Lets occupy space, lets pick up this body with these legs and dance from chair into thin air, tumbling through unoccupied space. I listen to my footsteps fall, this is the sound of me falling through time. I circle your orbit, eternal victims of one another’s gravity. Every step a choice leading me from here to there——- a journey fating me back to you
It’s like the sound of my voice in a large empty church, the words take on a hollow character of their own. They boom and echo forming meaning out of vibrations that break the fertile silence. We’re all lost and orphaned, calling out for someone to fill our sacred spaces. Its like hearing my secret thoughts spoken aloud, like someone reading my poems to a deaf congregation—cause nobody really cares that much about what anyone has to say, except for the words they whisper to themselves,——the best poetry is never committed to paper nor given breath———their resonance evaporates like hushed prayers pressed against midnight pillows.
All this empty space waiting to be filled. Fill it with life, with love——with you——-with me. I fill my space feeling you. Cause that’s all there is, you and me with all this infinite empty space erupting between us.
King of pain, the queen of sadness Broken hearted poet, the lonely troubadour With a smile, the key that unlocked your castle gate
Your ancient kingdom has crumbled The dragons fire takes our breath away Innocence lost to another defeated yesterday
The Sorcerer casts his spell Love awaits a truer destiny And once again, I”m tired of you, without me
My bridges have all been burned My ships all lost at sea I pray a storm will bring you back to me
And we’ll fly far from here We’ll share your winged mare A sword pierces the providence, buried within us
Autumn isn’t a season, not so much as it’s a mood, culling me in, breaking my spirit with its pockets of regrets—–with its naked trees and flocks of blustering leaves. I put on my favorite flannel shirt and make my way through a biting northern wind——All to soon this town will be covered with a blanket of white snow——-The smell of pine smoke comforts me…….Somewhere there’s a fire waiting to be shared……A warmer space to fill——
Soundtrack, “Old and Wise” by the Alan Parsons Project.
I hate unsolicited advice. Most men know that it is not wise to give another man unsolicited advice. The most important thing to a man is respect and his pride. These things are earned and not idly parceled out like cans of beer—–although oftentimes such libations are swilled to make up for the lack of such noble qualities. On a rare occasion a man may give a fellow golfer advice about how to grip a club, how to adjust their swing or stance, but guys like that seldom get asked back for a future game. Guys have gotta figure shit out for themselves, it’s just he way it is.
Men like to give women advice. It makes them feel superior. It inflates their anemic ego’s. Most women will politely listen even though they know that men spend eighty percent of their time thinking about how to get pussy and what to eat next. The remaining twenty percent of their time is spent picking their nose at red lights or making fart jokes. Under the three piece suits, the impressive job titles and fancy cars, men are basic creatures bumbling their way through life. Women don’t give advice, they make sly suggestions. “Honey, maybe it would be better to use dental floss rather than a pocket knife to clean your teeth.” “Please don’t use gas to light the barbecue dear. Let me fry the burgers on the stove.” KABOOM!!!
But, in spite of my prior warnings regarding unsolicited advice, I have decided to dispense some brotherly advice. So please, “Forgive Me”.
Our time here is so short—–it doesn’t pay to deny ourselves and others forgiveness. Anger only cuts off circulation to the heart and puts a strangle hold on our ability to convey empathy. Forgive, because in the big scheme of things your petty grudges will emotionally bankrupt you. It’s like paying interest on a debt but never reaching the principle—-ya see, you can’t loan love or forgiveness, their value is only realized when given for free.
I wonder if we wear clothes out of shame, or is it a means to hide our insecurities. It’s tough to take another person seriously when they’re parading around bare ass naked. Nakedness is God’s way of showing us that in spite of Madison Avenue fashions and photoshopped vanities—–we’re all allot more alike than we are different. Under skin and bone our fragil humanness flickers…..
Forgive——-because like a fart, the longer you hold it in, the more pressure it builds, hurting only you, and in time growing louder and smellier—- Forgive because sometimes you have to pull the bandaid off along with the scab in order for the wound to heal, Forgive because there is a child with a bald head dying in a hospital rather than playing on a jungle gym. Forgive because nothing seems that bad until it happens to you. Forgive because there but for fortune go you or I. Forgive because there is already enough darkness in this world—-enough sadness to superglue the softest of hearts eternally shut. Forgive because the shits already out of the pony. Forgive because with age the nights grow longer and peace more elusive. Forgive because winter need not be your favorite season. Forgive in spite of God and his promised heaven. Forgive because the shortest distance between point A and point B is love. Forgive because there’s a supernova a thousand times bigger than our puny sun imploding in on itself. Let go, let go, let go—–because as the old Zen proverb tells us “Let go or be dragged”.
