The Good Fight

Instead of casting blame and hate, let’s cast shadows of our hands in figurines of hearts on all the walls that were meant to be broken down for the revolution of love.

My animated imagination may not neccesarily be relied upon for certain guidance here today. I am too excited, I must admit, by these currents of joy. I feel the need to laugh rising, mounting, which has always been a sign of my weakness for the extraordinary. My creative blood has a hankering for high stimuli, absurdities and extremes. Yes be aware, my soul is awakened.

Sometimes I am ashamed at the way that I have come to trust the light in my own darkness more than the light radiated by others. How have I come to be so captured by this kind of neurotic creativity? All of these pictures and words with their rhyme like sentences; they have me wrapped around this little pen. Lest we forget about this lens and through writing! Though I do not mind it, it keeps me on my toes.

The light that shines in this darkness from within myself is nothing more than a sacred glow that spills from the solar plexus. It’s true that I have, too often, found it nourishing and liberating to fathom what a fiend I am beneath all this business that has to do with biological cells and creative contemplation, which is more than likely, only divine in appearance and upon the surface, but oh so lit up and infinite below.

Over the past few years, the incubation of these words has become an exchange between my heart and soul. Writing these words is nothing more than a thread that has woven my head with that of my heart, by way of my soul.

Now I must struggle with the contradiction that I have to live with, in appearing before you with what I deem a disguise, because I hardly ever wear both my heart and my mind on my sleeve like this in my day-to-day routine. What I typically wear are a pair of chef pants and a tee shirt.

Which brings me to a few questions that folks have recently been asking me to great extent?  Whom do you represent?  Which religion do you embody?  Which political party do you represent?  My response is often the same, which is does it really matter? 

All in all, these aren’t difficult questions to answer, because at the end of the day, I represent me. I choose to represent love in all arenas of life. I choose to believe in the moral good of society, as a whole and that alone should grant you the knowledge as to what side of the fence I lean on. I could come with the notion of perhaps speaking on the grounds of a starving artist. Even though I may not seem like one.

In speaking for artists I really am speaking for a very eccentric kind of person, a marginal personal, because the starving artist in this modern world is no longer an established person with an established place in society. Most of society realizes with keen sense today that the artist stands outside the boundaries of establishment. But is anyone really established, and if so, under what pretext?

We are marginal people who withdraw deliberately from the margins of society with a purpose that pertains to expanding the essence of human experience. From the consequence as being one of these “strange” people, I speak to you as a self-appointed representative on the periphery of people who have done this sort of thing with or without consideration of consequence.

Thus I now find myself representing the artists, perhaps the hippies, the so-called liberals, and perhaps even the poets among you. And let us be honest, all the term liberal stands for nowadays, is a more politically charged way of calling someone a hippy. More on the freedom and liberation of things down the road.

But we are the people, regardless of what anyone says, who are seeking in all different directions the way to a better day, and who have no established absolute status in this confused world whatsoever. So yes, maybe in an underhanded philosophical way, I speak for everyone, including you.

So instead of casting blame and hate, let’s cast shadows of our hands in figurines of hearts on all the walls that were meant to be broken down for the revolution of love. Because in the end, love will save us all.

And now I must ask you to do me a favor of considering me not as a figure representing any certain institution, but as an insignificant person who comes to the table now asking for nothing but your charitable patience while I say one or two things that has nothing to do with where my head was headed when I started writing today. If you are interested, then good, it is here for you to read. But there is probably a whole mess of other things you’d be better wise to spend your time doing.

Are we as hippies, artists, and poets relevant? No, we are deliberately irrelevant. We live in the shadows of an ingrained irrelevance that is appropriate to every human being. The marginal man accepts the basic irrelevance of the human condition, an irrelevance that is manifested by the reality of death.

The marginal person, the artist, the poet, the displaced person, the prisoner, every last one of us lives in the presence of death, which will eventually make us call into question, the meaning of life.

We struggle with the fact that death will one day happen to us, so we instead seek something deeper than death, and the purpose of the artist, the marginal person, or the poet is to go beyond death even in this short-lived life. And it is the purpose of “we the people” to go beyond the opposition within, and amongst that of ourselves, including life and death, and to be, therefore a first-hand witness to that of the light of love and life.

