Saturday, November 15, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Only Human

Human. Now there is an interesting definition.

Being "human" [according to Merriam-Webster] means "a human being, a person as distinguished from an animal or an alien. Susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature."

In our world, being "human" has taken on an entirely different meaning.

All ranges of emotion from love to happiness to sadness to frustration to anger to darkness to bliss are experienced by humans. Somewhere along the lines, the term "human" has been associated with being "perfect."  Perfect attitude, hair, skin, nails, clothes, body, education, family, career, skills, life, travel, adventure, love, and pretty much everything that most humans definitely are not.

Many times in life we over think. Our minds are powerful tools, ones we have yet to fully study and understand. Some days you may feel perfectly in tune with all of your choices and surroundings only to be feeling outcast, outspoken, rude, pitiful and eventually, self-deprecating. I know I am not the only one who goes through this. If you don't, then you are lying, or quite possibly, not "human."

Although such phases do not last long, for me, thankfully, they are unsettling because when you over think, you disallow your instinct to be in control, you tend to become off balance that spirals your rational thought along with your own energy, into massive loops of confusion. You may not be confusing to others, or maybe you are, I can only speak for myself, however, the most important aspect of being off balance is in regards to how you feel about yourself.

When off balance, I tend to react to things I normally ignore and get upset over menial things. This is typically not the "me" of today so I search:

"Why do I feel this way? What caused me to start thinking like this? Why am I feeling out of control?"

Ask yourself, you have all of your answers.

One beautiful aspect of existence and having people put by us for various reasons is that during such times, often without saying a word, some without ever meeting me, sense that something clearly is "not right" simply by reading deeper into my words, my energy, my response and my actions.

As human beings we all wish to be acknowledged, loved and recognized and that is not an egotistical thing, it is a basic need. 

Rational and healthy communication is crucial.

It absolutely infuriates me [there I go being "human" again] when there is improper communication because this starts a chain reaction of misunderstanding that leads to "what if" negative self talk and thinking. In turn, eventually, a guilt ridden, self-loathing [for those of us who are "human'] after effect. This is absolutely foolish when you think about it.

[Think for a moment, really, this is not meant to be deep.]

What I learn from being allowed to be myself is that I need to look inside of me every day and not blame another person for the way I feel. After all, it is my own fault feeling as I do no matter what another said to me, how one treated me, or the actions of another human being towards me. 

I am in control of myself and am responsible and accountable for my behavior. 

I ask myself: 

"Why do you feel this way? What caused you to start thinking like this? Why do you feel out of control?" 

And guess what? I answer me.


Yet without the guidance of those who are reading this and reach out in various ways to acknowledge me, as a fellow human being, I may not arrive so quickly to a conclusion. I may ridiculously crucify myself for no apparent reason other than I choose to. 

I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my son, William, he is 15 years old and I looked at him, I mean I really looked at who he is and I asked him to please give me a hug. The smile on his face was so wide that I began to smile too. He gladly and lovingly hugged me with all of his might and we did not let go, not just yet. I told him that without him in my life that my life would be horrible and I mean that, wholeheartedly. 

Hugging my son was touching the divine. 

You see, children are insightful and full of unconditional love, gifts we tend to lose as we grow older. In my own child, I felt bright, magnificent light that illuminated me, and I wondered did he also feel that from me? 

At that moment, I realized my purpose, regardless of what interests me, what my career is or is not, and who is or is not in my life. 

What mattered and does matter was right there with my son. In seconds, every single confusing thought disappeared. 

That is the beauty of love. The divine essence of existence. 
The fact that we are placed here for various reasons and most times, they are quite simple. We make them complicated. 

I realized how blessed I were then, although I have always been aware, yet sometimes we forget in the busy-ness of life. Then everything around me was a gift, the sunshine, nature, my home, my work, my friends, my family, the fact that my limbs work and that I have the means to utilize technology to talk to all of you right now. 

For today [and every day] I suggest something extremely simple. 

Do this right now. 

