Letting it kill me…

I’ve been relaxing and decompressing after all the stress of my move and it seems wasn’t doing so hot. I picked up the TV remote and let it start to kill me.

The more I tried to decompress the more tightly I’m wound up. I decided to try and lay low, to just settle into my new place for a couple of weeks without going out much, without getting amped up about making too many contacts. This decision came as I noticed setting up house was expensive, and I could in fact be flat broke. So my last two weeks have been a lot of netflix and a few cocktails, more cookies than I care to mention, and all of this basically because I was just waiting for my first round of bills to come in. If I survived in good shape then I can be a bit more liberal with my time, I can hand out flyers that say, “I’M HERE! COME PLAY WITH ME!” And now that I know I’m not completely and totally broke, I feel… no different.

This of course is not at all genuinely surprising. This is really a moment when after getting a little burnt out on the stress of moving house (and having a place that is completely and totally my own for the first time) I’ve given in to my resistance. I’m nervous and uncomfortable in social situations with new people, and now there is more staked on that than usual because I’ve moved to this city so that I could start at least one major professionally creative endeavor. I have not been CREATING since I’ve come here, but having had this realization its time to fix it. 

Perhaps in a subconscious victory over my resistance (thats called jiu-sistance*), I have been wasting my time in progressively better ways over the last week or so. Reading more about business practices and marketing and being a creative than about congressional gridlock and wizards defeating daemons, sounds like a step in the right direction, but really its still kind of a cop out. Yeah, I have a lot of learning to do, and reading about people who were me not that long ago is a path to that. However, What do these people write about? Mistakes.

Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. Does preparation yield mistakes? No. Although being ill-prepared can make them all the more spectacular. Does reading about other’s experience yield mistakes? No. Only action yields mistakes, and mistakes lead to learning. So its time to get creating. Its time to start making mistakes. Its time to start learning. Its time to pick up something I love and let it start killing me.

If you need a creative pick me up today, go read this from James Rhodes:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/apr/26/james-rhodes-blog-find-what-you-love 

If you’ve seen it before go read it again. If you haven’t seen it before and you don’t think you need that pick me up today, YOU ARE PROBABLY WRONG, read it NOW!

*jiu-sistance is a thing I made up to make myself feel better about my cleverly harnessing the intent and thrust of my creativity into high-level resistance and procrastination. Use it as you like.

 

Reading Writing and Running

I fantasize about a small cabin on a hill above some New England bluff. Its an imaginary place where I live for a few years with a like minded young woman. Yes, in part this is a fantasy about loving, warming, companionship, fantastic sex, and long lung-stretching, mind-expanding, heart-filling morning runs in beautiful places. The house has just 2 rooms, and rustic ramshackle siding but reliable electricity and hot water. It sits in a town where the sprawl of modern life has yet to penetrate, but where the local economy has built its own measure of convenience. And although the world goes on as usual, my companion and I quietly live out a kind of private utopia. We work simple jobs just half the week to support our habits of running, reading great books, and writing for ourselves and for everyone else who wants more.

We dedicate a chapter of our lives to a simple companionship and the cultivation of my newly designed Three R’s of personal development. Its a concept that operates much the same as the classic Three R’s many of us remember from elementary school, “Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic.” Of course if you ever learned the first two the last is hard to justify. And for many of us, especially those living a simple, quiet life in a shack above some small atlantic bay, arithmetic beyond addition and subtraction to balance a meager budget, has little utility.

So in this imaginary seaside shanty, the experiment of Reading, Writing and Running begins. The deep and distant humanity of our nature can be awakened in the primal simplicity of running for joy, for health, and for basic transportation. And then to write and deepen the understanding of this connection to the future, and to the distant past. Finally reading, primed by the regular practice of running and writing, we may dive into the classic literature, the new masterpieces of universal humanity and be moved not by the words but by the, wondrous nature of the base and fragile people who wrote them.

