± H13.com - Archives - January 2004
january 2004

Mundane Secrets7:18am saturday, 31st january
There are things you will never know about me, things that I do not reveal. It is not that they are so mysterious or evil; some are everyday things, but there will always be certain elements, I think, that the most open man never shares even with his confessor. I believe there are always things that stay between a man and his creator (who is everywhere anyway, so no point in trying to hide things there), and no amount of coaxing (except perhaps literal torture) will bring them out. They are embarrassing things, or things that do not fit in any conversation, polite or intimate — they are things not that we hide them, but no one ever thinks to ask, and we would turn perhaps a red face should the question ever come up. These mundane secrets: I write about them only to remind us that they are present in everyone; but I know that that would not help the matter any if they were for any reason shown in the public light, for we keep some things only to ourselves, that none should trespass so deeply, and our own stays solely our own.
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Blanks8:55am friday, 30th january
I remember writing, when I was in high school, that there was this big blank space where my dreams used to be. I recall that I had such imagination when I was a child, and then, around age 17, I felt that I was exhausted of those resources, thinking back then that I had run out of things I wanted to say, waiting only for the apocalypse that never came. Then, after my long haze of being constantly on drugs, I was psychotic, and I imagined many things, but most of all that was worthless except only to those who want to speculate how the human mind actually works. I conceived that I conceived great things, only to look back later and find it all (almost all) crap. Such is delusion.

These days, there are moments when I think I am blank, but then, I look around inside my head, and lo, there is some secret fountain somewhere that constantly flows, and I write. It is a mystery where it comes from, but I am amazed that it comes. Perhaps you have thought yourself empty, too? Knock on some doors, inside your head. You'll be surprised at what answers, waiting only for the inclination to express itself. Human beings are overengineered, and I think that we are much capable of things we never imagined, where brave men have ventured and succeed, and those who never try will never know.

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Exhaustion8:45am thursday, 29th january
Nothing makes sense.
It is all a dullness, no sharp
corners protrude from
anything, all colors
bleed into one another, none
having any distinct quality.
The highs and lows
might once have been, but
they are like figments
of the imagination that have
drifted off, too far to smell,
unreachable, though
I feel that faint presence like
they may return on
some distant day. My thought
is like a trough where
water has turned muddy,
nothing flows from it, nothing
can be seen because
of its murk, drunk only if
desperate, and desperation, too,
is a far off place. I imagine
that tomorrow may come
if it pleases, and if not,
that is life — I know nothing,
but do not know that that
is all I know.... Alas,
I make less sense than a dream.

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Blind Process?11:53am tuesday, 27th january
Am I a blind process? The question has been drifting through my mind. Is there no meaning to it all, is all everything just there without reason, that it just is and there is no questioning why, and we shall never know because there was never a purpose for it in the first place? I ponder this question for a moment, and then I remember what I have learned through this experience we call life: though we can never know the ultimate why, there are reasons along the way. Some things we can answer, and some things we have answered. I am not so blind after all, but as for being a process, in the East, things are thought of that way, sometimes. I am not a human, but rather a humaning. A process, maybe, but blind? I see enough, and I know what I know.
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Granted10:52am monday, 26th january
We are mostly unaware of the things we take for granted— by their nature, it is so. Just how good things are for us, it would seem, comes from the things we complain about. I complain, you complain, but if it's not about where one's next meal is coming from, then I would consider said one rather blessed.... The thing I have learned through the course of my days is how to be satisfied with what I have just here, just now; and it's sometimes easy to forget how to do this. By no means, I am not saying not to want more, for great things have become what they are because of this instinct, but realize that when you get more, you may be the less satisfied for all that having. Things are funny that way.

The Lord works in strange and mysterious ways, but every once in a while, you glimpse just what He's trying to say to you. Just for a second, and you understand why — and then it goes, almost as if it never was. Almost. Sometimes, it is the faintest things that are the most clearly remembered. On the one hand, there are those who walk among wondrous sights blind to all they see, even with their eyes wide open. Then, there are times when walking down a street you've walked down every day, there is newness, a fascination. You sense for one solemn moment that there is so much beauty around us, even in a single breath: the clear cold air under a winter night sky.

