Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Moment

This moment I am but a fetus,
Provided for by all that is,
Warmed by all that is around me,
Secure in the knowledge my universe is that which contains me.

Then I am born.

This moment I am but an infant,
Provided for by all that is,
Warmed by all that is around me,
Secure in the knowledge that my universe is that which contains me.

Then I grow.

This moment I am but an adolescent,
Provided for by all that is,
Warmed by the knowledge that I am so much more,
Yet secure in the knowledge that my universe is all that is me.

Then I mature.

This moment I am but a young man,
Providing for myself,
Warmed by the knowledge that I am my own man,
While secure in the knowledge that my universe revolves around me.

Then I grow older.

This moment I am an man in mid-life,
Providing for those around me,
Warmed by the knowledge that those I love depend on me,
While faced with the knowledge that my universe is something I cannot understand.

Then I grow old.

This moment I am an elderly man,
Provided for by all around me,
Warmed by little that is around me,
While faced with the knowledge that my universe is quickly coming to an end.

Then I die.

This moment I AM.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ode to an Ending

It is time to let go,
Let go of all around me,
Let go of the pull such things may have,
And just let them be.

As setting suns betray the day,
I can hear the foundation of my life cracking around me,
The stones, they fall into the sea
With a splash that resounds in the endless night.

You are but the sand for which I built this foundation,
The rock of salt for which there is no steadfastness,
The time of day for which there is no reply,
Just the memory that seems to say "all things must die".

There are no hands reaching out to save me,
There are no outstretched arms to comfort me,
Just the unending need to leave behind,
Those things that left me behind long ago.

So, plead not my self,
Nor plead for that which will not come,
Seek solace in the loneliness from whence you came,
And in the solitude for which you are heading.

Do not feel distant my being,
Nor find distance from that pain that sees you alive,
Find comfort in knowing that these things, as all things,
Are but temporary in the moment they are conceived.

For now walk alone with those around you,
Seek to play the tune in which they seek comfort,
And bide the time to bid them farewell,
As they have bid you farewell long ago.

Do not find pain in their ignorance of you,
Nor fall for tricks found in their phony words of love,
Stay true to that which brought you here,
That trust that all things are as they must be.

At last the suns betray this cold night,
A warmer day may appear upon the horizon,
Or a colder blast from that which all things come,
Or from which all things find a reality.

For memories that find themselves in the Now,
Shall die before they take root in the making,
Unless it is me that gives them time to be
Anything other that what they where.

And as I pause to take note of the essence of what is now,
I bask in the glow of knowing such things are in passing,
That the suns shall surely betray this day as well,
And that yet another rock shall crumble into the sea.

But for now I will savor such absence,
Of a caring hand, a loving embrace, a tender kiss,
And know that this rock too shall fall,
Perhaps in the absence .

Such is the ode to an ending,
A cause not withered by time or dreams
But born in them beyond our control,
And to that birth I remain so betrayed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ego of Me

What is the ego? Well, there seem to be two simple answers.

The first one is anything that follows the simple phrase of Being "I am". Whatever you can put after "I am" ceases to be about the inner self but rather the outward expression of your mind, a form of ego. It is you and your story, it is your identification, it is your need to be something other than what you truly are. It is the "apple in the garden", the "original sin", the wedge between Being (God) and you.

"I am ugly".
"I am fat."
"I am a Democrat."
"I am right."

None of these describe who you truly are, but rather are identification with the outward expression of thought. None of what comes after the "I am" is real...but rather the dust from which it will return.

The second answer is anything that comes after the phrase "you are". It is what you identify others to be, not what they truly are. It is truth in your eyes only, a judgment that, as all judgments are, is faulty at its conception. It is what you use to either bind another to you or segregate them. They are either with you or like you or they are not. Whenever you follow "you are" with something, it is your own ego assigning the label.

"You are beautiful."
"You are a loser."
"You are mean."
"You are wrong."

Odd, but when you say to someone "you are beautiful", it may have come after they have said "I am ugly." See the fault of judgments? They are based in nothing real, nothing stable. We often might say to someone "you are a loser" right after we ourselves have failed to meet our version of identity in ourselves.

I will leave you with a story. If I was to ask you "what is a tree?", what would your answer be? Common answers would say "Well, it is branches and leaves and bark and twigs and tissue and roots." But is that really the tree? Collect the branches and leaves and bark and twigs and tissue and roots and put them in a bucket. Do you now have a tree?

