A Valued Life

I move forward, taking care of things so I have the ability to do more.
It seems to be the way, at least in part, that this whole “Life” thing works – but as always, I’m just guessing.

I heard an interesting analogy once, which I try to carry with me so as to remember not to be afraid. It said that each person, if they drew a stick figure of themselves on a piece of paper, then a circle around it, that inside that circle could represent the experiences they’ve had, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the growth they have achieved. Frequently, there will be something that occurs outside of that circle, and that if they step up, reach out, and find a way to take care of that challenge as well, then their circle of experience grows to encompass that which was previously unknown as well.

This makes sense, as with each challenge, if approached well, causes us to grow in a way that is so much more than that one challenge, as we need to face all the doubts inside of us in order to reach out and take care of it and move on.

With that in mind, and the memories of the challenges I’ve met, makes me realize that I can do anything.

I just need to remember that as I wake up and look towards what each day may bring – the beauty, and the pain, there is nothing that can compare with what I’ve already experienced and stepped through. My life has been amazing, and has given me all the tools I need to progress further, to always grow, to let my goals & dreams come to fruition.

There is so much I want to do.

I want to give everything I am, and everything I will become, so that I can help in the way I’ve been helped before, and offer the wisdom I’ve had to find for myself – when there was no one around to offer me theirs.
I want to help soothe the people who hurt; to give them validation, and a way to look at it, find the strength inside themselves, and walk through it.

Like walking through a waterfall.

Dry off. Move on. There is a world waiting for you. A world that needs you.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any minute.” – Marcus Aurelius

I am focused on my book project so much lately because that is, in many ways, what will help me to achieve the dreams I have – to entertain, to inspire, to help, to live a life of value – and show others how to do the same.
To live a life they love.
It’s amazing how much easier life is when you simply change the way you look at it.

Help.
Create.

Travel.
Have an incredibly rich and even more satisfying life.
Kick ass, and
Be able to take care of my Mother.

These are the things I want in life.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind becoming a world famous author either…
But for the time being, I’ll be thrilled with just being able to afford to publish my book.

a day begins

 

I wake up early this morning, finally home & in my own bed after spending three days & nights at a friend’s beautiful home, watching & caring for their dog. Ruby & I had a wonderful time, but their dog, a Weimaraner, is brilliant, hyper, & completely insane. Needless to say, it’s nice to be home. I wasn’t able to sleep much there.

As I lay in bed, I mentally go over my body to see how I feel today, make sure things are in more-or-less working order & that nothing has fallen off during the night. Besides the usual pain in my abdomen, all seems well – all my parts are there.

A brief meditation to slide myself into the day smoothly, then I go over the things I need to do. Errands… and The Website. Gods, it’s taken much longer than I had intended, but that’s what I get for being a ridiculously picky pain in the ass. A ridiculously picky pain in the ass who happens to change his mind a lot about the most miniscule of things… but I notice them, and they bother me, and if I *can* change them, I can’t not change them.

It’s a goddamn curse, but at long last, the site is almost ready enough for launch – the largest pre-Kickstarter step, which will help this project reach its financial goal & HAPPEN!

It’s become much more than just a book, though my book is, of course, the backbone of this project. With the addition of the website, I’ll be able to actually be there for people who need things: questions answered, encouragement, more inspiration – and nearly anything else they need.

I’ll be able to help again, in a much larger way; to feel useful, valued – and live a life that finally means something. A life that inspires others to live theirs. Inspires people to remember – and go after – the dreams they had, the person they wanted to be as a child, before they were forced to lose themselves in what society thought they should be.

This world needs more dreamers…

 

I consider beginning a new blog about the triumphs & trauma of creating a Kickstarter campaign for a self-publishing project – a brief prologue describing the hell & elation, unbridled excitement balanced with self-doubt & oppressive frustration it’s taken to get to this point, then continuing on with the same – and if/when the campaign reaches its goal, rolling into the compiling of all the blog posts, the pieces of memory that those set free in my mind, and actual writing of the book.

I know that it will help me, as for the past 33 years writing out the things bouncing around in my head in order to make some kind of sense of them has been the most effective therapy I’ve ever had – and I know I’ll probably need it.
Who knows. It just may help someone else too.

Yeah, maybe I’ll do that today – after I go over the website copy for the 1,436th time and do a couple more tweaks on the site itself. I swear – if it wasn’t for a guy in Peru who goes by Hawkthalas on Fiverr.com, who has been *amazing* at helping me with the site (& making his help affordable to even me!) – I’d be screwed. And so would the site…

So keep your ears open as it’s going to be launched *soon* and please, sign up! You’ll get special things if you do, and be the first round of people to know about all the other related things I have brewing in my noggin’ – spoken word pieces (maybe), exclusive rewards, and when it’s time, the most outrageous book-launch events I can get away with.

