± H13.com - Archives - January 2002
january 2002

Notice12:58am thursday, 31st january
I believe some of you come and visit me every day (sorry about yesterday, when this site was down — my host had some unknown problems), and I thank you for it. Thank you for reading, thank you for understanding. I have tried to update every day, and have basically been consistent in delivering new posts at approximately a little after 12 am GMT. I don't know if I can keep it up, though. No, I am not closing shop. I just wanted to say that I might not be able to keep posting every day, that's all. I wished to let all those people who come every day to be notified that I may not have something new posted when each new day breaks. But do come back, every once in a while. I will keep writing, and I hope you all will keep reading.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Dreaming8:11pm wednesday, 30th january
I dream that I am dreaming,
And wake to wakeful seeming,
But still in arms of sleeping
I within am creeping.

Oblivion is calling,
Forever I am falling...
And then I feel me flying:
Earthly bounds denying...

I wake once more, and seeing
I'm back to earthly being,
I don't know what I'm winning,
But I can't stop me grinning.

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Two of Me12:03am tuesday, 29th january
How many of us live two lives? One is the public mask, the outward display we show to the world: our best face forward. Then the you that only you know about, all the secret things you will utmost do to protect from prying eyes — that's something else. For three years, years after my breakthrough, I wore normalcy like a cloak, a thin veneer over the hunchback psyche underneath. I think I wore the thing pretty well. I became the company's poet at the place I worked (I used to send everyone poems I wrote in emails). A few, select number I let in on the joke. But mostly, I was business as usual.

I would go home and I'd be alone. Left to myself, the little cartoons (like Jesus Christ and His angels) would sporadically appear. I knew what they were, the hallucinations — remember, this was when I had become sane (for all intents and purposes) — but I would still occasionally talk to them. Does anyone, though, anyone out there live just the one life? Is there anyone out there with nothing to hide?

It's all right, I think. Keep your secrets. I don't know what this world would be if all the people everywhere decided they'd share the dark things about themselves with everyone they met. Perhaps it would be a world where no one could look another person in the eye, ever again.

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Child's Eyes12:02am monday, 28th january
I remember that as a child I made a secret vow to myself — even before I knew what a vow was. I vowed I would never forget what it was like to look out of a child's eyes, to see how things seemed to me from that point of view. I have kept it the best I can, knowing how we change as we grow older, how so many things we care about pass on or fade into the background. I still remember the vow, and I think I still remember at least some of how it seems through the eyes of a child. Do you recall it at all? How some little thing seemed like the end of the world or Heaven's greatest gift? I have, however, something else that I had not counted on back then, which is the gift of perspective.

It seems funny to us, we grown-ups, how we wanted so bad to have this or that, or thought that some toy would be the End of All Want for the Rest of Our Life. Priorities change. I remember when Gummi Bears first became popular. I wished I had enough money to buy twenty bags of the stuff. But I'm glad that never happened. The world has some certain wisdom many may miss. If I had had all twenty bags of 'Bears, I would no doubt have gotten sick of them — the twentieth bag eaten from that pile would surely not have tasted anywhere near as good as the bags of Gummi I did get, spaced out in time. In the years when candy was still a regular buy, the Gummi Bears stayed a special treat.

I will never forget my vow, I don't think. I will always strive to imagine how a child may look at things. But I am not a child, any longer.

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Lightscape1:15am sunday, 27th january
Where I wander, the sun bleeds its light through every crevice.
Shadows have all been swallowed by the dawn; I learn to forget them.
I am a stranger here — in this place does no one have a name.

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A Victory12:01am saturday, 26th january
I defeated Satan, once. It was Halloween a few years back. It was after my breakthrough, when I was basically sane again. But as I have said before, the madness never completely leaves. When this occurrence happened, I had just smoked some pot (it was a party), which I really shouldn't do — my madness is quite connected to psychedelic drug use, after all, marijuana included. Anyway, I was staring at a tiki torch, listening to Deflatermouse playing on the stereo outside, in a friend's backyard. For some reason, like was my bent, I was contemplating something about Jesus Christ. Then it happened: when I tried to think the word "Christ", there was a deep, baritone voice that replaced it with the word "Buddha". I tried again to think, "Christ", but the voice was more persistent each time: "Buddha! Buddha!"