Forgive, because one day you’ll realize that all the stuff you once thought so important were just things made up in your head. This clarity only comes after a major life event like getting fired, losing someone you love, going through a divorce, having a major health scare, facing your mortality or watching reruns of “Friends” (they all look so young). You’ll flop around like a trout out of water, realizing you’ve mistaken the barbed hook for the golden ring.
It all seems so absurd——all the girls you tried to impress with false bravado, the fake laughs given for free to please your dim witted boss, the loud arguments availing only hurt feelings——its all comes back to you like a strange dream, like staring up at the shimmering surface of the water while holding your breath at the bottom of the sea. Down there, there’s only shipwrecks, rusty anchors, the eight armed Kraken and the tiny fart bubbles you release as pieces of your forgiveness. Farting is God’s way of telling you to not take yourself to seriously.
We stubbornly withhold our forgiveness, we’d rather offer up snide remarks and sarcastic smiles. We expect others to rain apologies down upon us, but the sad truth is, some people don’t know how to be sorry. They only learn forgiveness by being forgiven—-and the bible along with all the other holy books speak of this irony. The currency of unspoken forgivenesses pays out in wasted time, it lengthens the bridge we’ve all come here to cross.
So ya wanna be a writer. Writing takes enormous courage, at least for those who dare to stand in the center-ring and call themselves the master of ceremonies. When I say master of ceremonies, I mean standing in the center-ring with a chair in one hand and a whip in the other—–cracking that whip as you attempt to tame language, coaxing those unruly words to jump through rings of fire. It’s being honest and pure——it’s as insufferable as siphoning ink from an anemic soul. To go to such places you must first face down who you are or who you thought you were–you must be prepared to shine a light on your blind spots and shake hands with your darkest shadows. What’s in there? What’s way deep down inside me, that thing I’ve carried with me from the womb, that shameless thing that’s a part of me like a birth mark in the shape of original sin. If you can go that far down then you’ve earned the privilege to call yourself the zoo keeper of words. You have fed the lion, but you have not tamed him. Beauty, danger and fear are the bars that cage our confessions. A long lost friend once told me “Where the beauty of the soul is, there’s always danger.”
The next step is to put your head in that lions mouth. Choose honesty over insecurity. Allow space for venerability, don’t be anonymous——be outrageous, be original not a trend chaser, be forthright rather than pious and vain——take no-ones word other than your own, search everywhere for yourself and then let it all go, unleash your restrained emotions and when all the stiff mannequins misunderstand you, tell them to fuck off———it’ll be scary, but it’ll make you feel awake and alive—–trust that it will be worth it. Your words are your weapons, surrender is your shield. Make shit happen, even if you have to make shit up as you go along, walk the high-wire, be a fire eater, play the clown, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s how you’ll learn to orchestrate your circus. Be persistent, have tenacity, be a seeker. Be good to yourself, be kind to others, smile, even when you don’t feel like it—-take the body and the mind will follow. .
Life is a beautiful thing——-people like you make this so.
Soundtrack, “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” by Hall & Oats
Life goes on, with or without me. Fads come and go, hit songs become golden oldies, all my insecurities and self-conscious tendencies slip away leaving behind silent movie memories, like puddles evaporating in time—— seasons never end, they just change, a circle of revolving eternities….again I’ll wait for you to come round again—I’m no longer in a hurry, infinity is patient.
I use to give a shit what people thought, but I’ve come to realize that everyone is so self-absorbed that no one gives a damn about anyone other than themselves—-just a cavalcade of egocentric, narcotic sons of a bitches———And they move through life as though everyone else is a hollow prop, a means to an end, a thing to be manipulated for their own good. Why is it so hard for us to see this life beyond our own selfish experiences and desires?
It’s not that far of a walk till dawn, until Mr Sun bumps his head up against that dogged horizon. Ya see, light can’t wait for time to give birth to another day. I awake to find that I’m still here, alive and ready to breathe. I”m not afraid, nor sorry, cause that’s just waisted time, let the sky creep towards blueness and let the dew sparkle like diamonds to decorate the glory of forever forgetting, rebirth brings amnesia——Who were you before this? I think I must have known you from some other place and time, maybe a lover, a brother, mother, my child, aren’t we all somehow connected? Fools are the bitter ones, dismissing miracles, failing to see the expression of god within stars and dust——the lucky ones grow closer to the day, to themselves, to others,——to what is…….