And now here we are moments from morning, the birds start to sing. The bells begin to ring, and in the distance, the whistle of a train sings. I stand up without much thought. The light creeping through the curtain could not have come at a better time. I adjust my mentality to grab the thoughts from a box I wrapped in prayer beside my bed last night.

There is a freshness to this morning I haven’t felt in a long time. My mind is finally cleansed.

It’s time we fight the good fight.  

—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

Finding Finesse

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.

STAY INSPIRED

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.

LOOK WITHIN

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 WAY

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.

GOOD VIBRATIONS

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.

TIME HEALS

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.

Getting Lost. Finding Finesse

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.

-BeLove

Illuminating Light

Into the woods I go, to sharpen my soul and make myself whole.

I must speak with clarity that I write these words as a person who has lately experienced light. I am not speaking in particular about “the light.” It is a kind of light-in-the-being, which in all honesty, is a difficult thing to be precise when pinpointing its genesis. This is especially pointed out with precision in the pace of today, where so many erroneous, silly delusive actions and phenomena litter the landscape of a simple life.  But it is you the reader that should consider it as something highly spiritual passing through.  It is I, the author, whom considers it to be God.   

This light though, however it comes to be explained, is now a real element of who I am, like the breath of life in itself. I have experienced it once before, and it has lasted long enough to convince me of an altogether unreasonable amount of joy.  And it is once I felt the light for all it is was worth, that it has since become second nature to me. But if the light vanishes, a man will spend the rest of his time on this earth seeking the light.  

As the man looks all around, he starts to see “the light” in all things.  It will begin to shine everywhere he looks, in conversations with strangers, in the glow of an afternoon rainstorm—it seems to illuminate most everything that gives rhythm to his creative storytelling soul.  So now allow me to add a little light as to why I will forever write.

The semantics of poetry and storytelling run the same course as the language of dreams.  In the light of both contemporary and ancient dreams over the years, and as well as the sacred texts and works of such mystics as Rumi, Homer, and Merton and the work of poets such as Dickinson, Whitman, Pessoa, and so on. There appears to be within the soul, a poetic and artistic function that surfaces when a person spontaneously or purposely ventures towards the instinctual core of the soul. 

The Wilderness Within

This place in the soul is where dreams, stories, poetry, and art all meet.  It establishes itself as the enigmatic environment in the instinctual and wild nature within, or as I like to call it, the wilderness within us all.  In contemporaneous dreams and poetry, in the old folktales and scribes of the mystics, the entire atmosphere of the soul is understood as having a life of its own, or the world to itself.  It is most often symbolized in poetry, painting, music, and dreams—as one of the vast elements such as the burgeoning depths of an alpine lake so blue, the windowpanes of a sunlit sky, the windblown dust of earth, or a flickering flame, forever kept trimmed and burning with His oil.  

Into the woods I go, to sharpen my soul and find myself whole.

From the core—mystical matters and notions rise up through the person who experiences “being-touched-by-the-light.”  From there the person may engage the audience by talking about the edge.  But you must know that this edge has forever been a metaphor for the edge of my soul.  The fear of straddling this edge, the jumping from cliffs, it was all within the well of me.  Myself, diving headfirst into the once shallow waters of me.  It was about finding out how deep I was willing to go.  And the following is how I have come to find myself whole.    

It is then, when the creative mind becomes exhausted from the hauling of its own fleeting ideas and matters born of ego, he will carry this ideological and egotistical weight to said edge of himself and throw every last ounce of it from the cliffs of his conditional being.  The rightful sensibility in this is that his creative capabilities will be returned glowing infused with God, or washed with the soul’s remarkable psychic sense of life.  Either way, this carries a seismic effect within, a sort of profound and sudden awakening, and a channeling of the senses that revolutionizes the mood with a heart of heroism.  

