Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tyranny of Healing

Quarter to one, and I have a few drinks in me amidst copious, conscientious hydration. I feel like a failure for taking care of myself. Hell, I feel like a failure for not double-spacing after a period, sometimes.

I split my time between trying to write, noodling on the internet, working on comic books, kung fu, drinking at the same coffee shop and the same bar for long stretches of time, going just past my comfortable threshold on both of them (which has become pathetically minuscule in recent months), sitting still for dental work, sitting still for therapy, sitting still for rolfing, sitting still for meditation, and doing whatever I can to keep from picking a fight with someone just to break something, just to feel like what I'm doing matters.

There's but one person who wants to talk to me. I love her dearly, but we're not going to work outside of an intense, beautiful friendship that will last our whole lives. Even then, I don't seem to know how to talk to her, how to communicate all of what I'm thinking and feeling, and it makes me feel so alone, so freakish that I can only seem to talk to people after dulling my senses with alcohol. Even then, I come on strong, I stick on stupid topics for too long, and I can't escape that feeling that I'm far too "unique" for anyone to speak to me. Have I just lost touch so badly that simple conversations have become impossible for me? Do I face certain doom for wanting what I want and not settling for the fucked-up scenarios that come across my path? Do I face a future of unquestionable doom for disappearing from the radar of promising fields because I keep my integrity?

Good lord, I know I fuck up; I really do. There's just so much bullshit out there. It seems so pointless to try, sometimes. I probably will anyway. I'll face the same uncomfortable glances at anywhere but me, the same discussions on anything but what I'm talking about, the same stiff discussions about "what I do" rather than "who I am" and I will try my damnedest not to seem like a brooding teenager past his prime. I'm going to wonder whether or not I'm a waste of space. I keep falling asleep nad holding down various keys.

Hopefully this little confession unclogs something.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cerberus Whip Chain

Recently, I had a bit of a breakdown regarding the internet. Trends move and change from week to week, people talk almost exclusively in references and shorthand, and the outside world, ads and all, have become an inescapable foe.

I'd been strapped to the front of monitor since '94, back in the days when the word "Compuserve" meant something and the All-Seeing Eye of AOL stared from the top of its Gnostic Eye-of-God pyramid, bestowing the most meager of us with 14.4kbps of information trade. I remember waiting over a minute to get connected, listening for the slight variations in modem noise to see if the phone wires were loose or if, get this, too many people were on the internet at the same time. Dial-up had a magic to it, a spellbook of timing to dodge through porn sites and see maybe one boob in a half hour, sneak into the grown-up chatrooms (hell, cybering taught me typing much better than either Mario or Mavis Beacon. However, this now brings up a disturbing mental image), and find all the mods and cheats for Doom II and Heretic. While certainly not king of my domain, I made a decent run of it, and found a certain level of contentment with the spinning dishes of Early Internet Adolescent.

Jump forward eleven years. I was three years out of the depressive episode that consumed my collegiate aspirations and nearly took my life along with it. I had tucked myself into a closet near the Art Museum with enough space for a loft bed and a Playstation on top of my fridge. This was the year that I would cut my umbilical cord to the wall socket. My college friends had moved to NYC and the land-line had become obsolete as a result. On top of this, the Free Wi-Fi movement had finally pulled off its birthing caul and shrieked in triumph throughout the city. It became time to cultivate a taste in black coffee and dive into that secret world once again. At this point, the world was... well, less secret. The anticipation had gone. The Secret Porn Missions were obsolete when over half of Google images were filled with The Most Degrading Things Ever. Plumbing the depths for secrets gave way to

At this point, I feel self-conscious for having left links out, for having one of the default backgrounds on this blog. I don't know how to embed pictures. I don't have the attention span to Photoshop an image, let alone find one appropriate. I still don't know or care about 4chan, and I can only stand to read maybe five webcomics, three of which my friends make. My phone is not smart. In fact, my phone is pretty dumb, old and tired. Does this really make me less of a man?