The same thing can be said if I ask "what is a human being?" The common answer may be "Well, he is skin and bones and muscle and blood and water and organs and hair." Is that really true? Collect some skin and bones and muscle and blood and water and organs and hair and put it in a bucket. Is what you have a person?

What makes the tree a tree and a person a person is not the form you can see. It is the indescribable force that resides beyond the form that not only makes us who we are, but binds us. It is the part of us made in the image of our Creator, the Being in the Human Being. It is the part of us we need to find as we look inward. It is the part of us that is God.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Cross to Share.

We all have our "cross to bear"...something (or some THINGS) that causes us despair or suffering in our lives. Sometimes these crosses not only cause us to fall, but cause others to suffer in our failing. I find the story of Jesus failing and Simon of Cyrene yet another example of the New Testament bearing the challenges of life into prose and example, and while I am not here to debate the veracity of the story, I am certainly understanding of its place in our lives.

I can personally speak of many things in my early life that led to tremendous failing later in it. There are literally an encyclopedia of instances and times that created my cross, that which I bore for most of my life. There are probably many examples in your own life you can site as a "cross", and a few times when that cross just became too much to bear. In our weakness, we dropped the weight, fell to our knees exhausted and in utter despair. In other times, we stood weary and weak but defiant, finding our own method of dealing with the torture in our minds, our souls, our "being". Some turn to drugs, some turn to suicide, some turn to continuous and unrelenting self-destructive behavior meant on "protecting" that self from the dirt below.

I have always found it odd that in my need for self protection and in the practice of self-destructive behavior to that end I seemed to only "wet the wood" of my cross. In that, I made it much heavier than it need be, and the cross itself was only too willing to accept my offering. Stranger yet, the more I "wet" the wood, the more I sought to defy it, as if I knew more that the weight suggested I did. I can only say today that as I stare at the scars on my knees, the bruises on my shoulders and the splinters on my back that I obviously knew far less than I believed. Each scar and bruise is a lesson learned (hopefully), each splinter an example of the futility of attachment, the suffering of ego.

It was only when I could offer my cross to someone willing to bear it with me that I could see the absolute idiocy of attachment to the pain of the past. We all can site a dozen examples of pain in our past we hold on to today. I have heard from friends who have suffered so intensely, not because of the pain itself, but because of their attachment to it. They can't let go of it, and they use it as a reason or cause for any assortment of issues they have today. Still, when we pass off the lumber to someone we love, we find it utterly torturous to have them deal with the suffering our attachment to pain has caused. In some, this creates unmatched suffering and a dysfunction, to others it causes an awareness of the lunacy such attachment creates.

I can say that when I shared my cross, the suffering it created caused me to seek to shed it completely. That was the purpose of the sharing it seems, to light shed on the idiocy of holding onto it, to finally seek and end to the suffering and my attachment to it.

In our lives, we have many "soldiers" who will whip us into carrying our cross with false strength. They will continually use the "whip" of whatever power they have over use to push us forward, usually to the destination of their choosing. If we fail to reach their assigned destination, they use the power of their "whip" to complete the torture. Our cross (or our attachment to it) becomes their control over us, and we allow it because we ourselves have no identity without the cross we bear. If we also have an attachment to the soldier, we will not only carry the cross of our lives but also learn to love the whip in their hand. We see what they consider the necessary destination as our ultimate goal, that in somehow pleasing them by the sweat and blood of our brow we will find pleasure ourselves.

In this the soldier can be those we "love" or who "love" us. It can be mentors, husbands, wives, teachers, parents, siblings, or even just a best friend. The whip can be sexual in nature, or the return of love, or the idea that "forever" is more solidified. It can also be just a positive reaction, an feigned acceptance (acceptance can never be earned, it is always there). Perhaps in this metaphor we can see the relativity of this analogy in our own lives. If we can see it, we can become aware of it, and in the awareness such unhealthy darkness cannot survive.

