Friday, November 2, 2018

Gratitude

If I create something today, say these words on the page

Are they mine?

I don't think so

Are the colors you paint your picture yours

...or the notes of the song you wrote?

I build a life out of blocks given to me by others

I've made the mistake of calling them my own

"I've worked hard to get where I'm at", I say

As if I'm the creator 

I've burnt cold blocks to ashes to feel warm

And never realized the gift of hardship

I've squandered help and opportunity never understanding how to pay it forward

Yet my life is beautiful

And everything I am is yours

Thank you

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Depression

How do you describe the place in which you reside that has no color, no sound , no smell?

It's dark, not cold and not warm but comforting I can tell

It's a lonely place build for me and empty of family

And I breath it, live it and sadistically cherish it

It's not my home yet I designed it to hold me in its hollow hands

I can fold it and put it in my pocket

Save it for that day and the next

A horrible text

I read it over and over hoping the meaning will change

And the visitors never come

Why do they not show?

I can't answer the door

Please come in

I can't unlock it and the key was never made

So if you can break down this door I'll still not be able to describe the room in which I reside

Maybe you better stay outside




I used to build boats out of leaves, sticks and blades of grass. I'd fashion a sail out of a bubble gum wrapper, sheet it with strips of bark, and mount it on a sturdy stick for its mast. The boat would have a crew of bugs, whatever bugs that I could find that were easy to catch. One's with wings would not do, and spiders...well, spiders were terrifying to me and still are. I usually found small weevils or pill bugs to Shanghai and then I'd load 'em up, head to the edge of the sidewalk in front of our house with the garden hose in my hand and gently set the leaf boat and crew in the gutter. I then ran quickly back to the spigot turned on the water and ran back to the gutter to watch the cataclysmic wave pick up the tiny boat and unwilling crew and launch them downhill. The voyage usually ended up with an abandoned ship and bugs overboard. Some were lost at sea, never to be found again. The rest I gathered up, reenlisted them into my navy and did it all over again till all were lost.

Today I have a real boat built to cross oceans and ride waves. This boat comes with real human crew: one asshole and a beautiful woman named Jen. The boat also comes with bugs, especially spiders. When I went and set anchor in Hanalei Bay last year a spider crawled out from the chain locker and scared the shit out of me. I watched it emerge like a tiny grape with legs. It hit the deck at full speed and then it quickly made its way up the forestay and disappeared into the rolled up head sail. I never saw it again. I don't know what happened to it. It Probably got hurled into the sea the next time we left anchor and unfurled the jib in the trades.

It had sailed across an ocean with us. I'm sure it was hungry. What did it eat? Did we carry a crew of other bugs like live provisions for the spider to eat? How long can spiders live without food? I don't know the answers to these questions.
I do know that bugs have crossed oceans on floating debris and boats alike. They've landed on distant shores of uninhabited islands to colonize and make a life for themselves. The did it without a plan, without a thought, without an expectation. They just took what life threw at them and did the best they could. Some succeeded, some perished forever. I imagine that the bugs on boats did a little better than the ones that were not.




