It begins.

Almost two weeks since I’ve returned, I shift into gear. The thoughts that swarmed through my mind in the oppressive yet beautiful silence coming to life.

Today I cut the steel drum out of an old washer – the first piece of my fire drums. (Cutting torches are fun.)

The rest of the pieces will come together – I will find the appropriate metals for the sound I’m looking for to cover the drums, the details already worked out in my head. Through the welding of these I will gauge my abilities, nurture them, work on what I need to until I fee I am good enough for my firefall heart – 11 to 13 feet high, shaped like the organ. It will be able to be entered and exited on the other side. Fire flowing inside like blood all around, a fuel carried on water. Falls, flows – Images of my life – the places the pain came from, inside and washed over by this fire, cleansed from my heart, released in the flame. A metal walking grate over a whirlpool of fire, if I can figure that one out. The entrance holds pieces of thin wood and pens, all who pass through it will – if they choose – write their own sorrows in the wood. Upon exiting, two cauldrons on pedestals, where you can put what you have written, the things you need to release – watch it burn away, let it go.

Just the beginning. Small details of the intricacy in my head. This will take some work – but it is my piece, very likely my only one – and I need to do it.

Regardless of how long it takes.

I need to find large pieces of sheet steel – not stainless. It needs to oxidize, to rust, to decay – and eventually, crumble into what once was.

Nothing is permanent.

So many other things going on – a circus gig on New Years, maybe a modelling thing if I decide it would be worth my time, slowly beginning to stretch and exercize these atrophied muscles and let them grow again (Gods, what happened to the BMX racing, cross country running, soccer, Track & field, baseball & Lacrosse playing, surfing, swim team, snowboarding, 13 year old almost summiting Mt. Whitney climbing, skateboarding, roof jumping, running like a fevered cheetah little kid that I was?).

Gods – when a person gives up on life, all else goes away as well. Heroin, Meth, Coke, whatever I could get my hands on, and there was never any shortage. Almost 20 years of decay. Time to get me back. Good thing my muscles have much more memory than I do. Some crunches and leg lifts, some stretches in the boredom of the brief moments of time we didn’t spend on our asses at the meditation thang, and my abs have already come back. The legs, however – with all of their wounds from the past, will take more work. If only there was something like a steady income so I could nourish myself as well… Workin’ on it.

Fuck, I’m babbling. So damn what? That’s what I do. Freight train of thought. Ain’t nothin’ stopping this fucker until it decides to.

Got an email from Em, the Dresden Dolls manager yesterday. In stead of sending me just one of their DVD’s that they flew me out to Boston for, she said she’s sending me “a few”. Why? Dunno, but I find it pretty damn cool. They’ve always been good – very good – to me. I should have known better than to date Brian’s ex, though – regardless of the fact that she didn’t tell me until much later in our game, and broke up with him *after* we had already begun. Such a fool I was. It should have ended there. I can’t help but laugh at myself.

babble babble babble.

Tomorrow, First Thursday, making money to support my habit to occasionally eat. Enjoying curling up with a nice warm Tea and sharing smiles. Loving the solitude of a closed tent and coming towards the end of The Bone People – a book I want to read over and over. Strange how I associate so well with all three main characters – also strange how in two completely different books the one I feel the most connected to is named Simon. Two of my fovorite books. I need to read Lord of the Flies again – it’s been years.

babble babble babble.

Love me some bourbon. Love getting out of my head, dropping the curtains of caring and consideration, imagining that no one is reading this, but loving that a few people might be. Wondering what happened to her, the unique one, one of two and one of one that never rightfully began and never rightfully ended. I get weary, daily thoughts, not yearning for the past but the possibility of the future. The past is dead. An email today that I couldn’t resist, a talk. With nothing returned, an innevitable disconnection. Time is short. I write too much.

babble babble babble.

I find it amusing how some people call me a poet. I certainly don’t see myself as anything like that – but perhape if Bukowski & I had drank and written together, there might be something to that. When people call me “beautiful” I can’t help remember a story of his, “The Most Beautiful Woman in Town” a story of a woman, remarkable in her beauty but loathing being known for it and only it – her flesh her figure, no-one knowing her, who disfigures herself… I need to read that again – I’ve forgotten most of it, read over 19 years ago when City Light Books was so available & I was hooked on Bukowski. As far as I remember, that’s the jist – or at least that’s what I took from it.

