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…

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loving someone to life

Glancing over the past few years on Facebook Not for anything specific that i can recall now, perhaps a photo, or just wandering down the long valleys where the memories are kept…I brush away the moss & dust that has settled on them as life goes on, the wonder and appreciation of new paths, changing lives casting shadows over the older moments we have learned from…

Is it only me that feels this nostalgic sorrow for not remembering every mention of love and caring that people have invoked my name in? For months on end I now read them, on after the other, wishing me well, calling to others for the sake of my support, reachingout to people I don’t even know because someone that they know needed help to stay alive.

The thoughts of what was call tears to my eyes, and as they roll down my face, no longer gaunt and skeletal but full, shining and healthy as if none of this ever happened…

I remember how very much I owe to them, to the people who gave so much love to keep me alive.

I come across one line, a line I have never forgotten that took all the strength I had to write.

***November 27, 2011 · San Francisco, CA · 
Drowning, please, need someone to take me to emergency room ASAP
If I remember correctly, Bob found me only semi’conscious in my motor-home… nothing but what I wrote is clear until I woke up somewhere around ten days later in the ICU having little idea what had happened, only that I didn’t have the strength to talk or even write.
I remember trying. I couldn’t form a single legible letter.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I owe so much, in such profound ways.
To all of them… for the chances they have given me, and all that I have been blessed with since…

and now, I need to give them the most honest and loving thing I can possibly create, as small as it actually sounds…

I need to give them all of me, all that they don’t know, all that I could never say then, never disclose.

I need to give them a book; my book…

and inside of it, the closest thing to my soul that I can offer.

wordflood (aka writer’s clog)

A losing battle last night with a blank screen, the blinking cursor taunting, mocking, laughing at me as it remained in one place. On. Off. On. Off. On… waiting to travel across the page, hoping that

Over the years I’ve found that it’s never for lack of words that keeps me from beginning to write…

It’s because there are far too many of them inside of my mind and heart, and while I know the only way to string them together to make any sense is to write them out – sometimes even that filter desperately needs to be cleaned…

But of course the only way to DO that is to write.

(((sigh)))

one single word

8.15.14

A word more powerful than nearly any other. A word more overused and tainted, heartfelt, believed… and unknown.

A feeling that reaches beyond the body, beyond the soul, beyond anything tangible. That can only come close to being described in poetry, yet even the greatest of poets could not truly define it regardless of the heights they attempted to make it fly in its glory nor the unfathomable depths of the anguish it has caused so that another could grasp the way it held their heart.

When I look in her eyes I feel what I think it is – is this all it needs to be honestly said? Is it that simple? No. The word itself is little but a reassurance, something that we think we need to hear to minimize our insecurities or those of another. It has been soiled, misused, and the honesty and weight it once carried been chipped away by all the sharp tongues that have spoken it, made inaudible by all the desperate ears that have pried it out of voices without hearts.

I feel that it should be said, but only at times when it cannot be held back. When it is not thought about nor spoken only to echo, but when it bursts from the heart in a way that cannot be contained.
It should be shown, displayed, made solid through the way life is lived, how suddenly each thought is never again solely about you. Inhaled and exhaled in every breath, each act created with the intention to bring happiness in the other, just to see the sparkle in their smile.

I don’t like the word “love”. Not the word. Not as used when I say it to her.

It is far too insignificant. Speaking it cannot come near comparison to what I want to do for her.

When I tell her of my love, it will not be empty. It will be saturated, dripping, with all the beauty and honesty and power of the poetry that I or anyone else has – or ever will feel – inside.

KATV Aug17.14 OFFICIAL

Kats Tattoo

Surprise, I’m your spawn!

(Failed attempt to write a letter to my Father # 3,514. I’ll get it right before the New Moon on the 25th of this month… after all, I was born on a new (aka dark) moon –  what better time to send the letter and twist his reality around?)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

New Years Eve, ’66-’67.

Think back. Remember what you were doing? You were in California, celebrating the new year with a beautiful woman.

She still is.
She tells me that you were a good man, a good friend to her for many years. A childhood companion, or something like that. She has never spoken a bad word about you.

 

When I wrote to her, it was the most difficult thing I had ever written in my entire life – up until now.

