I was born far from home. My life has washed me up on many shores disoriented as to where I was. Which way is up? Where is the beach and where did I wash in from?! Am I alone? Who washed up here with me this time? Will they be on my next journey? So many shores it’s difficult to remember where I am from. I have memories, but no place is home except when I close my eyes. Everyone is a stranger, and everyone is a friend. Then one day I wake up in a different shore and start the journey over again. When will it end? Or is the journey my home? So many people come into my life. My best friend today has a new life tomorrow and I wake up in a different home. A new beach. A new shore. I was born far from home. The further away I travel the closer back to my roots I feel. When will I be home? When will I be truly at ease? Or is the journey my true destination? My true calling? I was born far from home yet totally where I belong. I am the ocean. I am the shore. Becoming a part of every place I have been, leaving a part of myself behind as I flow to the next. I could not ask for more. I could not want a better life. As I am everywhere I have ever been and everywhere I have been is who I am. I am the sea. I am the shore. I am the journey. I am my home.
The idea of love has had me twisted lately. What does it mean? Do you know it when you feel it? Is it something that can be quantified in how someone treats you or the way they look at you? Your pets love you and they don’t speak English. What is it then? What makes us feel this way? Is it our need to be connected to another negating the soul of who we are in “love” with for our own selfishness? I’ve always thought love was security. Comfort. A willingness to disagree and argue out a problem until a conclusion was discovered. To be able to sit with someone not saying a word and feel very relaxed and not alone. That’s how I feel with my good friends. Isn’t that love? Or does love need to be saved for some intimate situation?
Today I feel that it is all of these things and none of these things. It is simplicity in its purest form and THE most complex notion of all time. It feels great when you feel it and lousy when you loose it. The most frustrating thing is that you can’t convince someone to love you. No matter how much you try we each have our own compass. I start feeling resentment when I feel I have tipped the love scale as I wait for them to tip it back. Is that even a thing? Maybe but it’s a fight. Not an argument but a mental struggle. Hard work. Hard work against what we internalize is acceptable to ourselves. What we think we “should” be providing or doing for the object of our love. Love is hard. Love makes us crazy. Love is the reason to wake up and the reason we can’t sleep at night. The idea of love has me twisted lately. What does it all really mean?
The war of art . The struggle to find our voice. Who are we? Who do others perceive us to be? Do those realities ever intersect? I doubt it. Only for a few of us. A beautiful girl walks by. Is that who she is? A fighter in the ring. Is that who they are? Why is it easier to believe the fighters choice? Does the beautiful girl not make the choice to be beautiful with diet and exercise? Clothing and makeup? But why do we believe some things and not others? Can the fighter not be so much more? A creator. An artist. An inventor. Is the beautiful girl more frustrated than the fighter? The struggle is real. How do we define ourselves? Brains? Intellect? The things we do? The help we give to others? Or how we feel at night as we lay in bed just before we allow ourselves to relax and doze off? What is doing the right thing if not being true to that self? Some days it seems like work they say. Why? Must we work on ourselves? Is just “being” not enough? NO!- No it is not. We sometimes think we know better than what that little voice is telling us. How does that work? Has our one hit song come and gone or do we have an endless supple of energy and our own internal art? I don’t know? Who does know? Adults? Kids? Elderly? The kids of course but what do they know about war or art? Or anything? How can they have the answers with no training? Such a conundrum. And weren’t we kids with all of the answers at some point? What happened there? And the cycle begins again. The struggle for who we are rages on. The answers are right in front of us but why can’t we see them? Or are we afraid to look? We can’t see the forest for the trees as mom would say. Isn’t the struggle funny? It’s so cliché. But then again so are we. We are not really that deep or mysterious. But we fight on just the same to save face. From who and why though? And to what end? But war never really ends. We just have periods of certain control until the next regime comes in to challenge our safety. Our control on our life. On ourselves. Such a strange yet familiar thing the struggle is. It’s like a friend that we wait for at the end of the night. We know he’s coming just when and from what dark corner. And even with this information we wait. Wait on our new identity. Our new position. Our new boundaries. The war of art. The battle rages on!
