Fire Starter

“too late to stop now”

I read once in all that’s wonderful about life, love is the greatest force you’ll experience. Something like, to not cast your love is to choose not to live. This isn’t just romantic love, this is every kind of love that exists. This is being kind to a stranger or telling a friend you love them.

Lying on my back in the water I felt her. And before that when I was hiking I felt her there too. When I go to the store to grab coffee my body walks as if she is around. I smell her all the time. This is the truth inside me, pure and honest, vulnerable and willing. I’m open to feeling all that I need to experience even in the stages beyond my control. Even when I’ve accepted I can’t do anything with these occurrences but feel them and enjoy it. I could push it further and make myself into a wreck furthering a new type of memory in rejection. But what is rejection? Or, I can just own what I feel, believe in it, and live. Time isn’t a friend to anyone unless it’s used to heal, and in that healing create progress. Right? Of course it’s helped me in all the things stewing that need healing this past year. But even in this part of time this one person is hanging on inside me, vibrating my senses, and making me feel like a child whose curling his toes with anticipation he might run into her. I can’t figure it out. Why does it still dazzle my feathers? I love it.  It tells me I believe in life and open to receive everything without certainty. No limits, no “self” to block what needs to birth new. Just standing in the wind and loving the ones I love.

I feel alive and having the inability to move on from someone isn’t a curse, it’s a gift. When I see her, or more so, sense her, it truly feels like nature. It’s as if I have plugged into the trees and grounded my skin with blood to the soil. All of this beauty from a few short months with another human being I barely know. How is that not worth expressing?  This one person made me feel a sense of awakening and if only I could have let go of myself (then) to grasp how she would impact my existence fully, who knows…love isn’t without its complications. I’m not a fool in this space. I’m just wacky and weird enough to tell you my truth.

Your friends will tell you to move on, “she’s just one person in a sea of others”. It’s really good advice if you care for someone and you want them to feel better. But this isn’t about moving on or feeling better. I feel like an open field lit with the sun. When you taste something you like that becomes your taste. When you hear a song you love that becomes your song. Once you allow this expression to get underneath the thick layer of yourself that protects the fragility in your center, it’s over for moving on. There is no moving on, because we’re talking about your individual self letting go to the feeling to become the next level of your life, it has to come with you. Sure it loosens up its grip on your day so you forget a little, we all forget at times. You have plenty of moments doing other things. And in one second, a simple walking through a door or turning down a street, a natural fragrance comes through and you pick her back up in yourself, and feel her. That’s the place all the poets and artists who sing about love come from. That’s the place we all come from if we allow ourselves.

There’s no words or advice that will wipe away this feeling. There’s no religion or philosophy strong enough to erase or challenge it either. I’m writing this to express how human beings can impact each other. How we meet people and their impressions can be lasting. They can improve us. Even if we don’t get a chance to keep dancing with them.

I use to say, I’m not the biggest fan of people (I thought it sounded cool), but I’m seeing the light in how they can surprise me if I’m willing and ready. I love the idea of “no expectations” but it’s quite complicated to apply in practice. Our minds are a walking vessel of life, it’s wrapped up, communicating to our brains. It makes us crazy and finds us doing things we don’t understand. Love is the most maddening and breath-taking emotion, such a complicated veil of colors. I’m strong enough to feel love without it being invited to place it somewhere. I say cast it all for as long as you can. And do it for yourself, because that might be a solid way to experience your life.

Truth is I was afraid of my own love, probably hers too. I was so scared it would be seen that I panicked. In doing so I might have missed some bright times and a special bond with an individual I could have truly been able to let go, and really be seen with. Maybe I have to realize this so the next time I can be ready. I don’t know, but I do see and feel what I missed. That shit sucks, there’s no way around it. At least I get to enjoy what I’ve learned and growup in what I truly feel in myself.

When I went to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival this year (Movement Festival) I tried to dance my way out of it. I sweat so hard and moved my body so differently, with the small hope I could erase it, or leave it in a nest somewhere I would forget in myself. It didn’t work. Turns out,  It was the love making me dance. And in that I lie down and let it wash over me for real. I’m not afraid of it anymore, no more fear in feeling or casting expression. It’s the most natural thing our instinct engages us to do but we’ve been saturated on subconscious algorithms of how to be in the world. What’s proper, or right, what’s normal, and accepted? I say let’s be freaks about our expression. Cast it all in one big open flame, those who stop will see and hang out, those that don’t, nothing we can do about it. But it’s still going to be fire, and it’ll represent the fullest version of ourselves. It’ll be the “you” that reacts before all the bullshit hesitations and persona filter stuff, a work in progress for all human beings.