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Blue Dot7:34am saturday, 24th january
The whole world can be painted on canvas as a blue dot.
We forget how alone we are, the night sky our home's only home.
Some who be, alone the more: in their eyes, as far as the stars.

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Heartache Road6:19am friday, 23rd january
Every time, every time I want to give up, just to surrender all hope, something comes along. Something always pops up to keep me going another mile, or another hundred yards, or even just another few feet. Sometimes, it seems that it is more a curse than a blessing, that I am continually at the end of my rope, and before I can fashion that rope into a noose, I see another vine hanging which I may grab and continue. These passions I have, these projects I have subscribed to: they are not "want to" any more, but "have to". I cannot but go on in the courses set before me, whether they be of destiny or my own inner stubbornness. I despair that I will never despair, that I will never be allowed the resignation of the abandonment of my dreams: something always happens, and I go on.

But do I forget, do I forget what it used to be like? Is it better to have a dream that never comes true (though it hints there is an end somewhere), than not to have a dream at all? If I remember correctly, I recall my prayers of old, when I had no passion for anything — I prayed to be so "cursed", like I am now.... I think I will not ask for release, as I have hoped for at many a time. I think I must instead be thankful for what has been like a torment, at times. It is better to feel than not to feel, better a passion that burns an unquenchable fire than to lack any such fire, to be left with a fruitless life. For if memory serves, my heart hurt even more in times prior to this burning, and it had nothing like a reason why, just pain without purpose — far worse than being on a heartache road.

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Visions8:22am thursday, 22nd january
I have visions, and then I wonder what they mean. Initially, I get an idea of what one may be — and sometimes I am dead sure — but then, I question my thinking, question any certainty, and I can never know which my believing is right, if any.... These dreams I follow: the visions fuel them, guide them, make me believe; but I can never be sure if I am following delusion, or if it be of vision true. And I cannot stop myself from going. I cannot quit this journey on, but must go headlong into fate, whether it be to succeed or fail — one or the other, but spectacularly. No, I can in no wise tell what these visions mean, but the one thing that holds my faith is that these visions tell me something, even if I cannot tell what. That they are true in and of themselves, even if I cannot see that the truth is there — I am to have patient eyes, for they may break open their secrets, and I will see what has been before me the whole time.
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Supreme Quiet8:46am tuesday, 20th january
There is a supreme quiet
I have tasted for brief moments —
not silence, which speaks
oft of death — but such a stillness
that life for one moment
observes its own being,
a finite likeness of infinity:
we imagine that this was
what it was like in the moment
just before God spoke,
"Let there be light," and the
nothing stretched in all
directions, yet it all could be summed
in the number zero.
Or have I only imagined it was so?
Was it really death, for
some seconds looking in on me,
marking me for the taking
at my specified hour? The
mystery: how can one tell if it is
of life or of death, anything
that we do or experience?
This supreme quiet, this
wonder of a hush, is remembered
by me as the eye of the storm,
the quietest quiet of all —
but is a storm, too, life, or is it
here death in violence
thrashing out of its confinement
of nil? I know not....
There it is again (the quiet), and
I think I will not think, just be.

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Recollection 149:31am monday, 19th january
There are words and images that I will never remember, only know that they were, and that they were sweet. Many of these were happenstance within the condition formerly known well to me: "stoned". I remember once that the Eric Clapton cartoon in my head once floated by and remarked, "You smoke a lot of pot." Nothing derogatory, just an observation. I recollect that there was once some sweet erotic prose that drifted by me, so sensuous in its savor that I could taste the words as they flowed. I never wrote them down. The Philip K. Dick cartoon in my head asked me how I could do it, just let something like that go without scrambling for a paper and pen. I just shrugged him off.

