As They Have Done For Me (A commitment to myself.)

I had left phone messages, sent handwritten letters & cards, and still hadn’t heard anything back from her. For the first few months I wasn’t concerned. With the exception of a brief time shortly after we met, she’s always been inconsistent in getting back to me, and is a complete Luddite when it comes to anything beyond phone or cards. It’s frustrating, but something I’ve learned to tolerate. It’s just who she is, and I don’t have much of a choice but to accept it.

I had spent 25 years of my life searching for my Birth Mother, not knowing if she was even alive, and with each year that passed growing more anxious. I would vividly imagine the first time we met only being able to lay flowers on her grave – so this, this was small.

Only a couple years before there were times she would call me out of the blue, just to check in, say hi – and eventually would always return a phone message. My first birthday after we had met, she sent five cards, each addressed & in their own envelope, and even though the frequency of our communication got less & less after that, she never failed to at least send a beautiful card for my birthday. In these she would fill me in on the latest in her life, and it was always the same thing. She worked in a hospital lab, came home, watched TV for a bit before bed, & on Sundays, usually went to a local restaurant, a place called Lauren’s in Boonville. She frequently closed the notes saying “I need to get a life!” Helpless to do anything about it, reading that always hurt.

It had been months since I’d heard anything from her. When my birthday came & went without a card, I started to get worried. The messages I left & cards I sent increasingly got more desperate, eventually flat out asking if she wanted me in her life anymore. Maybe this was all a mistake. Maybe she decided that she didn’t want to be reminded of that time in her life, being shipped from Colorado to San Diego to have me, away from the humiliation that a pregnant & unwed child would have brought to her family in the ‘60’s. Maybe… hell, I didn’t know what to think. I was terrified that after over half my life searching for & finding my Mother, I had again lost her.

Still no reply.

All I had were letters and phone messages to send, and nothing came of those. I thought about taking the train up there, but the station was much too far away. Bus, same thing. If she didn’t want me in her life anymore, I could somehow learn to live with that – but I needed to hear it from HER, I needed to know why before I could begin to accept it, to heal as well as I could. With each day that passed, each letter or card that went unanswered, my heart collapsed a little more. Did she leave me again? What’s wrong with me, why can’t I fix it, why can’t I see it? What did I do wrong this time? I just needed to know. I needed answers. Maybe with answers I could work on what’s wrong with me.

I had been journaling, trying to make sense of it. I posted some of what I wrote just to get it away from my mind, and people were nice, reached out in words of concern. They were appreciated, but words didn’t help anything.

Then, on one of my posts, a friend offered a ride. I figured it was a nice gesture, but more than likely wouldn’t happen. People say a lot of things, promise the world, but at the end of the day, seldom come through. I didn’t let myself get excited, but figured I’d at least play along.

If this happened, he would have to drive down from Sacramento, pick me up, and then drive the 2.5 hours to my Mother’s house so we could catch her after she got home from work at around 5:30 – then after surprising her by knocking on her door and figuring out what the HELL was going on, would have to do the whole trip back to Sac. I saw how absurd that was, and although I needed answers, him doing this – for *me* – was just ridiculous, and far too much to ask or hope for. It was constantly on my mind to cancel just for his sake – but Kitty never faltered, never gave a hint of reluctance. It was going to be more than a 400 mile round trip for him, and all he wanted was for me to get the answers I needed from my mother. He also said he liked the idea of “sand-bagging” her for answers, and even if it was a last-stand, at least what needed to be done could be done.

When he showed up at my door that Saturday after our planning, I decided that maybe it was time for me to accept that he was serious. This was happening.
OhShitOhShitOhShit.

With all the apprehension and anxiety I put myself through, it turned out to be surprisingly unapocalyptic. As I walked up to her door I could see her through the large living-room window, sitting in her chair & watching TV. I watch her as she walks over to the door, unable to see me yet.
“Hi mom.”
“Ohhh, HI, Casey! What a surprise!”
She motions for me to come in.
“What the hell is going on? Have you gotten my letters? Messages?”
“Yes, I’m so sorry…”
“But you didn’t even take a minute to answer them? ANY of them? Not one?”
“I meant to, but…”
“But what, you couldn’t be bothered? Do you have the slightest idea what I’ve been going through? I think I made it pretty fucking clear in the letters.”
“I know, I kept meaning to, but it just got harder as time went on and…”

