± H13.com - Archives - May 2003
may 2003

For What It's Worth12:14am saturday, 31st may
Breathe. Just breathe. The world is not too much for us, though at times it may seem so: it's never as bad as it seems, and you are stronger than you could possibly know (it is often best that we never find out how strong that is). Inhale. Exhale. If it helps, pray to something or someone greater than you — couldn't hurt, at any rate. Then, just figure that in all that there is to accomplish, you might come to surprise yourself if you really try — so give it some gas; as Basil King once said, "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid." Take a moment: breathe in, breathe out. What you are looking for you will find, though when you do, it is never what you expect it to be. And one last thing: the world does not slow down and wait for you to jump aboard — get a running start, and leap.
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Recollection 1112:07am friday, 30th may
Back in the day, I remember everything had this extra vantage point by which it could be viewed, as if each thing was not just a thing, but a symbol pointing to something larger, telling me something mysterious. I remember everything was significant, the littlest scrap of paper could be the key to the known universe, and beyond. Everything meant something, if I looked hard enough, or long enough. And when I found the meaning, I would forget the thing, and I would be lost in that meaning. I remember those times like remembering a dream that you can't tell if it was a nightmare or not, but you suspect it was, with all the sweat pouring down your face. It grows tiring, the utter significance of every little thing, exhausting to have religious experience after religious experience.

You know, I have heard that some recovered schizophrenics miss something of their old selves, that after wrestling with angels and demons, taking out the trash is a tad mundane, a bit boring. When the world is no longer on the line depending on what your next thought is going to be, when your thoughts are just thoughts... I guess I see the point. But I myself was not left empty handed when my madness drifted off. I was left with a strong sense of hope — which perhaps never left, not throughout my whole ordeal — and, if not dreams, the capacity to dream. My mind is not the same as if the madness never was; things sometimes still stand out, sort of glow with Meaning; but this new thing that I am: I am thankful that for some reason, I was given this: a second chance.

Back in the day, I lived through the apocalypse on a regular basis, and it was good sometimes that jotting down a note saved the world. But this thing now, that I have — jotting down a line of poetry now and again, and other people know what it means, too, and it makes them feel something — this world out here is such more interesting, such more worthwhile.

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My Glass12:01am thursday, 29th may
Through my glass on the world
I spy two riders in the distance:
one wears red, the other blue,
both whispering secret commands
to the horses they ride. Through
my glass on the world I spy
trees that speak through wind
mysteries only time can say,
silent to all who would break
the code. Through my glass on
the world I spy an angel garbed
in the tatters of a homeless man,
begging for change, blessing
passersby without their knowledge.
Through my glass on the world
I spy the end of the world: it comes
quietly, not through a grand
sweep throughout all the lands
all at once, but through a million
small things that add together,
whose purpose is not clear
until all things are turned from
their ways, until it is too late to
start again... and then you finally
understand why. Come, and see.

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At a Loss3:18am tuesday, 27th may
Where have I wandered? Where have I been? Am I waking up again? I go through this every now and again, as if I am beginning once more, as if my birth was always left uncompleted. What do I do? What shall I say? And why? Why? Why? This dreamer has spent much, much time dreaming of some day when he is to be ready (for what he never knows), but when that day comes, he is completely at a loss — for any and everything. Life is not what happens when you're busy making other plans (ala John Lennon), but it is rather all that planning you do — that passes for life most of the time. But you know, how does one, in fact, do it: seize the day? Everyone always told me to, and never told me what that meant. And of all that dreaming... it is the safer thing than this gritty life, softer, but there comes a time when morning breaks and the light peals in through your window — I will grab whatever I can, and go... Maybe that's it?
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The Gentle1:39am monday, 26th may
I am fascinated by the mystery of the gentle things. It seems to me that the storms of the universe, like the violence of reactions occurring in the heart of any star — this extreme I find makes sense. You throw everything you have at something to get something out. On the other end of the spectrum, when there is nothing, just stillness — this extreme, too, gives me no profound sense of mystery. If there were nothing instead of something, I would find no enigma in it at all. But that which is gentle: a light breeze, a drizzle of rain, a candle lit in the darkness: I find this these almost inexplicable. It speaks of such the restraint in the world, yet not to shut off completely, of there being such forces in the universe to thunder, and yet that these forces caress rather than strike. The wonder of it.

