Life is bliss and joy and strange secret sublime rapture. Rapture rapture. Follow the absolute, irresistible rapture of being alive.
So I begin now, and here…I begin to write and nothing will stand in my way except myself. I have to ge it out. I have to get it out. No excuses. No distractions. Honesty. Cut the bullshit and write it out because I HAVE to get it out.
So here I am right? Moving at my own pace, my own grace, my own speed, my own wisdom. Waiting to unfold.
I have things to say which I’m sure have already been said in a thousand different voices in a thousand different ways. But I have this deep and ravaging desire to say them with my voice, at this time, in this way…in order to get them out. To purge them. To let them exist in the hopes that this particular combination of words strikes some chord in someone that brings some sort of meaning or new awareness to their life. I am writing to reach out, to try to grasp that silent and sacred center which we all seem to be revolving around…helplessly, hopefully and with a great hurricane behind us, it seems. I am writing to be read, I am writing to read myself, I am writing to make sense, I am writing to inject chaos into the whirlpool of this spinning, magnificent world we are a part of. So forgive the things I leave out, the mistakes that litter my way, the assumptions I take for granted, and the wild inconsistencies that riddle my logic (for I am, I am, to be certain, only a human, and I am made of only so many moments yet).
I want to espouse the following: Life is magic. I mean this. I mean it with every fiber of my being…in a way that I can only hint at, I can only barely scratch the surface of. I am writing in the desperate, strange, sublimely selfish hope that the world may one day transform into a place full of unbearable meaning and aliveness…that we all might chase that echoing magic buried in the lining of our cells and evolve to a brilliant world of color, creation and clarity.
So here’s a strange and blissful story- I have synestesia. Or rather, that is the simplest word I can use to describe what it is that I experience…but I have a feeling that no word could accurately and definitively describe what I experience…but a blending of the senses and a heightening of sensory experience is certainly a fine place to begin. The funny thing is…I was not born this way…I actively awoke this within myself.
I believe in the plasticity of the mind. In the radiance of rebirth and in the power of words.
Firstly- the power of words.
Secondly- an outline of some daily rituals.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. And gosh doesn’t it feel good to write. And to write messy, nonsense, now. Because.
When I am surrounded by a beautiful moment that I simply must hold on to…I attempt to. I try with all of my might to hold on to all of my cells…to feel every inch of my body as it takes up space…to memorize the smells and sounds and to place them around this bundle of cells and nerves I am holding on to so that I might be able to replace myself back into this moment in my mind sometime further in the future. For the most part- it works. I have not yet been able to successfully travel through time, but I can remember with intense sensory memory the absolute ineffible majesty of certain blessed moments of my life. I practice this skill. I hone it like a craft or a exercise. It gives me something to do when I find attention waning. And it adds a sincerity to my life. I am paying attention. Cultivated, mindblowing attention. With all of my body. With the tendrils of my spine and the surface of my skin and the fullness of all my breakable bones. I make sure that I turn around to both sides of me (in a chair I just twist back and forth…standing up I actually circle around myelf) to make sure I can full grasp the wholeness of the space I am taking up. If time and space are connected as Einstein seems to suggest…then this hunk of body I am hurling through the air is this moment, this space, this presene that I am and we are so vibrantly and intimately connected that I have to take it in. i have to take it in.
I try to look into people’s eyes or into a spectacular view before me and imagine a full 360 degree crane camera circling around me…but this camera is the fullness of my vision…in this way I try to imagine where I am in the spectacle of the circular space…I imagine myself as a dot on a map…the eagle eye view from the stars as they look down upon me…the view that my back could see were I able to see through my skin and I try to soak it in. I open my arms out as wide as I can and I declare in my mind…I am here. I try to imagine myself within the time-space line of the universe around me and how this moment exists in so many ways. I breathe in and say this is the breath of this moment. This air is the air that exists now and only now and this particular smell is the particular smell of this moment which exists only now. I imagine the air particles and the essence of this smell travelling through my body…becoming part of me…becoming part of the great well of scents and memories and senses that I am and it somehow joins into the eternity of memory that I am. Somehow that particular breath of air…fused with so much intention and displaced with this particular meaning…fuses into my bone marrow, into my muscle tissue and into that sacred, sweet something I cannot describe and absorbs. Absorbs, changes, transforms and becomes part of. And now I am more. Now I have discovered more of my story, more of my physical being…and my organs are blessed with what this particular bit of air has to offer. And then I breathe out. And I imagine that all of what I have to offer back to this slice of the universe exhales from my body and is given back. I imagine that I exist briefly within this space and because I deliver my intention to this space…I imagine the little burst of breath and presence that I am for a moment escaping my body…lingering just before me and then dissolving into this place…not to disappear…but to become part of. To become one with it.
