(Begun)Saturday night, roughly 12:30am. GrassFish 2016
Post laydown recharge –
(Semi-completed) Monday, 5.17.16, the early waking hours before my feet hit the floor…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m tempted to say that I almost didn’t make up here, but now, ultimately, I know better. Some things are simply *meant* to happen, and we end up using more effort to ignore and fight the call than we would simply listening to the ‘Verse and accepting that it will *always* know what we need.
Of course, it’s simple to ignore or simply not notice, to have what *you* thought remain true to your expectations. It’s safe to remain in the bubble that we’ve created and go on with our daily lives, digging for any excuse available to remain in our world of woe-is-me. I never was like this before. Before the hospice.
I’ve let fear take over my thoughts.
A few months ago when this event was announced, a week of camping on a sublime campground 3 hours north of San Francisco, at that moment I resigned myself to most likely not being able to join.
All of the reasons and rationalities ran through my head in a valiant attempt to justify my decision: Finances, first & foremost. I had already asked for and received, in my mind, more than I deserved. Even though it was to help keep me alive, it still felt – will always feel – like I am asking for too much. If I asked for something simply to *enjoy* life instead of not dying, that would be abusing the kindness that has already been shown – and could possibly take away from the assistance that I actually *need* in the future to not only stay alive, but in the effort to get well.
Then of course there was Ruby, my dog, my companion, the one, who with her smiles and snuggles and dependency on me takes the sharpest edges off the loneliness that is an ever-increasing part of my world… and of course, the book project. Losing myself in the work & words & all of the things that need to happen so *it* can happen… no. I need to work. To dig my way out from under the poverty that keeps me stuck here, to finally be able to give back.
In my mind, it was settled. I simply couldn’t go to GrassFish.
I’ll tolerate the daily drudgery because the daily drudgery is easier than actually changing the ways that have been set for me – but that is *NOT* me. I wondered who this person was that I had become, wondered how this fearful bastard took control.
I looked back to the time before the sickness took hold of me, to that very moment I gave everything that I was *supposed* to do up and ran with a smile & wild look in my eyes to the edge of the cliff – and jumped – not even knowing if I even had wings but hoping that they might unfold… and if they didn’t, if my body & soul was shattered on the razor-sharp rocks below, then so be it.
I was done being someone else’s pawn, someone else’s work-horse.
I wanted to remember who I wanted to be, and become that person who I dreamt of as a child.
And I was more than willing to pay any cost to find him. To find, for the first time… me.
And I fell. I lost my car, had to sell off everything that I could simply to feed my dog & me in-between the odd-jobs I took – at one point I couldn’t help but laugh as I was surrounded by over $7,000 worth of original French Art-Deco lamps to rewire & had $3 & change in my pocket… but even though I was broke, hungry, and days away from getting the eviction notice on my apartment – something felt more right than it ever had before. With the odd-jobs I was helping people, and the stain left on my soul from my last “official” job was fading. I was absolutely terrified of what might happen next, but I had never felt so alive. There was a strange feeling inside that I remember then, hidden behind the terror and uncertainty, but at certain times it was much stronger and edged its way out to the front. The closest I can come to naming it is genuine happiness… the kind of happiness that begins at the core of your soul and makes your entire mind & body tingle, adds a vibrant light behind your eyes and a peacefulness in every motion you make.
I was doing something right. I was becoming me – and it was noticed.
From that moment on, it was easy to compare, in a way, to Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Things started falling into place. A dear friend hooked me up with a band that I had performed with before called The Dresden Dolls, and I started working with them – organizing performers for their shows around the world from wherever I could find a place to sleep after I was evicted – from a fetish dungeon (with rooms for all types of fetishes) to artist warehouses, friends couches and gods, the stories…
From being flown out to Boston, coming back to San Francisco, deciding to move there and being re-routed in route… just going wherever I was pointed, making the best of wherever I ended up.