There were, too, things the Lord (cartoon) told me, and I forget most of them. No, I never wrote them down, either. I recollect half of two things He said, once, and it was remarkable that He could invoke my fear even though his voice was as a child; He said, "Do not tempt the Lord thy God." When I think about the things I've forgotten, it's easy to write them off by saying that if they were that important, I'd remember them. I get the feeling that it doesn't work out so neatly, that I've remembered some things that are inconsequential, and I have forgotten some really important stuff. I guess the only thing I can hope is that I recall the most crucial things, and I think indeed I do.

I won't bore you with what they are, the greatest these things I remember — they may mean very little to you. But I know I need to step back at times, see if my ducks are all in a row, so to speak. Make sure I think, not, what if today were my last day on earth, but, what if I live a long, long life — just what things am I living for, and what things am I living against? Sometimes I have to wonder.

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Not So Spectacular8:41am saturday, 17th january
Dreams are not so spectacular. No, to someone else, a splendid, a wondrous, a magnificent plan is just so many words. And we know how much dollar value is placed on talk. Sometimes, too, even the realization of a dream is not as stupendous as we may hope: in mathematics, for example, a paper outlining the proof of some monumentally difficult problem lies somewhat plainly on the page, for academicians to ponder, but not really ever examined by the mass populous. I think we must keep that in mind when we chase after them, those spirits of what could be. By no means, do not give up on your dreams, but understand that people see them not by your own eyes, and the heartaches suffered them do not often transmit well through lines on the folio, carefully rendered.
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Call of the Wild9:24am friday, 16th january
The call of the wild I hear at times, that I strip off all
my clothes, run naked through the woods, eat of an animal's raw flesh.
It is not to ask, why does it call me, but what makes me stay?

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Deeper Weariness8:56am thursday, 15th january
There is a deeper weariness that overcomes me at times, past the usual tiredness caused by lack of sleep or too much exertion. It is an infinite weariness, so deep in my soul I cannot touch it, only know that it is there: life itself a great toil, just to be takes sometimes all my strength. If I believed in reincarnation, I would think that my soul is ancient, having gone through this existence dozens, hundreds of times, never getting it right, always searching for the enlightenment that never comes. But as it is, I don't; it is just that I feel far beyond my years, feel older than time itself at moments. It is an unnamable thing, the enigma of time I have not spent showing itself in the sag of my eyes.

I don't remember it anymore, what youth was like. Could that have been me, still new to this world, never having experienced any kind of real suffering? Is this what happens when you have "paid your dues" — feel as if you have lived a lifetime and a half, to waken in the morning only by supreme effort? Yes, sleep: that is my escape these days. Such is the dream of any tired man. But there is too much I want to do, too much that life calls on me to accomplish; I cannot sleep my life away. This weariness must I overcome, for there are children older than me, I think — those who have already seen more suffering than I ever will. Strength, man: not even half the day is over: work to be done.

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Thankful9:03am tuesday, 13th january
Let us be thankful, just for one moment: I promise, it won't kill you. I myself am so grateful at times that I feel like I will burst from it. Of course, at other times, I feel like all desolation and ruin, but that feeling passes. In the most horrible of lives, there are things to be thankful for — and I am not saying that mine was so bad, but I have had bad times, and I recall even then that I could feel some sort of gratitude (however tangential) for some little thing or other. Sometimes, only a tiny bit, for such a small thing as a breeze in summer.... Stop for a moment. Think. There are blessed few lives where the whole of the hour is curse, though curse may shut out all sense of any lesser goodness. Thank the deity of your choosing, or if you have none, thank the world: you have yet breath, you have yet days to come, you have yet to see destiny's full smile.
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Breathless Run8:45am monday, 12th january
In the stark brightness of winter,
in the dawn, in the cold
breathless run across the horizon, running,
reaching for some salvation that
sometimes hinted it would acquiesce, that
seemed to have been our own, but
lifts itself from us, disowns us suddenly,
leaves us in struggle with our lives:
we know not to where we run,
we know not from what we run, we know not
the beginning nor end, constantly
in medias res: and that is how it will end,
one day cut in the middle of a word
we never knew what it meant, that it
meant at all. (Gentle is the world,
a secret voice whispers, the corners that
you have never explored have been
waiting ever for you, remember this.) And
was it ever real, was it ever
true, that we were saved, once, that
we had known the prize, that sweetness
of safety? I deny you, my past, I
deny you, that which ever I was: it was
never mine that I thought was mine,
it was never what I believed to be so.
(But yet, in the quiet lie still
many treasures you will discover, lie still
notions that will fill your heart
in such a glow that cannot be forgotten.)
I am not of this world, I have never
belonged, I am a stranger placed here
by some power I never understood,
I am a traveler with no home,
I am covered in a flesh that is has never
been my true body. (Did you never
know this? That has always been your
salvation, o wanderer, and it
will be yours to understand, to perceive.
Sit still, and you can hear the
thousand reasons why for this one
moment.) I say no more, now, for
I hear the footsteps in the snow, on, on,
my running, and outside that sound,
this minute, there is nothing else.

