I Remain Below the Radar

I have a theory.

I read a new report on the top 50 video influencers in real estate today. Let me back up. I subscribed to various YouTube channels that are in the real estate space to acquire knowledge and grow my personal brand. Both in the space of selling residential real estate and in learning to hone my craft as a YouTube creator. The latter is a hobby.

Today one of my most cringe worthy content creators, name withheld because I don’t care to emphasize my jealousy over another person’s success in a space I plan to dominate. I almost went there.

Anyhow, I was watching the channel, which my I add is the last time I will do this, and saw there was another new top list. You know those lists that are comprised of one persons opinion of who is who in the space of x?

When I saw this list I knew the regulars who would be on the list. They are earned. But there were a few individuals who were there and a few who were not. Namely me.

Even as I write this I fell like a total crybaby pussy fart.

I can’t help it. I work so fucking hard at this and yet I remain unrecognized. Rejected. Overlooked.

Many years ago I was on a softball team for men. It was more like a one-off pickup game but it meant something. There were even custom shirts. the shirt was a high quality jersey that cost me $50 buck. It was hideous and I gave it away to someone who looked better in it than me.

There was the moment where we were being picked in the roster for going up to bat and the whole selection process had begun. I was last. What the fuck? Sure I was fat and over 30, but why the hell was I last? I run marathons for fuck’s sake! Can you tell I am still butt-hurt?

In the middle of the game after I was benched I began to make an observation. This was a popularity contest. A god damn high school, teen-aged bullshit click that I had once again lived to suffer through as an adult. My god, how?

In high school I will admit I was an outcast. It said strange things and stared off into space a lot. It was not that I was awkward or carry it was that most conversations bore me and looking at humanity without being cynical about their flaws against mankind made me very uncomfortable. OK maybe I was odd. I suppose that insisting that I sit at the table with the short bus crowd did not help. But hey, they were more like me than the cool kids.

So there I was thirty something benched and rejected once again. I got up and asked to take the field on one than more inning and kept getting passed by. That did not bother me so much as the demographic that I was being passed up by. Some of these guys looked like a health hazard. Seriously, there was a composite of what can only be described as a parade of middle, over the middle-aged men who’s cholesterol laden arteries were actively being washed by the 7 cooler of beer in the dugout.

Don’t get me wrong I was probably at my heaviest but I was still fast and full of energy. Did I mention I ran a marathon that year. Ok, ran is not the operative word but I did finish. That has to count for something.

I had to get in the game. If not to play it was to not like a total fucking reject. I was seriously the only one on the bench. The epitome of a bench-warmer and the culmination of my entire life being displayed for the universe to witness. The gods of cool were once again having a Louth at how much I can withstand in this ocean of popular fish while this random sea weed remains planted for them as a backdrop for their cool stories. Like a movie extra who looks at the camera and the director overlooks it only to be on the cutting room floor before the premier.

I approached the captain of the team.

“Hey, Can I get in?”

“Not Right now”

“Dude, I am not sure why I am the bench. I am faster that half the team and although I can’t really hit that great, I do run marathons you know”

“To be honest this is not a marathon. Your just not in my top ten”

I sat down.

Top ten? Top ten?! Holy shit. Are you kidding me? Top ten?!!!

Asshole.

I find it funny that over ten years later that top ten joke remain a part of my mental playlist.

Now you know why this list I have to suffer through became so painful this morning. It was like someone up there wants to see me remain a number 11.

The gods of coolness and clicks has had another chuckle at my expense.

So I remain below the radar. This is my theory.

I have a theory that James Festini must remain below the radar of popularity because it is not my time. THat somehow the gods have a plan for me. That somehow no matter how much energy I pump into the sky there cannot be rain. That once my time comes there will be a great flood and the world will come two by two and join me on my arc of oddities and outcasts to dance in the glory of our triumphant journey through the field of socially acceptable assholes and rise above them.

We will crowd surf through the ocean of those who once overlooked my art and now the want nothing more than to wonder how it was that I came out of nowhere as an overnight sensation.

It’s not like I am a superstar athlete or a musician with a talent. I am just an artist and a businessman. I am trying to create a sub genre of individuals who work hard and play hard. I suppose there is nothing sexy or popular to what it is I do. I suppose there is a reason that I remain below the radar.

It may be because I suck.

