± H13.com - Archives - March 2004
march 2004

Mistakes3:20pm tuesday, 30th march
What kind of mistakes do you make? Are they just slips of the fingers, mistakes that anyone might make, it just happens to be you that falters? I think mine are like that, these days, but I remember when it was different. I recall fundamental flaws in logic and common sense back when, especially when I was heavily into drugs. I recall, too, some gross mistakes in judgment when I was deep in my psychosis — these two cases, though, they have a similar genesis: they both come from my thinking that somehow, I knew better. It comes down to simple pride; I knew better than anyone else; I didn't need to prepare, because I could pull off the miracle if I had to; I was greater than anyone could imagine, and I didn't need to explain why. I was just too wonderful for words.

There are good reasons why pride is the deadliest of the seven deadly sins. In the Christian mythos, Lucifer believed that he could conquer the omnipotent because of his pride — like mine, a fundamental flaw in logic. What kind of mistakes do you make? Everyone makes mistakes, after all, and we all even make big ones. They say a lot about us, our errors: what do your mistakes say about you? I might wish that my mistakes were such that I trusted too much, or that I was kind to the point where people took advantage of me; mine, even these days, are not such as these. The worst of my mistakes of late have been of timidity, a lack of courage from one who has been burned much in the past for his risk taking. Take a look at your mistakes: to err is human, after all — what human are you?

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Numb7:00am monday, 29th march
I am sometimes numb. There are days when I feel nothing, when I don't want to feel anything, when time passes and I am unaware — when I want nothing, yet it is not to be content. No, it is no happiness, no calmness of the passions; it is one shade closer to death than perhaps is wise to enter into. A thousand eagles could screech just above me, and I would scarce look up to see the spectacle. It is like what Limbo must be, if there is such a place: not so much comfortable, but detached from all feeling, like being behind a wall of warm air. If this happens, I know I will come to my senses the next day or so — nothing really to worry about. It's just that sometimes, my senses have been inflamed too much, just needing a small period not to feel so much, not to have to fire so hot.
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Fireflicker8:47am saturday, 27th march
I have seen, somewhere, a mountain
that is the collected dust
of a million years. There is, too, a river
that flows with all the
dreaming that slips from our memory.
There are trees that grow
with leaves upon which are written
the secrets of all imaginary truths.
And I have seen a sky with a
thousand suns, whose clouds
reach down to earth
and shroud the ground
with their whisper veils. Somewhere,
I have been to where
the laws of being change
with the shaping of the winds.
It is a land I walk when I
lose where I am, while wandering
on the casual streets of life,
slip from the cradle of
all that I am sure, beyond this light
of sunlit awareness, beyond the dark
of strangest night. Do not fear
when the ground of all you know
shifts to the sound of
the sparrow: you when you return
from this realm of fireflicker
dream, this world of ours
shall glow inspired with what could be,
never known before, in a light
that no star has ever shed.

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Windows7:01am friday, 26th march
Every once in a while, a little of someone else's world opens up, enough to take a peek in. You can see for a second a glimpse of that person's problems, his worries, get a sense for what is important in his life, what's pressing on his horizon, even what things he pays no attention to. You may not know this person at all, but for that little while where you look in, whether through some phrase that slips out in an email or a mention in a phone call, that person is a person, just like you. You relate. You two may be living different lives — completely different lives — but you are both living lives; you both are fully human beings. The window doesn't stay open forever, and perhaps that's a good thing, because I think we do not have room to live more that one life at a time.

I sometimes think about such windows when I hear about death on the news. When I hear of some number of people being killed in some sort of horrible occurrence, man-made or otherwise, I think about how all these windows have closed for good. The numbers do so little to convey that for each one of these within the statistics, there was a life there. There were years of experience, good and bad, that that person went through, digested, handled, folded and stapled. And there are years, now, that such a person would have gone through, but have no chance of doing so now. But here, too, such thinking is fleeting. We have none of us hearts large enough to handle the true total of tragedy in this world, or even that we hear about. We move on, thankful for the glimpses.

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Countdown7:04am thursday, 25th march
There are twenty-two crows caged within my heart, whose fluttering wings sometimes disturbs my sleep. There are eleven pages in eleven mystic books, that if read together, reveal the name of God as known to all the angels. There are seven lanterns I have heard of, somewhere in the distance, one for each of the seven winds of fate. There are three ways to suffer: from above, from below, and from the world: the distinctions between them are not sharp, and often we confuse one with another. There is only one thing we call love, though if one looks at it very closely, it seems to be nothing at all — merely the wishful thinking of dreamers — but take it away, and there is such a lack... that no number of anything else can fill the space where it once was.
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Vacuum6:19am tuesday, 23rd march
In a vacuum of a dream, I fell endlessly, down, down...
When I woke, I wondered just where it was that I had fallen from,
or if time had forgotten me, and everything else moved on...

