I see that look in your eyes,
like you are tired of your station in life.
Waiting for the sign with closed eyes,
click after click wasted time.
You think maybe you have something extra,
you fear that there’s something you lack.
Always the one being knocked down,
never can be sure what’s right what’s wrong.
One day you look up it starts to make sense,
walking too long in someone else’s footsteps.
The same map everyone’s buying and selling,
they ain’t heartless they are just as clueless.
See yourself as the one in your own mind,
say no to the wrong things the right ones will align.
It’s not going to be easy the first step or mile,
but what if you are right and what a story to tell.
You tried to hold my hand,
I brushed it away in silence.
I do feel sorry for you,
another leave-me-alone that you grow used to.
I want you to understand,
I get high sometimes.
Just by walking under the stars,
or a touch of a tree in the park.
Such as now I can see the time
slowing down and stretching around.
The night sharpens its edges,
and the sensation overwhelms.
Flying inside the crystal glass,
melting with all that is and will ever be.
I would like to share my experience,
but words are not what they need.
Or should I explain the sensation?
It’s like the soul leaving the shell.
Every step takes me closer
to a myth that I can never ever tell.
Sorry not sorry, I won’t pretend,
you are my dearest and I will abide.
But there are times such as this,
I will need to be alone to be alive.
What you lost
is your biggest treasure.
How that hurts
is a gift you can’t refuse.
When you don’t look away
but humbly accept,
along with the cost,
one breath to the next.
Cast the burden
into the wings you fly with.
You better think
when they tell you it’s worthless.
Give a prayer
to the spirits you now know.
Can you comprehend it
the quietness in your soul?
I wonder if I’m useful to anybody. My “artistry” is but a drop in the salty ocean that is crashing with misery… No, we are not talking about misery, we are talking about something above and below the ocean. Something more tangible, I think. The spark that happens when a sharpened mind meets the proverbial metal.
The technical recruiters should be giving up on me now, now it’s been 11 months into my startup. Why should that makes me feel bad? Shouldn’t they be jealous? Not indifferent I’m sure… It doesn’t matter to me, it shouldn’t matter to me. I’ve learned they want you to pay the same price they are paying for a lesser good than they are getting. “What’s wrong with you?” They seem to be saying, “You are practically a beggar, out of touch with the real world.” Or was it just my insecurities?
I went to the real world, a coffee shop, to work. You see I get to decide how and where and when I get to work. It’s still something I’m getting used to. Like I can start writing at 1:45am because I feel my emotion’s sway and don’t have to worry about traffic and office politics tomorrow, today. So I indulge myself in a most important way. As I was saying, I went to this quiet and out-of-the-way coffee shop. It was not my intention to go to a quiet one for I like, and sometimes need, the hustle-and-bustle of the more urban coffee shops have to offer to get myself into gear. But this one is close and has good online reviews. It’s better than wondering where I should go anyhow.
They do have good coffee. And I saw a different type of people frequenting this place than the ones I’m used to. Instead of college students working on their assignments or tech workers going there for a change of scenery, there were people you’d normally see in a sleepy town: well-dressed older lady with family and older men with the kind of attitude you’d imagine they’d won the lottery. I felt uneasy in my Cuphead video-game T-shirt and faded jeans, on top of a ripped shoulder-bag and a laptop that has stickers on it. But I enjoyed the coffee.
I feel out of step with the world only in a narrow sense. The journey of finding myself again is a necessary one and it has led me to surprising realizations. I’m crying more often these days because of the pressure and the release. It gets easier to keep fear at bay, though it still has its use, so it has its place. But something else is surprising, or perhaps not surprising: it takes a lot to really do what you really think is worth your time. As a result, suffering has become a familiar visitor ever since it has stopped being just a pain but revealed itself as an opportunity.
Living your life not according to social norms means suffering to a degree. The doubts pierce your heart and every step is a leap of faith. But you know what, I have lived a stable life with the usual things and found it lacking. Doing startup or anything at all requires grits. And using those grits, testing them, tasting the bitterness is its own reward.
The key is to see the colors behind the dark and gray. Just because you are happy does not mean life is going well and vice versa. It does not matter what kinda plate you have been served, there’s always a meaning if you are looking for something, and there’s always something. But if you are holding onto something too much, measuring the life you are living with something that only lives in your fantasies you are missing the point.
Life was never supposed to be easy. Even when we are chasing after an easy life, it’s not the goal we are chasing, it’s the journey. Our ingenuity and our spirit can only truly shine when we are in motion, making contact with all the wrong things in all the wrong places. Can you feel that? When you are only squeezing by, do you feel more alive? We are chasing the wrong things. Leisure and excess, they are what kills, not struggles and hurt. Live for it, accept it into your life, carry on with it, be worthy of it all.
I laid there on the bed listening to the sound of wind brushing the tree leaves. Without glasses on, I looked out to the green and yellow and white, looked like a Manet. I found peace a moment at a time. I wish I can paint, to translate what I feel to something just as hard to define. It passes the time.
Lots of things on my mind. Yet could not find the individual time to fit them into the proper slots. But something is coming up my throat, upon an unknown trigger it makes a gurgle sound somewhere deep and I feel it. I have an idea of what that trigger is, but it does not always work. I play some cello, follow the linear notes as close as I can. Sometimes the sound comes close to what I expect, yet I double-check with this App on my iPhone. I hate this habit, but I want to sound right. I don’t have the gift of accurately gauging the sound, or play by ear. Sometimes I can, most of the times I can’t. Those are the good days, when for one reason of another my body and my senses are my own. I treasure those times. I live for those times.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about living, or a way to live. Something cut my finger, I bleed, and I deal with the consequences, is this living? Just dealing with consequences? Or if you don’t have the music-sheet and you don’t know what to play, but life gives you a cello and teaches you the way, and you play just because. Is that living?