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Happiness12:26pm saturday, 10th january
If I find happiness, what will I do? It is like that old thing I've heard of, the fear of success. If all my dreams (or at least, one) come true, what then? It is that thing we never prepare for, do we? — we never prepare for happiness. It's one of those things that we figure that we'll take as it comes; we always wing it when it comes to joy. I guess that makes sense, for glee requires little of us except that we smile and we laugh and just generally feel good. To enjoy it. But what if we're not ready for such a thing, if we don't know just how to enjoy it? I think I might be one of those kind of people. If and when happiness alights on my shoulders, I may just brush it off, unsure and wary of what it may be.

Let it be, in any case, that happiness finds me. (Note that it would have to find me, for I have forgotten where I might search out such a prize.) It is said that the face you have in your forties is the face that you have earned. That the wrinkles start to form in the places where your face has concentrated the previous years of your life. May glee wrinkle the crow's feet around my eyes, let my face bear some semblance of joy imprinted thereon. Let it not be too late to earn such an expression permanently worn into my visage. Though I don't know how I can prepare for happiness, let it happen, nonetheless — that sounds like some pleasant improvisation, kept on my toes walking on clouds.

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The Pen8:47am friday, 9th january
Quizzical, he laid the pen down where he had found it. Who would leave such a thing around? It was obvious by its weight either made of gold or lead, and its yellow shining precluded the latter. I could just take it. Anyone could just walk away with it, he thought. There it lay, in the grass, as he looked up and down it the sunlight's glimmering slipped off it like golden mercury. He should put it in his pocket for safekeeping, he thought, or someone more unscrupulous will palm it for himself, and it would never go back to its true owner. He stared, and stared, and then, with effort, tore himself away. He started walking off, out of the park. "Do not covet thy neighbor's things," he repeated to himself. If someone else takes it, let it be on his head, not mine — and the rightful owner may indeed return for such a treasure. He gave it back to fate.
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Restless9:02am thursday, 8th january
The spirits are restless today, no doubt some sort of sign.
I imagine, though, that the sky grows dark sometimes for no reason.
Fear not the future where something happens, but where nothing does.

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A New Lease9:07am tuesday, 6th january
I have used up all the formulas in the equations of life. All the set answers have been taken — some by lesser minds, some by my betters who wanted some rest from the complications. From now on, I will be writing my own scripts, for all the pat words have I spoken, all the prefigured procedures have been performed, all the usual emotions have already been felt. There is nothing left, not like that. It will take some effort, I think, from now on: no more coasting on yesterday's wave. But it is a good thing, is it not? Carving new neural pathways, instead of the grooves time-worn with constant use? Habit is all well and good, but routine is far too close to rut, at least as far as I'm concerned. This is a break from it all.

