I-N-D-I VIDUAL

Writing to this…

So there it is, up in the air, movements for the currency. I’m just a dude with mad problems or no problem at all, the why and the how – a fixated thing commingling with strength – a new face with armor for amour and what not. You see, I’m just a dude raised by that which makes me individual. I – N – D – I – vidual.

“Did you think too much today?”

“Yeah man, I did, shed a few tears as my car rolled through to see ya”

“What’s it mean?”

“Don’t know… I asked God in my note app for help, felt things pouring off me”

“You believe in God?!”

“I want to, I cry for God, I yearn to feel its universe take me over and set me free”

You see, we just people, without much true definable balances. We just people, fractions and experiences giving us the bumps and gold that we are ourselves asking for.

‘What do you want?”

“Want? Hmmm,..to feel this weight in something other than anger, to accept everything I cannot change, to punch a city block with my fist and watch it explode…to hug my cat outside for the first time. To stand up in a crowded space and yell “what are you really thinking?” I want a lot of things, but I already have so much of what I wanted the last time we spoke”

“Yeah its been a minute. What’s next if you don’t really want anything? You should def stand up and yell that sometime”

“I might…No clue really, maybe just some clearing for my head, for a day, maybe,… I need some new shoes fella, maybe a rich older women who will let me be a house cat”

You see, no matter what the differing languages or narratives that are fiction…Its all just a game. Others around us feed off our contemplation, life being life, an excitable risk but a hurtful immediacy for the ones living it. Although the very art of living it, means you are experiencing the major gift afforded to a human being – to know you’re alive means to feel being alive. To know you feel means you are being yourself…the rest is the rest, and the low frequencies of communications don’t stick, hell, they don’t even register a wave of any kind. So forget’m

“Are you down?”

“Yeah man, I’m down, exposed, and raw, ready to be vulnerable and tough, so I guess I’m not all the way as you said, down”

“Whatcha gonna do about it?”

“I’m going to put one foot in front of the other, and keep walking through doors dude, one day at a time”

“Ha, that sounds like a self help mantra”

“Right…I mean, everything out here is some form of “Self Help”, even the shit we do that doesn’t help, it all goes back to that place,  either way you swing it.”

“Good point”

You see, I’m a man who is still, but inside me is a current that gives, and loves, and works. Its the ocean, its the animal vibrations, the camp fire rumination, and the words I stutter when they make me nervous. And I get nervous, and I’m still here. Thats effort, that who is me, and me who is him – a complicated pulsing body of energy just waiting for the next story, in this book that has absolutely no dust on it, because its used, a favorite, A “I can’t put it down” top ten, favorite – existence, full bodied expression, a sun a moon, and the damn dirt to burry the bullshit. Don’t forget your shovel.

“You believe in Flow?”

“Like what…if it flows, then it goes?… yeah man, thats how I’m out here now, flow, or bye in all directions, but nervous, def nervous, or i was taught to be”

“How do you know though?”

“You don’t, its about listening to the awareness you’ve worked for up until now, and testing it, learning, failing, creating a remedy to improve”

“That seems like it could get too passive, or hell, even lonely”

“Well, as applied to being with girls or friends in gerneral, yeah man, it can be tricky, but you just feel it, you know, a sense of it, if its too hard, or nerve racking, then its just not happening…ha, I say that but its complicated, I’m open to all suggestions, I have no clue what you do once you step out of the philistine cage”

You see, the faces are planted in time I cannot reach anymore, no reasons, no rhymes, just bankrupt old news that fuels the epiphany curriculums for these new pathways. Give me an edge and I’ll  put it on a sword, place it into a stone, then watch it shoot out colors of imagination. Your storms are not negotiable. I am I-N-D-I VIDUAL, all the  thrills, highly original. Turn the page please.

“You ever regret things, surely you regret something, right?”