Short of cult leading, I expect to build my tribe one day on the merits of this system of learning, expression, and self actualization. The shack by the sea is the symbol that I’ve endowed to help me understand this hypothetical world, but the picturesque locale is not the fantasy. My yearning in this is most truly to be at the avant-garde of some new-millennium beat movement. When I read (or personally speculate) about my generation being one culturally lost in the torrent of commercial art, I feel it had ought to be my duty to stop that slide. I have no pretensions about being able to stand up, powerful and strong in the face of hollywood commercialisms’ fire hose and get anything but knocked clean off my feet and swept swiftly into the current. However, there is plenty of space today to stand just left of the line, not to level a playing field or to conquer a portion thereof, but to build an entirely new one. If that meant living in flop houses and smoking weed for the beat generation, I hope it could be reading writing and running in mine. Life needs little of its modern complications, I will happily live without restaurants and movie theaters, cable TV subscriptions or video games, corporate pop music made to sell soft drinks. All I ask is for a quiet place where I can share my life with someone sweet and concerned, and an opportunity to share the musings, learnings and stories of our lives with the world.

But in the world outside our private utopia, this might become a movement. Then I will have further obligations, which I will eschew. Because unlike many shaman before me, I know this message will not weather the inequity of being peddled. One cannot run angry, and one cannot peddle the careful, consistent, and ever deepening commitment to self betterment without causing it to crumble into dust. But I and the other practitioners of Reading Writing and Running will know that it is the way’s very fragility that gives it its power.

Dreaming

Did you ever wake from a very frightening dream only to be sorely disappointed that the rest of your world was right where you left it the night before?
Last night I was washed out to sea. I floated on a sheet of old siding and was borne out to open ocean. For a great long time there was the changing topography of the water, and then the current granted me a gift. In the neighboring valleys of the sea there were others just like me. And if we were lucky beyond hope we might find ourselves desperately stranded, broken, without our lives or families but at least in uncertain company.

It was about this time that I woke, alone, in my darkened bedroom, under a somewhat deflated down comforter and shivering like it were a cold ridge-line morning in a leaking tent. I knew it could not be later than 1 am, but the decision to rise from bed to get another blanket was never more difficult. My only desire was to shut my eyes and turn again, back to the unreality of my dreaming sea where perhaps I could justify my shivering cold with the wet and exhaustion. And with that beautiful destiny in mind I steeled guts to amble down the hall and collect from the closet an underused 35 degree sleeping bag. hurriedly and still shivering I tucked my feet into the bottom leaving it unzipped and laying on top of me before throwing the comforter over as well. But I continued to shudder, harder, almost convulsions. Seizing an extra pillow I hugged it to my chest and feverishly pulled the edge of the sleeping bag around me, I need more insulation. All this for getting to bed a bit too long after the heat turned off for the night. but then, as I began to turn a corner in the real world, my mind rolled over my right shoulder and back into the water.

The sky is grey but the water no longer rushes and heaves my fellows and I have landed a few together here is a place unfamiliar, but similar in its brokenness to the one I slid from. The hills are steep and the buildings are short their doors, their windows, and some of their walls. On the beachfront I am wary of my fellow castaways, but there is nothing to know, there is nothing say and nothing to fear. With new eyes we explore a destroyed neighborhood seeing the great boon of all this easy material and pre-made shelter not the despair of its great loss.

On the second floor of a house, the street-facing wall removed, the center hall and bedroom now a great open-air balcony, I spy two others. I and my three fellows approach the house, we offer our assistance. No names are exchanged because what could they mean in a place like this? We can trade only kindnesses. And soon we sit, provisioned and warmed by a fire. As the sun runs out we clarify our new national project, in the morning we will look to find, help, and cheer who we can. Sitting closely by the young woman who had been on the second floor of this house, a laugh rings out from us both and I suddenly recognize her. We had met before but I never could see her in this way, we talk of the future and not of the past, not of loss but of our find.

By a fire with sweet closeness, and dear warming in her eyes I have another date with a woman I always hoped to see in the yellow light of nostalgic love. Our small new future in the light of this fire and new family. Terror, wariness, shivering against hope is all toothless connecting of past to present as the stars make themselves known and a new world is born. A utopia is born from hell.

Then the alarm rings and I am adrift and dry in a bed ill equipped for the world so well appointed. I cannot bear the loss.

Brooklyn Rooftop Stargazers

I used to weep when we made love,and laugh out from our rooftop when we sat and watched the stars
she used to look out on our future with an awkward kind of distance

we were Brooklyn Rooftop Star gazers
and we suffered Choctaw losses in our souls
for we never really saw the stars.

