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february 2004

Phantasms11:13am saturday, 28th february
My visions seldom explain themselves. I see something in my head, and I wonder if this is madness, or is it inspiration? Or is it possible that it is neither, and it be merely a stray picture created by wishful thinking — is it just my imagination? Perhaps I have taken my visions too seriously. Perhaps none signify of deadly portent, that I may view the images and feelings as one would treat the dreaming of a child: encourage if you can, but don't expect it to mean anything much. I can never be sure, though. If it be of the madness, I would have to shut the vision out with all my strength, yet if it be of inspiration, I should pursue it to the ends of the earth. I wonder which of these three my phantasms are. Maybe it all depends on me; if I can make it work, then it was not merely a daydream, nor was it madness, after all — a stepping stone from the infinite, it said not what it was so that I might learn what makes a miracle.
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Doors7:48am friday, 27th february
Once, my perception's doors were jammed open by accident.
I discovered Blake mistaken, that things are finite, after all.
But how wondrous is a kiss when a soul opens at the lips.

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Advantage8:54am thursday, 26th february
I find I too often think of situations in terms of loss or gain, benefit or detriment. Almost below my consciousness, I tally some invisible point system on everyone I know, and I figure how much I've scored with someone (telling me how much I can get away with), or if I am in point debt, and need to butter them up a little. I don't know if other people do this, though I imagine they do — if somewhere within their brains they've numbered how well they've treated me, and it would give them allowances to ask favors of me, or if they need a better rating in my own gauges of their character. But even if everyone does something, as we may, it still does not make for virtue. Something tells me I shouldn't be thinking in terms of advantage, that a true heart does not so quantify.

Perhaps saints never have such a problem: they treat everyone the same, whether they've met them before or not, whether they be friend or foe: like a brother. Maybe even better than a brother. I know I am no saint, but it does not hurt to measure ourselves against a (rather) impossible standard, if only to see how it really should be done. How have they overcome the simple fact that the spirit is quite willing, yet the flesh so weak? Saints don't have it easy, in my comprehension of the matter: like all experts, they merely make it look easy. They, too, have struggled, but maybe the difference between their triumph and our failure is that they persevere on, while we accept that we are not perfect, and forget that our faults are faulty. Everyone does it, after all.

I think I will remind myself not to merely consider where I rate with anyone. In all likelihood, I will never be a saint, but that should not stop me from being a better person if I can at all help it. And I know I can. No, not everyone does it — but virtue is like that.

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Imagine7:53am tuesday, 24th february
I can imagine storms that ceaselessly roll, unstoppable, devouring whole cities in cataclysm. I can imagine soft sunlight in the hills of eternal childhood, ever glowing in the embers of yesterday. I can imagine darkness deeper than black has ever been, foul and unyielding, a vacuum essence that no light may escape. I can imagine brightness in such a brilliance that leaves no room for shadow, eternal, a solid light that means only truth, not to dim the faintest tinge.... What I imagine I wonder if they ever were, or if I draw them from some source that is fantasy's plaything. What I imagine I can merely write and hope that some words strike some chord, and that what is in my thought echoes somewhere else, that another wonders as I have wondered, touches of the same fate.
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Time Forgives Us9:06am monday, 23rd february
Time forgives us, one may find.
There are instances when
what we do is enough, we meet
the task at hand, it is
sufficient for the day. They
are not all impossible things,
that the hour metes out to us;
these the minutes that
creep by like a whisper — they are
not all of them unaccounted,
not all of them disappeared
without that they meant something.
Time forgives us: the seconds
do not all rush by as if
they never were, and the deadline
pass by without our mark
upon the world: they are not all
stumbles, our steps into
the great unknown of
what is to come. Is it not a wonder
that we can function? Is it not
astounding that we can
sometimes, however few they are,
be excellent? Let them
not all pass by, these chances
we have — let us once, more
than once, take the reins
of our fate and drive through the
winds as if we had nothing to lose,
as if we had won, already.

