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june 2004

Wanting7:52am tuesday, 29th june
I don't know what I want. But when does anyone? Given one's heart's desire, one may find that the heart has been wrong, all this time. Desire is so tricky sometimes. We want what we can't have; and whatever we have, we don't want; we want what is impossible; and if we get that, we don't know what to do with it. No, don't think about it: you'll never figure out just what it is that will ultimately satisfy you. And even if you think you have it, there just may come one strange day when you look around and want a completely new life, away from everything that you thought made you happy. Don't get me wrong — happiness is one of the greatest things in the world, and trying to become one sustained in that state is a noble enough goal. But never think, "this is it", that this whatever you have will make you never want anything else. Pascal said that the heart has its reasons that reason knows not why. But sometimes the heart has no reason at all, wanting something because sometimes, it's just being stupid.
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Matter7:29am monday, 28th june
I still have trouble believing that I affect the world.
I rather like believing that I am just a simulation.
To matter, be it slight, is to know how heavy is my soul.

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Shadows9:54am saturday, 26th june
Today I caught my thought going in circles. Or perhaps that was not quite it — I was thinking in one philosophical manner, then I went back to an older one, and it felt as if I had just completed a circuit of conception, one leading to the other, leading back to the first. Then, I wondered, do we all go in circles? Is that our fate? Is it merely to go round and round, merely that the circles cover more ground? I am a fool, it is true, and perhaps there have been others who have actually meant something that broke free of this condition, that have actually gotten somewhere, as far as higher concepts are concerned. Or perhaps Wittgenstein is correct, and of philosophy, we can say it's all nonsense. But of course, if that is so, then that's a full circle, isn't it? Didn't we start our thinking, very early on, in that manner, and try to make sense of all that was so very meaningless?

Maybe I'm being too linear. Maybe I oscillate between one concept and the other, and both seem to be relevant (one to existence, one to thought), because I should be making the two work together somehow. Hm. Maybe I think too much. But that is really where I am happiest, in my land of cogitation, in the realm of ideas. Though I don't hold with Plato's vision of it, of the land of pure forms outside the cave, and most of us inside, only looking at the shadows of the forms, imagining that those shadows are the true things. I think, instead, the opposite: that most of us spend the time outside, and see what is real; and it is the thinkers inside the cave who see the shadows of what is out there, and if they're not careful, believe those shadows to be real. Yes, I must be careful, for I do love the flickering of those shadows. And perhaps I should play outside more than I do.

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Time Flies9:16am friday, 25th june
With small clouds of dust, life blows on by. I never get a clear sight of it: every time I am about to catch up to it, its wheels (or is it its legs?) speed up, and it races off into the distance again. It's as if I am forever a remnant of the past, that there are people creating the future, right now, but I shall never know just what that is like, being even too slow to experience the present, lagging behind the current and genuine hours. Have I spent too much of my days dreaming? Was I not once young, ahead of the speed of all this progress, or was that a dream, too? I think back, and wonder at the youth who let these things slip by, imagining that time would never forget him. I let go of the reins of life, back then, thinking I could catch up, just race and seize things again. But look at me, who can only see what he has done, knowing not if what he does right now affects anything, if there really is a future at all. Time flies.
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Arches7:37am thursday, 24th june
Through the arches of my imagination
there flow streams
of purest nonsense, cold waters
of nothingness that vaporize
whenever one tries to feel anything there.
Thought, I conjecture,
is something of a bird, flitting
from point to point, never resting
too long on one wondering
lest it slip into the folds of a dream, forget
just where it last had roosted.
My soul is the armor
I wear on the inside, that protects me
from myself. I have heard tell
of a few who have worn
so many holes in their barrier garment
that nothing impedes
the mind from any of its
theories of cruelty, the heart
from its black, incalculable corruptions.
Are you so made? What
runs through your streams,
and flies through your trees? And do you
have any stronghold in yourself
where the one in the mirror lives,
whose eyes you do not
wish to forget, and wonder, "Who is this?"

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Contentment9:20am tuesday, 22nd june
I sometimes find I look around and see I have all I need. And it seems not to matter at those times just what it is I have, that such satisfaction may be had with virtually no belongings, or even friends. Sometimes, all it takes is a sunny day, though rain need not dampen one's contentment; sometimes all it takes is a starry night, but you need not be outside to feel the freshness of being. It helps, and in fact it is necessary in my case, that I have my Lord, Jesus Christ. But I imagine even He does not need to be in the equation for some people, that they may be at one with everything (or be at some such mental elevation) without there being a divine intervention at all. Somehow, at these rare times, satisfaction comes at all that you have, and all that you have done. And for a moment, it is enough to just be. I wonder at these times.

