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

 

Advertisements

nowhere but now

Outside with Ruby this morning in our “back yard”, the lot behind the apartment building I live in, I stood there in my pajamas, bathrobe & boots, enjoying the early morning quiet, grey skies & cool breeze.

As Rube did her usual sniffing around I lifted my head up & closed my eyes, taking that moment in as fully as possible, finding gratitude in just simply being able to be there. In the nearly 7 years I’ve lived in this one place, only recently have they opened it, unlocking the steel gate so that it could be used. For a couple months only myself and one other resident in this 48 apartment building had the key, but as soon as the security cameras went up they replaced the handle of the gate with one that doesn’t lock at all.

To have a small patch of solitude that I can pretend is my own, and just walk or stand on something other than concrete without having to get dressed and walk to a park, to simply be outside & alone with Ruby – in the middle of the city, it’s quite a blessing.

To be here. To be alive. There is so much to be happy for, so many small things that are so frequently are overlooked or taken for granted.
Fat too many people seem to look at happiness as a goal, something to be won if they work hard enough, make enough money, save enough… but happiness should never be a goal for another day.

When I was in hospice, there were many occasions, sometimes for weeks on end, when I wasn’t certain that I would be alive the next day, or even in a few hours. I didn’t have the luxury of looking to the future hoping to find happiness; and as hard as it sometimes was, I needed to find reasons to be grateful, to live moment by moment, and find happiness & grace inside myself. To force myself to smile at a nurse through the pain, to laugh at the absurdity of being able to smell the stench of my own body decomposing, to find the courage to simply accept whatever happened, knowing that it was a miracle that I had even lived this long – and man, what a life it had been…

I keep everything I learned in hospice inside of me, creating my own happiness & grace, and though I’m certainly not happy all the time – nor, I think, do I want to be – when I need to, I use what I learned as the means to a good life right here, right now – and not a goal to be achieved some other day.

My happiness depends on nothing but me.

But of course, a nice little patch of grass & dirt to pretend is my own helps.

better than I am, I am.

I read the me from a year ago & realize in dismay & frustration how little has changed.
Lately – for weeks, if not months, I’ve been feeling like all I do every day is pound my fists against this chrysalis I’m in, feeling as if I’ve been stuck in here far too long. I am formed & waiting to stretch my wings, but have somehow created walls in my mind that prevent me from breaking through the shell & feeling the air lift me again.

I begin to resent myself – partly for letting me become this way, partly for my inaction, & partly because even though I *know* how to break out of it I have myself become one one of the types of people I tend to scorn – those who talk and seldom, if ever, act.

That is unlike me, who has jumped into everything most of my life – from moving blindly to cities where I didn’t know where I would sleep & knew no one, to creating an online magazine, to driving across the country & changing the weak plans I had to live in a tent for four months, volunteering for Katrina refugees in Austin… and so much more.

So who is this person now? WHAT is stopping me from moving forward… except for simply moving forward?

I never have before, but now… I think I need someone. To help, to meet with & inspire me to get this book & bio & description done, to bounce words off of, cheer me on, and hold me accountable… but I can’t seem to find them. Everyone else seems too busy with their own things. Their own agendas. Their own lives… and while I can completely understand…

it sure does get lonely.

I simply used to jump off the cliff and wait for the wings to unfold. They always did.
These days however, I don’t seem to be able to find anywhere to jump from.
I just need help to get running, to start moving…

and to change this fear into excitement.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
kSea Flux
December 4, 2014 ·

I look at old videos that I took while in Maitri. Things I haven’t seen since recording them, “footage” that no one else has seen, nor likely ever will unless you ask – and I don’t think you want to.
Better to hide behind the hint of truth that you already know.

These are the things I need to remember when I see other friends going through the hells that they do – so few of us tell the whole story. We’re afraid to.
We aren’t looking for sympathy, not looking for “oh, you poor thing…” We know. We know how you feel because we feel it more. We feel it more because we have that badge sewn into our flesh. Trust me, this is nothing against you… in fact, I hope you never do understand. I hope that you never have the capacity to empathize on that level. Your well wishes *are appreciated…

But what we truly seek is understanding. A person to cry *with* – not someone who cries for us. Only in those (thankfully) few people can we find some sort of twisted kinship.

Please don’t get me wrong – I love you. GODS, how I love you, for your caring, for your support, for the way that you *don’t* understand…

But I watch the videos, and even I, who have lived through that time, am disgusted at what I see… the decomposing flesh, the blood, the “fluid” that stained everything I slept in or wore, frequently soaking through the three layers of gauze & bandages to the pants Nd dripping on the floor of the cafe… And for the greater part of five years (the decomposition began *long* before I went into the hospice) – that was just another part of daily life. Brush my hair & remaining teeth, splash water on my face, peel the dressing and flesh from my legs try not to scratch because GODS they itched from the poison seeping out… and what do I need to do with CultureFlux that day?

