What do you love about life?

It’s how everything is one long chain of this moment, stretching and stretching and stretching. If you keep retreating after you fail at something… soon you’ll discover that you can only pull this moment so thin, like an elastic band pulled tight. You are taut and tense and uncomfortable with all the ideas bouncing around in your head that you don’t like. That clash with your view of the world. At the same time, you don’t want to put them out of your head, you don’t want to narrow the walls of your perspective, at the same time, you struggle to stay present and relaxed and loose and open. 

Life’s filled with paradigm shifts. If it’s making you uncomfortable… and you still feel like this idea has merit… then you either retreat, to protect your fragile sense of identity… or you collapse the old structures. Again. 

I keep wondering… when you’re going to figure it out, I keep wondering… when you’re going to decide enough is enough and stick to it with the heart, soul and passion of someone coming alive. Because, yes, I think you’re right, someone who is alive has no time to think about what other people think of them or their work. 

I also found this quote, today, tucked away amidst some of my writing,

“Everyone who works with love and with intelligence finds in the very sincerity of his love for nature and art a kind of armour against the opinions of other people.”

– attributed to Vincent Van Gogh

My friend wanted to know where I’d see myself in 10 years. I remember when I used to love asking this question. We had dinner together to celebrate his 26th. I sat next to the most gorgeous woman I’ve met in a while and she was absolutely delightful at conversation. I felt the joy of banter. Sheer innocence and fun. 

The truth is that I don’t think my younger self imagined my present self to be here, but I don’t think she had given it much thought. At 25, I have. But I told him, to ask me in 10 years and I’d tell him what goals my 25 year old self had. Mostly, I didn’t want to commit to verbalising them because things can change and I admit I waffle often at life. 

And as I came home, I wondered again, what were my goals? To build better daily habits? To make music… but to make art, not entertainment. I feel silly and sad for wanting this. I love being entertained… but I am not an entertainer. To being a better teacher? To commit more wholly and fully to the craft of music? To writing? To… being a better person? All of these things excite me. Along with a few others that are not career related in the slightest. 

To reading more life-changing books. To learning some martial arts – kung fu to be precise. To learning to read in Chinese, to learning Spanish. To learning another instrument. To keep dancing, solo and with others, to keep feeling into the flow of life. To keep meditating, doing yoga every morning… grounding into the present moment. To learn how to skydive solo. To go scuba-diving. To fall in love with a different world. To trek a desert. To hike those gorgeous mountains in China. That’s what I want. To get more tattoos. To slip away for months on end, every now and then. And there’s more, that only my heart would confess.

It was good, that he asked that 10 year question… because naturally, the following question would be… and what are you doing to manifest these? Because as he told me his dream, I knew that he needed to be another person, to manifest it… and… I know, I’d also have to be a different person to manifest mine. I wondered… how to reply to him… I hope… No… I’m sure you’ll get there. A sheepish smile passed over his face for a moment and he said thanks. 

Maybe I should’ve said, in 10 years I’d be trekking a desert… or climbing Huangshan Mountain. That makes me laugh. Maybe I’d be skydiving solo… or doing something else a little bit crazy.

Sand

Freedom

I like it when you play with a lack of attachment, when you’re willing to embody all the roles that exist and all the plays ever written. I love the taste of surrender, as much as I love the feeling of control, I love the balance and the chaos and the nothingness as well as the fullness, the edges, however they feel, dangerous, sharp… or soft and indolent. 

I thought I was never afraid of darkness, only to discover what it meant. I thought I was not afraid of my own depravity, only to discover I could be burned. Scathed. I thought I would armour up, but I learned, to bring a ferocious kind of acceptance to it all. 

I love the feeling of shifting lines, of changing boundaries – of learning what they feel like. Of marvelling at the irony, at the extent to which everyone, all things… reveal themselves… and the way I react and my reactions to my reactions. The way you react to the tip of the iceberg… without seeing the work and the sweat and the self inflicted agony of getting here. So on and so on. There’s something morbidly delicious about assenting, about agreeing, about playing with the polarity, about pulling and pushing and tweaking and nudging. About being seen through. I am not always kind, nurturing and loving… as much as the Mother archetype exists within me. I know, it is historically the most socially acceptable one. Perhaps for that very reason, arises the scintillating desire to explore other facets, as others of this time period and those that have come before and those that will come after, are doing, have done and will do.

Indeed, I love it when I’m seen through. When the depth and the darkness and the mystery and the enigma… bubbles forth from your lips because you’re willing to appreciate the mirror I present. Because you’re not asking me to be someone who fits into the lines… who sounds perfectly clear and cut. Because you don’t care. You have your own demons, your own battles, your own scars. The ledge I inhabited was a place you found comfort. 

It was inevitable… that I would meet you on this battleground. 

That I would be drawn again to the darkness that originally brought me here. 

That we’d be demons for each other as much as angels. 

That I would say yes, to exploring these parameters… to dissolution. Dissolution, you delivered for me, in spades. Dare I say, you even exceeded my expectations. I understand the unfolding of this story because it seems, that I’ve come to its true finality. You were my shattering of the known and the initiation into the unknown. You were the catalyst for the beginning of that journey… and as it closes, I’m rather grateful, for everything. 