Next time you are brushed by a slight wind, consider it. The gentle: it is as if the world is being careful. We are fragile things, and sometimes we are overtaken, overcome by the brunt of the forces that careen forth from out there. The gentle: it is as if the world is taking exquisite pains not to damage these frail forms we call life. No, it does not happen always — I think it is rarer than we realize in this vast universe. I think we have grown accustomed to it on this gentle planet. Such balance as it is, we have been spoiled by it at our particular place in existence: nothing about that which is makes that which is gentle necessary. The laws of physics speak much of harsh reactions, and we, of this gentlest thing called life, we often brush away the slight as insignificant. I think that not so, not at all.

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Rhythm12:31am saturday, 24th may
In the rhythm of life there are some beats we never catch.
Some tap out an ancient tempo that has been from the beginning.
Some are scarcely there at all, like a flutter between moments.

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Memory12:24am friday, 23rd may
There are some things I would like to forget. Things I've seen that I would like to unsee, things I've heard that I would like to unhear, even things I've smelled that... you know. It's not that ignorance is bliss, just that I have taken some wrong turns in my life, roads that led me to places I would not have chosen to go if I knew what was there. And sometimes, I just did not know any better, and I found some dark things by way of more or less an innocent curiosity. My mind holds on to these disturbing subjects often because they are so unnerving, items I cannot teach it to let go. The best I can do with them is to let them remind me that out there in the world, horrors exist, sometimes just around the corner from where you walk every day. And perhaps, we need to be reminded of it: watch where you step: some places you do not want to go.
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Placeholders12:09am thursday, 22nd may
These things we plop down as placeholders — they become, many a time, the very foundation upon which we build our lives. Thinking we will go back when we have something better, and scribble out our past effort with such inscriptions that will fork lightning... such lightning almost never comes, and the old, hasty handwriting remains. Moreover, it is expanded upon, extrapolated from, etched into the very surface that was only a temporary site. I think it that perhaps the majority of life philosophies were written down upon cocktail napkins, if not literally — a half a clue that became the gospel of one's life. This is our lot, we mere mortals: that we base our grandest ideas upon a second of inspiration that we always upon writing think we will improve upon, but never do.

Examine in yourself, if you will, some of your most dearly held notions. I find that some of my own I decided quite arbitrarily to subscribe to, sometimes as a child, with as much attention to detail as one decides what to have for lunch. Despair not if much of what you believe in has very little reason why. We most of us are such this way, for all of us are arbitrary creatures with little or no rhyme to our soliloquy. Chance, in my reckoning, plays much more a role in our living, our decisions, our understandings, our passions, than we care to concede. Some of us are lucky, and — I think — most of us are not. But such is what is meant for us by the winds of life, that we are blown across seas we know not of. Some of us dare to risk it, anyway: put up a sail, and go.

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Rush and Lull12:01am wednesday, 21st may
It is either a rush or a lull —
a lull then a rush then a lull then
a rush. In the lull, you prepare
for the rush, for the rush will come,
and in the rush, in the back of
your mind you imagine the lull, for
the lull will come. Even, steady
days that flow out smoothly at a
regular rate — these are not regular
at all. The average is not average:
the extremes blend together if enough
time has passed: the lull and the
rush, together and mixed in your
reckoning (that was a bad year,
that was a good year). The pace
of the world is not regulated by
our desiring, and it is often too
much to handle or too little to be
interesting — the rush and the lull.
Never forget how these times
coalesce into one thought, there
on your dying bed, when all the
seasons have passed by: "that
was a bad life" or "that was a
good life". And this, we do not
average with any other factor.

