digging my way out

I try to step away from the constant gnawing distraction, the thoughts that tell me what I should be doing instead of being here, now, writing – but they are insistent, demanding. 

“You need to be working. You’ve saturated the circle of friends, they’ve bought what they wanted, and if you don’t figure out how to let the world know it will all end. You’re broke, hungry, borrowing money from friends just to survive. Your business is falling apart, failing. The fight is going out of you. YOU are failing…”

But I need to be here. This is my medicine, my solace. This is where I come to make sense of the things I need to – to make sense of me. Somewhere long the line I’ve lost who I was and I need to find that person again – that person who shined…

But that’s not correct, is it? I haven’t lost that person anymore than when you bury a body in the ground you’ve lost the body. I’m still here, buried alive, and I need to dig myself out. 

I saw someone I’ve known for a while at a party this last Sunday. I felt a lightness, a peace to her that hadn’t been there before, and I commented on it. Her father had died the month before, but he had been sick, hanging on, a shell of who he had been for the six years prior. When he passed on, she was released from his pain as well. For the first time since I’ve known her, I saw her.

I saw the lesson for me in that. There is something that I am letting corrupt who I am, and I need to find it. Bring it out, name it, and let this weight go. Shake off the dirt.

The other day I happened upon things people had said about me in the past – testimonials I had asked for to liven up a resume or project, and some things written simply because they had a desire to express their love to me. In reading them, I cried for the person I had forgotten – and vowed to bring him back:

“I keep a little picture of you I stole from the interwebs in a frame, and recently she asked about it. 
I said, “this is the man who taught me how important it is to write, and use beautiful words, even for ugly things. He is one of the most amazing, most special people in the world, so that’s why I gave you his name.”
“kSea walks the walk, talks the talk, and is more amazing in ten
seconds than most people are in a lifetime.”
“kSea is what happens when you decide to live your dreams. His unstoppable passion to live is breathtaking.”

For years I’ve been looking at the shape of my life from before I went into hospice. Even before I created the magazine. (culturefluxmagazine.com) I remember the adventure, living in a van & on couches yet still, nearly every day, going to perform on The Wharf. I remember working with The Dresden Dolls & being a mentor & friend to so many beautiful young artists & performers who were just starting out; living on the road, going wherever I was needed then moving on – and I remember how pure my happiness was, how much joy I always felt.

I’ve made the mistake of thinking that my happiness depended on getting back on the road, that it was the mirage outside of me that created the pureness and the shine inside. We all seem to fool ourselves of that – that we need something besides ourselves, whether it be a great job, a house with a fenced yard, a fancy car – or in my case, the adventure of not knowing what would happen, where I would be from day to day. I longed to somehow recreate those times. Then I would be happy again, then I would be me again…

But happiness does not exist in the illusions outside of us – or at least, it’s not found there. The joy we feel or have felt only can come from inside, and if we depend on the world outside of us for it we are sure to forever be disappointed. All over the world there are people who exist on nearly nothing but the barest of essentials, and the honesty in their smiles, the depth of their joy, is something that could never come from possessions or circumstance.

It is now time to look deep into the mirror, scrape the mud mask off of my face, and see the truth – the truth in me. Turn up the lights, look down at the person on the operating table and see that it is myself – and that writing is my scalpel, my medicine, and my bandages.

I’ve had a taste of how beautiful life can be. That is what kept me alive in hospice, and that is what I will again use to heal my soul.

I’ve had a taste, and I want more.

(And now back to work. 😉 ) By the way, if anyone is looking for some beautiful & unique jewelry, come on by my web-store – and please, spread the word! http://chainstore.kseaflux.com

 

therapy

I begin again, again not knowing what the words will say but hoping they find their own path. A trail that might at least lead to a cleansing, if not peace.

I made the mistake of thinking that writing was an option for me, that I could put it off for other things that I misguidedly deemed more important.
I was wrong. They don’t go away, won’t leave me when left to stay in my head. The seethe, grow, scrape at the walls of my psyche, stripping it away piece by piece until I’m fragile and afraid, a terrified child again. They need to be let out, turned into ink and drained onto a page where they can no longer do harm to me. This is what I know now. I don’t have the luxury of choice in this. Not this. I can live with that. I have to.

They’re all I have that I trust will never go away – as long as I don’t leave them again.

To Go.

To live each day as if it has been stolen from death. To wake up every morning knowing that the possibilities are infinite, to release myself from the burden of “how” & the anguish that I encounter every day. To grab Ruby & drive to the Sea, to the mountains, to my mother. To raise my voice and shout at the sky “I am alive, I am wonderful, I am free. I AM.

To feel again the roads underneath me, always looking forward at what I can be, not what I was. The past always takes from the present. To again realize the physicality of the world has its boundaries only if my will is weak, only if I am afraid. To again accomplish the things that the normal person would think impossible.