I can’t say I wasn’t afraid, but I didn’t let the fear control me – and the world just kept opening itself up to me, as if everywhere I went there was the proverbial red carpet laid out on the roads and in my mind…
I created an online magazine, produced events, and even won an award. There was no stopping me…
and then I got sick.
Even though I somehow lived through that, the fear was so unknown & intense – knowing that at literally any moment I could die – that I don’t think I was ever able to shake it.
I still carry that fear, and only when this camping event came up and it came to the point that it would have taken more effort to hold onto it like a child’s security blanket and not go to GrassFish1 did I realize that the fear that I had worked so hard to move through in the past was now, again, acting as a barrier against living the life that I wanted.
When Tanya Mia offered me tickets, a place to sleep, and food when up there at the last moment, I still fought it. I couldn’t find someone I trusted enough to watch my dog, Ruby, with so little time to spare. Hells – I only had 1 day and with my mind battling me, couldn’t think of anyone… but wait, maybe? I sent a message, and the first person was busy. Good. See? I was right. I can’t go, but thanks.
But then there was another person I thought of. A long-shot as they’re usually busy and active, but… and then the reply came back. They can watch her but won’t be available until late Friday after work.
Okay. Now, a ride…
Ultimately, it worked out, and I was a fool for fighting it so hard – but through it all, I learned what I needed to –
1) that I need to let go of this fucking fear that’s been clinging to me ever since I was dying in the hospice. For nearly six years it has been controlling me, weakening me, and I have been losing me. It’s time to come back.
2) that this book is going to be terrifying to write – but I’m more familiar with fear than most, and I will do it. Hell – I’ve already begun. It is the greatest thing I can give. I lived a life that I couldn’t even imagine at the time and became who I wanted to be. I went (and continue on) a great journey, one that has taken me from the shining top of life to the depths of watching my own flesh decompose but I wasn’t willing to go I had to live and… and as I did what I swore I would do and danced out the door of the hospice, called a “miracle” by the nurses and nurse assistants who (understandably) pegged me for dead…
If I can help or inspire even one person with this book, that’s all I need.
Now, time to write a book.
We are ALL going to win.
1- GrassFish is a mid-year campout that has been going on for… I don’t know, 5-7 years? Born from a Burning Man
camp created by Lord Huckleberry & Opal Essence a long time ago named DustFish. By FAR, the best camp on the Playa.
Kitty’s incessant diatribe on the way up was able to keep me out of my head for the most part, not giving me a chance to dwell on what I would say to her, how to prepare myself for every reaction possible – from breaking down in tears to opening the front door solely to spit in my face and give me the finger through the door window as she turned & walked away with her finger still held above her head.
The drive was exquisite once we got onto CA 128, the final 45 mile stretch to her house along twisted mountain roads, trees & pastures everywhere and occasionally following a small river on the right. In some places, the trees stretched to meet in the middle of the road creating a canopy, and though I had driven this road to my mother’s house three times earlier, seeing and admiring the same things – this time I looked at it as if they were protecting me, hugging me and saying “whatever happens, it will be all-right – one way or another.
A subtle smile lifted my lips. I know, but I had forgotten for a moment. Thank you for reminding me.
What frightened me the most was the possibility that she wouldn’t be there. Kitty had driven all the way from Sacramento to do this for me when he noticed that no one else was offering – & it pissed him off. (though that is not *at all* why I wrote the posts & I don’t think I even implied it) & the largest fear I harbored was – what if we got there, and she wasn’t home? What if there were no answers found, what if the 12 hour trip for him was just to leave a note on her door?
As we pulled into the dirt driveway, I noticed her car there, the lights in the living room on. She was home. Ohshit. Here I go.
I walked slowly, willing my feet to take each step and trying not to think of anything. Whatever happens – well, that’s how it’s supposed to be… but damnit, ‘Verse – you’ve already made me strong enough, haven’t you? I mean – what the HELL do you have planned for my future if I need to be even stronger?