Looking at my Mother’s face, seeing *my* face in hers & seeing the regret and apology, the anger starts to subside but I’m not letting her off that easy. I still don’t know what I need to know.
“DO you want me in your life anymore? If not, I need to know why – what I’ve done or if it’s just your trip, if this is too much for you, do you still want me?”
“Of course I do. I’m so sorry, I… I’m just bad at it, bad at staying in contact. I promise I’ll try to get better Casey, I *do* love you and want you in my life, and I’m sorry I put you through that, I didn’t mean to…”

We’re both sitting now, the anger & dread nearly all washed from me, and I’m explaining to her like she’s a three year old what it did to me, what she did, how she made me feel. I know she understands, but I don’t want her to forget. I don’t want her to take this lightly, and especially don’t want her to ever do it again. Hoping I got my point across well enough, the conversation moves into seeing how she’s doing, how the hips that have both recently been replaced are feeling, and knowing Kitty & I need to get back on the road soon. I go outside & invite him in, and shortly after we’re back on the road, leaving my Mother to her grey, empty life & TV.

As we walk the short distance to his car I turn to see her sitting again, and vow to myself that somehow, I’ll figure out a way to get a car, get up here at least a couple times a month to either take her on small adventures or just stay the weekend and help her clean up the weeds in her back yard. I think of planting a garden for her, how nice that would be. She’s mentioned that she would really like to get a dog someday. So many things I could do for her, if only I could get up here.

What Kitty did for me that day, I will never forget.
I do what I can for people to try and help, but it’s frustrating being so limited. I can only do small things: take dog food down to the homeless kids & their dogs around Civic Center, give a few dollars here & there when I have it, drape coats that I don’t wear anymore over people trying to sleep on cold San Francisco nights – but it’s never enough. I know there is so much more I could do – but it requires a car. There’s no way around it.

That was a year and seven months ago. I haven’t been able to get up and see my Mother since.
A few months ago she ordered somey jewelry from me, and I still haven’t seen them on her. Small things like that…

 

On September 5th is my 50th birthday, and right now my greatest dream is to be able to go pick My Mother up and bring her back down to the City so I can spend it with her. Have a small gathering of friends so they can finally meet her, this beautiful and amazing woman, and she could meet them – get out of her house and finally enjoy life a little bit. She deserves to.

I have a campaign on GoFundMe to help me get a car, which would not only allow me to get a little adventure and excitement into my mother’s life but help me get to shows & events to vend my jewelry & grow my business – as well increase the quality of my life in every way I can imagine. I could help so many more people…

http://www.gofundme.com/magickbus

If you can, please donate to it, share it to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, emails, and anywhere you can think of. Click on the link below, and please – give what you can. I would appreciate it with all my heart – and if, with your help, I am able to get a car – if you ever need a ride somewhere, *anywhere* – you got it.
THANK YOU!!!

http://www.gofundme.com/magickbus

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A life for a life

 

I look at this page & it stares back at me, a subtle, defiant edge to the font that would likely go without notice if I wasn’t looking for it – but oh, it’s there.

WriteGunPic

Some reading this may think that it’s my imagination, that I’m creating it in my mind, that the certain lean, the extra hint of teasing, judging serif in the font is something I’m making up so I can blame something other than myself for the distracted words that my fingers put on this page, but I know different, and besides, what you may think of my sanity has no consequence.
On with it.

I part the dense fog that has surrounded my mind ever since I began working on my Kickstarter campaign, the words listening for the passage that will allow them to avoid the sharp rocks in these treacherous waters & lead them safely to this page. From the tattered pages of past writings I tear away the tangents I had followed when the Sirens of Kickstarter took away my will & made the words whine and shove those in my ears, muting the songs of the campaign. I prepare my mind to find itself again, to write what’s been pushed back – but never forgotten. The thoughts still storm, and it’s time to dance in the rain again.

SingingRain

I will succeed. I will triumph. I’ll do a happy dance!

As profoundly important as the success of this campaign is to me & my life, as much as I know it can and will change the lives of others, I need to remember that somewhere not far behind the ever-present thoughts of dong all I can to make my campaign succeed, there is a soul, forgotten & forlorn, who still has things other than the thoughts necessitated and consumed by Kickstarter to say.