This is a primary ritual. Probably the first I ever developed and probably the most often used. I use it to make myself aware, to being conscious of my body, and give meaning to moments. Sometimes I take both my hands above my hands clasped so that I can more closely feel myself as a whole, circular being…and then press my arms out to my side to feel myself existing open in space…allowing light to flow through me. I can almost feel myself begin to dissolve, begin to become translucsent and part of that ephemeral eternity which constantly buffets around me.
I suppose I attempt that wonderful feat quite often. The attempt to become part of. It is a wonderful and endless journey of discovery and re-discovery.
When I watch TV or a movie I try to concentrate all of my energy and senses on literally putting myself into the screen. I try to splice myself into the frames and imagine those sublime sensations which exist neither here nor there. I try to feel the ecstasy of large sweeping camera angles, the the great web of the earth in landscape shots. I try to infuse myself with the colors and contexts of emotions and to feel innately and deeply…the brush of those fabrics on my skin, what that corset would feel like coiled tightly around my waist, what the heat of that desert would do to my throat and my sweat. I try to insert my cells into that space and time in the same way I do in reality. And things become visceral. Bright, illuminated, pixelated. So much more than reality and so much less. Things become distorted, contorted and fantastically full of story and meaning.
And this can seep and sink into everything…honestly everything in life. It can invade and enliven the silence and serenity of the secretly unfolding world.
Imagination is surely the crux, is it not? But perhaps this word imagination is too limiting…has too many connotations associated with the inherently “unreal.” I have no better word but I must admit when I engage in these imaginative acts…I don’t classically define them to myself as imaginings…and I might even postulate that the only way to truly have these experiences…is to truly believe. To allow for the suspension of disbelief in everything that that phrase truly means. To suspend, even for a moment, that incessant nagging voice of unoriginality that wants to tie you down to everything we’ve been told to hold so dear. To open a door, or crack a window for the briefest of moments to possibly catch a drift of wind from outside. And of course…it filters and it filters and it filters through the ages of interpretations in my mind. It weaves and winds through the complex contorts of the neurons in my brain…all the associations and meaning systems I have accumulated…so to say that it becomes inherently personal, subjective, flawed, incalculable and unfinished…but not necessarily untrue. For I must constantly keep myself awake with the question…what is truth? What is truth? And beyond the eons of interpretations…I myself must conclude that there is no objective truth. And from this place I find freedom. I find possibility. I find an open door and I begin to fly through it. And to say that something is “merely” in someone’s mind is once again limiting.
This is not to say I believe I should stay in the confines of my mind and detach myself from reality…far, far, far from it. I think it should prove to be wildly dangerous and unsafe to detach from reality in that way…but that it is possible. It is possible to remain grounded, thickly-rooted, calmly connected to this buzzing world…and at the same time…allow for true and honest escape in the virtues and wonders of possibility and belief. To the endless, ageless ground of uncertainty which bubbles beneath our magma crust and allows new experiences to burst forth.
You are matter you are meaning you are growth you are grace.
And gosh what a glorious place a city is to glide through. A platform rife for imagination. I presume myself to be spiderman and I feel, with the aching curvature of my eyes…the sliding heights of steel strong buildings…I clink buildings together and copy and paste great swinging bridges between the patches of open sky. I design a new city and allow myself to walk through that…or else I allow myself to truly surrender to the wild stimulation that buzzes…especially in New York…feeling each green light that buzzes and clicks, the tinkering and slashing of tracks and constructions, the glowing metamorphosis of people as they glide and herd themselves through narrow streets. I imagine the ground as a clear sheet of glass and below…the great hulking mechanism of the city turning and churning….subway rolling and ripping. I glide and slam and feel my senses peeled apart like paper. Cities are playgrounds for the senses. Places for my eyes and ears to bounce off- to reflect and to reverberate. Places you cannot escape, only create.
But then there are trees. There are trees, there is earth, there is rich running water and wide solemn banks. There are clacking white geese and blossoming wild berries and there are June buds that flower for moments. And this. This is my cathedral. This is my sanity and this is the home I want to walk in. Because when I walk in the woods…I imagine…or I feel…that all at once I am both seeing and being seen. I feel some reciprocal relationship…that minute wafts of something which is more than oxygen and more than carbon monoxide is swimming through the air between myself and the trees. Something like love and honor…and that I am somehow sending waves of love and respect up into the boughs of the trees (silently shouting grow, grow, grow) and that they are sending waves of nurturing wisdom and blessings of love back down on me. It flows and flows silently and continually and clears and clears my mind and body.
