All the Corridors…

The human brain is a marvel biologically. We can dissect it, scan it, test it and even communicate with it but the one thing we cannot do is truly see past the surface of it. It’s this massive warehouse with no windows or exits. Much like a roach motel, things check in but, often, they never check out.

Inside this complex and paradoxical organ is an intricate and disorienting labyrinth of hallways and corridors, lined with identical doors. Doors that are bolted and locked, having no descriptive indications as to what is inside. The human psyche has the skeleton key to each and every door and most of the time, it takes some grand epiphany to realize that we can unlock any of them whenever we want, should we choose to but the psyche operates not as something that holds you hostage but rather as something that holds the contents of those rooms hostage from you.

Now, I’ve had psychiatrists, counselors, social workers and psychologists tell me of the necessity of unlocking all of those rooms and taking inventory but I’m not going to advise anyone reading this to do that. It’s not a good idea. Because, if you imagine a haunted house and behind every locked door could be a demon, ghost or ghoul, you wouldn’t just let them all out at once. Much like in Ghostbusters when that prick forced them to release all of the spirits they had trapped. Wasn’t a good idea…

Plenty of my locked rooms have things from my past locked inside for a reason. Like the deaths of beloved pets, friends and other horrid events like being raped by my ex-wife. I’m perfectly aware that those memories and events are locked away and it doesn’t mean I haven’t dealt with them or processed them at least a little over the years but they’re locked in there because I do not want them running loose in my conscious headspace. I know where they are and I know that they’re not able to cause a mutiny.

I also had the realization that, after unlocking one of those doors, that some things need to stay imprisoned. I know the details and remember the pain well enough that it still sometimes feels real. I just don’t need to have a chat with those particular demons. Some people might though and if you do, you have to be prepared to relive some things, to think about events that scarred you mentally, physically and/or both.

If you’re not ready, it’s like climbing Mt. Everest in a thong.

My goal, yes, is to help people, to be a pillar of hope and strength if they need one and I failed to realize that a graphicly detailed horror story doesn’t help people relate. Instead, the goriness of those details has a tendency to shut people down because, and I still believe this, we’re caring and compassionate creatures and we don’t want to know each minute, microscopic facet of an atrocity. Simply knowing it happened in a general sense is enough to engage a person to the point of being empathetic.

After all, the reason we watch and enjoy horror movies/novels is because once the credits roll, we know it’s over. It’s fictional and we can rationalize that away into conversational fodder and it’s really interesting to me how we can spend hours, whether it be a YouTube video, a podcast or a lengthy article actually talking and discussing movies that are fiction but we can’t seem to have a real, meaningful conversation about topics like racism, rape and religion without it breaking down into an argument or judgemental bitterness.

The one thing that bonds and connects us as sentient beings is communication of thoughts, feelings and ideas and somewhere along the dirt road of time, that became almost taboo. No society claiming to be enlightened and highly evolved can make such a claim when it grossly toxifies education, science, reading, expression and most of all…communication.

You see and hear it all the time in relationships and marriages. “We just stopped talking to one another.” or “We just grew apart.”

How??

No. You didn’t just stop talking to one another, someone, maybe both of you stopped listening and it all starts when you stop caring about what purse your girlfriend/wife bought or how much fun your boyfriend/husband had at the football game. Sure, it’s not something you’re interested in but it is to them. Ignoring them or dismissing their interests, no matter how boring is the start of disassociation. Pretty soon, you don’t care about their interests and soon after that, you don’t care what they say at all.

I’m not a marriage counselor. But, this is exactly how my former marriage began to fall apart. She stopped listening to the little things, then the big things and then she didn’t care what I said whatsoever and that built up a lot of resentment and hurt my feelings terribly because I no longer felt like my voice was important or that it mattered. It doesn’t take five seconds to listen and say “Cool!” or “I’m happy you had fun!”. It takes the same amount of energy to ask, unsolicited: “How are you feeling?”

If you aren’t happy or content being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship or marriage.

Happiness comes from within…

The Dense Green…

Every choice we make throughout our daily lives requires, much like in The Matrix, us taking a pill. A red pill or a blue pill and most of the times we take those pills, or, make those decisions and choices instantaneously. Almost through muscle memory but it’s much more complex than that. It’s not mere memory or repetition that triggers those instantaneous determinations and depending on which pill you take, the outcome can be grave and dire or serendipitous and fortuitous.

Now, I’m not naïve to the fact that those outcomes come with x amount of variables but you can’t control other people and their actions or inactions or which pill they take or even Mother Nature’s temperament at that moment. Figuratively speaking, of course, whichever pill you take is completely up to you, by your own volition.