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Recollection 156:33am monday, 22nd march
I remember believing in love. Or what was it, really? Back in my madness, my views on anything were skewed, and I wonder what was I really talking about when I said I believed in true love, that love would save us all, that love was the fundamental truth? I wrote poems about it, thought I had a handle on it, that mysterious four letter command: love. I gave myself a name, called myself Immanuel Genius Love (Immanuel, the name of the messiah; Genius, so I could say that genius was my middle name; Love, because I thought that that was all I was about). I thought so much of myself. I believed myself on the inside track on What Things Were Really About, thought that the universe was a mote in my eye, that I was the savior of all things. Seeing how incredibly wrong I was, what was I thinking when I thought of love? What was I talking about?

A fool says in his heart that he knows the truth. I know I am still a fool, still think I have something of a grasp on aspects of this world and this life. But there is a certain point where madness reaches beyond the mere foolishness of idle cogitation. I remember being so serious about it all, that the merest thought that connected to another concept was a revelation worthy of the greatest prophets. And love — what was I talking about when I talked of love? I had such a sense of what the mystery really meant, and all of it, all the grand philosophies I concocted — how little it really amounted to. Those great visions I thought I had, they were made mostly of vapor, easily dispelled, and my idea of love was less than a volume of cloud: when I talked of love, it was my coward's way out of actually putting the word to practice, an all-purpose excuse.

Some part of me wishes that that were not so, that the grand "visions" of my past meant something more than the ruminations of a madman. But more of me instead wants to move on, move away from such castles in the air. There is always something to learn. I should catch myself when I believe I have a grasp of some grand thing: is it really such a leap, or have I run in circles, believing in my heart I have traveled so far?

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Meaning4:12am saturday, 20th march
What is meaning? I have asked this question of myself numerous times, from different angles, for different reasons. In my madness — o the flood of it: the littlest things signifying cosmic (un)realities. But that's another story.... Knowledge in its most stripped form is one thing mapped to another thing. This means that. But the mystery is the substance of which all mental things are composed of; what is this? what is means? what is that? And technically, mental things are all we ever deal with — even the physical cannot be known to us except through the mind. Meaning is everything, and paradoxically, seems to be nothing. Maybe it is fundamentally only a grand map of things pointing to other things, these pointing to other things, and at ground, made only of these arrows.... Myself, I will keep asking the question, for it never stopped me that other people have been asking for thousands of years, and still don't know.
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Learning7:04am friday, 19th march
What I have learned —
some of it — there is no way
to teach it. I cannot put you
inside my head, have you
look through my eyes,
make you feel my pain.
Even if I could, it would be
some cruel machination
if I were to make it so for you.
The best I can do is to
make of it something intelligible,
and some of it makes
no sense at all, though yet
I did learn something from it.
Beware when I speak
of meaning, for that is a
plastic thing, that bends to
each eye's interpretation.
You shall receive my knowledge
through the three filters
of my experiencing, my
conveying, and your comprehension:
it is always thus, three cloudy
lenses by which we may
view another's innards. But
I say to you, some things do
get through. Some things you
feel as I felt, see what I saw,
know what I knew. It is
a wonder: this ultimate barrier,
that you are someone else,
does not stop us from
experiencing another's soul.

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Grain of Sand7:00am thursday, 18th march
I am a grain of sand that is blown by the wind, straying from the beach for miles, distant from the home I once knew. I once belonged, or was that just imagining, there abreast of the vast waters out beyond, jostling with my countless brethren for space above the surface, and sunlight. It is dark where I am now, even though I can breathe of the air; it is some forgotten corner of this world where I have drifted to; I don't even know how lost I am. Why has fate brought me here, or is it that fate has abandoned me altogether? That destiny never knew I existed, and all the reasons for why I am were never fully fleshed out, less than inklings in the cosmic mind, brushed away from the grand wheels of creation like so much excess dust? Why am I, if there is no why that I am?

Yet, even in the darkest dark, and sometimes, the darker the better, I dream. There are fantasies, yes, of greatness and fame and riches, but the ones I hold most dear are my dreams of purpose. These that give me new breath. To say that, World, you who have forgotten me I will make you tingle at the sound of my name. Fate, you who never planned anything for this being but a quiet death, I will seize your wheels and make them turn to the directions of my becoming. Yes, Destiny: you may pay no attention to me, but here in me I cannot but heed these dreams I have. This grain of sand shall make it to some high peak, I know not where, but there, the sun will shine more brightly than on any other sand, anywhere else. I will dream, and my heart shall truly know why I am.

