Build

In 28 years, have I learned nothing?

Feels like it, certainly. This is not true. Yet the big ones, the big mistakes, the big cycles, seem to keep repeating. Some days, I just want to hurt people. I don’t, on purpose at least. I have enough sense for that. I pride myself that I don’t go out of my way to say the mean thing, to give a nasty look, to hurt someone who has hurt me. The choice is the truth of you, not the feeling. But untamed desires whirl their way into conscious action through subconscious means, and the end result is almost the same. Almost worse, done naively.

Mine the subconscious. Extract, transform. Use what can be used, discard the rest. “We are here to build the house.” says Cheryl Strayed. Very true. I am living in a small shack with some very good materials, but it’s in shambles now. Lots of potential. Learning how to build is the deed. What is building and what is merely smashing shapes together.

Carpentry, something I have done very little, loved what little I have done, and admired greatly as a craft. Time to learn, in the workshop of metaphor, the timber of my collected past. Build, build, build.

Posted in Non-Fiction

Ruins.

To be ruined and then ruin. To perpetuate. I am what was done to me, and I am what I do, and it feels like these two things are mirrors facing one another, repeating the same damaging, vicious cycles and over and over, irrefutable and insurmountable. This is the psyche, ever molded by what it encounters, and yet with our sensibilities, our choices, we can reform this tragic figure into something better. Something of worth and valor.

Hope and optimism always reveal themselves in my writing more than when I am alone in my thoughts, or even composing something in my mind to write. As though writing is more essential to my survival than even I can understand. I do not believe I have much value other than as an artist. I am a terrible partner, insecure and demanding, an emotional leech after the charm has been exhausted. A decent enough friend, but jealous and judgmental. Self-pitying in all regards, it seems. Fair employee, given the right environment. No longer a daughter (out of choice, not death).

The realness of valuing my artist self most has plagued me, and troubled others due to showing a lack of self-worth and self-love. There’s some truth there, but is it so wrong to believe that the best of what you are is exposed in certain deeds? And to value those deeds, and the pursuit of those deeds, above all else? There is always a flaw in the extreme, but there is a flaw or two in everything. I run from what I am, I run from the best of who I am then I wonder why I drudge along in self-hatred. Run into your own arms. A strange, silly paradox of impossibility, but the idea stands. You are the diver about to dive, and the waiting ocean.

Posted in Non-Fiction

Next Days

Yesterday as I sat at a cafe I felt a profound sense of bliss. I was reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, and came across this passage:

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth—that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

It was comforting to know that I was not alone in this deeply held belief, and over the years I have distanced myself from it. Over the years I have cut myself away from my own wisdom, due to the painful isolation it brings when most turn to cynicism and anger and call themselves learned.

Love is paramount. And suddenly a part of me returned that had been long absent. My inner realm has been taken over by recent heartbreak and it’s subsequent anger, sorrow, and confusion. In loves’ bliss, the voice and internal presence of that beloved has reigned, and I can only hear his voice in my mind, but yesterday I found myself free of his loveliness at last, and could sit in the corner seat of the cafe, listening fully to the jazz flowing through the speakers, admiring the light as it reflected off the embossed wallpaper. I was integrated. A key term in trauma recover, in a process I am beginning, but in many moments in life I have found this. An actual existence. The questions that plague the ever philosophical mind disappear, and one simply is. There is a reason artists and thinkers and the like are always so troubled. We must travel to understand, to explore. There is no way out but through. And there is no use in resenting what must be traversed. It must be done.

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.

– James Baldwin.

A variation of a similar quote from him, but I cannot find that one verbatim… It is something like your suffering is meaningless unless someone else can connect their suffering to yours.

It is true. Everyone I have ever loved, admired, it was because pain shaped them into something similar to me, a recognizable shape, amid the apathetic alien creatures that surrounded me. Loss and grief and injustice are horrible. How we cope with them creates new worlds. New hope, new possibilities, new futures. It doesn’t have to hurt so bad. It doesn’t have to be this way forever.

I am tired of self-pity, of anger and bitterness. I am waiting on biopsy results to see if I have cancer [edit: results benign] , and my gut feeling is that it’s bad. I feel this warmth in my breast, in this tumor, a warmth exactly like anger. I have spent my life so filled with rage, and never sufficiently let it out. My body has collected it all like precious metals and gems, and formed a priceless rock of anger inside my chest. Disease is the art of the body. It is expression of the repressed. Emotion is not an imagined fable. It is as real as love, as death, as the knife that pierces and kills. As the knife that sets you free from bondage. Deny it at your peril.

I am tired of being less than I am. And my time might be running out. Might be out. How much I would like to be alive.

The light through the leaves of the trees outside my window is simply beautiful, and I though parts of me manage to be bitter and angry, other parts let go at simple pleasures. There is a slight smell of urine from my hamsters sizable residence, placed near my desk, but she is sweet and funny enough that I find it acceptable.

The desire for validation is so immense. To be told that I am right in some way, have something valuable to offer, am finding good insight despite floating among the wreckage, grasping the horizon with my feeble sight, searching for land. So often, in this feeling, I simply need to sink a little deeper and realize that the water has become shallow, and that I am almost home.