There are times when our actions while carrying the cross cause other to suffer in our midst. Our own "Simons" bear the weight of our cross for us and in this suffer along with us. Some are pressed into service, like the guy at the bar we beat up for no real good reason, or the family we gave the finger to when the cut us off in traffic. Others volunteer (although some not knowingly) when they enter into a relationship with us. Regardless of the reason for their "assistance", they are scarred nonetheless, hampered in the shared splinters and binding bruises. It seems as if their joining in our suffering only "wets the wood", makes our cross all the heavier for their effort. We not only have to deal with the original carpenter of the cross, but now we have to deal with the guilt of putting them through pain on our behalf.

In this action and reaction, it seems perfectly acceptable for anger to be the method of reaction and guilt the continuance of the anger. In our Simons seeking change in us, they may use a variety of means to see this happen. We owe them somehow, or at the very least we find them seeking freedom from the memory. They, in turn, create their own little cross out of the splinters we leave them from ours. What seems worst, as we relinquish the control the cross has over us, it seems as if they cannot, they need to hold onto that cross as if it is the only thing between them and certain death. They become more than just our helpers, our partners, but now they become the soldiers destined to see us to THEIR destination.

I liken this event to getting water from a stone. You turn the spigot, nothing comes out, and you curse the stone. You do this for weeks and curse the stone each day for its failure. Suddenly, just as you seek to be finished with the stone, it produces a torrent. Do you still curse it? Or do you appreciate that it finally is doing as you need it to do. Sure, it took its time, but is it where you want it to be or are you where it WAS? Perhaps your lips are still cracked from thirst, but you seek to curse the stone for being a STONE...a strange occurrence at best. You seek to tie your condition to it, rather than understanding that things were as they were intended to be.

Perhaps we should just learn to love the stone for being a stone and a well for being a well. Accept them, and should the stone provide water for you love it just the same. It would seem that in keeping anger towards it for what it did yesterday, we seek to hold on to the attachment we created in our anger towards it. We create a cross that we simply do not wish to relinquish, and in that creation a bit of insanity uniquely ours. We become insane, a slave to pain and ego that will only seek to repeat itself over and over again!

At the end, perhaps we just need to love. We need to love those we are in love with today. We need to see them as they are, not as we would like them to be or how the WERE. We need to open our hearts and arms not to our vision of perfection we expect the other to be, but in an unselfish love that seeks to accept, not to pass judgments. Can we forgive? Can we live for today in a way that makes yesterday a forgotten moment and tomorrow unexpected? The answers to those questions will not just seek to create peace in our own lives, but growth to loving relationships that never fail.

Still, if we seek to "choose" we have failed in our quest already. Don't choose, just BE. Don't think, just BE. Don't talk, just DO. And best of all, don't question, just LOVE. These all happen simultaneously in acceptance and Being, and they are without effort or "work". Be still, and these will happen. Learn to find the silence that allows the noise to be. Happiness abounds from this point forward.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The long ride home.

So, you are on a crowded highway trying to get home after a long day's work. "You" are tired, frustrated, anxious, and just plain bitchy. The idiot in front of you is more concerned with his cell phone than with your need to be 10 feet further north. The truck on the left of you is not letting you in, a sure sign that he has completely disregarded you and your need to be in front of him. The bastard behind you is laying on the horn because you feel that getting in front of that truck is much more important than his need to get home. A language typically reserved for drunken sailors abounds in this world of hostility, a language you may not ordinarily speak but one you surely understand. It seems almost foreign coming from your lips.

This scenario is truly a definition of insanity. "You" repeatedly act as if your screaming, horn honking, middle finger raising self can actually have an impact on the situation by acting in such a manner. "You" are suffering, painfully so, and in acting in such insanity you have no real clue as to why you are suffering so much. You are in darkness, and now is the time to bring some light in.

I often wonder if the creatures of this planet look at humans and give thanks they are not us. In this wonderment comes the realization that we create 100% of our own suffering. We simply refuse to accept our condition when it doesn't suit us.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another thing to bore you with...

So the "not as good as the guy I was mentally fucking..." was supposed to do what exactly? Make me angry? Make me sad? Pay me back for needing more than you can give? Have me suffer?

Hardly, it did none of those things. If you think I am naive enough to think those things were not happening for quite a while you are crazy. Even Saturday before the wedding, you were sopping wet, I know that is not me doing that. There is no way a man you barely want to touch can get you that excited...so stop thinking I am some turnip farmer who just fell off the truck.

