Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning To Love Yourself (More) pt. 14

(untitled, 2010)

The Opposite of Falling

It is what we are once all these layers we carry peel apart and we are left in our flesh, and in the thickest of all, in our bloody truths. It's whether we stay the same once we know, whether the change of being clear and naked, if we see each other as something greater or flawed beyond our ability to repair. Perhaps that is too vague. When you see me with my true flesh, will you remain, and when you bare yourself of the colors and shades of who you really are, will I still remain. There is no answer to that, we either stay or leave, and both have their merit, I mean, after all, everything here is being spoken and done, truthfully. Sometimes the truth about someone can be so severe you become alienated by the once-familar and what lies before you. There is no passage to return to how things were, when things such as love vanish they tend to form into another. This other, is not the same, it is where an end, or death, means there is new life being born. With its first steps, its first sights; everything is new, and the old, that good ole feeling, that person who once was the barer of love is replaced by someone that much more truer. It is in failure we learn the truth. It is in pain we learn pleasure. And it is in forgetting we learn new ways to see our lives.

Where we once fallen, we are soaring, no, we are flying high above, no, it is something that can only come after great grief, pain, and suffering, it is earned, it is real, and it is the truth. It is the opposite of falling.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


(Burrito Bandits (after Content Aware), 2010)

Freddy and I used to smash 40 oz'r on the curb, only after we poured some over for those we once knew, some we loved, some we loved like family, and then we'd take a drink, and throw. Times seemed simplier then, I was younger, and all we did is carelessly move through life. Money was easy, school was bullshit, and it wasn't really hard getting booze or weed. It was when you got the word that this person died, this person you'll never see again, it was only then when you realized how fragile this world is, and it was also the moment you realize that your life up until that moment was not real.
Fast forward a decade later, and the word, REAL, for real, be real, aren't mottos you used to sling around the curb, those philos you throw in rhymes, and say to your homies. Nah, this real is real, it is knowing that you're old enough to buy booze now but you have to pay for it, that you can get weed now, but you have to work for that money. These days aren't necessarily harder than back in the day, because being a kid is hard, there was all types of shit going on, I'm just saying, these days are something else, with a hand flying over my head (nearly crashing into a black sea of hair with the occasionally white beacon). I think these days you have less viable options, and too many choices. It is harder to move, it is harder to imagine and do, it is harder to maintain and control. Life seems to get more chaotic the older you get.
I guess what I'm trying to get out here is that a few years ago I was struck by lightning, it went right through my body and into the ground. It was probably the most anti-climatic moment of my life, and only because I expect to win the lottery right then and there, with my body all stiff and shaken. In a sea, I expected a great white to swallow me whole, but it did not happen. When I took ride across this fine country, I expected to find some purpose to my life, but I didn't. All I learned was how far I can go, and by the time I realized how far exactly I have gone, I realized I can probably go a lot further.
These days I drink too much, and I stopped smoking. Everyday, I get more awkward and I would like to think it is because I'm learning the truth about myself. And as I reach my hand down to crazy kid I once was, and try to hold his hand, to give him a wicked handshake, and tell him FO REALz, he just looks at me like I'm a complete idiot. I think to myself, my job here is done, I'm a grown-up.

I used mumble as a child, and even now I try to speak more clearly, only to fail. I used to lie to my mother when I was young, I lied to her to keep her away from the bad things I'd do. I am trying to be a more honest person, with one word at a time, with each day a new way to speak my mind. That child I once wasn't lost, and he wasn't taken away from all alcohol, drugs, fooling around, and crime, he just was hidden from me until I was old enough to realize how young I still am. And everyday, I grow, only to shrink, and everyday I learn, only to forget. And everyday, is everyday, and everyday is just a part of everyday, and that this day, and that day, and yesterday, and tomorrow will be the day, that is like everyday, but different in every way.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Black Bird Zen

(Light of Divine, from the Road to Montreal, 2010)