But, that’s the paradox of the red pill/blue pill theory. Each pill has a different outcome printed on it for each choice. The problem arises when we fail to look at those imprints. An example: You’ve been out with friends to a club and had a few drinks. In the median of your consciousness those two pills sit. One says “Drive. What’s the worst that could happen?”, the other “You’ve been drinking, don’t be stupid!” but 95% of the time we pay no mind to those imprints and act rather than react.

This can’t be blamed on a poor parental upbringing or on a substantially underfunded school system. Comprehension and critical thinking are not always inherent. More often than not, they can be acquired through experience and prior lessons learned or picked up like gum on your shoe. Technology may share some of the blame but even that requires a choice.

This is called common sense…

Our world is split between two realms; the physical and the spiritual. While there have been a lot of creations in the physical world, there have been far more negative and abhorrent ones. I’m not a bleeding heart liberal and I’m not a right wing zealot either. I’m not an independent either. I dance to my own tune. I belong to as few man-made ideologies as possible but I’m off track. The point of that is that at some point one of those three political ideologies made the choice to create darkness and iniquitous conceptions and ideals. Sometimes, all three chose blood on their hands.

When Plato said “No human thing is of serious importance.” he wasn’t referring to human beings, he was referring to human matters, possessions and/or physical appurtenances. He simply meant that transience, precarity and eventually devastation is the rule of the land when it comes to physical invention. Everything is ephemeral.

This materialism and decadent dependence on property, assets, money, fame and possessions is antithetical and in direct opposition to the spiritual realm and when bad things happen because people choose not to think, to read, to learn and to expand their library of knowledge I often hear: “God only knows I…” or “God knows I___________” but the reality is that no one knows God. You can’t know God. God is an enigma. Esoteric.

Knowledge liberates our anima, allowing light to clarify, inform and expound. Material objects and concepts are a necessary evil in our current world but without wisdom, comprehension and conscious perception, they’re mere artifacts of useless intent.

As the saying goes: “Think. It’s not illegal…yet.”

Alacrity…

There’s this, alarming awareness that we all feel at one point in our lives. Where our actuality, our viability, existence is very much on the precipice of departure. Many refer to these occurrences as “near death” experiences but aren’t they really “near life” experiences?

Don’t they make us aware of our animation in the greater macrocosm?

We approach death every second of every day. It’s an inevitability and as a culture, we’re paranoid, obsessed and completely and totally phobic and neurotic about dying. It’s going to happen to you, to all of us and we as a species or at the very least, a massive collective of livestock seem to focus half on one end of the spectrum and the other half on the opposite end

One long, chaotic game of tug-of-war and the verity is that no one is focusing on where the flag in the middle of the rope is. Death is not stronger than life. Life is not stronger than death. They are equally powerful but, neither force commands or even demands our obsessive compulsion.

A car accident, turbulence, a mugging; all of these things force us to pull harder toward life and sure, the flag may move but ask yourselves just how far it will?

While standing in my bathroom shaving I felt an overwhelming pull, bright light, a loss of all senses. I wasn’t going blackout or lose consciousness. It was a schism and I consciously knew that. I won’t bring in religion to this conversation with myself because it’s purely an existential, metaphysical one.

The alleged light we see at the end of the tunnel, in my belief, is not at the end of the tunnel. It’s us…leaving the body, this realm.

We are the light.

Where that light is going, I don’t know but I wasn’t ready to find out just yet and I focused deeply to bottle it up again but the point is, I could have. I could have just let my inner marrow give up the ghost and dissipate but I’m not interested in the game of life vs. death right now.

I’ve been close to death in a medical sense more times than I can recollect. A drug overdose, that my shit-sucking friends cared so much about that they left me next to a KFC dumpster in Arcata, CA. I’ve slit my wrists twice. I was stabbed in the neck in Biloxi, MS and I damn near jumped from a 4th story window of a building under construction in Bismarck, ND but I wasn’t seeking death. I wanted out of this body, out of this skin.

That was in 1998. Things have not changed…much. I still loathe being in this iron maiden of a body. Sure, I could change a lot…physically. But, that won’t change this body’s malformation, nor will it change the ugliness it masks inside.

What changed was this: I realized that it didn’t fucking matter which side the flag on the rope ended up on because there is no clear winner. Life and death are not a game and eventually, I realized the flag was the point, the answer.

It was right in the middle…where we all should be focused. Perfectly aware of death on one end and what really amounts to eternal life on the other. If the flag ends up on death’s side, you’re dead, gone, done. If it ends up on life’s side, well that side is a lie. Because that flag will always find it’s way over to death’s side. It’s just that death is patient, if not opportunistic.