I have nothing against Buddha, mind you, it's just that I'm strictly Christian, and must have no other name before Christ. And the voice identified itself (in a stream of thought into my mind), as Satan, trying to undo my faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ. "Buddha! Buddha!" the voice kept repeating — I feared for my soul. But then, a calm swept over me, and I pushed the voice away from me in my mind; I said to it, "The Lord is always with me." And how I defeated Satan in my mind was simply to keep faith in just that: that the Lord was always with me. I stood my ground, and the Devil backed off. Victory. Satan had been tempting me to give into the fear — and please note that that was the main point, not that it had been "Buddha" it was using (remember that the Devil even uses Christian scripture for its own ends).

I know it was just a hallucination — that the real thing is most probably not so easily beaten — but I'll take it. I fought the good fight, at least that one time in my life. I kept the faith.

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Goodness12:27am friday, 25th january
One thing that keeps me going is a truth I don't think churches tell you about. They may, actually, but not quite in the words I'm going to use. No matter what you do, whatever kind of messes you get yourself into, if you turn back to God, He'll take you back. If you turn away a hundred times and screw up your life yet again, a hundred times He'll be there to pick up the pieces, clean up the mess — a hundred times He'll welcome you back. And He knows better than you that you do it out of desperation, because nothing else in your life is working out. God knows all the times you use Him as your last resort, but you know what? God loves you that much. That's the thing people keep from themselves, thinking they need some excuse to turn to God. You may be fooling yourself, but Him you're not fooling. He'll take you back, excuse or no.

It does take turning to Him, though, but even then, He'll stack the cards in your favor. He'll put Himself out there for you a million times, and even if you're not looking for Him, you might find Him anyway. The apostle Paul talks about that in the Bible, and it was so in my life — the thing is (like I found), even if your head was not looking for Him, your heart may have been. It may be one of those inexpressible desires you have, what has been called "a God shaped hole in your heart". I remember how I tried to deny Him, and His Son, Jesus Christ. It took a few years, in fact, before I would go to church of my own accord — but it happened. I think I can sum up my feeling about God, about how He works, in this manner: you can say "no" to God a thousand times, and He'll not hear except the one time you say "yes". He's like that.

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Meanings2:54am thursday, 24th january
I remember getting used to people again, back when. I mean, for extended periods of time, I was talking to angels or Jesus Christ or famous people living and dead — no one real. The thing about that, you know how sometimes you think that words are clumsy things, incapable of the true meanings you want to express? I had the thing where I could think at the people in my head, that I could send them messages of raw meaning. I didn't have to fiddle about with making words out of the messages that I meant. In other words, I became lazy. So, getting used to people again meant getting used to words again, about not getting out quite what you meant, settling on the words that I used.

I talked about this a little here. Whatever words and phrases I could come up with to move the conversation on.... I never felt like I was getting it right, the first few months back in the civilized world. Expressing oneself is like this, perhaps, a dozen compromises of meaning to chunk it into the words that are available in your vocabulary. We don't think about it — we're used to it. We manage. I think it's actually a good thing. Thinking back, the raw streams of meaning I was able to project didn't always make sense. I think we need the process of constructing sentences, finding words, to validate our meanings. It was a good thing, good for me: I had to learn how to be real again.

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Hope9:07am wednesday, 23rd january
Questions pull me there and here;
It's the answers that I fear:
I can't remember what it was to know for sure.

World progresses on and on,
It will stay when I am gone.
The thousand things that make me up I must endure.

There has been, though, I recall,
Hope that's been there through it all —
I never knew how it survived my tragic fall.

Candlelight and gentle dove;
Courage, soul, your God is love:
You didn't know your heart had listened to His call.

