At night, alive in the room, there’s a dark blue feeling coming over me – it is here I make myself overwhelmed. Oh, my. You still haven’t shared any of your photos of Friday Harbor with the Others. You’ve yet to share enough of yourself. You still haven’t opened. Listen to Chopin and cry your lower back out of alignment. Continue reading
Without hesitation, he is concerned with where he will be tomorrow, where the rain will be, and mudslides, and making a way out there to get to a place that makes meditation on the heart rate easy. A serene lake, he thinks. Somewhere with reflective surfaces and distance. Somewhere with old trees to keep out of the rain. Rivers overflowing. Or flowing low or spitting out salmon, don’t remember what happens when you lose three seasons after intending “maybe August” and letting that go, letting the dream of backpacking the Olympics lost, making the music no one asked for and wondering, in this age of wonder, where and when it can all find outlet. Go out and make it to the ocean, lovely human, your body is not lost on you, it is waiting for you to make up your mind on how to fix what is tense, smart, spelled, and coming after you with the chemical make up of invisible threats or serotonin bombs, the fireworks when you are happy, sad duds, the rain picks up I can feel it in my spine and my 1st system edges toward and away from the sound of the guitar music and the old rain. Dry tones with open chord changes, as everything changes, “unbroken for one hundred years in a constantly changing world” and wondering what watch on what wrist can keep me locked away in some false resemblance of time spent hovering away from who you are, barely hiding the taste of the spirits (self-critique squeezing back in) “days are fine, nights are unbearable” and let me tell you about familiar feelings. I feel tired and sore with scratched and stabbed hands a weighted chest with some guilt spiral and some vicious words from a bereaved and November already I lost everything this year, it is all gone and from its absence, this new canvas, I can move away from hating imagining your body and settle back into the flowers, where the haunt is, the rain on feedback loop, the goings on in the night. Nothing makes sense. Let time pass and let yourself feel back inside the body you live in. No abstractions in that. Commit to the body you’ve been given. Its limitations and experiences and vaunt over the depressions with new experiencing conscious art racing heart tracing mountain yodel gallop wild horse kind of sound of the heart beat in the bath tub too small for that same body, the little pump staying regularly heated in the tension and letting itself fizzle down, spark up, and flash red lights to his submerged toes. I am watching this happen from above, as steam rising off a body picking out warm from one source and dispersing it into the room, but is it cold, and why have I acted on such little positive forethought, all a kind of rushed emotion, signifying nothing.
Warm coffee swirl “the spiraling arms of every galaxy” says mewithoutyou. there is discordant music from every time I die playing in the other room but I know the song is short. I am sitting hunched with weighty sleepiness – distraction is what I call my inability to write. I am hearing windchimes and reminding myself I wanted to record them to add some real-life “found tracks” to my new music under the selfsame moniker as this white box. Will I really let my attention be so thwarted by meaningless text messages or by reckless expenditure of Vancouver concert tickets or two nights in paradise felt – or thoughts broken off mid tangent. Fuck it. Here we go with an honest free write. I’ve moved away from this page at least 8 times since I started (just now to attempt to remove push notifications from my desktop. fucking technology ruining my attempt to assess my life and mind in words unhindered)….
Now is the real point.
Fifteen minutes without pause. It is 12:35 pm on Saturday, April 11th. I will not stop typing for longer than a deliberate, thoughtful pause until 12:50. And already a minute has passed for the worth of punctuation and capitalization and other grammar photo art prints, other galleries lost and ruined and tarnished with the threadbare storehouses of the California draught, the wetlands now canyons, the felt pens sucked dry by teenagers attempting to get high, staining their teeth black and blue and green, the green of hanging angel moss, the green of the moss that grew on the frayed noose I found in the wetland sanctuary outside Union Bay yesterday evening.
