One thing I have to tell you. The place this book may leave your heart may well be a wonderful state. It can also be a bit terrifying, sure, because if you love creatively, you may seem to risk a delicate offering, to carry across so brusque a marketplace as mankind! But even if your heart breaks, would you believe (as Agent Maxwell Smart said!)...with your willing cooperation, the universe will make more? You'll be whole!
So I resolved a lot of issues off-camera, so to speak, as well as began the most important change in my life as OUR life. Ah, but not so quick to open up, now, am I, not even with you, dear readers, with whom I have entrusted so much. But! If you already know more, it's 'cause you HAD to know and are a close trusted friend and ally.
So as I get ready to compile this guy to self-publish a test run around Christmas, I'll be continuing my commentary in reply to re-visiting my life before Sept. 16th, sure...but that's about the time we hit an intensely personal experience of transformation! Furthest thing from "bad" in my mind, too...but look there's already a book about THAT written by the three people who made the story, and you will, at the least, wait until that third party, in addition to myself and the Marc Kane, co-editor and caretaker, gets to kick back and enjoy a copy...than let her decide. After all, I've got THREE books coming out in some form next, so I feel good keeping the past two month between us.
I was encouraged to unload here about my Mom if I felt it would help, and because there may be elements with which some of you can identify, and nothing malicious, it's tempting, but you know what? With the older generation, especially down South in America, look...it's a time honored tradition to let the elders think whatever makes them happy. Don't ask them for anything and you won't be disappointed. If she's happy with her thoughts, I am sure happy with mine. I recommend a similar arrangement if you seem locked in a value struggle...we are actually deciding, I think, to achieve genuine independence of one another, and let the old roles go by the way side. I am just about ready to blow the mind of the world, so I realize I actually have all the help and reliable allies I need aligned in their unique places, suited to their strengths and temperments, without a needy clinging to past ways at hand.
I really DO want a comic book of my life with Angela Dawn, so some drawing and writing will mesh to achieve that, I think, as I finish up other things. Time management creates forgiving deadlines in my world, for all change necessary simply must be...and why be sad about that? Trade your ghosts with thanks for a breathing loved one, and add to the store of your times!
There's just one more post I want to make for sure: review some helpful maxims dreamed up by our friend Palamas, and maybe look back on the bike rides of summer. Park benches and bike trails, that's where I want to take you...what a nice ending to Be Chill, Cease Ill would that make.
So: life you knew me in, as you knew me? Over. But like a seed shedding its casing, devouring it slowly, then springing up to the best use of local nourishment, it's really Me still, after sitting down and working out every Us in my life. Along the way I got mad at some patterns I recognized at last, then got very glad again, as the right course of action came to me. What I mean to say, then, is I set out to make of this book a map through the terrain of my poetic soul and anxious mind, all related both energetically and calmly, too, and what's become of me is a very clear person, now. Just figure out who you love, who can you count on and how far, and why aren't you doing what you love every moment of this short enough life!
Be Chill, Cease ill
Self-Publishing Coming in December:
Be Chill, Cease Ill
Now I'm not one to criticize
a sad reflection in my eyes
nothing seems to bring you down
why would you wear out that frown?
Look up, and see the world
in its full complexity
It's gonna get much better, you know
and once again, you'll see
Braddy Y Don't you...
Braddy why don't you-oo, pleease...
Braddy why don't you...
Braddy why don't you
Treat yourself better?
Why don't you treat yourself?
Why don't you treat yourself
better, hoo, oh-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
(now here's this brand NEW part of the chorus, inspired by finding it again:)
Sit down with you, let's all hang out
we can talk a little dirty
or what the world's about
But Braddy why don't you....?
(Yah, now I like it! Okay, verse two, as written a decade ago)
Give away your worry
Trust your only thing
Be who wakes up, sees
who she's going to be
Something bright in my eyes
don't the pain make moments waste?
You give you have a lot
What can compare to what you have?
What can compare, what can compare, what can compare?