THis seems like an entirely different life, the one I am living now… an entirely different person – finding my Birth Mother, being solid and “stable” enough to at least let a dog “think” that everything is wonderful… – even to the point of daring to offer my heart to another…

And remembering how wonderful that feels, even in the pain that it has brought.

Recently a friend said to let go of the past and focus on the future. I understood what was meant, and in many situations the person woulld be right – *IF* my past – this *particular* past were holding me back from myself and who I continue to become – but as I said to the person after a bit of thought – “In order to see where I am going, I cannot be blind to where I’ve been.”

We all go through what we need to, so we can give the lessons we have learned…

and I think I pretty much lost my train of thought… if there was one to begin with.

Perhaps the most important thing however – as grim as it may look to others, keep fucking smiling – and to everyone who *can’t* understand… please keep it that way.

You’ll find out enough about it in my book. That’s as close as I *EVER* want you to get…

I love you.

kSea Flux's photo.

A day off? Well… no.

I almost did it. *ALMOST* took an entire day off of anything that had to do with the book, after working on at least *something* for it for around three months. Every. Day… but honestly, I’m far too excited. Excited to be alive to be *able* to share what I have learned… so today I start writing the book. The *actual* manuscript.
Because thanks to SO many of you, I am actually fucking alive to DO it.

Thank you.

ALSO, THIS! I’ll take care of the writing and all the other work, I just need *your* support so it is actually published when I’m done – and again, THANK YOU!!!

And please, please share this, because you and your friends are a *million* times more powerful in getting the word out there about it than ANYTHING – *and* you can get REALLY cool rewards for your support!

Thank you, I LOVE YOU, and let’s ROCK THIS THING!

~ kSea

“Not Going Gently” – Early-Bird Reward Details!
THIS is the campaign to be an amazing part of supporting my book!
All supporters will be officially noted and thanked* in my (brand new) book blog, (https://notgoinggentlybook.wordpress.com/ ) where they will get updates, more details about the book and it’s process. Supporters also will be allowed into a special section of the blog with behind the scenes videos, posts, photos, and content solely for them!

*(If you wish to remain anonymous, please send note with your paypal donation message – and Thank You!)
Support can be sent through Paypal.com to this email address created specifically for the Book Campaign:

NotGoingGentlyBook@gmail.com

I truly cannot tell you how grateful I am for not only supporting this book, but being my my side in so many ways when *no* one knew if I would even live to write it.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. With ALL of my heart.
*All levels in the Early-Bird Campaign magically include a digital download AND a hard copy of the book! (The Kickstarter campaign will have the $5 & $10 “Thank you” levels – this is the one for the super-special stuff, much of which won’t be available on the official campaign.)

Book Release Scheduled For Tuesday, September 15, 2015!!!

And Now –
THE AWESOME REWARDS for YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT!

$25
1. Digital & Hardcover copy of my book.
2. Absolutely amazing good karma.
$50
1. Digital & Signed hardcover copy of my book, personally thanking you for your support!
2. Wonderfully Incredible Karma!
3. A Virtual Hug & Kiss (if you’re into that sort of thing.)
$100 (Only 20 Available!)

1. Everything in the $50 level plus:
2. A hand-crafted (by me) leather book-mark, each one awesome, different & original. (Not just a slab of leather – it’s going to be special!
3. A personalized, handwritten poem by me. To you, thanking you.
$200 (Only 20 Available!)
1. Everything in the $100 level except three signed books, plus:
2. A personalized, handwritten poem by me for you, thanking you for your support of this project.
3. Two Tickets to the amazing, earth-shattering Book Release Event & Party, in September of 2015

$300 (Only 10 Available!)
1. Everything from the $200 level except five signed books plus:
2. A personalized framed handwritten poem by me. To you, about you, on really fancy paper.
3. A happy dance video of me personalized for and thanking you, that you are allowed to share anywhere. (If you really want to.) I get to choose the music.
$500 (Only 10 Available)
1. A very unique & only one of its kind in the entire *Universe* Custom Leather Book Cover to fit my book, adorned with fancy things and created (as much as tastefully possible) with hints of your unique style & personality.
2. A personalized framed handwritten poem by me. To you, about you, thanking you.
3. An actual printed “thank you” in the front few pages of the book with your name, showing my appreciation for being one of the amazing “Early Bird” supporters.
4. All the stuff at the $50 level except with five books to share with friends!
$1000 (Only 5 available!)

