Archive for July, 2011

Passion(ate)

I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know). I remember the kid I was, this egotistical, slightly off-kilter mess of a boy…he was a dreamer.

He had so many plans and ideas. Some things never change, some things, do.

I can remember when I started college, when all sorts of amazing information was literally being thrown at me. It was absolutely amazing.

There were so many possibilities, every horizon was wide-open and inviting with promises of adventure.

I was certain I was going to change the world. So very certain that my ideas would make things better; would make some sort of difference for the people on this ball of water and rock in space.

To an extent: I still am.

My parameters have changed somewhat, my dreams tempered by experience. It’s somewhat sad, to think that dreams must be broken and reforged to survive this world.

As one of my favorite authors says: “I didn’t make the world, I only try to live in it.”

I think about every piece of writing I’ve ever read, novels, textbooks, scientific journals…the list could literally take me days but I’m not trying to list everything I’ve read that will make me sound uber-smart and ultra-snarky.

What I’m getting at is that you will find meaning everywhere. There are novels I’ve read that literally had one sentence that gripped me, one sentence which connected me to the writer, soul to soul. And those fifteen or twenty words made reading the other seventy-five thousand or so absolutely worth every second it took to do so.

I’ve found absolutely elegantly constructed bits of pure inspired heart in the driest journal on computer science.

It’s about passion. If you are passionate about what you are writing it flows through, it makes you more eloquent, it gives you a fire that comes through your words. It creates something ethereal, almost magical and certainly something so surreal conceptually. It creates a bond between two people who have never met in the flesh. For a moment or two you are absolutely connected.

I mean how freaking cool is that?

Clos(ur)e

Closure is such a funny word. Not it’s meanings, which are as varied as they are nigh-inapplicable to most earthly situations, but it’s spelling – the actual letters and sounds that make up it’s concept in our minds.

Go ahead, say it out loud, mouth it a few times, let it’s syllables roll around in your mind. Hell go get a pen and write it down; let that cee flow into an ell, into that oh and onward and tell me if you feel any better at the end of it.

Exactly my point.

Closure is a collection of unconnected consonants and vowels that mean nothing until they are connected in our minds as the abstract concept of an ending, of something being closed or fastened. But it’s never so neat and easy here in the desert of the real.

Closure is a mirage on the horizon, it wavers and beckons; just a few more steps and you’ll be here it seems to say, sibilantly enunciating it’s ess sound, the end of it so sure, sure as in I’m so sure you’ll feel so much better if you can just force yourself to trudge a few more miles through this barren wasteland.

Broken ridges and switchbacks sending you round and round, old memories assaulting you as the sun beats down in a rage you’re certain you cannot possibly survive, and all the while the mirage flutters in your peripheral vision.

I am sure there is no such thing as clo-sure. There is surely closing, as in doors slamming, footsteps receding rapidly as someone flees the scene of the crime. A closing from which most never fully recover.

Kind of sad isn’t it? I’ll let you in on a little secret about the social construct we inhabit: none of it is, by strict definition, real. It is all a collection of learned behaviors associated with abstractions.

So if you can wrap your head around the concept that nothing you take for granted exists in the real, you can make your own borders, your own boundaries, your own en-closure(s).

You can manufacture your own closure. You can, it’s fairly simple in theory but like everything else here on earth the easiest things are always so so hard.

So internalize it. Feel every single heartbeat of pain and then put it down and just walk away.

The heat-shimmering horizon stops wavering and you find an oasis, cold water flows over your face and you can see the sun rise again, only now it’s no longer torturing you with it’s blistering heat, because you can once again cast your own rays right back, belittling the stars with your radiance.

Stay amazing, do big things. Love like you’ve never been hurt because who knows when you’ll pass this way again.

Inspir(ing)e(d)

“I used to be my own protection,
But not now.
Because my mind has lost direction,
Somehow.”

-Chester from Linkin Park

Say what you will about the band, he is a talented writer. He understands the concept of concise emotional release instinctively. It’s a trait you can coach but not one I believe you can teach. I respect anyone that has the capacity to reach inside and pull out that inside for everyone else to gawk at.

Charming visual, I know. Rest assured I am grinning at the idea of making anyone green with that one. However what I am talking about is honesty, he doesn’t pull punches, he says exactly what he means and he says it in a way that reaches people and allows them to feel it too.

That’s the dream. Reaching out and pulling people in, letting them feel a little of your pain, feeling a little of theirs and thereby lessening everyone’s burden a bit. Who knows what could happen, who you can help or even save by taking on a little of them, and giving them a little of you in return.

I’d call it beautiful and slightly naive. But it doesn’t make me hope for it any less.

Stay true, stay real.

Perfectly Centered

I am a diabolical maxim, upon which you will simultaneously place your greatest hopes and your darkest fears.

It sometimes seems hard to explain that everyday I grow more into the person I am meant to be. I think that the moment you stop growing you die; your body may keep moving but your presence will grow dimmer until both fade away.

You’ll echo in mementoes and memories but you’ll no longer be real to me.

I am a strange guy, this I have said before, but I say it now because I can literally find the good in every situation. It’s not a natural skill, it’s something I’ve taught myself to do. I learn from everything, I grow from every moment, every breath I take teaches me something.

