Everconnected Darkness and Light

August 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.”

~ Mark Z. Danielewski House of Leaves

If you cannot guess, I am currently reading through House of Leaves and this experience of a novel has been destroying me. Not since Burroughs’ Naked Lunch has written word affected me so, has made me look so deeply into my own darkness: that darkness that others have left implanted and the darkness that I have implanted onto others and myself. Darkness, the absence of light, life itself. Johnny Truant delves into this madness, is made mad by the impression of Zambino’s thoughts on the Navidson Record, but in reality, the madness already lay within, was already imprinted deep within by his history, by his experience, by his actions based off of those experiences. Likewise, Navidson was haunted far before he entered into that house. The monster is this madness, this darkness. The monster is not the house. Johnny has never stepped foot into the house and is still driven mad by it. I have never stepped foot into the house and am yet still driven into despair by it.

Recently I have been attempting to see myself as a whole, an interconnected being made into reality by social constructs, by experience, by the whole of history stretching back to eternity quickly and quietly coming to this point in time that has made me me and then vastly moving away, stretching forward into the eternity of the future and I will never be more than a dot (.), a little dot (.) above an uncapitalized i, the self, still an independent being yet dependent on others and culture and history. A dichotomy of self realization, although in the attempt to see myself a whole I refuse to see myself as a dichotomy. Rather, I am made up of millions of millions of borrowed particles, each with a little life of their own somehow composed to make a physical body made rational by self actualization and sentience, each particle borrowed from another living being now long passed away and turned into dust as each particle will pass through my body when it is turned into dust and will be incorporated into another. And mysteriously, I am a whole, a body and a mind, connected. The darkness and the light, connected. The madness and the sanity, connected. The beautiful and the ugly, connected.

In this attempt to dive into the self, into myself, I am forced to see myself naked, an addict, a lonely creature who (self-admittingly) lives within his (as if gender can be quantified) mind. Driven into fits of apathy and self-loathing, a dreamer who would often think about action and the action of doing things rather than doing those things, constantly making plans with no intention of finishing and often no intention of starting, a hopeless romantic who cannot help against the rational cynicism that he feels to know hope, love, kindness, beauty all around, constantly processing the world and reprocessing the world around in some vain attempt to connect patterns to rationality and meaning, a lover, a hater, a complex creature, a human being. I have my regrets, many of them. I have my victories, many of them. Good days, bad days, beautiful and ugly thoughts, kindness and viciousness all capable and often times realized. Yet the darkness within still remains. Perhaps this is the Original Sin. Not that we have sinned against god but that we have sinned against each other, we have committed the ultimate violence and dehumanized, made others into others, we have participated in the depravity of social injustice, of racism, of sexism, of hatred. I have committed all these things, often times unaware of them, often times aware and full of glee. My childhood is full of these atrocities committed to me, of physical and emotional abuse, of poverty and isolation, of fear and hate. My adulthood is full of them, but more often, I am the one committing these crimes to children and to adults. And with Johnny, with Navidson, with all the milliards of those living, I too must wrestle with the despair of my own darkness, to face the unreality of violence, to forgive myself, those who have hurt me, and those who refuse to forgive me. My writing often refers to the “Other World,” that cold insisting place that corrupts children, yet we are the ones that corrupt children, we are the ones that bring the “Other World” to destroy the childlike awe and wonder, the curiosity that fuels self discovery, beauty, hope, light. We bring darkness into the world because we have been made dark, and yet, there is hope. We too can wrestle like Jacob with the god of darkness even if that means we will never be the same again. We too can chose life and nonviolence instead of darkness and hatred. Although I have not finished with House of Leaves, I still recognize the precarious position Johhny is (we are) in, not quite ready, not quite fulfilled, not quite at peace, deep in madness, but I must recognize hope at the end of despair. All else leads to nihilism. All else leads to death, not a physical death, but the death of humanity as a whole.

