Is the World Too Big or Am I Too Small?

I have hit backspace on this writing 3 times because it is hard to describe what I am trying to describe.

Sometimes when I am traveling and I see a shopping center from a slightly elevated perspective I have a rush of emotions that tap into each one of the business in the complex. This feeling goes something like this.

Wow look at all of these individual efforts to stake their claim in the free world. There is an owner behind that billboard. A man or a woman who wakes up early and worries about how they will get customers into their hole in the wall restaurant. There is a vacuum repair shop who comes in on their terms and perhaps does not need the income this store produces. How could they. They are never open. There is a woman trying to “Crush it” in the woman’s business world as a clothing reseller but displaying a few select blouses in the window. Yet right next to her window is the water store with a faded poster in the window for a Chinese dance company tour that has come and gone over a year ago.

I become melancholy over the realization that this world is crowded with so many people trying to make it in their own way. Some have big goals and some have no goals at all other than to keep their small local business open long enough to enjoy their weekends for the rest of their lives. Not that they are hoping to pass along an empire built on cigarettes and hookah pipes adorned with Bob Marley t-shirts on a half empty rack accented by a worn out cardboard sign with the words sale hand written and taped to the end post. As if somehow this will be the thing that will finally get rid of this shit.

Am I insane to be tortured by the sense that I am so small in this world and that because of my size I should be intimidated by its size and therefore rendering my potential to a fate of mediocrity regardless of how hard I try.

I mean. Look at me. I am an almost 45 year old man with the mind that can only be compared to an octopus on LSD. I got hands and arms flying in multiple directions trying to grasp that which cannot be categorized in an effort to find my storefront of life. Tha at some point I will come the that “aha” mount that will be the result of my speaking out and someone listening. Then paying for me to say some more. Or that I would create something with my hands and that some one would ask if I have more. I suppose Theron lies my fear. That when someone enters the store of my creations that one would look at the random items along a series of shelves and they would ask if I have something else and not more of the same.

This would mean that the goods that I felt were worthy of putting on display were actually of no worth to anyone but myself. That Some how I was not tending to a store but that I was a docent at a Meuse university of random acts and creations of a renaissance man with now clear direction. That I was holding open a gallery for people to come in, look , be stricken with awe or perhaps mild curiosity and then leave.

Yeah, this worries me greatly. I spend a tremendous amount of time learning and hone in my ability to understand social media, sales, networking and content creation yet I have nothing to show for it.

A bank account that with one adversity or tragedy would have me on the side of the freeway twirling a sign for that very same store owner selling hookah pipes and cigarettes.

I push forward with such tenacity and force that if only someone in the corporate world would look at this in awe and find a place for me to clock in and clock out in a trade for the security free of worry and toil. The variety of my routine would in many ways defy the groundhog day theory and yet looks very similar to the yesterday.

I wake, I meditate from the porcelain throne for a few minutes as I stumble through a few social media channels then make my way to a couch with a cup of coffee and a laptop. The the direction of the day is building upon the next couple of moves I make. Do I end up falling back asleep? Do I dump my thoughts into text awaiting a glimpse into flow? Or do I allow YouTube to carry me away into an abyss of videos on motivation that by their next suggested video will land me up on Dr. Pimple Poppers Greatest pops of 2014? Next thing I know 2 hours have passed and I still don’t have shit to show for my early morning purpose.

I believe I get this way because I have, since a very young age, always felt as if I am going to do great things and will one day be rich and famous. This feeling carried on from childhood until about my mid thirties. The theme shifted to, being “Under the radar.” That for some reason I am worthy of fame and fortune but only when my time is right. That the universe is holding back from giving me access to abundance because I am not mature or responsible enough to no blow it all on hookers and blow and end up dead on a Las Vegas hotel room floor.

The Vacation of The Mind

Sitting here at six thirty a.m., long before anyone in the vacation rental rises, I gaze across the recently saturated landscape of golf course grass. The sun lifts in haste and evaporates the dew from each blade of grass and the day begins. Tiny gnats and large flies dance and dart across my peripheral vision but dare not touch me. Not today. I came prepared. I brought bug spray and covered myself and probably got some in my coffee. My lips tingle with the disgusting flavor of the chemicals. I sip from my cup. This stuff should come with an ointment you rub under your nose to neutralize the stench. Nonetheless, I am on vacation.