1. Video of “A Day in the Life of Me”, shadow style… but not a typical day where I just sit at the computer and write or think about writing the whole time.
Action! Adventure! LIFE! Maybe even people – and ending the day with a toast to you! Whether you live in or outside of S.F., you can see this beautiful city through my eyes!
(And yes, you are allowed to suggest things you wish to see me do. I’m not shy – but be tasteful, okay? We’ll talk.)
2. All the amazing rewards in the $500 level except with TEN books to give away to friends! If you give me names I will thank them as well in the inscription!

$¬3,000 (Only 3 available!)
1. EVERYHING in the $1,000 level of support, PLUS:
2. FOUR tickets to the book-launch party & show which is guaranteed to be truly amazing, AND you will be invited onstage to be personally thanked by myself and perhaps a few other people who have been waiting for this book.
3. 1 0n 1 Conversation with The Author (me!) in person (Limited to the S.F. Bay Area) or over Skype for up to 2 hours, where you may ask me anything you wish – or we just have a good conversation. Fair Warning: I don’t do small-talk.
That Support email for Paypal is: NotGoingGentlyBook@gmail.com

And – thank you again, SO incredibly much for supporting me in this amazing project!

Love love love,
~ Casey

Winning Against All Odds (Book Teaser Part TWO)

The emotional scope of writing this story is becoming frighteningly clear. Every day I go further into the notes, into me, and bring back in unsettling clarity the disquieting details of nearly each moment written about I recall how much more there was going on inside of me than merely the words written in my blog posts.

I was profoundly, overwhelmingly terrified, but couldn’t let anyone know.

In my posts, I only skimmed over what was actually happening in my head and heart, making it palatable to the reader, trying to be as cheerful and upbeat as possible. I couldn’t afford people reading what I wrote and worrying, posting replies that were alarmed or anxious. I couldn’t have the slightest bit of uncertainty, worry or unintentional doubt to cast a shadow over the flickering light inside my heart that I was struggling so hard to keep lit.

Holding onto that light, that small glimmer of belief that I could live through this was the greatest challenge I had ever faced.

Through all the pain, through feeling and watching my body fall apart and rot in front of my eyes every day, the putrid stench of my own flesh decaying, the skin on my legs swollen & splitting, belly grotesquely distended with the waste my organs could no longer process… it seemed futile to even hope in the smallest chance that I would live – but it couldn’t be over, not yet. I still needed to find her. To find my mother. To thank her…

 

The first six months were the most fragile.
These were the most uncertain. From the moment I woke nearly every morning to the time I was able to sleep, there was a constant battle going on inside of me to not only believe that I could live, but questioning whether I wanted to.  It would have been so much easier to give up, let nature take its course, and quietly fade from this life. I mean hells – I had stashed away enough morphine to easily dream myself dead if the pain became too much or the process too slow to endure anymore.

Certainly, no one could have blamed me. I was tired, drained, shattered, and barely holding onto life most days anyway. No one would have asked why I was finally letting death take me… most of them expected it.

Beyond the smiles that the doctors and nurses had learned to wear, behind the caring and upbeat tone in their voices that they kindly tried so hard for, I knew that they were only waiting, making me as comfortable as they could until, like most everyone else at the hospice, I just gave up and let myself die…

I was broken… but I was not yet destroyed.

I can be a tenacious bastard. A really stubborn pain in the ass, when I need to be – and I figured that if there ever was a time that I needed to be, this sure as hell was it! I decided not to give them the satisfaction of being right –after all, it was a pretty high-stakes game, at least on my side, and so… I chose to look at it like that. Like this life ultimately is. Nothing more than an exquisite game, a game that is played, lost or won depending solely on however you choose to play it…

Hells, I was dying anyway, what’s there to lose? Let’s PLAY!

The Western doctors had done all they knew how to do, so now it was my turn. I took risks. Stopped taking their ineffective drugs and started reading & doing my own research into all kinds of alternative healing, from the completely wacky (and there’s some really bizarre ideas out there) to the more conventional. I mean hells – at that point, what’s the worst that could happen?

I remembered lessons from some of the more difficult times I had been through in the past. Perhaps the most significant lesson was that I had come to know – not just “believe”, but KNOW – that regardless of how far you fall, there is always a way back up. You are never given any challenge that you don’t have the strength and resilience to not only get through, but eventually come out on top of. Regardless of how high the odds seem to be stacked against you, you can beat them. You always have the strength inside of you to kick some ass.

I just needed a reason to keep fighting, and a damned good one. Something big, something I could believe in with all of my heart.

Getting the hell out of there & finally finding my Birth Mother – now that was a pretty damn good reason to work with as the main goal to live, but there were others that could have been just as powerful if I decided that they were – the stories I have to tell, the people I might be able to help, the love left inside of me to give… so many things I had learned that still needed to be shared with others.. I had to live.