I may actually have created an art form or business niche that is either ahead of its time or too late for acceptance. SO I remain steadfast in my effort to document my effort in the field of sales and create content around my whims and spew my recycled wisdom in the form of audio, text and video until one person at a time hears me. and when they do hear me they listen and they become members of a family.

Remember that Blind Melon video for their this song rain? It was about a little girl who was dressed as a bee who tap dances. She wander around the city dancing for people who just don’t get her. Towards the end of the video you can see her number 11 status grow into a pitiful sadness. Until she stumbles upon a field of tap dancing bees.

I just cannot believe it is so hard to find my tribe of tap dancing bees.

This is my theory.

I have a deep-rooted belief that individuals like Anthony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Casey Neistat, James Ray, Jason Silva, Casey Neistat, Benicio Del Toro, Gary Vaynerchuck and even Grant Cardone are not my gurus or even my idols but that I belong in their company. Like an artist colony were Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali and Frida Kahlo sit on a sand short and paint landscapes and drink wine for months. I truly believe that in my heart I may have to be dead to be “discovered” as one of the originals.

I don’t want to be the king. I just wasn’t to sit in the court of the king. Even if I am the jester.

That being said. Fuck that top 50 real estate influencers list. Fuck that top ten coach, fuck that top 5 real estate podcast list and fuck the naysayers. Even if I am the only one who gives a shit.

I will continue to fly below the radar.

I will continue to provide my unique perspective on business and pleasure in a renegade documentary format commonly called vlog. I will continue to creat art and mount it to the wall of my digital museum for those to walk by and ignore. I will wait and watch for those few who get off of the short bus and engage them in intellectual conversation.

We will laugh and enjoy tap dancing in our bee costumes and make our own top fifty list of those who passed over us while we stayed diligent in our madness. That we were unwavering in our originality at the cost of losing popularity. Those who love us are offered a glass of wine and a paint brush. Those who disrespected us will sit on the bench and watch us play.

This is my theory.

Nostalgia…Meet Serendipity Let’s Hang.

It feels like it was just yesterday. Maybe because it was just last year. But pressing play on Colin Hay’s Long Way Home was all it took. I almost turned on the fireplace and made an English muffin and a cup of coffee. It would have been more than Déjà vu. It would have been a time machine. I feel it in a place somewhere between my lungs and my heart. It was nostalgia. It was serendipity. It was pity for my lost years and hope for my years that I have left. It was optimism in the moment and thankfulness for what I hold so near to my soul and it compelled me to write.

Fortunately, I call myself a writer, so this will make appropriate the mystery of this sense of morning melancholy that would perhaps bring me into a flow state. If not for only a brief moment.

The holidays are upon us and the feelings I grasp to capture and put in a bottle become far more frequent during this time of year. Maybe it is the crisp air. It could be the perpetual darkness the shut down my vision like a fog so that I cannot allow my mind to see to far. Only grounding me int h=the present like an isolation chamber or sensory deprivation tank. Whatever it is I like it.

I want to live in it, this moment forever. I want to be in touch with my present in a never-ending loop with only my actions to break up the pattern and enjoy that which is in front of me and now want for what imagine could be better if only I possessed it.

If only I could be somewhere else. Yeah, that would make it even better. Like being on vacation and seeing a beautiful landscape and darting into the nearest bar for a drink to hold. Yes that would be the cherry on top. Only to find out that the minute you complete preparations for the moment it has passed. Never to be captured.

Could I have just settled for oxygen instead of spirits?

Fortunately, I do not drink anymore. Not that I quit, I just did not continue. I always imagined that if I could stop drinking that then I would be able to enjoy more of these landscapes. Now that I don’t partake, it is no different. I was quite the party animal in my younger years. I often thought then that if I stopped these unspoken habits that I would be able to be present and feel more often this very same moment more often. This too was not was I was missing.

Is it that I needed to plant seeds of the moment so that I could live them again in the future? Like little love notes to myself to remind me that life is beautiful if only I was to stop looking here. Here being the future when I open the note and here also being the moment I wrote the note to myself long ago.

Even as it sits in front of me like a fire-breathing dragon panting hot air on my cheek and the sound vibrating in my skull, and my eyes adjusting to the breaking dawn, I am still looking upstairs to the aspirin in the medicine cabinet. Thinking to myself if only I did not have this mild soreness from yesterdays run. Yet I know that if I get up from this place I would return to a room that has been changed.