See… this is the thing:. She knew about me already.
You don’t, nor ever have. You had no idea that on that night, celebrating the new year in joy with Annie Stenerson, you created… me.

Hi. I’m your son. People call me Casey.
I need to let you know that I am not looking for anything from you that you aren’t willing to offer. I am not here to turn your life upside down. I have no idea who you are or what your life is like, and I understand that you may have a family of your own, which I do not want to harm, create turmoil, or damage in any way.

Please know this – I have my own life, as I’m certain that you do as well. If you need to keep me a secret, I understand – some things simply are better left in the past, but if you do have a family, I hope that the person your son (me) has become is a reflection of you – honest and with a full heart.
I don’t hide anything. There are probably many who would be proud to call me their son… but only Annie and you truly can! Isn’t that amazingly cool?

I am alive because of you. After nearly 47 years I pop up and call you out as my father. This cannot be denied – you are my father, and I am your son. Your child.

The decision to acknowledge my existence in your life is up to you. I know it is not an easy one… none of this is. It’s not every day that you receive a letter from a child of yours that you weren’t aware of.

HI! How the hell are you? I’m your “oops”. Nice to meet you!

 

A little more than a year ago, I finally met my mother, Annie Stenerson – and she’s just as cool as she probably was back then. I searched for her for over 25 years – over half of my life – but all of my life I wanted to find her. Needed too. She carried me for nine months, gave me up so that I might have a better life, a life she couldn’t give me at the time – and also that unwed pregnancy thing? Not so socially acceptable 46 years ago.

Please don’t take this in a bad way, but I wasn’t really concerned with finding you. You don’t even know I am alive. I don’t want to disrupt your life. You… you just happened, much like I did.

I choose not to think that either of us were “mistakes”. Without you, I could not have lived the life I have. Without you, I wouldn’t even exist… and my life has been truly amazing. I have helped people. Inspired them. Loved them, and continue to.

I have been told that I am a good person, a “good man.” That has little to do with the “dad” that raised me, it has been a personal quest from the first moment I understood “Self”.

 

incomplete

I was offered death on a silver platter, on the house, free of questions or guilt or blame; the setting complete with cocktail forks and a shell cracker to be sure that every bit of its marrow and juice was consumed, to pick clean the memories and every bit of what was and could have been so that nothing remained but the carnage and shattered bones of a life that had become empty. It was a gift that would have been so simple to accept – an easy way out of something that had become lackluster and plain –

There was one mistake made though in the almost perfect set-up. It would have been far, far too easy to do. Some said I was courageous, which I possibly now understand.

Perhaps the courage was in turning it down. I have an unquenchable thirst for adventure, for life, for proving the impossible possible, for realizing dreams – yet with all of the meticulous preparation there was no beverage served to satiate my craving.

Possibly it was believed by the hosts that death would have been enough of a voyage in itself to entice me. Perhaps the Powers That Be, The Great Big Ooh-Ahh, The Universe, The One And All were giving me a way out of what’s coming, and a fantastic justification at that.  I’m certain that one day that final journey *will* be enough and I’ll cease this struggle for life – but that can only come after all the things I wish or need to do while alive have been undertaken.

 

The fifteenth day of the second month in my new apartment. I’ve become to view it as a jail cell that locks from the inside, offering peace, offering comfort, but this is not who I am. It is with unease that I call upon the words again, beckoning to them, encouraging them to be my friends again, as where I need to go inside is a place that I inevitably go alone.

The Search.

It takes everything I am, everything I have been through, every tiny bit of strength that has been cultivated over my years, and yet I don’t believe that this will be enough. It will, however, be better than the first time, be better than when I attempted to do it myself, as this time I have hired a search company to assist me – I had little choice, although payments for the fee will leave me destitute for the next four months. It’s either live for this time barely able to survive due to lack of food and the herbs I need, with some air of hope for finding my birth mother, or it gets put off longer and longer with the possibility of never getting done at all, never having the questions answered that I’ve been asking since one day as a child I found my adoption decree hidden in my parents things and taught myself how to ask them. Either I do it now, and with the help, or it never gets done and I’m forever left wondering, forever remaining incomplete, a shadow of who I could be.

At the autopsy they would find a heart with a hole in it and no guts.