Okay – time to get my ass in gear & go pick up my disability check, pay the bills I need to and then figure out how I’m going to stretch $100-$150 for food & herbs for the remainder of the month.
My guess is that I’m not… but TODAY I’m getting a goddamn fancy coffee to enjoy at the dog park, at least.

Like if ya liked this, follow if you don’t want to miss the juicy stuff – and if you’re interested, keep your eyes out for my new blog!

The Way It Works / The Circle

The comforter loosely tucked around my body, the cool air from the slightly open window on my arms a perfect contrast to the soft warmth underneath. Cozy, warm & content as I sit up against the softness of my pillows, Ruby asleep with her back pressed tight against my legs. A single candle glows softly in the sconce on the wall behind me offering just enough light to pick out the letters on my laptop – in the quiet & solitude of 4:30am, the sudden brightness of my reading lamp would shatter this perfect moment.
I can barely see anything.
Screw it. I’ll squint.

I had just woken up thinking how amazing it can be, when things are used well.

Thanks to a few incredible people who are still lifting my spirits, still, even after all this time reminding me that is still one HELL of a warrior inside of me…

– & some ‘creative logic’ on my part in the herb & food needs (i.e. “I *think* I can stretch that out until… um… the 1st? Shit.”) – I was able to afford to take a journey out to El Cerrito yesterday to visit an incredible friend, woman, & fellow warrior who is going through her own medical hell – getting two different, completely soul-crushing messages about 48 hours apart like a fucking double-tap to the heart.

We had a kickass day, hanging out in her room, talking, laughing so hard I *honestly* thought my guts might finally come flying out of me (I was holding them in, squeezing as hard as I could with both arms & yelling at her to shut up before I popped – but would she? NoooOOOoooo – the bitch!) and… just remembering what it felt like to be *normal* people for a few hours, watching stupid TV, singing songs at the top of our lungs and giving each other loving hell.

I needed it just as much as she did, if not quite a bit more. There’s a healing in just simply that connection, that amount of love that that no medicine, no herb, no “perfect living” can *ever* equal.

We talked about our animals, and both wondered if either of us would still be alive without them… and she had the amazing idea of making a Youtube video about the caring for them – what they like, what they need, can or can’t eat – what makes them happy, the treats they like or a certain way they like to be scratched, or petted – or not…
Just in case.

Just in case so if anything ever did happen, if we weren’t able to talk or move or…

Then at least we would know that, even then, we still did our best for them…
On the way out there, some dancers got on the BART train, did their speech blahblahblah… and as they began I moved my eyes up from my writing, looked at them – then looked around at the other passengers, who were nearly ALL doing their best to ignore these courageous kids who were dancing for THEM, maybe in hopes to shine a little more color on the grey, Friday evening lives they lived.

They were, actually, pretty good! Did that new thing where it looks like your entire upper body has had every bone broken and swivels put in to repair the job instead of pins.
And thanks to those who help *me* – I was able to offer them something. I pulled out $5 – not much but a lot for me at the time, and the worst part is – I was sitting four rows back from the door, and as the hat-holder got to me after I *called* him to come over – that $5 was the only bill that they left with.
Still, they left the car in style – saying their thank-you’s & smiling.

After the day with Isa & finally back in the City, walking through Civic Center BART there were a couple guys around my age setting up – one in a wheelchair, but still somehow tall & lanky with pencil-dreads, his partner shorter but still thin, and looking close you could see what appeared to be not an easy life in their faces.

Then, as I took the first couple of steps up the escalator, they started singing – and I jumped back down. Goddamn. They sang an old spiritual, lanky in a *low* base & his partner harmonizing beautifully – I had $3 left in my pocket, so gave them that…

and I made my way back up the escalator into the frigid San Francisco night with my p-coat pulled tight, hat brim down – and an enormous smile beaming out from underneath it, still humming the spiritual.
And none of this would have ever been able to happen without you – you know who you are.
Thank you.

 

Far more than one life…

They didn’t think it could be done. That I could live.

They tried, though. Gods, how they tried – but after the drugs that didn’t help, all the lotions & prescriptions & visits from some of the Nations best specialists, all there was left was changing the dressings, tons of morphine, and the sadness & frustration & saw behind their smiles.


– Then, we took over. Me – and all of you. Not willing to die, having so much more I dreamed of doing, I decided to fight – but knew there was no way I could do it alone. I found friends who believed in me, who kept me fighting even during the numerous times I wanted to give up.
When I was up to my nostrils sinking in the thickness of the swamp, you threw me a rope – and we all pulled as hard as we could.

The financial support you sent so I could afford the herbs & nutritious foods I needed was always SO much more than that to me – far more than just money. It was a gift of love, of belief that I *could* win, and every single contribution I have received from that time has never failed to fill my heart & renew my spirit. Every single gift was another strong pull on the rope to help release me from the pit that, without you, I would have died in by now.


