This Is All I Have To Give…

Graffital Aorta
Gold keys, to a trap door in the sky
While anger keeps me warm at night
Self exceptions, to every rule, and I keep
violating all, and it is written in granite,
“He was laughing too much.”
This is all I have to give…
Spinning windows, reappear, lifts me to the
silo and returns myself to you.
Pyramid crystals, shimmer in the sun, terrify me
isolate myself from the truth.
This is all I have to give…
Suns rise and they will set, time disappears,
I sit here, and decompose.
This depression, is growing on me, like an infection
and I am scared of every mirror I’ve been shown.
I have nothing more to offer, out of options
and I have nothing else to give!
Dead end mazes, hole in the spine, better off dead
keeps eating me alive.
From the inside, this holy war, left disassembled
torn apart…I find myself…missing you.
Your deviant hundred proof, my sacrifice.
This is all I have to give!
This is all I have to give!
Held out your hand, I took a grip, the microchip,
I’m yours to wield as your device.
I took the pieces of your broken tribe and
and put them back in line.
Pieces of puzzles, mixed and matched,
Don’t think I’ll make it out alive!
Just like a reaper, on the shoulder,
you pretender, making sure that I had died!
I took the bullet, jumped in front, just like
I was taught.
Only with my last one breath, I saw the gunman
and it was you that fired the shot!
And this is all I have to give!

I lived across the street, literally across the street from a JW educational type place for about five years in Florida and I never encountered anyone unfriendly, pushy or bat-shit. I don’t know much about their beliefs but they were good people. I don’t know. There are a lot worse things one could be into. I have some serious issues and problems with Scientology. I mean, that’s just an opinion. Personally, they don’t believe what I believe. I’m Gnostic, however.

No, you can’t control it and, from my own experiences, having no hope and nothing to hold onto, not specifically talking about religion but something on the skyline, to reach for, it is beyond desolate and bleak and lonely. I’ll tell ya a quick story, which will end up long because I don’t how to keep things simple and short.

In 1996 I was 17 years old and living outside of Bismarck, North Dakota. I had just moved from Eureka, California. I spent a lot of my most impressionable years running between Eureka and Redding. Even when I was younger, I knew I was different. I was born in the south and as I grew up, I started to notice things that didn’t make sense. I just didn’t fit into country music and churches and all of those stereotypical “southern” archetypes. I liked Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister and the Beastie Boys and The Clash, Pink Floyd and I was into nerdy stuff like reading and comic books and that wasn’t what the “Country South” was about. So, when we relocated to California, that burden of feeling repressed and stifled because I didn’t give in to that lifestyle was totally lifted. There were mountains and the ocean and snow and everything was wide open and relaxed. Hell, right before we moved, a young black man was dragged behind a truck and lynched in a tree! Fuck that place. I will never go back there.

Not too long after moving there, I had a girlfriend, a small group of diverse friends and I started playing guitar and writing songs in a punk band but what went unnoticed to me was how that freedom opened the door for indulgence and before I knew it, I was on uppers and drinking heavily every day and every night. I started skipping school. Eventually, I dropped out to pursue music but instead, drugs, alcohol and eventually a few months in a juvenile detention center later and my Mother had seen enough. It wasn’t her fault. She set rules. I broke them. She had standards. I played limbo with them. She tried to get me help. I said “fuck you”.

I wasn’t a bad kid either. I tried to spare her from my addictions and disobedience because I KNEW it would hurt her. My Grandmother had died just prior to moving and I KNEW it would hurt her too, even though she was gone. Ultimately, her death may have been the catalyst but that’s another rabbit hole for another day. I was still a pretty decent kid, still intact and in-touch with reality. I had a job. I did chores. I didn’t talk back…but…at night, I was out the door. So, she did what she thought was the right thing. She moved us to North Dakota. She wanted me to reconnect with Nature and my faith and spirit and the Dakotas are a wonderful place to do that. Absolutely beautiful landscapes and a rich indigenous heritage that much later in life would bring me full circle BACK to North Dakota. Have I told you about that yet??

But, at 17, none of that mattered. I lost everything I had by moving and to a small town that, yeah, wasn’t Southern AmeriKKKA bad but it was its own form of repression and stagnation quickly set in. I still struggled with addiction and eventually I was back on the wrong track and on Christmas Eve at about noon-ish, I was high as a kite and all by myself because the assholes I ran with in Bismarck left without me. So, all of this hopelessness and anger and pain launched a piece of particle board through a window of an office-type building that they were constructing.

And that was it. I was done. So, sitting on the frame of the window, hands bloody. I remember it was really REALLY high up. Maybe fourth or fifth floor and the wind was just gusting these massive walls of frozen air at me. I still cared, but I was done trying. Ready to descend. End it all. But the sunlight’s shimmer on the shards of glass and the ice frozen on them ignited a process. I was tucking tail and running like some bottom-dwelling invertebrate. I was running from the truth and the truth finally caught me. I began to question if this was all I had to give. Is this what I was worth? And forged in those frozen crystals of ice were oracles. Every shape was different and unique. Yet they were all connected as one. Glimmering, almost a locomotion of function. It’s all about encoding your meaning, your thoughts, your feelings into something beyond recognition.

Then…epiphany. Vision. Clarity. If I jumped, I would never learn what singularity I was connected to. Much like an Owl and its prey. The prey sees nothing in the darkness. The Owl…sees everything. I had to stop running from the darkness and start learning to exist in it, love myself in it. Infinitesimal saviors. To think something so tiny as crystals of ice, frozen to glass and a beam of light illuminating them in a way that I may never have noticed until they were right in front of my face saved my life that afternoon and inspired me to find a way to cope. To search for hope again.

And no, it hasn’t been easy…at all. Clearly. But I think that one moment, that one rare instance that can never be replicated sown the seed of a mighty Oak Tree. And despite all of the stormy weather, the hurricanes, the tornadoes and volcanic eruptions, it has endured, the broken limbs and lightning strikes and toxins and insects boring into its core…it still stands. It still lives.

Told you that was gonna be long. My point is that when all hope is gone, when you have nothing to reach for, you wind up seconds from that darkness eating you alive. We must have hope.

I think confidence, in a way, one source of it, comes from not comparing ourselves to others. That’s hard not to do. I think it’s not so much who we are that holds us down, it’s who we think we’re not. And, as the saying goes, doubt, kills more dreams than failure. The fact that you are aware of your fears and what they specifically are is smart thinking. It means you have choices. Some people never identify their fears and they’re forever a slave to them.

But not to be a little indelicate here for a moment. You know what got you where you are. When you get that freedom, you’re certainly not going to make those same faulty decisions again, right? Right. You’re already rewiring the mainframe. The REAL failure is not even trying in the first place. So, that’s a piece of confidence right there, that you already possess. Now let’s build on it. We’re not perfect. We’re not always going to hit the nail on the head and sometimes we’re just gonna smash the shit out of our fingers but it’s YOUR house you’re building. So it makes no sense to lay the foundation, erect a wall and abandon that construction because you missed a swing.

But don’t get me wrong. I truly do know what that fear and doubt and lack of confidence and esteem is like. I know what I’m saying makes it sound easy but I’m not dismissing any of the emotions you’re feeling right now. They are all fully valid. They’re also totally manageable. I know it’s difficult but try to tell yourself that as long you give it your all, as long as you try, there’s no win or lose. There’s win or try again…

Be patient. This is necessary…

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