When one is renewed, his overall mood changes.  When one’s mood is changed, one’s heart is changed. This is why the language of dreams, images, and the poetry that arise from the soul are so important.  In combination, they have the power to change one thing into another in a way that is so testing and torturous to accomplish by our will alone. And in the sense of sensibility within all of this, the core Self, the instinctual and wild Self, the authentic Self, finds itself whole, as both healer and life-bringer. Now, if you would all be so kind as to allow me to? Allow me to leave you with the direction I seem to be heading.

Whenever a story or fairytale is told, it becomes night.  No matter the dwelling, no matter the time, no matter the season, the telling of tales causes a star laden sky and a sun-reflected moon to rise from underneath the eaves of reality and hover over the imagination of the captive audience.  Sometimes by the end of the tale, the dwelling is filled with daybreak, other times shards of stars are left behind, and sometimes even a storm-ridden sky will turn to sunshine.  

But whatever it is that is left behind, it is the abundance that the creative has to work with, and he shall forever try and use this abundance to show all souls the way towards His light.  But for now I must get some rest. Sleep tight. 

“For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.”

Romans 11:29

-BeLove

Adjusting The Sails

You may not end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where He meant for you to be.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

-William A. Ward

Life will always find a tailwind when creating something out of thin air.  In the mere reflection of life we require a creative and graceful wind—a special sort of fidelity with our inner nature that moves us in the direction of God.  Life requires stability too. It demands a maturity of the creative gusto of our soul, which is not easily met in the constant adjustments of direction about the long and perilous journey through the sea of life.  This life seems to result from the very least—in the experience of the artistic experiments that our creative soul has been quietly dreaming up to live amongst Him in the Kingdom of better days.  

God’s Will

To reflect upon life with transparency, we must look towards God. We must keep the mind quiet. All the while allowing calmness and purity to at once become the well-kept condition of our being and the consequence of His vision for us as individuals.  It is up to us to adjust the sails, and to allow His wind to carry us wherever He intends.  This to me is the truth of life—the everlasting hope that breathes with each gust of life’s wind.  It is the reason why I believe He created us; to create Him in our own creative way.

The Tree Of Life

All a man should seek, other than God and his true self, is an opportunity to work his heart out through heightened work—to express the sensibility of his soul and to declare the lovely feelings of his time.  He should seek to discover deeper purpose in his own creative meaning, as well as, the truths of the nature that both surround and entangle him.

He must use with confidence all of the delightful opportunities with his time on this earth—that God has so graciously given to him. It is most important to reflect upon ourselves in the creative sense, and to listen with the wind for the clandestine sounds of love and truth that He created deep within us all, long ago.

On Writing 

This writing began, in all reality as just a covert operation on my lifelong doubt in God and myself—the longing, the swelling heart, the raging eagerness of feeling deserted, and the painful keenness of an infinite and unidentified need for some purpose higher than this fallen world can offer.

Before I started to write again, I felt my imagination was headed for the shallow waters of mediocrity. And I wasn’t happy with my creativity drowning in the stagnant puddles of life.  Why did my imagination have to give up its full and free connection to the universe, is it not a living garment of God?

Finesse Found

I guess at the midway point of my life it comes to this. That as a creative individual I have often sought ways to prove what’s in my heart—the love, the poetic hunger for purpose, the swelling excitement over her unparalleled beauty—for which there are no acceptable terms of knowledge, just wisdom. Is it not the creative mind that is better off with hints, as opposed to extensive knowledge?  But in the end we need not apply for the right to love in this world, we just do it because it is what God has intended for us all along. 

When one writes his way through a spiritual awakening, it is bound to get a little too deep in spiritual schisms. The enigmatic engine will burn a little hot and sporadic from time to time.  As one exorcises both the evil and the good from within him he will find numerous darkened paths up the mountain of his mind, and it is often as one approaches the off-beaten paths of his thoughts he will find himself betwixt and between, the sanctuary of beauty and the asylum of madness.

But just before he chooses between the paths, by God, the wind He blows it something fierce, and his ship gets turned around, away from the storms of himself.  A smooth seam of glasslike water shows itself upon this sea of life, and he must adjust the sails for what he hopes is the sanctuary of His will.  So as we sail towards the shore of big news, please allow me a moment to reflect on this creative written venture.  