The desire for love is so immense. The desire for company. Nothing wrong with desire. Nothing is wrong at all.

Posted in Non-Fiction

The Return

Nothing I love or know better than madness. Everything good in me bound into the monster as well. In chaos it comes out. A healthy normal life is always a lie for people like us. You cannot run or hide. You simply lie until you ruin your life with illusions, and then the truth of your own warped mind is too heavy to bear.

My old friend suicide returns, remaining tangential in the mind, the soul. The addictive affection of annihilation. I am a tormenter best. I learned from the best. And who can take my lineage, my crown from me.

Only in pain I make art and create. Only in the biggest sufferings. There is no other way. You make art or you have peace. Maybe you make art to have peace. Because the non-art peace is just a lie. I am tired of being tame. And no one wanting me. I don’t want me anymore. I never have.

I want the crystallized version of me. The reduced, distilled, pure, and then hardened unbreakable version of me. Maybe this is what life is giving me. This is the process I want. For the result I want. A purer cleaner understanding of my most human self.

I do not exist without the constant call for destruction. This is my nature. I must channel it correctly. I want to be no monster. I want a human life. Sometimes happiness. I am afraid of myself, more than any fist or weapon. I fear my will. My loneliness. And my passion for purity of experience.

I am suffering again. I am writing again.

Posted in Non-Fiction

Recovery of Self

I don’t want to talk about the things I have spent the last 5-6 years talking about. It is an odd thing to change so fundamentally, to truly crawl out of dead dry skin as a pulsing, moist creature. What it means to change is so immense. You cannot even gauge it. The horizon opens in front of you yet you remain staring at the ground. You think you are the ground.

It has at times helped me to think about my past, and the things I’ve overcome. There is, however, the danger of over-associating with the past. You must teach yourself to know more than your past. In imagining a future, you have to believe you can become that future, if not already are that future. You are as you imagine you are. Recovery of self is not the recovery of some muted thing, it is the recovery of possibility. The ancient adage there is no self still rings true.

Recovery of imagination. Recovery of potential. Recovery of dreaming of who you wish to become. When you think it, you have it, therefore recovery itself is a flawed premise. It is with you or it isn’t. You want it or you don’t. You’ll do it or you won’t. And all other rhyming opposites…

Posted in Non-Fiction

kingdom of faith

In the task of falling asleep I find my mind filled with budding thoughts and discourses, and of course in the early rising to write, my consciousness has been razed by fatigue. Not entirely true. I could write about this breakfast cookie. Very tasty, moist and flavorful.

I worry about my hands. Typing, cell phone use, our hands and wrists are not made for these. Arguably they are better suited to boxing, however unnatural that it is, in it’s own way. It is perhaps more natural than my other pursuits, like acting and writing. Expression is natural, but language is strictly learned, we do not just do it. Acting, is it more unnatural than boxing? In a way it is. Public violence is more natural to us than public vulnerability, isn’t it? Boxing necessitates vulnerability, but you get to defend yourself and attack. Acting is like just being attacked. There’s a sense of ownership of self, however. A reclaiming of the soul that is similar to boxing. I only think of acting in the negative sense now. A public failing, a humiliation too brutal to bear.

Leaving my day job in two weeks to pursue freelancing and the creation of passive income. I am excited, and I feel more confident than previously in the success of my ventures. There is still a lot of doubt in me, however, so more confident is not enough to carry me forward fully. Little by little, rebuild a kingdom of faith inside me.

Posted in Non-Fiction

I have risen extremely early, and am pleased with this, despite a mild headache and facing the reality of my very thin, cold pajama bottoms. I have an odd desire to cook. It’s 4:44 am. It’s not so much odd that I want to cook so early rather than it odd that my desire upon waking is to cook. I am not particularly hungry either.

I have always felt a deep kinship with the late night, but early mornings are similar.

I would like to re-read all the books of my youth, to see if I can remember that love of reading. Where did I escape to in my former troubles? I used to stay up late into the night with a book, or find that my first thoughts upon waking were the excitement of continuing the recent library discovery. Now I go months without touching a book. Has every aspect of my life been destroyed? Movies, books, theatre, music, I do not touch these nearly as much. Music is hard to avoid, and this is good.

After madness you must rebuild everything. Or at least I let go of everything in those times. Some friends could do nothing but read in the dark days. I try not to think of the past any more. To a degree, this is effective. But where do I put all these memories? I am supposed to learn from them, yes yes, but they feel so tangible,  like they take up physical space inside of me. How do I purge them? Or make peace. So much peace to make in this life. It’s a full-time job. I guess peace is an emotional currency of sorts, the a different cryptocurrency, what I receive for sorting out all these internal complexities which keep my little world from working at it’s finest.

At almost-28, I still have no confidence in choosing breakfast. I have taken to a piece of my roommates pizza bread (not vegan), and a few pieces of (vegan) chocolate. I will eat an apple.

This has been a strange, yet enjoyable post for me. Happy Saturday, folks. 5:06 am.

(For those of you confused, I work at 6 a.m., and therefore it isn’t completely crazy to be up at this hour.

Posted in Non-Fiction