Fuck no.

Perhaps what's happened is that I'm applying my "Information Superhighway" skills to everyday life. I use my timing to figure out the right time to get all of my chores done and chase the momentum like a rabid dog. My Dirty Pics Search has finally grown up into a search to find strange and interesting ways to bring together the various circles of my life, between cocktail bars, connoisseur cafes, comic book stores, kung fu schools and student dentists, to name a few. The many, strange online personae that I've cultivated have developed into a still-evolving, well-meaning mask to navigate this scary Real World ("What do you mean there're no dragons here!? Who's going to keep the elf population in check?") and find the best way to pretend to be myself in a way that doesn't disturb the people sitting next to me or leave me as fodder for the Twitter Riots that I'm sure are going to happen again. The internet has no anonymity, but in the real world we can twist up that spit-curl and face what we can actually defeat.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The accumulating moss provides mortar

Solitary life has been an adventure, mostly mental in scope, rather than physical. There've been many days where I've set out with a goal to complete tasks X,Y, and Z and inevitably end up trembling in front of the computer screen, safe and sound watching videos or digging myself into deeper sorrow by scrolling through all of the profiles of the pretty, happy Facebook profiles out there. Then there're days where I over-book myself socially and end up a frazzled wreck, my mind screaming for a drink to calm my rattled nerves. The paradox then persists where, in feeling so lonely, I drink far too much and stumble home, wake up angry with myself, and then panic once again at feeling unable to share it with others, becasue I find their concern too jarring to handle. Most often, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, and mostly with their own problems, and my honesty and desire to feel understood initiates yet another well-meaning disconnect, which drags me back home where I judge myself too harshly on the tasks I have yet to do, annnnnd... you see the pattern emerging, right? The real triumph in all of this is seeing this pattern. It feels good to call it out and give it a solid elbow to the face.

I don't work well under pressure, and I work even less well when observed and critiqued mid-process. I don't like a lot of periphery distractions while I work (lengthy conversation, music, numerous interruptions). I do weird things. I experiment. I set up long, spiralling series of actions that economize effort and opt for the preservation of all elements involved. Doing anything in a hurry has only led me to frayed nerves, ratty corners and easily-avoidable damage all done for the greater good of speed without greater acknowledgment of all factors involved. I work deep, and I work thorough. If I can't do much, I do something. If I can't focus on a task, I find something else to do that's useful in the meantime just to keep the ball rolling. "Done" exists in purely conceptual terms, and I'm fine with that. I perform most tasks better when calm and alone. All of this is okay. It's my nature and my method of operation.

It's been a big deal to feel okay with this. I've ground myself into dust trying to pull something together in a manner that's counter-intuitive to the way that I do things, that in fact feels disruptive to that way. Acknowledging that I really have to put forth effort to interact socially is damned well enlightening. It's one thing to relax around people, and it's another to relax with people. The former is possible and enjoyable, the latter... mnreh.

In spite of this desire to act alone and realign myself with my working methods, I feel like allowing my introversion to play out has made me a lot better with people. I smile more. I have more patience. I can understand where others are coming from more easily, and if I don't feel like I can take the interaction I let myself go elsewhere, with no ill intent toward others. Other people and socializing becomes less daunting, more a slight need to focus and redirect than a barrage requiring dug-in heels and a riot shield.

For those reading, thank you ahead of time for respecting that this post is a one-way street. I disabled comments, and I ask that you refrain from commenting on this in other forums of communication. There's nothing here for others to take personally, but an observance of my own behavior and what works for me. If this runs counter to methods you may use to do things, then we simply have different methods (focused attention vs. diffusive attention, for instance). Sure, it's dumb to post something and not expect feedback, but sometimes a person just needs a pressure valve to let something go and someone to witness it. Rock on.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The tarnished key

A deep pain crept into my shoulder for over a week. I refused healing from others: I doubt it comes from a place that I'm ready for others to touch. Slowly, I stretch and squirm, working through the pinching, spastic twinge on my own.