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Special1:20am tuesday, 22nd january
I have become a dreamer again. I have noticed this, I think, now that I am in the thick of things again. The dreams have changed though, from the last time I was a dreamer, that decade or so ago before the psychosis ever hit. The dreams have changed considerably. I used to dream that I was going to save the world. The whole thing. I was always biting off more that I could chew back in those salad days of mine. I was always going off on wild generalizations, too. That's where I've changed — a lot — I have certain goals, certain things that I want to accomplish in a certain period of time. I'm not perfect, and the datelines sometimes must alter, but that's better that trying to become the messiah. I know that Jesus Christ has already done what that past Christ Complex wanted me to do; He has already saved the world in the best way how. And I have learned some of my place in the world; I am learning more of it still. That is good.

I have gained a little of what might be called humility. That is also a change from my former self, back before. It's sort of reflective of how humanity itself has learned something of its place, from thinking it was the center of the universe — which all other planets, the sun, and stars revolved around it — to a mediocre position as part of a mediocre galaxy. You know, a lot of scientists stop there and think of us as thus, but there is that one trump card we possess that we have as yet found nowhere else: there is life here. And I can project it into my own experience, going back to the analogy. I know I am not the Christ, but this dreamer is special. There is no other me anywhere else. My dreams are mine alone.

One further point: we are all special. Some would have you believe that if we are all special, then that is just a roundabout way of saying we're all average. I disagree. I think it is one of the wonders of the world that each one of us can possess his or her own true spark of something no one else has. It is perhaps that because we are all special we forget it, it is that we are used to it. I think we may see it similar to what I wrote before, some months back: we don't notice that miracles happen every day simply because they happen every day.

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Other World12:08am monday, 21st january
There was a window in the breeze — I smelled the other world:
an aroma I once smelled as a child, sweet and tart and sticky.
Someone must have opened a vial of dreams, drifting everywhere.

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Home1:43am sunday, 20th january
I listen for a whisper in the wind that tells me I am home. I don't think it matters, physically, where I am — just a place to tuck my shoes away, sit back and put my feet up is all I ask. I had none of that sense during my madness: wherever I would go, it didn't matter, I could never find that magic spot. I was never really in a place I could call home. I found solace in that regard only in sleep — that was the closest I got, the only familiar place. Everywhere else was strange, and I was a stranger walking through the shadows of a mysterious and foreign landscape.

Back in 1998, a year after my first breakthrough — after I'd been in San Francisco for a little while, after I'd had an apartment and could make my own way in the world for really the first time in my life — I caught that whisper, something which told me I was home. I learned to shake off that feeling that somehow I had been displaced from where I was supposed to be. I learned that home is a special little place in your heart you reserve for the familiar things in your life. Home is what I missed, all those years I was gone, missed without the ability to express just what it was I was lacking. Some things are like that, that you can't say what you're minus simply because you don't have it — the vocabulary is not there when the thing you're trying to describe is absent from your every sense.

I am in a new place now, after that short second episode from August to September of last year. I put my ear to the gentle wind again; I listen for that whisper which the wind it carries. Strange how I wait for home to come to me, just as I'm sure home waits for me to come back, too.

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Inspired12:19am saturday, 19th january
What in your life inspires you? Anything? In my madness, the one painting I looked at the most was Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (he was actually one of the people I talked to in my psychosis, interestingly enough). How I stared at that one piece of art. I look at it now, and you know, before the madness, I just didn't get it. It didn't speak to me; I didn't understand why people made so much of it. (You can look at it here, if you want to.) The strokes were too rough for my liking, things didn't line up or look like attention was made to make them look anything like realistic. I preferred da Vinci, I preferred Michelangelo, I preferred Rembrandt. Then, when I was looking at it this one time, VvG (as I used to call him when he was floating around in my head) did something to change my view. In my mind's eye, superimposed on reality like a palimpsest, he put his hands in the painting — in the two big swirls joining at the center of the painting — and it was as if he were holding the sky in those hands of streaming air. VvG (once again, in my head) was one of the best friends I had. He made me see the beauty that I could not before in those paintings of the real van Gogh.

I looked again, after I could see the wonder of Starry Night, at other paintings of van Gogh's. In one, full of oranges and yellows — and I think my psychosis gave me a treat this time — it looked as if the paint were on fire. And you know, van Gogh is my favorite painter nowadays. Starry Night is it for me: I aspire to do just one thing in my life ringing with as much truth as that painting. Someone with a radiant soul did that painting, and it is one cherished wish that someone could say so of something mine. I am inspired.

