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march 2002

Ideas5:53am saturday, 30th march
Ideas sometimes weigh too heavily,
and drop through the floor of our minds;
or they drift too lightly, and flutter off.
They must be at eye level, equals to us,
for those greater or less, we will wonder why,
once dreamed, our hearts lost sight of them.
I think they must hover just above the ground
of our imagination, so they may take root
and carry us aloft if they should ever take flight.

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Words5:27am friday, 29th march
I have faith in words. I don't believe there is anything seen or unseen that is inexpressible, and that, many times, saying that there are no words to describe something is merely a cop-out. I think there must be a poem to go with those times, when sometimes a word won't do. Words have much power, in that even when one must use discrete chunks to form a shape, with such power that as poetry has, one may sculpt finer until a recognizable form emerges. And better, the nuance of how it may smell, sound, and even taste. I think words will do — one just has to understand a little that it is possible to do it, to express down to the micron if need be.

Yes, there may be a misunderstanding between what is meant and how one who reads digests it, but I think there is enough common between people anywhere — throughout all time in fact, ever since the first word was spoken — that if one means something well enough, it will be taken in just the right way. It is an art and a science. The architecture of a meaningful idea wrought in sentences is something few of us are born with. And I think many of us settle for good enough. But those who desire to be heard, they will fight with words and love them at the same time, and if they sing sweetly enough, make them dance to their tune.

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Remember6:44am thursday, 28th march
I imagine I will never remember my whole past. Bits and pieces of it come to me, from time to time, but it is all out of sequence — sometimes without context. I think once a dream I had made me remember a part of it, but I can't be sure about that, either. I have imagined, as I have gone along, that one day, all of it would come back to me in one form or another, but the pieces have been few and far behind. The general theme, that I can follow, but many of the details have become scattered in the winds of time. I can only hope that the important things have stayed with me, that I have not let slip some vital secret of life I was too lazy to write down, or that I wrote down and lost the pages I wrote them on.

As I write about this, actually, some memories do come back. Some scant frames, a few flashes of recall. History never looks like history when you're living in it, and that applies to a life, too. The small decisions that led to other decisions that led to grand sweeps of change or turmoil. Our histories very few will record, and even if some will come and dig it up, they will perhaps fit the pieces together in ways they were not meant to go — they might get it wrong, even if they honestly do want to remember us. Sometimes, I think, the moment itself is enough, though sometimes the moment itself must suffice us. I will remember that I have forgotten some things, many things. I will regret for a moment, and let it pass.

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Door4:04am tuesday, 26th march
Somewhere in my mind is a door that opens to the void.
Not to a darkness, but a blank — featureless, an oblivion.
I looked through the keyhole, one time, in a dream that lasted years.

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Live1:32am monday, 25th march
[A short film in one scene.]

Fade in.

It is a rainy Sunday on a random corner of Manhattan, Springtime, present day. A man stands, alone, without an umbrella. He is getting drenched. He looks up for a moment until raindrops hit his eyes, whereupon he blinks and looks around him.
Man: I understand, whoever you are. I understand a little. Dreams don't follow you — you have to carry them along or else they slip away. And love... I had it all this time, never seeing that it could be so simple. That all I have to do is choose to feel. And I am alive! I still have a chance!
The man reaches up, closes his eyes and raises his face to the falling rain. With his fingers he feels the drops cascading down, and with his mouth open, he laughs and then swallows down the water falling from the sky.

Fade out.

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Notes6:30am saturday, 23rd march
Here are some notes I took while I was in the mental institution back in late August of last year (here):

It says, "If you let one stranger into your house, the Lord will save your soul, no matter what else you did in your life. Technically, my name is Jim Morrison. Prophesying is relaying information from God. The War in Heaven is over 8/26/01 ~11am. Micha-el won! There is no situation so dire that faith cannot get you out of it. Work is fun."

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Today5:21am friday, 22nd march
Sometimes I have good days, sometimes I feel not so hot. Sometimes I imagine that, however well I do with my life, I am being built up only so to be torn down at some later date in the future. This is the paranoia: all the good that I have done and that has happened to me, all they will be is that every opportunity was given to me to be one of the elect, one of the saved, and it will culminate in me throwing all of it in the garbage and choosing to rebel against God and man, that I will prove myself the Son of Satan. There is where my madness lies, my greatest fear. However hard I try, that in the end, I will not win.