It began Sunday morning. That night, I found a bag full of ramen and turkey sausage on my front steps, food that I cannot eat. I placed it in the trash, as it was late and I hadn't the desire to walk it to the church up the street. That morning, I awoke to the sound of two men loudly grousing about finding the food in the trash. One was the broken vagrant who made the decision that he owns the front steps of the apartment I'm renting, by the very value that his ass warmed the concrete and one of the neighbors enables his deteriorated state by feeding him and paying for his detritus-filled car, instead of paying for possible rehabilitation for the fellow. The broken one described me to his enabler with venom. During this, I was keeping my ex company. She's of a fragile, defensive state, and she remains quite susceptible to the rage and venom within my heart. Reflexively, I swallowed down the rage that welled up in me over this situation, and the base of my neck thus suffers.

Many times, a person considers repression to affect just sexuality. While yes, I have stuffed this aspect of the libido down, I do believe that I have tossed away a greater portion of it. I have little room to unfold myself from my home. I have no control over my surroundings. I have denied self-development. I key in to the needs of others on reflex, allowing them to supercede my own desires. I take on too much from others, and I take nothing for myself. My dream is to have a space in which I might live as I choose: silent, my books at my fingertips, with furniture that supports my body. I wish to express myself across my environment without restriction, which thus far I cannot. I once again have packed myself into a box and placed it out of reach.

In place of ambition, I have subversion and spite. I have no dream for myself, and I spit acid at any who would stand in my territory and attempt to dictate it, even when I have permitted them so far within those borders. I ask for my martyrdom and then mourn my victimhood. The martyr gives not blood, but intoxicating wine. It directs through envy, lechery and blind retribution.

I see so much of myself that I have cast to the wind, to carry far away from me. My heart lies bound in vines and tar. It beats for a moment, only to feed the overgrowth and warm the sticky, ungrowing remains of living material. I wield a simple knife of cold steel, to sever and to scrape that which suffocates the pulse. I must empty my vessel of detritus. I must collect the refuse and the compost. I must sort these to find what might create the prime matter, and I must make it burn to create the elixir, the medium through which the Divine operates. I can see this path. I must take this path, or I will surely die.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Tenebraic Pulse

I have many moments when I feel like the Wheel of Fortune smashes and churns me in its wake. We make the decisions that we make in life, but once again I feel myself plunged into that lightless depth that lies beyond my comprehension. It goes beyond my reasoning, beyond my control. If I could choose to act in a useful manner and finish the mundane tasks that surround me, I most assuredly would. Often, I feel like I carry with me a coal from the Black Furnace, and those who stand close will receive the fires of that transformative equipment, while I plunge down once again to replenish the stores of the shadowy substance.

I used to call it Hell, as if it were a location separate from my own soul. Thanks to the changes I've gone through since then, I'm coming to understand it as a very, very uncomfortable phase of transition. I feel as if I miss the opportunity to take advantage of the plunging energy, due to one oversight or another. It's like Charlie Brown and the Football, over and over again, in Tartarus. Once more I find myself denied what I desire most, due to my own devices, and their origin escapes me each time. I withdraw too far, and I flog myself for not seeing the truth in time.

The tide draws out and pummels me into the beach as if the Full Moon had risen once more to pulverize the leavings of the snails and clams from the gorgeous, individual shells to indiscriminate granules with its liquid fists. I fight it, each time, thinking that this darkness is something I can escape. From outside of my field of vision it comes, each time taking me down when I can't even muster the chance to defend myself. It's slippery, ruthless and unyielding. I can no more grasp it than escape it. I can hope only to learn from each repetition of the cycle, giving into it more and more, absorb more and more about its movements so that, by the next time, I'll end up that much closer to facing the beast and placing a bridle upon it.