The bathroom mirror mocks me. I dip my chin and turn my head one way and then the other. “Here I am——this is who I am, what I’ve become through choice and consequence. As of late I’ve become keenly aware of my two selves. My private self and my public self. I’ve lived a divided existence, a chameleon, a shape shifter, camouflaging myself into an unchanging innocuous background. I’m struck by the notion of congruency.
Somewhere along the way I’d lost myself. I’d allowed myself to fracture into a million faux personalities. I did this to please others, to protect myself, to fit in, to avoid indiscretions, to appear normal, to simulate appropriateness——I’d been a faker, a fraud—-These days I’d rather be notorious than anonymous. Authenticity comes with a license to be free, to be crazily sane, to be who ever you choose to be!
As I’ve grown older I’ve begun to allow my layered selves to coalesce into a unified me. Such a task requires practice, but at the end of the day it has liberated me. One of the blessings of aging is that it has stripped me of my vanities. I am who I am, no more pretending——the sky is the sky, my dog is my dog, life is life, what is “is” and so on and so forth….The simplest of ideas are the most difficult to grasp!
I’ve been thinking about friendships and it has occurred to me that my closest friends are the ones who allow me to be myself without pretension or expectation. They know me, they get me, and in spite of my faults, failures and foibles, they forgive me. Needless to say, these days I have fewer friends, but the ones I have help me become a better me.
To be understood is to be loved. And to be lovable requires honestly and vulnerability.
The soundtrack is “Ain’t No Reason” by Brett Dennen
I am looking for a newer or slightly used god with plenty of sole still left on the soul. Must have bad eyesight, poor hearing and a failing memory—the less of my actions you can see, hear or remember the better. Must have a great sense of humor and be easily amused, as you will endure petty attempts by me to curry your favor. These stunts may include but are not limited to, praying for the correct lottery numbers, missing church to play golf (yet praying to make a three foot putt) mumbling my way through the lords prayer due to never actually learning the correct words, pleading for hangover relief, bargaining in an attempt to get myself out of tight spots, covertly eyeing chicks at the beach and allowing my dog to poop on my least favorite neighbors lawn and snickering about it.
You will be expected to shower me with unconditional love in spite of my selfish, egocentric and narcissistic ways—I may not be much, but I’m all I think about. I’ll require a limitless credit line on forgiveness and “Get out of jail free cards”. Preferably you are omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence or at least have an iPhone with a sire application. The work schedule requires you to be on duty 24/7 with no time off for holidays or vacations. Prayers are expected to be answered promptly—— automated voice menus are strictly prohibited e.g. (“For a medium size miracle please press one”, “To talk a police officer out of a ticket please press two”).
Providing me with a users guide to the universe is mandatory. Bonus chapters on how to unlock the enigmas that make up a females psyche will be a huge plus. Demigods, saints or angels need not apply—-you must be a full fledged god equipped with all the standard godly powers e.g. grant miracles, endless love and forgiveness, turn water to wine/beer, raise the dead, allow opportunities for me to get lucky (kind of like raising the dead), able to turn old girlfriends into pillars of salt, provide free tickets to sold out ballgames, able to provide unwarranted gifts such as excellent performance reviews and promotions, passing tests results without studying and generally be available to open doors to fame, fortune and eternal happiness. Vengeful gods who throw lightening bolts, hurl sinners into lakes of fire or threaten eternal damnation need not apply. Also, gods over a milliim old will not be considered, as I’m looking for some new blood.
Some God Options—Caveat Emptor
Yes, lately I’ve been shopping for a better god. Well, not better par se, but maybe newer and improved. Mom and Pops antiquated god just hasn’t kept up with the changing times. The tale tale signs of wear and tear are ripping holes in the holy. All those archaic railings against birth control, homosexuality and women’s’ rights is causing congregations to shrink as fast as a middle aged man’s libido minus viagra. Those tired old white, heterosexual, male gods are beginning to lose their relevance. If only the dead could speak, so many could tell you crazy stories of how they fought and died over who’s god was more godly.