The shores of bliss.

On Overthinking

Let us not forget, that I had been a complete idiot until I started this blog and a partial idiot after that.  So that being said, I will always be something of an idiot.  I have overthought and rambled my way through my mind at my own pace and in all kinds of directions in search of something. It does happen to turn out that something was God. That’s where this path always led if you all haven’t yet noticed?  It has become more than obvious that this sharing of my thoughts was just an extended errand for the sake of my soul.

It is true when I said that I believe this blog has been my own way of working myself through an existential crisis.  My peculiar tendencies to get to the bottom of my purpose in life and to myself are of mine and God’s genuine demeanor, and I think these words alone can verify that.  If they can actually guarantee a damn thing, I suppose is up to me.

My thoughts even now, they sit here simmering. Still, at some point they must come to a full boil. As my very fingers rehearse these written words, how would my mind work the notes of my imagination’s trumpet, when it was ready to blow alas?  Would the peals of written brass be heard beyond this earth?  Would Christ, the faculty savior of my imagination’s truth be roused, and may we together look with awakened eyes upon the true beauty of Heaven on earth?  

I have always thought of thoughts as real constituents of being.  So now with all of my being I must drop anchor upon the shores of home. As I look back at this sea of words, this venture of my bared soul that has shown the chaos, the beauty and all else in between the storms of my mind—I regret none of it. But comes a time for a man to walk in the direction towards his known purpose for a quick minute. 

Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you, for there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.

-Christ  

Living The Dream

Last week I was offered and have accepted what I have long considered a dream job.  And until I find my full stride along the new path in my career, my time is going to be precious.  I am going to play Executive Chef for this quaint but busy little bistro-style bar and grill along the shores of the closest place I know to be bliss, that being Lake Tahoe.  I have longed to get back to “painting” plates and creating dishes that grow from the garden of my soul. It’s going to be more than hectic enough all summer to occupy most of my mind. Which let us all be honest here, it is what this mind of mine needs. 

My new home away from home.

 The outdoor barbecues, the granules of sand tormenting sunburnt children with bliss, the beach with its perfect seventy five degree sunny days, the drive and motivation to be proud of collective success, is all that I need at this point in my life.  The sunsets and sunrises, my buddy picking me up from work on the boat, it’s all quite the blessing. The Man Upstairs has a beautiful plan and I’ll even be able to afford Him the favor back by frequenting an early service of Church on Sunday mornings.

This summer will be beautifully orchestrated chaos, but I am better at harnessing the chaos of a kitchen, and all its moving parts, than I am at constructing the chaos of my own mind.  Plus, the creativity and responsibility that comes with this job, gives me a sense of purpose I haven’t felt since my son was born. Whom by the way turns five today. Happy birthday big rig. For Heaven’s sake they grow up so fast. Here’s to your day filled with creativity and cupcakes. He is a Pisces kid through and through.

Happy Birthday Kiddo. The reason why I strive to be who I am to be.

The Takeout 

The dream hasn’t changed, but He has changed the course of the wind, and I must adjust the sails towards the direction of a different dream.  I feel that there is still a purpose to my writing, there always will be when speaking of Him and His love.  

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9

But it is but for a bit, that this all has to be put on the back-burner of reality.  It seems to be His will for now, and I am no longer one to fight against that.  We need not forget though, that where there are multiple outlets of creativity, the mind’s ability to create becomes lest congested. So in order to right this ship long lost in a sea of words, I must set the sails in the direction of the good fight, for myself and of course, love and His will.

In Closing

In order to build a recipe out of words it is imperative to string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way, and seem innocently unaware that they are absurd.  This has become the basis of American art.  And if my position is correct, another feature is the slurring and stumbling of the point.  A third feature is the placement of a well-traveled remark with the transparency of not knowing it, as if one were thinking out loud.  The fourth and final is indeed the pause…

—BeLove

That way you give the audience the time to divine that a surprise is intended;) 

The wicked flee though no one pursues (Prov. 28:1). That being said, I’ll be back sooner than I am able.