I have fought Satan and won. I have built myself back to sanity. I have a job, I pursue artificial intelligence and web design on the side, and I go to church regularly. Whatever I do, though, I cannot help but shake the fear that all of it will be for naught. That I will have wasted my life, when it comes right down to the nails of it.

But what else is there to do but to keep on? That every day I start fresh and do my best to do what I am able, and to do what is right. It is not about not letting the madness win — it is merely about surviving in the circumstances I have been given. I cannot imagine that others have an easier time than me; that, I think, would be a fallacy of only being able to see through your own eyes. I keep on because I can do nothing else but that. Nothing else but to see it through.

I do not know what the future holds, but I can hope. That will hold me for today, and that is all I need of it. Tomorrow I will think about tomorrow.

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Mystery5:50am wednesday, 20th march
I am less than the sum total of my dreams;
I wonder if they will forget me one day.
I am more than the decisions I have made:
many things about me I did not choose.

I wonder at the stars and imagine
how it would be if they wondered back.
Sometimes I feel deeper than an ocean,
sometimes I feel as shallow as a grave.

Nothing we are to see in the world
has ever lost completely its mystery,
and nothing in the world holds mystery
like that which within us dreams.

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Stories6:07am tuesday, 19th march
Interesting that whenever we tell a story about something that happened in real life, we put our own spin on it. Especially if we are the focus on it. We make ourselves the hero, if we can, or the valiant in defeat when we must. Some more than others, but whom of us out there state the facts, just the facts? Does that even have any meaning? Facts are not just data — and even data is organized and specified — but the things we choose to encapsulate about a moment. We state something about an occurrence that matters to us or to the person(s) listening; there is no way around the subjectivity. It's like putting a pure stream of thought into words: some things get lost in the translation — and some additives are mandatory — when we chunk the data into word size portions.

The only thing we can do to rectify the situation is to get to know the person better who is telling the story. "Roger's take on the story," has meaning, for example, if we know Roger. It's an heuristic, a rule of thumb of sorts. And I think it works. I remember reading a biography of Philip K. Dick, and even the biographer got to know him well enough to know how he shaped stories about things that really happened to make them classic Dick interpretations. Perhaps this is a little mystery solved, that we get to know what really happened only when we get to know the one telling the story. Somehow, I think that figures — I think it was meant to be like that.

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Lost Things5:31am monday, 18th march
We lose things along the way. The journey is such that sometimes we must grab the things we can, move on, and never go back to the place we left. There are always some regrets — perhaps that we could have kept some things that we have no more, that we could look at them again. I, myself, had these three notebooks I kept while I was in the depths of my madness, and I filled them with mad things. I think my mother found those, and was too disturbed by them to let me keep them. They are lost for good. I only have two or three fragments, and in fact, I have posted them on this site. (Like here and here.)

I have other fragments posted, and if you explore this site's archives, you will find them. I had an old Macintosh where I wrote a lot of stuff. Most of it makes very little sense, but I was able to keep it all — my friend was able to extract the entire contents of the hard drive and put it on a CD. But there have been other things I have lost, some books where I wrote a thing or two, or more. And the only thing we can do, sometimes, is to learn to let go. I have my memories of the books I kept, and maybe if what I wrote I don't remember, it was not that important anyway. Just a rationalization? Perhaps. But perhaps I have kept some important things in a corner of my mind that waits for me — waits until I am ready to remember those times past that during them, I wanted to forget.

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Candle5:59am saturday, 16th march
The flickering candle is a lone, trembling note played long.
It is an eye between this world and the next, peering in and out.
Sometimes, it is a magic drop of elixir, to cure us.

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Distortions5:21am friday, 15th march
Little distortions still pop up from time to time. Once, deep in my madness, the Peter Gabriel cartoon in my head (yes, the singer) turned the word "complete" in the song "In Your Eyes" into "compete". And occasionally, when I hear that song, the words "I am complete" sound like "I am compete". Seamlessly — it sounds like it's always been like that. Then, I listen to this one car commercial, for Chevy, and the announcer's voice I can't snap out of another distortion: he comes through all nasal sounding. I think I remember from back before, when at least that commercial was normal, and I recall that he did not sound like that. It's my mind's idea of a practical joke, I could say.

I remember, too, in my last apartment, that I couldn't figure something out. I couldn't tell if, when the refrigerator started, that the electrical system in the building was so weak that the lights dimmed a little, or if it was my eyes playing a trick on me every time. Almost every time, that is, and that's the rub: I could swear that there were times when the lights didn't dim. ...the persistence of madness. Traces. It's not that bad, nowadays, even if these things annoy me from time to time. At least I'm not trying to commit suicide trying to reach another plane of existence. One may wonder how I even make it this far.