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Love Is12:07am friday, 18th january
Here is a kinda neat poem I created back in the midst of the madness, relatively early on, in fact:

Read it left to write and top down, with an emphasis on "Love is danger."

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Sums of Us12:02am thursday, 17th january
How much of us is the work of our own hands? Many times, especially when my madness had subsided and my head cleared, I have thought that I am much like the proverbial leaf blowing in the breeze. My madness seemed to undo all that previously I had built for myself in my character, and then, as I worked through back to sanity, it was as if I were being guided to the me I have become. It's not just how you look at the world, it's how the world looks at you. I can see this of myself, that my hands did not build much of me — can you? Even those conscious decisions you have made, in perfect lucidity — how much of that was based on circumstance, on timing of the elements available, on your mood caused by the happenings of the day — how much of it was given you?

I don't believe that control is an illusion. That, I have decided. And I believe that our choices matter, that we have free will. When it comes right down to it, though, perhaps there is littler of ourselves in the things that make us and the things we do than perhaps we ascribe to us. We take credit for the good, and we blame the bad on circumstance — no matter how much we truly had to do with it. But I think the thing we have to do is to put our butt on the line for that little bit of control we do have. That will build us up, that we take responsibility as much we can for our choices. For I think that if we do not — if we deny the choices we have made — that makes us less, both literally and figuratively. And in the end, I think it will do us well to have accepted all we are, all that we amount to.

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Once12:11am wednesday, 16th january
Once in time I set my sail,
Onward till the winds did fail:
Stranded I in stagnant seas,
Alone in desperate quarantine.

Though I'd shout I was not heard —
Days did pass and time it blurred.
I was lost and left behind
In the prison of my mind.

World did you not see me there?
Lost of words and vacant stare?
Dream, why did you turn on me?
When in you I did believe?

Rowing with my hands and feet,
Through the waters of defeat,
I made shore to lands forgot,
Back again and me, hardfought.

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Readers?12:14am tuesday, 15th january
At times I feel secure. At times I feel that I am as sane as your average person on the street, those walking happily to the places they will go. I am not, though; I am different. I will always be different. The past I have experienced I cannot undo, the things I have seen I cannot unsee. I think some of you reading the entries in this site know what I mean. To be attacked from within, nowhere to run to because you carry your affliction with you wherever you may go. To those people, thank you for being there, thank you for reading this. It is a great sort of comfort those two words, that which has been expressed to me sometimes in your comments, and a few times in your emails: "I understand."

The others of you, those who have never been in the pit: count your lucky stars. I hope my website fulfills your curiosity about what goes on in the other side of sanity. Understand that what you read about my condition is very personal, that madness is a very personal thing. It's like that cave in Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, where Luke goes when he's being taught by Yoda: all that's there is only what you bring with you. The madness feeds on all that we have done and experienced, and although symptoms have a theme, all of them are individually packaged for each person in his own mode of seeing — what is there in the world and what is there in his dreams. That's why sometimes we make sense only to us.

To both you groups, let me just say that I will try every day to accommodate you all. And I hope you will tell your friends about me.

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Forgotten?12:01am monday, 14th january
How much will be forgotten? In the grand scheme of the Great Wheel arcing through the days of creation, I ask not what will be remembered, but what will be lost to oblivion's adamantine eye? In the world, we sit at the dinner table and a crumb falls here, a scrap is tossed away there — these little things we do not consider. I have a vision of the account books of the universe where all those crumbs and scraps are summed, and the total is huge when gathered into one number. And yet, we will never notice the total of this whole, unthinkable number. There are uncountable little things, I think, that will be as if they never were.

Still, another little voice in me says that nothing is wasted. How do I reconcile these two opposing feelings? Is it a matter of causation? The little things we lose — everything is interlinked in some way. The scraps of actions we do not give another thought to, they cause another event, build on another thing, negate a little of a third. They all lead to something that perhaps we will remember. In that is our understanding. We cannot see the Grand Accounts as they should be seen, the infinite interconnections adding and subtracting from one another. In the end, God will see the sum, nod, and think of it no more.