“Regret?, yeah man, I regret talking to you right now, no but for real…yeah, I regret things. I mean, I’m alive and thats gonna come with a lot of regret, a lot of contemplations, so much wonder about the “what if,” and the “should not”, but its too late for any of that. The regrets aren’t real, they don’t exist. I can be anyone I want to be, at any moment. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t feel for those situations I could regret. When we regret it means a part of ourselves is out in the world and that narrative we fear belongs to the mind of someone else, we fear those versions of ourselves that no longer belong to us, and will never be us again.”

“I think I know what you mean, like…opinion, or reputation?”

“Sure, or anything really, that moments you regret is frozen, and frankly they are gifts to others who need them to feel better about their regrets, we have to be the villain as much as we have to be the victim, or the hero, we owe debts for each”

“Now I’m lost”

“Good, because you’re too young not to be lost”

You see, its all moving and changing and circling back to a different you in this point in time. Nothing matters anymore but the next step forward, the ego is dead, so redundant in its exposure, its lack of care, its general sense of black hole dispositions, just dead. The prancing taps of your feet can pull you up from the grown swirl, then you can shoulder that shit, let it dip, push it with the hip, then brush it off with your newest versions, tighten up your fancy for the next episode in what is sure to be a regret or a win, or the story you feed yourself for your future. We just change, nothing more. We just are now, nothing more. Next phase please.

“Good seeing you man”

Yeah, it was, thanks for letting me express things, I needed it today buddy”

“Don’t thank me, Its fun to see you passionate about something” 

“I love ya”

“Love you too”

“No matter what”

 

 

Temple

The two drink hangover is a new phenomenon in my experience. For once I opted to leave early, take the exit to ensure a quality nights sleep before my early morning class the next day. In the past I would allow the moment to pass by me, knowing I should leave  but opting for curiosity – a continuation to explore what the night might bring.

The evening was relaxed –  I needed the drink and chat to come down from a five hour round trip car ride through the mountains of North Carolina, then back home to Tennessee – a perfect day for a drive. I met a couple of friends I haven’t seen in over a year at Public House. I bonded with her last summer, and felt our time together could bring more than it had  – energy not living up to its full potential – deeper friends. They are both good people, working tirelessly to figure out there love dynamic – what they are, want, or need. We chewed on relationships, I gave my verbal dance of opinion, felt a bit over cooked after the exchange but a text today made me realize I was over thinking it. When I get around people in public spaces my hands and arms get active – I begin to feel like a magician whose trying too hard to sound smart. And I’m trying to figure out my own head space for love. The times shared felt good though  – a safe space with untamed energy bubbling underneath potent honesty.

Earlier in the day I took my sons to a Sikh Temple (Gurdwara) where we sat with friends listening to music, and a sermon. I sat next to an elder, not sure if thats what to call him. He translated the sermon in my right ear, and the lyrical themes from the two musicians who came in from Chattanooga. He is a kind man, gracious in his delivery – understanding I had no real clue what was taking place. Other than a few political science and religious courses in college, I didn’t have much to latch onto for what was taking place – I was disarmed in my pride around ignorance. I asked him where he was from, he had a puzzled look on his face. He said “I am from here, came here in 95” “But I was born in India”. Being the person I am, for a moment I felt bad, like I had offended him – but once I reminded myself that it was ok to ask that question, it was ok to not know anything about the Temple. In this mind set I was able to see it from unfettered eyes.  Everyone treated us like family, hugging my children as their own.

When you enter the Gurdwara (residence of the guru)  you take off your shoes and cover your head to show respect. My sons never questioned it, just followed my lead. After the sermon, large bowels with prasad (similar to cookie dough) were passed around – a blessed food received with cupped hands as a gift from God. We had three helpings, and others shared more with us – my kids loved it. After the sermon we all walked downstairs to eat together. The food was dynamic, enriching, and whole, not vegan but vegetarian – potatoes, rice, garbanzo beans, and other things.

