Day 9 (Deadly Desires) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

There’s a heinous wind of wanting that sheds lightly bound despair to the trundled carts of cash swept from their bodies.

Aching insides so very desperate, desiring the next and the next until the vacancy between their heart and soul is refined.

Never use the words “better than” when referring to your own, it makes you seem shallow in a wading pool of sharks and minnows.

What was the purpose? The sheer ecstasy of the reveal, the acquisition, the placement, the perfect moment of satisfaction felt so briefly?

What wiring madness has been mounted to the mainframe that this ceaseless task marks consumers as those to be consumed?

Eaten alive beneath wild stacks of treasure all aglitter in the pelting wind, eyes glazed to a rapture of earthly delights.

Day 8 (Howl) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

I just started reading “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg and am already taken off my feet by the remarkably flippant and deep feeling fuck off embodiment of a massive struggle we/he face(d). I absolutely love the thick atmosphere of dirt riddled dis-ease and aggressively sexual overtones that demand I open my eyes and ears to the realism of what goes on beneath and behind the scenes. The title fits so perfectly as the first section seems to roil up a primal scream. A shout for attention to be paid to the damned masses and the rollicking unbridled injustice they endure and are forced to thrive within.

Fucking. Magical. Here’s a snippet:

Who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons; who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication; who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts

Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”

How vivid and intense are the words? How brilliantly anarchistic and rebellious is the feeling? How just, fucking, magical, are those words?

At least for me, reading Ginsberg is an unfettering of the constraints and standard normative I find in so much of my own and other writing. It takes me back to the wilderness of my own mind and demands that I purge the violence and sickness that resides there in some glorious fountain of verbal spew that it might infect the mainstream with decades of sweat and tears and failure and endurance and broken spirits and unbroken souls.

I am so glad I picked this up, and sometime in the next 30 days I might start an homage piece to what I’m personally characterizing as (with my limited scope of awareness to be sure) one of the most scandalously beautiful pieces of literature I have ever run across. Thank you for your pain and horror Mr. Ginsberg, thank you.

Day 7 (New Ideas) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Have you ever sat back and tried to just come up with an original thought? When you really look at the way all our experiences, from the most mundane to the most intense, shape our perspective on the world and how they get filed away for future access points it becomes a daunting task to disassociate from all that information to find something new.

It makes me question whether I’ve ever before had a unique idea or whether I’ve been following some intangible labyrinth of stimuli of my own generation internally to lead down pre-trodden roads. Reducing it further back, it strikes me that if that’s the case then the initial filtering mechanism that we put in place to process the incoming data points might be where originality occurs. In the values, the beliefs, the morals, the ethics that we choose to ascribe our viewpoint on the world and as the lens through which we perceive it.

If that’s the case, it stands to reason that having unique values and beliefs would in some ways lead logically to having a more unique capacity for thought generation as the pieces would connect in more abstract formats. Do that to such an extreme however and you’d find yourself completely ostracized outside the realm of acceptable societal standards and awash in the lonely seas beyond. Not the end of the world, but certainly a challenge.

Alternatively, I suppose it’s possible that there are so many variations on popular concepts that there is room for nuanced navigation of their boundaries as constraints to actually finding new ideas, truly new ones, that are compatible with a larger subsection of the world. Are there enough variables to the belief that “honesty is important” to allow for new concepts to form, or is there a rigidity inherent in any belief system that prevents it from expanding conscious thought or creation beyond a certain degree. Do we have to play out the scenarios sufficiently that we can form an experiential backlog of data points from which to construct or are we stuck forever in a sequenced arrangement? Is further elaboration a mechanism to create more niche thought processes that might stand out as truly original? What if we said, “honesty is important because you should match actions to words in order to be a responsible and trustworthy individual.”?

Of course even that statement can start to get broken down further and further as you seek to define responsibility or trustworthiness and why those are important factors to consider when going to through your day to day existence.

So pulling it back to the beginning…what does an original idea feel like? Something generated from within that is ahead of it’s time, or stands out on the curve as beautiful in its further question inducing qualities. Shouldn’t any new idea beget other new ideas? Are we all just vacuumed into a state of static accepting the status quo of our lives and the world around us, how it works and the mechanisms of it’s action in our lives or are there roads out to pursue?

I guess this whole thing is getting pretty esoteric out there, but apparently that’s what today’s writing is going to be about since it’s on my mind and I can’t seem to generate anything truly outstanding or new, so instead I just keep questioning and looking for answers. Thanks for reading.

Day 6 (PTSD Love)- 30 Day Writing Challenge

Wrap me in the mysteries of your dreams,
oh, sweet one with your eyes of green,
where the magic pools and smiles go
to dip beneath that inner glow.
Wash us deserving in the shadows of your pain
where the struggle is real,
no longer a game and
all that once was becomes real again.