When I hug a tree…I place my feet on the roots or the ground and I try to align my body exactly with the tree…I close my eyes and I try to feel myself as this tree…try to feel myself as the tree feeling me around it…I try to imagine the force that is pulling all the way from the roots below my feet to the tops of the branches far above my head…I try to send love and gratitude all the way up to the top and all the way to the bottom…I try to feel my body disappear and feel only the tree…I try to be silent and clear and innately the mystery within this trunk…I imagine the essence of whatever this tree is and has to share entering into my body like air or light, mixing with me and infusing some great fire at the core of my being…alighting and awakening…I try to send a message to every cell of my body – awaken. Awaken with this particular magic at this particular moment. Then I send another wave of thanks and walk away. I try to do this as often as possible…when I used to go to the park everyday I would do it to three trees before I left and it would always clear and invigorate me.
Smells in the same way…I try to make a part of myself. I suppose I try to treat myself as an absorbtion machine. I want to take it all in. Take it all in. Absorb it fully and with as much commitment as I can. Living wildly and fully.
Travelling is spectacular…feeling the slipping motion of a train or the gorgeous height of a plane…the sudden swivels of a car or the rumbling motor of a bus that lurches and groans with every grumbling turn it takes. Here I am suddenly doing so many things at once…seeing spectacular flashes of vision…moving through time and space…this is it, this is it, this is it…this is everything and more…what delight, what an ecastatic gift. The morning commute is not dull…but an almost unbearably gorgeous gift to see, to see, to see. To move farther and faster than we ever evolved our little feet to take us. To glide with no fear- no tigers up ahread, no canyons to slip into…just the path, the path, the path every unfolding like a curtain of white, wide sacred light.
WHEN I EAT
And then there is the whole category entitled “When I eat.” It is a marvelous and wide field of strange and subversive wonders and I daresay I cannot begin to do it justice.
There is this new found confidence to say…I will it to be so. “I WILL become what I want to become because I declare it so.” Yet I always find myself face to face with this guilt of vanity or self importance or entitlement. I must couple the best parts of both intentions…keep my genuine humility fermenting at the core of my being and at the same time- force that fearless faith and confidence in myself to the brim of my being…up to the surface of my skin and let it radiate outwards.
Pay attention pay attention pay attention.
If we operate under this idea that everything in the world is the universe experessing itself…
So every landform and part of nature IS actually an expression of something different…my its very nature…to say that
Something I so often allow myself to suffer from is the plague of forgetting. And by that I suppose I mean taking things for granted. Slowly, or perhaps even in no time at all, I am suddenly so immersed in this presence that I forget the intense journey that brought me to this point and what it has meant to me. When I broke my wrist, there were complications and briefly there was a chance it was not going to get better…for 2 months all I wished for and hoped for was for two arms, for clean health and I imagined that if only I had proper use of my wrist- I would be so much happier…I would h
I sit here on the edge of today and all I can place my finger on is the great “and” of life. How my mind both clouds me, confuses me, distorts me…while at the same time liberates me, exhilerates me, leads me down the dark and aching pathway to bliss. How pain both traps me tight and spurns me forward shouting GO GO GO at a speed and with a force brighter and more brilliant than anything ‘peace’ can do for me.
I am left feeling endlessly unsatisfied with the philosophies and religions of the world. Ever incomplete, ever inconsistent…ever lacking that wild contradiction and freedom that I see splayed out like hands before me. For that is what I see what I am able to see the backbone of the earth. Wide, ageless valleys and spinning chaos roots of infallible trees…I see the urge for ‘and’. The impenetrable objective quality of this earth which we can only interpret feebly, feebly, feebly. I find myself humble against the mystery and vast against the backdrop of eternity. I find our answers measly, measly, measly and I surrender to that incomprehensible wilderness.
So this is what I preach (for lack of a better word)…freedom and the unimaginable bliss of being human. Of being formed in this way, at this time, in this place. That that matters…if you declare it so. I urge that we relinquish our hold on doctrines and classifications…on labels and generalizations and free ourselves from the repititious modalities of thinking that force us into a corner and tell us “we are this.” I am this. I am only this.
Pull, plunder, grab and rip from every philosophy, religion, lifestyle, teacher and preacher you can. Size up the world for yourself. Do not reject simply to be different. Feel…with your hands and your forehead and your spleen and your brain cells and that strange funny thing we call the heart…feel your way to your truth. Take the journey…walk the miles and ache in the confusion…and bless yourself with your own reality. Make yourself and your unique collection of wirings and misfirings matter. Matter.
And I imagine…
Just theories, thoughts and dreams. Science, myth, mysticism, revelry and wonder.
Liberation. Words and little organisms called life.
to say the day has only slightly
begun to begin, is a understatement and i have no patience for statements
of any kind which are not kind.