All together we were at the Temple for five hours. In the past three months I have been to three different kinds of Sunday worship – Universalist, Christian, and Sikhism. I’m looking for it, ready to engage in a self that has deeper meaning, one that will vacate the notions of singularity – the hope that through God, or the universe, my intent as a human being will find a true sense of the word love. Going inward toward discipline feels better than continuing the wild notions of nothing.

Thankful

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So what are you thankful for?

In this moment I’m thankful for my sons. Cove (6) is a strong beautiful boy, already capable of listening to his instincts. He continues to be an individual – thoughtful, aware, and kind. Cove’s energy is sturdy with a sense of mystery. When I look at him I see his Mom, but as he gets older I’m starting to see a lot of my features. His personality reminds me a lot of myself – curious, creative, disciplined. But he’s still a little boy. When he gets shy around others, he fights his smile, until he can’t anymore and it just comes bursting out. Above the corners of his mouth he gets little dimples when his mannerism are free and reacting to the moment. Cove is gentle, sweet, emotionally aware and analytical. He’s careful, polite, and interested in making things. Cove is the moon – as it presents different looks of itself, you can’t help but notice, and be struck by how when full, its so bright in the darkest of times.  His sturdy presence gives me courage, it gives me peace, a calm reminder of how patient we are to be, because life is living and it’s wonderful if we make room for it to be.

Then there’s his little brother, Valley (3), a “wow” child. Magnificent in how he navigates others. Bursting with goodness, his smile is glued on his face almost the entire day. Valley is social – he loves people, feeds off their energy. There is no middle of the road for my young son. If he gets upset he wears it all over his face. He is the type of person that will randomly tell you he loves you, its constant – When the house is quiet and I’m reading, Valley will come up to me and say “I love you daddy”, then give me a big hug, and kiss my face. He is the Sun – a bright and energy giving human. There is no moment to big for him, he lights up the room, and dives head first into things he doesn’t know how to do. His approach to life is through love and he inspires me to not forget my own values, to not forget that I too feed off others, to not forget that no matter how hard things can be no situation gets to ruin our ability to live through love. Together, our children are growing into complete pictures, healthy, steady – they have been through the storm yet their energy remain childlike, joyful, and curious.

What else am I thankful for?

It’s been a rough couple months. The health of important people in my family has been a constant. But I’m grateful for having the chance to help, and bond through the tough times. My Mom almost died. Just typing that doesn’t feel real. She is on the rise though, her energy is moving, getting its fire back. We are closer than we’ve ever been, probably since I was in high school, leaving the nest for the first time.

Similar to this, I’m grateful for my bond with my Aunt Kazzie, and Aunt Kelli – two amazingly strong women who have been through hell and back throughout their life. But somehow they manage to muster enough courage to take on more for others. My Aunt Kazzie has the most beautiful laugh – showing up when the moment needs it most. Her ability to still feel joy when it’s hard inspires me to keep going. Her dedication to God is something I admire, while I’m not all the way in my following, I take her guidance very seriously. And because of her I talk to God almost daily, asking for the courage, wisdom, and strength to see the path.  She is my friend, like Mom to me, and I appreciate her so much. My Aunt Kelli, she’s just a force, a super human loyalist whose persistence and love shows me how much more we can do for others, even when we sacrifice more of ourselves than we really should. She’s always been the hippie Aunt, and as I’ve gotten older I see more and more of that in her, we bond on those lines of similarity. Her name pops up in my head when I think of the word “good”, she’s just a damn fine human being. Both of them have been my rock these past couple months, as they are for so many other people. They make me a better person, and I love them. We are friends for life.

Through all the rough and tumble my time with Grandma in October will always be a point in my life I remember. I got to spend two weeks with her, staying with her, having late night chats, hearing about story’s from the past I’d never heard. She persistently encouraged me to see myself, to not lose sight of how special I am, never missing a moment to say “you’re beautiful Ryan”.  She is doing a lot better, getting ready to move into a new house, excited, ordering new quilts for her room. I usually get a quilt from her every couple years. I sleep with two quilts every night, both of them were hers. Call it a safety thing, or just cozy, it makes me feel good covering up with things I know my G Ma loves.