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Life Long6:48am thursday, 14th march
I imagine I will live a long life. When I thought I was a prophet, I seemed always to be pressed for time, that I could not do the things I had planned for myself to do — there were going to be only four more "free" years, give or take, and then I would prophesy for three years, then die. It didn't leave much room for dilly-dallying, which I am prone to do. I think we all are, from time to time. Who is working purposefully every waking minute of every waking day? I don't think those kind of people exist, for the most part. You'd have to be pretty amazing or obsessive to do that.

Really, there are flowers along the way on the road of life, no? Who of you out there would not sniff more roses? Watch the leaves turn in Autumn glory? Play frisbee for no reason than you had a park, a Sunday, and sun? Relax a minute — you're doing fine. I, myself, I think I may slow down a little bit. Not be hellbent on working on my projects. I think there is time, I think that the world will not end, not in fire nor ice, for some time. And I think that if the world did end tomorrow, that my last hour not be taken running from place to place, but sitting in my favorite chair, listening to a song that brought me back to childhood.

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Poem Me5:07am tuesday, 12th march
I am a poem writing itself.
Unfinished, some days I go hanging
upon half a phrase, sometimes
to go without meaning for an hour.
I dream to be of epic things, teeming
with angels and devils and heroes,
but I do not know more than the words
that are written here. I think it must
be nice in the stories outside my
little window into being, but
I am satisfied merely to have begun,
and to know I have an ending
that gives me a reason to be.

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Howl4:58am monday, 11th march
There is always a "Why?" to come along, if you let it. Everyone has pain, that is a given. Sometimes we do not move on fast enough, or far enough; sometimes the question pops into our head: "Why?". I have felt a great deal of pain, but usually I can look to the present, where I am pretty much content with what I've been given. I don't look back at all, mostly. And sometimes that is bad, that I should look behind me and learn from the past, but if I do look, there are instances where the question pops up, out of my control to stop it: "Why?".

Many times, I have found answers good enough to satisfy small ones, why I stood and waited for an hour for a bus to come, why my dinner fell on the floor. Something else happens to me, and gives purpose why I have felt small pains. And there is, if I will let myself understand, a grand answer, that I have found God, that I have learned humility, that I have been made to grow up when I would not — the great why of how I was lost inside myself for so long. But in the middle, when there are large details that are unaccounted for, I am stuck on the question.

I think I need a night when I can run into the woods, strip off my clothes, and howl at the moon. I think that would do it. The "Why?" — sometimes no answer will come. And sometimes one needs a primal release of the frustration in that: one long, mad howl. That's what I need.

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The Ladder5:47am sunday, 10th march
This is an illustration that I formulated back when, in the throes of my psychosis, and I called it "Jacob's Ladder" — something akin to a summary map of Heaven and Hell:

It goes with this journal entry, this while ago, which is the Gnostic myth I made up in my madness.

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Bridges5:18am saturday, 9th march
I will build a bridge between two hearts, wide enough for dreams to cross, strong enough to span the gulf. Any two hearts will do. The distance between two strangers' hearts puts them in different hemispheres when they are sitting in the same room, sometimes, but I will plan, and build, and I will make a road direct from one to the other. It will be as if they are two parts of the same heart. And when I am done, I will find two more hearts and build another bridge there.

For as long as I live I will build bridges between any two hearts I see. I may not reach all the hearts of the world, but the city of heart bridges I will engineer will be a marvel of construction. People will gasp at the wonder and harmony of souls whose hearts make one heart, who dream one another's dreams. The last one I do will be mine to another one, the one I most hate. And I think that will be the greatest challenge of them all, to forget myself that something larger may be truly complete.

And when I am done, when I die, I will have done something worthy of being alive: that the world did not waste its time in giving me life.

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Untitled5:19am thursday, 7th march
The world is a symphony of unfinished harmonies.
The cities bustle with walking shadows, footsteps swallowed by noise.
This life is a fantasy folded in half, and stapled shut.

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A Small Boon6:43am wednesday, 6th march
I imagine sometimes I can get it right. Often, things are either not as bad as they seem, or they are too good to be true; but sometimes, the arrow flies straight, hits its mark. Sometimes the wind is to your back, and there is nothing before you but open road. For so long I had not tasted success, back in my madness days, so long. My dreams now hang like hats along my wall, ready when I will put them on and imagine something new. I will taste now, and I will tuck these moments away, for perhaps there will come days when I falter and slip. Time is fickle, and it does not stay.