All the scars on my body, the poisoned blood, the diseases that could bring a slow and excruciating death to you and certainly will to me if I don’t jump in with my own actions – that is my deterrent. As much as I would love to – as much as I yearn to believe in the possibility of a beautiful family, I know that is truly impossible.

Fuck you. There may be a beauty inside of me, and I teuly believe that there is – but it is tainted with a strange self loathing based in past actions. I will never be a father, I will never be always. I will ove you as deeply as I can and push you away, for your own good. I stopped taking my meds months ago, with the permission of my doctor. The Fucking Austin clinic has not answered my email sent five days ago. I need to monitor my blood counts, I need to know where I stand, but – silence.

I’m really fucking sick of silence.

I think that’s way too much for tonight.

YAAAAAY, bourbon!

(Sorry for spitting all over your computer screen.)

I was reminded of an older post today by a beautiful friend in San Francisco, Tantra.

When I posted it in mid-October, it was more of a desperate attempt to remember all of these things, as at that point it seemed that little could ever get better. It was just a little over two weeks since Bean was killed by the freight train, and my life, my heart, and my mind were rapidly disintegrating into something I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.

Since then, thanks especially to the suggestion of the Vipassana course by Jennifer as well as immense love and support from old friends who know who I have been, or newer ones that could somehow see the possibility through the dense anguish that clouded everything, I have become the end of each of these lines instead of grasping in futility for them with raw and bloody fingers.

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,
A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy,
And a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss.
Out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable and whole,
While learning to sing.

-Rashani-

Thank you Tantra, for reminding me of this. Thank you Jennifer for initially posting it and suggesting the course. Thanks to all of you.

My soul has always sung, and loudly. Now, the songs are coming back, I’m remembering them, and there are symphonies inside (mostly Mahler, I gotta admit) returning the shine to my eyes and the smile to my face. Returning hope and trust in the Universe.

Returning Self to me.

Gods, I sound like a friggin’ new-age hippy. Sorry about that.

Here – let’s temper it with something horrible:

A little boy and a pedophile are walking in the deep, dark, woods. The little boy says,

“Mister, I’m scared! These woods are really creepy.”

The pedophile replies, “How do you think I feel? I have to walk back all by myself.”

Ah – I forgot to mention one of the most suprising parts of the previous evening.

As Seed and I were standing in the quick line to get in, I mentioned to her that it’s difficult not to pretend I’m back in San Francisco and look around for people I knew – but I’m in Houston, a city I’ve never been before, at an art exhibit that will be running for almost three months.

I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it pretty much came down to “It’s a small world – you never know.”

Later that evening, we were on the floor sipping our coffees, ane I look up and catch the eye of someone who looks familiar walking by, and hold the gaze – then start to smile.

Of all people, Creature is here. We gave eachother warm hugs, then he says; “Wha the fuck are you doing in my town?”

He’s visiting relatives for the holiday.

It’s such a fun and delightful feeling when you see someone you know randomly in a completely different part of the nation – and it’s someone you actually are really happy to see…

I love how wmall this world is sometimes.

lovely.

A long and beautiful drive with wonderful conversation – Seed and I talked about everything under the moon, for a large part centered around a quote from the artist Andrea Zittel –
“I am always looking for the gray area between freedom — which can sometimes feel too open-ended and vast—and security—which may easily turn into confinement.”

We talked about how desperately we are all trying to maintain that gray area, a very fine line and difficult to maintain if one isn’t always aware. I find myself always leaning much more to the freedom aspect, absolutely loving the idea that tomorrow can bring anything at all and literally within minutes I can be packed up and gone again, following the flow of life and dissapearing without a word. I adore this freedom, but deep inside there is, without question, the yearning for something solid, something that I can hold onto and call my own – a sanctuary that I can depend on to be there for me, a door I can open and close, inviting people in or keeping them out to preserve my beautiful and necessary solitude…
But freedom, the ability to follow the wind, the delight in being able to run with every whim I choose to, I don’t think I could give that up. This is something new to me in a certain degree – in this particular way. As a boy, it was there – the second time I ran away from home it was weeks before I contacted my folks in San Diego, simply saying “Hey, I’m in Berkeley now, very happy, very well, and don’t worry – I’m fine and I love you. There’s no way for you to contact me, but I’ll touch base every month or so…”

That was more of a desperate jailbreak than anything else – this is something else entirely. Chosen with the knowledge of 38 years spent balancing on the thin line between comfort and actually living life.