Back up. I had an episode. I’ll try to describe it. I returned from a meeting with the Bureau of Fearless Ideas because I will begin my volunteer experience there next week, working with writerly kids from 6 – 18 years old and wondering when, exactly, I started as a writerly human and no longer an athletic one (but the preacher professor would say in a governmental voice that it is indeed an athletic field to get into poetry with one’s body pushing through white space like a raft slicing through thick reeds or a jet coughing its way through a fluffy cloud.) Anyway, I drove off, noting the qualities of city life in that obscure neighborhood, the top heavy tulips leaning on magnolias, the yellow red purple blue green grey great! And I came back to my apartment to find myself undermotivated. I cooked and ate too much. When my world started shifting. I wouldn’t say kaleidoscopic. Tunnel vision, a burrowing of ambition, a blurry-edged existence, where the details all formed into one kind of “outside” zoning and my own self was caught in isolation chamber. I had to lay in bed for a moment and tried to read poetry but the words scrambled themselves a bit, my eyes could not focus, they felt like they’d been rained in, and my windshield wipers weren’t working. I laid there checking my heartbeat, very fast, and my natural breathing at the time, very slow. Strange discordance of my tickings. I thrashed about internally and externally feeling like a wretched thought was trying to rip its way through my chest, this is something I’ve heard called an anxiety attack, but I did not want it to win, so I slapped myself and stripped and leaped into the shower on full-cold and gasped and shivered and huddled and rinsed and dressed and left, feeling skin-refreshed but mind-befuddled. Couldn’t help noticing the bleariness of my eyes. The inability to look at faces without feeling cross-eyed and so disoriented. “Something is fucking wrong” I kept noticing but not admitting. I did not want there to be something wrong. But something was off. I was maybe hallucinating. I don’t know. The world was normal- perhaps, raining, the friday afternoon people rousing themselves to go out and get fucked. Your choice what I mean by the verb. I mean it strongly, though. All laughter and umbrellas. I tucked into my headphones and heard my soul screaming. It was loud in my head with questions. Mostly “what the hell is wrong with my eyes?” and blinking a lot and trying to read text messages. Fear is part of it. Annoyance is another. I want to see again. I wondered to a cafe and used the bathroom to splash water on my face. My eyes look normal in the mirror. A bit milky compared to photograph in good natural light. I sat down with my head in my arms, look up at a girl in a tight red dress, and hid again, ashamed of my monster-thoughts. Ordered a beer. Drank it and felt nauseous. Do I need glasses? I left with lowest spirits. Feeling like I’m floating. frowning and staring at the ground. walking down the viaduct 45th with intent to get gin and go get rained on in a field. i picked up beer and chips and went to the wetland reclamation area and saw an egret and two wild beavers among other things, feeling wild lands cure me slowly. Today, however, my fatigue seems to represent a lingering hereafter of the initial and I struggle to define what actually happened.
It was more intense than I have described here but I’m out of time. (12:51)
I am sitting on the stained way off white carpet, poorly sized for this room, with a crease down the center all bunched up. My back against the wall (dark blue, covered in tack holes) staring at a miscellany of art projects from the years, the last four. The last four of them. The four years leading up to this moment, fleeting as it is. I’m already smiling from the future, analyzing this period of my human development with notepads and speculation. Yes, presently, I feel as though this transitional period of mine is some vague turning point, a graduation from my sun soaked days. I tried to contort myself into a smaller version of myself in order to fill the tiny slot they had for me. My presence demands less parameters. No perimeter fence around my nervous system. My girlfriend, at that time and now, always vanilla scented, shape shifting mind, and those sultry eyes, told me, “You’ve become a muted grey version of yourself.”
Truth. I folded up nicely into their tan lined palms to be thrown out with the other recyclables that have absentmindedly been tossed in the trash. A crumpled up piece of paper. Feeling like chewing on tinfoil. Open up a new landfill, you negligent bodies, mother earth needs more blemishes on her skin. More clogged pores and clots in her arteries. Garbage men are not magicians. Poof! Trash gone! No. None of that. But you will be rewarded, by your humble actions, oh brave many, with the eminent white blood cell rejection of your poisons when too many are pumped into her blood stream. Mother will not die but she will adapt and grow accordingly. Either a mutant version of our leftovers (recycled can islands that humans eventually transfer subsidized housing out onto) or a lethal retaliation; as in when she cries for help to the stars for another meteor to wipe out the pests like dinosaurs. Whatever prehistoric complaint she had with the dinosaurs is long buried by our human stupidity and procreation. (no other species kills members of other species to mount their heads on their study room walls). She has learned to hold her temper, keep her patience, or she is asleep. Boy would she be mad if she woke up!
I want to at least try to be bigger than narrow societal boxes. I have graduated from my cave of heat and now move north toward cold snowflake personalities washed in dark shades of purple from unknown, rainy day, bruises.
I see these canvases and drawings across the room. A collection of collages and rambling, searching artwork from years of delve-deep-into-the-self depression and purposeful removal of meaningful social contact. In those images, there is truth. There is evidence of tangential thinking. Here and here and here. (points at colorful ideas started then abruptly finished, each in an individual passion, until all the ideas form a full, somewhat chaotic, thought or feeling.)
One collage I’ve done featuring images from the disastrous Los Angeles earthquake in 1994. At first glance it is, indeed, a chaotic scene. Similar to what it must have felt like to be caught in the damn thing. It is assembled by many ‘vignettes’ or individual stories with characters and color harmony until the whole image acts as a complete piece.
I don’t know. Sometimes I’m on to something and then I dream up something different, which seems better because it is different and go there instead. Leaving that first design, that first fragment of an idea in the dust. Burning through ideas across a canvas like a time lapse image of a laboratory rat completing different tasks in a rectangular maze.
This is a transitional period because I suddenly realize that all of this effort, this meandering on paper, is soon to grow exponentially into a finer point. I will use words, music, and canvases to convey myself in the clearest language, melodies, and colors possible. Here is where all of the time spent writing to write to write, write, write, write– is fully realized as a solid foundation for future growth. The growth of a god damn mountain. Wow. Look at it rising like skyscrapers and creative whirlwinds of thought shut out all possible regret for my decisions.
I am lucky and happy.
I can hear my cadence rising to higher decibels, mountain tops. And also the echoing black void of my past cheering me on. All disappeared versions of myself are reattaching to my heart and we’re getting along just famously. All of those sad nights of pent up angst and emotions exhausted into creative endeavors…. are calling each other up and planning a mighty kegger in Seattle. In January. Next year. Be there. Bring a cup.