Black and White

Are there universal paths to self-fulfillment, or just like how there are multitudes of truth tellers, are there multitudes of truth for each individual?  

What I mean is, I believe each of our souls have lived in past lives, as different people or things, in vastly different places or situations, to teach a lesson that leads to the next step, the next life.  That is why there are so many patterns of existence across time and space – we are all the same people manifesting the same problems.

The issue becomes finding out what your specific lesson is: am I at the lows of the cycle, where it is commendable to merely participate without falling apart, or rather am I nearing the end, the point of transcendence that finishes this cycle?  

You see, I am terrified that I will take the path not meant for me.

I want to travel and face the unknown because I have heard it is life changing and extremely meaningful.  But there are also those who find equally joyous experiences in their backyard, as a part of a community, growing with the same people over time.  So do I take the chance and leap out of the nest because it seems like the philosophical thing to do, or will that slow down the progress of my next born self because I crashed and burned expecting too much out of existence?

And if I stay, if I find comfort in being a building block of a place over the course of my life and career, will it end in a backwards step for my next self, an opportunity taken away because I did not see the one previously given?

I would like to think that there are partial scores given throughout one’s life; that the fact I am recognizing the options, and not blindly following the directions of society and those in it that “know best,” will get me a gold star, perhaps even one from a faraway galaxy. 

Yet, despite that, a decision must be made and must be lived with. And it doesn’t have to be so black and white, but that makes me afraid.

I am not so afraid of running out of time as I am afraid of the large amount of time I still have to fill.

My Greatest Fear

My greatest fear is not of the darkness or things that crawl in it

Nor of being alone, engulfed in a sea of white light.

No. What I fear most is being regarded as inauthentic.

For then the snakes will begin to slither where my insides used to be

And the darkness give up its potential.

I will go through life as one of the many

And when I reach the end,                                                                                                      I will find that I can’t bring those accomplishments to the next life.

As a child I will not envision greatness,

All because in this life I did not open my ears                                                                        to the men and women who formed them before me.

The path has been paved by the work of my ancestors

So maybe I have found who I am living this life for: the one to come next.

I pray she will have more courage than I.

My Gramma Passed Away Today.

Breathe in.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe out.

Acknowledge the thoughts, let them flow.

Hello thoughts, go right on through.

Find where a feeling arises within you.

It’s in my stomach.

Sit with it.

How do you sit with nausea?

Stroke it.

It’s slimy, scary.

Say “Hello friend, I see you there. Let me sit with you.”

I feel you, nausea, I feel you all too well.  Coming up from the depths of my stomach, reaching farther than I thought possible, creeping, crawling your way through the tubes inside, infiltrating the smoothness of my chest, the back of my throat.  Please stay down.

Listen. What is it saying to you? How may it be trying to help?

It’s making me feel. It’s reminding me that things are not okay. It has made a journey from the past and wants to make its presence my future.  I can sit with a clear mind, but what good is that with a diseased stomach? Funny how it comes, tempts me to pack it down, then wants back up again. What the fuck do you want? You are rotten, horrifying, yet my greatest comfort.  You are proof that I am still alive.

Let it be.

 

The Little Things.

I just heard this story on NPR. It was given by Brian Finkelstein. I can’t for the life of me find it online, so maybe I’m making it up, but I found his name so maybe not.  Perhaps I’ll find it years down the road, but I won’t give up searching until I find it and share.

I was in the car with my entire family – dad, mom, brother.  They were driving me back to school.  Usually some sort of argument arises, jokes are made, and my mom cries.  Not this time, though.  Because my dad was blasting NPR.

Brian talked a little bit about his life, something about sticking a gun in his mouth and throwing up tequila on it.  I imagine that’s what my attempt at suicide would look like… which I suppose is embarrassing in a sense but great if you think living is the point of life.

Anyway, he went on to tell about his work on a suicide hotline.  This is when I started to listen.  He talked to a girl named Amy who overdosed while on the phone with him and did not hold out long enough for the paramedics to come.  I was in tears by the end.

I feel like most things I write are sad, and I really don’t mean to do that on purpose.  I guess now that I actually have some followers I’m waking up to the fact that there are people out there who will listen to me, and maybe they don’t want to read sad things all the time.

Well too bad, because I only ever want to write when I’m sad.  That is probably why I gave up my dream of being an author, because I would be in a constant state of melancholy trying to be somebody.

The other thing that strikes me about writing is how it requires the author to shave off a little piece of his or her heart every time to put down in ink (or pixel).  I’ve never been one to keep a close hold on my heart, but this is different.  I don’t know you people.

There was a time when I seriously thought about suicide.  That doesn’t worry me, though, because I know I could never do it.  In some twisted way my deep-seeded hatred of self and life always prevails and stops me from stopping the pain.  So I’m a wanna-be suicidal girl with the aspiration to some day not have to feel anything.  Confusing, I know.

Shit, I’m depressing.  I can’t even handle myself saying that sometimes.  I want to become an integrative, holistic therapist someday.  Talk therapy, dance, movement, yoga, drawing, plant based nutrition.  I’m a hippy at heart, born in the wrong or right era, whatever.

So how am I supposed to do that, help guide people to lead a fulfilling and wholesome life, when I personally have the dream of not existing?  And I don’t see this wish as morbid, per-say.  It is incredibly passive.  Haven’t you ever tried to imagine what it’s like to not exist?  Maybe I’ve been reading too much Sylvia Plath lately.

