lost chances

I went to a memorial last night, a celebration of a friends life.
I don’t get emotional about people dying. At most, I feel a little saddened or concerned for the family they may have left, but inside of my heart, if there is anything felt at all is is more focused around fond memories of them, feeling blessed that they were in my life and that we were able to experience some of it together, share it and some of the time we have with each other, enjoy its magic.

When I heard of Jan passing, however, it was different. I only knew him a short time, but I sensed something of a kinship in him that I seldom feel with anyone , and seldom have. He was someone special to me, someone I looked forward to getting to know, share stories with, share our sadness, frustration, joys and love.

But I never had that chance. He never knew what I felt. I never took the time to tell him, to pull him aside, to tell him what I felt. I figured that, if I was right in what I saw in him, it would happen – after all, we had time. I would see him again, and maybe then the opportunity would arise where we found ourselves engaged in conversation, standing outside at a party or the last two sitting around a campfire in the early hours of the morning…

Last night I found out much more than I had ever known about Jan as people stepped up to the microphone to talk about him, his life, frustrations, joys, and love – and they described the exact person I felt when I saw him, in the few times we chatted. They described who I saw behind his eyes – the person I wanted to get to know better, the person I felt was more – and as they were talking about him, the tears fell from my eyes as I found out more and more… because they were also describing me.

Jan, even though we never had the chance to know each other, you taught me a valuable lesson, and I thank you.
In the future, if I come across someone who, behind their eyes, I see kin, see someone familiar, see someone who, even if I don’t know why at the time, I feel like I should get to know – I won’t hesitate. If I have to, I’ll step through my shyness & insecurity & fears & pull them aside, to a place we can talk, and begin: “This is going to sound weird and I apologize, but you remind me of someone that I never got a chance to know until after he died, and I think we could be friends…”

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What words will come today, I have no idea – your guess is almost as good as mine. All I know is that I need to write 50 words, which is my daily goal in this mini-habit thing.
This concept is actually pretty interesting, and perfect for me. Like most people, I’m certain, I used to make pretty lofty daily goals with the hope of turning them into positive habits. When I made them, I was full of vim & vigor, knowing without a doubt that the goal of writing 2500 words a day for NaNoWriMo or working out for 30 minutes would be a piece of cake. After all, wasn’t it me who is the guy who was strong enough to decide to quit working for anyone ever again, and from that created a life that would make (& did make) many people amazed at my strength & will? Wasn’t it me who took two handfulls of herbs, meditated & visualized myself living for hours every day, therefore saving my own life when the doctors were out of options & couldn’t? Hell, writing a few words and a little time taking care of my body would be *nothing* compared to that!

And so it went – I rocked those goals for at least two days – then there was that day when I was extra tired, or had a lot to do, or really needed to clean my apartment or polish my fingernails or absolutely HAD to learn to play the harmonica better – or do anything but write or work out.
I’ll get back into it tomorrow. Skipping one day won’t kill me. Watch me go.

Or maybe I’ll do it another time. This is too much right now, with the chronic fatigue from my cirrhosis, and besides, doing crunches really hurts my abdomen and my umbilical hernia…

And I failed. Again. I had plenty of excuses, even a few valid ones – but not meeting my goal still took a chunk out of my self-confidence, still made me feel that I just couldn’t follow through, on anything. Just like my dad always said.

But I can write 50 words a day. Hell, doing that – and setting the stupid-easy goal of two push-ups a day – it would be hard *not* to write that many if I just simply wrote anything at all, and as long as I get that 50 done, I have achieved my goal, continued with the habit I’m trying to build. If I do those two push ups, I already have the exercise mat down so may as well do a few more and while I’m at it some planking and other ridiculously easy exercises, and… and well, would you look at that. Not only did I hit my goal, but went past it – and because the mind isn’t concerned with how many, just accomplishing what I set out to do initially – my self-confidence starts to build itself back up, little by little.