Braddy Y Don't U...
Braddy why don't you-oo, pleease...
Braddy why don't U...
Braddy why don't U
Treat yourself better?
(and newly inspired, I added:)
Sit down with U let's all hang out
we can talk a little dirty
what the world's about, but oh-oh!
Why don't you, Braddy, why don't U?
Why don't U come treat yourself?
Why don't U come treat yourself
better, hoo, oh-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
written by Cecil Lou Disharoon
2012 Wingbat Tunes/ Integr8d Soul Productions
I wrote this tune at the end of college a few years ago to remind me of this very attractive friend I had, who I would never see again, sure, but a very cheerful, uplifting set of words...and who knew there would be a Braddy in our lives again? But there is...a song that never stopped being fun has come back with irrepressible Joy, in time for our definitive recordings, and for our name change as a band to Soul Ba-Doom Ba-Doom!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enormous writing energy's been reserved for a very private (at the moment) project so I can be totally honest as I always am here, but with something kept for me to understand and ponder and appreciate, to have as my own and make up for an absence I must endure, and paradoxically to celebrate a presence I feel!
It's the transition to a new life for us, really, marking the true end of what I've made here with "Be Chill, Cease ill," composed from my life with Angela and our dearest friends, and all begun to entertain the re-entry into my life of Troy Jones, a great friend and brother returned. Considering I started my life with the three worst enemies to my progress and then found another one for company (but at the time, we sustained one another's escapism), I had a lot of love for those people...then a really troubled but funny and brilliant kid came to my school and gave me the first person of my own to hang around with away from school on anything like a daily basis, the first real opening to what my life outside my life could be...which is good, 'cause I was in love with "Rocket Man" and nearly too unhappy to live, so otherwise misunderstood did I feel. So TJ's the first person to really take me out to do things, even if some of them were mischievous...the confidence you get when you don't feel neglected and when you do feel understood for the freak you seem to be is incredible, and so I hope he of all people gets to enjoy this book (and will let me help him get one together for his daughter!).
I hope something I've said here will stay like a friend in your thoughts and inspire you to love life creatively. The biggest change since the beginning of our adult lives will show through very soon indeed...I am tempted to start sharing all about it.
I hope to compose one or a series more of posts inspired by my friend Tau Palamas and our bike rides, as it threads nicely through these past two months.
What there is to REALLY know about this adventure, the Marc Kane summed up in a simple poem (which is really funny if you think it's about throwing a girl off a bridge, which it's not...)
Poem written after a bike ride and dolphin visit:
Why don't we let our bikes fly
Past the familiar where you and I
Can go explore
In a quest for more
If we do we are sure to find
A secret path in mind
To show me some fun
Out in the revealed Sun.
Sally, oh Sally, in sacrifice to it
We toss you from this bridge and sit
Watching you float along in the water.
Your roots had browned
Causing us, from this bridge to throw you down
In offering to the Universe.
I hope you know we tried to nurse
You back to health,
And your passing was deeply felt.
Now bob along on your merry way
While we feed the birds which play
Behind the Boat
That passed where you still float.
And though we must continue our ride
Within our energy you will abide.
So travel onward we did
Laughing as if once again kids.
You wanna go down this way to see where it leads?
Ah well, a man on Base intercedes
And makes up turn around and go back the way we came.
I guess we can stomach the same
View of nature as we ride in the grass
And have such a blast.
Save your sacred bread for the birds.
I don't suppose you've heard,
There are dolphins in the water
Doing their dance for to mate.
I don't suppose it's too late
For a pic,
If you wade in right quick
And now snap, snap, wow.
Such a blessing and how
Did they know it was needed;
What magic newly bought wooden wands seeded?
The Marc Kane
Oh yes, plenty to describe here, as soon as possible!
But for now...our ride culminated in a visit with the dolphins!
I learned: even if you don't think you'll use it...the camera, Cecil, the camera!!