There is far too much to do before I die. Years ago this hit. It just took me a bit to find the roads to it. When the time was right, it offered itself and I accepted. I love my life.

But I digress.

The Basquiat exhibit was beautiful, we arrived just as DJ Spooky was going on, and I must admit – I was less than impressed but this person who is supposed to be an icon in the DJ world. Such little flow, mixes that didn’t flow at all – but I didn;t really come for the music, I came for Basquiat. I wandered around looking at the prolific collection on display, loving every second of it. Unfortunately Seed prefers to talk about the pieces, where I only want to look at them in my own silence, scanning first, then letting my mind direct my eyes to the parts that catch them. I don’t analyze, I don’t infuse a clinical aproac to my viewing of any art, and I never have. I choose to absorb, so see in silence. To let them wash over me and feel it instead of think about it. I believe that is how Art should be appreciated – with the soul and heart – not the mind. Let it go deeper, don’t talk, feel it. See what you see, and shut the fuck up. Let it say what it says to you, and don’t talk to me about it, as I will see it differently. Art is for personal interpretation, art is to be felt, not analyzed and ripped apart into all the cliche’s from art lessons and history and techniques and where these ideas came from and what they mean. Fuck that. I see what I need to, and in that, it means so much more. I frequently read the descriptions, but simply for background and a bit more clarity, but I still don’t want to talk about it…

The exhibit was beautiful. I maintained my silence without being an asshole to her, but her interjections, as much as I preferred not to hear them or be distracted, were still relatively few. We had a wonderful time, only leaving when we had too.

Switching tracks.

Yes. My recent amusement when I awoke yesterday morning.

I was recently called “a little melodramatic, overemotional”. At first, I passed on this in humor and agreement – but then yesterday woke with the realization that it was used as an escape from someting that could have been beautiful, and the fact of that disgusted me. Let’s see – melodramatic and overemotional. Well, yeah, but let’s look at the six weeks of my life directly before we began to know each other:
A child was born that should have been mine, years ago – and I was told by the ex that it had my eyes. I packed everything I could into a van for a move to Boston, to follow a new life. Midway through, the littlle princess twat I was travelling with couldn’t handle the adversities we faced on the way, and hopped the bus to the airport in Denver, taking all the money we had made together busking and leaving me with a little over $4 in change. Two days later, I was fired from a job that I loved like no other in my life – that was more fullfilling and more satisfying than any I had other I have had in my life. I ended up in Austin, a city that does its best to make it next to impossible to make money doing the art I do to survive, leaving me frustrated as hell and constantly trying to figure out a way to make money, something that was as simple as pie in seven other cities across the nation – and making it that more difficult to get the fuck out of here when that particular wind blows. Then, to top it off, the best friend I have ever had in my life, Bean, who has been with me nearly every day for five straight years, giving me love and stability and, without question, preventing me from taking my own life a small number of times, is killed.

Yeah. I sure as fuck was emotional. Try not to be when your life falls to shreds around and inside of you in the space of 45 days. That’s when we began to get to talk. Couldn’t have been a worse time to explore me.

It’s a pity that this person appears to have run away before they ever knew me. They’re one of the rare ones – but it seems as if the judgements were made before I did what I needed to do to come back.

I’m back.

I’m here.

I’m weary of unanswered emails, and will put no more one-sided effort into this. I don’t howl at the moon anymore. I wish I could say I didn’t give a fuck…

NOW, back to the Forest! A beautiful day for a yard sale.

A quik stop at Chris’ Liquors, then to my internet sideoftheroad spot. For the first time in three weeks the bourbob slides doen my throat – although not necessarily painlessly.