“Our lives are now our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness we birth our future.” ~ Daniel Mitchell Cloud Atlas

A Community of Tails

July 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Tails. Rainbow tails out of the back of pants. Not on everyone. A selective few dotting the crowd. I was told that when it was a fad in Seattle it had to do with twinks, more specifically coons and squirrels. I haven’t the slightest clue what a coon or a squirrel is, much less an otter or a bear. This culture is still very new to me. Hell, all of Indiana still feels very new to me, even though I’ve been living here off and on for some five years. Community living in Indiana. Modern day monasticism, with or without your deity of choice. I wandered the crowds with a Nikon D200, nothing fancy, borrowed work camera, shots of queers, fems, butch lesbians. All Beautiful People. All a small part of a counter cultural movement that desires autonomy from the mainstream yet acceptance from it. I walked alone, searching for that moment, the one captured so perfectly with the eye that tells a story screaming to be shot and not being captured it will suffocate into the emptiness of time and all these Beautiful People will be digested with it, eaten away as our bodies turn back into the dust of life and breed new life for others searching for that same same moment. A few clicks, a few settings changed, smiles everywhere, an ‘aw what the hell man’, even a ‘we could be siblings’ but friendliness everywhere. Midwestern flair of a transparent people. Protesters outside yet still civil and the air was calm and sticky with the humidity of summer storms moving through the great ole’ sky that never ceases to end, that stretches out beyond the horizon to where the Midwest stops and the rest of the world begins, something that until only a few years ago I was finally able to travel through, to see and visit and hear how the rest of the little nations within this Nation live and then I danced through it with the desire of flesh, the desire of years of small dairy farm oppression (that destroys the strength of greater men than me) finally coming out of me and now I am here, dancing in unison with the crowd of PRIDE Fest in Fort Wayne, all Beautiful Souls searching searching searching for the Truth and Acceptance in whatever form that brings and the protesters outside proclaiming the Truth of their faith and you cannot be angry with them because I understand it, I lived it once, I too always coming up empty on debts that only Truth could pay for, I too once believed the Gospel of Evangelicalism, I too once took hope that my Cross was within the Norm and the Beautiful that society had placed upon me and now I see it all so clearly that Truth and Beauty are everywhere and nowhere at once and I still struggle with the desire to take up my Cross and follow it everywhere as long as it leads to comfort. Later that night was the drag show. Makeup and men hand in hand on stage showing off fantastic bottles and bodies, cheers and exhilaration seeping from the crowds, a bitter young woman drunkenly arguing why the protesters (who have escaped to their comfortable homes unscathed) are wrong and acceptance is the only Way. I breathed deeply, in awe of the experience, in awe of everyone’s experience around me. Community happening. Togethering: a place where people together, meet, eat, sleep, live, breathe, celebrate, die. A Beautiful culture that I will never understand, will never be apart of and yet still try to capture in thought and deed and image. Different in perspective than my community, the poorly imitated intentionality that I so often fail at yet seek within my being. The human story being played out a million ways and a million times within my life within your life within the life of community at PRIDE, a deep internal struggling to be better, to be good, to find love and acceptance and peace and desire realized yet often dismissed, disarrayed and destroyed by that other-world of darkness that cares of no one and yet we are all guilty of participating, all imperfect yet moving steadily steadily steadily towards the light of hope found in community. In this instance, a community of tails.

Three people (or even four)

June 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Three people walked by me this afternoon,

One,

A lonely woman who paused to look deep in the river,

Two,

a father watching his little girl ride her tricycle, trying precariously to keep balance,

Three,

An old man confined to a wheelchair being pushed by his weary wife,

What is more than life,
Than poetry,
Than this?

Or,

What did I do in return?
I lit another cigarette and turned my head back to my phone.

Or

A fourth!

Myself,

Pausing to watch these people wander throughout the day rather than join them in this mysterious dance of life that surrounds us and seeps into our very being

The march of the ants

June 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

A constructed chaos poured forth from the concrete crack called home

Oblivious to the Sunday morning folk inside the building they’ve gathered around

As those voices inside are oblivious to the worship of the ants spewing forth to collect crumbs of life left by those who also spew forth from their own schedules to meet once a week

Hurriedly oblivious

Of the daily constant worship of the march of the ants.