You could say it all started with the purchase of two wooden wands from the driveway store of three little boys who were brothers.
That night, I banished all the seriousness and pettiness from one person's hurtful comments from my mind. It was not really a pro job of trying to unhinge my mind, so long as my self-confidence was well-founded; it could even be taken motivationally, were one to re-charge its inaccuracy, ignorance and negativity...it just seemed a bit sad, for that to be what is left of a friendship. We really DO have bigger fish to fry as a race, but we get caught up fighting, brother against brother...and all that could be put aside, as if by magic, so The Marc and I could put together more of the videos we needed to promote our Soul Rocket party band, and see for ourselves what we had to offer. Turns out, those clips went right to work, when placed on the wall of an anxious person, and who knows WHO feels the love there and never says, too?
After "Hercules," "Rocket Man" and "Amoreena" we discovered the long-awaited enthusiasm for our next comic book, found the story we wanted by just being attracted to the lives of some characters and how they could be related, with sights and scenes from our experience and Marc's vivid soap opera past for the commune where Gabby Pepper and Celestia became friends for life. The story we came up with NEXT fit right in with a new one for our collection for Jenny's site, and the joy of two people finding each other and their animal attraction sticks with me almost a week later; I wouldn't have waited so long to write that part if I were already adjusted to simply writing the pieces out of order to be edited together later. The important thing was, in our way, we lived the love story.
The next day, we got out on our planned bike ride, we just abandoned the original plan. I was reluctant at first, wanting to press on to some place we'd never been, through a place we hadn't been to but once. A much quieter and introspective set of fantasies were met, though, when we got to the Spanish Landing this time. We went around the ship replica construction site and took a path under the bridge that made me think for a moment of the country, as though we were the kids I often fantasized about being while I tooled around, mostly alone, growing up. The Esplanade by Liberty Station promised more wide-open park space and spots for solitude, and we searched every bit of it we found open, even turned back by the Marine post guard, Lopez, who didn't seem to know about the Esplanade beside his own base, thinking we were riding to Point Loma close by.
I felt a little quieter than I had riding all summer, on this generally cloudier day; I didn't realize that was exactly what I'd missed until the sun broke through on the way back to the bridge. On the bridge, we'd paid our respects to one of our succulent plants, which I'd brought, withered, to toss over into the San Diego River, where I'd "buried" Buddy the cactus. WE've learned that if you are going to buy a small plant from Ace Hardware downtown, if it is flourishing too much already in its little cup, it may already be root-bound and dying. There's a metaphor in here, too. I can only speak with silence about the respects we pay to these tiny lives we try to nurture together, fated to pass away by some riddle within the space they have taken root that made even those short lives possible. I have hope for our family that wants-to-be.
Yesterday, we decided to combine the names of the two succulents into one and renamed the remaining one, who thinned but still looks strong. WE call it "Palomaues." No, wait, it was something else; guess that's what I'll put in this time when I wake up with the urge to revise! Just call it "Sal's Pal" for now. WE had discovered ourselves there on the Halsey Bridge between the trail beyond the Landing, and the Esplanade. From the bridge.
I think some recent comments made me think a friend of mine was still as troubled as he seemed to be at the beginning of the year, as he had been, he felt, on and off most of his adult life. I wished I could have some part in making that better. Many some light energies would help; I was wished some blue and golden light for guidance, and I think he'd like that, too. I often think of lighting my friends with vitality; I could only do MORE of that, not less! It all seems so grim, like I should be more grim about my life, too...as though that will help me get serious work done. It's really a request for empathy. This day felt like the end of summer on top of that, and that first fall day can be a very sweet melancholy if you know it for what it is. I was sure another very warm set of days lay ahead, what they call "Indian Summer" here in America, but the thought that our joyous daylight bike rides might be experiencing a passing of seasons left me introspective, even while we definitely had fun on our cloudy ride. You cannot resist the passing of the seasons; they each serve their purpose. To ride together all summer is the sort of vision one packs Heaven with. May we keep such places for all the future little wand salespeople, the wand makers, the wand finders, in the world to come.