“Life in every breath.”
– Miyamoto Musashi

So rather naturally I asked myself what I have learned lately.

It’s very simple. I’ll break it down to it’s simplest form: don’t play with fire and expect not to be burned.

I could explain in much more detail, but I’ll forgo that for my typically vague discourse.

There’s not much of it left except to say that it makes me a better writer and a better person having experienced what I have. The rest is just tatters, like a clothesline sheet-ghost; flowing brokenly, shifted by endless winds and so thin you could see through it without the gaping holes torn from corner to corner and back again.

So filmy and so sheer, because that’s what happens when something is only half-real; all the rest built (so stilted and shaky) on pseudo-truths and badly-wished wishes.

But I digress:

I say better writer because negative or positive most of my emotions are funneled into my books. They are the fuel, the energy that makes what I do possible. And let’s unleash the beast (my insufferable ego) and just say when I do something I always do it well.

Go big, or go home. I always bounce right back to my feet, as though nothing can touch me, as though ruffled feathers are a compete mystery.

I am no longer a creature ruled by doubt, chased by fear, I am supremely confident and that is unfortunately, generally difficult to stand next to.

I’ve made peace with that. I’ll go ahead and be me, no excuses, no apologies.

I can honestly say that life is the strangest trip I’ve ever been on and I literally sit the edge of my seat on the daily waiting to see what’s next.

It’s never boring. What awesome vehicles we have been gifted with for this ride; enjoy it, I know I will.

Begindings

Sometimes, just sometimes, life gives you exactly what you need and everything makes sense.

I love it when that happens. It’s validating. And what I mean by that is simple: omnia causa fiunt or everything happens for a reason.

I like to believe that it does. It makes sense to me on a barely-conscious, nearly-instinctive level; something half-aware and absolutely primal. It reminds me of the fade.

The fade will probably come up more here in my blog as I near completion on this first novel. The fade is the alter-ego of my protagonist. He is a creature of instinctual action; he is also incredibly frightening.

In other news the apartment hunt continues. Happy birthday America, I blew some stuff up while drinking beers with good friends: just like old Tommy Jefferson intended.

(un)Condition(al)

“Suspicion is my new religion and you’re all too sketch to breathe.”

– found that little gem in an old notebook

Soundboards. I need more of them in my life. They are so much more necessary than I’d ever have believed.

For me, almost always (even if it’s only in the sense that I tend to talk to myself) trying to explain an idea makes that idea so much easier to understand.

I rather enjoy that.

The basics of conceptual construction are elegant in their simplicity: grasping a concept; making an idea take root in your subconscious so it will grow into something real and tangible in your everyday, waking life.

And of course by the process of explanation that idea takes a firmer hold: it’s basic operant conditioning. The repetition and the positive reinforcement (from taking pleasure in [perhaps explaining, perhaps merely in understanding] a concept).

*Yes, I just bracketed inside parentheses. I’m kind of a badass like that.*

Now on to odd(er) thoughts and even odder theories.

The chronicles progress; I can channel every ounce of pain into my protagonist, he becomes something tangible, something surreal.

He is a paradox because he is both me and nothing. No. Thing. And yet it seems he can feel far more than I sometimes.

It makes a believable (anti-?)hero.

It makes my life feel unreal.

And I am of two minds on my gifts:

Occasionally I wonder if I’d prefer a less tortured (and less talented) existence. I sometimes believe that intelligence is a curse-cum-blessing.

It’s a responsibility. I know that I should use my gifts for the betterment of everyone around me, which thanks to our global communications system is a rather large responsibility. Don’t ask how I know, if you have to ask you won’t get the explanation.

I hope I am worthy of it, I hope that I prove capable.

Secretly, I believe that I am more than capable, pride is ever my constant companion; no matter how hard I struggle for humility. I am always too full of my ability. I pray for modesty, I hope that I can learn it.

I find that oftentimes I don’t want to be right about people.

It’s always difficult to write (ironic phrasing I know) someone off, to move them from column to column; a spreadsheet of those who are and those who are not: I hate that I’ve become so good at it.

I…

I am not sleeping well anymore. I am barely sleeping at all, truth be told. My dreams are almost always nightmares, vivid and intense, so very real. I find myself ruminating on the nature of reality, for what is reality but our perception of it?

Physics does not help me here, not even philotics or quantum coupling. There is no rational explanation for what it is that I know to be true. And how sad it is that it is so. I would almost call it karmic but I know that debt has been paid and over-paid. I do find some dark humor in it though, I must admit.

I wish that I were more able to keep my perception(s) to myself, to unshare my view. Not always, just when I need to.

It is impossible for me to describe the feeling icing my veins tonight:

Alternately, I have to keep moving, keep running forward because I have to believe that something amazing is waiting just around the corner and then I am frozen in place by a sense of loss so bottomless that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to breathe again.

It’s nights like these that try my soul. These are the times I have to stand solidly alone, as I always do.

It’s hard sometimes to be strong, because to be strong you must first be weak.

I wish He didn’t trust that I can handle all that I can.

Sometimes anyway. Most times I am simply grateful; for every smile, every pained grimace. I am grateful for the absolute blessing that is every single simple joy and every jolt of pain to be experienced on this plane.

I am blessed by this gift, life. It is, as always, what you make of it.