During the day, instead of having the “shit I need to do that” weighing on me like I did when I set friggin’ Tony Robin’s sized goals, I look at it now with a satisfaction. “Already done!” – and gods, that feels fucking good to be able to say. Even if I haven’t done it, even if I’m feeling like complete shit, it’s nothing to do one push-up. Nothing to write 50 words – and even on days where that’s ALL I do, I still fucking DO that push up or write those words.

So yeah, I’m digging this new mini-habit thing. After a while it will become a real habit, and feel like I’m doing something wrong if I don’t do it. Like I feel weird if I fall asleep without reading these days. It feels like I didn’t take off my boots or turn on my fan, or grab one of my hats on the way out the door.

I’m just starting with these. I think another one will be getting rid of one thing I don’t need anymore every day – maybe I’ll start that one today. This place is looking clusterfuck ridiculous with all the crap I’ve collected over the years, that I’ll definitely use for an art project some day.

Well, what do you know. 700 words.

 

not counting these: 50×3

in dreams

The sleep has been sound these past nights, as deep as the ocean that never sees light, the sleep of a man who is content with the day’s doings. Slowly, I’m becoming more acquainted with getting what needs to be accomplished done, but focus is still regularly fought for. I’m getting better at noticing my distractions, getting better at the fight. In time this will be habit, but for now I need to watch myself, correct myself. The life I’ve dreamed of since I was a child is within reach and I must keep moving towards it. Even with all the impossible dreams I’ve made reality in my life, this has always seemed the most unreachable – the one I’ve failed to make true more than any others.

But this time, I will get there – and in between the days of working towards it, I will sleep, and sleep well.

With the sleep comes dreams. These were strong, heavy, and it seems the dream sweeper was only able to clear parts of them before I woke up, leaving some lingering memories.
I wonder what would happen if we remembered all of our dreams – every terror, nightmare, beauty – every monster, failed escape, and fall, into love or a pit of fire or blood. What if there was nothing to sweep the dreams away? Would we go insane? Would we lose the difference between a memory or a dream after a while? Confuse those for what we call “reality”? What would be real then? Is that who we see, muttering to themselves with a wild & terrified look in their eye shuffling down the street?

Lucid & bright, the past three nights I’ve found myself in the same setting – a house somewhere, a large pool with a man-made island in its far center, and at the edge of the pool a drop of about 30 feet into a warm natural lake. Sometimes I find myself further in the same chapter, sometimes the chapter has been re-written, but I’m there each time.
In the first dream, while a group of us were… relaxing, I think, laying around outside the pool, a friend tossed a 2×10 board over his head like you would toss the pit of a cherry – randomly, without intended direction. When it came down it came down on me, crushing my fore-arm and breaking the screen off of my laptop. I was more pissed off about the laptop.
The next night, my wound was healed and we were all swimming. There was a woman I didn’t know, long brunette hair with deep curls, an impish & intelligent smile, and eyes that shone with pure sex, sensuality & lust. We didn’t find it necessary to hide anything we did together – and I really liked that part of the dream, as you can imagine. I may be getting old, but I still desire, still lust, still want to taste the flesh & sweat & juice of the impassioned fuck… yeah, that part of the dream was nice…
In the dream I would jump from the ledge of the pool into the lake below, where others were swimming – doing elegant dives, flips, twists on the way down, then feeling the beauty of the water enfolding me as I broke through, arching my body as I went under so the velocity gained in the dive would bring me exploding up through the surface.

It brought beautiful memories back of when I was a child in San Diego, where pools & high-dives & natural cliffs to jump off of into the water were scattered everywhere. I would jump of nearly anything, just for that feeling of flying, just to be in the water.

Now,  in this age of litigation and people who bitch and whine about everything, the cliffs have been closed, the diving boards taken away from most pools. Our lives are far too protected anymore – I feel so sad for the generations that have come after me – they can’t know – aren’t allowed to know – the simple beauty that life can offer. The don’t know how to create games out of nothing but imagination; of feeling completely free… but then again, I don’t really know.
I can only hope that I’m wrong.

