Am I insane?!?


I am spending $200 on a 1915 No. 5 Underwood typewriter. That’s it. That’s the punchline.

Why?  To write the next great American novel on, of course!  Why go to this length? Two reasons: 1. I’m pretty sure there’s no internet on it, so no more wormholes of distraction. 2. I’m really hoping it’s haunted by a world class writer’s ghost that will posses me and help me write the novel.

By the way…it’s in perfect working condition and I can order ribbon from Amazon.  Crazy? Like a fox!

No, really…do I need help?

Take me to church

To connect I look for the well-worn path

It leads me down the center aisle

The trees stand as proud parishioners

The stumps serve as pews ready to receive me

The earthy smell is my incense

I breathe in the gift and give it back

A homeostatic symbiosis, singularity obtained

The wild animals are my brethren

They look at me with welcome understanding

The backlit canopy is my stained-glass window

The offering plate holds only love and promises of protection

Money doesn’t grow from trees

It’s made from their corpses

The mother suffers tremendously from man’s pursuit of it

The very fact that it’s green is blasphemous!

I come here to feel connected

I try to regain DNA’s memory

From ancestors that walked the path first

To remember what is real

To find my roots

I must dig

Bare hands

Alone

 

Why do we blog?

keyboard

Why do we blog?

Why do I blog?  I really like the community aspect of it, of getting comments and interacting with fellow writers.  I love to read your work, as well…and comment, to let you know I’m connecting with what you’ve written.  When I first started out I concentrated on follower count, but I’ve come to realize that it is the deeper connections with the individuals that means more than simply how many subscribers I have.

I blog to simply keep writing, as it is always easy to let life get in the way and let the writing slide.  Here I can write poetry, short stories, intros to possible longer pieces, and in any genre, and you will be there to give me feedback.  Feedback is the best!

I know that I should also start writing a book.  My father would always ask if I’m doing any writing for myself, outside of blogging, and I haven’t so far.  Coming to you with the posts I’ve written is my way of keeping my connection to writing, to say that I am still here and I am a writer.  Reading your work not only teaches me new styles of writing, as before I started blogging I would never had tried either poetry or memoir writing, and it also gives me strength to continue on.  We are all on the same path and when I read and connect with you it is me smiling at you as we walk along this path together.

Now…why do you blog?

Monster Boy


Growl little man

Gnash your teeth

Brandish your claw-hand

Let the power seeth

Know you can be more than you are

Your very being is made up of stars

Pretending gives you a wider horizon

Different hats all waiting for you to try on

Just remember to always return to me

My little man is my favorite you, you can be

So go ahead growl, gnash, brandish and seeth

Because beautiful, powerful and wondrous is what you are to me

EnChroma: Glasses that cure colorblindness

test_result

This is not a testimonial for EnChroma, nor a recounting of someone using it for the first time. Though, I am sure you have all seen the tear-filled videos, where the colorblind individual is first amazed at all the colors they have never known to exist coming to light, the colors that were once hidden from their very perception come flooding in and shortly after, the tears come flooding out. I am mesmerized by these videos and I think I’ve come to understand why.

This shift in perception is not as severe as those gaining the ability to hear for the first time, as these videos are also incredible, but for me these EnChroma videos carry greater weight. Let me explain. These EnChroma glasses show you that you’ve been seeing the world wrong, well…your whole damn life. With the simple donning of these glasses you realize that the reality that you’ve built from your own perceptions is simply false and you were only seeing part of the picture. Talk about eye-opening.

What moves me, of course, is the transition from awe to tears. Now I know that many of these people are experiencing tears-of-joy, but I think that in some cases they are feeling the weight of having been robbed their whole life, of what everyone else simply takes for granted. In either case, I begin to think about this shift in metaphorical relationships.

The best way to become empathetic is to read books. In this instance the books are the EnChroma glasses, and the more diverse characters, circumstances and emotions we experience through reading…the more shades of color we can feel in ourselves and in others. Could you imagine what it would be like if you were a sociopath, had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or Empathy Deficit Disorder and putting on a pair of glasses immediately gives you the insight of empathy, that the world you thought was inhabited by automatons is really filled with complex people, like yourself, that feel the full range of emotions that you do. If having these disorders caused you to treat people poorly throughout your life, then you suddenly realize what it must’ve been like for them.  I would expect that this shift would go from a state of awe to those same tears seen in the videos.

What about where you sit on the politics spectrum? Now I’m not going to turn this post into a soapbox for my political views, though I’m sure I could, very easily.  Instead, I would just like to think that if there were glasses that allowed you to see the world from the other end of the spectrum (liberal vs. conservative or democrat vs. republican) that we could make better sense of the issues…from a bipartisan, possibly objective, standpoint. All too often we box ourselves in and are unable to see the truth in something that simply doesn’t fit our political viewpoint. Would the awe still be followed by the tears? Of realizing how we had been robbed of a certain kind of sight, not since birth, but from when we developed our political affiliation?