Christianity touts that you can be born again and have ever lasting life by simply following their basic ten commandments, accept everything literally in a book that’s over 2,000 years old and accepting that a god/man died for your sins on a cross (something I still don’t understand).This seems like a bit of false advertising, as Jesus is the only person/deity who has risen from the dead and he was only seen by a handful of folks. No one has seen hide nor hair of him in over two thousand years, not so much as a selfie has even been posted on Facebook. He apparently utilizes televangalist as his emissaries, these folks claim to speak to him on a daily basis and if you send them a donations they’ll pray for your salvation. Oh yeah, the real kicker that they love to throw out at you is this, “If you don’t believe in their god and their specific dictums, then you will rot in hell——Oh, so loving and compassionate.
Then you have your more exotic eastern religions. Buddhism states that by abstaining from desire you will then overcome suffering (all suffering is derived from desire). This virtuous claim was made by a shirtless portly guy wearing a cheesecake eaten grin who looks like a before picture from a Jenny Craig advertisement. He appears to have a hefty appetite for someone who has relinquished all desire and has conquered the desires of the flesh. He looks more like a guy who meditates on jelly donuts and seeks enlighten through endless trips to the buffet table. The monks sit idle on the corner with their beggars bowl and wait for those who work to toss them something to eat, kind of like the homeless guys you see holding their cardboard signs in front of the grocery store. Mediating and praying all day is great, but it won’t pay the candle bills at the monastery.
Then you have your Hindus. They worship cows and allow them to aimlessly wander the streets while children starve to death. I thought god made cows slow, defenseless and gullible so that we could catch them and turn them into barbecued steaks, ribs and burgers. I guess dinning at McDonalds is as bad for ones body as it is for ones soul….. They also have a god that looks like an elephant. How can you worship something that stars in the circus? A monkey looks more godlike than an elephant. At lease a monkey can roller skate and ride a bike. And, I definitly don’t understand the god Vishnu that has all those wild arms. Is that the god of multitasking? Maybe they could use a few of those gods in their industrial sweat shops instead of forcing children to work in such hell holes.
How about those Muslims. They’re the ones who invented the term “jihad”, which means “holy war”. That’s got to be the topper when it comes to oxymorons. These guys will cut your head off if you don’t follow there beliefs. Their punishment for stealing is to chop your hands off. I can only imagine what they’d chop off an adulterer. When it comes to women’s rights, these dudes make the Amish look like comminist liberals. Their version of women’s rights is quiet simple, wear a black sheet head to toe, don’t drive, don’t vote and don’t leave the house without your husband permission.
I don’t know much about Judaism other than they believe that they are the only chosen people. So basically, if you’re not one of them, you’re shit out of luck. I guess the rest of us are doomed second class citizens. There motto is this, “They’re two kinds of people, those who are Jewish and those that want to be”. I eat at a Jewish deli, will that help me get through the pearly gates?
New Age is all the rage these day. It’s one of those religions that let’s you be your own god. Being your own god is kind of like marrying a stripper, you know it’s going to lead to no good, but the temptation for self gratification is just to great. It pretty much boils down to this, if you believe hard enough you can manifest anything you want. It’s always the rich successful people who subscribe to this belief. They did it! So now why don’t all you lazy asses get off your loafing butts and do it! I guess you aren’t believing hard enough.This relieves the rich of their guilt for being rich, they earned it through their power of intention, universal reciprocity, affirmations—yada yada. Oprah loves new age speak and showcases these types on her program. These are the alturistic people who get rich writing books about this stuff—–prosperity and salvation in ten easy steps.For 29.99 we will sell you the secrets to the universe——-“Yeah right, and I got a key to the pearly gates I want to sell ya”.
People ought to get out of the god business and more into the treat others nicely business. Most the time kindness is the best choice, but occasionally I’ve required a kick in the ass, and there are those times too when I’ve needed to kick some ass. It’s all part of the process of getting from here to there.
Most times you can go over or around life’s obstacles, but sometimes you just have to go through them……And that’s when I’ve needed to call on my faith. At the moment when all hell it breaking lose, I tend to see no rhyme or reason to life’s seemingly random events. But once I become still and look back at the events that lead me to where I am, I can connect the dots and see the obvious presence of a guiding hand. Or, the negaitve results of not paying attention to the powers that be. Even though I poke fun at God, I must admit that he’s been very good to me. Although it would be nice if he could help get my novel featured on Oprah’s book of the month series, or at least send me some more blog followers. Now here I go again with that pesky pandering I mentioned in my Craigslist Advertisement.
