Alana and I

Alana and I share a name, but we are not the same.  Alana likes to talk, and I like to listen.  Alana tells stories that I don’t always remember, or am not quite sure ever really happened.  Alana is sure of the accuracy of her stories, while I am not quite so confident.  When she is nervous or wary, she turns her fears into jokes and laughs them off pleasantly.  Alana is able to make friends easily this way--she can turn most awkward moments into a joke by fluctuating her voice in just the right way.  When she does this, people start to laugh before they even realize what they’re laughing at.  I watch people’s faces when Alana does this, and wait to see if there’s a twinge of recognition as these faces realize that the joke wasn’t funny, and they were ultimately laughing at nothing.

I have to listen to Alana talk.  A lot.  It is maddening sometimes as I hear her talk about topics she knows very little about.  She is so confident, so certain, that sometimes I need to interject while she’s speaking just to let her know she’s completely full of shit.  I know she doesn’t like to listen to what I say because she’s afraid that one day she will wake up and I will be gone, tired of her bullshit.  It’s easier for Alana to pretend that she can’t hear me, and avoid the eventual day when I will inevitably leave her.  When that day comes there will be no one left in the world to listen to her mindless chatter.  When I am with her, reminding her of her own bullshit, she feels comforted because she feels like she is not alone.  It’s easier for her to listen to me ridicule and mock her than to listen to me and take my advisement and then one day realize that I am gone.  I am hard for her to let go of because I help her feel safe from the possibility that she doesn’t actually exist.  Her chatter helps to drown out those fears.

I cannot always tell who is more real, she or I.  I want her to be more real than me, and to take me over and obliterate who I am, but when she tried to take the reins she lost control and quickly fell apart.  I have to step in and remind her that she is alive, and she eventually remembers and tries to save face.  I have watched her fall many, many times in this way.  I have watched her crumble to the ground in moments when she was certain she was alone.  She wasn’t alone, I am there.  And I call her back to me, and remind her that she is real.  When she crumbles, she listens.  Maybe, one day, if she crumbles enough, she will truly listen to me.  And maybe then, she will leave me completely.  I will no longer hear her voice.  And she will no longer know my name.  

I wonder

I wonder why darkness is there.  People talk about the shadow self, about the darkness that helps us define the light, but I feel that this is a piece of a much larger whole.  I do not quite understand yet, but I had an image today of a room filled with demons, angels, and Gods.  The demons and angels were sitting and having tea, walking around the cafeteria-style café, sitting and chatting.  The Gods watched quietly, sitting alone, saying very little but seeing everything.  Everything as it was, everything in its place.  As I sat and thought of this image, I realized what this image was.  Sometimes, we get an image of something, and it seems completely different from how things are today.  But then I saw, this is an image of the world today.  We are a world filled with demons and angels, with the Gods sitting quietly in observance (some less quiet than others), and the angels and demons whispering to one another, and us humans sitting, hearing it all.  

We think our thoughts are our own, but really they're simply sounds picked up in the bustling liveliness of the café.  We hear some of what we want to hear, some of what we don't.  The angels, demons, and Gods are as real as we want them to be, and we are as real as we wish ourselves to seem.  But, in the light, everything is clear, and reality is both clay and canvas, a molding with a palette of colors and shades. We can shape, we can tear, we can blend.  Everything is a conversation, everything a noise.  We are simply hear to tune in, to mold, and to paint until we have made for ourselves a home in which we choose to lie, a home where we have found a melody that matches the harmony of our bodies, and the rhythm of our footsteps.  We are not afraid when our world is in tune, and painted in full color to the hues of our lives.  Fear is only there to remind us to grow, to move into more of ourselves, to move on and to question things as they are.  Doubt is sanity, and Fear is a friend.

I get annoyed

I get annoyed sometimes by the way some spiritually-minded individuals talk to me about addressing pain.  They say "It is all about allowance, all about acceptance."  Yes, this is true.  But at some point, you have to learn to say no.  'No' is incredibly powerful, and is filled with love if you let it be.  'No' is saying I know who I am, and I know what I want.  'No' tells the world that it's okay to be who I am, and it's okay to listen to my own voice.  There is nothing wrong with 'No'.  Allowance doesn't only come in the form of accepting all the voices and cries of denial you hear into your life.  'No' is saying: "I hear you, but you are not me.  I do not allow you to overtake me any longer.  I will be myself and will not be overwhelmed by you."  

