I CAN CLEAR THE WAY
It’s important to ask why. But sometimes we have to ask
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, without something we must reach way out to grasp. 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,
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….
July 2, 2022 (#2)
A better world isn’t always created by taking the safest journey. Or the more agreeable journey. So why keep myself restricted, protected, enshrouded as an artist, even as a person?
In a truly better world for ourselves- a freer world we’d want to be in – a world where we can see opportunity and we actually take it – where we embrace the fullest expression of ourselves – we’re even more alive. This world already exists (especially here in this place). Whether we live that truth or not. So, why not?
There’s the risk of course. And the fear. But why are the risk and the fear really so bad? Objectively, they aren’t. I could come up with some excuses, and also with legitimate reasons, for allowing the fear to halt this whole process. But are those good enough for me today? And what if we choose to simply ignore all of that? Even fully disidentify with it? We could. Separate the fear from ourselves, objectify it, look upon it with a bird’s eye view, own it rather than allowing it to own us. And so transforming the sense of risk. Can true freedom even happen, without risk? There needs to be some baseline of stability, a foundation from which to build. Yet how could we feel optimally alive – so alive, without the contrast of a prior fall, or at least the prospect of peril? As we have earned this aliveness precisely by conquering fear. Which is only the fear we inherited – others’ fear! Not even ours to begin with. So, we can begin to give that back.
I speak from my own “successes” and also my “failures,” because I want to be proud of them both the same, because they have fed one another, and because the total fullness of life is upon us for the taking. And I have been the type of creator to leap off of metaphorical cliffs. I am no stranger to that type of risk, the experiment. At times, even fully allowed for the judgement of certain peers who would rather we corral and contain ourselves into one coherent message, absent any sign of a multifaceted complexity. Yet, all this without an underlying willingness to get past myself and honor all of it, and be truly free. But that closet of potentials is full now, so full. Why? I hardly want to know because that feels like a detour — on a day-to-day basis I just want to do.
Do for today, like yesterday and all this other stuff doesn’t even exist. It’s survival. Right? Do my job in the straight and narrow, linear professional world, and the artist in that moment doesn’t exist. Be the romantic in one project, a punk in the next, and the twain never meet. But why can’t I embrace the whole?
Why compartmentalize all of this incredible existence? Why live for poetry, and then pretend to be a five-paragraph essay? What do I feel I need to represent, that would disallow the artist? Do I think that I’ll die and life will be over if I dare to take on all that I could possibly give? It’s some type of irrationality, a purgatorial prison. But it absolutely will be temporary and I am going to kill it off. I am going to kill this character, this persona who won’t let me have all that I am destined to be. If I can not do it, bring these ideas to light, then who else can? They are out there, and the ideas may not wait for me. And the others like me too, afraid to the point of paralysis? They are out there also, I know. We’re never the only one. Right? So, what are we doing?
What is going on today that makes some of us who have so much to say, want to hide? Like this part is ok but this part is not. Elevate this, but disown that. It doesn’t matter. Forget all of that. All the dumb stuff that there is, out there, and what are we worried about? Are we afraid to look stupid? To disappoint? Any stupider and more disappointing than the stupidest most disappointing junk that is already happening all around us? What do we imagine we will lose? How can that seem so much more than, what we will certainly gain? Who is going to punish us? But then, who will reward us? To those who would leave us just for having an imagination, just for having the daring – are they even good enough for us? Perhaps not. That has got to be okay. Are we here on this planet just only for them? Are we? Our imagination is our power. This manifests our best possible world. There are more like me out there. We have our day jobs. We have our lives. We keep our act together. Our… act. But deep inside we know we can do something else too, perhaps something we are even better at.
Why limit ourselves? What if, creatively, we had no limits? What would we do? What if we woke up today and we had a brand new life, and we started over from scratch? Who would we allow ourselves to become?
July 6, 2022
THE PAST IS DEAD
I had so much to say, and now there is not much to say at all.
A quietness is the need of the moment.
I used to walk so quickly, everywhere, for any reason, for no reason.
And now it is SLOW. So… slow.
I think it’s learned.
The days of racing around, sweating, killing myself for a buck every night. It had become a habit that spilled over into everything. The pace of stress, of urgency.
A state of panic was normal.
But we can also trace that back to a sad childhood. A university education can teach you skills, but it can’t teach you that you deserve to use them.
Those days are another life. This life is different.
It’s a Friday night and I could be the one to go out. I used to envy those who had the luxury. I’m not going to but I feel so lucky.
This is my own kitchen table, by the window with the view of the hills, the neighbors’ yards and rooftops, a tall pine tree, fog rolling in over the evening. I can watch the sky go dark.
A flat of nectarines in front of me. A half-glass of wine.
Fish, rice, cauliflower – not much in the fridge right now but it’s enough for dinner.
I don’t need as much of everything as I used to. Too much, was routine. I don’t need to devour everything. I can just exist with it.
This didn’t happen overnight. It took two and a half years to begin to settle in.
Nothing is particularly urgent anymore, unless I want it to be. Emergency is no longer routine.
Emergency is no longer a lifestyle.
It’s so much more enjoyable. But mostly I am surprised by it.
I didn’t know it could be this way.
I never knew how anyone could be so calm.
I am grateful to be bored.
There was a time in my life I actually embraced being alone. Content with it, full and complete. Other times I’ve feared being alone. Or it’s just made me feel, in one word, miserable.
Now I just feel neutral. And that doesn’t have to mean anything.
Writing about loneliness can scare people, although I’m not exactly sure why it should.
There was a time when I wrote more “poetically” on here. I suppose it was nicer, prettier, or better quality in some way but I don’t know. It’s a different time now. An uncomfortable one, but this is interesting. I have no idea what will happen.
Something broke in me. For a time. Now I am just here. Quietly. I was subjected to the myth of the perfectly polished woman. Tortured with its image and all its presumptions.
Someone fell in love with that myth. Someone dear. But there were no people there. There was no truth. Only gods.
The real woman is pissed off by all that now. She is sad. She is a spontaneous puddle of tears. She is feeling forsaken. She is seeking the generosity of spirit that this myth wouldn’t allow her.
Inside is the only place to go – for that piece, at least. The trouble is, this myth is actually everywhere.
There is no point in pretending. There is no academic-background point of view that will do anything. There is no game to play to elevate the mind over the feeling. We have enough of that crap around.
Shit is normal. But to eat shit is not.
When true cruelty is encountered – and it does exist in degrees, from unlikely alcoves at times – closure can never come from its source.
The flip side of the most romantic type of personality, is sometimes that it is the least realistic. Romance has always been a good thing – not something to be so cautious about. But there is true romance, and then there is romance riddled with agenda.
This morning I had the defiant thought, I’ll forget all this by dressing like crap and get no hair cuts for a while. I’ve done it before. When I didn’t have any money. I got through. And it was good. It was amusing to reject what is expected of us. Right now what I don’t have is time, and patience to entertain any level of psychological garbage. As if this disengagement from elements of the myth could weed it all the way out.
I am heartbroken. It resonates. But I am surviving it. And learning to have fun.
It’s an open road again. I can’t see the whole thing. Only the entrance.
I have seen a much smaller light before now, and followed it out.
Anything could happen.