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Busy12:43am tuesday, 20th may
I've been busy lately. It's a very good thing: I don't have time for much contemplation of Heaven and Hell when I'm trying to decide which pair of khakis to buy at the Gap. I do, sometimes, anyway, though. It's a long drawn habit that I have, to cogitate on larger things — things, really, that are too large for me. I probably should square myself on what things are going on around me than what are miles above and below me, so to speak. What was that Duran Duran song saying, now? "But I won't cry for yesterday / There's an ordinary world / Somehow I have to find / And as I try to make my way / To the ordinary world / I will learn to survive" — yeah, that was it. How I searched for that, back when... I have a piece of it, now, a good hunk of an ordinary world, an ordinary life. It's better than it sounds, trust me — I've seen the alternative.
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Desire, and...2:03am monday, 19th may
Let me talk a little, and see if I have a point. The question comes, "What is desire?" It is sometimes a need, something we require to live — to fulfill a primal thing in our existence. This thing we carry in our genes, passed down through the eons, for one without this trait would most probably not have survived to breed. Desire is sometimes, too, simply a want: that which we seek to deliver us pleasure, or an ease to our pain. This thing we are drawn to for to make our life a comfort, or at least, something we can bear. But then there is a desire that is inexplicable, something that shies away from pleasure, if it must, something even contrary to survival, if it comes to it. This third one, which heroes are known to have carried, rests in everyone's heart, if he or she will just look: it is love.

Now, desires come, and desires go, but that which love has wrought — think me not simple to believe that there is something out there that desires to see every secret act of kindness, every toleration of a wrong done to them and they only offer compassion back. Somewhere I believe there are cosmic balances that weigh upon each of our souls, measuring the desires that we choose to follow. (But even those who choose the third desire only when the first two have ruined them — such as I did — that which accounts the scales I think forgives much their tipping to the wrong side if one decides finally to tip the right.) Of desire, love speaks to me that it is something of that which is above us, above our mere mortality, that I see as if it were like a sign, pointing up. So, I look.

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Asleep12:45am saturday, 17th may
I spent some years asleep, unaware the dreams I wandered,
and these times I imagined I was awake, merely in strange lands.
I wonder now, did I ever wake, or is this dreaming, too?

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Ordinary Day12:03am friday, 16th may
Just an ordinary day. In other words, I should count my blessings. I remember when a normal day would comprise me becoming an angel and then becoming the Antichrist, being damned and then being saved, laughed at by angels both good and evil, and of course it wouldn't be complete without being tortured in some way by Rosanna Arquette. It gets freaking tiring, man. "Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things." [Yoda] No explosions in the visions of my mind, and I am only me. I have my work. I have my peace.... Don't be too hurried to rush into that which is unusual and stimulating, because Hell has (I think) been often mistaken for Heaven. And Heaven (I think) has all too often been mistaken for an ordinary day in an ordinary life.
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In the End...?12:01am thursday, 15th may
I've been reading a book called Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's a humorous take on the Apocalypse; you know, the end of the world. It made me think, gee, what would I do if the world really ended? Past the sh*tting in my pants, if the time really came — if Judgment Day was nigh — what would overtake me, the primal fear at the end of the all, or a courage I never knew I had? Catastrophes are known for bringing out both the worst and the best out of people, after all, and this would be the mother of all catastrophes: moon turning to blood, oceans boiling over, hails of fire; where would I stand? I shudder to think. If courage arose in me, I guess it would have to be what I never knew I had, because I can't think right now of how that might happen.

How it relates to this day here, I wonder at the perspective of, what around me would really matter if the world began to end in, say, tomorrow? What do you think about the matter, huh? What things, what people would you really stand by if it really hit the fan? I think about my computers, where I spend most of my time, day and night: though very important to me day to day, these things would probably of the least use if the world were ending. Pen and paper I think would be the highest tech devices useful if all the sky were falling, everywhere around you. I know that the world has this tendency not to end, but considering this question of what matters — that means something, right now. I wonder.

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Dreamcatcher12:07am tuesday, 13th may
Dreams that die before the dawn
have in their rhythms moved the world:
many who once started pawns
do kingly colored plans unfurl,
brought from dreaming newly gone.

Take a breath before you wake
from in the visions of your mind:
blow it through the day that breaks
to see what sparks from its design,
whether might a fire take....