I Still Have Faith—Fidem Servare
I’m to much of an optimist and idealist to be an atheist. There something going on here, but I just can’t figure out what it is—maybe that’s the way it’s suppose to be. For me, it doesn’t make any sense to be an atheist.
You see, I believe in a lot of things I can’t see or prove. For me, everything does happen for a reason, there are no mistakes and god will help those who help themselves…..Life without faith is like sex without a partner, just a fantasy you make up in your head to make you feel less desperate and alone———everyone has to believe in something and this is what I believe…..
I believe in science, mystic’s and magic, love at first sight, extraterrestrials, soul fakers and soul shakers, giving it your best shot, synchronism, getting what you deserve, compassion, reality hatched in dreams, doing good, evolution and its opposite, physics’, music, going down swinging, forgiveness, learning from your failures, honesty being the best policy, no guarantees, no warranties, you get what you pay for, gambling, bucking the odds, changing your mind, changing course, carpe diem, magnetism and its opposite, leaving no trace, making your mark, humor, hot coffee, cold beer, second chances, second looks, first glances, gut feelings, good vibes and its opposite, making things better, breaking a sweat, being still, first loves breaking naive hearts, getting better, getting on with it, letting it go and its opposite, moving on, moving past it, being sentimental, old photographs, good stories, funerals, weddings, divorces, family get togethers, faith, traditions, old movies, drives going nowhere, naps, nature, hikes, my dogs loyalty, earning your keep, buying what you can afford, carrying on in spite of everything, manners, gratitude, keeping promises and silent prayers.
It’s not a matter of if you’re gonna fight, cause we’ve all gotta fight——that’s the nature of choosing life. The question is, “How” and “why” are ya gonna fight. To survive requires that you engage in that universal struggle to express your purpose, your life force. To be aware that you are aware, is to be awake……..Without a purpose you are sleepwalking through your days. How do you express your purpose? What is your intention. How do you learn to “know that you know??
”He not busy being born, is busy dying” Bob Dylan
Knowing that you don’t know.
You Are Either “For” or “Against” Something
You can either fight “against” something or fight “for” something. It’s an almost imperceptible difference, but it makes all the difference in the world. It’s the difference between saying, “We’re gonna bomb our adversaries into choosing democracy” (fighting against something). Or saying, “We’re gonna live for and protect personal freedom and liberty” (fighting for something). When you’re fighting against something or someone, you are trying to affect change outside of yourself. When you’re fighting for something, you are fighting to affect change through self awareness and self discovery. If you choose to change yourself, you change your world. You must first learn to “know thy self” before you can have empathy for others. You cannot feel connected to others unless you feel connected to yourself—-so simple, yet complex.
In the short term, fighting against something may be the quickest way to achieve a temporarily victory, but in the long run, a lasting victory comes from fighting for something. Don’t demonize those that believe different than you, but rather champion your truth. Choosing to fighting “against” an advisory is like letting lose a flash flood, you will see immediate results but they’re temporary. When you are on the side of truth it’s like possessing the hidden strength of an eternal water drop. It will wash away mountains, turn deserts into oceans and carve the deepest of canyons. Truth is not connected to a timeline, it always has been and always will be. You must learn to flow with the cosmic current, not against it.
One coach may rally his team by saying “We’re gonna destroy those loser’s we’re gonna kill them”. While another coach may motivate his team by saying “We’re gonna win for our school, for ourselves, for the love of the game”. Fighting “against” something requires an emotional energy that’s impulsive and angry. Fighting “for” something requires an emotional energy that’s patience and compassionate. You will know the difference between the two energies by following the trail of emotions that proceeded your actions. Are you being selfish or selfless?
Operating Out Of Fear Or Love
We are all either running towards something or running away from something. It’s the difference between acting out of fear or actin out of love. Fear causes you to run away from what is different or new. Fear will cause you to fight “against” what you don’t understand. Fear says, “They are not like us”, “They are inferior”, “They are a threat to us”, “We must destroy them before they destroy us”. Fear is rigid, intolerant of diversity and egocentric.
Love will cause you to run towards something. Its a motivation that comes from a desire to better understand and learn from a new experience (to evolve and grow). This type of motivation transcends from a higher calling. The byproduct of love is compassion and a belief that we are all connected, that we are all here to help and serve one another, that we are more alike than different. Love is fluid, accepting of change and seeks understanding. Love is collaborative and inclusive, fear is competitive and exclusive.
Operating from a place of love requires courage, risk taking and an openness to new experiences. Conversely, fear manifest its self through ones insecurities, weaknesses, and narrow mindedness.
