As I entered adolescence, I developed a strong angst for the people of my world. By the time I reached the age of 20, I had become apathetic, bored as means of pacifying the rage. My parents had just divorced. I was helping my father move into his new apartment in Phoenix, AZ when I began showing signs of a brain tumor. When the doctor delivered the diagnosis, I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!”. This was different. It was new. It was something to break up the monotony. Then, I didn’t die. It was almost a disappointment. Would I return to that life for which I had grown such hate? No. It was up to me to make it a better one. My experience of a lack of love in the world meant I needed to do what I could to put more into it.
A clever cacophony of chaos
Municipal monarchs mostly man-made
The village hums electric
A canopy of innovation
A parade of clay gears tick
Water spins clean vibration
And we ride the wave as a part of us
Our mother, our sun, we all are one
Fire and smells of food cooking
We feel the grains of surplus sift through our fingers, knowing they can easily be reclaimed
I dreamed I walked out double doors of a school into a side courtyard area. Michael, my high school bully, and his companion Steven were there. The sight of them caused me to withdraw socially. Where I was ready to engage in social interaction before, I quickly wished I were invisible. The two began repeating a taunt aimed at me. It was in the pattern of language I’ve experienced in previous dreams: Repeated phrase, second phrase, repeated phrase, first deviation of second phrase, repeated phrase, second deviation of second phrase, repeated phrase, third deviation of second phrase… I faced downward, turned around, and slowly retreated back in through the doors out which I had just come.
In this world of wakefulness, Michael had tormented me a bit during my first year of high school. We shared a class and ended up sitting right next to each other the entire year. I believe I initially saw him as a potential friend and voluntarily sat next to him that first class period. After he began repeatedly slapping the back of my head, I quickly realized the error in my perception of him. I did nothing other than attempt to use my words to try to stop him. Then the teacher announced these would be our seats for the remainder of the year. I figured I could deal with it. I had learned, from a young age, to be passive. It seemed that passivity was the best way to keep the peace. My father once told me I should not be a martyr. By this point, I had already learned I was better off temporarily sacrificing my happiness for the greater good. I recall, sitting in my seat, waiting for Michael’s slaps to stop so I could continue to attempt to fit in. Social acceptance was so important to me at this time. I tried to befriend Steven. Although he was somewhat cordial toward me, he continued to keep me at arm’s length. I felt fortunate that I had no other potential friends in this class. It was better for me to take this punishment than have my potential friends see me as this weakling.
I dealt with symptoms of depression throughout most of this school year. I constantly tried on new hats, attempting to find a way to better fit into this social group I had chosen. Michael and Steven rode the same school bus as I did and only lived a few blocks away from my house. Once, on the ride home, I asked them if they wanted to buy some pot. I had no pot to offer them and told myself I just fucking with them. The next day, after school, Dad wanted to throw the football. I knew this meant I was in trouble for something. Apparently Michael and his mother had confronted my father at his work, demanding my father do something about his son, the drug dealer.
If I remember correctly, shortly after this, during class, as Michael slapped the back of my head, I sprang from my chair, choking him for a moment, before returning to my seat. I was a volcano of rage. The teacher, who had watched the abuse all year, paused from his speaking only for a moment before returning to his discussion. I believe Michael’s slapping me stopped after this. I remember feeling regret for the fact that I’d let it go on so long.
A friend of mine recently expressed to me the opinion that love is means to passivity. It certainly was anger that inspired me to end Michael’s abuse. But I suspect it was a lack of love for myself that let the abuse go on for as long as it did. If I were not so incredibly insecure, I might’ve stood up for myself a long time before I let the anger boil over. If I were confident in myself, I could’ve asked the teacher to be moved. I’ve since learned that I don’t have to bottle up my feelings. I deserve to feel whatever I feel I should. At the same time, I try to see all sides before becoming angry. In my experience, anger comes from a personal sense of entitlement and not empathy. Looking back at my experience with Michael, I think he was probably being abused at home.
