Monday, December 4, 2017

3.14

Major changes cause reverberations throughout our lives..
Just like the harmonics of a reverberating bell ringing through my head.
314 was the hour on the clock that I woke to, not due to alarm or any known cause, just that i simply snapped awake at the exact time, many times over several weeks, while i was living at my uncle's house several years ago. The number on the front door of the house.. was 314 as well.
I wondered at this for a long time, partially because it is also the first three digits of pi, an extremely important mathematical constant.
Most times when I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason I think nothing of it, roll over and go back to sleep, but sometimes i'm drawn back to that period of my life, when it happened a lot and wonder why.

There is a cost, a toll to be paid for the intentional suppression of our own native feral nature, the desire, the NEED to run screaming into the dark, away from this place, this life which is not what we ever wanted. We fall into the trap of this existence because it is perceived as the norm, and as such we think that perhaps WE are the oddity, we that want to live free of these encumbrances, we that are living a life which is a jail cell of tortured existence, a subject, a worker bee..
The price to be paid is that we lose ourselves, moment by moment, becoming just another cog in the machine.

There still exists in me a spark, a fire of creation in which great things are forged and destroyed again before ever seeing the light of day. It is necessary.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

20 years

Twenty years ago today, this world lost a good man. It happens every day I know, in varying degrees of importance to us all based on connection with the loss, but this one changed my life forever. He was my dad. 
 My father was the kind of guy who would wait up late for the neighbors to come home so they would make it from their car to the house safely after the end of their work shift. People talk about having a block watch, but my dad was the entirety of the night shift on our block. There was no neighborhood meeting required, he just adopted the responsibility because someone had to do it. He was the kind of guy who would do literally whatever he could to help anyone who was one of the good guys (honorable folk), and often did so at his own expense. He lived in the West End of Hartford and while being encroached on all sides by crack heads, junkies and thieves, he refused to move. He toed the line because that is what you are supposed to do.  He had a habit of doing good for others (often without them ever knowing who did it) especially when he was in a bad place himself, paying it forward before that was even a term known to the vernacular. And so the ripples of his good actions faded into time, his loss is a loss to all of us. The world as a whole became a bit colder that day. What makes it especially tragic is that he was in excellent health until three junkies saw him as an available robbery target, confronted him in his own front yard, and shot him, taking him from us long before his time. 
 My father’s death taught me a few things, first and foremost the idea that life is short, unpredictable, and can be over at any moment. This was a lesson I desperately needed and still need to be reminded of often. I won’t bore you with the rest of the lessons. 
One might hear this story and claim it to be justification for an anti-firearm argument, but really it is a failure of the ‘criminal justice’ system since each of the participants in the crime had a rap sheet as long as my leg, and then some. None of them had the legal right to possess a firearm anyway. Criminals by definition do not follow the law, so making laws against firearms does not disarm the bad guys (obviously as evident here) but only disarms those inclined to follow the law. Also, after being shot my father was able to put a round through an assailant’s arm and leg, causing major blood loss and thus a DNA sample on the scene to verify the shooter’s identity when he later sought medical attention, so really this can be argued to be a case study of the fact that the tool is not the guilty party for the actions taken by the one who wields it. 

We all have many tools at our disposal. Make good use of them, and use them for good. In other words, don’t let them rust away in a drawer, use your skills, talents and abilities to the fullest, and with good intention.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Reality Avoidance Syndrome

*note I am not a mental health professional except as relates to my own life and mind. Nothing I say should be construed as advice.

Many years ago I coined a term, a phrase to name a situation that seemed to keep coming up in my life and in the lives of those around me. Reality Avoidance Syndrome is in a nutshell just the idea of people distracting themselves from their own personal and/or public reality to make it all tolerable. I still do this somewhat at work, to avoid my feeling like a captive, I listen to music or comedy or audio books and my mind goes elsewhere. The problem is that just like any addiction, it is easy to ignore the problem and the ramifications, and sooner or later you forget that you've been using distraction medicinally and have so much built up unprocessed angst that has been walled in a back corner of your mind, that you now have a big festering pile of feces to deal with. No one really wants to deal with a big steaming pile so it gets ignored and ignored until it starts pouring over the top of the wall or pushing its way out through the cracks.  The problem is we now live in a country where our primary export is entertainment (ie distraction) and the majority of the population of this great nation is so addicted to it that it is blind to the often unpleasant truths that are around us.