A few minutes and I’m off to The Basquiat exhibit in Houston, and absolutely thrilled about that – DJ Spooky will bw present & performing, and it should be a delightful evening. Art. Good. I’ve never seen Basquiat’s works in person before…

Wanted to write a bit more about something I woke up this morning chuckling to the absurdity of – something someone said to me in an email recently – but it will have to wait until next time. I must go.

Adiosa.

Basquiat tomorrow with Seed – Huzzah!

(Odd how little I feel like writing these days – so little that I need to get out anymore. The drama has subsided, peace and awareness and whateverthefuckhappens,happens is so new and beautiful. So incredibly content with me, alone and not lonely at all…)

Out of 64 possible outcomes…



You’re Siddhartha!
by Hermann Hesse
You simply don’t know what to believe, but you’re willing to try
anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you’ve spent
some time in every camp. But you still don’t have any idea what camp you belong in.
This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It’s
time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in
ferries.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

(Of COURSE I believe in ferries! I saw them every day down at Fishermans Wharf, going to Alcatraz, to Marin – they really do exist!)

(Or perhaps they meant Fairies? Ya think?)

kSea go POP

Ohhh, me belly. An exquisite feast – and so incredibly much to be thankful for, but fuck just today – Thanksgiving day is a farce to me – how can one celebrate the barbaric eradication and confinement of such a beautiful people? How can we possibly be thankful for that? Tonight I insisted (and everyone was in full agreement) that we listen to Burroughs’ “A Thanksgiving Day Prayer” at oportune times… but enough of the bitterness.

Still, when I am able to escape the disgust, there is a pure and sincere appreciation, for my life and the fact that I am still living it, for all of my dear friends, for the lessons and trials that have lelped me become who I am today. I am conciously thankful every single day for these things, and so much more.

Thank you.

…..

In other news, I am going to try to pull off getting here: http://www.mfah.org/musicseries/ this Saturday. A couple other people will probably come with me. If anyone else wants to join, let me know.
This exhibit doesn’t end until February 12th, so it is very likely I will make another trip to Houston to see this one again and go on a museum tour for a day before it is over. If you can’t make it Saturday, there will be another – I’ve got an art jones goin’ on…

(I miss SF MOMA!)

Calm mind, Rat back.

Each day, each hour, it gets better. The adjustment back into people and general life was difficult at first – very difficult. I wondered if I was losing myself again, but then I sit alone, quietly, and it all comes back – the beauty, the calmness, the strength and the awareness, and each time it gets stronger. The fear is now gone. My eyes shine, I speak with sincerity, my heart is not the shrunken and blackened thing it had become, heavy and bringing me down with it, thirsting for and being kept alive only in sorrow and misery, in need and craving digging up all the pains of my past and re-living them. Honestly, I believe the misery was one of the few things that kept me from joining Bean under the train – that, and the desperate belief that things might get better. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t certain. I was terrified. I was so incredibly close to a silent Good Bye…

That was then, less than two weeks ago, and almost every day since September 27th. Ten days have changed my world. It was painful, it was grueling, it was nothing I ever wanted to do, but knew I needed to do for myself – and those dear to me. It was the best thing I have ever done.

I now sit in my tent, a small “fireplace” of eight candles battling the cold, listening to Mahler and loving the peace of the night. The scarf that Cole knitted for me months ago in San Francisco increasing the warmth, the hands that constructed it still caressing my neck while it is worn, bringing a warm smile. Fond memories of selecting the yarn (is it yarn?) with her.

Yes and yes, life is better. My heart is light, full, open. My smiles are sincere again, I feel the energy coursing through my body, and I am alive. My mind is calm, aware, strong. The desperation has subsided, the person who took the slightest thing and built it up into an explosion of irrational intensity has been put to rest. I rest. No more night sweats, no more torment in the dreams I dreamt, and plans for so much – plans that I will follow through on. Tomorrow I cut out pieces to make fire drums, (I need to teach myself to play drums!) run through the forest (time to start working out again) and hit a couple of malls asking the managers if it would be possible to set up inside of them for the holidays. Beautiful plans for a Thanksgiving in The Enchanted Forest, an intricate fire fountain that I need to create, building a bicycle out of all the carnage we have laying around here – so much to do. I love it. I have energy to live again, to create, to love without being so self fucking centered about it. To love without giving a damn if it’s returned, like I needed to hear so desperately for the past few months. An entirely different kind of love. One that is light and free, given because there is so much of it inside of me.