In the dreaming mortals touch
where angels' feet have sometimes graced:
no, our thinking climbs not such
that we fly oft in angels' space,
but in our day, we dream as much.

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What Is It?1:23am monday, 12th may
What is the meaning of life? Are we meant only for the things we discover, only for what happens to us — or are there much of us that miss what our plan truly is, and perhaps rare few who fulfill their potential? How can we tell? Does it always make us happy, what we are meant for, or are some of us meant to suffer, after all? Do our desires have anything to do with what we are put on this earth for, or does our true purpose lie beyond any of our deepest wanting? Why do we want to know so badly what it is that we are meant for — is it merely the desire to validate what we think we have figured out about life? Would much of us be disappointed, in the end, if we did know? Or are we all actually meant for something better?

I leave you with words from Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor: "Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather recognize that it is he who is asked."

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Shock12:13am saturday, 10th may
We have good days, we have bad days. Then we have days where we are in shock: good or bad, we can't believe that they're happening to us. I bet that's what it's like when you win the lottery, or if you're told your whole family died in a plane wreck. I just had one of those days, just recently — not the bad kind, thank God, one of the good ones! I heard somewhere that Albert Einstein felt the Theory of Relatively before he thought the whole thing out, that when he was on a train, he felt violently ill; thereupon, that theory came processing through his brain. So, after hearing this, I longed for that type of sickness, that kind of wonderful nausea (love, I think, is also one of those wonderful nauseas). And Wednesday, I had it: on a train, just like Albert, I felt just sick as I thought on a problem, and I conceived of something strange and fantastic.

I don't think I'll go on with the exact details of what came over me. Not only do I think I'll bore you, but there's quite a bit of background material that I would have to cover before I told you what I thought of. It has to do with the mathematical field of topology, if you must know something about it, and how it relates to pattern recognition in an artificially intelligent system. But anyway, the rest of the day, I was in utter shock. Had I really found what I'd been looking for, after these years of searching in vain? Something in me was sure of it, but I couldn't figure out what part, and it didn't tell me why. Of course, there is also another part of me that yet doubts, but that, I think, is habit — I've been wrong so many times before. But as it holds, I live in a brave new world: there is much work to be done, now that I have the seed planted: it is like farming a vine whose fruits you have never tasted before. Wish me luck.

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Colors12:02am friday, 9th may
Deeper the blue than the black, as is love deeper than death...
Time colors everything, but is itself no tint I can think of...
In dreams, the hues of a sunset sky cannot be caught in names...

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Accidental12:05am thursday, 8th may
I am a man who has been fashioned by accidents. Nothing on purpose have I ever done that has yielded any of the best of my fruits. I must wait for serendipity for any true advance of my dreams, yet still I try, and hope, that something of my plans will produce a precious thing. Yes, I stumbling press on in some direction even though I know it will probably be to fall into a pit. I think it may be that when I have tried hard enough, pressing against the walls of possibility, that some larger voice has pity on me and whispers in my ear the answer that I had been struggling to attain, or some other answer that I was not expecting at all. And so I will try, and try again, to go faltering my way through my dreams. What else can I do? I must give my best: try, and hope: there is nothing more.
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Best Of 712:02am wednesday, 7th may
These ditties are what I deem the cream of my crop from February through April of our cool little year 2003. From now on, I will do this at every 6 month interval instead of the 3 I have been doing:

I Dream... - Some of my dreaming, whatever it may mean.

Circle - A sijo about the cycle of day and night.

It Is Easy - Things that are easy to slip to, if we stop not to think.

Wonder - I wonder: what is this thing, life, that we travel through?

Of Rain - Of looking through the window, and being invited in.

This Is Love - Yes, the mystery: yet this we know.

To Do - These things I need to do as I walk on.

Stranger, Wondering - Otherwhiles like a child, this stranger.

Imaginary Dreams - Three dreams I imagined I dreamed.

In One Moment - What can happen in just this moment.

River - A poem of madness pumping through one's veins.