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Profit a Dream9:06am saturday, 21st february
Of what profit is a dream? It drives one to despair to follow it, it makes one sleepless, obsessed, driven, and yes, mad to go the way of these distant desires. They, too, so rarely come true, and never how you would expect; these fantasies give no clue as to how they translate into the waking world's brick and mortar, steel and glass. Furthermore, to truly pursue the pie in the sky, much of one's life is usually forfeit to its whims. Years, a decade, more: a dream cares not about clocks. In a blink, you look around, and the whole world has changed around you as you pursued the ethereal endeavor. It would seem to me that dreams have ruined many more lives than they have saved, caused more suffering than the all the dark things of the world put together.

But yet, I will not give them up. No: I, along with all my brethren who have truly dreamed, we hold the pain that they have caused us as scars of honor. For to dream, to hope for something and pursue that thing to the furthest corner of the winds, there is a virtue there that cannot be bought. Even if to follow it meant our end, it would be a noble death indeed to perish while in such pursuit. I have been on occasion a tortured soul, both with and without dreams, and there is a fundamental difference between the two. To agonize about nothing in particular is a terrible thing, a pointless suffering; if there is a purpose why, there is no pain great enough to defeat you. Sometimes, the journey itself is enough reward, even if the dream leads us back to the start, to dream again.

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Simulacrum9:02am friday, 20th february
I am living someone else's life. This is not me. I am a madman huddled in an out of the way corner somewhere, imagining all this. I don't know whose persona I borrowed, but this assumed identity is too capable, is too sure of himself, is too good. Surely I am not able to do these things I do — it is a sweet dream, and perhaps one day I will awake to the real whatever I am. But until that day, I will play the game like I know what I'm doing, live this life as if it were my very own. I should not question this simulacrum, though I know I sometimes will: I will wonder if, I will wonder how, and I will wonder why. When the real owner of this soul comes back to claim it, I will not contend with him; I will just smile as I give it back, and thank him for such a lovely day out in the sun.
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History8:40am thursday, 19th february
There are wheels turning in the cosmos that need to be stopped.
But some processes of destiny cannot be reached, nor controlled.
Motions of fate are often too quick: in one blink, history.

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Knowable, and Not9:01am tuesday, 17th february
There are some things we can never know. For one, we can never just exactly what someone else is thinking. We have clues, to be sure, but the knowledge is never absolute. Where love is concerned, the question is seems the most uncertain and the most sure: does she love me? I know she loves me. Something about that emotion drives us to believe in things that were never there, and like to know something without knowing — something about love lets us understand without understanding. And there are other things, too, that we will never truly answer, like the question why. One can always ask it again, even when it has been satisfactorily answered. Too, perhaps one question we will delight in never knowing the answer to: why does she love me?

Then there are things we can know. For some reason, many of us think we do not truly know, never for sure, what is right and what is wrong. We do things and excuse ourselves from blame, for everything is relative. Yet, if somehow someone does us wrong, we immediately take offense. Suddenly, it is quite clear the difference between what does us good and what does us ill. What follows from such a realization is the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Realizing we know when something displeases us, it is just one step away from doing as we like done to us to our neighbors. Ah, but quite a long step that is. We usually don't take it, if history serves. Just so you know, though: we have no excuse not doing so. Just so you know.

Lastly, there are things we imagine we know, but don't. It comes down to a question: is it always right to love? We think we know, the answer is yes. If that is the case, then why don't we? Why? Do you know?