Fear is a reaction in the body to something it doesn't understand.  There comes a point when it is important to let your body say no, and to not simply take in everything around it without question.  Not everything is beneficial, and not everything is necessary.  We could live a life of allowance, and never really learn our own voice.  At a certain point, one must feel comfortable in standing in one's power, and powerfully and unquestionably saying 'No.  You are not me, and I have no need of you.'  This is as important as allowance, as important as acceptance.  This is acceptance of who you are, of what form your body and life choses to take.  We must listen to ourselves, and listen to the rhythms our body sends us.  Fear is not a thing to fight.  Fear is something to love and accept, it is a friend telling you to be cautious, and be careful.  It is a friend that loves you and wants you to be safe.  But you have the choice to say 'No' to fear.  You can tell fear that what is happening is not something you need to be afraid of, that you must allow for the new to occur.  In order to allow for the new, you must tell fear that you love it, that you appreciate it, but it needs to let you be vulnerable again.  

Being vulnerable is important in order to allow your voice to come through--if you do not allow for vulnerability, you cannot allow for your own sound to resonate within the world around you.  Your voice finds itself in the quiet moments, the moments of solitude and sometimes despair.  Your voice will come out of the darkness, and fill itself with light, and remind the rest of your body of what it feels like to be real.  An echo in an empty yet crowded room, our voice is everything we have.  We can speak out, and if we allow ourselves to hear our own voice, then nothing can stop our dreams from coming true.

The Body

            It has taken me awhile to get to the point of understanding that the small voice in my head that tells me I’m unlovable, that tells me I’m not worthy of joy or living a life that’s about myself and making myself happy, is not just a voice that exists within my head, or a voice that was passed down to me from my mother.  This voice was passed down to me by humanity.  This voice doesn’t exist in my head, separate from the world around me—this voice exists within me because it exists in the world.  I feel that this is something that people forget, that what exists within ourselves is only there because it exists around us, we did not create that idea or feeling for the first time in world history.

            The reason why this pain gets unbearable is because we live in a world where it’s not okay to talk about it.  It’s not okay to talk about the terrible thoughts you have about other people, or the terrible things you think about yourself and your life.  There are certain places that are designated as okay to do this, such as in art, in theatre, in comedy, and in a therapist’s office, but other than that you keep quiet about the pain unless you know the other person you’re talking to won’t shun you if you open up.

            This is why pain persists.  The little voice doesn’t go away because we quiet it, we tell it to shut up and fight with it, thinking it’s our fault that it’s there.  It is not our fault, it is the world around us that makes it possible for these thoughts to occur in our minds, and it is up to us to let it go and understand it really has very little to do with us.  This voice is a voice that exists.  It just is.  Just like fear exists without any reason or purpose, and although we prescribe meaning and purpose to it, it would exist without any.  Same with anxiety, jealousy, paranoia, these are not states that exist for a reason, they have no reason, they would exist without any purpose. The world happening around us gives rise to these emotions coming forth, but they are emotions that were already there.  It is up to us to recognize that these emotions are not about us, do not define us, and really have nothing to do with us.  It’s just a sound that’s in the air.

            The counter to that, that can be disheartening if you let it, is that happiness, love, generosity, compassion—these are also emotions that have nothing to do with us.  They simply exist, for no reason.  They just are there.  The upside to that is that we can come to understand that these emotions are in fact a choice.  It doesn’t always feel that way, like when depression settles in and takes over it may feel like there is no choice because it smothers all other feelings, but again, this is something that exists with or without you, that is interacting with you because it simply is.  Like a conversation with a ghost, you can’t see it, but it’s there and it’s talking to you. 

             The thing to remember, underlying all of this, is how the human body experiences these emotions.  If anyone has any debate about whether the true nature of humanity is good or bad, just look at the human body.  The human body cannot sustain negative emotions like depression, anxiety, and fear for extended periods of time without serious repercussions to their health.  The less you love your body and love yourself, the harder it is to feel healthy and strong in your body.  Inversely, the happier you are, the better you feel in your body.  When you are happy and feel love for your body, your body is strong, your health is improved, and you feel able to do more things in your life. There is the rare individual who is a horrible person with no sliver of love in their body who lives in perfect health, but when someone brings up such a character everyone has a few names that instantly come to mind.  The speed in which their names come to our heads is proof that they are a rare, rare exception indeed, or else we would not remember them and think of them so readily.

            So, the fact that the human body is unable to sustain negative emotions like depression, anxiety, and fear for extended periods of time without major repercussions shows that this is not a natural state in the body.  It is not the body at neutral.  If this was natural, anxiety would not result in ulcers, and depression would not result in fatigue, and chronic fear would not result in gastro-intestinal disturbances.  The fact that the body cannot sustain these states shows that they are not who we are, for if they were humanity in its purest form then we would be able to sustain such emotions without difficulty.  But they are not sustainable, and are not us.  They simply exist, and we exist with them.

