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april 2003

After2:42am tuesday, 29th april
I wonder if it is true, that we leave it all behind. I mean, if there is an afterlife, that we will think no more of this sky, and this earth. That nothing of this world will survive us passing on. It is my feeling, when I step back from everything for a moment, that this life is only a test, a preparation only for the things we are truly meant for — for eternity, where we really belong. As the grown-up puts away the toys of his childhood, perhaps we will put away all the temporal things of this life when we are faced with that thing which we vaguely term, "forever". And as a child fantasizes of his adult life, what it might mean to be grown, I will wonder at the life beyond life; and I think I will find it most different than what I imagine now, just as the adult finds his time of age not as he thought in those years back, wide-eyed at the prospect of it all.
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Appreciation12:01am monday, 28th april
I have had this feeling recently — maybe you know what I'm talking about — a feeling that all of my life is too settled, and old hat, a feeling of wanting something new and not knowing what that might be. I'm not sure why I'm having this feeling, though I do recall back when I was doing drugs that I was too numb to consider this kind of thing, that when I was high things were new enough. I'm not so numb, these days, and I appreciate the little things much more, but it seems that noticing all the things that happen to me has had this detrimental effect that I am now used to everything that does occur in my life. I am now accustomed to living a pretty good life; and you know, I really can't complain; but perhaps getting habituated to the good life makes it not quite so good anymore; I don't know, I feel like I'm missing something, something that is perhaps important.

Maybe back when I got too used to the violent changes of madness. I have been sane for quite a while now, now that I've quit doing those drugs that enabled the psychosis. Perhaps I will get used to this feeling, too: everything is okay, stop worrying about things. It's strange. It is perhaps that in my past I got used to the world falling down around me, picking up the pieces and starting again so frequently that I am at a loss when the sky doesn't fall. Hm. I may be able to appreciate this kind of life now, though. Far less white hairs on my head, and not so much the dancing around like a chicken on fire.

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River12:11am saturday, 26th april
Madness once pumped through
these veins, this blood a fire, casting
strange shadows flickering along
the walls of my imagination. Aware
of how beginningless are dreams,
as if we in sleep join a powerful
flow somewhere in the slums of
eternity, this dream crept further,
a poor substitute for a prophecy,
but enough a stream to carry my
spirit away in its currents. No,
perhaps I have not always been
here, after all. Perhaps I have
traveled through the rivers of my
blood into that beginningless
dreaming, and I, come back into
my mind, read the marks on the
walls of my imagination, the ghosts
who had signed it while I was away,
and I understand how little I
understand. What have I learned?
On this ground where I set my feet,
I may look out to where I was adrift:
this life, too, is a dreaming that we
join, and I think one day to awake.

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Begun?12:03am friday, 25th april
Have I begun? Is there more to this thing, life, than I am aware of, or is it just to wake up and face the day? I think I can handle it, if this is what there is of it: sleep, work, eat, etc. I was outside the loop for so long, back when, that I am still unsure of what this world requires of me. I am uncertain, but I know that to hesitate is often to lose, so I take a stab at it, whatever I can do at the moment. I don't know what the best of me is, so I don't say that I am trying my best; I wonder if I ever knew. I hope I find out, one of these days what that is: my best; but for now it will suffice that I do, that I do something. Yes, I think this is it, I think I have begun. So this is life, huh? Thank You, God. I think I may make it, after all.
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Quiet12:09am thursday, 24th april
It is quiet. That may be a good thing, depending; perhaps my brain has worn itself out for once, and it resorts to rest as a last recourse. I had somewhat of a manic depressive weekend, and I am examining in myself one of my dreams. I am wondering if I am kidding myself, whether it is possible for this mere mortal to find something groundbreaking, something truly original. I guess I feel a little wounded. This is human, though, right? To be uncertain what the future brings, considering whether or not fate has nothing grand planned for me after all, to walk through life a little heartbroken? This quiet, this touch of despair: it too will pass, I think, but not yet, not until I learn something from it.

It is a pause, that I may reflect for a moment. What do I really want out of life? When in the motions of desire fulfillment, one may not stop long enough to wonder why; when one is moving, sometimes we do not question just what it is that moves us. Yes, vague notions are always there, things that, if one does not think about them, make sense enough to press on with. Thus, perhaps, has this quiet reason to be. I will not despair of my despair, I will not lose hope of hope. I will look to find myself once again; I must have changed since my last discovery, after all, and my notions of passion must need retuning. I have a moment to myself, no need to justify me to anyone around me. It is quiet.

