Native

MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

Being rocked back and forth on the D train, I lay my head back and breathe. Images of fingers wet, soaked in water and blood, fingers snapping and slipping making inaudible sounds. This is my meditation; lands forged by rough hands and sweat. Cities built by no personality, no discernible political mind, just with these hands, bloodied and slipping but still creating the peaks that we humans can create.

A fear wraps around with the brunt of war but the footsteps of a ghost. Images belonging to someone else construct lanes into my psyche, forever changing into someone else that I will soon call myself. I am changing, this is how we change.

This blood and water slip from the hands of others through rocks. I awaken, and I am wet, chest flooded with someone else’s blood, eyes pouring with someone else’s tears, hands forced over rocks. These hands are now my hands; every reflection, every image which belonged to another, it now belongs to me.

I am responsible; these are my hands bleeding and slipping and trying to snap to make this happen now! I am the one kneeling before the chrome buildings, pouring my hands and my heart over the rocks, awash with the blood and water of myself and others. This is my land, and to my left and my right, this is your land. Break your hands over these rocks as I break my hands. There is no future to save them for; it is not our future that we build this for. Work so that their present may be stronger than ours. Be grateful that our present is as strong as it is. Be loud, work, bleed, and weep as you work. Let your work be truthful, be honest; this is how you will succeed. To sit silently is the only way to fail. I will not fail. My hands awash in water and blood, images of your tiny hands awash in love.

Death of a relationship | Continue

MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

If I should be brought before you

And am asked to skim the trees

To recollect my fondest thoughts

Amid a wasteland of memories

I should dig deep the shallow trenches

I will seek out every eye

For my past bear’s strong resemblance

To the ones I stand before

And I will know a soft resistance

As I push off from the shore


I wonder how all of this will come to pass; How you and I will remember one another. I don’t sit with this for very long, for I know where my mind often leads me. I do not drift to positive places. Instead, my mind seems to embrace the negative and haunting spaces. But I must think of this, of you and I and our past. My past, as it were, is what I must think of.

You were gentle with me; virtually every memory tells me this was your way. You knew that anger would cause me running, and your job was to have me stay. And at times you were overbearing, you wanted for yourself my good health. You wished my mind would pause, and you could rest. You cared much and sometimes in the wrong way. But I forgive your co-dependence, your expectations, and your disappointment. I overlook these things because I, too, am full of error, and I am not here to blame.

I am here to recover the past, not for keeping but to learn. What was it about our relationship that you wanted to hold onto? What was it about me that you seemed so keen on keeping close? I have asked myself this question, and sometimes it makes perfect sense. At times, I was honest and pensive, but others I was a complete waste of effort. Who holds onto the daily garbage? One who is sick themselves I believe. I look back with compassion, not wishing to change you, and this is not meant to enlighten you. This I doubt the entirety of you will ever read.

I can remember when you embraced me, and my embrace was a lie. I remember when you embraced me, and I felt your heart pouring into my chest. I heard your heart pouring into my chest, its crimson waves exposing the emptiness in me. I felt you sometimes, and other times you left me frozen, or I left you frozen.  We were just friends. We were lovers. We were enemies. All of it was real, though. You failed me and used me selfishly. You were so many people all at once; it’s no wonder I completely lost you at times.

But you are not unique … Christ, neither am I. I considered you less than you deserved and became the type of man I have always judged, hated. My selfishness knew no bounds and still, it was suffocated time and again. I had fallen so short of breath that our relationship had to change. All I could do was start over. I had no idea what this would mean but it was time to tear each other apart and continue, alone.

The beginning was beautiful. Leaves fell hard in those first few days, and for some those leaves are still rocks on their backs. But it was no longer excuse enough for me to hide behind. I loved them dearly, I truly did. I love them today differently because I am different and they are different. They are whole but hard to see. I send out eulogies because I was not always there when the moment surprised and seemed to ambush us. I am here now, I am here for the ones who wish to hear me.

I still seem to lose you at times, even though I feel we have been doing everything well. We outgrow each others usefulness, we no longer need one another. When you no longer need something it becomes a weight around your ankle unless you part ways while still feathers. In the beginning, it feels wrong; it angers me to part ways. But it is the best for both of us and the best way for the whole of us.

Sometimes I glance out the window and see your birds singing. Other times I turn my back to you, wishing you would at once turn away from me. I love you, I have forgotten you, and I hope to love you. Before the earth, before the lovers and the users and the apathetic bystanders, I hope I give you something you cannot hold but can use. I hope you see me and know that the past is real, but it is gone and only alive in your mind. This moment is real as well. I hope you see the power of this moment, and I hope you forget me and move on if that is what you must do.

You have nothing to say to me, and I nothing to say to you, for the most part. One day I will sit down and tell you what it all means, but today you must work on it yourself. It is your world that you must save from forever wilting. You do not live for me, I do not live for you, but we live for a purpose higher than both of us. I cannot define yours, and I know you cannot give me the relief I once sought. I appreciate you for who you are, and do not want you to change your colors to draw me closer. If I speak a foreign tongue to you and you wish to retreat, I do not blame you. Those who are meant to be in my life will be; others will become useful by becoming more like themselves.

I love you, I hope to love you, and I have forgotten and forgiven you. Do not fear whatever lay in front of us, it is meant to be there, and we no longer need to embellish who we are. This is the death of our relationship.

 

 

 

Sometimes the blues are just a passing bird

MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES, QUOTE

At times we will find ourselves discontent, irritable, and generally just blue. The feeling may seem to have come out of nowhere, leaving you confused and a little on edge. It can be scary, at times overwhelming, and downright lonely. During these moments we rely on our mind, asking ourselves questions and using our best tool to make sense of this dreary feeling. We often feel as though we have exhausted all possibilities. We think we have a done a thorough job and yet we still can’t seem to shake this feeling of apathy.