My trail of tears turned river down the backs of her thighs
laughing mountain brook turns tallest waterfall,
quiet, meandering, then a path chosen, plummet
into the darkened forest where all things begin
THis is how the world turns

This is how the world turns
in “Come on Baby, give me one more chance.”
turns in, “Sorry, I’m not sorry.”
Turns in, “lets go, weekend, cheap offseason sea side motel, and I’ll run with you every single morning”

This is no Niagra, this does not thunder out its coming
does not proclaim its grandeur.
This is how the world turns,
Brooklyn Rooftop Star Gazers who suffered in their souls
never Learned what they were missing,
in just a little turn of world.

turns like,
“I really wish I could have”
“Maybe not this weekend”

A Goddess Smiles

A Sweet story-poem for those who had the courage to talk to her.  AND for those who are still working on it. Enjoy, and Happy Valentines Day!
A Goddess Smiles

I’m sipping a drink and there’s a flash over there,
a face that I notice
I catch a glance, and I think, I must be Looking Good.
Then I catch another, and I think… I must be kidding myself!
So I look again, this time she’s not looking back so I have time to realize that, I am kidding myself
and I will never be looking quite that good.
Her hair, is playing in the air a collection of curls cooing among cherubim.
Her dress is black, and fits her like something Aphrodite borrowed from Athena because it, “looks better on me anyway.”
Her jewelry, I think is a bit too simple for a goddess but I would think thus of anything set next to this face.
She must be a goddess, she must be, Five foot… two
and she holds a cocktail away from her floating like southern belle with a parasol.
But instead of running with water, or sunlight, or pretension, or whatever,
the libation she holds has got the air just dripping with… sex.
And I start to wonder how her glass keeps from sweating, because If I were that close…
Oh to be a glass in that hand…

But then, just before I look away (because I don’t even know anymore how long I’ve been staring), I catch another glance.
She is across the room, at a party, a bar, a wedding, a bat mitzvah for my second cousin’s daughter, really I don’t remember.
Because in that moment, I had a decision to make,
I could either
A) keep playing this game, and hope that maybe she’s more near sighted than I am and she’ll come over to me,
or B) admit my hubris and forget it,
or C) I could walk over to her and say

I want to be black wool in the winter time
and white linen in the summer, pure, cool and light
I will be the snowflakes that linger on the shoulders of your coat
making the Holidays with your family feel like sumer love on my childhood beaches
till I am brushed away by flaxen hair.
Because if I were a snowflake, I might be fun to bring home with you,
and I’ll roll on your floor,
then I will melt and join caribbean bay water,
I will be as blue and clear as these crystalized rings of thought that are lapping at a white linen toga and I will see the goddess in you every day…
And then my peripheral vision elbows my inner monologue: “I’ve never seen aphrodite in black.”
And I realize that I’m staring… in her eyes.

And maybe I have been for a while, so looks like my Hubris is out of the bag.

But she… is not moving. She just stands there. She must be used to this.
I’m sure I’m just every other asshole right now
because she is not budging.

I go to the bar, get a shield for my hubris, and color my bumbling in valiance.
Maybe I’ll be the guy, who soaring far too close to the sun,
can at least bring back some fiery brilliance.
So I pick up my glass and down it in one,
I stride up to this woman, who towers below me
and say, I’m not very good at words smartly done,
but I really would like you to know me,
because you look like a dream dreamt by thousands of men,
and I know there’s nothing so different that I’d be.
And she puts a finger to my lips,
looks down to her drink, slowly she sips. And says, “Stop apologizing. Don’t try to impress me. Just tell me what you were thinking… over there.”

So I stood agape, and followed my mouth as words began to fall out, I said,
“I was thinking…
I’ve never seen aphrodite in black, with curly-cue cupid brushing her shoulders.
I was thinking,
I want to be black wool and I will be the snowflakes that linger on the shoulders of your coat and make wintertime memories
feel like care-free white linen and love-making in the summer on beaches from my childhood.
And then I remember wondering how your glass kept from sweating like I am right now.
But right now I’m thinking… I’m quite content to be the snowflakes on your coat just so long as your hair lets me stay.”

And then She smiled