There is something about the foreign sky and the clearly different construction of the local buildings that make me become aware of my attempt to remain in the moment. The unfamiliar would become commonplace within 6 months if I was to live here. People would come from all over the world to enjoy what I take for granted. Even those who live in paradise lose the nostalgia for their home. I know this because I recently experienced this.

I was living in Riverside county for so long that each time I would visit Orange County it was a place that held promise and wealth. Somehow cars were cleaner and the streets were lined with potential. After 13 years of living in a more rural environment, I became enamoured with the thoughts and dreams of one day moving back. Yes, back to Orange County California. The place that I would consider to be the real California. Just outside of Los Angeles and thirty minutes from Hollywood is the home of Disneyland and the Lad of Gracious Living. Yorba Linda, California.

I knew five years ago that I was in desperate need of change. I once tried to convince my wife to move to the center of Los Angeles to let me fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. Although, at the time, I had only written massive amounts of works that reside in a large briefcase under the stairs to this day. Yet, I could not shake the feeling that I was destined to be a created, dare I say self manufactured into a modern-day cross-breed between Charles Bukowski and Hank Moody. Minus the drunken womanizing.

I began feeling the desire to become a great writer long after I had written in journals for 25 years and hundreds if not thousands of short poetic stories. I never imagined that I would profit or even share my creations. Outside of a few small poetry readings, I just never wanted that. It was as if I was earning my rights to become a legitimate artist without the draw of the opinions of the audience or the attractions for a financial gain. I went from sharing my ideas with a pen and paper to submitting them to a still obscure platform like a blog. This blog. I refer to my lack of recognition as flying below the radar and I justify my lack of success to the gods of fate and chance. I convince my self that if I was to be noticed and rewarded for my unique creative talents and it led to fans money and fame that I would have ended up dying of an overdose of some sort like a Jim Morrison or maybe more a Jim Belushi. So it is as if I am giving myself an excuse not to share or promote this brand of me so as to not fail.

I will never forget the moment that my dreams of becoming the greatest creative mind of written thought and prose was diffused like a bomb in a Michael Bay flick. My wife was the slick know it all who was single-handedly responsible for clipping the green wire just in the nick of time. It was on the 10 freeway as we were returning from viewing a small, and I mean small, old, and I do mean old, apartment behind the La County Museum of Art. This place was about three thousand dollars a month for two bedrooms built in 1930 with a kitchen smaller that the master closet we had. It was on the corner and there was a small basketball hoop in the back of the building in an alley that the kids immediately began to make friends. I felt it though. The energy and the vibe. Naive and ambitious and ready to take Hollywood by storm. Then came the 10 freeway. I was online scouring the web looking for anything that was within earshot of Beverly Hills and Studio City. Then she uttered the four words that would revoke my hall pass to the future I was to manifest.

“What about Mission Viejo?”

“Orange County? What the fuck? Did this sound me trying to get out of Lake Elsinore or was it me trying to get into L.A.?”

I closed the lid to the laptop and stared at the passing freeway off ramps that one by one was ticking farther and father from the fantasy and into reality. This was the end of the longest orgasm of flow state that I had yet to experience.

It took a few more years for this to morph into a settlement of North Orange County. Because the beauty of the town we were in had gone from a 4 beer goggle, one night stand, to a case of beer just to allow a hand job from that ghetto whore of a town.

I still have a love hate relationship with the town that is mentioned in the opening paragraphs of my first publication. The town that adorns the lake and the mountains that roll into the Pacific.

To be in a home or to call any place home for 13 years is like marrying a high school sweetheart just because she was there, falling in love by proximity and then end up with a family before you got your first grey hair. Only to realize that the one was built on convenience and not passion. This in turn leads to a desire to run far away in a sort of midlife crisis in an effort to reclaim a false dream that even in the motion pictures never ends well. The moving always ends with the quarterback gone big coming back to the hometown only to reunite with the high school sweetheart that almost got away.