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This Dreamer12:07am tuesday, 22nd april
O world, what have I believed? What conspiracy is true?
Within this dreamer at times dreams will die, leaving only the moon.
Was the only thing this dreamer never believed in, himself?

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Wanderings12:01am monday, 21st april
In my more psychotic states, I would take walks in the cities where I lived. I have seen parts of Pittsburgh and San Francisco I perhaps never would have had I been always sane. Not the dangerous places, for the most part, just out of the way, places you often glance only in maps and really don't notice. I had the company of angels, when I walked: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael (he infrequently); I also had the company of Jesus Christ; all of them were those strange cartoons dancing around in my mind's eye. I wonder, now, just where I went on those trips. Someone was looking out for me, to be sure, because I eventually always got back home safe and sound. Wandering around, it was almost like a dream, those walks. And I remember, I never knew just when I woke from them, if I did, at all.
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Stories and Dreams12:07am saturday, 19th april
What was that saying, "There are 8 million stories in the naked city"? I think the number is off by an order of magnitude. If you think of it, I'm sure you can come up with at least 10 stories of interest in your life. I think everyone can do that, which would make the naked city teeming with 80, not 8, million stories — so many stories, I wonder if there is a six degrees of separation of them. You know, where an element of one story is contained in another story, and within six stories connected, each has something to do with all the stories in the world. I wonder. Maybe, then, there is only one story, after all, if all of them are connected: one grand, sweeping tale that the world will tell on the last day of time.

Stories and dreams. Strip everything from a man, leave him naked in the city street, and you still cannot take from him these. If there is only one epic that carries in its tide the currents of all stories anywhere and anywhen, imagine that the unfolding of this powerful prose strives after its own dream, the world dream. But this is the most mysterious thing of all: in rarest times, one man's dream is greater than the world dream, one man's story — his part in the grand tale of all — is greater than the sum of all stories. It may only happen once in a hundred generations, but I believe it does happen, has happened, and will happen again. I wonder what that kind of dream is like, what kind of story is told so true?

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Secret Humanities12:01am friday, 18th april
Who has not in his days ever
called out to Heaven, "Save me"?
Who has not hurt inside, "I'm
all messed up, take this world
away, leave me to this corner
where I may huddled small be
forgotten by this world"? Who
has not once desired that he
die, and be nothing, ever more?
We have all lived this life alike
in these secret humanities that
we would never dare show of
ourselves, driven by passions
we deny that we have, all of us
mortals with the same red blood
and a heart that breaks. We
can never speak of another soul
without speaking in some way
about our own selves. And He,
the greatest one, He challenged,
"Let he who is without sin
throw the first stone!" — no?
No one? No, not a one dares.

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If/What If?12:01am thursday, 17th april
If in an age to come there were no hunger, death, or disease, would we find ways to screw things up, anyhow?

What if there is a land we all go to in our dreaming, and I have actually met the people there — would they remember me in Heaven?

If you found the world were an illusion after all, would you want to find what is real, or just live your life as you are?

What if the world will not end in fire nor ice, but by neglect?

If you could leave it all behind and live a new life, would you go, and not look back?

What if at the end of all the universe's ages, time reverses itself, and we all experience the wrongs we did to each other back at ourselves?

If you could make all your dreams come true, would you, if all your nightmares came with them?

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Uninspired12:07am tuesday, 15th april
There are days when I am truly uninspired. When I feel like talking to no one, when I don't even feel like thinking, when I wish I could just turn my brain off — sleep, maybe, for a week or so. I can usually function at work on half a brain, I think, with just three of my six cylinders in motion at any given time; and no one seems to notice, so that's what I do. I believe I am not alone, other people must go through these times, too, when the weight of routine seems too much to bear. Those days like that Barenaked Ladies' lyric: "you try to scream/But it only comes out as a yawn". Yeah, today is definitely one of those days. One of those days that just threatens never to end, like you're trapped in some infinite loop of dullness.

I suppose it's not as bad as all that, though. If I didn't think about it, maybe if I actually do something with my time instead of complaining about it, the lull would liven up. I just have to suppress the urge, I think, to just get up from my seat, start walking, and hitchhike around the world. Or something like that: just leave, not look back. Hm. Actually, no, I think I have not such the courage to do that, or the lull is not quite so bad that it prompts such a desperate measure. One day at a time: (I think I have written this before) that's the whole problem, there. Some days I would like to bunch together and take on two or three at a time, just to get them over with. Oh, well. I have my health, at least. Knock wood.