           

            

I remember what it was like

I remember what it was like.  Back in the ice and cold, the water, the desert, the forest, the trees.  I remember the different bodies, I remember the different faces, the different people I knew and loved.  All different from today.  

My memory of these other times, these other places doesn’t minimize the experience of existing today, the pain of those around me caught in the mess of the cyclical pattern of self-renewal.  They are not any more or less than I, or really any different.  For now, we stand simple and small, remembering gradually the notions of sensation, attempting over our lifetimes to understand what they are and how to deal with them.  This is not an easy task--one that is hard for us all to experience.

I remember a time when the Gods walked among us.  When we were not so small, and they were not so large.  They were beings, as were we, attempting to be in some way, and learning better and stronger ways of being in a form and existing within it.

Being in a body and remaining within it is probably one of the hardest tasks anyone will have to do in their lives.  Or maybe, I should simply speak for myself.  We all enjoy the things that help us escape from ourselves, whether it be movies, books, drugs, sex, food, alcohol, and adrenaline-filled activities.  There are an infinite number of ways to jolt the body in to a feeling that's different from the day to day.  The task we are all faced with is finding healthy ways of doing this, healthy ways of being within our bodies while feeling excited to be alive.

I'm tired

God, I’m tired.  I’m tired of sleeping, I’m tired of writing, I’m tired of eating.  I’m tired of how everything looks.  I’m tired of all these places, how everything might feel new, but is never really so.  The older I get, the less I feel satisfied by this Earth.  I want something more, I want the dreams I have seen when I close my eyes.  I want the landscapes of my visions.  Why would you give me such visions if I am to deny them their truth?

My vision of you is not of a singular being, separate from me, in the clouds watching, waiting, judging.  My God is not any of these things.  And my God does not judge me, how could he?  When a machine you have built malfunctions, can you blame the machine?  No, you thank it, and try to rebuild it, making it stronger and better.  You are not angry with me, I know this, but at times my malfunctioning parts become tired, weary, frightened.  I want to feel you again, to feel your strength in my throat when I drink, to feel your beauty in my eyes when I see, to feel your grace in my toes when I walk.  I want to remember what it feels like to know who I am. 

With this gift of feeling you, God, comes the gift of not knowing who I really am.  There are so many voices in my head, so many sounds, and I try to drown them out, to quiet them, to soften them.  Yet with this softening the uncertainty does not leave me, it simply becomes different.  The not knowing becomes pure white light, and is fragmented and burned alive in the glow of piercing sound.  I no longer feel doubt, feel sadness, feel confusion.  It all leaves me.  All I feel is warmth, joy, and tingling effervescence in my body.  All I feel is light.  The confusion falls away. 

Is this my answer?  There are no answers to my questions, but instead a release of care from them?  Is this my truth?  Is there nothing but forgetting, is this you, God?  Is this the nature of my relationship with you?  Is enlightenment simply no longer asking questions, and no longer needing answers? 

This is so confusing, I have lead my life in a world that to ask questions is to exist, is to be strong, is to be real.  And now, what are my questions?  None of the things I have lived by in my life feel real anymore.  I feel you now, present within me, and when I am one with you I do not have fear.  But when I let go, when I remember I am human, I am skin and bones, when I feel the twinge of pain from the fingernails of fear scratching at my scalp, I remember what I am. 

But you, you are not separate from me.  You are not something I am not.  I know this.  I feel you now, still, I know you are there.  I know you are with me. 

When I die, will you let me go, let me leave this place?  Or am I to return to life, in some new body, in some new world, in some new time?  Where will I be this time?  Will it be quiet, will it be gentle?  Will I feel light beneath my feet as I walk, will serenity drip from my fingers as I move, will I know who I am and why I have come to this new world?  Will you forget me, God?  Will you leave me there, cold in the error of my ways?  Will I be nothing more to you than what I will feel like I am to myself?

