Eruptions

I once had a dream. I was a seagull, on a first class tour of the clouds and mountaintops of a set of lush, coastal islets.

This land, remote, was pimpled green, and the tips of the great hills and mounts oft charred and exhaled steam, the air smelling of seawater and steam and fog. The isles curved around like a lowercase j, with the largest of the mountains dotting like the top, looking down on the rest of the chain.

At the bottom of the ‘j’ were many smaller ones, and atop each one sat a different person. On my tour, I flew past the first of the pimply hills, surveying the inhumanly large men and women sitting on the various tips of these mountains. Savages, they might have been. As I flew by, they hopped up from their roosts, muttering and puffing up clouds of smoke and curses into the air, and the hills ‘rupted to ‘canos. Lava sputtered into the air, gushing Earthblood. It sputtered and stuttered out. The lava missing me well enough. Anytime I closed in to see these men, they took back to their feet, hopping around, fists pumping, cursing with lava and plume.

Unsociable, they seemed, so I continued on down to the larger ones.

The middle section of the isle, I reached a modest sized volcano. On it sat a giant warrior, clad in iron, honor, and fearsomeness. Circling the spout of the mount was a large buzzard, unseemly with a large white circle around one eye and displaced feathers balding his head. His shouts reverberated, a long whistle, bouncing between the rolling hills, and some of the shrill being scooped up into the valley between. He cried out repeatedly to the warrior.

“FREEE– FREEE!” sounded his whistle. His words piercing into my thoughts.

The warrior stood still, sentry atop the slit of the slope. His eyes showed he heard, but he kept silent.

The sounds of the buzzard calling seemed to change to a more shrill tone.

“SHRIEEK! SHRIEK!”

The buzzard saw me approaching and glanced my way. We made eye contact, and in that instant he was whispering inanities to the mind.

Seagull, Seagull, we can save them from themselves. We can incubate them with the fumes of the earth, and rule this island as our own. We can save them.”

I hadn’t yet noticed the crooked grin of his beak. I gave no verbal response, but it seemed he read my mind. The buzzard’s shrill changed shape again.

“FREAK! FREAK!” His piercing whistle darted at me like missiles in the sky. What an insufferable creature. I pressed on. A few minutes later, the sky behind seared with an eruption that made the volcano’s of the savages seem but a child’s sneeze. Moments after that half of the island had been swallowed by pillars of ash unfurling like a giant rising to his feet.

I was not far from the end of the chain, and the mountain at the end, a massive, intimidating spectacle of mass that even at distance appeared to dwarf the size of the earlier hills up close. As I approached, I spotted the very average sized man, seated on the lip of the great mouth, large enough to swallow the earlier hills. He was naked, peering down into the mass of black and hole, his tan skin littered with burns and scars upon burns and more scars and black.

He looked up and called to me. “Bird. Come closer. Talk with me. Company is scarce on my piece of the world.”

I hovered a good 20 feet above him and circled.

“What brings a creature out here other than his own foolishness? Do you not fear me, bird, as the rest of the world does?”

I looked at him innocent and pure as my white feathers covering my body.

“You’ve seen what lies beneath, pus, fury, hate, have you not? I have to sit here bird. I alone. It is up to me to hold what destructive power in this giant cauldron I sit. It is my power that you see below. Can you believe it?”

Everything about him deceived the eyes. A forgettable face, a mismatch in stature and demeanor, even his voice was calm, quieted, hard to catch its waves amongst the deafening rumble of the great mount. He looked at me and smiled, barely, but smiled.

“You’re no fool, bird,” as we accepted mutual understanding of who we are to each other, “this volcano was not meant for the witlessness of the savages, or feigned dignity of the red-blooded warrior. I sit atop this fearsome gash in the earth because I can and only I can.”

He quieted for a spell, as did the volcano beneath him. Arms crossed, he sat in silence, once again looking down into the void.

“You’re like me bird. Quiet and calm and..”

“HEEE! HEEE!” I heard the shrill cry grow behind me. The buzzard must have found the courage to approach after following me out to the end of the range.

The buzzard looked past me, bearing that wily grin upon his crooked beak.

The man, perking up, called back to the buzzard.

“Wild one, join us.”

“HEHE! HEHE!” The buzzard’s long cries now a snicker.

