Intermission for a Word from the Editor

If this blog seems like it is in an odd phase, it sort of is, or it might be. Or this is just in my head because I’m not experiencing many of these posts, the way that anyone else might. So it may only be visible to myself, but I don’t know. In 2022, I fell into a pattern of writing drafts and never publishing them. And for the past several months, I have been resurrecting those. It’s strange and uncomfortable to dig up these past pieces, and I’m not sure why. Also, there were too many drafts of the same posts. I had a writer’s block of sorts, yet I was still writing all sorts of things. Things that went in totally different stylistic directions, at times. I didn’t feel good about the writing, for reasons that didn’t feel like good reasons. Or maybe I just didn’t feel good about publishing them. For some of these pieces I didn’t know where, or if, they fit in. Or I felt that my sense of timing was off. Or I was just in a weird phase personally. Maybe a combination of all of that. In short, I did not feel great about what I was doing – but I was doing it anyway. I was simply not sharing it.

I am used to managing posts in mostly real-time, as it were – as events are happening and the writing is fresh. Right now it’s a real mix of past and present. And then tying it all together. I feel my production is confused. I will sort it out, but it may not quite add up for a while. I am doing this because I want to practice allowing things to be what they are. For now. I have had to tell myself before, to consciously be in a state of allowing. Not only with craft, just with life. I enjoy breaking out of my patterns. I enjoy patterns and cohesion; I also enjoy blowing it all up creatively. A sucker for a challenge. I do not always want to visit the same places I have been, and for better or worse it shows. Craft can be an adventure. An experiment. The rest of my life is fairly routine. Craft is the escape, the dream, freedom.

I could’ve just let those old pieces go. But I never intended to hold them back. So I will just keep adding in this random assortment; this chocolate box of different stuff. The habit of hiding is one I’ve been breaking for years.

Mystery is a lost art. I wanted it bring back, but I can sometimes do it too well.

What Is a Better World?

There is no life without risk anyway. Life simply can not exist without risk. Not even on a basic biological level, there is just no avoiding it. However we attempt to control for it – life itself is a risk. We could quite literally perish at any given minute. Or simply lose our footing. Be tossed around by sudden circumstances, peripheral forces and storms. We are driven to survive each turn of events, and we will, and we do.

This is ultimately what makes it worth it to be alive. Is this pressure. Is to survive the unforeseen. Is to be pushed to make radical changes again and again. To be pushed to grow. Because you had to stand on a precipice at some point. Because there was no going backward from there. And it is fundamentally this challenge, even the inevitable and ultimately beautiful conflict, which watered us. Which inspired us.

Which enabled us to drink in and appreciate our existence from moment to moment. Which brought us to the core of who we are and what we are doing here. Which brought us to our dream, manifested, and another new dream, our hope. Which enabled us to contribute to what we believe to be a better world.

Certain risks taken arise by surprises from unexpected instigators, which corner us, and so we must (necessarily) prevail. Then there are the elective risks we are brave enough (or motivated enough by curiosity) to instigate on our own, in pursuit of our dreams. As we consider not only our true selves and our wishes, but also how we fit into a whole picture and our connection to it and our function within it, and the spirit we bring – we do inevitably prevail, all by choice from beginning to end.

Dreams are everything of course. A life without any dream at all – any imagination – is just dead inside, a soul drowning itself in sorrow or slowly withering to a crisp. And there is no just pursuit of any dream without any risk. The rules of give and take, of divine balance, apply. It would not be a dream if we had it already. If we didn’t have to take the leap.

Like anyone, I want it to be easy. But too easy can also be the waste of us and our fullest potential. Because nothing was at stake. There was no collateral. The risk we had to take, is what made it so valuable. You could call it an adventure. Life is an adventure automatically. So we might as well steer our own wheel.

By this whole process of striving we find ourselves in a totally new world, perhaps even better than previously imagined. One realized by an imposition of change, by exercising our free will to overcome any and all odds. Diving head-first into fear. Who can do it? I ask myself to what extent I can.

Yesterday’s best change – even today’s best change – will not be tomorrow’s best, not for long. Not likely. This is where it gets tricky. And this is the role of creativity. We will step out into the open field of the heart, mind, spirit. And we will so often be told,

don’t

because that is their fear.

And if we don’t? Who or what would that serve?

And… what if we do?

What if we do?