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Purpose, Prayer12:01am tuesday, 6th may
I have past my wailing. There were times in my past when I thought it all too much, that it would have been better if my life ended just then, that I should rest from this existence, that I wanted no more of this world. I dreamed of death, and how sweet it might be. From that, I now have become one who relishes his days here on this earth, but the transition from times before was by no means an instantaneous one; I did not wake up one day and suddenly life was worth living. If slowly, it did come: a gaining theme, a change from wanting death to loving life: a sense of purpose that grew to my days. It is now no longer the time where all I look forward to is sleep, to deaden my senses — something has lit a fire in my belly, ignited in me a passion to drive me on.

How did it happen? I prayed. There was a period a couple of years back when, for about a month, I prayed for roughly half an hour a day every day. And I did not specifically pray for a purpose to move me — the purpose came as sort of a side effect of those entreaties. God gave me the thing I did not know I needed, when I perhaps prayed for things I did not require as much as I thought I did. And slowly, inevitably, things turned around in my life. No, it was not the end of suffering, but something that became for me stronger than the pain. I have past my wailing. My purpose, my passion — it matters not so much what it may be — it makes me real, as if I had only been a ghost before that, wandering aimlessly through the halls of an empty heart, haunting only myself.

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Little Voices12:35am monday, 5th may
Little voices have done more,
I think. A thousand men will
shout, and drown each others'
voices out with their conflicting
volumes, but that little voice
that speaks to the heart in those
moments when we are on the
brink of despair, that little voice
that guides us to the right, and
not the left: it has done more
than all the shouting in the world.
For a man will whoop to make
himself known, and it seems that
he is the louder the less sense
he makes, believed by people just
by the roar of his voice. Don't be
fooled. Seek out the quiet songs,
for truths have ever been spoken
by the lightest of breezes, and
prove me right: let the little voices
move you, and think him not right
merely because of the volume
of his speech: there are too many
fools who yell things they have
heard others yell. When you know
the truth, whisper it to all you
know; let a whisper be enough that
the whole world withstands it not.

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It Is Time12:07am saturday, 3rd may
What time is it? It is time to plan, time to dream, time to hope, time to wonder. There are instances in our lives when for some reason we feel refreshed, almost like a second childhood, when the world is our oyster again. We surely reap what we sow, and it is time to sow — let us be wise for once and plant good grain. What the future holds it is not ours to control, but let us be ready for anything. Let us lift our hearts from off the ground and fall in love with everything; let us find the rhyme to all that we know, a rhythm to all our passions. Let not life pass us by, not this time: we will seize the day in one big embrace and discover joy anew. It is time, yes, it is such a time — I imagine that great and wonderful things have come from humble moments such as this.
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Revenge12:01am friday, 2nd may
For so long, I wanted to revenge myself. On who, though, I did not know. What do you strike at if all that ever tormented you were ghosts that never were, voices that never spoke, visions empty of substance? How do you get back at your subconscious, and even if you could, what would that do to you, anyway — would that mess you up further? To these questions, I can only conjure up an old Italian adage, that "Forgiveness is the best revenge." And that's the thing: that's all that I can do: I have been forced into a position that I must forgive all the hurt that was caused me those years back, in the throes of madness. The only other option is to hate without having a subject for my hate — some dark streak to always carry, smoldering away in my soul, pointing at nothing, without purpose, without meaning. I think that is not an option at all. Hate is bad just by itself, but a meaningless hate: where is the satisfaction in that?

If you look at it one way, it is a dirty trick. There is no option for me to think of revenge, to imagine one day that I will get back at the thing that caused me so much grief. But that all I have left is to forgive — if I think of it, it is not so dirty a trick, after all. What struck at me had no real mind of its own; it was a blind and senseless subprocess in the recesses of my mind, and to think to revenge myself on it would be like if one were shot, to revenge oneself on the gun that fired. I must forgive, and in doing so, perhaps truly learn what it means to forgive. Not a trick, but something real, instead. No blame left towards anything, and whatever may be, just to go on with my life without hatred. Amen to that. Hallelujah.

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Cemetery Trees12:03am thursday, 1st may
I dream of the cemetery trees: stark, dark, and leafless:
branches reaching toward heaven, roots dug in amidst the bodies.
When the wind blows, they wave goodbye as if they knew everyone.

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