Dirty Laundry

The point of writing my name to you is that I see who you are, you see who I am…and that’s what it’s about.

Here is but a post that is two years overdue, call it an extended bio if you choose.  And it is true, today marks the second anniversary of the beginning of this little creative outpost.  The point of writing my name to you is that I see who you are, you see who I am…and that’s what it’s about.

My name is Ryan Love. I am 41 years young. My nickname is Buddy out west and Bubba back home, hence the Be. Home being the hidden, paradoxical beauty of Alabama. I now live just down a mountain pass from the majestic splendor of Lake Tahoe in beautiful Carson Valley, Nevada.  I moved out West sixteen years ago today as well.  

A loving and God-fearing family raised me.  My mother, bless her soul, with her ability to harness all of our shit, mainly mine, still amazes me.   Though my siblings are significantly younger, we have managed to stay close, even with the age difference and me being so far away from home.

My beautiful family just outside of Yellowstone.

I am a single dad to a four-year-old son walking away from a collapsed marriage that I had a strong hand in tearing down. Now I am finding my purpose through God.  I am learning how to live alone with Him half the week, the other half I am trying to be the best father to him that I can be. 

I was once considered an alcoholic—I for one may not have been, but then again that’s what I perceive from within. I was always one to skirt the idea of moderation, and that is in itself a glaring sign of alcoholism. As I stand today, without staggering, I have almost learned how to master my self-control, ‘tis but the season though, for loneliness to creep up on the right thing to do.  

Nowadays I am a Chef in the casino industry, so temptation does flirt with me on a nightly basis, and it is quite the task shaking myself loose from it on those Friday nights when the adrenaline drip is more or less at a steady stream. But the beast within has found purpose and unity with God especially when he gets to push around this pen.  And it is true that once I let the wolf in, he has become my greatest teacher.  

I first realized that I had a knack for writing when I was in Journalism back in high school—many, many moons ago. I covered the sports beat for the high school paper because I was a bit of a jock and I could spell, which back in those days didn’t always go hand in hand.  But then I started to dabble with illegal substances and my dream of making it to the big leagues of life and baseball fell apart.  As much as I said no to drugs, they never listened.  So let me be a lesson, don’t do drugs.  

When not working, my hobbies include writing, reading, snowboarding, exploring God in the wilderness around me, photography, fly-fishing, and creating memories and art with my child.

The weight of the world on my shoulders.

I have questioned authority at every crossroad in my life. I have always said that I knew the rules but the rules did not know me. This sometimes breathes true even today. I have those who have egged me on, and of course myself.  One could say my friends and I were nothing but a bunch of heathens, such is adolescence I guess. But we have a bond between us that will last a lifetime and maybe more.  A bond that will never be broken.  

I tried my hand at college, but much to no avail because I was too smart for school. Oh good ole fashioned hindsight. It’s worth the mention that I do not regret a damn thing, well maybe one or two things, but that’s neither here nor there. The memories that haven’t faded are still as precious to me as the moment they were created.

Then I fell head over heels in love with a girl. Sure I’d been through the ringer with cherry-popping puppy loves, but this one touched my soul. Next came the heartbreak and the words they rained like poetic tears from the depths of my being. These words were not very well situated in the lyrical sense, still debatable whether they are nowadays. Nonetheless, my soul had finally come to the center stage of me. Then it vanished for a long time, the beast, my ego came front and center, with no intent on feeding the soul. 

Opening up my soul. 

In the midst of my efforts of dealing with heartbreak, higher learning, hallucinogenics, and a Pink Floyd obsession, I started writing in the sense of reality. I fell in love with the Beat Generation: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, and di Prima.  They were all so transcendental and unique, with all of the philosophical and Zen undertones it was hard to not fall in love with them. Then I read “On The Road” by Kerouac and my soul fell sick with the travel bug. I traveled far and wide looking for a home away from home.  

At this stage in my life I considered myself agnostic. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, as much as I didn’t want to believe one way or another, sort of like taking the high road. And I really to this day do not know why. Sure I had a sturdy moral compass that would fall out of whack from time to time, but for some reason my ego thought intellect was more reasonable than God.  More on this down the road.

