Alone in the Past

My toes hang over the precipice as I stare down into the void, each year hoping that this time it might be different, that I won’t fall into that vast chasm of loneliness in my heart, that this time, maybe, I’ll walk home feeling less alone than when I walked there. Maybe I’ll break through my shyness and meet a woman I might eventually find love in, maybe I’ll meet a stranger and through good conversation see the promise of a true friend.

This year, maybe I’ll find my way out of the shadows.

In the green room we again say our rushed hello’s and how are you’s as they all get ready for the night – the majority of the people living less than ten miles away, yet still I only see at most a few times a year, and then only at events. Again the questions invade my mind, wondering who I am to them, and who they are to me.

Though in conversation I would call many of them friends just for ease of description, I hold that title with a certain reverence – and with the exception of a scant few I wonder and doubt if it holds true any longer. Perhaps once upon a time it did, but now, these days, I feel as if I am nothing more than an apparition from the past, chained to their present and still trying to belong in a place I don’t anymore.

Each year I walk out my door with the hope that maybe this time, it will be different – but each year I walk home, again alone, again feeling lonelier than I was on my way there.

There was a time when I changed my life completely around somewhat frequently, a time where I earned and lived my chosen name of Flux – but that person was lost somewhere in the eighteen months in hospice and years after, teaching myself to walk again and rebuilding the atrophied muscle. All I was anymore was the guy who fought death and won.

Now it’s time to be someone different. It’s time to change. Time to let go of the past and who I was, and become, again, someone new. Something new to be known for – and possibly, be remembered for.

It’s time to step back from the edge of this oppressive loneliness, meet new people, and in the process earn my name again, and again make my dreams into reality.

After all – that’s what I’m good at.

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an empty victory

I avoid the mirror, the bloodshot eyes stained from the tears brought by years of frustration, 
I look instead inside, searching for an answer, a reason. 
Some sort of justification. Anything. 
The energy it took, the agonizing pain I forced myself to get past or swallow or get through, the stench of my own flesh decomposing, rotting away on my legs…
So many times I could have stopped fighting, so many times I wanted to. 
It wouldn’t have taken more than a few weeks until I went away, and if the pain got too unbearable I had the pills stashed. 
An hour at most, into one last dream – 
and then nothing but a name
forgotten in time.

But I had hope. I believed that things could be better.
That they would be.

How wrong I was.

So now, I search inside
for the passion
the rage
the anger
that i have found 
and hold so dear

I search for the love,
a reason,
a purpose…

but these past months
the deeper i go
the less i find and
the less i find a reason
to go on.

Seven years since I left the hospice, seven years fighting against the current, trying desperately to make it to calm water… 
and for what? For THIS fucking life? This life, where loneliness eats away at my heart, where I seldom know where the next meal is coming from, where I can’t even pay my bills.
This is not what I fought for. Not what I lived for – and I can’t help but think, at times, that I made a mistake.

But here I am. If it was a mistake, it’s already been made, and it’s far too late to give up now.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll sell some jewelry, maybe I’ll soon finally be able to buy a car so I can not only do the things I need for my business to make it grow, but escape this city and just drive until I find a place – a beach or forest somewhere, alone, where I can find my heart again.

Maybe.


Deciding to Live

It’s time for everything to change. Again.
I’ve become complacent, undisciplined – and I need to come back.

I’ve read countless books on motivation, habits, procrastination, visualizing, raising energy, and anything that I thought would help. Some were crap, many got me inspired – for a couple days. I could never follow through like I used to. Something inside of me had broken, and I didn’t have the constant challenge to survive to inspire me.

That is, as strange as it sounds, what I think I miss the most. The fear. The adversity. It’s what inspired me to act on the first day I walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf alone, in full statue dress & makeup. It’s what inspired me to create an online magazine when I didn’t even know the first things about creating a website.
But it wasn’t just the adversity that inspired me. It was the love. The love I had for what I was doing, and the love of walking through the fear and feeling like I did something that mattered on the other side.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what it was that made me jump into things that I had no idea how to do, and when I realized the answer a few days ago, it was so simple it was absurd.

The one difference, the only thing that will ever create a lasting change in my life, and let me take my jewelry business from more or less a hobby to what I want it to become, the only thing that is different from those things and this is:
I made a decision to do them.
That’s it.

I could read thousands of books, watch hundreds of Ted talks, listen to podcasts until my ears bleed, but that is little more than mental masturbation – letting me feel like I’m doing something of value when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just very clever procrastination.

Because I am afraid, and for some reason, I’m now letting that get in the way of doing what needs to be done. But that’s another something to look at and figure out another time.