To go. The wheel lightly held in my hands, the windows down & wind cleansing away the past. To wonder in anticipation and excitement what lies around the next corner, over the next crest. To keep going and discover where I end up. Always forward. For a driver, a wanderer, a dreamer, not having these things takes away part of the soul.

I wake up every morning and say “I wish.” I wish I could take myself and Ruby to the Sea, to the mountains. I wish I could get to events & trade shows to show people the things I can make when my hands meet my heart. I wish I could help people get to where they need to go, visit others who can’t go anywhere. I wish I could visit my Birth Mother, and finally get to know the woman who gave me this life. I wish I could make hers better. I wish I could get in my car and just go, leaving the unforgiving brutality of the sidewalks behind me and again follow the wind. Again follow my dreams.

I wish.

I will.

A perfect amount of less time

I certainly didn’t expect for this to happen. It wasn’t planned, calculated or intentional in any way. I’m entirely a victim of circumstance, and it was so organic and clever in the way it took over my life that I didn’t even notice it happening. It took the days hours, divided them up loosely so that I still felt I had control over the profound inertia of my life & wouldn’t notice until it was too late, and without even bothering to check with me, all of the sudden there is something of a schedule that dictates my days. Goddamn, it was sneaky.

The odd thing is that in the past I tried, tried desperately to have some kind of structure in my days, but the more strict I tried to be with myself & my time, the more a different part of me rebelled. My subconscious mind teamed up with my instinctive and astonishing ability to procrastinate and all my meticulous planning and promises to myself that this time, dammit, I will DO it – was inevitably shot to hell within a few days.

But then the schedule happened to me. I’ll get to how in a minute.
I’m still able to wake up & fall asleep at any odd hour I want, but once awake the gears are set in motion, and I have little choice but to just go along for the ride.

All I needed to do was write. That’s all. For a few hours each day, I would write, and the rest of the time I was free to fill with all the apathy & indifference for life that I could fit in.
The problem was that since I had so much freedom with time, I figured that I could write whenever I wished – when waking up & still in bed, or at one of the cafés that I would write on my “to-do” pad the previous evening (which held such gems as “Walk Ruby”, “take shower”, “call or write… anyone”) or if I had food, I could write after a dinner of tater-tots or rice & beans. I could write anytime – so I never did. I didn’t write, I didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything, with the exception of reading.  I even tried to make it exciting by actually going all the way over to my little couch (calling it a “love seat” would be depressingly misleading) – but I couldn’t ever seem to make it the six feet it would take to get all the way over there.

Then one day, while shopping on Amazon for the medicinal herbs I would be able to buy in a few weeks when I got my disability check as well as other things like knives, books, a new belt for my umbilical hernia, books, and anything else I could think of to fantasize about, I looked on the side of the screen and saw that Amazon figured that I might like a bag of around 4000 shiny aluminum jump rings. Because that made perfect sense.

Curious as to why in this empty grey existence of mine their bots would think that, and though I had countless other much more important things to search for like wing tipped tuxedo shirts, extension cords and creepy doll heads, I clicked on the picture.

Hmm. Chain mail? Make chain mail? You’ve got to be kidding me. There is absolutely no way I would have the patience to sit there for hours, weaving ring by ring into something that looked like anything good, unless some poor idiot somewhere could be convinced that what I created with the three rings I had the patience to sit down, open, connect, and close again some sort of brilliant minimalist art. As blindly optimistic as I usually am, sometimes even I need to open my eyes and see the reality of something so unlikely. I mean, it takes all the willpower I have just to write for 15 minutes straight – who am I do have the nerve to think that I could sit for hours and hours to make just ONE piece of jewelry?

But then I saw the book that people apparently bought when they bought the rings. And the pretty pictures, right there on the cover. The pictures of things that the book would show me how to make and that I would make and people would like because of my innate and incomparable sense of style, and I would sell them and be flown around the world with my dog in private jets to create amazing things for only the coolest famous people – or at least the ones that aren’t dead yet, I figured. It’s fun to think about, and while I could definitely see the cool stuff, I couldn’t see me doing anything that involved sitting at a desk for so long. Perhaps the biggest fear was the knowledge of how many things I have begun & never followed through on. Those things continue to haunt me, and I was terrified of this being another one…

I got a little sick when I ordered the rings & the book with pretty pictures instead of a couple bottles of the herbs I need to keep me alive & healthy-ish, but looking back all these weeks to the beginning of when all this began in January, that was a small price to pay – and besides, the infection seems to nearly be gone.

So now I have a schedule – or more accurately, I was mugged by a schedule which sneaked up on me from behind, knocked me unconscious, and when I woke up, it had already made itself at home in my life.