Now it makes sense. The beginning and the end remain part of the same. Like a ring of unavoidable tragedy and highly sought after ecstasy we will continue to elevate the cycle to higher plane of better times. Indeed these are the best of times and the worst of times. Yet I am in control of the perception of time. the great equalizer. Time. the one thing that makes me better than Steve Jobs and inferior to Elon Musk. One being dead and one alive and both leaving a legacy that which I too am working on.

Legacy.

The tin man found what he thought he lacked. The lion and the scarecrow too. I am also walking down the yellow brick road looking for what I want. What is that? If I could have one wish what would that be? It would be to capture that bliss that led me a blind faith and ambition so strong that I was willing to pack my family into a sardine can in the ghetto of the city of angels at the cost of three thousand dollars a month. I would be the ability to bottle the essence of that feeling which can only be described a a distinct and intuitive perception that this is the best possible wold and that this moment was the only one I have. The ability to live and exist in the now without any fee are fo pain or suffering. A sensation that selfishly has me staring at my children in awe of their potential and yet frantically creating content that will also fulfill my potential too.

The ability to become aware of that which is only reserved for high functions autistics and a few entrepreneurs and artists micro-dosing the interact with the responsibilities of the “real world” and yet coherent that the reality is a matrix. That the sense of timelessness that happens only after we die I can sense here.

This is why I vacation. I go to new locations and I get up early in the morning to write frantically and meditate on the potential of tomorrow and reflect on the successes of yesterday. In an attempt to engage in a flow state that will not only allow me to release the volcanic pressure to give more that I took and leave this place with a smirk on my face.

I met a man the other day who called me out on this intention. He led me to believe in my voice more than anyone has in a long time.

I sit here on the edge of a golf course gazing now across the awakening of the dawn in Indio. The flies are gone and the grass is no longer glistening. Just as I begin to hear the sounds of the family moving about in behind the sliding glass door that I deliberately opened and closed along with the night shades so as to avoid being jolted from this moment of authentic creative writing. The smell shifted from a misty waft of fresh-cut wet grass to a light breeze of dust and dirt not seen by the naked eye but distinct to the senses.

It is this sort of awareness that bring me to the intention of this writing. That I would be so captivated b the nothingness of a location that to some is a getaway and to others nothing more that just another Sunday morning. It is perception. It is an awareness of the moment and a never-ending vigilance to fend off the questions of the future that do not even exist and the answers that the past hold but are not necessarily capable of repeating itself.

Achieving the awareness of the beauty that is the present lies not in a question or an answer but in a statement that is by definition, undefinable. It is the ability to lift your eyes to look across the grassy knoll and not wonder about the days agenda but only the moments expectation. The ability to know that this is exactly what you want to be doing and that this location is the place to be. Like a child we must look to our immediate surroundings like a fun zone. You can take a child in the poorest of environments with nothing more that a full belly and plenty of rest and they will find entertainment and fulfillment in the way the dirty puddle of water splashes as they stomp. Yet, here we are, as adults grimacing at the LCD when we disagree with the mother letting the child play in the dirty water wondering why she is not providing. Meanwhile, her child sits ten feet away looping videos on YouTube of families having fun making videos and sharing it on the internet.

Perspective. For one it is never enough and for another there is not enough to give and for another it is plenty and for some they give it all away. The difference is in expectations and in perceptions.

Soon the wife will come out and tell me to hurry up and do my yoga so we can get to brunch. I will be woken from a slumber of complacency to join them inside as we woefully pack our belongings most needed into luggage and drag them to the car. I will begin to come out of my fantasy land slightly buzzed from what happened this morning and by tomorrow I will either forget that I can still be on vacation in may own home or I will just turn on the business phone and prod cattle through the field in an effort to build a nest egg meant to finance my future and a few vacations.

Perhaps this is why I am obsessed with endurance sports. The ability to sit on a bike for hours at a time or run for long distances is my way of forcing the mundane and commonplace of my abode to be throttled into a place where only the moment of stress can feed my desire to shut down and turn on that which escapes me behind the veil of the familiar.