Yes and yes, I am happy. Bordering on Bliss, because everything is peace, my mind is quiet, my heart is open again, and needs nothing from anyone else. The drama subsides, the over-emotional little boy so sucked up in abandonment issues has been put to sleep for now.

But hell – my entire body still aches from almost ten complete days of kneeling and sitting. Anyone have an incredible desire to give me a massage? Whit, Kevin – want to fly out here and double CMTeam me?

One piece of the course I will share right now – on the 5th day, we began a practice that required us to remain in posture, for one hour three times a day, without changing position at all. This was called “Sittings of Great Determination”, which, in seeing it posted on the bulletin board in the male dining hall, my mind immediately transformed into “Rats of Unusual Size”. This was strangely prophetic – the rats are still crawling around in my back…

To sleep – to dream beautifully, to create something new each day, to run through the forest , to exercise and work out, to keep breathing, living, loving like I don’t give a damn. I don’t. There’s no reason to. It’s pure that way, no need…

Make good dreams.

chocolategooeyfudge walnut brownie mix, check.
vanilla bean ice cream, check.
huge bottle of red wine, check.

Still not used to being back around people, not even at the Forest. When I first got back to the Forest – after being back in Austin for a couple of hours doing everything I could to postpone contact, I found myself getting out of the van, shutting the door quietly, almost sneaking around – taking the long way around down to the grandmother tree by the bridge to climb up in it and just stand for a while, then walking back up and only coming to sit with Mote & Albert when they see me going to my tent. More people come and go, as usual.
I sit quietly, enjoying and appreciating them all but only wanting to really see one. So much to say…
I didn’t think the re-adjustment back into the populace would be this difficult, but it’s good.

Beruzula gave me a warm and lovely hug when she saw that I had returned, the only physical contact I have had in eleven days.

Time for gooeywarm brownies with ice cream. I’ve been thinking about this for days.

Well, that, and a bajillion other things. It’s truly amazing where a mind will wander and what pieces of the past it chooses to conjure up in almost ten complete days of silence, meditating much of the entire day beginning at 4:30am.

Brownies. Ice cream. Wine.

Forest people are welcome to swing by so I can share them with you – just don’t expect me to be saying much – unless you bring more wine. Then who knows what the hell will happen?

I’m back.

Still, much processing to do, but there is a tranquility and strength in me that I haven’t felt for several months. I believe Kevin and Berlin Jessica were some of the few to see the man I was, then witnessed the strange decay as things began falling apart, one after the other, in my life. Still, I held strong, I kept smiling through it…

Then, the past couple of months. Adversity has always been my friend, I’ve always floated through it, occasionally been broken but come out shining on the other end. I always had my anchor, the best friend I have ever had in my life who kept me positive, kept me remembering love and kept me knowing that things would always get better. Then she was killed, and I came closer than I ever have been to being destroyed.

Over the past ten days, I saw the whithered and blackened husk of the man I once was, the thing I had become, the thing that was not me, believing only in misery anymore, carrying a shriveled heart and grasping desperately at just one thing that I could hold on to…

Still so many things swirling through my mind, but beautiful things this time. There will always be the pain, but the suffering is washing through, I’m accepting it and letting it go, and I am growing again into the man I used to be.

I’m back.

I’d like to get to know you.

(Hello.)

Okay, I wasn’t going to write anymore, but this needs to be put down.

Just about to smoke one more cigarette and leave, I decide to draw a rune, asking what is the thing I need to most be aware of through the course. I drew a rune which was perfect, then put it back in my bag. Then, as I sometimes do for more information, I drew another rune, asking for more clarity.

Out of 25 runes, I drew the exact same Rune the second time.