I find it interesting that when I have absolutely nothing to do, I can’t even find the time to sweep up the dog hair in my apartment. It’s like there is too much time to do anything. I’ve never been able to figure that one out. Is it just me? Do I have some weird mental disorder concerning time? Is it like a buffet where there is so much amazing food that I can’t choose anything, or an enormous bookstore filled with so much that I wander the endless aisles for hours and walking out with nothing?

Now my entire world has changed. It’s as if after years I finally thought of the last line to the best poem I had written. It’s the torn-out chapter that brings the entire plot together, found in another inmate’s cell a week before I’m released. It’s the rug that really, like, ties the room together, man.

I get up, read for a bit, write nearly without fail for a few hours, while drinking coffee in bed. When I feel either like I’m at a stopping point or mid-afternoon is creeping up far too quickly, I get dressed, take The Beast out while I do errands, and have even been taking her to the park more frequently. I get home, putz around briefly and nearly every-other day run my Swiffer over the floor to gather the nearly unbelievable amounts of dog hair that it acquires. I stretch a bit, sit down at my work desk (which unfortunately never lived up to its name of a “writing” desk. It feels far too strict and demanding when I actually try to use it for the purpose I bought it, like it’s secretly judging me) – and get to work on chainmaille. After a few hours I have an insatiable urge to take a nap for an hour or so – but the nap is the slippery part. When I started, the nap would fall at a vaguely decent hour, usually 3-4 pm, and I’d wake after an hour or so refreshed and ready to get back to work – but as the days progressed with the fun & challenge of making more creative pieces, I ended up feeling better and as a result worked later into the night, I sometimes not being able to put the pliers down until 4 or 5am. There was a glitch brewing.

I still follow the agenda, it’s just that the actual time of day has no place in it, and as the rest of this silly world has the audacity to run on their time instead of mine – that makes the time I have for writing sometimes unbearably short, and now that I’m regularly doing it again, I need my fix. Seriously. It’s like a drug. If I don’t have time to write when I wake up (which after a late night could be 1pm), I find myself being irritable, miserable and easily pissed off the rest of the day. I imagine that the people driving in traffic who can’t help but lean on their damned car horns when there is absolutely nowhere the person in front of them can go must feel this way – I just don’t have anything to honk.

I haven’t tried it yet, but if it ever does happen where I find myself around someone I’m just being a plain bastard to for no reason, maybe the solution is pulling out my notebook & pen while I ask them to wait for a moment? Of course, what I write may be something like “I think this person is an ignorant, idiotic, pathetic little subhuman whose cartoid artery I would like to puncture repeatedly with this pen.” – but the irony is that after I wrote that (then quickly closed my notebook I shoved it back into my pocket before anyone could see it), the urge would likely be gone and I could stand there silently, looking them directly in the eyes with a diabolical smirk on my face until they felt uncomfortable enough to go away.
Or I guess I could write something like “Chill the fuck out, Flux. They’re probably really nice, and it’s you being the asshole because you didn’t get your writing fix, poor baby.” That just wouldn’t be as much fun though. Did I happen to mention that there’s a somewhat wicked streak in me?

In order to make this “schedule” work inside the time frame set by those “other” people, I have created a reset button – which is why this morning’s therapy is edging up to nearly 1,500 words. All I need to do is take a break from the post-nap chainmaille creation for an evening, and get to bed at an absurdly early hour – such as 7 or 8pm – then wake up at 3 or 4 am, microwave the coffee I make much more than enough of every few days so I don’t have to wait for it to brew, light some incense, crawl back into bed, and start the day – with plenty of day left to enjoy this new life where, for the first time in far, far too long, I feel like I’m beginning to live a life of doing things I love again. I’m writing, I’m creating, I’m making things that people really seem to like and are eager to buy, and instead of days full of emptiness and ennui, instead of feeling valueless and insignificant, I feel good. Hell, I’m even getting some real work done on my book – something that is solid and workable, instead of the 5 years of constructive procrastination that I’ve been using to pretend that I was doing something on it.

I really should offer classes on professional procrastination. I don’t think that anyone can compare to my level of self-deception when it comes to that.

So yeah. Because of some shiny rings and the remembered courage not to let my fear stop me again, to at least try, and if that didn’t work, fucking try harder, things are looking up in my life.
I might even be able to honestly say I’m happy – at least with this part of it… and considering how I’ve felt for the past few years, that feels really good to be able to say, and mean.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve made, because I know you’re unbearably excited to see some of it. Mind you, I’ve only been doing this for about seven weeks…

Stubborn as f*ck.

Hey everybody!