Wes Anderson

May 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

And so we did our best to dress as Wes Anderson characters, urgently seeking to feel the whimsy of his magic in ours, urgently burning to find peace and beauty trapped somewhere, somewhere if only we could open ours eyes to see and our ears to hear, trapped somewhere deep within the despair entrenched into the very crevices of our hearts, subconsciously piled under the weight of words that the world we live in weary us with the daily thinking that we are the true masters of this world, not seeing the dichotomy we place stringently upon this world and the world we seek after, the other unworldly world of heaven on earth mixed not with sorrow of past life nor of words that force us to weep at the unexpected encounter of who we really are found at the bottom of cheap wine bottles and unsure hearts, but the unworldly other world found beneath steeples and spires on Sunday mornings as we wash away the week before, as we wash away last nights drunken revelries, as we wash away the academic bullshit of intellectual conversations peppered throughout our lives of the newest movies or music, of the time aged classics of Siddhartha and Kerouac, those conversations of theology and philosophy that we pretend make us important and we weirdly place as the highlight of life because we find meaning here, we find that we are only truly ourselves in deep conversations because the holiness of magic cannot be found in the shallow, and so we meet with impure hearts and minds after late night desperate fucks seeking the magic of another world, of another mind that is not our own, forgetting that at one time we were children and that the very feast of our souls was found glimmering from ours eyes, glimmering from the the early spring flowers and trees hidden deep within winter slumber, and somewhere we forgot to continue that astonishment and amazement, we forgot that we still have that capacity within ourselves to find that magic, that unwordly other world that we find so unwieldy, so we dress ourselves as Wes Anderson characters hopelessly wishing that the magic of our youth was more than just seeing the simple spring flowers or the winter trees deep in slumber.

the crumbs of our bodily feast

May 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

We sat under the stars over the trickling-summer-dried-river and talked of the future as if we were the gods discoursing the plans of those creatures above and as they slowly spun around our heads we held on to each other tightly, hungrily, in this infinite moment of small moments everywhere, knowing that when the dawn breaks we would be separated by more than the distance of all those stars combined, and that the crumbs of our bodily feast would never be able to satisfy us again.

Mac DeMarco

May 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

And so we smoked pot in a dingy two roommate bedroom, surrounded by the strangeness of Mac DeMarco stinginess with a Native American named Mason headed out to the Dakotas summer soon to learn the language of his fathers and a young Cornel West lookalike that the damn dog wouldn’t stop growling at, and other such oddities cast out by the cold cunt of America, the unliberated liberals of dives and dumps, for those whose graduation comes not from a degree but from the relentless reality of being discarded for being the unconventional lovers of life, the bitterness of young age oppression cast aside only by the smoke which fills our lungs and surrounds our stories, our small parts in this larger story of a Midwestern summer night, a community without hope grasping at the aftermath of the post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-modern small town with an underbelly of methuselahs of meth and hopelessness that poverty brings into being, so we smoked and drank our fill until we forgot even our names, we smoked and drank until nothing was left in the world except this small bedroom community that being outcasts brings, until the small town and the middle class that haunts our very breasts and breathe ceased to have any say into our lives, because we were the masters of this infinite moment of small bedrooms everywhere, we were the lords of life and the kings of summer, and no longer were the chains of modern American peasantry wrapped around our legs, no longer were the tortures of jobs and mundane necessities of being were brought into existence, so we took communion, the blood of Jesus out of wine boxes for all those before and all those after who will know only like us the tortures of bedroom closet hideaways and existential late night walks downtown in the cold freezing rain chain smoking cigarettes until our lungs could no longer scream in frustration, and we took in the cannabis body of Christ as the cannibals of our society take in the drugs of sugar and coffee and chemical food, we took it in hungrily as we were starved for life, as we the true junkys of Boroughsean madness can only know life by injecting it into our veins, we took communion for the salvation of all those like us in dingy two roommate bedrooms surrounded by the strangeness of Mac DeMarco stinginess.

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