 

50.2

Getting started

Fear. When it comes down to it, that’s what’s holding me back. What always has.
My best guess is that it began with my adopted dad. I would come to him with the dreams and plans of a child, excited, unstoppable, the future full of magic & beauty & testing myself & building a dream to make it real, and he would be the boss instead of the father, asking how this would happen, how that, what if & all the things that I needed to not think about. How it was going to happen wasn’t my concern, I just new it was, and that I would build it.

And each time I walked away from him, from his “help”, I walked away knowing that it was impossible – whether it was or wasn’t. As a child, those are the things I was supposed to find out for myself, and if I could, work around them – but the final result was that I never even tried. He told me, and I knew – I would fail before I even started.

Which is what I’m fighting now, again. Over-preparing, making certain that everything is perfect, spending all my time on finding the answers to the questions that 7 years ago & made certain that he could never ask again, but cutting my entire adopted family out of my life. Of course, there were many other reasons as well besides that, and the final one was that, though they were in town frequently, they never visited me in the hospice. At this point, I don’t even know if they know I lived…

This isn’t about them, though. At least it’s not supposed to be. This is about me getting my shit together, realizing that I’m still terrified of failure but moving forward anyway. Knowing that things will likely never be perfect, and that I need to take what I’ve already prepared (after I do a few more things that need to be done) and getting out there, finding wholesalers for my jewelry business. It’s the only way that I can see that it will grow into what I want it to be – though I have little doubt that the ‘Verse will throw some things my way as well – it always does.

I just need to get out there, to stop preparing. To stop trying to answer the questions he would have asked before he does, and live my life the way I have always dreamed it being.

 

These scratches come as a result of a new book I’m reading that makes a LOT of sense to me – Mini Habits, by Steven Guise. The basic premise is just to set the goal for something tiny every day, something easily accomplished so it isn’t intimidating – and you’ll (I’ll) actually do it – such as setting a goal for writing 50 words a day, and doing one push-up. While you’ll usually do more, just knowing that you can reach your goal with so much ease will help you do it every. single. day.,, and therefore help raise your self-confidence – as well as secure the habit in your routine.
Of course, he describes it better, but that’s the general idea. Little tiny steps. So, that’s what I’m doing, and that’s why you’re likely going to see a bunch of crap in this blog for quite some time… but who knows? It may just turn into my book once I’ve found the words again.

need

Don’t expect this to say much. Don’t expect any revelations, wisdom, or the cleverness in my words that I once had. I’m just doing this because I feel like writing – or perhaps more accurately, I don’t feel like not writing.
It’s been eating away at me for the past few weeks, or past few months, while sitting at my desk working or walking with my dog or laying in bed or doing anything at all, scraping at the door of my mind, all the words that I haven’t written. The thing is that it’s been so long that I can’t see what they want to say anymore – it’s as if a thousand books were caught in a tornado, words torn from the pages torn from their spines and left in a pile that makes no sense at all – has no beginning, has no end, but has a screaming insistence to try to be understood. To be put back in order, and once again find a place to rest on the page, to be heard, to escape the cage of my mind and go running, tripping over themselves as they scream in their madness & joy from being released after being locked up for so long.

So now I sit in bed after just waking up, and try to get something out – some sort of beginning, put some meaning to the maelstrom and maybe, just maybe, feel a little better. Feel like I may have done something, said something – or at least broken the rusty and forgotten lock on the cage the words were confined in, letting them soon realize that they are free again, that I woefully missed them, and that I’ll never be able to apologize enough for caring what other people read over what they needed to say.

You’re free. Please understand that I need you just as you were, without fear of pissing people off or alienating others, the same words that made some fall in love with me, and others feel less alone. The words that hated and healed. The words that made me feel less alone.

Come back. It’s time. And… I think I’m ready. I think I have been for a long, painful time.

To Begin Fixing What’s Been Broke

It’s happening!