I’m inspired! What does that even mean? Has someone else’s energy overridden my own? Did I need it or was I drawn to it? Did I ask for it or does my soul crave it? I’m not sure but it’s so comforting when it happens. I am constantly inspired by one person. One person who seemingly is an inspiration to herself. To all around her. How can I be like that? So energized and positive. Sometimes I feel dark and alone and then there she is with a glow that lights even the darkest of rooms in my mind. What do I do with this inspiration? Is there a reason that I feel it so strongly or does she affect everyone equally? And what do I do with this gift she has given me? If I don’t pay it forward am I being selfish? Of course I would be but don’t I deserve to be selfish sometimes? My dad would say no. My mom would say no. I know what I am supposed to do but it’s so hard. But I know that if I don’t, eventually I will draw all of her light away and she will have nothing more to offer me. Wait but that sounds selfish. Is it really all about me? Inspiration. What is it really? I mean if it was always in us why must we need an exterior kick starter? What is blocking our own minds from helping ourselves? Why is being an adult and making decisions such a task alone? More importantly why am I curious on the thing that frees me from my prison of feeling alone in my decision making? The thing that drives me to be better than yesterday. To be inspired. To inspire. Isn’t that goal that we all chase? I do. I want to give back to those that have inspired me when I was in that dark room in my mind. And to her. I want to help her when she is dark but no one sees because her light is so bright. What does it mean? It means to see past yourself into the soul of others. To see the good that their spirit carries. The good that it craves. The good that can come from simply a positive word. A gesture. A look. To be inspired. To be an inspiration. I’m not really sure what it means but somehow it’s always been there. Inside of me. Inside of you. Inside of us all. It’s the one thing that defines our humanity. Always try to shine for one day you too will need the light of another.
True blame for fault lies squarely on the shoulders on who the damage is done to. Meaning this, if you cross the street at a cross walk and get hit by a car, the law says it’s the drivers “fault.” However, you are the one dead or seriously injured so who really is to blame for you not looking or assuming they would stop. Now this gets complicated I get it but at it’s core we all must be responsible for ourselves no matter the circumstances. It is impossible to know what someone else has been through nor what he is going through at every moment much less at an exact moment. We all have had a bad day and snapped on someone or made a poor judgement call because of stress, sleep deprivation or simply anger of what we perceive as the truth.
Let me back up. Someone asked me the other day to blog about Donald Trump. I started blogging because some people seemed interested in my views on topics. I think just because I have a background different than some and that I am a proud southerner and proud West Coasterner…. or something. Anyway, I somehow seem to find myself compelled to join in these discussions of politics or race or equality or really anything that feels like only one side is being represented. Besides isn’t open dialog and communication how we all grow?
Anyway, so what’s the deal with this whole Trump thing? This guy is getting everyone so crazy. “He could win” you say, well that would mean that enough people voted for him and a majority agree with him to a great degree. “He’s an idiot” you say, well he sure knows how to get you upset and if you can call someone an idiot you must feel pretty smart so how did that happen? “He makes up so many of his stories and facts” you say, then why do so many believe?
So what’s the argument here? That his supporters are uneducated? Uncultured? Then who gets that blame? Which of your favorite Presidents let these uneducated Trump supporters down? Aren’t we all supposed to care about no kid left behind and all of that. Or maybe this HUGE percentage of ‘Merica isn’t worth educating because their views are so back words. Maybe all of us privileged types just say they aren’t worth it because they just don’t know what they’re talking about. When we all get together and say Obama Care is great because it lets everyone afford health care, maybe we want to exclude these guys because they aren’t worthy or are undeserving of our socialism.
See the way I see it is, this guy is shaking things up and making everyone very uncomfortable. He is pointing out all at once how far apart many of us really are on the “reality” of things. If we want to sit back and say “well he got elected so there are so many idiots” or some such slander just remember, we all play a part in the entire countries view of things. Siting in your house and judging doesn’t make you better than those supporting, it makes you worse. At least they are involved passionately in what they believe in. Complaining on facebook doesn’t mean you’ve done your job to bridge the gap. It means quite actually that you are hiding behind a screen hoping to get lots of likes or approving comments. And as I said in the first line, true blame for fault lies squarely on the shoulders on who the damage is done to. So watching talkshows bashing politicians isn’t helping. Voting isn’t really helping. Getting involved in your communities IS helping. Going to city council meetings IS helping. Opening the door for another IS helping. Understanding people are different IS helping. Trying to find common ground is the solution. Blasting someone for disagreeing with you, definitely not helping. So decide before you make a post or start an angry conversation, are you really trying to help, or are you simply trying to impose your view and power on another.