Maybe I just don’t want to believe that a permanent high is possible. I wonder about those who have a belief in a god that has their back. I wonder if I too should attend a church so that I will chase this imaginary motivation coach that lives inside of me and guarantees me with promises of a heaven and that it will be hard but worth it. A god that will assure me that nothing I do can fail because with god all things are possible. But I cannot. Not just yet. Although I would think it keen to have a supreme being giving me permission to be myself, I would not be capable of being myself if I was not unable to confront the motivation behind my power. I am other to smart too believe or too stupid to understand faith. I suppose this would be the curse and the cure to my desire to become the best version of me that I can be.

Perhaps if I could imagine that I am on vacation from the afterlife then this world would actually be a far more interesting place to visit.

The Life and Death and Life Again of An Artist

I have been looking at my aging reflection as of late. Only the eyes remain the same. I am searching for someone that was left behind and forgotten. He is a small boy on a bicycle riding along the edge of the sidewalk. Careful not to fall off into the street, he speeds up and follows the curbs and dips along the gutters. Each fall is a chance to speed up and the rise is a jump. Unstoppable and free. Without a care.

His friend is also there doing the same. Suddenly his handle bars pop off of the neck on the yank of a jumps attempt. He does not even get off the ground but tumbles over the empty bike frame onto the sidewalk. Rolling head over heels he bounds up in pain skipping and hopping with laughter. Clearly in shock and filled with adrenaline, he shouts and hops around in what could only be described as a Native American dance chanting “oh my God!”

This may be one of my earliest memories of the fragility of being free to fly and free to fall. But not free to land. There is a price to pay for this freedom. It is a sacrifice to the altar of responsibility. The fines are hefty and are capable of sucking your wallet of all of its creativity and hope.

Hourglass reminds me how much I miss that boy. He never left and he never died. He just disappeared. Hiding not afraid but reluctant to enjoy the breeze along the endless sidewalk for fear of mechanical failure or judgement over the quality of the technique.

Limited in the world by lack of exposure, he grows older not knowing of the vastness and variety of the residents of the planet and its wonders. He forms his own identity. Totally aware of his surroundings and yet oblivious to the reality of a limitless potential. Feeling that wherever he goes there he is. Not alone and not afraid.

Where did he go?

I look at the reflection not from a mirror but as an echo of my thoughts. The landscape of almost a half a century, I cannot help that the days are growing shorter and I am half way to my demise. The big sleeper whispers in my ear and I turn up the music to drowned out the noise of the reapers chanting.

I realize that this is the best possible scenario and that this world is the only world we, I, have. I cannot help but to imagine the possibility that I may still be oblivious to the size of the world and its limitless potential, to my fault.

Every time I travel I find that there are so many inhabitants of the earth existing for their own satisfactions. They must be growing tired of living for the next event. I supposed this exhaustion is the same sentiment that keeps me from settling. It is what keeps my heart racing towards a destination where I amass a vast library of creations so that one day my manifestations can line my tomb. Only to be unearthed by some curious explorer wandering the cemetery randomly plucking out the names off a grave marker in an attempt to create a compelling story.

A narrative of an artist who never made it into the annals of history books. One that never let the the demons and angels of potential roam free through the world while alive. That none would have the chance to experience the man that is but only the man that once was. Only to be buried once again and in less that 2 generations be gone. Forever.

The life and death of an artist or creative is a miserable joy. This society has a sanctuary or a charity for many different types of people. Yet I am struggling to encounter the sanctuary where creatives can go to get help for the bipolar attention deficit depressions that tease out the very thing that keeps them alive.

We wear our crown of thorns and manage to crucify ourselves to suss out the extract of concentrated flow states to allow the release of exploration and creation.

Introverts by nature and extroverts in nature we seek to understand why it is that we just cannot allow. Criticized for complaining about that inability to just succeed without selling out. That business and pleasure must be a miserable conflict that could certainly be handled by a Charlie Runkle figure that perhaps is only a figment of our imagination.

Life and death of the artist becomes a painting displaying the contrast between the light and dark separating the paper from the ink. Dividing the words from the thoughts.