(Please read this. Not only could you win a $320 Gift Certificate to Flux Maille & MetalWear – but you could also very easily help the homeless in my neighborhood with warm clothes & dog food for their dogs – even if you’re in a different country! (They’ll still really appreciate it! 😉 )

SAN FRANCISCO ENVISION 2018 (1)

First off, I’m still ALIVE! But that isn’t what this email is about.
It’s about finally deciding to live.

With all that’s going on with Flux Maille & MetalWear, the post got a little long – so here’s a rundown of a little of what’s going down:

  • I’ve been invited to show (& sell) my work at an event called RAW: Envision that could get my art National – and even International – Attention!
  • need to sell a minimum of 20 tickets (to help cover their costs) to have a booth.
  • For every ticket sold after my personal minimum of 50 tickets is met, the buyer will be entered to WIN A $320 GIFT CERTIFICATE for Flux Maille & MetalWear!!!
  • You CAN buy as many tickets (entries to the raffle) that you wish. NO LIMIT.
  • You do NOT need to attend to win – or even live in the same country!
  • At 200 tickets sold, I will add another chance to win! (Two Winning Tickets)
  • At 300 tickets sold, I will add a THIRD chance to win! 
  • There is NO limit to amount of tickets (entries to the raffle) you can purchase.
  • Does NOT include shipping.
  • I will also be introducing a brand new BEAUTIFUL collection for the new year at RAW!
  • The event will be held at (venue name & address) 1015 Folsom, San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, January 10th, 2017 from 7:00PM-11:00PM. The event is 21+ and it’s going to be INSANE! (The requested dress code is cocktail attire. I request going ALL OUT wit yo bad self!)

And now, with the details!

Magnificent things are happening with Flux Maille & MetalWear & myself. Seems these days as if every corner I turn, there is even more amazing news to share with you!
For the sake of keeping things as short as possible however, I’ll only tell you one of those things in this email, and a quick story of how I got there. Because the story is kind of cool, and I think may be even a little inspirational. (Write back & let me know!)

Ya see, shortly after I turned 50 a few months ago I was sitting on my bed, doing my morning coffee/reading/meditation thing & trying to psyche myself up for another day of doing battle with the horrible Facebook algorithms trying to promote my work, when it hit me: (spoiler alert!) being a perpetually broke dreamer, artist, and hat addict just isn’t as romantic as it’s portrayed to be in the movies. Not even close. So, as usual, having no idea how I was going to actually do it, I decided to change. I didn’t want to be broke anymore.

Ever.

This time, however, I’m doing it differently. Tearing myself down to the foundation, and building myself back up again – doing things & thinking things I’ve never done before – even, and especially, if they terrify me.
Beginning with this.

(I won’t get into how I changed/am changing here, but if you want to read about it, I’m going to start regularly updating my blog again, so it will be here within a few days.)

Those who have known me for a while know that, usually, once I decide to change myself or life, from deciding to chase my dreams, to deciding to create a magazine, to, y’know, not dying – I do it – whatever it takes. And almost invariably, if I’m on the right path, the Universe steps in to offer a hand.
Once I made the decision to re-create my life this time, small things started happening to guide me, and it’s no different this time. One of those things was – and I forgot how it happened – but found myself in a conversation with a young woman who just happened to own her own thriving clothing business, and asked her some questions on how to get my little ol’ Dog & Pop business up to the next level – or five (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is, y’know – Total World Domination.)
One of the things she mentioned was to check out this thing called RAW – so I looked it up online – and when the needle on my bullshit meter didn’t move towards the red at all, I eagerly submitted my work to them. I saw there was an event coming up somewhat soon, and time was short…

A few weeks later, after the modern-day equivalent of sitting by the phone, wondering if they would ever call, I finally received an email from one of their representatives saying they “loved what they saw”, congratulating me on being selected as one of their new up-and-coming artists, and inviting me to show my work at their next “Highly Anticipated Artist Showcase” called “ENVISION”!
I KNOW! Pretty friggin’ awesome, riiight?!!

But dig it – I need your help. I need you to buy tickets, and in return, you could WIN a piece of my very highly praised chainmaille jewelry – a $320 value!

