Etched ink drawn out in scars so colorful and deep they collapse the night around them, I stare at them, on my arms, on my chest, on my fingers, on my neck, this collection of reminders I wear to remind me of experiences, they are my gateway to recall, to the moments that shaped me, that broke and remolded me.
Memories pour across the neurons, a kaleidoscopic whirl of time merging from past to present, let me bathe inside the warmth of the smiles, the haloed intensity of each saturated moment, let me wander determinedly into the shadows of loss, the grief, the regrets, the mistakes, let me step boldly now across the insanity, the passions, the desires, the absences, and the half forgotten faces.
Take me to the sculpting block where all the roads merge to one, where stone is chipped with experience, where the cracks define the figure and are the map into my soul, the escape route for my heart. Let me see the tools we used, from tormented days to breathless ecstasy, from fear to love, from madness to peace, all the fractured chunks on the floor, finally appreciated for the masterful strokes the universe wielded.
Walk me toward this newfound person, chiseled from the inside and the out to become a reality, able to see and be seen fully without the cloak of mystery that all raw material has. It took decades, it took patience, it took heartbreak, it took courage, it took honesty, it took determination, it took error after error, it took forgiveness, it took deliberation, it took choices, it took exhaustion.
It took every painstaking moment, every particle of hope, and every bout of confusion to get to this moment. Etched ink drawn out in scars, paint that will never be removed on flesh that yearned so desperately for meaning, reminders of where it all began, and the journey to where I sit today. Grateful for the path, mindful of what it cost me and those that entered the studio of my life, open to the light the bathes this world, in love with existence and the chance to shine bright enough that others may find their way out of the dark.
I know a man who threw away 10g of meth. Down a toilet. Intentionally, during a moment of lucidity. He woke up from his dream. He didn’t do it for the posturing or the bragging, he did it because he had a fucking moment and things added up.
He saw his future was his past and all that was going to come again. The regrets. The broken relationships. The self-hatred. The loneliness and the pain. The body count and the desperation. The stagnation. The missed joy and thrill of life. The empty smile and the personal failings. The prayer for death unanswered.
It hit that water in the toilet and didn’t even stain the water with some indication of all the soil and grime that its brand had left over the years. All the marks on his morals. His appreciation of life. His awareness and understanding of the world and himself. His inability to connect and always be “other” – not in a way he was proud of, but in a way that left him sullied and greasy where it would always be felt most.
He wasn’t going to revisit and replay what had come before. He was learning gratitude for all the experiences, painful or pleasant, and that meant realizing that the pain had only needed to happen once. He didn’t need to put his hand back into the fire like always. it was still fucking hot and he was worth more than scorched flesh. He wanted to, could, and will become more. He’ll evolve, be seen in the mirror as true to himself, a good friend, an honest and genuine man, and as a survivor not an unchanging Peter Pan chemical fiend. Wreckage for decades as his only gift to the world, a Lost Boy playing pirate to his own loot.
He had learned, was learning, would continue to learn. He would grow.
I know a man that threw away 10g of meth. Finally took a dive and emptied a bag, got back on the horse, and welcomed in a change for once.
Sardonic reserves of time kept patience blending outward in rippling shades of hatred. Baby, you’ve got that heart shaped gaping wound says you’re bathed in longing for now not soon. Nothing moves faster than a synapse firing off kilter blistering brain waves melting downwind all splintered. If the days were longer and I could taste your fears all that we’d share could be understanding made clear. So if you’ll touch your enthusiastic distaste to mine lets go passe with anticipation and the cheapest wine. Show me your ugly that I might gag and spew my own redolent virus of loving life all over you.
A note from Skye: at a juncture in our relationship where I had left the woman who is now my wife behind to go on a callously stupid and ill-fated journey elsewhere, she inscribed a note on the blackboard I have inside the roof of my truck (then my home). She wrote me, “Never forget, that home is where the heart is.” Despite going through terrible fights and challenges as I lost my mind following a tearful reunion and after our marriage which eventually led to my diagnosis of schizoaffective, she has remained a constant presence and holds my soul, mind, and thoughts to a more serene path than I have ever imagined to be possible. It isn’t easy for either of us sometimes, but in honor of the forthcoming holiday and a desire to put a smile on her face, the short poem below came about. The dog I had at the time which came to love her as well was named Luna – hence the image attached. Thank you for reading.
That beast with feel good flames,
It shatters personality with energizing fear,
Makes a whole of fractured creatures,
Absence felt but unseen shines light,
On the gnarled path to something true and right.
Rather than lost and alone we find our way here,
Out of the forest of broken hopes,
To a land fabricated of dreams and words,
Of possibilities and limitless features.
When we journey beyond the ken of all that’s known,
Find your voice,
Find your ink,
Air through lips or pressure through finger tips,
Find your voice,
Use it proudly,
Share your love,
Your hate, your pain, your vision, your create, your palette of life lived,
Sing it however you will,
Your voice will carry resoundingly.
Find your voice boy,
Find your voice girl,
If you whisper in the street,
If you stutter and feel like you bleat,
If you shout with violence and hurt,
If you crackle with intensity unleashed.
If the paper runs torn beneath your pressure,
The pentip breaks and spills its hidden treasure,
Find whatever you find that lets you know that you are able,
Complete, and perfectly capable,
Damaged beyond belief,
But beautiful in shining relief,
Find your voice
Find your words,
They’re the path out of wherever you’ve roamed,
And will cut the road home.
My apologies for not getting on earlier. Everyone following and others have been so incredibly supportive of this site and my work that I feel guilty over a prolonged absence.
However, for the first time in many moons that absence is not related to horrifying events, rather the beginning of a renewed vigor for life and the culmination of some challenging work.
I am being tested at a new position in the hopes it will be come something long term – I’ve thrown myself into it beyond 100% in the attempt to do so. Happily, and with great satisfaction.
I’m finally paying child support, not as much as I would like to be giving to my kids, but everything that I can afford. Consistently and with the intention of finally becoming a consistent presence.
I talk to my children once a week, reliably, and without fail. I have 5 different alarms that go off and warm me so that if I collapse in exhaustion either the alarms, or calls from multiple people warning me, will get my ass up to be there to speak with my remarkable son and daughter. While the animosity is thick between my ex-wife and I, somewhere I’m finding the appreciation and respect for her that I should have. She’s been raising my children while I was unable to. It is my responsibility to earn my way back into the family I destroyed, not expect it handed back with a smile. I don’t think that way all the time, but as I build a better existence and confidence I find that it takes away the undercurrents that I let drag me farther from them.
I’m living in a stable location….more than 40 moves in 2-years….STABILITY would be a blessing in so many ways. It took me almost 3-weeks just to put my suitcase away because I was certain that something would go wrong…now I’m considering bringing more clothes that have somehow survived all the travel.
My squishy and delicious Mimi without who the world would have stopped so long ago. Forever and always will I be hers, and she mine.
I think I’m getting closer to happiness.
God damn if it didn’t take one hell of a journey to get here, and he (or she) shows that I gave up time and time again. They also know I’m terrified that the other shoe will drop at any second – usually I’m the one wearing it when it does.
I’m optimistically terrified of arriving at a new future, a start to something better, and becoming what I was intended to be.
My love to everyone who continues to support the blog. I will be trying to get more consistent again as everything balances out.
Happy 2017, merry-post “holiday insert” – and my wishes for kindness, satisfaction, joy, and contentment in the coming year.