The furniture would cast a shadow in two directions. One from the fire and one from the fire of the morning sun. My heart rate would be elevated, and my skin would be flush from the quick detour.

I would re-enter this room only to find that this life was not the one that I had hoped. THe sense of presence in the moment would be like a beautiful butterfly that floats away as you reach for your camera. The snapshot would never exist.
LIke that special song before sunset. The very same couch next to the unlit fireplace. Pressing play and lighting a match. Watching the room fill with light and writing frantically as if it is about to disappear. That I was doing this very same thing one year ago to the day and by simply recreating the moment I could feel this way. Only one thing is missing.

Me.

Who Have I Been?

I need a fix cause I’m going down. The first lyrics of the Beatles Anthology Album. Things don’t happen on accident. There is a network if unseen synapses that bind the universe into one massive web. What touches the north will vibrate the south. The still moments that the spider waits for movement are the moments reserved for strategies. A time to collect the energy necessary for an effective response regardless where on the web the prey lies.

I too have been building a web but if you were to look at it through the light of the morning sun you would find that the pattern is off. Although there would be connections and perhaps every so often symmetry this would not be the web photographers would love to capture after a light drizzle.

Give the spider a drop of lysergic acid D and the web would appear delusional. That is me.

Who have I been.

I have no one to hold me accountable for the structure of my web. So long as the spider capture the fly and wraps it than the web is effective.

My web has been effective. Effective just enough not to starve. It is because I rise in the morning before dawn and go through the motions of connecting the lines and appear to be busy. So long as I produce the strands of adhesive shit across the tree line there will be fortunate events that occur.

I have been, for too long allowing my work to be just that. Dull and dumb, faded and forgettable.

Who was I and who did I become?

I keep log of the seasons of my life that can be analyzed and restated to reveal one truth. It was in the times of cleanliness that my web was most beautiful. It was a time in which I had faith in the potential of what my efforts could be.

I would think and believe in dreams that only a mad man or obsessed genius could fathom. Yet, here I sit a sad and broken Humpty Dumpty alone in the silence of the struggle that can only be mine. To declare my weakness would be a decree of failure and not one of a lesson for success. The story cannot be told in the present. It can only be well documented. And so therein lies my epiphanies.

I will make an attempt. On this very day I will attempt to discover who I have been. Masked and concealed behind the vail of a shadow so powerful and secret that only the angels and demons can converse over their true impact on my potential.

I can no longer deny that my pursuit of a more permanent flow state has been watered down and medicated to the point of obfuscation. Blind to that which has been right under my nose only to pass through my lips in an attempt to hide the truth.

The truth that I am powerless against the force that draws me towards great things. No matter how hard I try to negotiate with the gods of reason there is no more room for compromise. I cannot give into my demise so willingly and so indefinitely inevitable.

When the spider agrees to the dose he cannot predict in the moment how long it will last and if he will meet hit angels or confront his demons. He must sit patiently and wait for them to appear in the forms that only the gods can reveal. the gods and time.

Give it time.

Just this one day.

Allow the seconds to pass and merge into minutes. Allow the minutes to melt into hours and then the sun will set and you will know what you are. The moment of defeat or victory over the unseen forces that tear at you perhaps only pull on the delicate strands in the morning.

Just wait.

Allow the universe to reveal the natural beauty of the sunlight that you have been avoiding for nearly 20 years. Covered in sheets and shelters so that the truth cannot be seen. Afraid of what might be if I actually faced myself in the mirror. Naked and alone.

Just be.

Crouch in the center of the web. Allow the warmth of the star to cover you soft brown hair. Feel the breeze pass through the opalescent creations. The heart of the sun and the heart of the spider beat in a rhythm. The universe will help you find your weakness and allow you to build on your strengths. If by faith alone.

Be patient and be silent.

I am not who I was. I am not who I will be.

I am.

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.

Maybe this is a Journal

Maybe this is a diary of an insane person. The first time I heard the term High Function Autistism it all made sense to me. I self diagnosed myself with mild to severe HFA. I have been trying to structure this platform to conform to a target market or an avatar of my desire. I have been poking at this as if I am writing for someone else rather that writing for everyone else. I cant help but feel as if this platform is disposable. I am so used to writing in a physiscal journal that to fish my thoughts on a cloud just kills me. I think, what if the North Koreans use a weapon that does exist where they “fry” our electricity and wipe out the history we have all created? This is totally possible with a solar flare too. The Internet is far more delicate than most would think of.