Unfortunately for us, for those that can relate, we are more often than not asking ourselves the wrong questions. And our questions aren’t just slightly misdirected – in these moments our thoughts are often epic; We begin to examine the meaning of life, the reality of our relationships, even questioning the very nature of ourselves. We struggle to relax and our once still minds turn into dime-store psychologists and philosophers. Our questions are vague, massive, and without answers.

It doesn’t always have to be this confusing and arduous, I promise you. In fact, I’ll do you one better and tell you, while it’s fresh on my mind, exactly how I get myself out of these blues.

Yesterday was a pretty damn good day for me. I had spent the evening at my sisters during what was predicted to be the storm of the century but turned out to be no more than a heavy snow. I spent a little time with my sister, got ready and went off to meet a friend for lunch. My afternoon could not have been better: great company, great food, afternoon tea and the winter scenery all made for an ideal afternoon. Around 7 pm I parted ways with my friends, got on the train and headed home.

As I got settled in for the evening, I noticed that I wasn’t feeling the after-effects one generally does after such a beautiful day. In fact, I found myself a little frustrated, confused, and incredibly bored. “Oh shit, this isn’t good, ” I thought to myself; Something must have been terribly wrong, something real was happening here. My mind began racing: Am I not doing enough, is this life fulfilling, am I doing everything wrong? All of these questions! Who the hell asks themselves these questions and expects even a whiff of an answer? Evidently, I do – but this is not as dangerous as it seems.

I got up from the couch and walked to the kitchen, looked up on my dry erase board and there it was in all its simplicity: “Relax and take it easy” – On this night, where thoughts began racing, and questions began building, my relief appeared before me in this simple phrase. I sat down and decided to make a list – What did I eat today? How much did I sleep last night and how did I sleep? Is there any simple reason that I may be annoyed? And here is what I came up with: As I mentioned before the food yesterday was great. What I failed to mention was that I had eaten only two bites of it. The tea was good, but it was preceded by 3 cups of coffee. I got a bit of sleep, but I slept on a couch after spending the day in a hospital and navigating my way through the snow filled streets. In my mind these experiences weren’t negative at all – I enjoyed spending time with my sister and I don’t really mind the snow. I had a great time at lunch – I don’t eat all that much anyway. What I was neglecting to notice was the physical and emotional effects I endure when I don’t take care of myself – I didn’t need answers only the gods could give me, I needed to eat something.

I got up this morning and went for a walk around the neighborhood. It is gorgeous out today, my mind is completely calm.

We have such a difficult time accepting the simple solutions. Maybe the sky really is falling but isn’t there a chance we just haven’t been sleeping well lately? Aren’t these simple questions at least worth a look? There are often underlying issues that we are dealing with in any number of ways – but they are exacerbated when we don’t take control over the little things. We tend to ask ourselves questions that aren’t meant for us to answer. Here’s a tip when your mind begins racing: You aren’t capable of outsmarting this world. Emotions rise and fall with the hope that they return somewhere in the middle. Our mood shifts a little throughout the day, but we can almost always trace it back to something simple, some minor annoyance or some missed opportunity.

In these moments, when you cannot seem to find an answer to your blues, make a list. Do you owe someone an apology? Have you been dismissive towards your partner? Are you happy with your workout regiment? Are you eating healthy? Are you eating enough or maybe too much? Have you started that book you got over the holidays? Are you keeping something to yourself? Are you telling the truth? Does your neighbor play their music too loud? Make a list of the things that you can change, go through it and make changes to the best of your ability.

Allow yourself to be unhappy for a time but bring yourself back before you want to. Get pissed off at your neighbor for being inconsiderate but take it out at the gym. You are allowed to feel like shit now and then –  But do not start looking into the abyss for answers that are in your refrigerator.

ANTICIPATE THE BRIGHTNESS

MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

More often than not I choose to view difficulties in life as an opportunity for growth. Throughout the struggle, I am in a state of anticipation, knowing that the fight cannot exist forever unless I resign myself to hopelessness, which is an option. It should be noted that hopelessness is only a part of our ‘negative faith’ and lies in our neurosis. Neurosis is, according to Carl Jung the avoidance of actual pain. So to believe that life is hopeless I would have to think that my negative thoughts are real and in this admittance, I would realize that I am avoiding actual struggle.

So, I know life is never hopeless and even in the darkest hour there burns an overabundance of hope. I can then at least admit that though I may not have confidence in my grip, there is hope within my reach and that in and of itself is hope. So I sit with my small bit of hope in anticipation for the moment when I will be overwhelmed with hopeful feelings and a new perspective marked by new and positive progress.

Every struggle in life has left a path in its wake back to something valuable in which it was banished. The road is there; the struggle has carved this path, and my job is to walk through the battle, look over my shoulder as I pass it by and anticipate the glow in the distance that is unknown but is always, absolutely always exciting and remarkable.

Perspective, positive thought, and the willingness to confront life; that is all I need to find my way out of the struggle.

THE GRASS

MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

I fight each day to be a meaningful person. I do not wish to take from anyone, only give the small amount within myself. The point of life is to be useful. The hope in death is that I’ve given all of myself to the world so that there is nothing left to miss.

This path is often a lonely one – the world is a lonely place until you are prepared for it. So I work each day, sometimes alone, to prepare myself for the day when I am strong enough to join the ones I admire here on earth.

I bet we are a small group of people – lonely in the valleys and lonely on the peaks. It is the only way I know how to live – be it dwelling in the valley to bear crops for the mountain or raining from the peaks to give life to the valley I will work to remain useful. Then I will rest easy.