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Clarity8:48am monday, 16th february
There is a certain clarity that comes, every once in a while. When the world is almost new again, and the scenery is in sharp, crisp focus for a time. I don't know what makes it happen, for it seems a random thing: there you are walking down the street, and the world is suddenly a freshly seen thing, by eyes that awaken for a moment — like experiencing a mild form of enlightenment. You notice how much you notice. And you wonder, was this as I saw things when I was a child? Yes, you wonder that, but I think it is not, for a child does not notice how much things are new to him, and a child does not know how blessed such new vision is. You do. Youth is wasted on the young, but let not such minutes of the senses' re-ignition be wasted on you. Look around. See what you see.
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The Source8:27am saturday, 14th february
There is no easy equilibrium,
there is no simple balance.
Love may have once been
a painless maneuver, once,
but we have complicated all matters
and nothing comes without
that there is some price to pay.
The equations no longer behave,
the numbers do not add,
the right words do not come,
or if they do, we fear to speak them.
What shall they say of us,
we who have lost the ability
to unwind our own entanglements?
Or is this a human thing,
after all, that our situations have
always been thus, that we
do no more and no less than
all who have come before
us, and all who will come from now?
We are all but fools. We
bend not to pick up the gold,
but stoop instead to dig our own
graves.... But I think there may
come a day when we look
into another's eyes and see
for one brief flash all a person
was meant to be. And we will
imagine that we will have touched it
once, that which is forever
beyond our reach, and too, in
every heart: the source and birth
from which comes all love.

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Y'know, that Stuff8:54am friday, 13th february
How much am I given to bs? I think I have crossed that line so many times in the past that the line doesn't exist for me anymore. I am not so much a liar, not like I used to be, but sometimes, I take tangential information and make it seem like that's the main point. Bs. In the business world, the stuff flies freer than loose change, but it gets into you to do this other places when you start to subscribe to that model. You start to rely on it as a primary mode of conversation, and that's not good. I haven't gotten to the point where all I am is the bs, but if I continue to fling it whichever way, then one might assume that it would be a natural consequence that that could become all that I'm ever capable of. That might be called "death of personality". Heaven forbid.

On this site, right here, I am the least prone to it. A lot of that has to do with my anonymity, because I don't need to put on a face when I have no face at all. I should hope everyone has something like this in their lives, some quiet place where they need not put on airs, need not resort to the dark smelly stuff when groping for a response. This site is my confessor, and perhaps we Christians have the right idea here: a soul needs to be unburdened once in a while, or else that soul starts to integrate the dirt it accumulates into itself — it becomes the fraud. I must watch myself, I think, and if the line has become so blurred between right and not so right, I must need get a strong magic marker and draw it again. I believe in second chances. Let there be hope for me, yet.

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Splendid Days...8:49am thursday, 12th february
I have seen splendid days come and go. They never last, but when they happen, for those scrumptious moments, the sun shines as if its sole purpose is to light your way. Birds sing like they are cheering the mere fact of your existence, and in your heart you know that all the stars in the sky quietly wonder at you, and wink. These I bring out from memory, though, the observations I present, for this time right now is not in any of the heights from which such may be sensed. The remembrance of when I was, however, lingers, as the taste of the sweet may sometimes be recalled most sharply when all there is is sour. You have a choice if this happens to you: be bitter that you could not stay in such a light, or kindly know that such a reminder does not mock you, but rather serves as a candle in the darkness. No, it is not so bright, but it glows like a hope that somehow weathers the wind and rain. It tells you, dream on.
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Timeslips4:25am tuesday, 10th february
Time forgets me sometimes, and I slip between centuries.
One moment it is the first Christmas, the next, the end of the world.
Someday, time will not recall me, and I will die being born.

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Never Bored8:50am monday, 9th february
I am never bored. I don't know what it is, but there is some driving spirit within me that moves me always to do, or to be content with just being. If there is nothing for me to work on, or to be entertained by, I just get lost in my thoughts. But usually, it is that I do have something worth at least some of my time invested in it. I think it is because I have so many dreams, and I cannot say it strongly enough: better to have many foolish dreams than to be a practical man with none. Why not dream much, and dream big? Dreams are free, after all. That little boy who daydreams all the while away may become the next Einstein, or the next Walt Disney. You never know just what dreams may come true.