White splattered his face as the man’s reflexes rubberbanded his expression to a shut face. He sighed and looked back down to the void. The entire island rocked, but he patted the volcano lip and mumbled some words in too dim a voice to be heard from above.

The buzzard, again, whispered thoughts to me I’ve since forgotten.

Then, he  intercepted me, batting me down, proclaiming, “FREE! FREE!”

Disoriented, I sunk into the dark. The buzzard’s dishonor had not been unknown to the man, as the last image I saw was the now visibly upset naked man springing to his feet as the Buzzard began to fly away, and then all I saw was black.

I saw it.

I felt it.

From pitchest of blacks, to a yellow filling my face, it tingled of warmth, but instantly continued down the color spectrum.

Orange, to red, to white. From heat, to inferno, to nothing.

I barely felt it, but heard no eruptions.

I woke up instead.

What Stays Personal? Thoughts on Personal Blogging

I am an endangered species – a personal blogger

The blog. A web log. In Internet years, these things have become antiquated. When blogs were new, the concept was mostly personal. You didn’t have news entities or people making a living off of the thing, people just wrote about what they wanted and put it out there. I’d wager that most anyone doing such a thing in the early days of blogging never did this with the idea of anyone else really reading it, we just did it because we could, so why not? It was the same principle as building your own website in the 90’s. You probably had nothing of worth to really share or create, or if you did, you didn’t stick with it long enough to get that good at it, but it was something cool to do online, so why not? There’s no better reason to do anything!

Closely associated with the birth of the blog were services like Xanga and Livejournal, which turned into everyone you knew having one. This was kind of an unfortunate time for the Internet. At least with Tumblr, everyone can just post stupid

Xanga - The reason why we all shouldn't share our thoughts and lives with everyone.
Xanga – The reason why we all shouldn’t share our thoughts and lives with everyone.

pictures and quotes, because as soon as most people (kids) start putting down words, it just gets messy. Either way, the public, digital diary — everyone was doing it. It’s something I’m no stranger to. I was effectively doing it with our websites at the time GTAMAC — which was a precursor to SwB Crew, and all early iterations of our SwB Crew websites were as much about us writing about whatever we wanted as they were putting our movies online.

Needless to say, as soon as I discovered you could write these entries without having to manually update .html files and upload them via ftp, I was convinced there was nothing more bitchin than that.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that I’ve been writing a personal blog for a long time. It is part of me. To me, it’d be weird if I didn’t have one. And to this day, I have no expectation of anyone ever reading anything I write and publicly nail to what is effectively the digital town square, but people do. People I know do. People that I write about do, and people I write about don’t. People that I will never see again have been characters in my writings, and people that I have to see everyday have been.

That’s kind of a tough line to walk. If you are reading this, then you likely have read something else I’ve put on here, so you know how personal I like to get. I don’t know why, exactly, but for some reason it is very comforting to me to bare all on here, and when it comes to myself, I try to, but I have to expose other people to do that. There have been dozens of occasions where I’ve hit that PUBLISH button on WordPress right before I’ve gone to sleep, with a moment of hesitation as I wonder to myself — Continue reading “What Stays Personal? Thoughts on Personal Blogging”

The Downside to Achieving Goals

Goals. Sometimes you forget that they are meant to be something more than just an aspiration. You set all these goals for yourself. You tell yourself that you’re going to start from a clean slate. You wipe everything clean. You’ve got nothing to lose, and all to gain. You take yourself and shred it into pieces and throw it on the ground, and you make a puzzle out of it. Construct yourself several years from now. You tell yourself what you want to do with your career. You decide you want to be a serial entrepreneur, whatever that means; carve out your own destiny. You nod assuredly, and it’s set. You tell yourself you need to move back to the city. You give another nod, and it’s set. You want to rebuild your eroded social life. Another goal. You tell yourself you have no time for love, well, no time for a relationship, in that sense, you set another goal.

Piece by piece, you create a mosaic of what you want to look like in the near future. One day at a time, you chip away. You move any little thing in your life that you’re able to in order to come closer to becoming that mosaic. Most of the time, the only thing you can do is strengthen a mindset. You know that goals take time. They are abstractions, and you have no idea how or when they will shift from the ethereal to the corporeal. You have to be patient, but you hate being patient. You have no choice. And because you have no other choice, you are patient.