We all are signed up for a package deal with either no accompanying fine-prints, or lacking the faculty to read it. Still, still we are here somehow. I think it might be all about love. I’m tired so let’s just say it’s about love. Because I’ve lived without it for the past decade, and it felt like a blur with no highlights. I lived by loathing my awkward non-belongness. Funny it can be such a hipster thing to do these days. It tells me that I’m not the only one. Our hearts are not broken beyond repair, but rather exposed to the elements. There used to be faith and tradition, if not all humane, at least something to cuddle with. But now, now we are on our own. We are free to live, to send away our hearts with no return address.
Find something to belong. I can feel it in my heart, it’s aching for something within or without. It’s bothering me. It tells me to look, to see. But am I ready? Can anyone truly be ready? I find peace wherever I can find it. I see it in your eyes that you are on the same journey. Keep your head high now. I have seen God. It tells you more as you are ready for it. Don’t be afraid of offending it. You can not. Finding it and keeping it is the task.
Keeping it is the task. It is hard. It is but a feeling, a feeling that life is designed to interrupt. You can not get back to it whenever you wish. Even though when you have it, you can’t imagine living without it. Your heart is full, then it wanes again. Not enough, passed its peak, looking for more. What is the condition for one’s love? Can you be still and keep it, or will it be tired of you first?
I have seen animals who are starving to death but still with this pride in their eyes. Like they know something that I don’t. Like they are living above these concepts of self-pity and pointless dreams because they live it every single minute. What can I do? Am I ready? How should I live?
Hush now, it’s coming.
Putting the coffee-house receipt into the receipt folder makes a crisp rustling sound that lingered in my ears and on my fingertips. It’s time to write. My hearing extends to beyond the screen-door: the distant roaring of the traffic blends well enough with the on-again-off-again rustling of the leaves. I don’t tune out the background noise for a change, for who can resist the spring breeze and the sparkles of the sun. If I were a plant, I’d be down right anxious to express my joy of being here and being enveloped. What more can I do? A cloud passes, the world changes, a shadow also passes my mind. Oh no, not again. But by degree, the cloud out of the view fills its way across the sky, leaving grand theatrical effects on the earth below. A yellow palm-sized butterfly presents itself as the main attraction, tiptoes in and out of the greens and the flowers. What beauty and drama, how many interactions, cause and effects uncollated, each has its own path, and yet as a whole…
As a whole, I don’t know what to say. Keep trying to continue the stories but can’t shake the feeling that they all have played out and to say anything more is to kill them when they are the least deserving. I know they will continue one way of the other, but not because they need to continue, but because they have to continue. I fight against my urges, then fight against my urges to fight against urges. I stop there, I have learned that much. Conflict is good when you know when to let go. Sometimes the obvious way is the wrong way, the planned way is the evil way. There can be no such distinctions when things are playing out, we don’t intend it, but our nature says so. So we get out of ourselves, noticing the sun is in no hurry, and the wind plays no favors, and we, we don’t plan internally but do what is required of us. All the other animals have the nobility to do just that.
What is doing? I have memorized whole books, giving the lotion to the soul and the shades to the eyes. But nothing I read can transmit the feeling of dread I feel. I’m losing too many moments. Every ambitions and insecurity I had, they took me away from myself, which in turn, numb me to the multitudes of dramas that are unfolding around me. Where is this dread coming from? I don’t know, it’s been there as long as I can remember. I still am not quite sure I want this. But I’ve learned that I have no choice, to fight against it is to live a miserable life. I know, I’ve tried. I knew where I was going, I could see the end, and because of it, I wanted something more, or something else. Did I get anything? I probably did. But all that hate has led me right back here. I have gone a circle. I still recognize myself though, that is important. I can’t shake it, I have to live with it. Until the day I die. It makes sense, now that I’m no longer young and full of chaos, mentally, psychically and physically, I can breathe. I can be gentle, I don’t resent others and hate myself anymore. What’s the point? I can be gentle with myself. And that makes all the difference.
Once that’s in place, I find that I can finally start to grow up. Not by crutches but by wings. By the wisdom that’s granted me, I can see the sky is full of them. The vision of youth has to be true then. I saw an endless grass field, with a clouded sky that has an opening to the left with winged creatures flying in circles towards the source of the orange, yellow, golden light that is out of sight. Multitudes of colors and uplifting spirits. That image has stayed with me, and I visit it often, like now. I think those winged creatures are just wide-winged birds instead of angels as some may assume since I don’t feel any individual presence when I’m in that landscape. They are as quiet and as natural as the waving waist-height grass that are doing their synchronized dances. I can be there for all eternity, I have been there for all eternity, so I guess I will be there for all eternity.
I don’t know if anything ever changes. We get old, people die. But the background still pumps the same signal. It comes in and out of our consciousness, but if I don’t get to feel it for some length of time, I go crazy. I think that’s what happened when I fought against my path. But I had no choice. Circumstances just cut me off. I guess in some ways, I was only trying to find my way back. But am I firm yet?
No. If the journey has taught me anything, is this: it’s fun, it’s necessary, it’s what life is all about. It’s not just about peace and smooth incline, but also desperation and dark places. Maybe it is what it takes to survive.