I could see her through the clear glass in her door – breaking crackers as she tried to spread cheese on them, and looking terrifyingly frail & weak. I waited what felt like an eternity before I knocked (though it was probably only about 30 seconds) and she turned towards the door, squinting. No lights on outside, I knew she could only see a reflection. She told me to come in…
Hey, ma… Surprise?
I walked over to her chair & crouched down in front of her. “So. What the fuck?”
We hashed it out over the hour – I did my best to try and make sure she knew how her lack of contact confused me, how much it ripped apart my fucking insides not knowing if she just decided to bag up her puppy & throw him in the river, or if it was something on her end. Something that was inside her keeping her from answering my messages or letters.
I could see she was in horrible shape – barely able to walk, had fallen twice in the past few weeks – hell, we even had matching black eyes. It hurt as I looked at her, how feeble she was, how fragile. I want to fix that. I want to fix everything for her.
She told me that was a large part of it – she had gone into a depression, hating getting older, and as the time increased it became more & more difficult to call or write…
I couldn’t help but softly chastise her, reminding her that she’s not the only player in this, and that she was being selfish as hell. I kept looking into her eyes, searching for something – I don’t know what. Maybe just comfort, understanding…
Most of the conversation was mundane talk about each others health, about my book, about my brother’s girlfriends good & bad. I don’t give a damn about my brother’s girlfriends… and me being me, I told her that. This moment was about us and what happened – and how it was going to be changed.
I gave her a pass this time – told her that it all begins again, right now and that she had better fucking call me – frequently.
And then, it was time to go. Kitty needed to make it back to Sacramento, I had to get back to Ruby.
I would like to feel more confident that something changed, that she will call, will write… but I’ll only know that in time. It will be even a greater time before I can trust her, before I begin taking my walls down again.
She slowly stood up from her chair, and we shared a long hug. I looked again into her eyes when we separated… and I think I saw whatever it was I was looking for, before I turned & walked out the door – looking back once as I shut it behind me.
The trip up there was more than necessary, and much of the pain inside was laid to rest inside of me – but not all.
We’ll see what happens.
This is what it has come to. this is what needs to be done – and I’m fucking terrified… but I can’t let that stop me.
Dressed, drinking my mate’, a smoothie, taking all the herbs and trying to breathe. Trying not to think of what I will say, and trusting that the right words will come. The heart can’t be scripted.
It’s been set up, arranged, the best possibility of a time to catch her at home… and it’s happening.
A friend is driving down from Sacramento, grabbing my ass, and then we make the 2.5 hour trip up to Philo, where I surprise my mother on her doorstep.
I haven’t heard from her in over 10 months – I’ve left 30 or more messages, sent three letters… and still, no word from her.
What hurt the most was that there wasn’t even a birthday card sent. I mean fuck – I would have been fine if it were just completely void of words… just SOMETHING. Something… from her.
A heart-ripping contrast to only two years before, when she sent 7 birthday cards, each saying a little something.
I’m terrified… but this is something that needs to be done. The longer it sits inside of me, the more potent the poison becomes. All I want to know is one thing… why? What do you need? (Okay, two.)
Just… tell me to stay, or go away again… this time, forever. I’ll respect whatever you want. After all, saying goodbye was the very first thing you taught me, remember? Of course you do. It’s the very first thing I learned; having your smell, your heartbeat, your voice and everything that was peace & comfort ripped away from me as they took me from your arms.
You made me stronger than you realize, mom. I know what alone means better than most everyone – and I have done well.
I did the one thing I intended to do, which was live long enough to meet you.
I just didn’t expect you to be so wonderful.
I didn’t expect… to love you.
So, today, hopefully, something will be understood. I’ll do whatever you wish – just tell me.
I am, after & through it all – your first-born. I am your son… and even if I never see you again after today – I always will be.
At least nothing or no one can EVER take that away from me.
I took them down today.
Each day as I sat at my computer desk, I looked up & there she was – there we were, smiling as if we had both won the impossible lottery & holding each other tight. It was the first time we had met, & I remember her thin fingers around me, her thin sinewy arms pulling me in tighter as if she was afraid to let me go again. Neither of us had a choice the first time she let go.