I do not know if it is possible to attain these sorts of moments artificially. I mean, to set oneself up for contentment. It seems, rather, an ambient thing, an emergent phenomenon where just these and these gears line up in some sort of special arrangement. I guess it is just the axiom of "smell the roses while there are roses to smell". And if there are no roses around you, the imagination of them, however good, will not be the same. If and when these reflections occur, it is best that you mark them somehow in memory, that you not forget that such blessings do happen in life. I am sure, too, that you will have such times, for I think it not in the design of the world that people are bent continuously in the negative. But remember, when things do go wrong, inexplicably, day after day, that you have seen light before, and it was good. Remember.

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Onward9:00am monday, 21st june
There are dreams I fear to dream, visions I fear to see. I have imagined there are darknesses deeper than black, inkier than the thickest night, and I wonder at times if my heart has been contaminated by them, that foul humors have been mixed into my soul. It is irrational, I know, but the mind has ways of sneaking into its logic bits of perverse contrivances. This is what madness has left behind: a haunting that every once in a while moans of unnatural shadow, of twisted longing. And somewhere, too, is the opposite light. Somewhere in me there is the capacity for a saintliness I could not reasonably expect from a one such as myself. That I have touched the sun and lived.... In the middle of the two I walk, aware of the extremes of holy and evil that both try and draw me to them. It is not to balance, but to know strength in my self, to go forward though I know that it would be safer merely to crouch and hang on — to fight the unreal as I keep on. I dream past the fear, and know I gave my best.
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Breathe8:27am saturday, 19th june
There are moments when all the tragedies slip from vision.
You look up and wonder if the sky has always been quite this blue.
You breathe as if you had forgotten how to, and survived breathless.

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About Love10:45am friday, 18th june
Let me say no more about love. I am too vain when it comes to the subject; in my gut, my instinct tells me that for some reason, I have a handle on it. I explain it in terms of paradox: it is all things and nothing at all, both at the same time. It is the way she smiles at me: this is love: everything about life is love; yet, there is no one place in her smile where I can point and say, here is love: love seems to be an imagined thing, altogether. So, that would be something of my understanding... and then, when I think of love like this, I have thing gnawing tinge that I'm missing something. That perhaps, I'm missing the whole thing, that the entirety of love is flashing before my eyes and all I'm seeing is pretty colors. Maybe I understand nothing of love. I wouldn't be the first.

Maybe the only true understanding of love comes when not thinking of love at all (yes, again with the paradox). I mean, one may only comprehend what its actual essence is in the act of doing it, and not thinking, "I am loving right now." That love is known when it is completely outside of one's mind, but is rather in the feet and hands, to go and do what it means for us to do. And we all know how to love, right? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's a good start. Then there's that last paradox about it: we all know what it is, yet no one can tell you what those four letters really mean. But don't listen to me; like I said, I'm probably missing what love is entirely. Just a kook running his mouth off. Thank you for suffering me. Let me say no more about love.

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Corridor9:07am thursday, 17th june
Within my mind is an endless corridor of door after door after door. This is a picture of life. Each door is the next thing that happens to us. Sometimes, we choose to go through that next door, sometimes, the door opens by itself, and time merely pushes us through. And I know that one day, behind one of those doors, death is waiting for us, each and every one. I have wondered what it would be like if all the doors were opened, all at once, and I could see my whole life, all the "next things" that were going to happen to me, simultaneously. Really, for all the side to side movements that we do, we can all stretch out our entire lives into one corridor of scenes, separated by doors. And if I were to see the whole way down, I think I'd mostly remember what door death were behind. Beyond that, the door that is there remains closed, and what is next not for us.
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Smile9:18am tuesday, 15th june
A thought comes to the brink of my mind
then shies back, afraid of the light.
I cannot imagine what it might be.
In a thousand imaginations,
I have dreamed escapades and dances,
and grand castles in the air
filled with visions of all the friends
I wish I had had; I have wondered
impossible things, tragic things,
dark things, delusions of myself
and the world, tiny things that
flit off, huge things that I
could never fit completely
into two thoughts at once.
What have I not imagined?
I have glimpsed light that was
heavenly, and I have smelled
fumes quite hellish, been saved for
all eternity, been damned in this world
and the next, believed myself enlightened,
knew myself to be an idiot. What
thought could there be left?
I poke myself on the inside:
come here, come here, for there
is nothing that I have left to fear:
what are you that you could
possibly think yourself too strange?
Then the thought comes, and
I find am I still able to be surprised:
"if you forgot to love, you missed
the whole point." I can only smile.