My depression, anxiety, eating disorder, panic, passive death wish – I am not ashamed of any of these.  Sometimes I wonder if I would even be “me” anymore if I got rid of them.  They are so much a part of my day to day existence, they drive me to do things, even if they aren’t the socially acceptable or normal things.

Regardless, I’ve come to see all of the above as gifts given to me.  They have helped shaped my life path in a way that no other part of my life has.

So, I’m not sure what the point of this was.  I can only hope that if I continue on the path of psychology and helping those suffering, I will not be put into the exact situation of Brian Finkelstein, but that Amy will live and become my best friend whom I get coffee with every week.  And she has a brother who is a vegan chef that I end up marrying and having two kids with.  It could happen! The little things that make life worth living.

(A big thing would be having a bearded man grow kale for me, Ryan Gosling or not.     Beard, Kale.)

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More and more.

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Slept through all of my classes again today.  Sometimes I stare at my hand and just wonder about existence.  Eventually, my hand blurs into the background, and I don’t exist anymore.  Those are my favorite times, so I have been doing it more and more.  Not wishing to die, just be gone.  

More and more I have also had this dream.  I’m sitting at a desk in a cabin in the woods, and the wall I am facing is a huge window.  It overlooks a valley, pine trees, mountains in the distance topped with snow. Sometimes I get up to make a pot of coffee, or cook some dinner, but mostly I write.  I am not sure what I write about, but I’m happy.  God, how fucking happy I am.  Often a dog comes into the picture – a chocolate lab.   He nudges me, reminding me to take him out. And we run and run and run.  And he is happy, and I am happy. And we read books snuggled in a huge white bed and wake up when we are rested to start the whole process again.  There is no night or day, no time, no expectations.  Just existence.

My whole life I have been fed the line “chase your dreams” or “what you can dream you can do”.  I call bullshit. Life is not fair, especially for us dreamers.  What do I really want?  I want to write, read, cook, dance, sing, paint, run, burn like a fucking roman candle then hop in a car, a train, and just go do all of the above in another city with other people.  I want to dip my feet in every single creek, stream, river, lake, pond, ocean, and sea.  Every desert, every plain, every mountain.  I want to hug every single species of tree in existence on this planet and the next.  Weave a carpet in Persia, wear nothing but prayer flags wrapped around me in the Himalayan Mountains, play drums with aboriginal tribes. EXIST.

Instead I wake up, go to class (not lately, but on a “normal” day), study, try to be social, eat cafeteria food, study, force myself to hit up the gym, sleep, repeat.  All of this for a piece of paper signed by someone who excelled at the above lifestyle and decides that I am “proficient” enough to move on.  I’ll take some tests, fill in some bubbles, that determine my next step in this great path to death.  The thing is, I’m twenty and I already feel dead.  I don’t feel like I exist.

How do I explain this to people without depressing them, or worrying them?  For as much as I complain, I love life, I truly do.  I want to be here, I want to do things, just not these things.  Does anyone understand that?

I almost hope nobody does, because that means someone is tortured in the same way as I am.  And I do not wish this on anyone else.

More and more, I catch glimpses of things that I like in the mirror.  More and more, I sleep the day away, but more and more I sit in the sun and feel something like happiness.  And more and more every day I am seeing that I do not need someone else to love me, validate my existence.  In all of my dreams, all of my great escapes, there is no man or woman by my side.  

More and more, more and more, more and more.

I have always tried to be less, love less, care less, and my happiness was less.

So maybe I should try to be more, love more, care more.

More and more, I will be okay.

April Whatever (today)

Today Alan Watts asked me what I would be doing if money were no object, no matter.  What tickles my fancy, encompasses my deepest desires? 

Well, I have a question for him: How am I supposed to know?

Our heart beats itself.  

I, a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.

We did not come into this world, we came out of it.

You do not find an intelligent organism living in an unintelligent environment.

All they want to say is “blah”, where I want to say “hooray!”

I don’t want to change the world, I just want to be part of it.

If you don’t think you have total control,                                                                                why are you so hard on yourself for not being perfect?

All of these are things that punched me in the stomach today.  And I don’t really have a response to them right now, except laughter.  Because they are all so true, so beautiful.  So why do I feel a resistance to them? 

I keep asking myself: Who am I?

And I have the desire to sing out: 24601

I want to be an absolute nobody.

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Any Way The Wind Blows

Yesterday I slept from midnight until 5pm, got up and ate something, then fell back asleep around ten.  Sometimes you just need those days to disappear, hit the restart button, and charge up.  

Today my charger was the wind.  I sat in it, writing poetry, hair whipping, for over an hour, and I truly felt at peace.  It was like all the issues of life were personified by the wind. For something invisible, there is not much else more powerful than the wind.  It will always win, so you might as well surrender. Flow with it, become it.  We can learn a lot from the wind, the way it pushes and pulls, blows out the impurities, the insecurities, until there is raw clarity.  It can never be said that the wind is too much or too little, because it is natural, how it is meant to be.  It carries the birds, the seeds, the melodies of those that have blown out of your immediate life.  It shapes the mountains and valleys, carves out the heart.  I found myself so grounded, so still as the wind whipped my dress about.  I wanted to sit there forever, in that moment, a part of the wind tunnel.

But that is not what wind is about, what wind teaches us.  The moment you decide you want to stay, you are already gone.  

And all you can do is accept to go any way the wind blows.