“Having To” Verses “Choosing To”
You see them on Monday mornings hanging out by the coffee machine in the break room. They’ll be wearing frowns and carrying on about how they wish they didn’t have to be there. They’ll be moaning about how they “have to” do this and “have to” do that. They see themselves as unfortunate victims of fate, mere pawns in the game of live. Well, I’ve got news for those mired in victimhood and “have to do-ness——–“You don’t have to do anything, zip, zero, nada”. You don’t even have to breathe, just put a plastic bag over your head and you’ll put a stop it all——the complaining, the self pity and the awful-izing. A “have to” mind set creates resistance and negativity, it robs you of personal power.
We all need to find a “why” (a purpose) for the things we do. If it’s a job that you don’t particularly enjoy, then you may find a “choose to” or a “why” by telling yourself that the job is putting a roof over your head and food on the table. Or, perhaps the earnings from the job is paying for your education and health care. Or, for now it’s helping you provide for the ones you love. The “why’s” in life are temporary and changeable. Use the discontentment for where you are currently, as fuel to energize you and move you towards your desired goals.
Once you let go of the“have to’s” you can come from a place of gratitude. Before moving forward and wanting more, its necessary to take a gratitude inventory of all the things the gifts you’ve already been given. This will empower you to take the skills and gifts you already possess and apply them to achieving higher aspirations. One percent of life is what happens to you, the other ninety nine percent of your life is how you respond to that one percent. What you “choose to do” with your life is totally up to you. To some this may be seem overwhelming and frightening, but it can also be liberating and empowering.
Figure out what you want to do and start working towards that goal. You may choose to go back to school, or apply for a more fulfilling job, or to leave a relationship that’s unhealthy. Don’t waste another day feeling defeated and controlled. You are the narrator and star of your story, you have the power to change the script when you change your attitude and thoughts.
Some may respond by saying—— “But that’s gonna take a lot of work on my part”, “I’ll have to take some uncomfortable risks”, “I’ll have to take personal responsibility for my life!” Note to self, “The hardest thing about changing your life, is changing your life.” And changing your life is something no one else can do for you, but you. Nothing is forever, not even your life. If you don’t like where you are, or what you’re doing, then do what football teams do at half time, make adjustments and changes to your game plan. Be creative and try new strategies for achieving your goals. Most importantly, be aware of your attitude and thoughts—–all life changes begin and end there.
Beliefs, Personal Verses Philosophical
We all have beliefs, but until we’re required to apply them at a personal level, they’re just words. We spout off about how we believe this is right and that is wrong. We blather with bravado about our political and religious judgments with little or no personal investment.
But god bats last and he’s always on the side of truth. And, just when you think you got the world figured out, god will throw you a curve. Example, so you believe a gay lifestyle is evil and homosexuality is a sin. Then one fine day, Bam!—— out of the blue your son or daughter discloses that they are gay and they desperately want your acceptance, support and love. Then what are ya gonna do with those self righteousness beliefs and judgments?
Or, maybe you’re a flag waving military hawk, always touting how we need boots on the ground to kick the asses of those un-American, non christian sons of a bitch’s. Like any good patriot, you encourage the young to march off to a foreign land and fight for god and country. You’re filled with a sense of pride as your son or daughter enlists in the military. But what will you do when you find out your child has been seriously wounded in some country that you never even heard of a couple years ago. What will you do when they return home with a traumatic brain injury or other serious wounds, or maybe they’re never coming home again.
Ten years later they’ll erect a solemn memorial with the names of the dead and wounded chiseled into its marble edifice. Historians will give the war a name, but no one will remember what we were fighting for. Your child ends up living in your extra bedroom because their physical and emotional wounds prevent them from being able to work. After all the medals are handed out, the uniforms mothballed and the flags neatly folded, then what do ya do with all your cherished political and religious beliefs? You don’t know, until you know.
Be mindful of your beliefs and judgments, because one day they may be be tested in reality. Remember this, gods cosmic sense of humor is fueled with irony.
Know that you know.
You may choose to go “Against” rather than “For” something. You may choose to act out of “Fear” rather than “Love”. In life you may feel that there are things you “Have To Do” verses what you “Choose To Do”. You may never have to test your beliefs with a personal investment. But, if you are placed in that position, know the “hows” and “whys” that you employ to construct your life.