Day 5 (Frog Poison) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Self care is always one of those mysteriously challenging yet o’ so crucial aspects of day to day life it seems. More often then not the prospect of going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, exercising at home, journaling, or any of the rest of the litany of options available to each of us, seems like such a long stretch after the necessaries of the day are taken care of.

Sometimes, it takes a totally different form.

In roughly 3-weeks, I’ll be joining in with a ceremony circle and spending 9-days engaged in holistic medical practices from (mainly) South America. There may be opportunities presented to partake in Ayahuasca, Peyote, and a host of other intriguing substances like Kambo–essentially frog poison–to attempt a system reset.

Whether or not you would qualify sitting in shack with a shaman and ingesting quantities of herbal and animal toxins mixed to unknown strength and potentially lethal consequences as self-care or not I guess depends on who you’re talking to.

For me, it presents a unique opportunity to stretch my acceptance and belief system to try and encompass something that many would consider “woowoo” kind of pseudoscience magic and embrace it as something more. It also provides a chance, depending on the validity or hell, even the placebo effect, to help me disarm some of the more disagreeable parts of my psyche and behavior patterns (like addiction or smoking cigarettes which I still struggle with) that have remained reticent and resistant to all other forms of treatment at this point. I don’t believe in magic bullets, but I do believe in the prospect of rewiring connections internally, both mentally and physiologically if resetting parts of the DNA or bodily interactions which may have become messed up over multiple decades of drug abuse.

So there we have it. In the meantime, I’m getting out to ride my bike more regularly, and had a dog not chewed off the top of my thumb recently, doing some more general exercise while attempting to practice better health practices overall. It’s a multi-stage process I suppose, every little bit helps the whole to develop and grow.

While it may see strange, this is not intended as just another story to put in the bank, taking 9-days to really focus on healing, nutritional changes, not bringing any smokes or being in a location where they will be accessible (nor will drugs and alcohol) cannot help but be beneficial in the long term. In the short-term, it buys me a period of time away from my normal day to day where I occasionally flounder and struggle for direction or conviction to stay the tried and true pathway to life, love and happiness.

So bring on the frog poison, bring on the dream tea, and bring on open-mindedness to something which is beyond my normal ken. Time to expand that awareness a bit.

Day 4 (Frost Comes) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Credit to Marketwatch for the image.

There is a whisper laying heavily across the hills outside
our back window. It calls of frost and aching joints
amid pale rains covering all the land in pure bone shades
before the grime of cars and feet tracks humanity
across that softest of faces.

Forever replete in an incomplete cycle
washed to bare sticks and the legend of struggle
through the flames of Summer which left
vaunted few standing into the withering of Fall.
Not in perpetuity do the giants stand, rather, they
grovel to the wind and vanishing sun as it takes
it’s yearly rest deep in the night.

Ground down over a mashing of ephemeral gears
as children romped across their veins
sucking desperate gulps of life through buried tendrils.
Survival as a gasp to share their essence
revealed finally as they die beneath the weight of Winter.

Day 3 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Nearly ever morning my girlfriend and I sit outside on the back patio and sip coffee while shooting the shit. There’s something wonderful about sharing the early morning moments with another living being, it puts us in tune with each other and sets the pace for the day.

Today, stepping outside into 55F degree air and feeling that cool Fall-esque weather wash over me was incredible. It’s always been a point of question for me as to whether other people experience what I coin as joygasms since I was awash in one this morning. For me, it’s that moment when everything seems to line up just perfectly, usually with music accompanying it, where sight and sound and feel all mesh in a bucolic fashion and leave me tingling with excitement or peace head to toe.

It’s so rare to find those moments in life, particularly considering the seeming catch-22 where if you’re looking for that moment it seems to move further away. Only in the unexpected and spontaneous times when we are to be caught unaware do they sneak up to wrap you in absolute bliss.

Of course, most of my life has been spent searching for the opposite, mired in drugs and alcohol to the point that there seemed to be a morass of misery punctuated only periodically with small glimmers of stolen happiness. It is very possible I have this whole thing backwards and in reality it is possible to take control of this life situation and legitimately hunt those special moments done.

I suppose, actually, if I were to take that logic leap in general it might help restructure and redesign my interaction with the world around me as a whole. There’s a reasonable chance that that belief might guide me down some better roads. Well shit, look at that, a weird epiphany moment 3-days into this writing challengemajig.

This comes at a time when I’m mentally trying to prepare myself for a 9-day shamanic healing retreat in the wilderness in Oregon. I have been graced with an opportunity to work with a healer who uses plant medicine to address a myriad of issues, including addiction and the struggles that materialize from it.