Racism, Civil Rights, Equality, Separate but Equal, Affirmative Action. What does all of this mean to you? To me? To anyone? I am from the South where I was raised on a farm, went to Church every Sunday and I’m white. Do these words have a different meaning for me than someone from Middle America or from New York or LA? And if so is that meaning more or less profound? I grew up with a good amount of white guilt. For me living in the country and growing up on a farm meant, for the most part, the only people I was close with were the workers that I saw everyday and their kids who were either my classmates or were my babysitters when I was little. The reason I am who I am is because of how these people treated me and how I witnessed their treatment from others. The problem with all of this as I see it is that there is not one “right way” to do things. What I mean is racism is only truly gone when we are free to hate whomever we want for any reason. Meaning if every time someone is discriminated against someone says racism or reverse racism, racism is still at the forefront. Now this is from an obvious reason but there in lies the problem. There is the correct rational way to solve this that is perfect if we all live in a vacuum and then there is the way we act once we personally embrace something based on upbringing and our value system. We should all have the same right to everything as one another. Voting, marriage, divorce, water fountains and restrooms whatever. America is based on the people. All of the people. Now we all do not have to like it or get along but in order for any of us to have the opportunities that we seek, every person must have that same opportunity. Now will people get in the way of that, of course. As it should be. We have all gotten ups in line, a little extra meat on our sub, an extra pour of wine etc. All of these things come at someone else’s expense. The next guy in line, the storeowner who is trying to feed his family with his profits, There is always someone at the end of the line who pays for the “gimmies” we all get. Now maybe you think you deserve it or you maybe think that the store doesn’t deserve it, either way you are all still apart of doing something that ultimately “keeps someone down.” Let’s get back to race. I guess I’m just venting here but I have seen white people bitch that blacks “this and that.” I’ve seen the exact same thing from black people. Both are wrong and both are racist. However, as whites, we did enslave black people and there will always be that. We can say that our generation didn’t do it but if you’re white and your mother and her mother and her mother all told you the same horrible stories why would you feel any different? You wouldn’t. Yes you should be smart enough to out think that old logic but what if no one in your family or anyone ever told you that you could do anything that you put your mind to? How would you know you could when all you have ever heard is all of the negative. This is where we get the two problems with one issue. If we all could start over today with a clean slate equality would work. However, we all have grandmother stories about something we cannot forget so that is impossible. So what is the answer? Compassion and consistency. If you have compassion it will go along way to understanding someone else’s point of view. If you are consistent in your love, or hate, it is all very good for everyone. As I said earlier, it is totally acceptable to hate. Just do it open and out front and be proud of it. Then simply be ready to accept new ideas if yours are old and outdated. People change and societies change but the idea of good and bad permeates through all of us and yes, we all definitely should know better!
When we become open who sees us? And what do they see? When I open up I become weak, vulnerable, naked. I think my imagery is blocked. Or is it all gone? Being vulnerable sucks! Or is it fantastic? I’m not really sure right now. My friends see my weaknesses. That’s frightening. What if I am weak? What if they aren’t strong enough for me? What if they don’t want to be? What if they are and do? Which is scariest? I’m not sure. I’ve been closed so long I don’t know how to act. There is a certain safety in being closed off. You control it. You are always in charge. But it’s so boring. I love letting go. Being soft. Needy. It’s so relaxing. Some say be strong. Some say swallow down that weakness. I have for too long. I need to be free. I need to release myself from my own prison. The world is tough. But I can take it. It’s easier when you let go. Maybe a little more embarrassing but who cares. Tough is overrated. I have the strength to feel weak and that is true power. My imagery is coming back. I can see things again. My thoughts are becoming a little more in focus. I can see my soul and it wants to be seen. It waits to be set free. Unleashed on the world. To take it over. There is strength in true vulnerability. The power that is to show your true self. To totally be open. Whatever that means. No matter who sees. Only we control who we are. Never should we change our true selves to fit in. My imagery has returned. I see very clearly now. The sky is so blue and the horizon is so crisp. The air smells so fresh. So new yet very familiar. I feel open and exposed and powerful and alive. What it is to be free! Free of the stress of showing my true and total self. I am ready to be seen for all of my flaws. All of my scars. My imagery is me. On display. Ready to be seen. No longer hiding. Running when scared. I’m ready to be seen for who I am. Who I once was. Who I will become. I’m ready for my imagery to be seen. I am ready to be me!