I was happy to stay, my arms saying the same things that hers did, never wanting to let go. This time, I had a choice. I had strength. We both had a choice.
Yet just as before, the choice needed to be made by both of us. It couldn’t work otherwise.
It has now been over 10 months since I last heard from her, and as the days & weeks progressed the images that I had of the first photos of us on nearly every wall in my apartment began to diminish in the joy they once brought me. My heart grew darker when I caught them in my gaze & I found myself quickly turning my eyes away if I happened to accidentally catch one in my sight.
This morning, I cleared my walls of any images of us. I wish I could say it was cleansing, that I felt better once it was done – but it only brought more anger & sorrow, raised the questions I still have again – the questions that were only met in silence… and I can’t help but wonder, just as I did every day as a child and nearly every day after that… what is wrong with me?
Perhaps something else I’ll never have the answer for…
all I know is that they never stay – but I always keep the pictures. This time however, I’m not fucking giving up so easily. Whatever may be wrong with me, I’m better than the way I’m being treated by her – and after searching for her for 25 years, after all I’ve been through – I deserve some goddamn answers.
If I had a car I would be on her doorstep within the next few days demanding them – I don’t give a fuck if it isn’t “fair” to her. She doesn’t get to pull this shit….. but as it is without a car, all I can do is send unanswered letters.
I fucking hate feeling helpless.
I then go online and the first thing I read is of David Bowie’s passing… and there is nothing left to say.
I leave one message for her, then another after a few days, a week… then twenty, thirty over the months. After a short while I find I’m talking to her answering machine, having almost conversations, telling it what I’ve been up to, how my day was, my week. It’s silent as I tell it that I think I’m getting better, that I wish she could meet some of the amazing people who are helping to keep me alive…
but it’s never her.
It must be around eight months now, maybe nine since I’ve heard my Mother’s voice – or heard from her at all. There’s been some amazing news that I told her answering machine; I’ve met my Blood Father with whom, on that fated New Years Eve of ’66/’67, she created me. The last time we talked, when he & I were only barely beginning to plan it, I asked her how she felt about me meeting him, & she said she was completely cool with it – “He’s a really sweet man.”, She said. He is… I was in & out of the hospital, been cured of Hep-C.
My Birthday has long since come & gone. The day she watched as I took my first breath… the day that only after we met meant anything to me slid by without a word from her.
I went to a small party which only by coincidence was the same day – dusted off & put on the well-practiced smile that hides everything else churning & twisting beneath the surface so that no one knew & it didn’t dampen the moods of my friends.
Hell, over this lifetime its gotten to the point where even I believe the mask I wear for those moments,,, until I get home, check the mailbox and again find it empty.
Maybe everything is broken, and she’s not getting any of my messages. Maybe she doesn’t check them. Maybe it is just too much for her and she has left me with nothing but silence, confusion, – and far too few beautiful memories of the times we had together… just like the others.
Maybe I did something wrong.
Maybe… this was a mistake. Maybe there was something past the smile that I never saw, the few times I was able to get up there to see her. An uncertainty, a fear…
Maybe I planted myself in her life too quickly and grew up too fast in the 47 years since she last saw me, one day a baby fresh from her womb, and the next, a man who has already lived a full life that she wasn’t allowed to be a part of.
Maybe, I did something wrong.
Maybe… I’m broken.
I’ve sent two letters now, another one will arrive for her shortly after thanksgiving. I’m thinking of sending a stamped & addressed envelope in this one. Maybe with a note to me with multiple choice answers.
Great to get your letters. I’m doing a)great b)pretty good c) busy, and I/I’m a)VERY sorry b) insanely busy with work c) have been feeling kind of down, but/and meant to write/call…
My ½ sister – her daughter, who I talk to about mom every month or so when we go to the archery range or dog park says not to worry; that maybe mom is feeling bad because she wasn’t able to be here for me, and she’s been a bit depressed lately anyways, not really being able to get around due to her recent hip transplants, or….or….