The Fountain Of Youth. Lake Tahoe. Surrounded by little hints of Heaven.


Then came my second taste of spiritual awakening, or maybe it was a crisis, maybe both are one in the same. Who knows? It was in 2008. I took some classes at the local community college, and finally got around to reading “Heart Of Darkness” and I became consumed with the elements of good and evil within man. I couldn’t stop writing.  My writing evolved at a rapid rate this time around.  Something was opening up within me. 

From here I turned to an infatuation with the Donner Party, so much so that I wrote a screenplay about it. The chaos, the demons of hunger, the capability of what man would do to survive blew my mind wide open. The events that surrounded that winter of 1847, made my mind move in directions it never had, what if we were living in Hell?

This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.

As soon as my soul would bark back, the beast would only tighten his grip, choking the life out of my softness. Then I gave up my passion of writing because my head was swelling instead of moving in linear directions. The beast couldn’t handle it without the soul, and didn’t feel the need to collaborate.  And I was still questioning God and his antics. From there I put down the pen and decided to focus on my career as a Chef, being a Chef feeds the ego.

Then came 2016, my child was two and a half. God had very much proved his existence through the eyes of my child.  But I became sick at the hate that was dividing our blessed country in half. And yes I sort of blamed God.  This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.

The reason why I will never give up on Love or my dreams.

I could no longer stand pat within the herds of ignorance and mediocrity. I felt that maybe my way with words could plant seeds that would bloom into hope and salvation, something that made love seem not so distraught and grow into something more beautiful than the world had ever seen.  After all what a man sees in the world, he carries in his heart.

Then came a vessel out of nowhere that showed me the true light of God’s work. This vessel gave flight to a new me, and readjusted my system of beliefs. I felt a creative spark that I had never knew existed. Sure being a Chef came with avenues upon avenues of creative effort, from managing different personalities, to creating specials, to setting the standards for the simplicity of a kitchen’s flow. But something was different with this creative spark from writing, to photography; my soul had found its home within the walls of creative gusto.

Always looking for God’s light through the lens of all things.

I have come to find it humbling that the wilderness within the eighteen inches from my head to my heart is the purpose of my journey in life. And I am humbled that you all still listen.  And I have learned that I am much happier talking to myself, rather than listening to myself.  Try it.  It works.

 

 It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker.


Now here I am still fighting my inner demons, trying my damndest to keep the beast on a leash, hoping to mind my head, and surrender my heart to the power of God’s Love, and just maybe the consistency of me watering my own seed through prayer and devotion will breathe consistent with my purpose while these words with their rooted message of hope, love, and faith for all mankind shall forever spring from the bottom of my heart.  And now every day I awake by acknowledging my dependence for God above and my need for His mercy. 

Recently I was saved at my family church back home, but I still have a long and winding path ahead. It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker.  And the reason why I feel this way is as follows.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say, “I am here because of you, your sin, your curse, your debt, your death, I am here for you.  Nothing in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross.  We all have self-inflated views of ourselves, especially in the self-righteous state, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” If anything speaks the truth it starts with minding your head.

One more thing you may not have known about me. This band Widespread Panic, they are very much a part of me, I have traveled all corners of this land to see them, I have made friends of a lifetime through the most hospitable scene behind a traveling circus of music.  And even though panic is the one thing that is widespread in this world, it is an honest tune with a lingering lead that has taken me this far, and will always leave me wondering. 

This is a story of me. And who knows maybe you may come to find out a little about yourself as I find me.  

Godspeed.

-BeLove

An Open Door

If you listen to what’s inside you will find what it is your soul delights.

Where love lives

the heart it gathers.

Gathered by a door

that’s never locked

opened to heaven

where it sits within.

 

Though time we suffer

through its refrain

of constant pain

falling like sleeves of rain.

 

So you must stay close

beside that door.

For the key is you

and the time is now

to know that you

are as true

as you always knew.

 

No need in asking

if it’s true?

You are the chosen few.

 

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead

open that door.

BeLove © 2018