If risk is inevitable, and fear – inevitable in life – well then we might as well take the dream. Or at least, include the dream. We inherit so much. For better and for worse. This is beautiful too, and we naturally cling to some of it, with respect and even admiration. But we didn’t actually ask for any of it. At least, not in this dimension of consciousness. Because in another dimension, this situation, this exact scenario was perfect. Some of these legacies were precisely what we needed and desired from which to fly away from, just to prove that we could, just to embody all that is possible. And to project this image of an aspiration fulfilled – into consciousness, and the material world. We are not here just to die. We are here for the inherent risk of life. Which expands life. But this is deep in the ocean of ourselves. On the surface, on shore, we have got to feel that there is a pay off for the risks we have taken, for it all to be worth it… and we don’t always know that there absolutely is and there will be. Why not restructure our whole lives toward the light of our wildest dreams?

Will we dive into the abyss?

Roads less traveled. I’ve taken them. Lived them. And I have also taken the comfortable path. The soft place to land. Because I, too, needed that. But….

But.

July 2, 2022 (#2)

No Ads, No Opinions, No Noise


I would’ve come here more often, but also I love the total and absolute quiet. Beyond thinking.

Just the fountain bubbling up for the cat. The refrigerator hum. Faint movements outside the window.

Even just the sound of air. A rushing sound like a freeway, but also like distant, blended waves.

I would talk more. I would put myself out there.

Sometimes I do. But I take solace too, in this total and absolute quiet. Even of words.

I love you, but also in total and absolute quiet together, love beyond entertainment.

It’s not a silence I mean, just a quiet.

An absence of unnecessary noise or movement.

For life, in honor of life I speed up, but also I want to be slow.

And so incredibly free of mind.


Early Rising

It’s 4:30 am. Not sure why I’m up but I don’t fight it. I decide my colors for today will be lavender and midnight blue. I pull on my black leather jacket. For breakfast, something creamy and green. Matcha tea. Color is what drives me, every day. What gets me going, what wakes me. And the quality of light, and the character of light, on the color.

There’s form – lines, shapes, relationships, concepts – and there’s words. But first there is color.

First there are flowers. And then there is the street. First there are the lime-green trees, the terra-cotta tile, the wrought-iron chairs. And then there is the parking lot. And then there are the words.

The words for these roots of existence.

I’ll wander over to Peet’s, the first place that will be open.

I decide not to write, I mean not to edit something more serious. Thinking is tiring sometimes. I want to do something simple right now. Something easy.

Spanish classical guitar music. This is life, real life. Life is passion to the core. We’ll never truly give it up with age, as the myth goes. But we can pretend. We are free to create our own tragedy.

This why we need poetry. This is why beauty exists. Life is passion.

To the core. It’s the one thing you’ll never forget.

I step out into the dark, the first light just peering through.



How to Be Unserious In a Very Serious World

Every once in a while it’s best to have a night where you break all the rules.

Stay up until 4 am, eat dinner way too late, drink fine wine and too much, blog something that nobody wants to read, make a big mess and don’t clean it up, text the toxic/perfect= intoxicating people and laugh it off, say something outrageous online somewhere, let people think whatever, indulge in all sorts of things you shouldn’t have, ignore everything, call it a success of a night, and move on

To the next even more successful day.



Afternoon Notes Before Losing an Hour

This isn’t writer’s block. A real block is supposed to be when you want to write, but can’t. Or you’re just writing in circles and not getting anywhere. And can’t get out of it. It’s less of a choice. More of a nightmare. But this is a welcome resistance. I haven’t wanted to write lately. Sometimes you just don’t want to. Sounds kind of bratty. No. That’s absurd. Stop it.

To call it writer’s block is easier than justifying not-writing as a legitimate process. The percolating. That sounds a bit cringe but anyway. The “negative space” of writing. Negative space is important in pictures. But nobody talks about a negative space of writing. But you could say there is one. There’s a few. The one that’s between the lines, perhaps. And the one that’s between the thoughts, the emotions, during the writing process. And the silences and solitudes. That sort of makes no sense. Or it’s not very linear. Anyway. Space is perhaps what I’ve been craving. Because I face people all day. It would be funny, embarrassing but funny, if people from that particular professional setting read any of my writing. It’s a mistake to think that anyone really cares that much. But it’s also a mistake to assume they don’t at all. But let it be. Nothing of consequence will happen. Some might think I’m a bit crazy just because I said out loud the embarrassing things, but why is that so bad? Nobody is normal – unless they’re delusional.