I look in the reflection and hope. Hope that this day will bring me great things. Hope that the world and its gravity will keep my grounded but allow my ride as fast as I can along the sidewalk and just as I hit the banks of the curb allow my to yank at the handle bars and leap far above the address painted on the face of that ramp. Allow me to have a smooth landing and keep peddling as hard and as fast as I want with no fear. With no hesitation.

Why do I create?

My latest Vlog. Ride to LA. Taking these from SnapChat to video to Vlog is really easy and time saving but I feel as if there are things I could improve on. Video quality and Audio. That’s pretty much everything. But when it comes to creating a vlog the editing process is extremely time consuming. Also, if I use Snapchat I generate way more views. But what is is about? The view or the documentary? If I had to think about it as an art I am consumed by this obsession that I would want it to be seen by many. However, this does not mean that there is a profit from this desire for more eyeballs. I am aware that I could make a much better film with a dedicated camera and audio rig but for what? Fear years I suppose I have been a film maker I just never called myself that. Actually this here was the first time. For years I have considered myself an artist but I have not declared my medium. From Poetry in my teens, to painting in my 20’s and then writing in my 30’s, then film making in my 40’s, I have always been drawn organically to some form of creation. Yet I struggle to label my creations and my talents only to place them in a box in my closet so that I can access them like a pair of shoes. That I could be the suit by day and the jeans by night.

During this trip I came to a realization that the world is much bigger than me. That there are billions of people trying to survive and there are millions of people who want to do more than just survive. they want to be somebody. Then there are the few who discover who it is they are through trial and error blended with self awareness. In these there are those who make a living doing what the love and then there are those who struggle to work hard play hard and create much. I am naive to think that I should be so special that I could stand out above the noise just on my desire and hard work. It will take a tremendous amount of luck and luck is all about timing. Luck is the moment that skill and preparation meet. However it cannot be scheduled or forced. It will just come or it may never come.

I wrote a book a few years ago that answered the question to the meaning of life. It was about creating legacy. This is what I am doing.

If what I am doing is trying to create, then who am I creating for? If it is only for me and my legacy than I should not worry about views or hits or even what others think. If I go back to the beginnings of my artistic tendencies I would say that it began in High school when I began writing. Both in a journal and in hundreds of poems. None of them were ever recited in public or even shared. My journals remain active but unpublished. I found great satisfaction in releasing the creations but form myself. Why then has this carnal desire become something for others to consume? I never wrote for the expectations of others to one day read. At least not while I was alive. It was raw and honest and it was mine.

Even now as I write this I cannot help but to filter the thoughts so as to please the few of you who will get this far into this rant. This blog.

Therein lies my answer. I need to stop calling it a Blog and a Vlog for the purpose of gaining acceptance or popularity. This places my creations into a fish bowl rather than a closet. Steve Allen said to “write for the trash can,” meaning write without reservations about what people might think, just to keep your writing skills in shape. I say create for the closet. Just like my paintings remain only on my walls in the house, My words will be stored in a file called Blog and my video creations can be stored in a file called You Tube Vlog. That way I am not allowing myself to feel the pressure of judgement rather letting my creativity express itself as unique and mine. If you enjoy it, so be it. It is not for you. It is for me. If I create for you then I have to rise to an expectation. If I create for me then it is art. Subjective and original. But mine to share.

Sunrise, Sandcastles and Sunsets

Our existence comprises of three of the most beautiful occurrences.

I was watching a movie last night called Mr. Nobody with Jared Leto. It is about an old man who reflects on his youth. I have always tried to live my day as if I have the ability to project my self into the future and see my old self reflect on the past. If you are able to do this you can really leverage the potential of regret and satisfaction.

I imagine being old and decrepit and unable to carpe the diem like I once did. Old bones don’t move so fast like they did once in the past. Even now as I sit here and write about it a lump forms in my throat. No shit, I am actually crying.

In this scene I am sitting back in a comfy chair watching my grandchildren play in the yard. It sounds totally cliche but it is actually a rocking chair on a porch of a house in the country with a white picket fence. I look down at my hands and they are withered and speckled with age spots and wrinkled. I lean back and I sigh. The time shifted without my permission.