I can't help but feel sorrow that the source of this conflict and suffering comes from within myself, and that others, too many others, have suffered for it. I can only pray that something constructive has come from each of their experiences with it, and that the same gift will, some day, bestow itself upon me. I merely want to know. I fear discussing when I will seek help, for the more solid the idea, the more easily it shatters when this arises. Merely, I open myself to seeking it without expectation, without malice, and know that I can find it in abundance. I will see this through.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gordian Synapses

When attempting to write creatively, I like to have dry, academic research materials concerning mythology handy. I grew up more in tune with the myths of Herakles, Rama and Thor than I did with Snake Eyes, Lion-O and Leonardo. That said, I, once again, have frustrations on this matter.

While I do identify with a pagan religious system myself, I find the pagan community rather lacking in understanding, in many circumstances. Many works seem to view the deities themselves as deserving admiration, rather than the processes the deities represent. I feel like this view perpetuates the very anthropic bias that has put our species, and our ecosystem, in its current bind. Our most successful adaptation has been the utilization of our environment, and yet this adaptation does need curtailing. Along with this utilization, or perhaps the very reason this utilization is so successful, we have a crippling sense of separation from the environment. This sense of separation has led us to travel all over the Earth, to trade foods, genes and philosophies, and to discover more and more facets of a strange and exciting universe.

A cat can only interact with its environment by its senses, by immersion in its territory and routing this information through its instincts. We, however, can bypass these instincts by accessing other mindsets and conditions we have experienced prior as a conscious act. This adaptation, I feel, encompasses what we call memories, sentiment, and emotion in different circumstances (This seems very reductionist and Darwinist, but I'm at a lack of better explanation.) Of course, these prior conditions must make themselves known to us through un-conscious means in order for us to gain awareness of them as simple facets of an uncharacterized psyche. (I could talk for days on how we ignore this in order to maintain a given state, regardless of its detriment to ourselves, to maintain a sense of continuity, but I digress) Once accepted, we can change our view of the environment, and then react with new combinations of prior experiences, in effect making new worlds in our mindset.

In our efforts to understand, the limits of what we could comprehend became subject to our self-awareness, and thus we made these forces friendly by giving them our face, our virtues and vices, our communicative skills, and our sense of time in order that we make the incomprehensible at least something with which we could empathize. In our weakest moments, our minds will reinforce this sensation as well, permitting what could best be described as a numinous experience. (For instance, when in the throes of near-suicidal depression feeling bolstered by a universal sense of Motherhood, of womb-like succor and unconditional love when one's actual experience with the biological mother was absent or destructive) I'd go as far as to call it archetypal, but without formal training in depth psychology I feel a little goofy doing so.

While I see the value in merging our incomprehensible notions of the universe with our archetypal human experience, I also see this as a transitional state, wherein we see our own place as a mere cog in a universal schematic that changes as we work along with it, and that our very human senses and sense of humanity need not find itself as axiomatically possessing divinity greater than that of our surroundings from which we find ourselves separate, but that our sense of separation acts as a simple function in spite of the axiomatic divinity inherent in the universe itself.

Long story short: I want more dry, academic articles about myths and gods on the internet, and fewer fluffy bunny and beardy Thelemic paeans crossing my path.

Yeah. I can feel the bullshit just peeling off of me as I type.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Initialization- The gathering inhale

The world has given me the gift of jettisoning the past. My old blog is now lost unto me thanks to a hacked e-mail. Ah well, such is life. This said, I'm going to head onward, into the new life's journey that unfolds.

In short, I utilize this blog to list my varied philosophical observations, often peppered with bits of personal moments and insights into the realms of comics, movies, music and metaphysical studies.

It's a shame to lose almost all of the old posts, but it seems fitting enough to try to continue in spite of this. It feels like that stage after Ragnarok, when humanity crawls out from the Tree and the young New Gods stumble through the new, cleared lands to find their way.

Oh no, I don't tend to hyperbolize much, now do I?