I don’t earn money as a writer, and it’s never been important to. It seems the language in me just wanted to be a traveler, a wanderer, picking up and dropping different personas along the way. With no one to answer to. A gypsy that got me to pay for its freedom with a lifetime of day jobs. It wanted to be a spirit, not so much a material presence. Sometimes I imagine I’ll bring her down to earth. But she’s hard to pin down. I don’t even always understand her.

It’s 3:33 pm on the clock. And then it’s 4:00 and the bell tower clangs. I’ve been sitting. The refrigerator hums. The cat sleeps. The water fountain gurgles. I just want to exist. And I want to express that existence. More so than now.

There’s so many things writing doesn’t need to be. Writing just needs to be true. The most polished is so beautiful. But its place in the best of the best is too obvious.

You can make something so right and so correct that you’ve sucked the life right out of it.

I’ve always liked the idea of prose, essays or stories, that sort of falls apart before your eyes.

Possibly, but not necessarily, in a literal sense.

Always admired imperfect art, even disorderly. Not in a literal sense per se. Something unexpected, unflinching.

Art that seeks the blind spots of us, and jumps in.

Art that seeks the blind spots of us.

And jumps in.

The extra light is coming.

It’s 4:44 pm.


A Different Kind of Embrace

“No you don’t.”

He really had to say I love you. It really couldn’t wait.

“I do, though,” he said.

“No. You don’t.” I tried not to laugh uneasily.

“I think that love is when you see someone’s shadow, and you don’t run” I said. “Maybe you’d even see something you never wanted to see. But you decide not to run.”

I can’t say if that’s how others have ever loved me. But that’s how I learned to love. A miracle of some kind. Because nobody in my lineage of relationship train wrecks ever taught me that. But it took too long to learn. My mind wandered to my true love. And what I knew made it true.

“Love is when you meet someone’s shadow, and forgive them for it. You distinguish it from yours, but you decide to embrace it too.”

Unless you don’t know how to do that. Then maybe you love and destroy. Maybe love gives rise to the very impulse to destroy. If you don’t know how to treat it. If you don’t know what you are doing.

Love is an action taken. Love is a decision. There’s no rushing it either. This is just an attraction, nothing more. It has no actual meaning. It is only the beginning of potential meaning. But potential is hollow.

I was looking for a different kind of embrace.

“Do you love me?” he asked.

“No.”

“Really? You don’t?”

“Not yet.” I tried to put it more gently. But I didn’t. And I wasn’t sure I could.

“I don’t know your shadow,” I said. “And you don’t know mine.”
















He got up to use the bathroom.

My eyes filled with tears as he exited the room.










Two Visions

To create something of this time, speaks to the now. And may realize impact now. But with no guarantee of a future.

To create something ahead of its time, could only realize that level of impact later. And may not have significant influence now, nor enjoy full appreciation now. But its value may increase beyond expectation – later.

Nobody really knows exactly what later will look like. Nobody really knows the values of the future.

But the now has its flaws, and the future is more likely to admit it. The future’s success lies in the inevitable incompleteness of the now.

And the success in the now, is in that which is concerned with yesterday’s weaknesses.


Bad Writing

I rarely used to write as candidly as I’ve done on certain recent occasions. Breaking the rules of what I’ve felt would be a better thing to write. A more worthy thing. Not sure how long it will last. I’ve felt the impulse waning, and the writing shifts into other topics. But that’s partly a diversion from my tolerance level for my own stories, which aren’t always so comfortable. But – I’m a little bit of the mind that one’s own story is the most (perhaps the only) quasi-honest thing that they’ll ever have to offer. Writing involves persona, but a persona does have roots.

When venturing into the darker places, I’ve thought “am I making myself look bad?” Aside from the heart-to-heart with close friends, I would try to be more enjoyable than what is real, in real life. Try to avoid subjecting people to actual reality. It’s the polite thing to do, right? But this is a blog. On the internet people have a choice to tune you in or turn you off, or just turn your page to a better day. A more productive, enlightened, insightful, less self-indulgent, more palatable day.

I’m inclined to get personal because I’ve wanted to see more of it around and the brand of “truth” that it offers. And because people like to say things in life aren’t personal, even though sometimes they damn well are. And because some like to say that you shouldn’t write about the personal, and especially that you shouldn’t blog about the personal. Why not? I do it because I don’t want to be a vegetable. Because I am not an emotional zombie. Because nobody is.

Nobody is any of these things, and yet with current trends of cancel culture, conspiracy violence, and a revolving door of media-corrupted and debased relationships underscored by apps treating people as a pizza to be ordered, a mounting loss of respect for basic humanity is upon us. To write the personal is, in a way, to stand for humanity.