I’d like to thank you all again, while I have you here in such rapt attention, for your support those few short months ago. You guys taught me a lot – or more accurately said, reminded me of something: The book is the most important thing. Getting it written, sharing a story that will be crazy enough for someone else to read and most likely say something akin of “All of the sudden, my life doesn’t doesn’t seem so bad!” or, of course “Okay, screw this miserable life. I’m going to follow my dreams like this guy!”

(I’m going to need to put a legal disclaimer on this book, aren’t I?)

So yeah, the book. That’s what I’ve come to talk to you about. Dig this:
In 5 days, on November 1st, I begin an incredibly optimistic endeavor. Y’see, I’ve joined a thing called NaNoWriMo, which is short-ish for National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it’s a thing.
While “they” encourage you to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I did the math and that’s, like – 126 pages, or something. Half a novel.

SO, me being who I am (which is somewhere between a damned fool and a very ambitious dreamer) I’ve decided to shoot for 120,000 words in 30 days. Because maybe I work better with an impossible challenge. Or maybe I’m a godsdamned genius. Or maybe I’m a friggin’ moron.  I still haven’t figured that one out.

But what will I do with an entire novel, an earth-shattering, life changing, epic opus of literature sitting around on my computer? What good is THAT?  No good at all, that’s what good it is.

So this is the plan: Somewhere around the 13th of November (if I’m not catatonic from trying to write 4000 words/day) I’m going to launch an IndieGoGo campaign. It’s like Kickstarter, except you get to keep the pledges of support – which is a fancy way of saying “the cash”. This time, instead of reaching for the stars, I’m only going for the moon. Enough for good editing, publishing, promotion & marketing, and paying the artist who helped me in the original campaign. Not in that order, The artists time comes first. Maybe some so I don’t have to eat my shoes or dog. (This “starving artist” thing is SO not as cool as it sounds.)

Yeah. 120,000 words in 30 days without going completely insane, just mostly. Then edit the crap out of it, and get the book published. And as an afterthought, not die.

Wish me luck! And hey – if by some strange chance you want to support my eating AND getting the book out to the world, you can feed me through Paypal! Not actually food as it’s not one of those rat-maze reward trigger things (which is the official scientific name), but a way to get some. Gods, I love this modern world. Sometimes. My Paypal address is Casey@kseaflux.com. That’s also my email address. Cool, huh? TECHNOLOGY! (Accepting food help starting now. See “Starving Artist” reference above.)

NOW, I need to go prepare more for this insanity. Currently I’m hiding sharp things and padding the walls & my laptop (which might or might not get thrown across the room). And giving anything that could be considered poison to the nice family in the apartment next door to hold. And figuring out chapter titles to kind-of keep me on track so the book doesn’t explode.

I’ll be talking to you all again soon, and again – thank you! (If you DON’T hear from me, please send help. Coffee or whiskey. Or new fingertips. )

LOVE YOU ALL!
~ Casey

The Fun Begins…soon (Kicking, day 0)

No ceremony, no ritual. Little more than a momentary pause as I looked at the small white pills in my hand this morning, but in that pause I thought of the nine years gone to the past, and the days or weeks of torture & agony immediately coming as I took my last dose of morphine. Ever.

I took the two half-full bottles out of my nightstand drawer, grabbed the near-full “emergency” pill container that I have kept for three years and moved them across the room to be placed somewhere clever later. Out of sight, yes – but I think out of mind isn’t very likely, at least for a few weeks or more.

If I could figure out the technique that always seems to work when I “organize” things so that they’re easier to find, only to end up lost for months when I actually *do* look for them, then that would be perfect – but I don’t think that will work. If I actually *want* to lose something or forget where it is, it seems inevitable that I’ll find it, even in the least likely of places.

I should figure out that backwards science & write a book about how to use & control it. I’d make millions.

It’s a strange feeling, kicking morphine after so long, so many years of depending on it. So many years of letting it control me.
I was half-expecting a huge mental fanfare – streamers popping out of my head, flame effects shooting out of my ears and little tiny balloons dropping from my nose, but alas, nothing of the sort. It was almost as exciting as putting my pants on.
Okay – as exciting as putting a freshly washed pair of pants on that have yet to acquire any dog hair on them, but still, not much more than that.

The exciting part – well, that will most certainly begin tomorrow, most likely as I race to the bathroom desperately trying not to crap myself in the 20 feet from my bed, or stopping in the middle of eating something for the same reason. It never ceases to amaze me how food can go through an entire body’s system almost as fast as dropping it – as if during withdrawals everything moves around and there is just one direct line from the mouth to the ass.

I think there should be an “Opiate Withdrawal Olympics”, with challenges such as ‘The 10 Meter Toilet Dash’, ‘The Cold Sweat Pool’ (judged by the amount of sweat the body produces in one night of attempted sleep), and ‘The Snot Sprint’, won by producing the most water-like mucus out of the incessantly running nose in an hour. Of course there could be many others – the most sleepless nights, muscle spasm gymnastics, distance or quantity vomiting, most creative screams of agony… it could be fun! Well… at least for the spectators.