Today, I was given a chance to be super angry and another to resist this and treat people with love in spite of my predicament. I’m attempting to do the I Love You challenge today. If you are unfamiliar, please check out their Website: https://theiloveyouchallenge.com/home. So I ordered a GoPro camera from the BestBuy Website and opted to pick it up in San Marcos. I live in Austin. I drove to San Marcos and found the Best Buy only to be told by the staff there that they didn’t have the camera I ordered in stock. Apparently there was some sort of glitch with the order and, although they had the camera in stock when I began placing my order, someone had bought the last one just before I checked out. I smiled and joked with staff as they attempted to discover the issue and spent some time going through several different programs attempting to order the camera for delivery before deciding the item was no longer available. I joked once more with the staff member and left with a smile on my face. I’m so grateful to have had this experience. It is just incredible to have this understanding that life is what we make it. 🙂
To my recollection, the first time I died went like this: I was 20 and angry with everyone in my world. Not just my world, The world. Everyone was selfish. We were destroying our planet and I, I didn’t belong on it, in it, to begin with. I was not enough. Therefor nothing was enough for me. Square peg meet round hole. I wished for it all to end, but was too cowardly to end it. Then, when I was 20, I began having severe, crippling headaches. To my knowledge there was nothing new about this. This pain was just a part of the world I knew. Life was merciless. I rode the pain as though it were inevitable. If there was a god, it hated me. But there wasn’t a god. There was nothing to save me. I deserved the pain. I would’ve caused it to myself if I valued any sense of justice. But I didn’t. I took for myself, because the world took for themselves. There was no charity without the expect of some kind of return, be it in this life or some made-up next, no altruism. I was content with riding out this life of pain. It was my obligation to my mother than drove me to the family physician and then the MRI lab. When the doctor gave me my results the next day, I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!”. Then doctors and nurses. war at night. A spaceship. And I was reborn at the age of twenty with the understanding that the world was what I made it.
M, A, and I sat on the dock at my grandmother’s house. I had spent a large part of childhood fishing off this doc. I told them the story of how I once caught two fish on one hook. I explained that I had caught a bluegill on a worm and then caught a bass when it ate the bluegill. M seemed impressed. But A reacted with disbelief: “That’s impossible! You made that up!” I insisted I had not. A shook her head with anger in her eyes. Just then, a shadow fell over the three of us. I looked up at the cloud looming overhead and said, “I’m so tired of being added to womens’ lists of exes”. A reacted with anger: It was my fault I was alone. M reacted with empathy: “You will meet the right woman.”
“Every relationship, but possibly one will end like this. I don’t know that it’s worth the heartache. I don’t know that I can continue to try. It’ll be worth it if I find her. If I don’t, I’m volunteering for unnecessary pain.” M insisted, “You will meet her.” A interjected, “You are never going to meet someone who is happy all the time!” I looked away from the cloud toward A. Dodging my eye contact, A looked up: “What the fuck is that?!” M and I quickly looked up. “What?”, I asked. The a high pitched whistle grew louder. M screamed. A huge mass came barreling through the clouds. A loud crash. Water in my face. Then nothing.
It’s fessional. Live life like a pro.
No confessional. We reap what we sew.
It’s logical. to make love grow.
What is a stomach full with nothing to show?
What is the value of human life? To place value on it, we must first define it. Human life is the energy within us that is never created and never destroyed. As there is no way to end this life, debates about the value of human life are often likely referring to the value of separation of this life into specific vessels of human bodies. When It comes to this life’s separation into human bodies, a couple aspects make the life unique. There is an age-old debate in the field of psychology over whether nature or nurture play a greater role in shaping the individual. If it is nature that gives value to the life, my life is, theoretically, no more valuable than my mother’s egg and my father’s sperm. If it is nurture that gives my life value, I gain value with every experience. This would mean that a child’s life holds far less value than an elderly person’s life. But this measurement failed to take into account the potential for a life on Earth. It’s not only the experience of the human, but our experience of the human that would seem to give their life value. This is surely why we may feel justified in removing the life from a vessel that has committed acts we find detrimental to the existence of the human race. But what of the life of a fetus? Using the experience metric, we may conclude this life, or rather this separation of life, is virtually worthless. And still, we develop emotional ties to the potential of this life. As potential parents, we have reason to suspect the vessel will take on characteristics of it’s mother and father. This “nature” value is more subjective. As separations of life have held great potential and resulted in our pre mature ending and others have held little potential and gone on to prove to be rather valuable, there would seem to be no definitive way to determine the future value of an existing human life. Therefore, a goal in the effort to make life better for people of our planet should not be the maintenance of human life at all costs, but rather, the betterment of all life at all costs.
On the first day, I created shapes, little funny characters with no purpose,
perfectly in the place which I assigned them.
Then I dove into them, giving them the greatest gift I had, myself.
Suddenly what made them was not the shape I gave them, but the bodies they gave me.
These brilliant little lives. Perfectly ignorant, willfully dumb.
Each a part of me.
Then they started destorying the others’ physical bodies.
The true them, the them that was me never died. It just recycled.
These brilliant little creatures, recreating the world I gave them.
Living art, cycling, creating new art and destroying old
Through hate and pain and suffering, perfect little lives.
Pefect in their imperfection
I was wandering through a dark hallway, my arm out as my hand ran along the wall as means of guidance. The nape of a woman’s neck came into the bow of my arm. She was standing in the dark with her baby in her arms. I felt an incredible connection with this woman.