One day, you catch yourself in the mirror, and you pick up on the striking resemblance of that collage; that goal-completed self. You’ve done it, but now what?

I can never be satisfied, it seems. There’s a void between feeling ungrateful and staying hungry in order to advance. On the very first day of 2011, I found myself at ground zero. No more girlfriend. No job. No school. No degree. No connection with friends. Just myself, my room, and my computers.  I don’t know how long I wallowed before I carved out a path, but at some point I formed the resolve to get rid of all the absence in my life.

I failed a lot of times. Finding an actual job didn’t really happen for me until August, and it was the ultimate means to an end type of deal. I spent all sorts of lonely nights, feeling depressed, useless, and guilty over breaking a love ones heart, and also because I was still isolated from my friends, with no means of making any new ones. Fifty thousand dollars of debt slowly swayed over my head like an anvil hoisted by a thread, as one semester left of school sat in storage somewhere. What a mess.

Somehow, through all those failed efforts, the torment, the anxiety and angst, the complete unknowing of how I am going to get from where I was to where I want to be, somehow, I made it out of the hole, piece by piece.

It wasn’t so much that I needed all these tangible things. I mean, I did, but it was more that their disarray was a reflection of how much of a mess I was. There was a reason I knew that I would not try to get into another relationship for at least a couple years after I broke up with Kara, and that was because I knew that I was so broken, so far from where I needed to be that I couldn’t go and poison someone else so selfishly. I have to come correct, or come not at all.

And then Monday hit. A week removed from my former job, which was a place that proved that I had completed my social and personal comeback. The career was the only thing I was really missing, and here it was. As of this week, I know, I know, I know that I am at the place that is truly sending me down the path I need to be as far as my career goals. For someone with some intense goals in that regard, it was the piece that I never felt would come. Yet, there I was, in an unfamiliar place, and, once again, with unfamiliar people, not exactly sure how each day is going to look. I gave up the security of having a solid expectation for each day in order to finally get that properly vectored momentum.

Now what?

Crap.

Now that my entire life is finally in sync and in motion, I find myself having to figure out what stars to shoot for next. The culmination, actually, the graduation was complete. I know that I am whole again. I’m rehabilitated and more stable and complete than ever, and now I have to look to those distant things I didn’t dare mess with, as well as identify the rest on the horizon.

This is the exact downside to achieving goals. I have to identify new goals and begin the process of achievement all over again.

It sucks.

The clear one is that I need to re-open my love life again, so I’ll just use it for short example. Granted, I stopped my concerted effort to shut it off after a year, but I never really committed to it. This doesn’t mean I become one of those starting-to-get-a-little-older guys who just exudes desperation, not by any means, but I also realize, after spending time with several acquaintances between 28-35 a few weekends ago that I don’t want to be those guys, sitting at a bar looking for the next thing to pass the night, or next crazy woman to waste a couple months with, or just be starting something that might get serious. That was probably when the goal started to form, like the clouds and the winds gradually starting to condense until the giant vortex that is now a hurricane formed. I won’t be those guys. Absolutely not.

So now I have to acknowledge it. No idea how or when, and probably not of my own efforts will that goal, which is, basically, seriously dating someone again, be reached. And all the uncertainty, all the doubt, all the stress, it will come back to me, just in a different package. Where on earth am I going to meet someone? I’m too picky. Or did I already meet someone, and now I have to wait in this endless chasm of uncertainty and hope that I’m still interested when the time comes? Am I really that eager to welcome back the pains that come with the gains of being bound to someone?

And so on, and so on.

WHAT A PAIN

This is just one goal.

Slowly, the rest of the clouds start to form. The thunder meets the rain and it begins to storm. And after a time, the monsoon ends as the sun splits the clouds, and there I’ll look up at the sky blue. What do I do now? Once again, I’ll have no clue.

It feels great to finally get to where you wanted to go, but there is always further to press on, and new decisions to make. Always being careful to make sure you press on in the right direction so you don’t waste years of your life backtracking.

Really, sometimes I forget that goals actually get completed, and that can really suck.

But at least I sleep easier knowing that I’m set. I basically spent all this time powerleveling, now I’m one properly equipped mofo for the journey.

P.S. – I don’t know how or why I broke out into some nursery rhyme near the end there. I guess the spirit caught me, and then I fell down.