Heart, where shall I go? It seems fortune breathes kindly toward me now, and I can believe that I will wish later I had used this breathing as well as I could, that I savored of it all I possibly might. What should I do?

I think I may feel sorry to those who take these things for granted. They have only sniffed the roses, have never tasted any dirt to compare them against. I will fold this rose of an hour into my book of days. There might be enough dirt saved there for it to take root and grow in secret.

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I Live!5:33am tuesday, 5th march
I want to be! I must shout it. I want to live! I was not always so, there have been times I have wanted out, I have wanted escape from this world. I have felt, back when, far too heavy for my feet to keep me up. I wanted to sink into the woodwork, that my body would lose its definition, that the sum of my mass turn goo and I become a gelatinous smear splotching up the sidewalk. That, and I wanted to fly. There was that dichotomy, if I remember — wanting to sink down and rise up at the same time. Thinking that I could do anything and accomplishing nothing. Not anymore. I want to be here, where I am, doing what I do.

The three laws of thermodynamics (and life, I am told) are, 1. You can't win, 2. You can't break even, and 3. You can't get out of the game. Whatever happens, entropy — chaos — will increase. But then, there is that miracle we call life, and similar things to that, and there is actually — at a local level — a decrease in entropy, an increase of order. Globally, yes, in the big picture, you can't even break even — chaos increases in the universe at large — but in pockets, like our human bodies, we do better than break even. We win, I think, just in being, just in sitting here, breathing. And maybe that is the bigger picture.

That's how I feel, right now. I win. I live. One day I will die, but I think not tonight. Tonight I live, and that is winning enough.

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Breath3:53am sunday, 3rd march
In fire visions yearn to breathe.
In purest note our souls are keyed.
Within the wilderness of mind
Our burning hands a meaning find.

In wind we race through frozen fields.
In wombs of night our souls have kneeled.
Within the chaos city streets
Our quaking hearts imbue the beat.

A frozen vision, fire breeze,
Our souls in wombs, the music kneels —
The city wilderness our depth,
Imbue our hands and hearts of breath.

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Labor of Love9:08am saturday, 2nd march
I would like to tell you about God, but I must do it carefully. I think many believers speak full brunt of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it tends to put people off. (I wrote an apologetic about that here.) I myself have gotten criticism about that here. But it's a part of me, I cannot help but express my feelings about Those Above in some way. How, then? How, without being boorish or boring? Perhaps I must ask for forgiveness from you if you do not believe. I think, though, that would be an easy way out, just writing boring stuff and saying, "Sorry for boring you." A cop-out. I think the best way may be to do it in secret. I will write about God in metaphor only, through hints and never the direct expression, and only sometimes will I be writing about Him. I will point with my elbows.

So, then. It is never to take the easy way out. I have found that that ends up being the hard way, because you leave the hard part for later, when it's more intractable. I will be a finger pointing up, sometimes, though I will be speaking as if my finger is pointing up for a different reason than the hidden why. And I will make no apology, because I am doing my best not to bore you with the letter of my message, but to bring to you a distillation of its spirit. And the message, I think, is so that if you take out the words "Jesus" and "God", you may find it is a kindred voice to what you may find in your inmost heart, even if you don't believe it.

My work begins.

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More on Calm5:29am friday, 1st march
There are two types of calm, dead calm and live. Dead calm is easy, just go where nothing lives, or kill everything around you that does. It was the type of calm that existed when nothing existed at all. The calm of the void. Then, there is the live type of calm, and that is when things in one's life for an interlude have all been taken care of, and there is nothing to do but to enjoy the quiet. That type of calm is that of control, mastery of the moment — some never learn it, I think. Dead calm is stable without a live thing disturbing it, and it can last forever. Live calm is by nature ephemeral, something that blooms and wilts in an hour.

Live calm, I believe, can be cultivated. And I think there are different flavors of it that exist, like sweet and sour: the difference between the flight to a honeymoon destination and coming home from a funeral. Live calm can be cooked, made up of different ingredients: homecoming, Christmas Eve, even a mere weekend.

When you get a live calm, make sure that you don't spoil its savor by immediately finding busywork. Business is business, but calm is where you get to smell the roses along the way. Life is more than motion. Sometimes, life is a moment when everything is balanced, and still.

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