me and push my way towards it through the vicious current with every ounce of energy I have left.   As I am within arms reach of my saving grace I shiver again; followed by the most acute pain I have ever known.  The last thing I remember resembles the immersion of drowning.

I come to be revived on a pebbly beach.  I was spooning a piece of driftwood half my size as though it was a pillow.  My head is splitting with an ache but the air is steadily warm now, almost arid.  My damp clothes are the only thing between the luxury of warmth and me.  The river Doubt had turned into a creek that was now just a trickle of murky looking sludge.  The harsh reality sinks in that I have drifted far away from where I believe I belonged.  For the lush wilderness had become a barren desert.  I take off my top layer of clothing and lay them out to dry.  I canvas my newfound surroundings and see that there is only an inkling of shade beneath a ballooning bush of sagebrush.  This shade could only be used as shelter from the scorching sun for maybe two hours a day. I look behind me and see the monumental mountain reaching for Heaven above while nothing but sagebrush and high desert for the foreseeable future ahead of me.  Hunger pangs are making themselves known now.  I scrounge for something to eat.  I find nothing but a handful of ants.  I eat them and it is true, they are crunchy and sour.  I make a fool of the pangs by chewing on some sagebrush.   The sagebrush becomes a brief but nonetheless shaded shelter from a fierce sun and its cold-blooded heat.  I take off my shirt and use it as a pillow.  The shade summons me silently to sleep.

Vision

I wake up blistered from the scorching sun.  The sun was at its daily peak burning everything that lies in its wake.  Shade was nowhere to be found.  I put my shirt on and it feels like the incendiary ants I ate earlier as a snack are stinging me.  “Karma, is an instant bitch,” I scream silently.  The pain quickly becomes unbearable as it feels like I am being broiled.  I have no choice to go back into the wilderness, but first I had to climb the monumental mountain.  The mountain of eternity seemed to rumble with agreement as rocks start to tumble down the slopes with an awaiting earnestness.  The mountain was as massive as it was intimidating.  It interrupts the rolling desert plain with an abruptness that sprawls ten thousand plus feet into the horizon, almost out of midair it seemed.

I was more ready for this climb than I believed I was.  I start singing at the top of my lungs; maybe I was hoping for one last possibility that someone might hear me, or maybe I was just a bit stir crazy,  “Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.”  I try my best at impersonating Robert Plant but I am positive I do it no justice whatsoever—I imagine the Hammer of the Gods are laughing out loud at me.  As I expected, only silence followed, still I felt a little zanier yet confident than just a few minutes before.  At least my sun-drenched sanity was still sticking around for the time being.

Moondance

“Time to go.” The voice said as clear as the afternoon was. I spun around, spinning with bewilderment.  There was no one within a day’s walk of me.  Yet the voice was shrilling with a sense of comfort.  Maybe it was the stern approach that would not allow me to take the demanding tone lightly.  Without question, I started moving with fleetness.  I proceeded to blaze my own trail up the mountainous terrain.  I must’ve gotten my underrated second wind because I covered an extensive amount of ground, in a short period of time.

Just before dusk I had to slow to a steady pace to assess my situational circumstances.  The wilderness was becoming thick and the forest was filling itself out like a puzzling maze.  Humidity filled the air and night was beginning to fall.  The dew was beginning dampen the environment with a chill that stuck to my bones.  Though the colder air acted like aloe on my scorched skin, and I welcomed its comfort.  I slowed down but kept moving at a steady pace.  My path now carried more clarity with it than I had seen so far on this everlasting journey.  My motivation was bullying me into another exhaustive state but the adrenaline wouldn’t quit pumping through my blood.  I came to a sudden stop, when I thought I heard the snarls again.  It was nothing but an insect the size of my forearm, humming a sort of wilderness lullaby. But in the distance I heard the howling of a wolf, and instead of becoming frightened, I felt security wash over me, I was no longer the only living entity within this wilderness.

I stumble upon a path.  This is another sign that I am indeed headed in the right direction.  And as I come upon a fork in the path that heads in different directions—I become surprised with the pleasantry of a sign.  For a sign, signaled hope.  The sign shared the following morsel of wisdom.   Here lies the confluence of two, once mighty rivers.  One was called Soul, the other Ego.  One must choose between the paths wisely for there may not be another opportunity for you to find your way to the Promised Land in which you seek.  I kneel and pray, the voice answers with a vibrational pulse that echoes through my entire being.  I walk towards the merging trails.  I converge my steps between the both of them and I walk with purposeful intention through the valley of the shadow of death.  I begin to bushwhack my way through my metaphoric fear and leave it behind, where it belongs.

IMG_7889

I feel a few raindrops grace my presence and notice a mountainous thunderhead forming over my head.  I do not fear this storm because I know it is all in my mind.  But as the storm begins to drop golf ball sized hail upon my head, I pray for something to shelter me from the storm.  I walk brisk down the path and as I turn a corner, much to my delight there is an old outhouse.  I fall with exhausted grace into its storm-shielding demeanor.  I am content in the solitude of this ageless four-cornered Calvary.  And I see an inscription of scripture carved upon the wall.  And just below it was an insignia of biblical times.

Arrow

He made my mouth sharp like a sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.

Isaiah 49 : 2

As I finish reading this profound scripture the walls around my head start to cave in, and I hear the shrieking laughter of a child.  Soon there followed the sweetest voice my ears have ever heard.

“Daddy, wake up.  Naptime is over.”

I scream startled waking from an afternoon snooze, dazed and confused.  He had dove  upon my chest.

Shaking with sudden comfort, he says to me, “Dad, what are we going to do now?”

“Save the world my child, at least for you, that’s what we are going to do.” saying with confidence.

“Okay, but first can we go to the river?” he asks.

“Of course we can kiddo, but after the rain stops,” I say much to his dismay.

The steady rain patters away on the roof, putting my mind at an ease it hasn’t felt in quite some time.  My vision is no longer blurred and I realize my purpose now.  The light flows from my heart to my mind will never be dimmed ever again.  It was time the dream turned to reality.

  -BeLove