Here’s the deal: I NEED to sell 20 tickets to this amazing event to help cover all of their costs. After those, I get $10 for each additional ticket sold – and when you buy them through me, they’re only $22! (They’re $30 at the door.)  (The link to buy them is below.)

After my personal minimum goal of 50 tickets sold is met, everyone who buys (or has bought) a ticket will be entered into a drawing for any piece of my jewelry they choose – up to a $320 value – for EVERY TICKET PURCHASED! You don’t even have to attend – or live in the same country! The more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win – and there is NO limit! (For those not able to attend or who buy extra tickets, those tickets will be used as my “guest list”, so my really broke friends can come & be a part of this amazing evening as well.)
At 200 tickets sold, I will add another chance to win.
At 300 tickets sold, I will add a THIRD chance to win!

You can purchase tickets here! http://www.rawartists.org/fluxmaille

Why am I doing the raffle? Because while I know I could easily sell 20 tickets,
I WANT to sell 300.
Here’s the deal:
After I sell the initial 20, for every single ticket sold after that – I get $10! The amount of good I could do for my business, others, and myself is breathtaking!
I frequently take a few bags of dog food down to where they hang out & give it away to the ones with dogs, but with this, I could do so much more for them! From buying warm, clean socks for the homeless in my neighborhood & food for their dogs to food for them – I’ll be able to truly help, especially in these cold months –  and with how it can also help my business, that is why I hope to reach close to 300 tickets sold – because that would be an extra $2800 – a HUGE help for others & myself.
And YOU can help me reach it.

ALL tickets need to be purchased by January 5th, so please get your tickets now! You can easily get them on my RAW artist profile, here:
http://www.rawartists.org/fluxmaille

In addition to supporting me and my work (& skyrocketing business), you will also be able to see a lot of other amazing  local artists and vendors, including live dance performances, live bands, our in house DJ, live hair and makeup pedestal models, and an amazing runway fashion show featuring local fashion designers!  This event is going to be HUGE, with tons of entertainment – and also great for shopping!

The event will be held at (venue name & address) 1015 Folsom, San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, January 10th, 2017 from 7:00PM-11:00PM. The event is 21+ and it’s going to be INSANE! (The requested dress code is cocktail attire. I request going ALL OUT wit yo bad self!)
PLEASE HELP SUPPORT MY ART & BUSINESS! Not only can this event help me network with other great local artists and expose me to 1000+ attendees, it can help me expand nationally as well!

Here’s how it will help:

  • First, there is the chance to network and make new amazing connections with the community of artists they work with and permanent portfolio placement on their site!
  • I will have professional artist head shots done and receive professional pictures of my work.
  • I will have an opportunity to showcase again outside of San Francisco at any other RAW location of my choice in a new market!
  • I will also be automatically eligible to join the newest branch of their company called FOUND: Agency, which is a creative agency where they actually link up their artists with clients for work, campaigns, paid gigs, and similar opportunities!

Git Yer Tickets straight from my RAW artist profile, right here:

http://www.rawartists.org/fluxmaille

This is HUGE for me, and I am SO incredibly grateful for your support.
THANK YOU!

Please feel free to forward & share this email with all your friends, family, and anywhere, to anybody, you feel could be even a tiny bit interested – if they buy a ticket, they’re entered in the drawing as well!

And stay tuned! There will be more news regarding this – and other amazing things coming soon… and also, I want to thank you, especially, for being a part of my email list.
It’s a big deal for me that you’re on here, and I want to let you know – you’re appreciated. I’ll do my best to keep it interesting, inspiring, and maybe, every now and then – enlightening. You deserve it. 😉

With love, immense gratitude, and true, genuine *LIVING* (instead of just “alive-ing”)

~ kSea flux

 

P.S. Please feel free to respond with comments, questions, good advice, any knowledge of a business coach or mentor I should look into (seriously) and I’ll get to each one personally ASAP. Thanks!

 

Moving Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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

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

At least until recently.

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

The warrior awakens. There are new battles to win.

And you better fucking believe I will.