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Desires9:15am monday, 14th june
At times, I desire much, these days. There are fifteen directions I may go on any given day, to pursue each one a different track, to become awhirl in any one of them a storm. It is hard to have so many dreams: there is no time to get much headway in any one of them, when another pulls you in quite a different direction. I have dabbled in this or that fancy of mine, and where I have gone to any depth, it is quite the case that for every ten steps in, I must retract eight of them, and so even there I have not penetrated very deeply past the surface. Yes, to strike while the fire is hot — that is preferable, no? Yet these fires — are all of them profitable to me? Shall I wait a few of them out, to see which ones are most hardy, which ones have enough coal to last them through the completion of their quests?

Then there is the fact that there always seems to be something new that comes along. One just happened to, last week, in fact, and I am not sure quite what to make of it. Is it a passing fancy? — though, I must say, that the dreams I have had for the most part don't die, but rather mutate form... until sometimes they are quite unrecognizable from their original incarnation. I fear I shall get nothing done, that on the day I die, there will be fifteen sets of plans that are buried with me, all interesting ideas that never lifted a centimeter off the ground. Alas. I may say, though, that the one thing I do not desire is the end of any of my desires. I know what it is like to want nothing of this world, staring blankly at the walls. These are all blessings, whether I want them or not: dream after dream after dream.

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Mindriver9:33am saturday, 12th june
There is a slow movement of my blood through my head; it is as if I have been sleeping for years, and to awake will take me a couple of days. The meanings of words has changed since I last spoke, and I do not understand some of the simple sentences spoken by these new children, who seem to know the world better than I ever did. When did I grow this old, that I understand the trees like this, that it is sometimes better to stand and let the weather pass over us? I wander randomly, stagger from church to church, in search of someone whose name I have forgotten, who used to haunt places like those — or was that me? Life is so strange: there are more and more things that I want to do with the time, yet time seems to understand none of it, as if these hours are meant to be forgotten, and destiny never had those things in mind for me at all....
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Senses9:08am friday, 11th june
Touch upon me your understanding, that I may taste it....
Sometimes the hardest thing about people are their stares, so silent.
Bring me close, and you might smell how familiar I really am.

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Forget?9:11am thursday, 10th june
I sometimes forget I was ever mad at all. It's usually when I'm in the middle of doing something, talking with people, normal activities of the everyday, spent quite casually. It's as if I've always been sane, that all that darkness was just some nightmare, however long, one that should not be brought to heart nor mind any longer, now that dawn has come, and the day goes forth. But no, the feeling is always brief, and in truth, when I am forgetting the madness, it is me forgetting myself entirely for those moments. Preoccupied with this or that, not self-aware to any real extent. Give me a chance to think, and I am starkly aware that I am damaged goods. My past is no nightmare that washes away in the light; the pain, the frustration, the fear: I felt them the more since I was mad, quite unlike the ether of a dream. To a large extent, my madness made me.

I will always look out these eyes and know that I do not look at the world in the way that most of you out there do. I know, no one does, to a certain extent, see the world like anyone else does, but you know what I mean. I approach life as one who has feared for the existence of his soul; I approach religion as one who has spoken with angels; I approach love as one who once knew the deeper mysteries of the universe. I have climbed out of my pit, but I will always smell of it. But let me not say that this is any worse of a life for it. It is merely... different. As if I were from some other planet, immigrated to Earth, never quite getting accustomed to all the little things that make humans human. And I know there are others out there, too, fellow aliens who look at things with two strange eyes, staring at the world and wondering how it always was thus, so curious.

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Blank9:05am tuesday, 8th june
There is a sudden quiet blank.

All my neurons, all at once, succeed in disconnecting from one another, and I am only aware of being aware of nothing.

This is not a dream, but a sensory deprivation of the imagination: there is no cogitation happening, like when I was a fetus, just before I became aware of myself, when I first sensed myself sensing.

I cannot miss anything, and that is the real horror; nothing comes to mind about my mind, for such a meta reflex has been stilled, no more, less than a wind; I would scream if I could collect the necessary impulses to connect to that center of my consciousness — but I cannot.

Then, a single pinpoint of light: a light that has no reality, no frequency associated with it, purely of thought, a glimmer that my imagination has not died, but has merely been suspended outside me, out of reach.

I do not know where I am, but I am aware of that: the panic mixes with the relief that I can know such things, once again.

Now, a flood of sensations, like being born.