I know that as much as I love making jewelry, there will be many times when I don’t. When I can’t find the right words for the “About” page, when I can’t think of what to write for a post on my site blog, and when I’m just not comfortable doing what needs to get done in order for this to grow. Without a solid, unwavering decision to do what it takes, I’ll never get to where I want. Never be who I want to be. Who I AM.

So it’s time for everything to change. Now.
It won’t be easy, not at first. I know that, and I’m expecting it – but eventually, as long as I show up and do the work, it will get easier. I just need to show up, and do the things that I need to, regardless of how uncomfortable I am with it or how afraid. I’ve been here before, and I know that, as long as I do what I need to, day after day, it WILL get easier.

And another thing I know: When I show up, so does the Universe – and doors that I’ve never even imagined will start opening to me.
They always have.

If you read this, please feel free to comment with what you think – and especially, call me out if you ever see me flagging.

Because there aren’t any excuses anymore. I’ll deal with the physical pain when it comes, and I’ll work through the fatigue. The time of floating is past, and it’s time to fly again.

I’ve made my decision.

 

Dying tends to take a lot out of you, I guess.

Early morning, finally a night that ended before the sky started to glow with the morning light. It almost wasn’t by choice – after a week of no more than three hours of sleep a couple times a day, the weariness of my body and mind revolted and actually took over my brain, making me think that 8pm was a fine time to go to sleep for the night. Under the condition that it let me wake up at 4am, we came to a compromise.

It was nice to shut my mind down, I’ll admit. to stop thinking about why I love to make jewelry so much, what my goals are, who my ideal customer is, mu core values and my “why” – all things that I need to consider, as apparently “because I like it” isn’t enough.
Of course, it is a reason, but it’s a safe one, one that doesn’t make you dig deeper inside of yourself for all the smaller reasons that make me “like it” – and without those, without digging down to the core of why I do what I do, and why I am growing more towards a particular style, it would be like Picasso answering a question of why he painted his wacky faces with something like “Well, I thought it looked cool”.

But it’s been a long time since I’ve truly questioned things like that, the strange thoughts swimming around inside of me, and why I am who I am. It’s like the time in the hospice took something away. As if the years after it have been far too placid, and all I needed to do was float along, slowly disappearing with only the memories of who I was left to fade in the minds of others as my own existence, my heart and mind, and my dreams – were slowly consumed by the grey fog of an unchallenged, dispassionate life.

It would have been easy to succumb to if I hadn’t tasted the beauty in the chaos of my life before the hospice, but now I find myself as a bird born into the wild might after it was caught, clipped and caged – every day looking out to the sky, its beautiful colors fading as it longed to again stretch its wings…

This is all over the place, this writing – but it’s necessary. With the words I’ll remember who I was, remember the chaos and passion that is still inside of me but muzzled by my own complacency.

It’s time to create my self again. To give birth to a dancing star.

To ask why, and remember the warrior inside of me.

out from underneath

It’s all in my mind.
I keep telling myself that, doing my best to rip it away, rip it out and discard it like I did most of the memories of my childhood, but it’s tricky. I tend to hold onto things.

I can almost trace it back to the exact time it started, this heart-hoarding. 1986. A call, telling me i would be dead within a year, or maybe a few months longer in excruciating pain if i wasn’t lucky. 19 years old, and all of the sudden all the time I thought I had wasn’t there anymore. I needed to remember it all. I needed a reason to die smiling.

Everyone else was doing what they should. I read the papers, heard about the vigils, and everyone else was behaving as expected, taking their last breaths in a timely manner.

A year passed, then two, then three, and every day for over a decade I would wake up and wonder if that was the day I finally got sick.

every single fucking day, when my mind was left to wander for even a few minutes, I remembered – I couldn’t forget – that every second mattered, and shouldn’t be forgotten.

It’s hard to break a habit like that, but I need to. I need to crawl out from underneath this shadow that has kept me from believing in any kind of future for myself.
Things need to change. need to change.

It’s all in my mind.

Flood Warning

It has been a long time.

The story resumes.

My story, searching endlessly for… for something. Peace of mind, success, purpose, recognition, validation – do we ever know exactly what it is? What would happen if we just stopped searching? If we just decided to be happy? Would our passion for life fade, or would it be made more solid?

Over these next few days this blog might not make much sense. There is a purge needed, a cleansing. I can’t move forward without letting go of the past, and, for me at least, the only way to do that is through writing – spelling it out, setting the thoughts down on paper or a screen is the only way to get them out of my head and move on.

For years I’ve noticed my thoughts – and as a result, my rare writing, has been growing increasingly unclear, like trying to look out at a familiar landscape through a train’s foggy window. I know it’s there, but I can’t see it clearly enough to follow – and the less I write, the thicker the fog gets, the less I see, the less I am clear enough to write the thoughts away.

