The Mooon and New York City

I woke up early this morning to the sound of a Labrador puppy yelping to use the frosty grass as a misting grounds. When I came down it was still dark. The last few weeks I have been able to beat the sunrise and create a theme for this moment to write. I know that this pattern will soon end. They always do. I make every effort to punctuate these moments of these particular seasons of life with a soundtrack to this emotion that gets wrapped into the dawn. I cannot help myself. My life’s stages are always anchored by a soundtrack.

But before I activate the playlist, the song “Moon and New York City” by Christopher Cross popped in my head. I listened and watched then allowed YouTube to guide me down the rabbit hole of suggested videos. This led to Air Supply, All Out Of Love and Nothing At All. Soon after I was on a Philippine American Idol clip and that was when I knew I had gone too deep. The Internet is making it far too easy to get distracted. I stood in front of the coffeemaker for one more cup and opened my iTunes playlist. I keep a playlist called “That Mood.” The Moon and New York City gets added but not Air supply. Why? Why does one song play the right chords in my heart and others only play a loop of pity for my soul and those of mankind? The place between melancholy and serendipity is a fragile place that must be curated carefully.

My morning ritual sets the pace for the day and the weather sets the tone. I am ready for the next phase of enlightenment to begin. The second my headphones play the sweet song I begin to move in a rhythm and an old feeling enters my body. An old memory is triggered of a time when I would move to a song as if there was a camera watching me and I was part of a music video. Has this ever happened to you? It’s a childish thought. Not that it is immature but that it is hopeful innocent. As a child I always imagined that the people watching my actions were somehow a part of making me famous. As I would ride my bike to the stop light I would feel that every car at the light was watching my every move as if it was poetic genius and that there was something special about this boy. My body rhythms performing in a synchronized and deliberate ballet dance of time and space.

Maybe I was dropped on my head but I am all better now. This feeling does not go away though. I can’t help but to feel as if there is still something inside of me like a volcanic eruption lying dormant or a tectonic plate building up for the big one. I think that I have not arrived because the journey would have to be long and the destination would mean death is near. Waiting for my real life to begin is a song. The wishful thinking that something big will happen remains a dream. I remain in this dream and I refuse to wake up. I have to make something big happen. The volcano is not the eruption. The volcano is the gradual rising heat below the surface. The quake is not the shaking it is the sand sitting patiently building with potential energy mounting a consistent pressure on its limits.

How long will this last?

I try to keep the voices in my head from arguing. Business and pleasure, bills and pay checks. Casting all worries aside I can allow the feeling to enter my body and allow freedom from my concerns over the trivial stuff that rattles my foundation for inner peace. I look to the experts for solace and when they don’t give me the answers I seek the wisdom of the invisible legends that existed before written accounts of their presence. I fall into the fairy tales and wonder if I should feel guilty for not paying a tithing to a powerful force that may or may not give a shit about my recent sins and regrets.

I know right from wrong and I let the moment guide me until I am ready to take the wheel. I know that although I may never be bigger than my potential I can always allow this subtle ambition to flex its biceps when I need them.

There was a time in my life when I walked along side that inner voice with a pen and a paper in hand to takes notes. It was a time that I recorded lots of poetry and revelations. I allow the wisdom of the unknown to manifest itself in the form of element from mental. Allowing the free flow of thoughts and emotion capture the moment forever immortalizing the moment in time. One that I can look back on a recall that day or wonder if I was even the one who felt this way. I keep a log if the day as if it will one day matter. I create in multiple mediums will little focus expecting that if anything one day the children will fight over dads shitty painting of the lake.

As long as this flame stays warm and the moment calls me just before the dawn to wake up and say something I will do just that. The ability to express the engagements of the flow state with a cup of coffee and a fireplace is a gift. I am happy to wake up to unwrap it. This is a fresh lottery ticket and the prize is $86,400. I must spend it all today with no taxes and I cannot take it with me. There is no guarantee that this is not as good as it gets and there is certainty that there is no alternative. This must be the best possible life and optimism prevails.

Engaging Flow States

imageI got it! Eureka! I entered into flow state. I discover flow by engaging it. Not by entering it. I have spent years trying to master this ability and I did not see this. It was not outside of me or separate from me. It is a matter of engaging and disengaging from it. Now. This “active” moment is the only one and those before and those after are only in the “active imagination.” Why would it be so hard to ask myself where is floe and not have it be present. It is like asking where is love and have it not be present. It would be like asking where is the light from a dark cave. The knowledge of what we seek is present in the moment by knowing it in the moment. So from the questions come the answers without and delay.