If I had a car I would have been up there long ago – maybe.
Probably. I understand the need & desire to be alone, but this has gotten to the point where it has just fucking become selfish.
It’s been 2 years & 6 days since the first time in my life I saw my Mother’s face. Could hold her in my arms. Could, at last, after 46 years… feel wanted. I found the heart that I belonged in.
I think of her every day, miss her – especially now, with the holidays here & looming, a time when we should be together – if even only through a phone call.
She always seemed so excited to see me in the few times I’ve been able to get up there.
Maybe she had a change of heart, and closed the part where I seemed to fit so perfectly before.
Maybe there will be a beautiful letter in a plain white envelope waiting for me in my mailbox tomorrow.
I don’t know.
Her answering machine ain’t talking.
THE OFFICIAL EARLY-BIRD LAUNCH IS FINALLY OPEN!
(More details about the book in here, but just skip to the bottom if you wish to get straight to the special Early-Bird Supporter Rewards & details.)
Fire-breather, stilt walker, street performer, traveler. Harley-Davidson technician, Hazardous material controller, Hurricane Katrina volunteer, artist, writer, published poet, online magazine creator, event producer… I have lived many amazing lives, realized many dreams – but the story came terrifyingly close to ending before I had a chance to make my most important dream come true…
“kSea flux [Casey Porter] is a living embodiment of artistic spirit. He throws himself completely into his work and fears nothing but the chance to gain access to new and more bizarre talents.”
~ Amanda Palmer, Author, singer & songwriter, TED Speaker, etc. ‘The Dresden Dolls’, AFP
On October 6th, 2010, at the recommendation of my doctor, I was accepted and admitted to a private, 15 room hospice/respite in San Francisco called Maitri. What was scheduled was a 3 month stay to offer me rest & care to get my fight with Hepatitis-C under control.
A couple weeks after I sauntered through the front door, my life took a grim & completely unexpected twist.
My body began to shut down, and it meant business. What was supposed to be only 90 days of care & healing was re-scheduled a bit – and became 18 months of fighting for my life.
Western medicine has its limitations, and unfortunately I was no match for them. When I saw that not even my doctors or nurses expected me to live and had generally resigned themselves to making my last days as comfortable as possible – it was then I knew I had to take things into my own hands, because I sure as hell wasn’t ready to die. Screw going gently into that good night – I was going to rage. (Thanks, Dylan Thomas!)
There was also one thing that I still needed to do. The largest thing I had ever dared dream, & I had already invested over 25 years of my life into – finding my Birth Mother, and the Father that didn’t know I existed.
Dying was not an option I gave myself. I fought it with everything I had inside of me, and there was a daily battle I faced at times to not only believe that I could live, but questioning whether I wanted to. It would have been so much easier to give up, let nature take its course, and quietly fade from this life. I had stashed away enough morphine to make it easy… but every single time, something made me put the pills back in the bottle, hidden for perhaps another day.
This will not be an easy story to voice, but it needs to be. I must go back to what I was thinking & feeling at the time (which, at times, wasn’t pretty) in order to say what needs to be said – but I didn’t go through the hell I did to selfishly keep this story & all I’ve learned from it locked inside.
It can help people, & it needs to be told. I have not only survived, but I am living. I am thriving, and continuing to chase down my dreams.
By the way – I have found my Birth Mother(!), and she’s awesome. We’re getting to know each other, and I’ve even been able to see her a few times.
I also, just a month ago at the end of September, found and contacted my Birth Father who had no idea I even existed – and he’s excited to get to know me. We’re excited to know each other – 47 years of catching up should give us plenty to chat about.
This is an unapologetic, pull-no-punches, authentic, inspiring and even sometimes laugh-out-loud story about transformation, personal growth, doing what you believe is right and fighting like hell for it…
Though the specific journey written about in this story is solely mine, there is something in it for absolutely everyone who has ever faced – or ever will face a seemingly impossible challenge – or pretty much any challenge at all.