So what, my dreams have done little in the way of achieving me fame or fortune: I am never bored. I don't know how many people can say that with sincerity. Sometimes I think that the madness was just God's way of exercising my mind, so that when the madness was taken away (for the most part), this mind's need for the constant activity that madness afforded made me desire, made me aspire, made me dream. I say to go, dream of writing that great American novel, even if you've never written a word. Dream of being a movie star, even if you've never spoken in front of an audience more than yourself. It is better to have dreamed and lost, I think. And sometimes, the lost causes are the best ones.

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Miracle2:40am saturday, 7th february
We suffer a thousand small stresses as we travel through this life. Most people can take this, though, and I find that amazing. I am even amazed at my own self, my own psyche, for how I can bear the thousand little weights upon my shoulders. We should not underestimate the marvel in everyday being, for to live a simple, ordinary life is filled with its own magic. We have come to expect much from the world, and from people — perhaps even ourselves — and we often do not stop to think how magnificent it is just to be able to survive.... Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible. But what shall we comprehend? There are a million small things that we do not try to understand, there before us, ignored because they are always there. This moment is a miracle, this boring, bland moment: wonder for a moment at the two mere words, "I am."
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Footfalls9:06am friday, 6th february
Footfalls away from me —
I hear them. I knew
I was being watched, from
somewhere, but in my
heart it always seemed a benevolent
thing. Who was it that
was near to me, and now flies
from my presence, as if
I were a thing to be feared, as if
I were one of the cursed things
of this world? Do not go,
stranger, I would speak with you.
Tell me of your life,
and I will tell you of mine, and
we may compare scars.
Come back, o stranger, for
I think we have never broken
bread together, never drunk
to each other's health, never
done something stupid
together. Footfalls away from me,
and they stop, in the distance.
I see him, through the
mist of morning: he looks around,
as if lost. He was never
one of those who watched me,
I know now, and I understand
that he has business
I have no business in, and I think
whatever my rationale,
I cannot make him care
about anything that is me.

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I Dream8:38am thursday, 5th february
I dream of the rhythm that does not die, I dream of the cascades of pure rainfall. I dream of night stretching past infinity, I dream of stars that shine brighter than love. I dream of day whose every hour is eternal, I dream of sunlight pouring through my inmost soul. I dream of the mountains higher than the moon, I dream of the seas deeper than imagination. I dream of fires lit from the embers of the big bang, I dream of waters that flowed before time began. I dream, I dream, I dream: nothing can disturb me for just this moment, when all I need do is to be, and all history tells me that I was meant to be just as I am.
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Quitters Never4:30am tuesday, 3rd february
There are some moments that I just want to quit. My dreams, my job, everything: just put my whole life in the toilet and flush. It's a little mad, I wager, but am I right to assume that "normal" people have such feelings? Driving home from work, do you ever get the urge to drive right on past your home, keep going until you run out of gas or you reach the shore of the closest body of water? ...I don't know what it is that makes me feel so. My life, for all appearances, seems to be going quite well, so what is this restlessness that overcomes me? What makes me want to run away? Life: I know I have not had enough of you: no, it is not that I want to exit the game, but rather that I want to wipe the board clean and start with a new set of pieces — something like that.

When I used to do acid, there were these glimpses I thought I had when reality would open up and reveal what was lying underneath. Maybe I miss those visions; maybe I want to know what's really going on, even if it's just a myth, just a fantasy, just a trip. Normality is just too normal, sometimes. But no, I can't do those things anymore — I've had enough negative reinforcement (and I have my faith) to keep me from desiring such escapes. I must tell myself, "People do it every day, Stand. They get up in the morning, drink their coffee, and go to a job they hate. They come home, watch some TV, and go to sleep. They do it every day." Maybe this is the final test — maybe this is true courage — be normal. To put that in my pipe and smoke it.

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Dawns8:59am monday, 2nd february
I have mental blind spots where I don't know what I'm missing.
But lo a time when things dawn on me, like seeing for the first time.
In newness, I forget me, lost in the wonder of being.

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