I believe that our next big catastropy will be in the form of an electromagnetic pulse the wipes out our ability to have electric access and send up back to the dark ages. Some dark shit I know but this is something I think about when I decide to put my journal on 1’s and 0’s rather than quill and parchment.

Oddly enough I do have a hard cover journal in my room that I used almost daily that has a pen called the Livescribe and a special paper that reads my writing and pus it in a digital format. Not that is transcribes the text but copies my exact handwriting in real time. It uses and app that I can watch my words magically appear on the screen. I suppose I could look into the next level of this tech to see if I can find one that will take my cursive into fonts. That would be a good place for me to exist.

See? I am able to declare that this is in fact a journal. A place that I can empty my mind and reveal my dreams and nightmares. Speaking of which.

Fuck, I don’t even want to call it into existence.

I have been havin nightmares about January. I am reluctant to write this because by making this word of the after in to the living it may cause a ripple effect. The after being the time that we sleep. I call that a glimpse into what we have after death. I am 100% convinced that the afterlife is right under our noses and pillows. The place we go to when we sleep is the same places we go to in the big and final sleep. this is by far the most compelling evidence into life after death.

We clearly go somewhere else. The beliefs that we have about a god or a spirit will also translate there. So we live our lives in an effort to mold the shapes of our after by living a full life in this body. i believe once we enter the after we are able to remember this life and not feel physical pain but have a sense of sadness.

Our ability to control our emotions and our resistance to physical emotions to depression and sadness and fear will also carry on to the world after. We will be the same person and yet not the same. So if you life this life felling insecure about yourself then you will also be insecure there. that is is why starting today I must not let anything diminish my attempts to not be judged by anyone’s standard by my own.

If I allow the reflections and quanta of other peoples attempts to form thier existence, as brief as it is it will resonate in the echo of the after. Why then should I let someone I may or may not know be part of my forever. It would be the equivalent of letting every stranger throw a rock at me or tattoo me.

As for dreams they are part of the phenomenon of variety. Let’s use the two I recall from last night.

One was I was with my wife and the kids at the Living Desert in Palm Springs. As we were walking I saw a snake skin in the dirt. I thought is was large. Then from the feeling of it being a skin it was alive. I told Nicole and Jani to look out for snakes. As we walked there was another large one, and another. As we rushed to go inside a building there were a few baby rattle snakes lunging at m little girl. One appeared as if it hit the back of her calf. In that instant I was able to realize that this was a nightmare and in the same instant I shook myself awake.

I lay there with a racing heart. I suppose I should have looked at my Apple Watch to check my heart rate. I have been in a nightmare many times and knowing that it is a nightmare only when things got too hard to handle. With a strange ability to shake myself out of it.

Like a video game that is too intense or frustrating I and simply jump up and hit the power button to make it stop.

Allow me to consider then how this wil play out in the after. I believe that if we life this existence with a sense of hope that someone will save us or that this too shall pass o maybe even just be strong enough to suffer until the pain is gone this too will be the after. Because the pain will not be real and the loss of the person will also not be real so will the loss of a love one.

The suffering will be cured as fast as your soul can begin to see that this is the best possible existence and that there is no other.

This make me wonder about the implications of such an existence.

What if the connection we have in this life is limited to mental and elemental? What if the geographical distance between those we love were to disappear because there is not a mile or a wall between us? Does this mean that when we go into the after was will never see them again?

What is it to see them now?

It is the ability to touch and feel with our senses in the flesh. Yet there is this “other” sense that does not exist but is the strongest of all. I feel it in my chest when my kids hug me. Or when I have an orgasm. I feel it when I get into a hot jacuzzi after along day and when I have a great bowel movement.

It is comfort.

In the after we feel their presence but they are not present. We will sense the love that we feel now and we will be able to have experience or perceived experience. If in the after we want to be at the zoo or in front of a waterfall we will just be there in front of the walrus or water. We will basque in the beauty and awe that is the knowledge of the present. that feeling will fill out chest and our hearts.

It is comfort in the knowing that engages the flow of feeling. It is eternal and present. It is being in the moment with those we love by feeling their love. However it is not something that we will receive from another but a feeling we manifest in our own microcosm of reality.