And now, off to do some final preparations – give Ruby a *really* good walk, enjoy some of the last sunshine I might be seeing for a few days, clear a direct path from bed to bathroom, send letters to my Mother & Father thanking them for their birthday cards (finally) – whatever else I can think of.

I’ve decided to document the fun with pictures. Here’s one I have titled “Before the Descent” aka “Keep the fog outside of my head” aka “oh, shit.”

20160921_154228

See you all in hell. Be grateful you’re just looking through the window.

behind the smile

Where do you say what you can’t?

They tell you to be buoyant. They tell you to be enthusiastic, strong, confident in the words you write, the words you share and hope the world will see. When people visit or hear about my Kickstartercampaign, they don’t want to read my woes or worries.

For now, I put on a plastic smile like a McDonald’s server and don’t show the terror. For now I don’t say what I am truly feeling.
People don’t want their bubble popped. They want to feel confident in my project, to be lifted higher in the buoyancy of my words, as forced & manufactured as they may be at times.

I want to make them happy. I do care. I try to give them what they look for, and I hope by writing the words I will also be lifted.

I can’t write “If this campaign isn’t successful I’ll probably die before the book is finished”. As true as it is, threatening people to support my campaign probably wouldn’t go over too well, y’know?
Still, boiling in this head is the knowledge of what will happen if this campaign doesn’t succeed. The things that only I have known.

Until now.

THIS is where I can scream. Most the people I know on Facebook don’t take the time to read anything over a few sentences, regardless of what they say. Here I find a sanctuary, either real or imagined. On WordPress.
This is where we ALL can be real, be vulnerable. This is the shower we sing in.

My book is all I have anymore. All there is left in me to give. Due to the way this disease works and what it’s done to me I can’t really perform, can’t work. I don’t know the days I’ll be too exhausted or in too much pain to do more than pass the day in bed. Though those days are less, they still happen – and the rest are filled with such a growing hatred for the life I’ve been living since I was released from the hospice that I know with certainty that it’s something I can’t go on with.

The book is/was/will/would have given me a reason, a new breath, a purpose. To go back to living each day worried about getting herbs, to go back to each week with the only thing I can focus on is begging more friends for money to afford them is no life at all.

Every waking moment I’ve had the thought of how my life would change to keep me going, to soon be able to live a life that matters, to have a purpose for each breath.
To enjoy life. This is what the success of the campaign would offer me.

I have envisioned myself a thousand times or more waking up for the first time in years with the excitement of living, of having something I needed to do besides beg for more money. I would sit in random café’s writing, sipping coffee for the flavor and remembering with clarity the amazing life I have lived, smiling to myself as I lifted my head & turned to look out the window and knowing that I’m doing something good. That I once again had value.

I would sit at my Mother’s dining room table, facing the back yard wo I can watch Ruby play, run in and out of the door with the dog my mother and I would find for her in a rescue. She says she wants one and I could get it for her, help her take care of it. Help take care of my Mother. She would come home and ask me about my book, and I would share the stories I had written that day. She would get to know me and I her. We have 48 years to catch up on.

I would hold my head up, a smile glinting off the green in my eyes and hinting on my lips. People would know again. I would know myself again. This is why I am. This is me. I would be full and in love with life. It’s been so long, so long – but I woke, rang the bell above my grave and purpose came to dig me out. I sucked the fresh air into my lungs and this empty heart was filled.

They would read my stories, my life laid bare, naked for them to see and they would see themselves. They would find the parts, the lines that made them stop & look up with a sudden spark of understanding that it only took a decision, that the past didn’t matter and all the smallness they felt would be washed away in the ink of my words staining their face with a determined grin. They would mark the pages, underline sentences, read it again and maybe buy a copy for a friend or two. They would write to me and I wouldn’t feel so alone anymore.

This campaign needs to succeed. I need to write my life, give it away.

The heart inside of me is weary, vacant. I say I love people hoping that in the spoken words I will remember how. The smile on my face is an advance taken from when I can feel it again, when my heart fills with the knowledge that my life has changed from the barren desert it has become. Beg for money, get herbs. I’ve been kept alive by the possibility of the book, the knowledge that when the campaign succeeded it would be written. Take it away and I have nothing I need to live for and I need a reason.

I try to write with an empty heart and find all I can hear are the sucking noises like those a straw makes in a cup that’s been drained by a ravenous thirst.