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Thinging7:01am tuesday, 16th march
There are no things, if you look a certain way at it all. Just ponder the word, "being": this might have it right, this might be the way "things" are. A cat is not a cat, but rather, it is a "catting". Even a chair is not a chair, but a "chairing". Even in the sense of physics, the countless molecules are held together not in a static fashion, but in a dazzling exchange of photons — these create the electromagnetism that holds the electrons to the protons, and the atoms to each other. But it is dizzying to think of all things in this fashion, I think. All things are in the process of change, but we must usually set limits on our delving into the true nature of them: only a madman or genius (or both) stares for an hour at a blank piece of paper lying on a desk, wondering at its unseen motion. We have a way of looking at things for such a reason, though maybe, just once in a while, you might want to bend the rules, and look at them otherwise. You might find it interesting how the most common things can still surprise you.
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Colorland7:02am monday, 15th march
Where the white wind blows, purple leaves shiver in the blue rain.
The orange sun glows through even the black rocks, even green shadow.
Some colors here have no name, painted from brushes dipped in hope.

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This World4:29am saturday, 13th march
What is this world? It is made up of unimaginably small atoms, or so I have heard. I myself have never seen them, so I must go on my teachers' word, and some fascinating pictures that we as human beings have made. It is made of people, it is made of things that fly around or slither or crawl, it is made of stone, and dirt, and water. Things and animals great and small: with people, in figuring how tall they stand, we use a different measuring stick. It is made of shapes, and light, and sounds, and textures, and scents both haunting and vile. This world is all these things, all things mighty and weak, all things noble and petty, even all the things we have forgotten, even all the things we will never see.

This world: I think from what I have experienced in my years that it matters not if you feel you belong or if you have been a misfit all your life. I have been both, and though I have changed some in my time, I have always been me. If you care to explore, you may find that there is a place for you here, somewhere, if you would only step out your door, if you only take one step out of yourself, out of all the extensions yourself you have surrounded yourself with. (And I know a little, too, about not even belonging when you are surrounded only with yourself.) Remember, brave new worlds begin with small adventures. Take a chance, because all you have to lose is a life not worth living.

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Heart Aches8:00am friday, 12th march
Sometimes my heart aches and I don't know why. It comes from nowhere, a twang that something is amiss, and what it could be I have no idea. Everything seems to be well, at least as much as humanly experience deals out to a life. It's like longing for someone I've been in love with all my life but I have never met, or for a land that I've never been to but is my true home. It's like I don't belong in this body, this mind, this soul. My heart must have its reasons, but this mysterious pain I think it has not thought it through. Yes, it always does do to follow your heart, but sometimes, you'll run into a wall or telephone pole because the heart only sees the object of its desire, and not what stands between you and it. It's like my heart wants something impossible, and it knows so. There is nothing to do but say hush: hearts' desires are often best unfulfilled.
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Saved7:11am thursday, 11th march
Why have you saved me? I am the least worthy
of all: I have cursed you, called you a liar,
denied you time and time again, did my best
to shut you out of the remotest corner of my life.
I was not looking for you, lost that I was in confusion,
seeking some meaning I knew could not be
as simple as the name that would turn
my life around: Jesus. All the arguments for you, I
parried them away when I read, I closed my ears
when I heard, I looked away when I saw. It could not be,
never — no one man could have been so much,
no one man could be the savior of the world. Who
dares claim to be perfect? My indignation
was high against you. I did not understand why
the "good news" was so good, how in death, you were
victorious, how God could come in the form of a man.
In secret, though, I prayed. I knew not to whom, I
knew not if anyone would ever answer. And I remember
how you came upon me, took my heart under your wing:
as if brushing away a little soot that hid the me
that I never knew was there, to show me that
my way led nowhere, however fast or hard I might run:
you saved me, not just on some faraway judgment,
but here, now. I did not know I needed to be forgiven
until you forgave me. I did not know you could
do such a thing, find what I never knew was lost: me.

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In the Dreaming 37:13am tuesday, 9th march
In the dreaming, I flew past all the stars and reached the end of the universe, which turned out to be the beginning.

In the dreaming, time stopped for everything except me, and I slipped so far from the hand of fate the entire world ran to catch up with me.

In the dreaming, I drank of the wrath of God, and then I think I died a thousand times over.

In the dreaming, everything meant something else — I shook hands with a tree, and I asked a bicycle how its weekend was.

In the dreaming, fire could not hurt me: I walked through a cave with my hand as a torch, scrying patterns that were not there.

In the dreaming, I could not imagine anything, for I was inside my mind looking out, and there was nothing more to see.

In the dreaming, I met Death, holding his sickle, and I believe I was never so cold in my entire life.