Uruz

Strength
Manhood/Womanhood
The Wild Ox

“The rune of terminations and new beginnings, drawing Uruz indicates that the life you have been living has outgrown its form. That form must die so that new energy can be released in a new form. This is a rune of passage and, as such, part of the Cycle of Initiation.
Positive growth and change, however, may involve a descent into darkness as part of the cycle of perpetual renewal. As in nature, this progression consists of five aspects: death, decay, fertilization, gestation, rebirth. Events occurring now may well prompt you to undergo a death within yourself. Since self change is never coerced-we are always free to resist – remain mindful that the new life is always greater than the old.
Prepare, then, for opportunity disguised as loss. It could involve the loss of someone or something to which you have an intense emotional bond, and through which you are living a part of your life, a part that must now be retrieved so you can live it out for yourself. In some way, that bond is being severed, a relationship radically changed, a way of life coming to an end. Seek among the ashes and discover a new perspective and a new strength.
The ancient symbol for Uruz was the aurochs, a wild ox. When the wild ox was domesticated – an immensely difficult task – it could transport heavy loads. Learn to adapt yourself to the demands of such a creative time. Firm principles attach to this Rune. At the same time some humility is called for, since in order to rule you must learn how to serve. Uruz puts you on notice that your soul and The Universe support the new growth.”

The same rune.

Twice in a row.

That’s only happened once before – over 12 years ago, shortly after I made my runes. I drew one, and it was the blank rune, which didn’t make sense at all. I poured out my runes on the table, and lo and behold, two blank runes. I found the rune I had forgotten to mark painted it, let it dry, then put them all in the bag again.

I drew the rune I had just painted. The one that was supposed to have that mark on it, but didn’t yet.

The tent is closed up, cleaned out so I don’t return to a mess, the unfinished book laid on my pillow awaiting my return.

I’m absolutely thrilled about this. Nervous, but thrilled.

I’m gone.

My last written words for almost eleven days go here now. I leave mid-morning tomorrow.

Actually, that may not be entirely be true, as I will check my emails one last time on the way to the retreat tomorrow and answer any that I absolutely need to, but yeah – this is pretty much it. Actually, I will probably answer all of them desperately, for that one last taste of writing.

Tomorrow morning I will exchange my last spoken words to anyone but “the Teacher” for the same amount of time, and those will only be when necessary. There will be no interaction with anyone else, though they will be all around. I am supposed to imagine myself alone. I don’t believe that will be much of a problem at all.

Natural, even.

After feeling sick for a number of days I finally am feeling better – both in my mind and body. I’m active, I’m smiling, I think my mind is working again, and not wrapped up in all of the recent pressures of life. I was so much not me, it’s nice to reach down and pick myself up again, dust myself off and have new goals that I can achieve here, in the forest. I’ve wanted to learn how to weld since I worked with Steg and English Don in NYC at my first job working on motorcycles, watching them do the occasional welding and wanting to know more about it, but in fear of being a hassle, a thorn. Then, my first two beads put down years later in San Diego with Ross, our metal fabricator, looking over my shoulder, not saying a word. I know the method, I had watched him many times. I sucked it in andI pulled the rod away, flipped up the welding mask and was not incredibly satisfied with what I saw, but he looked at it briefly but closely, looked at me with raised eyebrows and said “nice.” He left shortly after that because his art was starting to pay. I haven’t welded since. I will now, and I will create something that I believe in. Since before ’03 Ive wanted to, being in San Francisco and seeing all the things that people were creating. On the Playa the need grew, and a hundred ideas came but everything that was past my ability – ideas of amazing things because they would be beautiful, and beauty just wasn’t enough, and I never sought out the resources.

Now, I have an homage to a past life that I want so desperately to leave, and become me again in the washing of sweat, blood, and creation.

Fuck. Babbling, I am. But so damn what – I actually feel happy again, truly happy, and confident in my life. It’s been a horribly long time.
I had a brief but good conversation with Albert tonight, for the first time told him about Blue and why Blue isn’t here. he told me that he wished we had decided to keep it/him. (Both Michelle and I knew it was going to be a boy…) I told Albert about what I wanted to do, and why. I told him that it needed to stretch me to my limits, I told him I wanted it to be huge and I have many concepts but not a form.

He said that that was something that is necessary. He understood. He, above all people I know, knows the release in creating sacred art.

I will make a thousand mistakes, I will throw tools at the piece, I will scream in frustration. There are none of these I haven’t done before, but I don’t give up. Not when my soul needs to be healed…

Okay. that’s it. Be back in elevenish days.