Questions? I tend to write or talk in spontaneous monologues... hopefully interrupted perpetually by changes of topic, regressions and sidebars (what were they called in math? Lemmas?), any diversion to avoid getting to the end of the matter at hand. Come to think of it that's how I live, too.
I will go roll in the grass for inspiration and return to write shortly.
Ah, that was nice. Took a couple of pictures, got buzzed by a deerfly or two, scared away a greedy deer (they are getting so bold!) looking for dessert, and felt the planet spinning beneath my fragile bones...
Writing under pressure. Interesting.
Last night as I was driving home from the friendly toast at 4 AM, nope, I already told that story, it's good, but it's not fresh.
When I was young, quite young, people used to tell me I talked too much. I had to agree - I was quite a pest, a twerp. Trouble is, I couldn't see a way to fix it (I have learned to listen but that's a whole different thing anyway) and so I decided the only solution that would work was to have something to say. Sure, they might still tell me I talk too much, but at least I could justify making noise based on content.
Since I had no clue of who I was back then, it was a long and arduous trip. Of course it was not the only journey, but it is the thread I am going to try to follow now. I picked up bits and pieces of rare value here and there, I tried to answer questions I heard, I tried to understand my "pain" (it's not hurt, but a mild discomfort) in perceiving the world not as it takes itself but as it really is. I had heroes, I had villains. I remember specific traits and people I admired so much that I spent years learning how to be like what I saw.
The best example is a guy I knew in college, a couple of years older than I. He had dropped out after 3 1/2 years to run a bicycle sales and repair business in the town the school was in. He was one of those people who others will go to with their problems, to talk, to be listened to. I yearned so much to be like that. I sure as hell wasn't - I was still lost on this complex search for myself. I'm not sure when or how, but sometime over the next ten years I had assimilated or learned that trait.
It may have been one of my greatest accomplishments.
In that decade, I kept just plodding away in my own directions, as much as the need to work and get by would let me. Oops, you just interrupted me. Do you mind? If you want me to stop and talk I will, I can always pick this up later. OK, I'll continue. Where was I?
Oh yes, wherever I want to be. By the time I was 30 I was fairly radicalized. I had moved my business to where it is now, a shed with a lean-to living area next to a swamp. It is a church, a focal center. It was built within months of my birth. I had been in business for about two years and was thriving, not financially but in every way that matters. My environment was complimentary to my needs, and as such it and I egged each other on.
I had a peak around 31-32, coinciding with a two year relationship (relationship because of peak, or vice versa, who knows?) where I must say I first began to experience a distinct awareness of another way of looking at the universe, of feeling its guidance, its requirements, its terrible beauty.
In the intervening years I have had to recover slowly from the difficulty of getting out of a good relationship so the other could be where they needed to be (I hope she is well. we have lost touch, sadly), while recovering more rapidly from a double rebound shortly after it (we were both rebounding - she went back to her ex - ouch!).
For a few years I was so cleanly and thoroughly broken... I was running on fumes, heady fumes at this point, but still just living on the capital I had stored away in my attic, I mean my mind. I was extroverted and when I think of the strange and wonderful stories I had inside me, it is no wonder people found me amusing in my extroversion. Emotionally unavailable, it was easy for me to enjoy the physical delights I had been starved for when younger. But I knew that it would come to an end, I knew that I must heal, that I would pay the price as the healing came to the surface. I at once dreaded and longed for it to happen.
I missed so much my days of being able to listen to stones, to hear the wind speak my name, I wished and thought hard about how I was going to get back there/forward to there again. I knew I couldn't repeat the path, I knew I would not "re-become" who I was, for now I was someone else. The same books, the same music, the same conversations, would not be on the path. Yet still I hoped.
Last fall I had a vision. I was driving around somewhere and things started to shift, to lose perspective and color. They totally lost their appearance. Overall it was brief, luckily, since I may not have been able to keep driving (well, I would have stopped, I suppose) but it was intense. Very intense. There were words I needed to say. There was a story here, there was knowledge I had to absorb.
That and other events of late last year made me slowly realise that without any conscious effort other than wishing it so... I was back... I had missed myself so much...
A few days ago I finally wrote the poem which distills in a sense part of that vision, but there is more to it, it expands into theories about where and how we should live, and how unhappy we are when we don't follow these courses the universe has laid out for us. When we don't read the instructions.
The desert I traveled through in the late 90's was highly productive in other ways of course. I listened to so many peoples stories, their loves, their lives, explored the knots in their minds... and by default, of course, mine also. As the process was ending, the early stage of finally healing, I could feel myself withdrawing. I started to notice that there were people I tried to avoid, crowds were losing their appeal, my songwriting was sucking my stories out of my mouth and onto paper. There were fewer trivial people in my life.
I knew what was happening, I resisted and at the same time I let it draw me along. I had asked for it and I was getting it. At least I had asked for what I really wanted.
Now the problem is it is overwhelming me.
Last night on the way home from the Friendly Toast, perhaps because of listening to Matt's description of an intense spiritual experience (must make up another, shorter phrase for that!), perhaps just because it had to happen, I started to get disoriented slightly. I had mild tunnel vision (? is that what it is?) - it felt like I was looking out through my eyes, with another set of eyes - like I could look away and not be seeing the road or anything else for that matter. I suddenly realised I was trying to leave my body, that if I didn't exert some control there was going to be a big problem. The things that I was thinking were coalescing into something I wanted to write, my fingers ached from typing and yet ached to type, I wanted to get home and do it, I had to grit my teeth and stay at the wheel of this body at the wheel and get myself home. I have never had a more difficult time (except maybe being trashed, long ago) driving in my life. It was painful.
I got home.
My chest hurts a bit from crying somewhere in the middle of this story and I'm going to stop now.
I have met several new people on line recently. It is a bit weird, dealing with the intensity with which we react to the words we write to each other without ever meeting in person. I have found new people who enjoy my writings and ideas at a peculiar electronic distance. It is stimulating my writing in a terrible feedback loop. I cannot write form letters, I cannot cut and paste, and every letter I write pushes me further into this creative state.
And so here we are, eh?
© Huw Powell