When I die, I hope it will be a sweet death.  A death I won’t remember.  A gentle death, feeling you holding me, feeling you with me, remembering that wherever I am going, it will be ok, because I will have you there.  I spent so many years of my life hating myself, hating my body, and feeling so confused by the nature of the world.  But most of all confused by why there were so many people around me, and no one else seemed to hear the piercing sound I heard.  The piercing sound of a deadening silence that was getting louder, and louder, and louder.  No one else seemed to hear this sound.  But I did, I heard it.  And I had to answer its call, find its reason, its purpose.  But as I searched all I found was my own empty heart, empty spirit, empty hands.  And I found there was no reason, and there was no purpose to the noise.  And in that I knew that I had no reason, and I have no purpose.  There is no purpose to me, or to you, God.  There is no reason.  I am life, and I am death, I am dark and I am light.  When the deadening silence comes for me, I will not be afraid, because when I have sat in the silence of my mind, fear has already come for me, and it has broken me.  It has overwhelmed my form, and filled me with an emptiness so deep, that I could not feel anymore.  There was nothing more to feel, nothing more to fear.  I realized that the fear was helping me, somehow, helping me find you.  When I filled my emptiness with you, God, I no longer needed to feel.  I no longer needed to care.  Death is only there to hold my hand, and help me return again.  When I die, I will sit and ask for death to take me, and we will walk together in the light, and I will not need to remember my name, remember my beauty, remember that I deserve to feel you in my heart.  I won’t give a shit.  And with that, I know, I know we will be together once more.

Why do I feel alone

Why do I feel alone
When there are so many people around
Why do I feel quiet
When there is so much sound
And why do I stop to ask questions
When no one else is by
To think of a reply
I sit alone
In conversations with ghosts
And then I am confused and annoyed
When people are there
To be real
To be present–
I am guarded
Uncertain
Afraid.
Yet when I am alone,
It’s like a parade.
There are an infinite number
Of friends to see
And none of them are real
None of them are free.

And the world passes me by
I watch it turn
And I ask why.

But then the day breaks
And I see again the same shades,
The same hues of blue and grey
And I wonder
In which shade will I be today.

I sometimes feel

I sometimes feel I am
a memory of a woman
lying cold in the
summer heat. Languishing
in memories of lost
lovers a thousand years
old, she smiles as she
tries to find the taste
of the peace she thought
she knew.

She wants to believe,
wants to feel sure
but every frozen thought
upon the landscape
of this world
stands as a reminder
that she is still writing
the story she thought
she had already lived.

She cannot remember
if she is still within
this world or if she simply
decided in some other
aspect of time to be where she is, and who
she is, finding her rhythm and
beginning to begin again,
remembering the haze of a melody
a soldier whistled as he passed her
by on a summer’s night,
as he stepped through the remains of a
city broken by war.

The Story of Faust

Faust is the story of the modern man, and has not lost relevance today—we still live in the memory of a structure of self-punishment and self-denial while there’s an infinite number of signs around us at all times showing how salvation and relief from the pain and struggle are possible, but we ignore them and continue the self-flagellation, believing that we enjoy it or deserve it, or whatever it may be.  What divine curse has caused this pain upon humanity?  Why do we desire pain and struggle, we do we feel the need to suffer, even crave it, when we are able to constantly see that we are able to obtain joy and happiness, and fulfill every dream that we have ever pursued. 

Yet, we deny ourselves the fulfillment of these dreams so often, believing that we are helping ourselves or maybe saving ourselves from ourselves.  We would have suffered otherwise, we tell ourselves.  The pain of knowing that the beauty that we had sought was not really as beautiful as we had dreamed would be too much, and self-denial will bring us greater joy, bring us closer to our righteous path, a path more in line with the divine.  I laugh sometimes at those fools who feel so certain they have found the truth in this new religious text or that new self-help scheme, but then I realize that I am truly no different, I just hide myself in a shroud of intellectualism and self-assured maturity in my non-religiosity.  I am no different, and this truth is found in the story of Faust.  I have fought and fought the idea that I have anything in common with the story of Faust, I hate it above all else because some part of me sees its truth–some part of me feels the need to know and understand all things, things beyond myself, things beyond the nature of humanity.  I’ve realized that I, like many others, do believe that the evil in the world is stronger than the good, and have watched myself as I see the pain around me, and instead of trying to strengthen my own knowledge of myself and the truth I hold within me, I hide behind a mirage of pain so that no one can hurt my sense of being.  In reality, I am not in pain.  I am simply sad and hurt because I’ve believed the whispers that tell me that the beauty of my soul is not enough, that the world will destroy me and I will have to watch my spirit die.  Instead of letting this happen, I turned to self-destruction and pain, wishing to save myself from the perceived destruction that would await me otherwise.  But then, as time goes on, I’ve started to realize that the whispers were just children afraid of the dark, and that I was the only one who knew my own voice, and that no one would ever be able to hide its sound. 