I am not without my own guilt in this, and for me the problem began very young.  I am told by my brothers that after our mother deserted the family I experienced a period of being borderline catatonic, which I have no memory of. I was about 3 years old after all. I have to believe this was a self protective mechanism to shield part of my psyche from the loss of our mother, so I freely admit there are times and places where a certain amount of compartmentalization of feelings is a necessary tool to going on with life.

However there comes a time when we must each unplug, disconnect from all distraction and reconnect with ourselves, heal our own wounds, heal the injuries to relationships with others and ourselves.. process all the debris of our lives, learn from it all, discard the trash but hold on to the love, and move on, better and stronger for the lessons learned.

In the end, love is all that matters.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Default State of Misery

Adaptability is undeniably a skill, an asset that tends to ensure survival, but it can have its dangers as well. When your default state is misery you will, as a coping mechanism, detune yourself from how you feel until it becomes automatic, autopilot taking you through the haze of work but also life outside of work.. ..and thus you miss out on huge pieces of your life. Important pieces, like the slipping away of a relationship with family or friends or a lover, the declining health of others, and even of yourself.
I once marveled at how life can mirror the act of riding motorcycle, in that where you look you tend to go. You have to focus. You must see past the problem to avoid driving straight into it. This is where I find myself, needing to look through the problem to navigate my way out of it.

It is said that mourning a relationship can be harder than mourning the death of a loved one, because death is final but the romantic heart holds out hope for another chance, even if it might never happen or even be what we want or need.. and I am undeniably an idealist and a romantic. Unfortunately my profound dislike for my employment has caused (forced?) me to dissociate from myself and my life so much so, that I have literally been absent and missed the past six years. In that time I have lost one great job (laid off with opportunity to be rehired but resigned CXX level position foolishly), lost both of my uncles, lost a relationship with marriage potential with a good woman, and most costly of all, handily discarded a huge chunk of my life bouncing between being numb and being miserable. I know I need to figure out my life again in the absence of this all, and start actually living again. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that.

Time to Wake the hell up.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Inspiration and Lessons

Inspiration comes and goes
But I do not create my flows
I simply pull them from the air
Above me as they're floating there

The word today commanding focus
Born from some unknown locus
Is simply that,  where do you look?
Distracted by film, tunes or book?

Though maybe all have things to teach
Truths as yet beyond our reach
Our lives do try to teach us things
And in so doing give us wings

We live our lives in love and loss
Ignore the pain, appease the boss
Do what we think must be done
Forgetting that we all are one

Losing moments days and years
Embracing joy, push back the tears
Ignoring lessons as we go
Stumbling 'bout as if we know

Push it back for far too long
And soon you'll wake to find it gone
The chance, the dream, the time, the life
The cherished friend, potential wife

Here we realize a truth
That pain itself is living proof
Repressing it is wasting life
And it can only end in strife

For that repressed emotion stays
Until processed and sent away
So we must feel, embrace and live
Averse to take and glad to give

Embrace all lessons as they come
And know that though not all are fun
All lessons in life are surely good
And guide your path as they should


Monday, May 29, 2017

The Irony of Love and Loss

The irony of love and loss are that those who we love will always have a special place in our hearts,  and hence cause us pain in their absence for the rest of our lives. We are after all a bunch of social creatures, we crave connection to others like us. It is a desire we feel right down to our bones. How then do we avoid this pain? I have systematically avoided pursuit of real joy in hopes that the misery that comes in life will be less dramatic of a difference from the emotional baseline. Some would argue (and have argued) that this only robs me of the joy but does not protect against the pain. There may be a truth in that..
After spending eight years together, it feels like a failure to walk away from the longest relationship of my life. There were so many memories made, so many moments shared.. and so many mistakes made. None the less, the space, the void left behind is cavernous and cannot be filled by outside means. It must be filled from within.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fair Warning!

I have, for the past two years been working much harder than I had to, to try to get on the right side of some financial situations.. and I've made great progress in those efforts.  However, I have also lost pieces of myself, my mind, my memory, my wit, my creativity, and severely damaged most of my relationships including having my uncle slip away without my even really noticing until he was mostly gone. My life has become work and getting paid at the expense of all else including my own sacred essence.
No More.
I fully intend to dial back to a reasonable work schedule to pursue some higher learning and a renewed course of self-discovery which is likely to include a significantly increased regularity of posting here and spouting off of random thoughts.
You've been warned!