Also haunting me is a thought.
In September 2010 I walked happy & full of energy into the hospice/respite that I was supposed to spend only three months in. Up until that moment I worked every day on my magazine, setting up interviews, making the site better, writing reviews and each morning stepping out of my motor-home with a smile. Even though my legs were bleeding, swollen, leaking the poisoned fluid my liver couldn’t process and in extreme pain, I still walked with purpose and pride to the café knowing there was something I was needed for.

I wasn’t able to work on CultureFlux in the hospice. I had been doing fine (relatively speaking) before I walked in, living in poor conditions with no money, food, and only enough water to wash my face in the morning – but I had a reason to go on. I loved being able to help other performers through the magazine and I loved giving them a voice.

Within a week my body began to shut down. My skin began falling off, hair coming out in clumps, and I was barely able to walk. One week.

What will happen if the campaign doesn’t succeed? When I don’t have the dream of writing & publishing the book to keep me alive anymore?

The herbs have kept me healthy, but it’s purpose that keeps me alive. From the edge of death in the hospice to the 4.5 years following, I had two things to live for: Finding my Birth Mother and giving this book to the world, hoping my life will inspire theirs.

I have found my Birth Mother.
For anyone who reads this, thank you for letting me vent, and don’t get me wrong – it’s not always like this inside my head. There are still many times when I realize it’s only the 6th day with 5x that more to go, and anything can happen. Hell, Oprah could see it and announce it to the world! It could go viral on Youtube! Anything! The most important thing I need to remember is to NEVER GIVE UP, even as much as I want to and as hard as it can be to dredge up the energy to go on. WE DO NOT GIVE UP.

http://bit.ly/NGGKickASS

I’m going to keep on fighting like hell for the success of this campaign, to make this dream a reality and again have my heart filled with purpose and passion.

It IS possible, and I’ve come from behind to achieve my goal more times than I can count. I mean hell – isn’t that what we do with EVERY dream we realize? We are WARRIORS, and this is what we do!

For anyone interested what all the above is about, here’s a link to my Kickstarter campaign! I wouldn’t mind at ALL if you supported it by making a pledge and/or shared it as far & wide as you can – you would be my new favorite person!
Just – don’t include the above, okay? (winky face)

And when you go there, please take a second to check out the update – I was *amazed* with what people said and want the world to see it too!

To all out there in WordPress land – thank you for being here for me. And thank you for not charging for my therapy.
Any comments of support or suggestions on how

 

 

 

out of my head

I sit up in my bed, comforter pulled up to just above my stomach, drinking the tea that I just made. Ruby sleeps beside me, snoring gently off & on. It’s just after 6:00am & there is a rare serene quiet to the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco – no sirens, yelling, horns honking… even the crow’s abrasive caw-shout isn’t heard.

I adore the solitude of this part of the day, & try to be a part of it if the night before has been kind enough to allow me to. Of course, sometimes it isn’t, especially these days with all the physical crap I have to deal with, sometimes enough to wake me up, sometimes enough to prevent me from sleeping when I intend to in the first place – but today, this morning, is mine.

I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism. It’s something that I’m cursed with, and has for a large part of my life really screwed with things I wanted to do, going so far as to prevent them from happening altogether.
Without question it’s why this whole book project has taken so long to come to fruition, with me (aka “this asshole”) ripping things apart, re-doing & incessantly re-writing the copy for the site & never being satisfied – and it can’t go on like this. Not if I want to continue, and SURE as hell not if I ever want to finish my book.

I look further into the need for everything to be perfect & find that it could be based – most liely IS based – in fear. If I keep on changing things, I never have to show it to the public and am still able to say that “I’m working on it”.

I need to work on that. I need to change that.
If I don’t, then my life & all I want to do will be entombed in frustration, ripping away the joy I remember when I *did* finish things whether they were perfect or not in my eyes – performances, my magazine – hell, even my Living Statue garb when I began. I still can’t believe I started doing it without the frock coat & in my Dr. Martens – tattooed arms bare, black boots, poorly done makeup – but I DID it. I got out there. I was appreciated, tipped well, and hells- it worked.

I need to remember that lesson.

Things will never be as perfect as I want them to be, so I need to stop needing them to be. I need to remember that it is only a foolish fear that I created inside my mind to help avoid the time when it will need to be shown to the world.

Some people will like it, others won’t – whatever it is. Whatever it is, even the smallest dream that I make happen is worth FAR more than the largest dream that I never attempt.

That last part is from a quote I read somewhere, and it fits perfectly into this… but there’s also one of *my* quotes that may work well in this case: “Never let logic stand in the way of your dreams.”