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Dreaming7:00am monday, 8th march
Merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream.... There's that story about the Taoist master (Chuang-Tzu) dreaming that he was a butterfly, and upon waking, wondering if it was the other way around. Then there is the story (I think it's Hindu in origin) where the entire universe and everyone in it is a dream being had by one of the gods — I forget what happens if he wakes. But I don't know. I remember some of my dreams, and they are ethereal ghosts of what truly is. Things matter so little in them, somehow we do not have to care so much what we do, what happens. A dream does not last the night, and there are no consequences when we wake. Life is no dream. The world is no dream. In that secret we all will share, death, even when we "wake" from this life, I have in my faith that we will be made to reckon for all we do. Not only that, this life is not only one night's journey — hence the phrase "live with what we've done". True, we don't need to be asleep to be dreaming, but then again, we don't need to be dreaming to wake up.
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Gears7:42am saturday, 6th march
In a dream, the sky disintegrates into blue powder....
Naked of the façade, I look up at the gears of the cosmos:
I did not imagine its power source so simple: one huge Wheel.

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The Pen7:11am friday, 5th march
An angel once gave me a pen, and I wrote three poems: one about hope, one about despair, and the third about my dreaming. I read them over but just one time, when the words consumed the pages in fire, and all that was left was ashes of what had been. I wondered why it was that such ephemeral things were given to us, fleeting glimpses of what is higher, and then forevermore there is nothing but burned remains. The whole of all mystery is, I know, too big for us to see it all at one time, and that we must be thankful for any snatches of clarity granted us in this short time within this world — but why must all things end? It seems to me, somewhere, that this destiny shared by all of us was meant to be so, but the lesson of why I cannot comprehend.

An angel once gave me a pen, and I wrote a tragedy: there was a hero, a villain, and in the end, everyone died. When I finished writing, the ink bled into the pages as if the paper itself were crying, and nothing was intelligible within the manuscript anymore. I wondered why it was that God made pain, or was it the devil that did it? There are many things that I do not understand, why the world is this one way it is, and not the countless others that I and others of my ilk have imagined — and then I thought, I am not helpless. If I truly have a vision to impart to the forces that be, I can make something of this place.... Then I saw it, just for a moment: even pain will end, some day, somehow; and how glorious then those who withstood this that once was, overcame the night.

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Nothing7:55am thursday, 4th march
I am nothing. From dust I was made, and to dust I shall return, and all the actions I have ever performed is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I have no purpose in this world that was ever given to me except to love — all of this have this meaning — yet what do I do? When do I love? I instead follow hopeless dreams that never did me any good, forsaking sunlight and friendship. If I added all the wrongs I have ever done and the good, yes, all you would be left with is a grand total of zero. Or maybe the dollar total would be some spare change, but not even enough for bus fare to get home.... But don't listen to me. This is just one of my moods, when the idiot deigns to grace us with his speech: merely one more thing to ignore when everyone says anything.
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Skies7:17am tuesday, 2nd march
I have not looked to the skies
in some while, as I did
in my youth, when it seemed
the midnight blue tarp twinkling
with the flecks of stars was
just out of my reach, that
if I just stretched an ounce more,
I could touch the empyrean.
I am too much inside, little
meditation in the cold of a
winter day, late at night,
no one around my sphere
of existence — my solitude
is too much in books, and none
breathed in the still of the
outer dark. Shall I lament?
I have discovered a world, here,
inside my own self, and not
just in the haunts of my madness:
in the mathematics of this
fever of motion, the wings
at my heels imagine flight.
There is much inside me that
craves to come out, to alter its
space and its time — to change
its world. This sailor goes
different ways than he once did.
The stars once guided men
in their courses as once they
guided me, but where I
travel, these days, my compass
is more mysterious, the seas
sometimes darker than
night, and the treasure I find
worth nothing to anyone
but this lone adventurer,
seeking just to find himself.

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Perfect3:23am monday, 1st march
Everything was perfect.

The suburb was just settling back in from the morning bustle, when everyone needed to be everywhere now.

But just then, the kids were at school, the husband at his six figure a year job, and Caroline was reading The New York Times in the kitchen, sipping on orange juice. It was quiet.

There were exactly seven spices in the spice rack, and she knew their names by heart. Five cans of soup in the cupboard: usually if someone wanted a late night snack. Three boxes of dried pasta — sometimes the kids used them for art projects.

Somewhere in time there had been complaining, there had been groaning, there had been bitching and moaning, but that was as far from now as summer's heat from this here winter. She looked outside, and it was starting to snow lightly. She let herself observe the careful descent, as if each snowflake had a special place where it wanted to land.

Caroline faintly remembered desiring things, things that did not deal with the kid's art projects, fixing late night snacks for the husband, or the seven spices in the spice rack, each for a specific purpose. What were they, exactly? They were less than ghosts.

She remembered the question from her youth, and she wondered if she had ever answered it, or if it had been answered for her somehow: "Who am I?" She blinked. It all vanished.

The snow outside was covering everything quicker than she imagined it would. Soon, it would all be white.

Everything was perfect.

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