My real reaction was at having needing to go to any extreme for even the slightest fraction of relief or pleasure. No, I did nothing except lay on the sofa and meditate, but the fact that you allowed it to "happen", even if only in your mind, spoke volumes. I suppose I am the only one in a two person relationship who needs to be concerned with the other's happiness. It is, in essence, where we are - me wanting sex daily (even multiple times daily) and you using it as a weapon to exact revenge (or simply just allowing it to reveal how far off we really are).

Beyond the bullshit there is that coldness you displayed early in our relationship, the one that really drove me to extremes of fear and reaction. It is really hard to depend on your soft side, it always has been, given the coldness of your nature. Oh, you can be sweet and beautiful, but look out world when the tide turns and the beast moans! It is that coldness that I first saw in the hotel room not a month into our relationship (the first of many sleepless nights), the one that confuses me to this day.

Do I protect myself from the beast or remain open to the side of you that simply does not exist in "our" world anymore? You were, after all, not attracted to any soft side of me in the beginning. I was not one who was cold and callous most of the time, but I certainly did not take shit from anyone, let alone someone who could destroy my "world". Something changed in me with you, something that didn't like the asshole as much as the potential Being, something that sought change even in face of the demons within. Sometimes I just am left to wonder whether it was better to seek the change alone than to count on another who simply is not interested in the effort.

Well, I find myself here, at this moment, still in love, still hoping, still paying...not that you are spiteful or anything. It just is that you are all you hated in me, again, something you can blame me for. After all, I have such control...such power...as to make you all that you seek to change in me, rather than you being that which I seek to be. I do wonder what will be next, can the change I see in me effect a change in you? Or will you simply continue to hear the voices you have become so attached to whispering in your ear? I can't control them, and I must learn to stop suffering for those things beyond my control. I am pure in this love I have for you, and yes I am human all the same. I simply cannot be anywhere else.

Here are the facts as I see them, (no anger, just the way things appear):

  1. I do not matter in your life as a matter of fact or anything else.
  2. You seek the approval of others even as it masquerades as a need for self approval.
  3. You need absolutely nothing to do with me, and you masquerade it as anger and hostility when in fact it is simply a loss of love (like a boyfriend-girlfriend thing that has run its course). There seems to be no hope for redemption, no hope for reconciliation, no hope for salvation because you simply don't want it to happen.
  4. You are as interested in my wants, needs, fears, feelings or thoughts about as much as I am in who is in the American Idol top 12.
  5. I am unattractive to you on so many levels that ugly is too kind a word.
  6. I am last on your list for all things.
  7. You had no issue discounting any of my feelings with the wedding and of course simply cannot find any fault with anything related to you. Everything Heins is perfect. Still, as long as we were able to pay for it all (yet not have a nickel to rent a game to play with the kids today).
  8. The only time you care to show love is in public, where the absence of the "show" would "embarrass" you by displaying the way things really are. During the reception you were kind, caring, loving, and almost normal...afterward right back to the "us" as we really are.
  9. We must continue to focus on my faults, because in doing so we focus on things we cannot change (the past) because you simply do not want this thing fixed. If we continue to focus on things we cannot fix, we get to continue to argue, feel pain, feel anger and be distant. You love the distance, and you shall have it. The only thing you don't want is to be alone, so you will tolerate me to that end.
I accept these things as they are.

So, the question remain open, are we in a relationship now for the self or for each other? Do we "separate", or as you say "start going out with our friends more", or do we dive into each other in the hopes of finding salvation. I know from experience you cannot find safety in the outward world, it can only be found inward. Still, I am no prison camp guard, if you wish to be free you simply can be, but I cannot function in this relationship as it is now. It either goes inward or it ceases to be. Once it goes outward it is no longer a relationship, it is a farce. I can live in the farce, once it is clearly defined, but I cannot continue guessing as to my status in your life. We can stay here in the cold and callous times we find ourselves in, believing that watching TV is "togetherness" and that sex is a tool for revenge. Yes, as you get your freedom I will be angry and hurt, but in that suffering I will learn. I always do.

Perhaps this will be the last time I bore you silly, it doesn't really mean anything except allow me to vent when I have no other recourse. I changes nothing, probably doesn't even give you pause to reflect and certainly cannot get you to see things through different eyes. It is what it is, and it makes no sense to make fudge for someone who doesn't like chocolate, even if it is covered in vanilla frosting. We just lick the frosting off, and spend our time dwelling on the part of it we don't like.