All I experienced, along the road to getting here, to this moment, to learning of this present moment, was needed. I am in deep awe… at what life looked like and looks like, from this perspective… to the me that struggled, that her struggle was not pointless, that it was going to take as long as she needed. And now that I know, I have to say, there is a sense of satisfaction.

I don’t shame and reject my needs and desires. That has been the biggest growth and change in me. I acknowledge that the divine exists in you… and that when we played… we played with both Thanatos and Eros – a will to death and a will to life. Death is the final possession in this play and Eros is the taboo knowing of freedom, or should I say that freedom is the knowing of Eros? That there is an eroticism to life and an innocence to the quenching of ones thirst. In this human suit of mine, it is okay, to merely discern the truth, and walk away. And it is okay, to choose the parameters of play and the rules of engagement. To love knowing what I want, unapologetically, and to love knowing in half confusion and get it wrong and to love not knowing and hold back until I do. And if I offer myself that, how could I not offer it to you? 

Life flows and I am drunk with the giddiness of it, that all things reveal their interiority and their beauty in the midst of life’s struggles, or perhaps it is merely in me, that the dimension of appreciation sets in with a new knowing. As I forgive you, I have forgiven myself, for that play we engaged in, was entirely mine as well. I love you… the way love is also harmony and balance, without compromising, compressing or enlarging any part of me. I cannot perceive you as a ghost to armour against or as someone I’d like to engage with again.

May you be happy, may you be free from shame and suffering, may your good fortune increase, may you be free from aversion and attachment. 

Sand

Goal?

What is my goal here? Who am I writing for? Why am I sharing?

To be honest, I don’t know. There are differing impulses. I like this quote,

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

Joan Didion

A part of me simply likes the process of watching words form. To write the insights that come, all the whimsy, the moody and the existential. It’s like a cherry. It’s the cherry for me. I’m obsessional. Actually. The more I observe myself, the more I realise this. All suffering and insecurity is created from attachment. It’s very Buddhist. And intellectual.

And I felt that today.

I wrote it down.

And I wondered… that’s new. Even though the words hadn’t changed. They were changed for me. I let go.

Like triggers being beautiful because they’re an opportunity to work on what’s coming up.

It’s easy to say that and think they make total sense. And in the middle of the triggers… I’m gone. You know? Like… this spiral has a hold of you and you’re just on the ride.

Like someone saying, you are not your thoughts or your beliefs. Observe them.

It makes total sense. And then in the middle of being hijacked by a rogue thought or sabotaging belief… you’re totally on the rollercoaster.

I’ve been there so many times and didn’t even realise I was on the ride. Like having a dream and not realising you’re dreaming unless you’re a lucid dreamer.

Sometimes the thoughts overlap each other before they have time to fade into the echos of my mind. A bunch of synapses firing.

And me.

Taking the neural pathways with the deepest grooves. Until I realise I can choose my thoughts.

Why don’t you try loving the parts of yourself that you’re repressing? Love the chaos and the darkness. Love the ferocious. Love the parts of you that are self-sabotaging and negative. Love all those parts. Especially, love your messiness, your judgements, your destructiveness. Love her. Love her wild. Love yourself wild… Love with your entire being

and hold nothing back.

You are the one living this life. You are the one in this drama called life, playing the roles you’re playing.

You get it?

I understand the intellectual realm that a thought exists in… before I understand it on the emotional, in my body.

That’s where the change happens.

Here’s a poem that emerged from a totally different poem:

over there in the temple of flowers,

the leaves whip by in the wind

and soar into the tipped outline of feathered wings

they do this every day,

somewhat cheekily as they tickle by your ears

and ask,

are you my tree?

Ideas looking for a home

Some time later as I come back to it… I’m like oh.

It’s not that the curtains are a melancholic blue because the person is depressed and meticulously picked the blue curtains to symbolise that. Although, there is something moody and poetic about it, the poetics are better when actively cultivating communication with the unconscious. It’s that the unconscious communicates its desires, anyway.

It’s that depression is asking for attention. For your love. To see, why you are being choked softly to death whilst living and breathing in this body of yours.

It’s that depression gets your attention. Sadly, we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know how to make it ‘go away’. We don’t know how to open the lid to the can of worms, enter the labyrinth… what metaphor have you… eat from the apple tree of Eden. Does that one even work? Maybe we need to re-claim our birthright to knowledge. That suffering is part of the human condition. That we’ll all experience suffering if we’re human, even if we’re not – animals feel pain too – that suffering can be experienced by every living creature.

Do animals instinctively live in the present? The what is? The now? Maybe they have something to teach us.

If we were flying with the geese on their migratory journey, we’d be in awe, at their intelligence. So much that it gives me goosebumps, at how their compassion for each other is intrinsically wired into their intelligence. On another level, I can take it out of this realm of feeling… channel a little Darwinism and suggest, that is how they survive. Evolutionarily speaking, this is required for their survival.

But with the former perspective, maybe we’d be humbled. With the latter, we have not questioned our dominance over the Earth and the natural world.

With the former maybe we’d be more curious about what education is and what it teaches. Maybe we’d be more curious on learning how to accept every single emotion and thought that arises in our being without insisting on the right or wrongness of any of them. Maybe we’d have a level of respect and awe for this world and every creature in it… on a deeper life and death level.

The paradigm would shift.

In reference to the previous post I made, Why I don’t have a god, I would have to add, god is not outside of ourselves and neither is satan.

Sand