Look around you and find your divine. It exists. 

You just may have your eyes closed at the moment. 
So, take the time to work through whatever you are dealing with, just don't stay there. 

And always, simply, be human. 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Literary Withdrawal: Death of a Book

Published on --> Rebelle Society

I sit in the dark quiet of my sanctuary, the place I come to write, and am overcome by a stabbing inherent fear that books, like many of its authors, shall one day become extinct.
This revelation came to me because I was forced to purchase a tape cassette recorder to listen to a tape, and as I held it in my hand, found myself thinking: I cannot believe I found one to buy.

Think of LP’s. (Oh, how I miss LP’s.) There truly is nothing like an album. Artwork, like tattoos, scrolled across the flaps of the cover and on the inside. That’s when the band invited You inside of Their minds for an hour or two.

(Then I wondered if I purchased a turntable, would I be able to find a needle to set beneath the arm?)

Thank goodness for eBay, garage sales and used bookstores.

You must take pride in being the owner of a used bookstore. A secret society where members peruse old wooden shelving like mad Norsemen, pillaging layers of books, blowing cobwebs from dusty covers, uncovering a treasure or two.

A book is the fruit of self. Knowledge unsurpassed. Everything I have learned has come mainly from books.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore mainstream bookstores. As a rule, I live in them.

Soak myself up in an overstuffed chair, an Italian Soda by my side, a stack of books at my feet, music I have never heard before playing overhead as I delve into Welsh Heritage, Kool-Aid Acid Trips, Nature, Photography, Art and Poetry.

When entering a bookstore, I bypass the front tables streamed with discounts and deals. New authors with their third book published about the exact same things they said in the first one. I head straight to the back, where the literature is hiding.

You can always tell they attempt to hide it. Ask someone working there exactly where the Lit section is and they point you toward… someplace… over… there. 

(In reality, they have no idea what Literature is.)

Poetry is the second section I visit, then on to biographies, music, art, photography, and lastly, the horribly sad cart where tattered books lie that nobody wants. The cart of misfits. It is here I always find a volume to keep. Maybe because I, myself, am a misfit and that’s okay. I like being different.

I am surrounded by books. They are best friends to me. A book is life itself breathing inside, waiting for you to discover an entirely new world created by another’s psyche.

How truly fascinating.

An old book possesses something entirely different. They are my favorites to own. I often wonder how many people cried, felt happiness, pain, grief, love, enlightenment from handling this book now in my possession.

The corners are tattered a bit, sure, but this gives it persona. It tells you it doesn’t fuck around, man, and it is meant to be read because it has been read. 

Now it’s your turn to ride that steep climb up the first hill of a coaster.

Get ready, the turn is coming; you can feel it now, can’t you?

The existential drop of your belly as you lift from your seat and remain airborne for a millisecond that lasts a lifetime, just to be dropped straight downhill into an inferno that brings you around dark corners, through forests, screaming wild and flipping pages as night turns into day.

This causes me to think of not only the books, but the writers I pay homage to. Where have they all gone? 

Why is it that they are noticed after their death, after their struggle, after their entire lives have been a complete and utter hell interspersed with momentary lapses of euphoric bliss?

I use the word homage well, because they are all quite stone cold dead.

(Ahh, but not in the pages. Within the pages, they survive. This is their gift, the gift of any writer to the reader. Regeneration by pure esoteric thought.)

I think of Hemingway… poor Papa. No longer could he write, he could not think after they strapped his brilliance to the electro shocks and stripped him of his gift. It is no wonder he chose solace with one of his prized shotguns.

Kerouac. The thing with Jack is he saw so much fucking beauty, traveled so far, ran with bums, slept in alleys, and walked in freezing temperatures in order to feel life in his veins as his own blood. Jack set out on what he meant to do. 

Jack had a purpose, and when it was met, he was done.



Jack was beat.

I could talk for hours on authors gone home, yet fear boring you right out of your mind.

Besides, you really should be reading something of worth. Lawrence Ferlinghetti must be lonely.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road