How is that different than what we have now. Others that the ability to touch a fleshy surface and carry the weight of their hands or embrace of their bones wrapped in decomposing elements.

We are but 2 things in this life. Mental and Elemental. And one day, well one time, well soon, we will only be one thing. Mental. With this there is an absence of time and space. Only an existence of non existence.

As I write that works I sense this imaginary yet real shockwave of realization into a discovery similar to that time I became enlightenment of a sort.

Perhaps that same comfort is what draws the drug addict to use and ultimately abuse. It is was attracts the murderer to kill and the mother to nurture. It is the sense of our own purpose. Some want to help and some are more comfortable hurting. In a twisted mind many things are rational. I recall once being under the influence of laughing gas in the dentist chair. there was a moment that I was so comfortable I asked myself a question.

“If the dentist decided to cut off my arm would I care?” Seriously, you get weird thoughts. My answer was,”No.” I was so happy in the place I was in that nothing else mattered. Now in the after we also get to experience this same sense of comfort. it seems as if the life we are living, whether given to us by a god or a fluke of evolution we are able to be a version of ourselves for just a short while. This time is given to us to form a body of work and emotions and feelings that we can keep in the after.

If we live in fear we die in fear and then the after is fear. If we live with hope then we die with hope and the after is hope. If we live with love then we die with love and the the after is with love.

That feeling you get in your chest will be the light of your enteral existence. In the form of quanta the will perpetuate forever.

Maybe with are only one atom that has been traveling the cosmos and through our ability to manifest we were successful in securing a slot in this life as a human. but to suggest we are an atom would suggest that we are. When in fact we are not. this I know to be true.

Just by closing my eyes i had look into that which is the after. This is why the Buddhist close thier eyes when they meditate. this is why closing your eyes is part of the prayer. Why do we close our eyes to sleep and to pray and to meditate or even just to think?

It is for isolation. it is to experience the oneness with the existence of the after. The place where we go to when our bodies cannot take anymore. When our migraine with beyond excruciating. It is a place of comfort.

it is where we go to reflect and to feel that feelings we know best. The ones in the reflection of our eyelids. It becomes a place where even during pain we have the ability to diminish its effects.

Does this mean I want to die? WHy do I have this desire to create? What compels me to type this morning? Rather than turning on Netflix until I am ready to ride or run. I really enjoy easing into the morning. I would like to say I am a morning person but that would suggest that I am perky at 6 a.m.

I am most creative in the morning. It is a time when I am able to move very slowly as to not agitate the transition from the after into the present. It is that moment in the matrix when the plug is in the back of Neo’s neck and he plugs in. But not yet powering on. It is as if i am able to without necessarily jacking into the matrix allow for the remnants of the after to discharge the stored burts of trickled knowledge of the place I try to understand.

This is so strange.

I go throughout my day as a real estate agent and work hard to make money to finance my true passion. Becoming a prophet of sorts. Like some sort of Buddha or Christ figure that has a message for those who seek a deeper sense of purpose in life. I create to forms of content for others to consume. One is a format for the individuals that in my my are the least likely to see the other side of my dilemma. To be a robe wearing rabbi who sells homes?

I often think that if money were no object i would likely be a mess. Without the variety of my wrk life I would be insane with a need to fill a void that would clearly be a search for nirvana. If the need to provide for a family were not there and I was only in charge of provide comfort I would be in a race against time to squeeze experience into this life before it passes. This would lead me to drugs and alcohol in an efforts to sedate and stimulate the feelings of comfort when I am unable to convince others of my mission and to join me.

I would sit around and daydream and write poetry and paint only to become that long haired hermit with dirty jeans that you see wander the streets. Really. Imagine being a billionaire. This generation is seeing more billionaires that’s ever. this is making millions a standard for success and anything less that that is failure. It leaves us with a sense of lack that we try to satisfy by purchasing small trinkets and tech to provide comfort during the time we watch the wealthy on reality tv.

Yes, comfort is in fact the word of the day. Maybe this is why I like doing yoga. It is not comfortable but the pace is steady and it relieves a discomfort in my muscles and joints so that the rest of my day I am not crackling and limping. Sometimes I feel great afterwards and want to take on the world. Other times it is just a task to oil the moving parts.

And just like that my wife walks in the rooms and my kids are awake and my comfort in writing begins to fade. I begin to feel the pressure of the coming daylight erupting.