My life began when I started making my dreams come true. The first time it happened & many times after that, they were small dreams (if there actually *is* such a thing) – they took little effort or fear – but the feeling that washed over me when I made them into a reality was – and will ALWAYS be – incomparable in the sensation of strength & accomplishment it gave me, and each one reinforced me with the confidence to reach for more…

invocationpixie.jpearcher79ceccfd-54ad-442e-848c-b60b259371f5.jpe

 

…but then I got sick. Somehow, although it was the greatest & most difficult thing I have *ever* done, coming out of that – saving my life when no one else could, and literally dancing out of the front door of the Hospice (which admittedly was more of a stylish shuffle aided by my cane) – for some reason I don’t see that as an accomplishment.

Sitting here thinking about why… perhaps part of the reason is because although I did what many people believed unlikely or even impossible, I focus on more of how the sickness ripped my life apart – the exquisite life I had built, full of excitement, love, adventure & value – and in many ways continues to cage it as only a ghost of what it was.

I whine about how much it took away from me, instead of how much it gave and allows me to give to others… I had never thought of that until now; not even the idea that it didn’t feel like something good I did – and as a result was likely at least partially responsible for breaking the habit I had built of fearlessly realizing my goals & dreams.

Great. Something else I need to work on – but at least now it has a name, and the beginning of an understanding. That is pretty damn cool. I know where I should be looking now – instead of before when it was like trying to fix the brakes on a motorcycle by adjusting the throttle.
MotorHeart

It’s now just flipping a few switches in my head from self-pity to gratitude that I’m still alive. Shouldn’t be that difficult, right?

It’s LONG past time to start making dreams come true again.
And simply through writing it out of my head, I just may have found the reason why it’s been so godsdamned difficult for me.

ON   WITH   THE   SHOW!

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!

ritual

 

Friday morning. Just before 6am.

It’s a practice I’ve begun recently out of curiosity – yet another experiment on myself, though this one much more mental than physical (Though in trying to coax my body to get out of bed before 6am, I could swear that I hear it make the creaky horror-movie coffin lid sounds in complaint).

Stumble t othe kitchen, make coffee or chai or tea or whatever I have at the time that resembles a tasty hot beverage. If I have the mixin’s, make some sort of smoothie. If not, effectively pout for a few minutes then get over it. I have gotten pretty decent at making minimalist smoothies that taste halfway decent. I prefer not to pout, but I’ve decided it’s required for some reason, even if it only lasts as long as an extended sigh.

Crawl back into bed, prop myself up with pillows, pull up the comforter to my chest & close my eyes for a few minutes to clear my head and pull my laptop from the bed-stand to my lap, avoiding resting it on my hernia. I do my best (which so far, isn’t so fantastic) not to check emails, and avoid checking Facebook like the plague – which is surprisingly easy…

Then write. Write anything.

I’ve noticed that for quite a while there has been something lacking – or most likely, just slumbering, waiting for something besides the everyday commonplace to happen – but in going deeper, I realize that, even if I *do* the same thing every day – work, take Rubes out for a walk, work a bit more or run a few errands if I need to, then continue on with letting my mind fade into the evening until it feels like time to crawl back into bed & read – even if that never changes, the things swimming around inside my head – *they* do – and there is always something to write about. Always thoughts to untangle as they travel the path from this head of mine on to the paper or screen.

I’ve just gotten out of practice, that’s all.

Somewhere along the line, whether it was when I was in the hospice and my hands were blistering & it hurt to much to even tap the keys where the skin had come off and they would stick to the computer keyboard, leaving little smears of some sticky fluid and itching like 1000 mosquitoes were biting me from the *inside* – to the years of having so little energy I couldn’t even think right, to a multitude of other excuses that might explain why, somewhere along the line, I just stopped writing like I once did.

IMG_0112

After that, it was the fear of the words just not coming like they used to.
I kept comparing myself to the past – *my* past – the way I used to write, and only rarely saw me in the words anymore. When I did write, it felt forced.

Even with so many people still complimenting me, it didn’t feel like the words were mine to use anyore – as if I had to beg each one to come out in an order that made at least a little sense… like a lover giving me the silent treatment for neglecting them for so long…

Well, my dear words – I’ve stopped making excuses, stopped trying to find reasons why I wasn’t able to be there for you, and am working on changing my ways so that we can mend the rift that I created between us. Trust me – though I may feel a bit shaky & uncertain as we get to know each other again, I promise – I won’t abandon you again, for any reason.
I mean, hell – look at this morning! I could have so easily made an excuse not to write; my stomach is making me cringe in pain, the sleep I got was scattered at best, and it would have been so easy to say that I’ll make up for it later today or tomorrow, as I have – and failed to do, so many times in the past…

But I’ve learned something over time: I can’t make up for time not spent well. Once it is gone – it is gone, never to return.
And the most anyone ever gets is one morning each day.

With that, I say my brief farewells to my morning words – I’m fortunate enough to be able to lay back down for a couple hours right now & hope my guts quit being such whiny little pains in the ass.
I can’t tolerate whining.