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Sacrifice12:07am sunday, 13th january
What would you give up to follow a dream? How much could you let go? Would you go as far as to give up everything for a hopeless cause? Very few people would go to that extreme, I would think; those people would be what we call the saints. What is the mathematics of sacrifice? I mean, how do we decide what is worth it to give up by what you expect in return — how would you calculate that threshold? Sometimes they are very rough numbers, figured in a rush lest the opportunity evaporate while we deliberate. Much of experience is like that, hurried decisions that lead to life changing events — we all have built on such choices in our past.

I think no one knows himself well enough to really be sure of what we'd give up for a dream. We don't know really what we will decide in the moment of truth until we actually get to that moment, when fate breathes down our neck at a crossroad that will alter us inexorably. I don't even think we can really prepare for such a moment, either. I think the best we can do is hope and pray. I hope fate will be kind, I pray the Lord is merciful. I hope that I will have courage to sacrifice, I pray that in the mathematics of letting go I will listen to the numbers played by my heart. And I think sometimes — just sometimes — I will be good enough.

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Up/Down12:06am saturday, 12th january
Why shouldn't one be a cynic? It seems like the payout is better for the pessimist: if you're right, and the bad thing happens, at least you're right; and if you're wrong, and the good thing happens, you're happily surprised. I think, though, it rests on something deeper — why I choose optimism instead. I think it rests on the question of hope. The cynic is ultimately without hope, and that lack expects nothing but the worst. I don't think I could wander this world without hope — hope in something, hope in anything. Perhaps, however, some or most or even all cynics are closet optimists. Even when their heads tell them to expect the worst, their heart secretly hopes for the best.

Perhaps, too, the sunniest optimists are closet cynics. There is just so much of wrong and failure one can experience and not be affected. But there is still something to be said about having hope, and putting your money on winning rather than losing. Maybe that small part of this optimist — the doubt — is telling me that things will turn out for the worst, but I will put all that I can — all the best of me, my faith — that dawn shall come. It is not an intellectual argument, just something to be felt. I will bet on hope, and I will bet the whole house. And even if some part of me tells me I will fail (maybe to the end of my days), I think I win even if I lose — I have done my best to care, and I can do no better.

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Doors12:09am friday, 11th january
I walk through a maze of doors; I don't know where they all lead.
Some shut when I wander through them, some I enter by accident.
I discover some places I go are filled only with doors.

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From Darkness12:05am thursday, 10th january
In my madness, I have had to face things about myself that I think few people do. The dark things, the unspoken things, the secrets that perhaps you do not even let yourself in on — I have seen them, I have seen much. I have had my face rubbed in the dirt that had collected in my soul (and I use "dirt" to say it nicely); I have been a blot on the face of humanity; all the worst about me I have believed to be true, and that was all there was of me. I could not love myself. The thing about it was, I really needed to see it. I am a better person now, now that I have seen my worst. I can catch myself if I perceive what I do tends towards those regions — I have seen the evil I was capable of, and knowing those things to be evil, I have knowledge to strive away from the wrong.

The good came later. During my madness, I was only infrequently reminded of whatever good I had within me or I had done. Perhaps there had been little to speak of, after all. But here is wisdom gained: much of what I thought had been good deeds was merely patting myself on the back for something I did, ultimately, for selfish purposes. That, I think, is a symptom of man. We do the good when it is convenient for us to do it, and then we think much of ourselves when we accomplish it. These days, I don't count much on myself to do what is right. I have God, these days. If I do anything pure and true, it is God acting on my behalf. I have seen how I have failed and failed, for I am weak. And now that I do have Him in my life, I see where He succeeds where I could never have.

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Details12:11am wednesday, 9th january
I notice detail more, these days. There are instances where I look at the world and think that I have never seen so much there before, surely not when I was young. I look at the same things I did when I was, say, a teenager, and I see more than I used to. There's a lot there in the everyday. Have you ever seen how much detail there is in a wood surface? It's amazing. There were times during my madness when I would stare at a lamppost pole for minutes at a time, and there were times when I noticed nothing of what went on around me. But when I was captured by objects in my gaze, perhaps I saw things that were not there, then.