It seems tragic to have to remind ourselves that humanity itself is intrinsically worth something. And that it deserves respect on this basis alone. And that humanity is why we are doing what we are doing — everything we do. Because of love. Because of need. Humanity is everything to us in fact — even when we forget this. And we were not put on this earth merely to exist as an extension of somebody else’s agenda, or for whatever our value is or isn’t to them.

So how can the personal be so offensive? Does it seem too… feminine maybe? Too low? Too self-important, unless you’re a celebrity whose stories are automatically more valid than yours because they are rich and famous and you aren’t? And so everyone wants to hear their story, but only for the tabloids to take them down later also? For their humanity. Or is the personal just too real, as if we are not even grown up enough to handle that? What exactly do we need to reject about it? Don’t write about yourself, we’re told. Don’t talk about yourself. Why not?

We have stories. Why not tell them? What exactly is so offensive about a first-person narrative now? Is it really that much more “selfish” than anything else? Or is it just that it doesn’t sell as well as a how-to? Is it less practical and functional? Is it less… “good business”? Maybe even less…. bullshit? Does everything have to be monetized to have any kind of value? Does human experience have no value? Are our most unusual personal narratives “crazy”? Obviously that’s all total nonsense. Yes I said obviously. Let’s stop playing dumb because we can do better than this.

To understand humanity one has to get personal. To piece together a complete picture of history, even, we study people’s letters and diaries. Women’s history would hardly even exist without such accounts. Without the surviving poetry of World War I and II veterans, that entire front-line perspective of the very real horrors and consequence and the human cost of those wars would be missing. What about works like Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? We’d just never know. All the history we’d have then is “big history.” Only life’s biggest winners — the most powerful and influential. And grossly incomplete. The personal does have its place — even in the most important research.

Everyone has their take on what’s going on in the world. Everyone has their take on what’s going on with another person, with groups. To write the personal is almost more responsible, because one presumes only to know oneself. Of course we do not really know others, much as we like to think so. We can only theorize. Yet if you write yourself and pretend that the writing is of others — of characters or even real players — it would seem more respectable to forge that little white lie.

Shouldn’t we pretend to be “above it all” to help our career and reputation? I struggle with my own cowardice too. To write the personal is to actually share. To allow oneself to be seen, beyond hiding behind signifiers that would elevate our status. But to write the personal is also to subject oneself to something as fraught and complex as the ideology of our own existence. And as fraught and complex as the admission of ourselves as sensory and emotional beings. Sensitive beings. Souls, even. In doing this, our stories propel us all into bridging the gaps of our differences. Enabling myths to be dispelled and theories to evolve and opinions to expand. Is this why the personal can seem so offensive in theory? Is it simply too demanding to step into another person’s experience, or even to dive more deeply into our own? The personal can be as antagonistic to core beliefs, as much as it can be seductive for its intimacy. Does its seductive quality make it too easy?

In the darker times I’ve had the thought, would I be writing like this if I were happier? Perhaps no. But I would still be writing something if I were happier. So do I just pretend this current reality of my humanity doesn’t exist? What good will that do? Convince or encourage more people to sit alone on the couch by themselves crying in their own worst moments, thinking no one understands and fearing what will happen if anyone discovers their grotesque vulnerability? That’s no great service either. Will I ever be happy again? I assume so or can only hope. For now, I will at least do something with whatever is going on in the moment. What could I give, as an artist, more than these diverse momentary truths of my existence?

To worry so much about saving face is to never be free. And, I would argue, to worry so much about saving face is to limit what you have to give. To worry too much about saving face — maybe that’s the true self-serving disease.


Friday Night

Walking by the bustling local restaurants on a Friday night makes me feel like I’m missing out. The weather is improving. People are enjoying themselves. Places are filling up again, even. Exhilarating. I would love to go out. Also it makes me long for my lost love. The weekends are the hardest.

But I have to focus. I pass by and hurry home. Knowing that it makes no difference to anyone if I come home at night, I go home at night. I need to do something meaningful. Finish projects. Get a website done. I can’t go out. Or won’t.

I have to be a different kind of person right now. There is no time for games.

It is hard to feel unwanted. But the process of finding one who will accept you and love you for who you are, can be a nightmare. And it’s boring. I think the dream is right here. It’s ready for you, but are you ready for it? Dreams pass right by and we look for another one. Why does it have to be so complicated? Why does anyone want to search endlessly? I give it up.

I am getting something done this weekend. A day off isn’t good for me.

There is no time for tears and self-pity.