Buddha was not a Buddhist. Jesus was not a Christian. Muhammad was not a Muslim. They were teachers who taught love. Love was their religion. Author unknown
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TEN AMAZING STEPS TO BECOMING A SWELL WRITER
1.If you are going to be a writer, have something to fucking say. Character development is nice, detail to scene description is beneficial, smart dialogue is helpful, appropriate punctation and grammar a plus, but having a story worth telling is the most important element of storytelling—Start and end your project with that in mind!
2. Not only have something to say, but devise a way to say it that is insightful, interesting and compelling. Forget about beginning, middle and end. Every line must be an integral piece of what contributes to the greater whole. If you’re all in, if you’re writing from a place of authenticity—then every page, every paragraph, every sentence and each word needs to be painfully distilled down to its purest means of expression. Once written, it should sound as if it has always existed, like mosquitos, the moon and a thousand sad truths —
3.Write about what you know, and know about what you write. All good writing is personal, confessional and honest. Be authentic, be original, allow yourself to be shamelessly naked—-you must develop and know the sound of your own voice—-Go to those forbidden places that make you feel uncomfortable and exposed, it is there you will find the keys to the kingdom—this is where your true voice lives.
4. The most important person in your audience will aways be you. If your writing becomes tawdry, trite or boring, then write it again, and again and again—-fill the God Damn Grand-Canyon with wadded up pieces of shitty writing—- never fall so deeply in love with your own writing that you can’t tell the piss from top shelf scotch (I have found that piss is saltier tasting).
5. Don’t leave anything left in the pen, say it all, say it with stark unabashed honestly, don’t hold back—write till your soul bleeds ink.
6. Don’t start with a story outline, format or a preconceived structured layout. Don’t tell the story, let the story tell itself (Zen, baby!)—filling up note pads with secret random notes is a valuable practice—you never know where or when a good thought may bubble to the surface from the depths of your collective sub-consciousness—to know that you don’t know, is to know that you know—-Do you know???
7. Study many different styles of writing but copy none. The world does not need another Hemingway, Daniel Steele, Fitzgerald or Steven King. Never forget this—learning to be a good writer is like learning to eat soup with chopsticks—-it’s a fatiguing exercise intended to teach patience. A good writer stays hungry.
8. Find inspirational music to listen to while writing. Music requires no words to reach or affect you. Regardless of what you’re meaning to say, strive to replace your imbecilic words with music— if your prose fail to sing—-then do not commit them to a final draft.
9. Good writing doesn’t come to you, it comes through you—let go of your “self”, reject your ego, stop thinking about thinking, stop thinking about writing, and say what needs to be said. Write down the words as you hear them, clean up the details at a later time. Stay open, stay awake, keep your senses at a fevered pitch, listen to all the disembodied voices blathering in your crazy head, but remember that the quiet ones speak the greatest truths—Be still—if nothing happens, then go do your laundry or something productive—Sometimes you have to pull up your line and rebait the hook.
10. A good writer will leave the reader changed or altered after digesting the content of the story. Once the reader sets the book down, they must feel something—-anything—– pissed, flabbergasted, happy, offended, a-gasped, longing, laughing, bamboozled, crying, embarrassed, tickled, horny, hurt, revealed, inspired, filthy, guilty, cocksure, shamed, holy, dumbfounded, excited, exposed, gritty, mortified, rambunctious—but most importantly, the reader should be unexplainably transported to a righteous place where they are allowed to catch a glimpse into their own soulfulness—–and believe me, that ain’t easy to do!
Secret Bonus Tip
Tenacity is the secret to your success. Tenacity will take you further than natural ability, motivation, good connections, good intentions, skill, education, talent, genetics or dumb luck. Never, never, never, never—-ever give up on the hope of reaching your dreams—-Tenacity gives hope wings!!!
Scoring Your Writing Prowess
Points will be deducted from your “wanna be a writer score” If—–
you wear a beatnik beret, you blather on in esoteric multisyllabicnon-sensible rants, sip soy lattes, cosmopolitans or smoke a pipe, chain smoke or have a Marijuana Medical Card, sport a goatee or soul patch, you speak in metaphors no one understands, you’re a vegan, you attend or teach Haiku workshops, you always have a bottled water and smart phone within reach, you have a degree in English, Journalism or Communications, your favorite Beatle is Paul, you play golf, you have a cat named Zen.