I made an oath to myself & others.
Hell – some of the people who read my blog during that time all but demanded that, If I did live, I would write a book about all I learned. It could likely even help people. Hundreds of people. Thousands.
A MEEEELION PEOPLE! Bwaaahahahaaaaa!!!
The cool thing is that the lessons I learned easily transcend the hospital or the reason I was in it, and if I wrote a book it could connect with nearly everyone.

So I am writing a book. The time has come. My story is being told.
It will not be an easy story to voice; I’m not looking forward to going back there to say what needs to be said – but I didn’t go through the hell I did to selfishly keep this story locked inside.

It can help people, & it needs to be told.
I have not only survived, but I am living. I am thriving, and continuing to chase down my dreams.

By the way – I have found my Birth Mother, and she’s awesome. We’re getting to know each other, and I’ve even been able to see her a few times.

I also, just a month ago at the end of September, found and contacted my Birth Father who had no idea I even existed – and he’s excited to get to know me.

And I’m writing an awesome book. About an absolutely incredible life.

About The Book
(And A Super-Limited Pre Launch Supporter Reward Package!)

It’s an unapologetic, pull-no-punches, authentic, inspiring and even sometimes laugh-out-loud story about transformation, personal growth, trusting in yourself, doing what you believe is right and fighting like hell to live the amazing life you deserve…

Though the specific journey written about in this story is solely mine, there is something in it for absolutely everyone who has ever faced – or ever will face a difficult challenge.

In order to have it published and promoted, in order for it to get out there and be able to help people, I will need your help. It simply will not be able to exist without you.

I am anxious and friggin’ THRILLED to finally get this going, so while I prepare the Kickstarter Campaign which won’t be ready for about a month, I am offering Limited Edition Rewards for a short time during the one & only:

KICK-ASS EARLY BIRD PRE-STARTER REWARD SPECIAL!

The details are coming later today, so keep watch!

This Pre-Launch special will help me fund some key things that will help get the book finished and published as soon as possible, but because of the extra special rewards that ONLY the pre-launch supporters of the book will receive, IT WILL BE LIMITED

 

was

it cannot be said that
I did not try
with all of my patience, understanding
and all of my heart

but as much as I could only see the present
and dream the possibilities in our future

you could not trust or
learn to see that
I was not your past…

so now that is all that I am.

Until again… or if never.

After many months, maybe nearly a year – an email sent to my adopted dad…
I will never be able to say everything I feel to him, but I try.
I don’t want to hurt him… just want him too see me… for once.

to believe in me for once.

 

A Hard Road…

this is the road I have chosen. It has been destruction, wanting, searching, beauty – and the knowing that they were all who I needed to be – who I am.
 
We tried, didn’t we? Unfortunately we carried our past with us – our expectations, our beliefs in who we “should” be to each other, and in that gained nothing.

Do you know what my only regret is? It might surprise you. It is not any of our endless battles, not the pain I cause you or the pain I let you cause me… my only true regret is not going to the symphony with you when you asked me if I wanted to… was itevery Thursday, or just one a month?

I don’t remember – only that it was on a Thursday.

I still hold animosity towards Jill & Katherine. That is my own challenge. I need to somehow forgive.

I will.

Do you remember the time driving home from somewhere, crossing the bridge on 52 when you asked me about my search for my Birth Mother? “I don’t know why you’re wasting your time, she’s probably dead anyway.”

Clear as day, still. After all this time.

I have grown. I think you might be proud…

After all, that’s all I ever wanted, but couldn’t seem to achieve. Every single passion I had for life was ripped to shreds by your questions, things I hadn’t thought about.

It took me years to realize that most times, passion is all it takes – everything else falls into place after that. Just get started, screw plans, and follow your dreams.

Dreams are more important than anything we could ever make tidy or explain…

I am still alive because of my dreams. ONLY because of my dreams.

Life is good for me now. I have the most incredible girlfriend I could ever wish for, and am in love with my life – though I am still fighting to get a few cash clients for my copywriting/content strategy business. I know it well and WILL rock it, just need to push the fears ingrained in me aside and KNOW that I can.

I can change lives. I already have… for the better.

I wish you the best. You always tried, and I appreciate that.

My birthday is in seven days. I am spending it, for the first time (save for the few minutes when I was brought into this world) with my Birth Mother. A gift from my girlfriend, who is driving me up to her home.

This will be the best one ever – and yes, I am including the train rides to Del Mar. I still talk about how much I loved those.

For that, and so much more – thank you.

You are a good person, dad. One of these days you just might be fortunate enough to have a bit of sense knocked into you. 😉

Until again,
~ Casey