Lastly, I’m thankful for waking up today and having the “fire” to do this. Somehow I still have the urge to work, to create, to share. No matter what happens with anything I do, I still can’t believe I find ways to motivate this way of life for myself. I have woken up to the reality that I am myself, and its pretty cool man.

Happy Thanksgiving…go be thankful today, but more importantly be thankful tomorrow too, and so on.

Holiday Music

Ah, so I forgot about holiday music while shopping. The one thing you can’t predict when needing a few things for Thanksgiving – the damn music piping through the house system. This holiday season I am single, lighter, the good kind of edgy, but still a tough swallow.  My kids live in another state, and my family has had some real health scares,  so when I have to quickly hop into the pots and pans section because the tears are about to come – I get kind of pissed about it, but let it be, then experience it. I owe myself that moment. With that said, I would love to shop somewhere that played nothing, or something upbeat without words, easy on the minor waves…maybe some free jazz that’s so free its quiet?  Jazz is the shelter from getting all tangled up in too much of my own raw emotion. My oldest son was with me as I took a moment in the kitchen goods section, I saw a pale green sauce pan out of the corner of my eye that looked cool. We stopped in the middle of the isle – I forced myself to listen to the void like feeling these old classics were putting out. The tears began their dance right behind my eyes, like a small fleet ready to nose dive over the falls  – a cascade of memory, confusion, and relief. But they never came. My body felt the way you do when you cry, but no tears. Such an odd reaction, almost if my head is not in sync with my heart. I’ve mentioned on here before how I think the two of them need couples counseling. Leaving the store I started laughing…

“You know its sad holiday music when you’re on the verge of a break down in the pots and pans section”

I’m going to try and live every moment fully, every damn feeling that comes I’m jumping headfirst, not really every feeling but I won’t be running to booze, or some mask like response…bring it and bring it so hard I cry in a store. And I ask for it knowing I’ll get up from it, becoming the next chapter of my existence. Plus, isn’t that the point of living? Emotion, feeling, and expression is LIFE?  And lets not forget my favorite parts – recording new material, painting a new canvas, dancing, and of course putting it all down in words. Emotion + Risk + Truth = Creativity

“Emotional waves are small gifts and we should honor each one of them”

Today is day two of my sons weeklong visit. Having them home is wonderful, it makes me feel whole – a reminder that I have a family and I will always be Dad to them. Its not easy, much of the time you spend in your own day-to-day life is trying not to remember how much time you had with them just a couple years ago. Not to say I want to forget that time, I just need to accept its over, and move on in this new phase of life.  Have I got use to not waking up with them every morning? No. But you deal with it – not because you feel great, but you can’t do much about it, other than make it work no matter how complicated or difficult. So you go to the park with them on a sunny day in November, run around like a child, go down the slides, hide behind plastic walls, be a kid, be with them, be a pirate and make weird noises, feel the crisp air, feel the love, be present as if you’ll never be again. That’s the area I’ve been working on since my divorce was final last August – to just be happy with what you have rather than sad about what you don’t. Yeah, that’s more or less the point of life I think – the mode we’re all trying to reach.

I do think we can wish and pray for a greater experience. We can work out the kinks, sending good things in the world with our behavior. I try to…even in the darkest of moments – the voice in my head is a constant reminder when I’m being mean or ungrateful, or just impatient (I hate that one) even if it’s only in my mind. It’s annoying when you just want to be one of those people that seem to have no feelings. I know deep down they feel things (some don’t at all) but acting in your life is a solid tool to hide from pain. I think I can act, just never learned how not to say what I feel, even if makes me look foolish, or weak. Somewhere along the way I figured the only strength I was interested in was expression in the form of “self” honesty, whatever it is, holding it in feels too damn awful. It’ll get you into some thick chats about things that are uncomfortable. The question you have to ask yourself is, who gets to decide what’s ok to say or not to say…society in its current form?

Nope.