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In One Moment12:05am monday, 14th april
In one moment, an empire may topple, a star blink out.
In one moment, a king may be conceived, a destiny devised.
In one moment, a dream is recalled, a prophecy begins.

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Nil12:31am saturday, 12th april
What if there were nothing instead of something? It is a frightening thought, if one truly considers it: there being a vacuum from everlasting to everlasting, where not ever was, and not ever could be. If you are a believer, that there had been no God to set things in motion at the beginning of beginnings; if you are not, that there had been no superhot pinprick of energy that "Bang! " and here was the universe. What if? For in my thinking, there would not have been any oblivion being, in the nil of the all, wondering, what if there were something instead of nothing? One considers that the true horror of it would not be that all things should end, for that we can imagine — but there had never been a beginning, and there never would be: that would be the incomprehensible: to think there be a blind man, and take away the man to leave only the blindness.
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Now, Infinity12:13am friday, 11th april
I feel as if I have been here forever, that I have always looked out from behind these eyes. And I don't think I can comprehend that all of this will go on when my life ends — or even that I will one day die, and be no longer of this world. The Taoists believe that eternity has a name: "Now": that is how I feel, that I am at every moment experiencing infinity.... I think I must qualify all this in that I am not speaking through the filter of madness, but just a philosophical perspective that fancies me, that may seem strange to you. William Blake understood this perspective: "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite." Time is a strange thing, indeed, as if sometimes eternity comes and goes, and there be some moments that never end.

I dunno. Maybe it is a little mad, after all, this conceiving. But I know that I will always be that little mad, however well I become. Threads of schizophrenia still run through my thinking; every now and then, I have sudden and bizarre notions. But look at things this way: there is no past, and there is no future, and there never have been or will be: all we have is this thing called, "Now", and in the present tense only do we ever live. If there is an afterlife, I think we are tasting it right now: the flavor we call "Infinity". I don't know what you think of this taste, but to me, it is a sweet one, worthy of experience, worth the words we write.

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Kind2:12am thursday, 10th april
Suffice it to be kind. There is no
secret to it, after all, no secret
to life that is undiscovered. We
have always known what to do —
we were born knowing. We feel
there must be more, something we
are missing, but the secret is that
there is no secret, just things we
hide from ourselves. The architecture
of our lives happens in reverse: we
first fill in the structure of our days,
and only in the end do we see the
whole plan of it laid out. What will
be the flesh of your construction?
Our souls are the objects we build
and the method by which we create
them — and their matter consists
solely of the choices we make. Suffice
it kindness. I think not that many
souls have woven into their drywall
too numerous its silver threads;
yes: it is the value of the whole
structure, I think: when on the
last day that Light on high beams
down upon the manufacture of
our essence, of what luminosity
will be the echo of your shine?

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New the Tune12:07am tuesday, 8th april
I walk through the tune of life new to the decibels. There are riffs that seem like I should know them, yes, but the music is wholly unfamiliar: it is as if I have maybe heard these songs before, but still can't quite place the melody. The beat of my striding is an easy one, and I will try and keep the rhythm simple, I think, not try and outdo the meter that I spy some others keep in time to — but I feel as if I've never kept this here beat before, not like this. The instrument my soul is being strummed by a new hand; though the hand is mine, these fingers touch and are touched as if new to sensation itself. What is this new exhale, from which out comes such a song I never knew? It is all crisp and fresh — like I am a child again — and I wonder wide-eyed at everything.
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Voices12:01am monday, 7th april
Somewhere in me I knew I was mad, I think. When I sat in that room at my aunt's in Korea, talking to the many little cartoons of people floating in my head, there was in me a loneliness that was deeper. The company of psychotic visions is no compensation for a real smile from a real person. Somewhere I understood that it was not right, giving and receiving love from the figments of my imagination — the emptiness of it all I think was not completely lost to me, even in the farthest of my strangest mental wanderings. Somewhere, I believed none of the information presented me, when I thought I was God, or an angel, or a prophet — but alas, this voice was soft and I often missed for the blaring of my insanity. It was no good to be in a quiet place, as my imagination thrived when all was quiet; it was more that I be in the din of the city street or some such loud company that the mad voices needed to compete for my attention, and so occupied, that low song of sanity I could hear the better. It was in the bustle of motion when I knew how alone I truly was.