Then I die.

My quanta surrounds the environment with an intense focus on the gentile weeping of my children and a breeze pushes leaves across the grass. As I hover over the scene of peace and sadness I feel nothing but bliss. I cannot comprehend the pain or suffering that they feel. I am no longer a condensed entity that is forced to wander the earth that is limited by time and space. I am part of space with no time. There is no sense of regret or reflection of what could have been. There is not recollection of how it feels to have felt. Only a broad and deep energy of warmth and an overall sense of well being.

This afterlife is a place where I can only enjoy concentrating my energy, that which is attracted by only things that reflect beauty and happiness and I, if that is was I am, or am not, have returned to the before and after. I find comfort in believing this theory of what happens when we die.

I also believe that when this happens we are not held accountable for our actions in this life. Those who we leave behind will be held responsible for dimming the light that was once ours. They will be the ones who hold the candle for what is a memory. This is what those on earth call a legacy. In the after, our only reward is that which we achieve in this life. We will have an understanding of what it meant to live a life full of physical pleasure and a life of giving and contribution. We will only be able to basque in the glory of what we accomplished in this physical form. In the after we will feel the presence of those who did greater things and be attracted to the energy which perpetuates the never ending pursuit of higher levels of bliss.

We will not feel. We will not sense jealousy or want as we know here because there is nothing to obtain. There will only be a varied degree of wanting and having all at the same time. So as we want and have in this live we shall want and have in the next.

Just as the drug addict or alcoholic is in pursuit of capturing the perfect high but never quite remains in that place we will be the same in the after. Only we will not sober up or come down.

This is why it is so important to realize these three occurrences of our lives. Sunrises, Sandcastles and Sunsets.

Our most blessed gift is received when we awaken from the death at dawn. Just as our dreams are neither here nor thier so is this place the after. Each morning we are the recipients of the greatest gift. It is the ability of choice. Our motivations and inspirations are formed by echo of what was just here and now gone. This transition into the physical realm is fascinating to me. Why is it that we are unable to notice this twice daily occurrence? I try and I try to lay in bed just before I fall asleep to witness the transition into the after. I am able to be aware of the transition a bit better when I am waking up because I am bobbing in and out of this realm. From waking to sleep and holding conversations that make no sense yet for some reason are not at all confusing. Imagine if we could get the transcripts of the five minutes before we sit up in bed. Or be able to play it back on our smartphone. Yet we do not question the chaos because the pleasure of resting is so sweet, It is bliss.

When we wake up we have a choice. We make that choice with deliberate intention and purpose. The majority of the early morning openers go on auto pilot and perform thier tasks in a mundane manner. Then there are those who wake to realize that this is a gift. They write thier affirmations, they kiss thier family, they make the coffee and breakfast for the kids. They chart out the day like it’s a vacation itinerary. Although the there are events in the calendar that they must conform to they are in charge of thier day.

They welcome the sunrise as opportunity and something to be thankful for. Thier goal is to build the most beautiful sandcastle. Knowing that once the sandcastle is built there will be a fleeting moment at sunset where those close enough to see it can watch it as the star drops behind it. The next morning the tides would have wished it away.

The past is like that sandcastle. Only the memory of its being built exists in the form of and echo in our minds. It is gone in the physical realm yet it’s grains of sands still remain. They remain as an opportunity to rebuild it once again into an even greater creation. The greater the construction the greater its ability to be appreciated.

We have, every day, the choice to drop to our knees and begin digging and shaping the greatest day of our lives. Nobody but yourself remembers or cares about the sandcastle that you once built. They are too busy either building or bragging about what they once built. Some talk about the times when it was better to build. Or they are complaining about the one that they were unable to build because the bullies kicked it down. They will not help you build and they will not care when the tides wash it away. We are all stretch along an infinite shoreline and we are all doing our best to create something worth enjoying at sunset. We each have our own interpretation of what is great and we each have belief in who makes the greatest sandcastles.