Chasing freedom. Is that a thing? What is freedom? That’s a better question. To be free you have to define it then be able to embrace that definition and understand that it could change. You could change. You should change actually. Hopefully we all want to be better than we were yesterday. If not for ourselves for those that come after us. Our kids. The neighbor’s kids. To pass along even the smallest nugget of wisdom someone passed on to us. Freedom… is freedom selfish? Can someone be told they are free? What if our freedom imposes shackles on others? How do we define and live with that? Is freedom having more options or fewer ones? Is freedom being able to make your own mistakes or being governed in a way that outlaws “bad” options? And to defend freedom we ask the defenders to abide by the strictest rules of all. Necessary it seems but never the less ironic. Are those that defend freedom more or less free than those that enjoy the sacrifices made by another? Freedom is an ethical dilemma. What is the correct number of laws needed to ensure freedom? What exactly is too many? My brother would say there are sheep and there are wolves. Maybe…but who is more free? Those that roam care free until the end or those that spend their lives preparing for the end? A conundrum it is. Both are free yet both missing the true point of freedom. The wolves with their worry and anxiety of their next meal and the sheep imposing their freedom on the sheep dog for protection. Who has the answers? Ghandi? Budda? The sheep? The wolf? Or do we all have it? Free will. The power to learn, to adapt, to grow. Freedom is a state of mind. It isn’t a certain place with that perfect set of rules. No matter where you are, no matter your situation, when you close your eyes you are alone and free OR you are controlled by the thought of a possible change to something that has passed or not yet happened. So again I say what is freedom? What defines it? No two people have had the same circumstances. The same struggles. The same euphoria. Freedom is a state of mind. Never stop thinking. Never stop defining. Never stop defending. And never ever stop chasing what sets you free!!!
Today I saw my friend. In a crowded room there was just her. No noise just one clear face. Among a sea of faces hers was the only one I could see. Her eyes were locked in on mine. Her focus clear. She didn’t say a word. She just starred into my soul. Never breaking eye contact she walked through a crowded bar and pressed her body firmly against mine for what seemed like hours. Then she turned and walked away and just like that she was gone. No goodbye. Not even a look. Did it really happen? Was she really there? Was I? Yes I was! Sometimes all you get are small moments. Minutes. Seconds. They are even more intense, more focused, more obvious. Never let them pass you by. Never miss their energy. Today I saw my friend. What a good day today will be.
I want to tell a story. But all I see are roadblocks. So many song lyrics are in my head as I think about that first look. Those first awkward words. The first unintentional very noticeable touch. That feeling of butterflies. Losing the ability to speak clearly as I search for the perfect thing to say. What are those words? You’re beautiful? Your eyes render me helpless? Run away with me and tell me how you possibly have already stolen my heart? All are true. But are they the right things to say to get all those feelings across. Usually it comes out a very simple and clumsy “hello.” Not inspiring at all. Hopefully lame enough to be cute. Maybe she can see my excitement. My jitters. My huge smile I am trying for some reason to hide. I’m giddy and can’t contain myself. I start to fidget. In my head a perfect song lyric plays. I want to get caught in a gaze without words and feel the way like when a great song lyric captures your sense of power. With the cold chills of something bigger. An unexplainable urge to be better. To be bigger than your previous self. What is that? Is it love? Is it some sort of strange admiration or simply has someone else momentarily captured my soul and set me free? We’ve all been there. I want to tell a story. Like a weird painting does. Where only those that get it can feel it. Only those that are truly moved see its power. But all I can come up with is a simple word. One that we long to mean. Long to utter to another that gladly takes it and gives it back in only a way we understand. Like when we smell a smell of our youth that immediately takes us back to the exact moment of a previous time in our life. Apple pie, honeysuckle, fresh cut grass. It only takes a split second to bring us right back to that first touch. That first kiss. It’s sad how we can so quickly move past that original feeling. But then in an instance, we’re back as if it’s happening for the first time. Erasing everything other than that moment. I want to tell a story. One of hope and bliss. But what is it? Why do I want to tell this story? And who wants to hear it? Who needs to hear someone else’s story? All of us! We all need it. We all need to know the power of a simple feeling. We get busy and we forget. Maybe we’ve never felt it. Maybe we’re scared of it. Scared of what it does to us. I want to tell a story. But who’s? Can I look in your eyes and read yours? Probably! Maybe? I’m not sure. I just want that chance. The chance to tell the world who I see. A chance to let your guard down while I’m still protecting you. To be your guardian. Your champion. A chance to struggle to be beside you and everyday prove myself. I want to take you on a ride. A journey. A path with an unknown end except we get there together. At the same time. Your story. Our story. I want to tell a story.