Month: May 2015

Dreams in Storage

The lyrics from a part of Passenger’s song “Life’s for the Living” (a song which I previously mentioned in this post) have been on repeat in my head and heart, particularly this line:

“They take your dreams down and stick them in storage

You can have them back, son, when you’ve paid off your mortgage and loans”

I hear this and think “college.” I think of the voices of friends who cynically joke about the fees and student loans, but continue to enroll each semester. I think of the interview on NPR that I heard this week, the young man who said he could not focus on or enjoy his studies for anxiety over debt. I think of the way our generation extinguishes their own flame of youthful passion for life, “growing up” by accepting the chains, rowing the ship of society. I think of the way we’re told to put our dreams in storage, until we have earned the right to live.

After all, everyone knows that you need a degree to be successful. The funny thing about “everyone knows” is that no one really does. Everyone assumes. Everyone blindly accepts. No one knows. And that is the beauty of it. Once we know that we do not know, then we are able to learn and grow, to think and delight in knowledge. Whenever I hear another human being lament the crippling weight dropped onto their shoulders, I wish to wrap my arms around them, whisper that it’s okay. That’s there’s another way.

Four long years of prison

you pay exorbitant amounts of money

to sit in a prescribed spot

to be one of the innumerable faceless.

to be taught to play their game

to give in to their way of thinking

their way of not thinking

as they put the glorious, mysterious, beautiful

human mind

into a box

telling you exactly how it works

exactly what you ought to think and do

so that you can regurgitate the little phrases

and tidy lists of terms

on demand

under their whips

To reach the end

the wished-for respite

a shell

emptied

crushed by debt

weary of mind

♦♦♦♦♦

cd02e903e7ef05286c56c0224b769bd8For that price

how many paints and brushes

ink and pens

could you buy?

Rather than a textbook

that loses all its worth in a year

imagine sketchpads and leather-bound journals

rather than being emptied

of time and creative energy

you could be filled with it

You could embark on a grand adventure

of imagination and creation

and discover what the mind is really like

with each word and brushstroke

quietly

powerfully

disprove them

Please, stop trying

Start living

Be

 

Or as Passenger sings:

“Well I’m sick of this town, this blind man’s forage

They take your dreams down and stick them in storage

You can have them back, son, when you’ve paid off your mortgage and loans

Oh hell with this place, I’ll go it my own way

I’ll stick out my thumb and trudge down the highway

Someday someone must be going my way home

Till then I’ll make my bed from a disused car

With a mattress of leaves and a blanket of stars

And I’ll stitch the words into my heart with a needle and thread

Don’t you cry for the lost

Smile for the living

Get what you need and give what you’re given

You know life’s for the living so live it

Or you’re better off dead.”

The Glorious Now

1ccef4bcf3137e4f3886c498026e89d2I shall not look at another being

any created thing

a fellow part of this world

and feel disgust or hate.

Only love

appreciation

I resolve to see only beauty.

There is no tomorrow

only the glorious now

and the now after that.

The present exists

tomorrow always beyond your grasp

for it is only a phantom that you have fabricated

a paltry attempt to console your weary soul

because you did not live today.

You say,

After I finish school

when life slows down

when the kids are grown

when I have money

then I will live.

No.

I have finally come to my senses

literally.

Awake, I sense

experience the world

as it is.

To chase a vaporous future

is never to feel.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

These clouds, they exist

and are enough

and maybe somewhere,

they will shroud great mountain peaks

and when they reach their fullness of being

they will fall from the sky

not in defeat

no less glorious

and be one with the ground

and become lush peaches

plucked by a happy

dirty-faced

muddy-footed

life-loving child

nourishing the vigor that drives each joyous day for his dear little heart

that knows nothing of the defeat of adulthood.

The pit he shall fling into the great somewhere

and from the rain shall come a tree

and a man.

Overturned Stones, 5/16/15

stonesFor those of you more recently following my blog, Overturned Stones are posts in which I share beautiful or inspiring songs/books/poems/videos/ideas/etc.