Maybe it's perspective. I see the amazing in the everyday because perhaps the everyday is new to me again. While I was gone, the ordinary was not ordinary — everything had ethereal structures imbued within it. Gotta make good stuff with what you got, too. Perhaps this is my way of making lemonade with the lemon I got. Times like these though, when I notice how amazing everything really is, sometimes I'm kinda thankful for what has happened to me. Years that I lost, there was a payout in the end: I have emerged back into the ordinary with a new perspective, one that I would not have had if my course had been mundane. A long time coming.

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A House12:08am tuesday, 8th january
I dreamed I had a house, big and strong, with many rooms for all I loved to live in. I dreamed I had a house that was all I imagined it could be, with every convenience in the whole wide world at my touch, wherever I walked within it. And when I awoke, I understood a thing about dreams. Even when the dream is exactly how you may have asked for it — down to the last nuance — it will never be enough just to dream it. When a dream turns out perfect in your head, you want a piece of that in the real of life. For a broken fragment of a dream that happens in the world — for a touch of magic that startles you just because it is — a person could give up dreaming altogether. Not that it is done, but who wouldn't make that trade? Let me be a little bit hero if someone else will know I was.

I dreamed I had a house, big and strong, but when I awoke, I found only the somber disappointment that the dream was over. I never had the dream again; I didn't need it again. Once to dream that I had all I wanted to have was enough: the "imaginary perfect" tense I need not constantly hear spoken in its ornate dialog, to accommodate my ears to the poetry I desire. The "reality imperfect" tense speaks gruffly the words I must to listen to, in tones that are harsh to my senses — and there is little poetry in its story. I listen intently, though: sometimes (in the barest breath) the voice of the world speaks a phrase familiar to me, an expression floating down from the dream into gravity of the world, made hard like all that is truth. Those rare times are like waking up when you're already awake.

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Logics12:01am monday, 7th january
Logics most unkind
Mock me in my mind,
Hiding in the currents of my thought.

Dreams will disappear
Even when they're near,
Some have even trouble staying caught.

Words I cannot mean
Insert themselves midstream,
When I'm talking nothing yet again.

Yesterday has passed
Out of every grasp,
Still I hold to what I knew back when.

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Sands12:11am sunday, 6th january
Dreams change. Why do they? I remember when I was back in college and I wanted so to be a wizard. I had thought that would have been just very cool. Lately, though, within the past few years, I have thought I would be better suited as a knight. It's the flash, I think, that I have outgrown — the fabulous fireworks of a wizard traded in for a sword and a cause. Or a quest.... People do change. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell — you see a person every day and he is changing, and maybe the change is so gradual you don't notice. And you see yourself constantly — perhaps you notice least of yourself?

Dreams change because we change, then. The dreams I have now, how foolish will they seem when I am ten years the senior? Twenty? We look out from the same eyes, so it would seem, but do we? If I were to be transported into the me of ten years ago, would it be like visiting not myself, but a little sibling — would I be surprised at what I perceived, what I paid attention to, what was important to me? I think so. Recall your dreams, those of the past you: if you discover your dreams of now impossible, figure your future eyes just to glance at those desires and laugh, not give them a second thought.

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Butterfly12:24am saturday, 5th january
I am not a butterfly dreaming I am a man. This, I think I have earned. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here:
"Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, flying about enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he awoke, and veritably was Chuang Chou again. He did not know whether it was Chuang Chou dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly dreaming that it was Chuang Chou."
Yes, very nice and all that. What I'm talking about though, is that I am not the things I have imagined myself to be. I am not the Antichrist dreaming that I am a normal man, nor am I the Archangel Micha-el dreaming that I am a normal man; I am not any of the other things I have believed I was, either. I am a normal man. I have earned that, I think, paid for it in suffering — that plain fact, spelled out there. A mundane absolute that most people take for granted, I had to come from down there below the sanity line, climbing to where normal people are every day. I have gritted my teeth to ride out the episodes of my madness. I have survived.