Note to self: Coffee mixed with last nights chai to save on both – NOT a good idea… but hey, ya never learn if you don’t try…

“friends”

Saturday morning, 7am. What I’m doing up at this hour I have no idea, but since I’m here, may as well write.

I’ve recently come back to it, to the pen, the laptop, to the words that have been sitting inside of me and denied an outlet. I’ve been unfair to them – and so now they’re making me pay, trying to remember where they go so what I want to say is said.
It’s fair.

I’ve been writing again, and fuck, it feels good – almost like seeing an old friend you love dearly but haven’t seen for a while, but better. The writing comes almost whenever I call it, never too busy, knows that the words “Hey, want to hang out? Maybe get coffee?” mean so much more than that. The words know that sometimes, I’m drowning in loneliness and I’m so fucking weary of being the one who has to call you over & over again just to see your face and enjoy your presence for a brief amount of time while on this side the phone remains silent..

So you’ll understand if I choose my words over you, right?

I sent out a private message to someone a few weeks ago, again asking for help to get the herbs I need and explaining why – as well as briefly, what was going on in my life.
I got a message back – “That’s so much to read – do you need money?”
It would have taken maybe four minutes to read, and took everything I had not to tell this person to go fuck themselves but my health depended on it and I can barely afford bills much less my herbs so I leaned against a building’s wall as I wiped a tear or two of anger & frustration out of my eye and simply replied “yes.”

I’ve been writing a lot lately, and some of it has been good as I find my way back…
but I’ll be damned if I post it. If you don’t care, why the fuck should I bother.

Release

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
It’s fair to say that I’ve been busy, and I have – but that certainly isn’t a valid excuse to stay so long away from words. Not these words. These are the words I need – the ones that make things almost right enough inside of my head.
Almost.

Ironically, the main thing that has been keeping me away from journaling is preparations for my book: The intricacies of the launch for the Kickstarter campaign, the endless editing of copy for my author website, and, of course, the creation of it. It puts an interesting twist on it when I have little idea what I’m doing, and each new day is an attempt to get it to something relatively simple looking, very usable, and as close to exactly how I want it to be as I can get it… especially when exactly how I want it changes, just a little bit, every few days.
The end product will be worth it however. I keep working – and I keep fixing the things I fuck up along the way.
Soon though, it will be done. It needs to be. I have other things to do.

But… those aren’t the only things that have been happening.

I met someone. A woman. A very interesting woman – who seems to be quite interested in me as well.
There is definitely a mutual attraction & without question, there is desire – both physical & intellectual. Funny how things happen when I least expect them, when I’ve become so weary of even hoping anymore. When I’ve lost any faith I may have had in the “community” that surrounds me, when even something as simple as having coffee with a friend is nearly impossible. When the majority of them can’t even find the decency to respond to a message or email. It’s sometimes difficult not to take personally. I try not to. I don’t succeed.
We call each other “family”, and unfortunately, it seems as if that’s what we’ve become – all too similar to the family that bought & raised me as a child, who were so very seldom there when I needed them most.
Thankfully, there is a small spattering of decent friends in there as well – but the only time I see them is if we accidentally end up at the same event.
I guess it’s little surprise then that the woman I have found myself so attracted to lives in Sweden, 5,400 miles away, and I feel closer to her than most anyone else who lives within 20 miles & I’ve known for years.

She doesn’t need to think I’m sick or dying to simply check in & say hello. There’s a 9 hour time difference and we’re both almost constantly working, yet still, somehow, we find the time to have good conversations.

Imagine that.

You can please shove *your* excuses up your ass.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten *that* out of my system (which actually was intended to be much more positive & somewhat amusing until the vitriol inside of me took hold), on to a positive closing for this entry…

After a ridiculous amount of time and frustration spent on it, trying with no success to do it alone – the video for the Kickstarter was finally PROFESSIONALLY filmed yesterday! Three locations, fantastic footage, my Dr.s calling me “magical’ and saying other amazing things that made me feel wonderfully uncomfortable, and within 2-3 weeks, I’ll have an incredible, professionally filmed & edited video for the campaign to finish writing, edit, design, publish & promote my book!

Things are moving forward. It is, at long last, finally *happening*, and I am fucking elated!
Now, to get back to work on the website – after a good walk with Rubes to see what the outside world is like today…

Thankfully, the one inside my head is quite a bit easier to work with now that I’ve been able to get everything above out of it.
The bitterness, especially, was taking up FAR too much energy & space… and I’ll likely come back to writing about the beauty & challenges that she & I face on a later date.

Soon.

Until again, dear readers.
Like if you liked, comment if you desire.
Share if you’re feeling a little bit sadistic.

Love without the sugar coating,
~ Casey (kSea, Kasei, QueSi, etc…)

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!