New dreams? Perhaps not that far, but new ways of approaching the old ones. Dreams I give up not so easily, hold them almost as tightly as I clutch at life itself. Hm. I need this, I think, to continue — the old ways don't work anymore. It is fine to spin one's wheels in place when performing an exercise of your systems, but at some point, you must remove the braces that hold you back, and let 'er rip. Maybe unsteady at first, but hopefully to gain momentum, to be of moment once I get going at full steam. So, what now? What do I do? I am a child in a completely new playground. I must adjust myself to a new horizon, I must reorient myself to a new tilt of the earth. Nothing is what it seems... but is it ever?

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Illusion8:54am monday, 5th january
It is as if I am a wind, invisible, leaving no trace — not even dust. From wind I came, and to wind I shall return; no one knows from where I entered this world, and no one is to see where I go. Why do I feel so ephemeral? What it is it about my state of mind that I imagine I have touched nothing in this world, that my fingers leave no print to whatever I handle? Perhaps not even wind: for wind, through sheer persistence, may wear down stone, and I have not such that endurance. It is a riddle, then — what am I? What is less than wind, moves through this world as if it never had been? This ghost may one day have had a life, but such is easy to forget when wandering without aim, searching for something he is not quite sure what it may be. I am just a trick of the eye: look away for a quick second and you will see an empty space where I should be.
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Star of Life7:40am saturday, 3rd january
O morning star of life, where
were you during my darkest dark?
It was there I needed you
most: when I was holed up
in that cave, underground, where
I could see no moonlight:
there I needed most your shine.
There in that tomb, buried
alive, one comes to think
that perhaps one has entered
the realms of the dead,
that he is forsaken of the sunlight,
that he is lost from the hours
of the waking world. And
it is as if the dreams are what
are real, and what is real
the dream. Where were you o
morning star of life, where
did you go? Or is it perhaps you
stayed lit, far up there, hoping
to see me again, me clawing
through the dirt when I dug out,
you to shine upon me again
when I emerged from shadow
and dream, to greet me
as I breathed fresh the air outside:
with your million friends, a sky
of a thousand myriad stars.

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Home9:20am friday, 2nd january
A note: my schedule for teaching has changed, so I will not be able to post until after 6 pm, Seoul time — so expect posts at about this time for at least another month.

I think I have gone far. Mostly while sitting alone, in a room, did I travel great distances out into the astral and ethereal planes. I have gone inside the earth, to Heaven, and to Hell. But though I did so go, I have not been to the place, I think, where I always needed to be. I have written of this before: where is home? I go in my earthly life to this place, and that, but it always seems only halfway there, halfway to the settlement where my heart may find true peace. That is the place where I have always meant to go, and have missed only by fractions sometimes. I be the wanderer who hopes to stop his meandering, vaguely toward somewhere he has only ever heard stories of — as far back that he remembers. Home. I think I have gone far, but have farther still yet to go.

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New Year's Thought7:21am thursday, 1st january
I suppose I should be thankful. I have my health, I have my dreams, I have a family and friends who love me. But somehow, I feel incomplete. I'm not sure quite what it is, if it may be that I need a woman in my life (though I'm working on that one), or if it is what I suspect it is: I feel I have not accomplished anything in my life. I feel it more and more as I age, as this last year has passed, I look back and I see just someone who survives, someone who gets by, but no one special. People have said to me that I am gifted, and that feeds the feeling even more: after all, one is given much because much is expected back (so it is said). I need to get something done. I need to strap on some boots and blaze a trail, forge on ahead with boldness, go as if nothing can stop me. These dreams of mine: what good are they if I make nothing of them?

I think I have begun, but it always seems as such — that I am constantly beginning. I need to finish something. Always it is that I am taking the first steps in a journey of a thousand miles. I can never see past the horizon where the prize is. And perhaps it is not that I should work harder; I have worked for the last two years on this one project, and I seem never to be near its implementation, but only ever brainstorming ideas upon ideas never to be fully realized. I have to find a new tack, I think. I need to discover just why I am constantly spinning my wheels as if in great velocity but never going anywhere. Wish me luck. I am by far not giving up these quests of mine, there is still passion coursing through my arteries. I suppose I should be thankful.

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