To anyone else out there who may still be in the throes of believing they're a butterfly dreaming it is a man (or woman), I'm here to tell you that you can make it. You can make it back, back to here, now, the cherished humdrum day. Other people have made it, too. It doesn't have to be forever that you're sliding in the pit — though I'm sorry to say it may just feel like it. And to those people who have experienced none of the manic heights nor the bottomless lows, the crisis situations from something as innocent as a glass of water, maybe thank whichever deity you believe in (or thank the universe if none) at least once for all the everyday days you have experienced: "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." - Albert Camus

I have dreamed I was a butterfly. In Hell. Thank God, I am not.

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Unquestions4:07am friday, 4th january
I have questions in me I don't know how to make them out,
urges groping past one another by incoherent mumbles.
I think one day they will unite in a single, primal howl.

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Letting Go12:22am thursday, 3rd january
I am learning how to let things go. I remember vividly there was this one thing I had the most trouble getting over, a really stupid thing. Back when I was heavily in my drug taking, I left a chunk of hashish on the seat of an armchair. Being stoned, I forgot about it, and then I proceed to sit down. The hash was nowhere to be found when it occurred to me (probably at the point when I was coming down) that I should have had some drugs left. I think I held onto that one incident for years after it happened — every time I thought about it, I felt angry about the whole affair. The case of the disappearing hash happened during one of the peaks of my madness, and that didn't help things out any, either.

I have found myself unable to let go of those things, those inconsequential in the grand scheme of things things. If I can't do that, how can I be expected to let go of the big things? I feel that that's a thing I should like to be capable of. Not being able to let go must be that part of me that's obsessive compulsive, the part that makes me check my alarm clock a few times after I've set it, making sure I've not turned the alarm off or anything. Yeah, those times back then I concentrated on that little chunk of hash and not on paying my rent — that was where I was. I don't know. Maybe I've finally decided to grow up. I think I've let it go, that hashish, after all these years. Growing up. Hm. I guess it happens to the best of us.

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I Will12:10am wednesday, 2nd january
I will dream big dreams, for I am small. I will dream big dreams so that I can imagine that I am big, too, that I matter to the grand scheme in a grand way. I will give my heart away to a hopeless cause for perhaps those are the only causes left worthy enough to give my heart to. Dreams are cheap, if only just to dream them; I'll take a dozen, thank you.

I will love someone who does not love me back, for that is love's calling. It is maybe a little too easy to love someone who does me right — I have no proof I love, merely giving what I get, and love needs to be tested. I will prove to myself I have a heart that is true.

I will hope when all others despair, for that is a candle that will last the night. Beware when you only hope when all around you do: sometimes, we will find ourselves alone. What then?

I will be a human being, for that is perhaps the highest calling, after all.

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Unbroken?12:04am tuesday, 1st january
The new year starts. Let me mark it along the lines of the special kind of hope it invokes. What I write today is to bring a sort of light to those who have been particularly beaten down, this last year. We look forward, and we look back. Happy New Year.

I think too much is made about being unbroken. About being uncompromized, pristine and unconquered. I think I've been broken several times through the last decade, when I was mad. My madness made it a habit. Really, it's not that bad. I mean I've really been broken: at the end of my rope, bereft of any sense of dignity whatsoever, dragged through the dirt: broken. Okay, maybe it is that bad. The first time, as you might think, is the worst. But you know, you've still got stuff even when you've nothing left, not even your pride. You've still got yourself, what's left of it — you still have life. You have another day. I'm not saying you're stronger after being broken, but there is a sense of wisdom that comes with it.

Here's the thing, I think. Like all things besides the end of the world, it's not the end of the world. Sometimes being broken is the only thing that will wake you up to the real world. It certainly did in my case. You see, even after you've totally given up, quit on life, life still goes on. After complete failure, you still have another day to wake up to. It may take a little doing, but guess what? You can try again. Or try something different. You're not dead — you just feel like it. What's that famous saying, "Where there's life there's hope"? I do not envy those who go through their whole lives never truly knowing defeat — those unbroken. Even average air is like that of a mountain peak to those who have come from the pit.

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