Doesn’t mean you should be reckless, careless or stupid about living. It means relax, stop obsessing over death or the perfect life or even if you’re living life like you should be. Just be a good person, do the right thing and live by that code.

One day a proverbial gust of wind will blow your flag over to death but in the meantime…just exist in the middle. Be centered.

Wait it out…

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…

Peyote Angel, Withers 11…

Peyote Angel, Withers 11

Somehow I’ll do this on my own.
This reconnection.
Hand on this scalpel.
Seen it.
Trauma only excites me and I am my evidence
as perfectly one.

Something’s burning behind the cage.
Just have to set her free.
No it’s not the potion.
The drugs, the poison.
The fruit from your Judas Tree.

The Shaman tells me how to cut.
Eyes connected.
Blood to the dust
and mutilation is a rite of passage.

I must be out of this mind!

Fingers in the cavity.
Right through the center.
Lies a mirror, to the inner, self-inflicted,
warning sickness, Earthly tremors,
So sadistic.
Walls of mirrors.

(I see what I don’t want to see…)

Cause I’m a dying fish swimming in the
purest of waters.
And I’m a silent example of how it
should somehow never be!
And I’m, so conflicted,
from this, goddamned weakness,
and I can’t remember,
if anything is real!

I must be out of this mind!

One soul fighting, one last cell,
killing arteries to starve the
power to recall, in my,
own addicted, shroud of deepness,
in the chasm I have carved!

Right through.
Right here
I am I.
I do not mind if the fucking end is nigh!

Right through me!

Such bright lights and deafening wisdom.
Where would I be, without this crippling sensation?
Who says it is has to be so cognizant and simple?
Cut through every fucking muscle,
just to let the demons breathe.
And every photograph is cauterized,
I will slice right through my, last reminder,
kneel behind her–

Right through…
§

The Alpha Chimera Scratch…

Yes, it is referred to as the “believing in what you cannot see” theory within my social circle. However, I believe that evolution took over once we were created but if science is correct, (and that can be a toss up) this planet and many others were here long before we were. Something, someone, created that. They didn’t just pop up one day. Yes, yes, Big Bang, I’ve heard of it…

I don’t believe in the effigy of God that has been bestowed upon us by the mainstream society though. The massive man with the white robe and white beard. That’s just people’s imaginations running wild, the same way they ran wild into the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy. Those are just incarnations of the comic, if not cartoonish kind.

If there is a “God”, then I believe it exists in the form of the pneuma. Residing within us rather than in the exterior beyond. Maybe, it’s that small voice that we’ve heard for years, the voice that we have named reason, or common sense. Or even gut instinct.

I’ve had this conversation many times over with my band mates. Our music is skewed in the direction of the mind, spirit, and celestial arena. They all have their opinions on the matter, but none of them, and that includes me, are content with just leaving things up to an omnipotent force. There has to be a level of responsibility and accountability that we as a species have to meet.

We can’t just put it all on “God’s” shoulders and hope for the best. I sincerely believe that is not we are here to accomplish. What would this world be like if we all just sat back and waited?

And I’m not trying to prove there is a God or that their is a heaven or hell. That type of journey probably is a big waste of time because if we were capable of finding him, then the allure, the luster, and the intrigue would, like you said, be kind of pointless. We’re not meant to know everything. A hard pill to swallow for some. Besides, if God wanted to be seen, then God would make that obvious.

However, this is where I and myriad others differ on the subject. I believe it is ok to ask questions. I’m not one to just sit and say “everything will be ok as long as I believe”. Sure. Believing, trusting, and taking those blind leaps of faith might earn my soul points, but to me I’m not sure I really believe in the heaven and hell part of it. I have recently leaned towards a “it’s all about now” belief and if they do exist, maybe they’re what our minds and souls make them.

We are here to live and that’s what’s important. How we treat our bodies and how we treat others. There are ten simple rules set in stone for us and if we cannot live and abide by those, then heaven and hell are the least of our worries. The body being the vessel that carries us around. I believe we are supposed to use this vessel for better ways.

Earthly/Nature? I define it as investing in what has been given to us. Nobody owned Earth, and nobody owns it today. This is not our land. We simply have it on loan. We should pay homage to nature, the ground that gives us life. Without it there would be no farming, no food, and about a million other things we wouldn’t have. Nature keeps the gears turning. Yet humankind constantly abuses it, and destroys it. It’s to me, like spitting in your landlord’s face after he allows you to live rent free, and when you do, you get evicted.

Once again, we can’t just sit back and expect God to replenish the forests and reincarnate the animals after they are extinct. We should learn to ration what is given to us and not overindulge, because one day we may have to answer for our crimes against our planet. It’s having a healthy, admiration, appreciation, and respect for the Earth and its Flora & Fauna.

The life givers…