I can never thank you enough for what you have done, and gods, we have come SO incredibly close to pulling me free! The fight now isn’t to pull me through the molasses-thick sludge of the swamp, but with a few more pulls finally lift me on to solid land – finally *curing* the cirrhosis – and with it, all of the symptoms I’ve been fighting from pulling me back down…

But the fight has been going on a long time. I’ve been pulling like hell, as you have – and we’re both tired, I know… but it seems as if nearly everyone who was helping to pull decided that it wasn’t worth the effort, dropped the rope, and walked away – except for a couple people, and of course, myself.

I’ve fought like fucking hell, every single day for six years & one month to get this far – and as exhausted as I am, solid land and *health* – and finally after all this time being able to live a nearly normal (for me) life again is within reach, and closer than it has EVER been – but the fight is still as hard as it was in the beginning, and I still need your support – otherwise all the effort we have put in will have been for nothing.
WE CAN STILL WIN, and it’s SO incredibly close – but I still need you.
So again, I plead with you: pick up the rope, and pull for me.

won’t let go. I can’t. It’s my health and my LIFE that I am fighting for

Thank you so VERY much for all you have done so far – we’ve done what the Doctors didn’t believe was possible already by cheating death – so let’s show them how strong we REALLY are, and reverse my cirrhosis. When we do – then I can show others how to do the same, and save their lives.

Paypal: ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com
PLEASE.
Love,
~ Casey

Connection / being seen

I was 13 when I first put pen to paper, and realized not only the fun – but the magick, and most importantly, in my joyless teenage years, the therapy it offered. The therapy I desperately needed.

You see – I was the most insecure, terrified and nearly silent kid – but when, one night, a pen found its way into my hand… my entire world changed. I had finally found something that would listen, and unlike talking to people, I felt that, at last, I wasn’t being judged. The paper would just sit there and accept all I had to say – and the more I wrote, the more it listened. It was the only friend I could talk to about all the confusion, angst, and above all, the loneliness & solitude I felt growing up.

The writing began almost entirely by accident. I had just discovered coffee, and one evening stayed up all night in the tiny kitchen in my parent’s home, writing & drawing in some sketchbooks I had laying around for some reason. Eventually I got together a few dollars, and after school one day went to Warwick’s – the main stationery/office supply/book store in La Jolla, and bought my very first actual journal. You probably know exactly what that journal looked like – the classic black, pebbled hardcover, 5.5”x8.5” blank book. Though everything before it has been lost or thrown away by my adopted parents, I still have that very first journal – though now have 10 others just like it, full of my heart, mind, and guts. My friends.

When internet journaling came around, it took me a while to warm up to it, but eventually I did. All of the sudden, people could actually read what I was writing… and when comments began occasionally coming in, and people were saying nice things about my writing, or connecting with it, or, sometimes, even thanking me for saying what they felt – all of the sudden I wasn’t alone anymore. With each post, with each comment that someone left, a little more fur was rubbed off – like the skin horse in The Velveteen Rabbit. People could SEE me, and sometimes in me, they saw themselves – and perhaps for the first time, I felt real. Maybe they did as well.

After a lifetime of feeling inadequate and like my life didn’t matter, I had found a way I could give something back to the world. A way I could connect with people, regardless of where they were, and not feel so alone. A way I could help… and maybe, just maybe – change someone’s life for the better.

As time went on however, people’s attention spans kept getting shorter & shorter. Less people read my words, less people commented, and the loneliness began creeping back. I started writing less, but – I just couldn’t find the words, or the passion I once had to write them. That was a HUGE mistake, as I had forgotten the reason I began writing, which is solely for me. Because I need to. Because the “paper” is still the best way to keep learning about my Self…

But there is one thing I would really like to do – something I’ve been thinking about for a few days. I write all this drivel, and except for perhaps a few, I don’t know most of you who reads it. I don’t know about you, I don’t know who you are, I don’t know about your country, what you like to eat, what your favorite song is – or pretty much anything about you – and I would really, really like to.

So I ask this of you. Tell me a little (or a lot) about yourself! Anything you want. Anything you don’t mind sharing, and as much or little of it as you want to. Just, at least, to start a conversation. There are no rules. Ask questions, send pictures, say anything you feel and know that I will not only appreciate it – I will absolutely LOVE it! Hell, even share this with friends of yours – let’s get people talking & connecting!
Of course, you are welcome to play along or remain silent – that’s entirely your choice – but I do hope you say something – and I promise – I will reply.

Much love, and thank you for reading.

P.S. – if you see this post on Facebook or Twitter, please let me know – but comment here!
AND, if you read this *here* and want to connect with me on facebook or twitter, I’m kSea flux on Facebook, and @kSea_flux on Twitter. Hope to see you there!