It’s so hard to get there but when we do, I bet the small window that’s been painted shut for so many years will start to crack. You’ll step through that opening, new and ready for the world. At least I hope that’s what will happen. I’ll let you know on here. Its hopeful but hope feels good, right? Of course there’s the reality of getting hurt, but in that pain all it says is that you are living your own life. The loss, pain, and rejection, are a part of living. So keep at it.

The other night I was looking through the children’s book called Green, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, with my two sons Cove and Valley.

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We’ve owned it for a long time but it fell behind our shelf and we forgot about it. How convenient if my mind had a shelf and I could push her behind it to forget. But the book is beautiful like her, the visuals are memorable like her, the way it feels is just right for reading, or exploring, like she is. How could I forget this book? While I was reading it, I think three pages in, I thought, I should send her this. It reminded me of her. The way each page communicated with the other, the way the color glides around, creating a sense of airy motion. It felt natural, and modern, it felt bold, and alive. Just like her, it was colorful, fun, and unique. I laughed, then a smile rose up on my face. It gave me joy, and it was pure, no hesitations, just a boy who likes a girl. And the willingness to be ok with it. To see it, take it in, and live in its space anytime it appears. 

After reading it I thought a lot about what I could do. Just as strong as she is in me, the same voice is reminding me it’s over. If I respect what I feel, I certainly have to respect what I’ve been told. Even if that knowledge is hazy (for me), and some flickers might be hope in my imagination. What is a life without imagination? She has moved beyond the dizzy escapades of our experience, and rightfully so. No person should hold on unless the grip is contributing in a positive way, which improves our lives, that’s why I am here now, writing this. The experience impacted me greatly. I can’t pin down all the reasons why she has stuck around in my head space and body. I’m happy she has, I’m better for it. If only fairy tales were real. Maybe its the human beings reluctance to believe in them?

What I’ve experienced regarding love could be the gateway into some type of truthful existence, a mechanism to burst through societal stasis, and become that feeling as an expressive, bold, entity. A magnitude of power and vulnerability so great, you destroy all that is placid in you so willingness and life become realized, and only then peace becomes reality. This isn’t just romantic love, this is how I love my brother or how I feel when I reach out to help someone, tell a fellow creative how much I enjoyed their work, or telling someone I’m proud of them.

My whole existence flourishes when I’m bold enough to set my bullshit aside, and cast the good feels in all of me. I won’t stop loving for anyone, but I’ll respect the avenues, and places it’s not welcome, and accepted. Hopefully one living example can change one fluid circumstance. Either way, I believe in life, and I see love as a fire starter for all that matters in the world. 

 

NoteI’ve expressed on here the “idea” that I live as an artist to create experience for my work, using a muse. That “love” might be a mechanism to create, and maybe it’s not love at all. It’s fascinating to ponder these possibilities. I would only ever express these thoughts from a trusting space. The fact I would relay them in an open format says a lot to me about who I am. Has my music, and writing been influenced by these feelings? Absolutely. But I would lay both down for love. It isn’t for using experience to better my work. I can only hope that both love and creativity will flourish together, making me better so I can cast that onto the world in whatever way the moment is telling me to. A creative needs life to experience, no doubt about it, and a life needs creativity. I’ve arrived at a place that transcends any formula that tells me why I love, or how it impacts my work. Both can be alive in me without short-changing the other, or making one more important. Together, they create a symbiotic foundation, forming a community of thought and emotions. It’s wild, but pure, and honest. I love for love, and I create art to understand how to feel love in its raw form, to be open to accepting it, and then giving it back in all walks of my life. I respect love, in many ways its “godlike” for me.

So far, I have randomly laughed and cried (with joy) more in the last six months than I can recall anytime before. I’m awake to live. And I’m going to keep living. This love movement isn’t for eagerness or rushing to find it. When you’re open to yourself, love finds a way to show up. I’m grateful the few times mine has, I’ve realized it, owned it, and casted it. I’m also grateful that those who know me, understand me, and are similarly open to these experiences. It’s only a few (in my life), but those few are bright and bold, real individuals and sponges for the world who inspire me to keep going. They allow me the space to learn and express. They offer up a special canvas and allow me to toss on my visions for the immediacy of now. Am I crazy? In the sense that I’m wildly excited for life and love, absolutely.

 

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