Music:
So this song found me a few months ago; it’s melancholy, soul-stirring, and so beautiful, and I never get tired of it. (Plus, Regina Spektor is a creative genius.)

everything-belongs-richard-rohr-paperback-cover-artBooks:
“Everything Belongs,” by Richard Rohr. I will admit, I still haven’t finished the entire book, but it has been a rich, eye-opening read. His thoughts on living in the center of your being and having a contemplative mind are freeing and amazingly simple (as in, why didn’t I realize this before?) Even if you don’t read this, I’d encourage you to look up some of his videos.

Blogs:

Your blog recommendation for today is a rather obscure one, but oh-so-worth your time. This lovely, thoughtful blogger has inspiring, encouraging, and perspective-shattering words for you, and I anticipate a successful interwebs future. The blog’s name is “Leaving Bag End” (how cool is that?!) and here is the link. Read all of the things!
https://leavingbagend.wordpress.com
(Oh, maybe I should mention, she’s also my little sister and favorite human ever. No, I am not at all biased.)

Poetry:

It speaks for itself:

A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

And with that, I bid you a wonderful Saturday. Don’t forget to leave some time unplanned for adventure to find you!

You

BeautifulForest3You!

Yes, you!

You lovely starchild

I love you

(don’t forget)

lift your lifeless eyes

who dared to extinguish their flame?

suffocating the passion for existence

that once coursed like fire in your veins

You are a creature of the earth

feet not meant for this asphalt wasteland

lungs not meant for the stench and poison

that hover over each nowhere

that they have named a somewhere

Why?

Why wait?

Why waste another breath?

You rise in a daze

drag your unwillingly body to a prison

enslave your mind to their game

You spend hours in drudgery

to earn money

to buy things

to pay rent

so you have a place to keep

all that shit

that you never enjoy

because you’re always working.

trapped in a vicious cycle

run ragged

no options in sight

But beyond sight….

jump off the hamster wheel

place your cold hand in mine

Come, let us see what adventures await

outside the game

(outside the matrix)

Let us leave the spoiled children to their make-believe world

where they are king

where actions have no consequences

where they fight and kill for trinkets

of which they quickly grow bored

and stomp their feet and pout,

demanding better diversion

Let us see the green fields

the forests

the seas teeming with marvelous creatures

the dirt in all its complexity and mystery

Let us rejoice in the existence of the world

and our place within it

Let us weep for how our kind have fucked it up so grievously

by forsaking their place

Let us live quietly

and restore what we can

let time heal the rest

Hey, you

You’re beautiful

in every aspect

Silence any voice that would suggest otherwise

though it be backed by reason

or popular opinion

You

You are

You are Free

Free to live

to breathe

to love

to be

to laugh

to cry

You need no permission

Lift your face

meet the Sun’s gaze,

let it melt those illusory chains

let the Wind carry them into oblivion

Hey you

I love you

Your joy is infectious

You see the world with child’s eyes

You laugh and delight with each discovery

and I rejoice with you

learning from you

growing with you

So happy that you exist

So happy that you are learning and growing

into fully yourself

You are.

Today

d305b13033126b72f1a9a9f1bb9ddd1cToday I took a moment

devoted it to breath

tossed it to the wind

and let it take flight

 

Today I looked back

reflected on past seasons

observed my reflection

and smiled for the first time

 

Today I was content

with who I am, the lovely scars

with the experiences that shaped me

content to merely and fully live

 

Today I saw through the eyes of the Divine

Changes

fedf265681b2f71d077bb9038c6fceacSo much has been changing in my life. (See previous post.) Life is a continual journey, learning and growing. There have been ups and downs, times when I was happy or sad, creative or stressed. Sometimes, there are distinct changes or phases, but these are not sudden, though they may appear so at first glance. Rather, those instances are moments of completion, culmination.

Part of this, of course, is the necessity of becoming one’s own person in adulthood. For me, it has been a significant, painful change of character. I struggle not to be ashamed of who I was. Shame has no place. I will not erase the evidence of my former notions and traits, as if they are crimes, or as if they are not burned more permanently into the minds of those who knew me then.