Saturday, September 8, 2018

Truth is a casualty ripped apart from what was self evident. Bob Dylan once said, "All the truths in the world add up to one big lie."  This statement reminds me of a time I discovered a friend of mine didn't like ice cream. I was like WHAT! Who doesn't like ice cream. My friend was slightly ashamed as if he had just lied to me about something. He actually looked away from me and stared at the ground. I realized in that moment, after I was done calling him a mutant and questioned whether or not we could be friends anymore, that he had shared a profound truth with me. I began to realize that it was the truths we don't share that are the source of lies.
Now I don't recommend going out into the world and bearing your soul and confessing everything to anyone. That's fucking crazy. Fetishes can be weird and I don't want to know everything about anyone, except maybe me. I wish to be honest with myself without being ashamed. I suppose that is where the truth lays.
Shame comes from judgement. It can be a good thing, a sign of conscience. I did something I know was wrong and I shouldn't have done it. Now I feel bad. Shame is a personal thing. Shame needs to be reconciled. Now back to my ice cream hating friend.
I wasn't quite done busting his balls so, I began telling him he shouldn't be around children with his cold, cold heart. In fact I told him the reason he doesn't like ice cream is that he's unable to swallow it because it doesn't melt past his cold, cold heart. After a few more laughs and back and forth insults I asked him what he doesn't like about ice cream. He began to tell me a story.
One Summer when he was 8 he and his Dad, pregnant Mom, and two younger sisters went to Dairy Queen and each got a soft serve vanilla cone and as they drove home in the hot station wagon his youngest sister, who often got car sick threw up onto his lap. This started a chain of events, because she apparently ate red licorice earlier that day. My friend look down at the red vomit upon his thighs and thought it was blood and immediately got sick himself and also threw up. His middle sister began screaming and as all this was unfolding in the back seat Mom began to go into labor in the front seat. I can imagine at this point in the story you are having the same reaction as I did. Are you mouth breathing and thinking 'no fucking way'? Well that's how I reacted. My friend continued his story. Meanwhile his father as cool as a cucumber routes the station wagon to the hospital. He drives without saying a word as my friend and his sisters are all crying in the backseat while sitting in vomit. He pulls calmly up to the ER doors and escorts his wife into the hospital. There's a moment before his Dad comes out. Then he slowly walks toward the car and opens the back door where my friend is sitting and quietly says, "This is what happens when you get ice cream."
There's is more to this story which includes some funny shit about his Dad which I will share for another day, but for right now I have a point to make. First of all my friend well into his adult life believed what his father said. That and the nauseous feeling he gets when he's around ice cream is the reason he doesn't eat ice cream. My friend said it was more a feeling of shame that came from that experience. His Dad in that moment vented all his frustrations in the only way he knew and put the weight of the world on him, like none of this would have happened if we didn't get ice cream.
It's amazing how honest an 8 year old brain is. Adults sure know how to fuck it up with a few words. Anyway, shame in this form can be a prison. And this is a benign example of the types of shame that have been hurled upon some of us. I know there is some real ugly stuff that some of you have endured, some real insults to your dignity. We all know the stories of violations of dignity that include lying, rape, even murder...that last one reminds me of a quote from the movie Unforgiven: "...you take away everything he's got and everything he's ever gonna have."
I would say that when we lie to a child we murder their innocence. It's gone forever. And as adults we also experience a little innocence lost when lied to and that is a shame. It is also true.
Innocence is what is self evident. It is what you know in your heart to be true. We are born more or less as innocent beings to participate in a world that has been torn apart by fear. Fear is innate, it helps us survive when the tiger walks into the room. That's the natural form of fear, but the unnatural fear , the fear to express ourselves, the fear we're not good enough or we can't trust what we feel is the catalyst to shame.
We have a real skill at building prisons for ourselves, both metaphorically and literally., but metaphorically speaking the most effective way I know of tearing down these walls of shame is forgiveness. First... and most important is to forgive yourself, especially for the shame that was never yours to begin with. It was dropped off at your door step like a thirsty, hungry, ugly three legged dog unable to fend for itself or breathe that has no hope of surviving. Yet you have been holding onto that dog for years on life support as it looks into your eyes begging for you to let it go. Let that poor fucker go. After you let that poor miserable dog die you may feel pretty damn sad, so let that out too. It's okay to cry...Really. I don't know what secrets you have, just don't tell everyone it's a beautiful puppy when we can all see it's a dying three legged dog.
My 8 year old friend knew in his heart that what his father said was not true, but he also trusted his Father and that's where the conflict began. I want to be careful not to throw this poor Dad under the bus. He is only human after all and if it was me in the same situation I would have been yelling at everyone to shut the F#$K UP, or I may have started laughing maniacally which would have made an already precarious situation crumble into anarchy. The way he remained calm really made him the hero of the story. I asked if his sisters still eat ice cream. He said yes, he is the only one in his family that doesn't like ice cream. Then I asked if his Father has ever talked about that day and my friend said his Mom likes to tell the story and remembers it fondly. My friend reminded me that she wasn't in the back seat and was about to give birth to a beautiful baby girl, so perspective is everything. Then I asked again, "What about your Father?" He reluctantly replied, "He's dead..."
I could tell you all now that none of story about my friend is true and that my friend doesn't exist and yet we all know what is self evident. Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Internet blaring. Fuck all the sharing. The tiny little screen of my phone fits perfect for lines of jokes, www. coke. I rub my gums...nice and numb. Maybe I'll feel today. YouTube steal my soul away. Lithium battery is warm and flattering. Running low. Must plug in and go. Charger got to fill my battery larger. I'm connected yet have never felt so alone. Suicide is not a condition, just a 24hr edition. Information has just become more misinformation. Who formed it and how was it formed? Enhanced selfies and sunsets are just black and white rainbows. You'll never feel the wind blow if you never open up the window.