Points will be added to your “wanna be a writer score” if—–
you’ve hoboed on a train, you have a receipt for chili beans, beef stew or anything containing spam, you either have no cell phone and if you do, it’s a pay as you go with a cracked face plate and numbers that stick, beer is at the top of your food group pyramid, your car stereo is worth more than you car, you dig jazz (add five points if you can play jazz), your favorite Beatle is John, you know how to shoot pool, you have a dog named Lucky.
The Phases Of Writing (An exercise in self destruction)
1. Fame makes great writers drunks and madmen
2. Fame makes good writers self conscious and reclusive
3. Fame makes okay (commercial) writers rich and predicable
4. Anonymity makes horrible writers drunks and madmen.
Be advised, being a drunk and a madman does not make you a great
writer—but sadly, it often comes with the territory, see rule #1 and #4.—
If you don’t find any of this shit helpful, then go live your life and write about what you hear, see and feel, then have a taco—-
Helpful Hints :
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.” Jessamyn West
“Try to make the funny stuff sound sad and the sad stuff sound funny—” V Uriz
Feel free to substitute your word of choice in place of the word “funny”—depending on your mood—
Craziness, madness the big crack up is a disease of bad thinking. My latest drinking escapade has left me with two options in regards to what it says about me and the rest of the world as a whole. Either I drink too much or the rest of the world is too sober. I wish it were the latter, but at night when there are no distractions and I am stuck with only myself to consort with, it’s then that the line of insomnia creeps ever closer towards lunacy. In the shadows of a 3:00 am quarter moon, there is no backtracking, no sidestepping, no skipping through the spotlight of truth. At this hour, when the music stops and there is no chair to be found, I find that there is no place to go but inward. The voices in my head mock my foolishness, they scoff at my big plans, calling them nothing more than pipe-dreams, they let the air escape from my inflated thoughts of becoming a better person. To have flaws is to be human, to be flawed is to be broken. Isn’t it strange—-that the things you think may save you, may very well kill you, and those things that you think will kill you, may very well save you. I appreciate the words written by Bukowski, “Find what you love and let it kill you.” I’d rather die of fatigue chasing my loves, than blindly sleepwalk into oblivion.
My heart flexes with a contraction and then spasms outward like the legs of a startled bullfrog. Am I having a heart attack, is this how a massive aneurysm feels as it bursts within my chest? My body is suddenly glazed over in a cold sweat. My mood flips from a sullen depression where nothing seems to matter, to an all-encompassing sense of dire anxiety and a fear of losing my foot hold on the slippery rocks of consciousness. God please absolve me of all my sins, save me, don’t take me now, not here, not all alone in these loveless sweat soaked bed sheets. Where does that piteous sun go when I need it most?
Sometimes I just get plain sick and tired of everybody and everything; myself included. I swear—-nothing is ever good enough for anyone anyways, especially for someone with such a ruptured sense of wellbeing as me. I’m forever over-thinking things, over-feeling things and over-analyzing everything. People say, think like a buddhist and live in the present moment, but that’s so fucking clichéd and trite. I can’t keep pinching myself saying, “Now is now—-Now is now”. I need my past as an anchor to prevent me from being set adrift and left at the mercy of the currents. And, I need the future as my lighthouse to guide me through the fog keeping me clear of the treacherous rocks. I pop in and out of the present moment as it suits me. I prefer to fondle that illusive “now” in-between my daydreams and fantasies. Occasionally I catch a fleeting glimpses of that camouflaged illusion ironically known as reality. I prefer to say, “What is, is.” That way I can choose to surrender to it, or to do battle with it. “What is, is”, can be expressed as a statement or a question. The seeds of wisdom or madness always germinate within a question.
I’m better off alone. That way I don’t piss people off, or more honestly, they don’t piss me off. How is it, that everyone is so fucking calm, boring and self-assured. They plod along through life as if they’re going to live forever, as if the planet isn’t dying due to their own personal selfish excesses and abuses. They idly stare at the T.V. news as if they’re somehow exempt from all the calamity and misfortune that descends upon “those other poor souls”.
Life is not tidy, clean or simple—-it’s a madhouse, an asylum filled with desperate people running around seeking some form of refuge. Refuge means different things to different people. It might be a religious creed, a bottle of whiskey, a cause to defend, a love to possess, a dream to fulfill, a profit to be made——these concessions make up the tiny pieces of hope and faith strewn behind us, a trail of stale breadcrumbs to guide us back home. Beware of those thieving black-crows of time—as they steal away our paths, leaving each of us standing alone in the wilderness asking “What is—is???”