And that being said, there is only a little more than a week left of my campaign – and this book needs to be finished, published & given to the world!

Please – pledge, SHARE, and understand the profound importance that this dream holds for me – I have never done anything that has meant more, including saving my life.
The goal of writing & publishing this book is what kept  me alive – what gave me something to fight for.

NGG THUMBNAIL8.8

This book kept me alive – and now, it’s time to let my book live!

Click the link below, contribute & share – please – and thank you!

http://bit.ly/NGGKickass

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!

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!

Bones: The moment that I became

Wandering through my writing from the day that turned everything around – the moment I made the decision not to wait and hope for my dreams to come true, but actively make them.

I clearly remember when I was offered the choice. I had been laid of from my job a few weeks before and was overwhelmed with stress & worry – about how I would pay rent, how I would feed Bean, how I, myself, would eat.
Somewhere in the background of my mind & spirit I was happy to lose that job, as it had turned into everything I was anymore. I couldn’t have a simple conversation with *anyone* without looking solely for that moment I could turn the conversation in a direction that was focused on finding an “in” with their building manager at work…
I wasn’t paying the game anymore. I had become it. I dressed in $700 Donna Karen suits (costumes) –  and damn, I looked good in them – but regardless of how good the outside appeared, the inside was vacant, save for every day and sleepless, stress filled night, thoughts of how to become better at my job… a job I no longer wanted, but was too afraid to leave.

Too afraid to give up even that small bit of security…

In a moment of clarity, I listened to what was being suggested. This is what I wrote at the time. A couple short weeks later I was working with The Dresden Dolls in a position that seemed to be designed entirely for me, and head-over-heels in absolute love with life. Now, as I look back & see how everything from that moment has fallen so perfectly into place to get me where I am today, writing the story of an incredible life that began at the very moment written about below, I can’t help but smile at how beautiful everything is.
And I am still completely in love with this life.

November. 2004

Oh, the things we suppress. What is squirming around inside of us? What do we have that could completely stand the world on end if we let it loose – gave it breath – acknowledged its life?

 

No. Can’t do that.

 

Everyone resume the game they’re playing. Everyone pretend that nothing is happening, go about your business, and roll your dice. If you work at it hard and long enough, really put your nose to the grindstone, follow the rules, get to work on time, deny the pain and the madness and the ennui and completely lose all that you are in search of the “American Dream” that they told you to dream, you just might die with the most toys. You just might win.

 

Fuck, I’m in a strange mood.

 

I like it.

 

 

Shit. I’ll never find a job this way…

 

 

But see, there’s a catch.

(There’s always a catch.)

 

The things I want to do. Learn, travel, experience, grow, give, help, inspire…

 

Eat…

 

It comes with a price. It all comes with a price. Many things don’t necessitate one in a monetary sense, but still, many do. It’s a matter of survival. We’re caught,

 

but not defeated.

 

All there is, is to shine as brightly as we can, never losing sight of what we need to evolve. Never giving in, never handing our lives and our own dreams over wrapped in our soul in order to make it one step further to a lovely little retirement in geriatricville. Never succumbing to the temptation of personal drama in order to feel substantiated or validated – or just in order to feel. Maybe that’s what happens. We lose ourselves so completely in trying to be a “success” that we need to create situations around us simply to bring us back to life, to remind us that we’re human.

 

Fuck that.

 

Love. Breathe. Wonder. Explore. Dream. Go back to the eyes of a child. Look around and, again, and see how much beauty there is in everything with this remembered knowledge. You’ll see how everything shines so incredibly brightly, and how it’s all a part of you. You’ll walk down the street with a warmth and subtle smile, knowing that this is the only thing that truly matters. Try to remember it, because if you aren’t careful, it will be taken away again, suffocated in the mundane. Do everything you can to keep it, and give it away at each and every opportunity. Eventually, you will know. The language of your story will become true, you will repair your wings with paste and bandages, and learn to fly again.

 

That is success.

It is time to follow my dreams, regardless of how terrifying it may be at times, or the false sense of security that I must give up to do walk this path. I have lived far too long as someone else’s pawn.
It is time to live for me, to remember who I am and do what I can to help, to give, to remember how to love myself – and in doing so, perhaps inspire others to do the same.