The fruits that I see blossoming in my life right now, their seeds and buds were evident in my past. I’ve just been learning to acknowledge and accept their existence, to embrace and nurture them. In past writings, I expressed desires to live joyfully, to love others, to learn to let go. Finally, these are realities. Once, I struggled to figure out how to let go of things, as if effort could ever accomplish what only surrender can. Now, it seems like it happens without my permission. I find myself letting go of the inconsequential or uwise things without realizing it. A small part of me wants to say, “hey, give it back! I didn’t want to let that go! I liked being dependent on it, letting it rule my mind and heart.” But the rest of me laughs at the absurdity. If I let go, then I won’t care. Sometimes, I don’t want to not care, silly human that I am.

Now that my being has awoken, now that living beautifully and truly is not pushed aside by game of life, I think that this blog, representative of myself, ought to be refreshed.

A constant of my nature is the ability, the compulsion, to see things from a different perspective, to discover truth hidden by the mundane “way things are,” to present a fresh, challenging view to others. The former name emphasized what I thought I should be then. I did challenge presuppositions, but from a very limited view. This mindset was not intentionally narrow, but merely reflected my experience thus far. I had lived in a bubble, which slowly widened…maybe it popped, I can’t even tell. I did present new ways of thinking, but I had no idea about tact or presentation. Communication is as important as content. I may have had ideas, but I was imperceptive and often obnoxious, honestly a bit of an asshole, in the way I went about spreading them.

After much time, suffering, contemplation, and finally rest, I believe that my lens has shifted. Learning and growing, my voice must now be quiet, secure in its own being, however limited in scope. Until I acknowledged how little I knew, no wisdom could grow. This week, something that has been slowly and beautifully evolving within my being has burst into life.

Several months ago, I recognized that the “about” section no longer accurately represented my character, so I deleted it. However, that time in life lacked energy and hours to renew this space. Perhaps, I even lacked the clarity, floating in a state of flux, making my way through the fog, location and destination a mystery, yet moving, determined to discover what lay footsteps ahead, clinging to a fragile hope. Now, the future is still shrouded in the mystery of time, but that only makes it more beautiful. And what I know is this: I am here. This is the Moment! I am awake and shall live, not one more breath wasted.

Thought vacation

6944719-tree-sunset-reflection

Laid my thoughts down

Left them behind

Ran out the door

to move for joy

legs pumping

feet sinking into earth

and springing up into flight

I left my thoughts behind

emptied my mind

to experience reality

like a child

What do my senses know that my head forgot?

Magnolia blossoms perfume each lung-full of breath

inhaled, absorbed, they became a part of my being

Water and light

brushstrokes on sky

lit by departed sun

Crickets chirps

woven with bird calls

all bidding the world’s creatures good night

singing to welcome the darkness

to conjure oblivion for a time

My vigor and energy

my skin cannot contain

They seep through it

running down my face like anointing oil

salty on my lips

I see a rabbit

and stop

overwhelmed

by its suchness

its very being

“I love you”

I say

“I’m so sorry”

apologizing for my whole species

“Go, Live!”

So I keep running

letting every burden

each minute but insidious worry

disipate

fall to the roadside

Sky now periwinkle grey

stars opening their sleepy, shining eyes

to welcome the night-dwellers

and tuck in play-weary children

to dream of a sweet tomorrow

I walk through the door

invigorated from exertion

spent with joy

I survey the little heap of thoughts

still where I left them

Kneeling, sort through them

Some return to rest in my head

others tucked into my deepest heart

Some I fiddle with

re-mold a little

Others, I laugh at their absurdity

wonder that they wasted my being

toss them aside

But a few remain.

(I am ashamed to say)

Gingerly pick them up

one by one

horrified that such were housed in my being

birthed by it

poisoning it

I shudder to see who I was

burn them

the ash becoming one with the soil

the smoke carrying sparks upward

until they become stars.