I need to wipe the words out of my mind. I need to write, regardless of what comes out – and hopefully soon. Something might make a bit of sense again.

Writing has always been my best therapy, the only way that I’ve been able to take things down to their true meaning, find the real answers for what I need to do to move forward – and writing has always brought its own magick into my life, in one way or another.

Welcome to the purge. Should be interesting, if not fun – and if I do it right, if I’m able to rip away enough layers to get back to the way I *used* to write – it will probably piss a few people off.
And considering how completely fucking whiny the world has become due to so many people unable to take responsibility for their *own* issues, it’s almost guaranteed I’ll “offend” quite a few, as well.

I don’t give a fuck. If you’re offended, don’t read it – but don’t come moaning to me.

Moving Forward

Every morning I would wake up excited, the doors to infinite possibilities wide open & inviting me in. Decisions were sometimes made by careful deduction, but more often than not with little more than whim, the flip of a coin, direction of the wind, or the quiet, passionate desperation that endlessly seethes inside of me – the eternal need for the unknown, for adventure. To continually test myself with whatever blessing or adversity the Universe could conjure up to throw at me, and grow. And learn.

Plans to move to Boston fell through so I found myself in Austin volunteering for Katrina refugees in an artist’s forest. A new friend had never been to Burning Man so I promised her a ride from New Orleans, only being able to find a van to buy less than 10 days before we had scheduled to leave. I couldn’t find the magazine I wanted to read so I decided to create it, not having the first idea how I was going to, or even how to build a website – and four months after it launched was producing shows for the first time & winning awards.

Nothing could stand in my way. The world opened to whatever I sought or desired, and if it didn’t exist I created it. It felt like nothing could stop me, like this life I had shaped and formed and fashioned would keep storming ahead. I made my dreams so real, so beautiful, that they virtually fulfilled themselves…

…and then there was nothing. I felt like I was lying in the middle of a freeway, unable to move as life rushed by and all I could do was lay there, static in a world of action, decaying, decomposing, trying not to die.

And time passed. What was supposed to be a three month vacation turned into eighteen months of hell. People visited, some, I’m sure, expecting it to be the last time they saw me alive. I was good at reassuring them, I think, letting them believe I was fine, strong, getting better so that they would be more comfortable. I don’t think I ever expressed how terrified & unsure I was most of the time. I wouldn’t even let myself believe that. I couldn’t. Instead I focused on healing & what I would do when I walked out the door. When I could, I read feverishly. Studied quantum science, I taught myself to use my mind to heal my body.

It was easy to get to know the people in the hospice well, as it was only 14 rooms, 14 people at any time. You found out why they were there, created a familiar bond with them. Of the 15 who died in that time, I watched four with the exact same diseases and symptoms as I had give up and die – three of them younger with less severe symptoms. I’ll never know why. Was it the constant pain, or thinking there was nothing to live for? Had they forgotten their dreams?

I don’t know. I would just wake up and their room was empty, sterile, as if they had never been there.
I couldn’t let their deaths affect me. I couldn’t give in to the pain or the constant terror or the stench of my own flesh rotting. Up until the moment I walked into the hospice – those years had been the happiest of my adult life. I wanted them back.
I had to keep fighting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I walked out of the hospice just a little over six years ago.
All that time I have carried what happened, what I went through, on my shoulders & in my heart – and deep inside of it, I have also carried my sickness. Using it as a crutch, the only thing special about my present is my past – that I’m simply here. Alive, but not living. My life no longer moving forward the way it had been before it all went to shit, and I was left with nothing to hold onto but what I “had” done, instead of what I am doing.

I learned a lot about mind/body healing while in the hospice. I have absolutely no doubt that, as impossible as it was sometimes, if I hadn’t *known* I would live, I would have ended up just like those I watched while there – another sterile, empty room, my body carted out on a gurney behind the curtain of night.

But I still had work to do. Until I let go of that part of my past, I would always consider myself “sick”, and therefore never be able to be *truly* healthy, perfectly healthy – but it had turned into my identity. “The guy who didn’t die” was all I felt I was anymore.

At least until recently.

It feels, now, like I have a future, something to look forward to, and something that I’ve been looking *for* since the moment I walked out. Though it’s not close to enough to satisfy me fully – I still need a vehicle to get the fuck out on the road & just *drive* for days on end and find myself nowhere I’ve been before, I am creating again – I am frequently challenged, always learning, and I love designing & constructing my jewelry. And I have something to look *forward* to. I can let go of who I *was*.

The warrior awakens. There are new battles to win.

And you better fucking believe I will.