While I’m thrilled at the chance, it will be the longest I’ve spent out of touch with my significant other since we got together and there is of course apprehension since it’s been such a wild ride up until this point. That said, the risk, any concern or latent fears based on insecurity, really much anything, falls by the wayside to the looming possibility that maybe this time I’ll land on something that can genuinely help heal the madness and wounds inside that so regularly lead me back down the darkest of paths.

Either way, an early October camping trip onto a beautiful property with good people and communal living sounds like one hell of a way to start wrapping up what has been (much as for everyone) one madcap year. I’m eager to start anew and continue finding those things and people in life that bring me a spark.

Maybe I’ll even find some joygasms along the way.

Day 2 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

There’s a brush fire burning not so terribly far outside of town. With the wind yesterday and today the smoke moved in and the air quality took on that most questionable of feels to it. When every breath tastes like cigar smoke should you really be outside moving around at all?

The raining ash finished answering that question.

While fire season sucks, there are a few moments that always stand out. The way the Sun turns into a brilliant red ball behind the smoke screen, the ongoing smell of wood burning as though the whole world was joined in some weird form of camping together, and the silence–that eerie crazy silence that happens sometimes like yesterday.

No birds, no animals, barely any cars, and aside from the breeze, just stillness to the air.

If anyone happened to be in the total eclipse crossover zone a few years back (happened to be at one of the main spots for it myself accidentally) and remembers what the world was like for those few minutes, shockingly similar.

I’m not sure why I like the silence so much. On some level I know it’s because the animals are afraid and their habitats are being destroyed, so it should have a mournful or lonesome quality to it. Despite, it grabs the happy spots inside my brain and milks them with something so surreal for me that I always find myself questioning its existence to begin with.

True unadulterated peace.

The only other time I seem to be able to find it is in a sensory deprivation tank, floating like a child in the cosmos across massive fields of stars and nebulae instead of inside a water filled coffin creation. If you’ve never experienced one before, I highly recommend it.

Isn’t that the end game we’re all pursuing in some way? A feeling of peace? Is it so wrong I get it when the world is on fire enough that the birds stop chirping and the crickets are silent at last? To be fair, the landscape of raining ash and a red son also bespeaks a darker place to be sure, but we all find our joy where, when, and how we can right?

Day 1.5 – 30 Day Challenge

Ok, so a bit of a haphazard start….I decided to do this 30 day writing challenge and then promptly went on a camping trip with the girlfriend and kids.

I’m struck by how interesting it is to watch these kids learn, to envelope their surroundings in excited shrieks and exploring activities that stretch them to find comfort zones expanded or reformed. It’s heartbreaking in some ways, as both her children are the same age as my own who I find myself estranged from at the ice wall defense of an ex-wife who wants me to have nothing to do with them. Sad because I miss them, but also because I finally have been able to realize that for all my foibles and gaffs as a human being, I am a good man (more so today than in the past) and that I do well in a paternal(ish) role. Always patient, even keeled, understanding and willing to discuss or talk about anything.

Not trying to toot my own horn, it’s just been a realization of late and I’m pretty excited about it.

So with all that said, I’m going to attempt to restart the challenge knowing full well that I’m going to be headed away again on the 1st and 2nd weekends of October for a shamanic healing retreat that I’m also very geared up on, but I suppose more to come on that front. Suffice to say that it may be an opportunity to work with both Grandmother and Grandfather in a way to address some deep seeded and frustratingly difficult to change tendencies that I still struggle with on the daily.

So apologies about the false start, here we go into revision 1.5……let’s see how it goes this time.

Day 1 of 30 – Writing Challenge

I’m going to try and actually stay consistent about something for the first time in, well, probably ever. I’m making it a personal challenge to write 30 pieces, one a day, for the next month to practice, and to see if I can actually do it. Sure much of it is going to be slop….but here we go. -S

Another mental crunch as the pieces fall into place. Patience is watching without virtue the calamities of yourself as they leave ricochet pockmarks into the surrounding population. What a shame that it all came circling back around this direction, to the twitchy fingers and uneasy guts. The lackluster moans and the desire for release in some way from the grip and tight tenor of the fingers laced around your brain stem.

Just another day in paradise it seems. Drooling into a cacophony of disinterested moments where the past is relieved in modern terms and the future slips by as identical discord. Yeah, here it goes again with the “will I nevers” and “if only I had the”–this time will be different, sure of it. Always remember that slip comes before the fall and that landing on your hands is a great way to break something. Take the bumps and bruises, roll yourself up and get a grip.

Next hour is a doozy, but the one after that brings us closer to setting off on a worldwide trip. Settle down now young buck, rest your weary head, we’re in this for the long hall, and some might question why it is you aren’t just dead.