This moment, right now, is the only opportunity that you have to create something of substance. This day is the only day that matters. This is the best possible world because it is the only possible world. We have a choice to make and those choices will be judged only by ourselves and our peers each day at sunset. We will be dead soon but we may even live long enough to remember a few dozen sunsets. This is what drives me. Knowing that I am getting closer to death than I was yesterday. There is an hourglass measuring our eventual demise and there is nothing I can do about it. The only thing I have is this moment. A moment filled with potential to do something great. Something worth remembering.

What will my hands build today?

Inspiration Does Not Fade

Inspiration does not fade. A muse does not dissolve. A motivation does not disappear. It merely transcends into something else. The child we once were did not die and the beautiful artist that scribbled and eagerly presented to our parents did not lose that talent. We have just allowed it to be put on the back shelf. Love is not day old milk that we cannot drink. It is a river of fresh water that never suffers from drought. Our efforts to capture a moment by booking the room and packing our bags are not contrived but something less genuine than allowing it to appear in the moments of laxidaisical 9-5 we have placed on autopilot.

We should consider showing up to work drunk to engage the environment from a different perspective. I however gave up the bottle and can years ago so I have to summon other spirits to see the ghost. I think that if I just stopped to take a flower from its stem and lifted up to my nose I would be brought back. There is a plant that I find once in awhile on the road and it does have a unique scent. I should find out the name so that I can tell you about it. It may actually be a weed but the floral varieties of these offspring brings me right back to 3122 Tyler avenue as a child. My sister and I were inseparable and we owned and sometimes terrorized the block.

I was young and without a care other than where was I going to conjure up some fun. I recall a time when I would walk into my bedroom just before we would have to go to school. I would free fall face first into my bed and with a deep sigh and into my blanket I would think to myself. “I really hate school.”

I would get up and take another deep breath and take on the elements of Dysinger and Centralia.

I never liked school. I don’t believe it was the act of studying that bothered me more than the people I had to be with. By the time I was in seventh grade I was definatly a social outcast. I would often try to engage myself into a conversation among those more popular than me and whatever I said came out wrong. Or just not right. I would think to myself,”Shut up! Just don’t talk. Ever.” This was to become a recurring theme that repeated in my mind for years to come. Oh how despicably I wanted to fit in but not as a sheep that would laugh at to cool kids’ jokes but as someone who was bringing original perspectives to the conversation. I still suffer from the urge to speak and the inability to say the right thing.

By the 8th grade I was such a pariah that I was set up to attend one class with one teacher. Mr Butler. I tall thin 40 something guy who was not necessarily in charge of special needs kids but those who were special. Looking back on it now I am not sure how this was possible. I have the report card to prove that I had 6 periods with a D- and an F in P.E. He was bald and was battling cancer. I am sure I was not helping. I am sure he would be proud of what he started though.

Little did I know that this semester would alter the course of my life forever. It was a culmination of Mr. Butler, The psych ward and meeting a girl named Karen.

I would spend the day in class as Mr. Butler would struggle to find clever ways to engage me in the some from of curriculum that would allow him to give me a passing grade. That is when he enouraged me to write a poem. I think I may still have it written it down somewhere but it was clearly a derivative of a rhythm that lined up with Metallica’s Master of Puppets.

End of passion play, crumbling away
I’m your source of self-destruction

Mine was a bit different.

Your love was like a blaze, you put me in a daze now my life is misdirection.
You gave me what I want then you took it all away and left me with erection.

Can you guess why I was left with a D-?

Needless to say I was hooked on poetry and I evolved from juvenile perversion into a long decade of writing hundreds of poems and verses.

Around that time, my mother gave me a journal and insisted I write in it. I still have those journals and all of the poetry. I still keep a journal but the poems are not.

I often wonder where is that person that was once an endless creator. I can look back on the words I have written and often I have to question if that was even my work. Especially the good stuff.

Lately I have been feeling more detached to feeling than ever. It’s as if inspiration has dried up and was lost to the vacuum that is adulthood. I have managed to fend off growing up for so long that I did not see it happen. Now 40-something and with kids and a career I am falling deeper into a funk that does not allow me to enter the state of mind required to write great poetry.