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Missing Something9:04am monday, 7th june
What am I missing? Is there some simple truth out there that I'm just not getting, which upon knowing, would make my life so much the more livable? I have thought, and thought, and thought, and several times, I have felt on the brink of some fundamental principle about the way things are, and the way things seem — but always, on the brink. These are words on the tip of my tongue that I have never said before, just out of reach of the hand of my imagination, my mind grasping at dreamlike darkness; could someone please push me over the top of the hill? Or is my thinking in this primarily flawed, and what I believe is merely a conceptual centimeter out of my reach is like the end of the rainbow, the edge of the horizon — something that can never be attained? Perhaps it is neither: that I know it somewhere, already, the thing I search for. If I were to seize the will o' the wisp that eludes me, maybe it would be a saying I heard in my childhood, one I have tried to live up to all these years....
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Dream Winter9:42am saturday, 5th june
Where the snow has fallen,
there grows not even the imagination of a flower.
Somewhere in my mind
it is always winter, so cold and fragile,
where our breaths are somehow thicker with life,
and everywhere is virgin white
in the silent blankets of an eternal snowfall.
The air itself is always so sharp,
the skies seem to reach higher, and my wonder
drifts slowly over the hills,
as my eyes wander the vanishing horizon
in search of a dream I could not name if you asked,
remembering a childhood that never was.
Where the snow has fallen,
there lie the graves of all my former selves,
buried in the imaginary season,
somehow better than they were,
forever out of any sight — like anyone who is gone.
Somewhere in my mind
this winter has never known
the thaw of a sun who was ever strong enough
to shrug off the chill of this frost.
The time is always morning,
and I have just awakened,
ageless in my fascination at every little thing:
who have I been, where have I gone,
what have I done, that somewhere
in me there is still such a vast
open country, spotless of any footprint,
the purest white as far as I behold, in frozen bloom?

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The Problem7:58am friday, 4th june
I have only my eyes with which to see the world; let us begin there. In my life, then, when I look back, I see how much the suffering I have undergone. I know others have suffered more — just bear with me. I also believe in God, who is all good. The problem with that has traditionally been the problem of suffering: how can a good God allow so much pain to exist in the world, much of it quite undeserved? But I look upon my life, and I remember the man I was before my greatest trials, and the man I am now, after; and I understand how much the better I am for having suffered, for having paid my dues. I did not understand at the time, of course — perhaps only saints can see within their time of pain how it makes sense. But now, I comprehend. And it makes me think that there might be reasons for it all, reasons why all the pain in the world exists, but that being trapped in our temporal bubbles, we just cannot see why, sometimes. A lot of times. But we just may.

This is not to say to cause pain on others, justifying ourselves that it will make sense for them, that it is part of God's will. That's not what our man Jesus ever told us to do, nor did He ever cause any harm to anyone himself. Look, too, at His example: being a Christian, I believe that He never did one thing wrong in His entire life, yet, He was tortured and killed, nonetheless. It seems to make no sense: He says it Himself, that it is His Father's will: it is God's own will that an innocent man be made to suffer and die. But being a Christian, I understand that it is in this way that He saves the world. And He does it the most noble way that one can, sacrificing His life, and not turning away from God's will, even in the face of torture. He does not overcome evil by overpowering the darker forces of the world: that is not good winning over evil, but power over power. He wins by love, giving all that He can give, surrendering the whole of Himself to the higher. He is showing us how.

I think my point is that the problem of suffering is not insurmountable. My reason tells me that an all-powerful, all-good God does not necessarily contradict the existence of suffering in the world. I think some people who cannot see why may sometimes not be looking in the right direction. Perhaps they don't want to. But I cannot, there, really fault them for it. They see what they see, for their eyes are all they have to see with the world. But these that I have are my eyes, and this is how I see.

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In the Dreaming 47:46am thursday, 3rd june
In the dreaming, I stood a thousand feet tall, but still felt so small when I looked up at all the stars.

In the dreaming, the World Snake gave me a lift to the edge of the earth, where rainbows pour into technicolor rivers.

In the dreaming, I have seen shooting stars so many I wonder if the War in Heaven has started, and I am watching angels fall.

In the dreaming, strange butterflies left their afterimages behind, and I watched them flutter by a hundred times.

In the dreaming, I have sometimes seen through complete darkness, and been blinded by pure light.

In the dreaming, sudden scenes blink into view, where I wake up into other dreams, dreaming I am awake.

In the dreaming, I met myself walking by, but he didn't seem to recognize me — his mind seemed elsewhere, as if he were dreaming me.

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Such Secrets9:20am tuesday, 1st june
I have had sudden storms of inspiration punctuated by claps of reason. But as all storms are, they leave quite a mess behind, notes strewn everywhere, explaining all the arcana of the universe — twice. So, do I take the explication that I wrote down first, or the more recent one, or do I try and sort of fold them together so they become some two winged creature? But that never works, because they each want to go in different directions. If they don't rip apart at the seam, then they just kind of twitch on the ground, going in random spurts here and there, not really making much progress at all.... Usually, when there has been too much rationality marching across the horizons of my mind, I sit still until all the loudness passes by. Then I look through the scraps that have been thrown away: there, I have found such treasures, such secrets. It's as if the real answer why is always overlooked, tossed aside as life rushes on....
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