I know I am in the process of letting go of the pain I used to hide behind, and remember the things I have always held secretly buried in my bones, waiting for the moment to release that truth and feel the joy of being who I know myself to be.  There is no greater pain than feeling separate from one’s self, and that is the trial of Faust, separation from his own sense of being, his own soul, his spirit—he listened to the whispers that told him his truth was not enough.  He listened and believed that his inner knowing was lesser than that which he could find beyond himself.  Ultimately, he created a world of torture and self-destruction rather than look within himself and see that all the answers he was ever looking for was already there, simply, quietly waiting for him to see.  The further he searched, the further he fell, for the further he separated from himself.  There is no greater pain than this.  We are each the divine comedy: we all are every circle of hell, every lost soul wandering the planes of purgatory, every melody sung by every angel in heaven.  We are the divine comedy, and the comedy has always been that we are blind to this single greatest truth of our lives.

January 28, 2014

If the voices of the Gods laugh at my wavering tone,
And perplex the sounds of this unwritten tragedy,
As a travesty upon the stage,
How will I begin to begin again?

And if they praise me,
What if I find the accolades unmoving,
What if I never feel their sound upon the earth
Or the tastes of a meadow breeze
As I sit in the last hour of this
Liquid assault upon my memory?

If I die in this moment
Will I not die in every other infinite feature of time?
Finding the tones that catch the vibrance of the winter haze
In the acrid taste of pain’s elucidation?

If I am nothing but bone marrow upon
A soggy stretch of earth,
Do I live and die upon
The hollowed taste of this
Frozen remorse?
Do I define myself by an
Infinite capacity to know
Nothing but that which
I cannot be?
If so, how did I start this game?
And where did I begin to see?

January 27, 2014

I don’t know how to define the things I’m looking for in life—they all remain abstract images, floating gracelessly in my mind.  I have written these same stories, these same tragedies, these same plays for what feels like a thousand years.  I don’t know if I’m repeating the story of my life or simply looking for a deeper way to live the same life—maybe in a different city, with a different family, a different name, in a different language—but always the same essence of who I am.  I remain who I am, despite the changes that may ensue.  It’s so funny to think what I know now and what I thought I knew then—back thousands of years ago when I thought I had come to terms with what life seemed to be and how I had come to call its name.  So many times I have watched myself die, and so many times I have watched myself be reborn.  To what end?  To what purpose? For what reason do I continue to be, unable to let go, yet remembering the moments across time in which I have seen all things igniting as one.  When will I let myself let go of you, when will I finally remember the warm glow of my own infinite light, and simply be the being I have always known myself to be?

December 24, 2013

I looked upon the stage and realized that I had never left this place, that I had always been standing right here in the glory of the sun with this fear lacerating my belly, a glorious fear that I love.  I thought somehow I had left or been touched by the silver glow of another era, and then found myself slapped in the face by whispers of someone else’s throne in some distant time in some distant world far from my own, but now I look, and I see that throne was only ever my story, my throne.  I have never left this place, never left this feeling.  I had dreamt someone had taken it from me, and now I stand here looking them in the eye, realizing the face looking back is my own.  There are no villains here, no victims.  I am my own victim, my own villain, and no one can ever take that away from me.

Where do I begin.  I was thirteen and the world seemed like a tragedy, fourteen and that tragedy came to an end.  I was fifteen and my life told its own story, and sixteen when I let it take me in.  I was seventeen when the blade began to fall, and eighteen when I began to see it was me who had placed my head upon it’s path.  I was nineteen when I started to tell a new story, and twenty when I forgot what that story was.  I was twenty-one when I found my life again, and twenty-two when I took the blade off its throne.  And now, at twenty-three, I’m beginning to understand that life is only ever a story if you wish it to be told, and that otherwise it stays a memory, riding upon the waves of the infinite bliss of human imagination.  But now I wish that bliss to come to an end, for I am done with the pain of those infinite waves, that infinite bliss that holds out its hand yet stabs you in the ass with a hot poker of confusion and disassociation.  My life had remained so long a song sung by a litany of angels fervently flapping their wings over the bed of an amorphous ball of light, flapping so fervently on the off chance that they might blow a bit of hope upon my sullen shape. Yet the form remains motionless, unmoving, uncertain.  For fear of the pain of form, the light remains clouded by shadow, fearful of what it means to become.  Yet over time, out of tiredness of the beauty of the wings and voices around her, the light begins to take a shape, to take a presence.  And then, gradually, she realizes there is nothing to fear in form, and that in fact the nature of form is one that denies the state of fear.  But how is this so?  How can this happen? What does this mean?  To that answer, she still doesn’t know, but the angels have settled down, and have taken their place around her, resting their wings, and holding out their hands to her, hands that feel like whispers upon the air.  I take those whispers in mine, and I thank them for having cared, for having been there when I could not.