I think I was not the only one, though. Those of the busy busy striders of life, those who have been caught in the muchness and manyness of life: that, I think, is like a madness, too. Those who have lived in the shouts of myriad activities I believe have had in themselves a quiet voice to which they never listened, that somewhere deep in them have known what is sanity. But these people, like me, have not known to listen for such a soft hint to what life really may mean. Like me, they have acknowledged only the things that shout at our faces — and we have been caught in the cultures of noise, which have drawn us in because they make not the most sense, but the least, and we have strained to hear most what the noise was telling us, not realizing that it was loud because it had nothing to say.

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Accidents12:22am saturday, 5th april
I just cannot imagine a life without accidents:
my plans are nothing, and it seems I learn only from my mistakes.
I have ever but stumbled onto the greatest my treasures.

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Real Secrets12:01am friday, 4th april
The only secrets we have — the only real secrets — are those that we keep from ourselves. We are curious animals in that we are very aware of our own selves, but I think there is much below the surface of our "I am" than we imagine there to be, or want to believe there is. In madness, I found, this protective barrier breaks down; at least this is what I perceived that happened: that in madness, I met the me I never wanted to realize was there, saw those corners of my personality where light had never shone, was let in on those secrets of myself I never imagined I had. There may be a reason some of these things about ourselves we never let us in on them, some things exist that we are not meant to know. These secrets of myself I was let in on, these groping urges in the darkest wells of me: these parts which always hid in shadow, when light was cast upon them, they flinched back out of sight, denying even to themselves that they were.
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Imaginary Dreams12:09am thursday, 3rd april
This last night in my imaginary life I dreamed three dreams. It was like the old riddle of the sphinx, that which has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening: I was a child, I was a man, and I was an old man. (No, these dreams I never dreamed, not that I remember, but I imagine that they could be pieced together from those I forgot, those that I only glimpsed snatches of before I woke.) Dream the first and I was a baby of two years old, and my father was tossing me in the air and catching me, and then, he threw me up hard — and I stayed suspended up there, watching from the ceiling's height as he walked away. Dream the second where I was a man like I am today, and I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to see a beautiful woman I had never seen before say to me, "Where have you been? I've been looking for you everywhere!" Dream the third and I was in a park, sitting on a bench with my cane beside me. The Grim Reaper walked up to me, pointing to the space next to me on the bench, and asked, "Is this seat taken?"

I think perhaps dreams were ever meant to be understood. Some were meant to be followed, but ask a dream no questions. The answers you get will only get you deeper into mystery, as the questions multiply among themselves whose answers breed more questions. Now, I suppose that with these imaginary dreams I give you, I am dreaming of dreaming. I think it is what happens when you sleep too soundly for a given stretch of time, and you miss the strangeness of a sleeptime fantasy that is recalled by the waking mind. Without dreams, in sleep's oblivion, this is perhaps to placate an ancient fear — afraid of the dark, I light a match and whistle.

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Play12:09am wednesday, 2nd april
I did not come to play. This,
in all seriousness: where have
all the children gone? I was
there, in my playground, but
when I looked around, all of
anyone around me were tall
visages of their former selves,
and none the child was left; too,
I saw I had not hands of a child any
longer, but fingers twisted with
the wear of years, palms dirty
with the soot of toil and function.
And I looked in the mirror:
and that child no child was, the
innocent eyes now stared back
with the knowledge of good and
evil. When did we become not one
who was capable of anything,
one with potential in the skies;
when did we fall to earth into
the molds of mundane office?
Tell me, I say, though I expect
that none will answer me; tell
me, because I am serious about
this whole thing: I came to play.

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Wandering Thoughts1:20am tuesday, 1st april
I dream of unspeakable joys that no man has ever seen, which none could touch and not die upon feeling such delight. I dream of night that knows no dawn, no, never: that it is sufficient unto itself the darkness of which closes its city from day, whose stars shine on and on. I dream of mountains a hundred miles high, whose peaks only angels have ever tread upon. I dream of seas so deep its waters seep into the center of the world, and no living thing has ever tasted its brine. I dream of colors that exist in the fringes of existence, shades imbued only in the irises of mythic creatures. I dream of life, and it is strange: sometimes the dreaming of days is not so satisfying as those I live in my waking, that the odor of life is not so pleasing as taking a big bite of it, chewing, and swallowing it down. I dream of time, and time dreams me... where does it go?
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