What makes me sad is we used to be friends. That there was life between us, in us, with sparks and explosions, and everything was just so damn great. I am full of regret, you are still the one that aches my very soul.
Now-a-days we laugh at failures; people falling face first into danger, or at younglings doing adult things and making it cute and innocent. We've seen it on youtube. I watch about twenty minutes of television a day, and half the time I'm watching ads. I wonder if I'll really be satisfied at anything, or from anyone.
We took this trip years ago to Monument Valley, Jim, Rico, and I think Phil even joined us, but had to meet us there. It took us four days, and we camped along the way. We got so drunk that by the time we got there we were missing our beds, our friends, and wives or girlfriends. Staring at that endless desert made me feel a feeling like we've gone too far, like a bad idea that was taken too far, and that the miles and days between us now and us then, there was no running back, we were already too deep; our hands were dirty with regret. In the mess of mix feelings seeing those red giants just sticking there in the middle of no where and for first time seeing it without a frame, at life scale, breathing there, it was the difference between playing with yourself and being with a woman. It was, for a lack of words, mon-u-mental.
So here was three, four, half-drunk amigos, in the same clothes we have been wearing for four days, feeling dusty and confused, and in absolute awe. Finding a spot we all sat on Rico's bronco and just hit back beers in the dark with the headlights pointing towards those sandy giants. It was fine to be stupid, it was fine to be homeless and smelly, it also fine to say sick and messed up jokes, even if you were the only one laughing. I guess we all reach a point in our lives that we witness a moment that feels like a dream, and this right now as unmonumental as it was, was a fog-glass moment.
Now I'm sure Philip was there, because he brought his rifle and let off a few rounds towards the monuments and barked like a dog until we were all howling to the moonless sky. One of us had some sort of drug and we must've all taken it because I can't remember much after the howling, just waking up in the early morning smelling rough, and having a swell on my forehead.
On the road, there is an endless stretch that goes on and on, where the ground beside you goes so fast that it might as well not be there at all. Everywhere around you, the landscape just seems to frozen. There again, regret, knowing of the days before us, of our journey, and we can either look mindlessly forward, or get lost in thought and escape the daunting nature of traveling the sacred way.
In times like these, I remember a book my friend Thomas gave me back in Dallas. It was a book on Zen and travel, of motorcycles, and about losing it and ultimately finding one's self . I tried reading that book three times before I actually did, and when I did, when that book hook me by my eyelids and skull, it was religion to me. I followed those words in that little book, I still do to this day. A good lesson is never lost, and so on that open road, I thought of my own journey as the same as the journey in that book, I saw my own life as the narrator's, and my own struggles, as well as... ah, you got the point. It is through struggle we become relative strangers, that we can relate to the struggles of others because quite simply, we all suffer, and if you're still standing, then we all struggle. I could understand calling our time a brotherhood, a sisterhood, I could understand how when you see a person fall face first into danger, and how you can laugh, because you're laughing at yourself, and where you've been, and what you've been through, so why not laugh since we weren't laughing when it happened to ourselves. In movies where janitors are secretly geniuses, where they had a hard up-bringing and that Robert Williams character tell him it is ok, that it isn't his fault, it's ok for you and I to cry, because no one is perfect, and no one can handle the weight of this world, let alone their own world on their own. In someway, we all need each other, because we were not born to be alone, we are born alone, yes, I know Nietzsche, but let's not us die alone.
In that book I tried to read so many times, I learned one thing that could well be the key to my own survival. I learned there are things greater than me, you, and everything happening right now, that we, the individual, are small to the big picture, like four drunk men standing before Monument Valley, appearing to be ants to the ant hill, but that hill will remain much longer than us, and it has existed well before us, and that our troubles today are not important to it because it does not effect it. It simply exists, through time it has seen so much that it knows that it will pass, like all time, it is constantly moving, belong our feet the ground moves, and I see a yellow banner blink over and over, I see a black bird fly, and I see what could be a beautiful day just beyond the horizon. What I don't see, for now, and hopefully for a long time, are my troubles, I know they are all around me, but they only exist in a troubled mind.
Now that I think of it, Phil was definitely there, and it was definitely his peyote that we all took that night in the valley.