This state is further enhanced by opening the senses to the surroundings of the flesh by such engagement. Like a gear on a bike either lines up with the chain or its skips or disengages. Being disengaged from flow is by default what we all do. Not by choice but by the distractions of everything that is in the physical universe of our shere of interest, our sphere of immediate influence by proximity and everything outside that may one day become a part of our active moment. Our engagement with those elements triggers the responses from the elemental. The decision to be present in its interaction with our elation is just a matter of asking. Am I engaged?

Just as a cyclist on the road flips a switch on the handlebars and spins the wheel so we too are in control of the steering and the pedals of our minds. The cyclists “become one with thier bicycles and interact with the pavement in a dance of rhythm and timing. Much in the same way we use our bodies and minds to travel through time and space all the while engaging with others and thier elements.

To continue with this cycling thought flow state has me engaged to travel down this analogy.

Just as there are many components of our bodies there are many components to a bike. The essentials are this. A frame to support the parts, the body. A cranks to propel the rider, the heart. A steering wheel to guide, the knowledge we have and the intentions we have. A little more vague but these are such primitively acquired by the leanings of walking and talking then the foundations of upbringing and character that guide us on our paths of what each of us believe to be right or wrong in an efforts to survive and prosper. The wheel, the cells. That which is the body of work that is engaging with the elements.

Many of the parts of the machine can be missing smaller components and still function properly. For example the wheels can be missing up to 50% of the right spokes and still support the rider. Many of our body parts are optional. I have heard that the pinky toe will become phased out of evolution in a few million years. Have you heard that? The brakes are not needed on a bike but they help.

A crash. Adversity. Big or small will shift the flow into an anxiety or a worrisome state that will leave this moment less than pleasurable.

The other day my family was in a parking lot going into a store. My son, my wife, my daughter and my youngest daughter were getting out. The youngest, January, 4, ran out to catch my oldest, James, 15, who was at the front of the store about 20 feet across the lot. I was getting out of the drivers seat when I hear a scream from my wife,”January!” As I looked up I noticed she had just nearly been stuck by a car. A small red vehicle being driven by a woman. The woman looked more upset in anger of our inability to watch our kids rather than her near accident. I did not see how close it truly was but this was nonetheless a huge “wake up call” as a parent. I have the ability to overcome moments big and small so the after effects of this moment however close did not effect me more than a new found love for my family and a realization of how in an instant lives can be altered. My wife however was so rattled that she was in tears an hour later for the rest of the day.

In her defense January has been the stunt kid. She damaged a tooth at 9 months old so bad that it had to be extracted and a week before her first birthday broke her wrist in a crawling off the couch accident. If you can imagine a one year old birthday party with a missing front tooth and a pink cast from hand to armpit. One more “incident” and child services was sure to step in. Oh and then there was that time we found a Xanax in her mouth and had to pry it out. My mom was living with us and she frequently dropped her meds. So yeah, we worry about this one.

Finding the moment of total immersion into a state of flow is all about choosing to be inside of the moment or outside. To pursue being “actively” engaged at all times may not be a good idea. Knowing whether I am in flow or not can only be identified by the moments I “know” it or “question it.” BUt what if one could actually achieve living fully in a state of bliss. A state of being embraced by the warmth of the universal love. The glory or the high. The epiphany or the glow.

Like the cyclist, I want to be always moving. My heart never stops therefore I never stop moving. I never stop leaving this flow state. I was to remain engaged as long as possible. Like a bottle of whiskey can get you drunk and then fade I too must be drunk with flow. Engaged in the moment and remaining diligent in holding the gates open so that this feeling never ends.

How can I capture this in a bottle? How can I hold it? Is it an element? NO! It is mental. There are only two in the universe. Mental and Elemental. I engage only one and interact with the other. Therefore, I must practice lucid awakening. Religious fanatics are obsessed with interacting with the holy unknown and make a pilgrimage or a vow to perpetuate the cycle of exchange with the body and the spirit. The elemental and the mental. So too I will become like the fanatics and whisper prayers in the universe to remind me of this. This engaged moment. The flow.