In order to have it published and promoted, in order for it to get out there and be able to help people, I need your support! It’s a huge project, and it will take more than me to get it done – but I’ll do nearly all the work.
I am anxious and THRILLED to finally get this going, so I am offering Limited Edition Rewards for a short time during the one & only:
KICK-ASS EARLY BIRD PRE-STARTER REWARD SPECIAL!
***Ends COMPLETELY on Sunday, December 7th!***
Early-Bird Reward Details!
All supporters will be noted and thanked* in my (brand new) book blog, (https://notgoinggentlybook.wordpress.com/ ) where they will get updates, more details about the book and it’s process. Supporters also will be allowed into a special section of the blog with behind the scenes videos, posts, photos, and content solely for them!
*If you wish to remain anonymous, please send note with your paypal donation message – and Thank You!
Support should be sent through Paypal.com to this email address created specifically for the Book Campaign:
*All levels in the Early-Bird Campaign magically include a digital download AND a hard copy of the book!
Book Release Planned For Tuesday, September 15, 2015!!!
And Now –
THE AWESOME REWARDS for YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT!
- Digital & Hardcover copy of my book.
- Absolutely amazing good karma.
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
- Digital & Signed hardcover copy of my book, personally thanking you for your support!
- Wonderfully Incredible Karma!
- A Virtual Hug & Kiss (if you’re into that sort of thing.)
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
$100 (Only 20 Available!)
- Everything in the $50 level plus:
- A hand-crafted (by me) leather book-mark, each one awesome, different & original. (Not just a slab of leather – it’s going to be special!
- A personalized, handwritten poem by me. To you, thanking you.
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
$200 (Only 20 Available!)
- Everything in the $100 level except three signed books, plus:
- A personalized, handwritten poem by me for you, thanking you for your support of this project.
- Two Tickets to the amazing, earth-shattering Book Release Event & Party, in September of 2015
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
$300 (Only 10 Available!)
- Everything from the $200 level except five signed books plus:
- A personalized framed handwritten poem by me. To you, about you, on really fancy paper.
- A happy dance video of me personalized for and thanking you, that you are allowed to share anywhere. (If you really want to.) I get to choose the music.
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
$500 (Only 10 Available)
- A very unique & only one of its kind in the entire *Universe* Custom Leather Book Cover to fit my book, adorned with fancy things and created (as much as tastefully possible) with hints of your unique style & personality.
- A personalized framed handwritten poem by me. To you, about you, thanking you.
- An actual printed “thank you” in the front few pages of the book with your name, showing my appreciation for being one of the amazing “Early Bird” supporters.
- All the stuff at the $50 level except with five books for yourself & to share with friends!
- Special access to private supporter blog area!
$1000 (Only 5 available!)
- Video of “A Day in the Life of Me”, shadow style… but not a typical day where I just sit at the computer and write or think about writing the whole time.
Action! Adventure! Puppies! LIFE! Maybe even people – and ending the day with a toast to you! Whether you live in or outside of S.F., you can see this beautiful city through my eyes!
(And yes, you are allowed to suggest things you wish to see me do. I’m not shy – but be tasteful, okay? We’ll talk.)
- All the amazing rewards in the $500 level except with TEN books to give away to friends! If you give me names I will thank them as well in the inscription!
$3,000 (Only 3 available!)
- EVERYHING in the $1,000 level of support, PLUS:
- FOUR tickets to the book-launch party & show which is guaranteed to be truly amazing, AND you will be invited onstage to be personally thanked by myself and perhaps a few other people who have been waiting for this book.
- 1 0n 1 Conversation with The Author (me!) in person (Limited to the S.F. Bay Area) or over Skype for up to 2 hours, where you may ask me anything you wish – or we just have a good Fair Warning: I don’t do small-talk.
That Support email for Paypal is: NotGoingGentlyBook@gmail.com
And – thank you again, SO incredibly much for supporting me in this amazing project!
Love love love,