Come down the stairs
Hold a loved one and smell their hair
Go move in the world
Give a sermon and bleed for someone
Find a place pristine and protect it
One's heart counts if you can connect it
Share something salty, painful and see if they stick around
Find out your limit and brush it aside
Be uncomfortable and let everyone see inside
Try to go a day with an honest face
An un-enhanced attitude in a natural space
And show some real gratitude
For what you have
For what you are
For what you can do
'Cause I don't care what you pretend to be!





Monday, December 11, 2017

A sailboat never stops moving in water. Its perpetual motion fueled by wind and waves gives life to its inanimate body. Even at anchor and dock a sailboat reacts to external forces in an immediate way. Unlike land bound vehicles and motorized aircraft a sailboat moves with and not against forces of nature. It is a thing of beauty, a manmade phenomenon, a vessel made of curiosity for exploration.
We built boats as our first "spaceships" to go beyond the horizon across a liquid medium inhospitable to humans that makes up more than 70% of the earth's surface. The early Polynesians and Vikings were probably the first to venture farthest from shore to expand their horizons either by necessity, ambition or both. Both cultures traveled thousands of miles of open ocean to inhabit "new" lands. The Polynesians in particular landed on remote islands, mere dots upon a vast ocean, that had never been inhabited by humans. They were the first.
I could write pages on how remarkable the Polynesian voyages were, how navigating without instruments and charts and finding their way repeatedly is almost unimaginable, but they knew the way. They observed nature as a whole. They saw celestial bodies rise, fall and move across the sky. For them wind and waves put up signs, open sea highways built by forces external to planet earth itself. Billions of years makes for a lot of wisdom...and they tapped into it.
The early navigators were sailors. They searched their place in the universe to find their way. Maybe they understood that their place in this world was to show the way to others that we are not separate, but connected. Maybe they knew that as the planets and stars moved across the sky, and as our Sun stirred the wind and waves, and as our Earth's molten core of spinning magma created the islands they fell upon; they knew that they were part of it all and not lost. They had the chart all along and saw that all the roads lead back to us, that we our a celestial body by which others can find their way.

So what about the sailboat set upon the sea which holds the navigator? Well, it is the earth upon which he stands, his life pod set in perpetual motion by external forces, his vessel to find his way.
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Monday, November 27, 2017

There's a pine and palm tree top just above a roof mounted air conditioning unit across the street

It's a middle school over there in a neighborhood of cat piss, juniper and oleander

I watch these tree tops move in the wind...oh and the adjacent oak

It speaks to me with arms and mouth within a amber light of green

It says something I cannot understand but it keeps me company anyway

The palm on the other hand tells me everything as the sun goes down

And I sit below an apartment of a young family full of life

All loud and in motion

I miss my own

All alone...