Heart Matter, Mind Matter, and the Stuff Left Behind When You Leave – Life is Significant

The Incredible Machine

It’s a Thursday with no plans. It’s raining outside. It’s a little chilly. It’s dreary. It’s been a long week. If I don’t put out something real this time, I doubt I ever will. I’ve got a lot ready to pour out. Spare me just a few paragraphs to get into why I’m here today.

Something that’s always scared me is my lack of middle ground. There is the whimsical fool who floats clumsily like a butterfly just out of the cocoon, and there is the somber, pensive one who slowly processes and feels every single thing at the pace of a thick liquid slowly staining into denim. There really isn’t anything between, barring the neutral, transparent me, who simply is there to exist, and contributes nothing either way. I really am a person of extremes. I have to get used to this.

These two sides both have nothing but admiration for the other, because they have everything their counterpart lacks, and today, the somber one reigns, and today, the somber one is at his best.

I’ve been through a lot of life lately. I think over the weekend alone, I visited the respective zeniths of everything that I can hope for, everything that I imagine to be perfect and complete and right, to the brink of despair, hopelessness, confusion, and continued hauntings of my past. I know that all sounds so dramatic, but it really was a very expansive personal ride in such a condensed amount of time. It’s what happens when you get gunned down by rapid fire surprises. I think I am through that tour through Willy Wonka’s Psychadelic Tunnel, and overall, I’m just so content and happy with it, because after all those years of stagnation, it was ultimate confirmation that I’m alive again; in the figurative sense. I had myself a spoonful of life. What’s not awesome about that?

With that noted, that means my feelings and thoughts are already primed. I’m approaching a bridge right now. I’m leaving my current job early next week, then crossing over to the next endeavor, one which finally brings promise of framing what is becoming the maturation from a pretend adult, to something that will at least resemble an adult, and be doing that whole career and family thing. I feel like everything before now has merely been putting things into place, and when I take my first step on crossing that bridge next week, it sets off a spectacular Rube Goldberg Machine. Then, bam, a few years later once everything is set off, I look up and I’ve reached all I wanted to achieve (or the end result of the things I tried to achieve) over the past few years, and am on to setting up the next pieces for the next phase.

I’m about to kick off the incredible machine and I am all kinds of anxious, nervous, and excited, but that nor all the other emotional priming I’ve been through this week is what has me postulating today.

I Don’t Move On Well

Continue reading “Heart Matter, Mind Matter, and the Stuff Left Behind When You Leave – Life is Significant”

The Pristine and The Ugly

I’ve grown up so much in the past couple years. Especially in the past 6-12 months. A lot of times, it is easy to assume — time has passed, I must have matured some more! Check yo’ face, cause often times that might be the only way you’re maturing. I am talking about growth that I can visibly, circumstantially see.

I’ve been keeping a personal blog since I was at least 16 or 17, and it has been one of the most instrumental pieces in my personal growth and discovery as an individual. When I think about it, it is a measuring stick– a qualitative, wordy measuring stick. I don’t know how anyone could live without one? Not necessarily a blog, but a means to personally measure where they are in life like marking our height on the wall over the years.

I am paranoid of stagnation. Gosh, how many times have I talked about my struggles with stagnation. Usually, it is a life stagnation– where there just isn’t a lot going on with that whole life thing, but beyond that, a personal stagnation is what really has me wetting the bed at night. Is wetting the bed a fear related thing? Crap, I don’t think it is.  Well, let’s just say wetting the bed in fear of the monsters beneath it. Salvaged.

I think anyone who gets to know me can see a trend of obsessing over my own betterment. It can be kind of subtle, but I am always trying to better myself in every way that I have awareness of. It takes a toll on my sanity sometimes, and it might even be a little unhealthy, but if you’re going to have a bad habit, it might as well be one that makes you better.

I lost my way for a few years. I was kind of a worthless human for a while, and even worse, I felt I had absolutely no worth. It is kind of hard to function like that. If you know me well, or have read anything I wrote from back then, you can see the development of all my anxiety, depression, and sometimes anger sporadically directed outward; like a malfunctioning sprinkler.

That was a long 2-3 years.

When you have no sense of self-worth (and when you’re me on top of that), you dedicate every thought and goal to making yourself better. Continue reading “The Pristine and The Ugly”