Fortunately, I have been able to squeeze out early morning creativity by sitting near the fireplace with a cup of coffee and and iPad to release the words from my mind. It does leave me less than satisfied with the effort. I cannot shake the relentless conflict with the three characters that still argue in my mind. The business man, the teenager and the child. The inspiration and daydreams of my younger self did not go away. The spirit does not age it only grows wise. That child who doodles images of a circus but to the adult looks like a pile of hair never stopped wanting to doodle. The teenager filled with awkward angst and rebellion did not die he just stepped back to allow the adult in me to prosper and provide. Maybe if I scheduled play times and enforced timeouts or restrictions I would get some work done around here. God only knows they will never get along. I suppose that conflict is the source of the inspiration. The inspiration to push my body to rise early enough to have uninterrupted interventions. That way I can takes notes and share them with the class.

Live This Day As If It’s Gonna Last

When the past becomes reflection. I imagine a time in which I lived in a place not far from where I am now and become nostalgic. A memory of the location became a reflection with a nostalgic hue. I often think about locations ons the earth that I have been in the past and wonder if right now they are still there. Of course they are but If I could only time warp myself to stand there and feel the air cross my unshaven facial hair follicles.

I am most excited about the year to come. I have great hope for the planet and I am convinced that this is the best possible world. Only because there is no other. A hungry man who digs in the garbage and finds a dirty slice of pizza does not question if this is the best. He knows it is the only. A frog who jumps in the stream does not questions whether the water could be warmer she just knows it is. Human nature is a funny thing. We have been rather complacent and satisfied with our lot in life and for centuries we settled into or vocation and our location for the entirety of our lives. I time travel to a small village to see an old family in the Carolinas circa 1700. The elders are there to provide the retelling of the legends to the young ones. The women were there to tend and keep household. This was before Windex and Swiffer. Before hot water, before running water. Before having so much crap in the house that it was always a mess.

There was always one energetic youth who should desire wealth and success but it was a day dream. It was a daydream of coming from a weathly lineage. Soon after the dream faded they would pick up the ax and continue to chop firewood. The children would do a chore or two and go out and play. There would be rituals and ceremony for the coming of age.

In the modern era we have hundreds of new trades and thousands of opportunities. In more recent times entrepreneurs emerge as an occupation that carries dreams of grandeur and weath. The truth is that we have romanticized the capitalism of the do-it-your-self pop up business because we have access to those who got lucky or shal I say created luck through persistence and patience and now they share thier advise online. There are now 20 year old life coaches teaching 40 year old housewives how to “Crush It” in the world of multi level marketing. I cannot help to become cynical when it comes to youngsters getting paid to speak on a topic of life by design when they are not even old enough to drink. Putting a video on YouTube and having the ambition and energy to burn the midnight oil in front of a moniter sharing and likingcontent to grow a “Tribe” does not qualify one to pass on wisdom about life lessons learned. Sure we all have a unique perspective on how life should be lived. I am just not certain that taking that passing inspiration to be the next Tony Robbins is enough reason to abandon the tradition of acquiring a trade that can fill a void left behind when so many of today’s youth wants to be the next YouTube sensation.

This is the best possible world and today is the greatest day in history. I have the choice to make whatever I want of it. The odds of us being born within the last 50 years and the culmination of technology and advantage has brought us together on this digital platform. This in itself is a miracle of biblical proportions. This day remains an Un scratched lottery ticket. We could have been born blind or even worse, aborted. But no, we survived! Imagine standing in front of the graves of legends like Steve Jobs and Jim Morrison. To think that the impact that they had on the world was done within a window of a few decades. For Legends like Morrison or Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Kobain thier body of work was created in a very small window of time. There lives led to the climax of become the greatest but this time that they had living the dream was just a couple of years. Not decades but months. Yet there they sit decomposing as we sit watching life pass us by in 1080p.

Yes, I am coinvinced that 2017 will be known as the greatest year of this history of the world. My world. There are no guarantees and we have been far to comfortable with the way things are.

I am going to take advantage of this day. I will live this day not as if it is my last but as if it will last.