What about religion? Could you imagine if putting on a pair of glasses gave you the immediate insight of what it meant to belong to a certain religion that was not your own? To have the long view, of how the world and this religion has evolved and has been treated over time. Would we gain an unprecedented level of tolerance for these other religions? What if we take it one step further and develop glasses that allow an atheist to see what the world looks like through the eyes of faith, or a pair that strips it all away and lets you see the universe as a product of physics and science? How would you change as a result? Would you change? Would you weep at the loss of faith, or the loss of empirical evidence being enough?

What if the only pair of glasses we would ever need, that could take us a long way down the road of acceptance of others, was simply a pair that allowed us to love ourselves…unconditionally. If we love ourselves then we can truly begin to love others, and in accepting our flaws we can love others with their flaws, as well. I can love myself with all my shortcomings and idiosyncrasies, and having gained the self-assurance this lends, I won’t have any self-hatred to project onto others. We can all become brothers and sisters in the human race, tearing down the “walls” that divide us and celebrate our differences as those things that make us unique and beautiful.

Unfortunately these glasses don’t exist. Until they do…I’m going to keep on reading books. I’m going to add as many shades of color to my understanding of the human condition and emotions as I can, work on being an empathetic person and try to make ground on loving myself for who I am. I hope you do the same. Good luck!

In the end…

bully-switch-md

 

I had just heard about another life snuffed out too soon. An 8 year old boy, from Cincinnati, commited suicide a couple days after being the victim of bullying. The articles I read spoke of possible security camera footage, and shortly there after the footage was released.

Now, if you have read my post The Abyss, then you know how deeply affected I am by suicide and depression. Just as I needed to step to the edge of the abyss at the loss of two friends who chose to end their lives, and wonder what went through their minds at that moment, or try to conceive what had brought them to that point…there I sat watching a video of a beautiful young man, beaten and left lying on the bathroom, tile floor. I close my eyes and I can still see his legs, unmoving, and my eyes fill with tears. I feel anger boiling up inside myself, I want to reach into the screen and slap those boys awake that brutalized him. Tell them that he didn’t deserve that treatment, that they don’t understand with their still developing minds, just how much damage they are doing to him. But, as angry as I might initially feel, my eyes are drawn back to those legs and I, again, find myself wanting to reach into the screen, but this time to cradle this young man in my arms and tell him that everything can still be okay, despite how he might feel at this moment, that just because some misguided boys chose him as the target of their hatred, that he is still loved. The love his family and friends have for him isn’t erased by these actions. I want to tell him, that even though I only know him now in his passing, that I love him.

Then I start thinking about my two-year-old, mini-me, and I feel awash in 100 different emotions all at once. I am scared for him. I am angry at a world where this happens. I feel a rage that carries the heat of a thousand suns, at the thought that this could someday happen to him and how I would tear the school down, brick by brick, with my bare hands. I think about what I need to do to prepare him for this possibility. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Boxing. Judo. Let him know that he can shield his heart with the knowledge that I love him more that anything in the world and he could get through this even if it meant we walk off into the woods and live the rest of our lives off the grid. Then I want to raise him to know that bullying can’t be allowed to happen, that at the very least he would alert a grownup right away, or put himself at risk by getting in the middle, but then I worry again about what could happen to him, and my head spins and my heart swells to bursting and my eyes blur with the coming tears.

In the end I’m left not knowing what to do, other than write out my frustration.

In the end I gain a piece of understanding how our fragile spirit can be pushed every so easily from the glass menagerie shelf. A piece I felt I needed to know, but now wish I hadn’t.

Gabriel Taye…you are loved.

Corn Soup

corn soup

Corn soup is standard fare at my family gatherings.  It is a traditional Native American dish, and I’ll admit…it wasn’t one that I particularly liked, when I was a young child.  How I remembered it, from my youth, was that it tasted very bland and the broth was little more than starchy water.  I avoided it as much as possible growing up, but I would always have a small portion, so as not to be rude.

Now I’m all grown up, sorta…not so if you ask my wife 🙂 and I love it!  Let me be a little more specific about how my taste has matured.  This isn’t one of those situations where you hated onions as a child, but one day you have them on a slice of pizza and it’s like you were having them for the first time, and you can’t understand how you went your whole life without them.  I basically am still not entirely impressed with the flavor of corn soup, though it has gotten better, but I now taste my history in each spoonful.  I sit at a crossroads with every sip, I recognize long lost feelings from my childhood, from the loss of loved ones (as death is often a reason for family to get together) and for the celebration of new life (much better reason to get together).  All of these emotions, these sensory anchors, wash over me like the fading images of a dream slipping from awareness.  I absolutely LOVE corn soup!

My question to you: do you have any similar experiences, food(s) that you eat to connect with your past?  How does eating it make you feel?