Now, on the way back over the bridge, climbed nicely by The Marc's more experienced shifting, I realized how fortunate I had been to sing and smile all the way on those summer bike rides, and missed our threesome party leader the Smorg very much in that moment. There is something sweet but sometimes just a tinge sad about two that seems completely relieved by three; perhaps we missed the opportunity to simply stop and cuddle up the way we probably wouldn't if we weren't alone together, and perhaps it was just the goodbye to the dwindling daylight hours, an embrace of a metaphor about seasons of life, tinged with that tiny bit of wistfulness and fear that the summer of life has shined now in past tense, however happy those times really were and will be to recall.
By the landing, we completed the task of ridding ourselves of the baguette I had bought on sale. I intended it as a sacrifice for Suli, in a ritual to mark the beginning of the harvest season, but we were meant to have our own ceremony arise! Besides, an opening and closing of a circle is hard to do in a tiny apartment filled with so many signs of life and malfunctioning drawers; it's not hard to see why this is recommended to be done outside. First we had begun to share bread on the Halsey Bridge with the gulls, who swarmed after a boat dropping them food. Now, by the playground and the beach, we broke up what was left with our teeth. This slowed us down long enough to get a pair of texts involving fresh pralines from the parents of the children who'd sold us the wands. (They sold nine online! Way to go, boys!) I was thinking of going up to the two couples sitting beside their parked jet skis, with a beach umbrella and drinks and conversation, but we left them, for now, closed.
Suddenly, the Marc thought she saw a swimmer, then made out the back of---a dolphin! And not one, but TWO dolphins, frolicking in the bay! With only my weary phone's camera, I set about catching their memory, taking in moments I knew I'd continue to unpack for a lifetime of vividness. She took over, wading into the water barefoot, unsure just what she was really capturing on the phone's out-shined screen. When we started the editing process, we found lots of tiny, cool pictures of what our eyes saw so clearly; the backs of two swimming, diving dolphins, hanging around even after the boats came by. Dolphins, to me, represent relationships, a clear blue light of the west where we cleanse all negative emotions in those relationships, banish all those energies.
In the two of them, playing, I now see the two of us, playing, scampering on our bikes, still in a state of growing up together like we would've loved to do, for we always seem to have always been there in each other's lives. If it was a mating ritual in the sea, then ours was a courtship on the land, filled with a language more unique and complex than observers may swiftly understand. To reach out and be those dolphins...and for you to reach out with me, and be us and the dolphins...is to let your mind and mine play where things are too natural and beautiful to be either trampled nor entirely neglected by the senses of someone, anyone, who appreciates them. Life will take us to our jobs, our school, and less fortunate places sometimes, besides, and with fall those places will be a bit more quiet, though no less beautiful. But if, when you need their energy most, when you need their memory most, you will take out their picture in your mind and allow the breeze of a perfected temperature to wash over your body, where plants have flourished together in their prime, then you will find the dolphins always at play, and their play can become part of yours.
A lot of surprises and new friends came my way, but the crown jewel of my preparations on that day was Marina Sirtis with my drawing of her!!
First, I wasn't sure it was a good idea. I found a paucity of references to it online: not much word out there. My comic book buddy Dana over at Adventures of a Comic Con Girl (check out her fan page on FB) was barnstorming everything remotely like a comic book convention, and I noted she was going...the table seemed affordable...the ride was about two hours on the bus, and I could figure out how to navigate my way across town the remaining three miles plus. So! I spent half the discretionary budget on a bicycle for Angela's upcoming vacation, so we could all ride together, and plunked the rest down on a table and ticket. Anaheim, here I come!
Words worth repeating...With habits, never give in or we lose our dignity. With the self, never give up or we lose our destiny. With others, never give your worst, or you will never develop your best. The saying, "what we give is what we receive". The lesson: Just to give.
What decided me was the idea of drawing the celebrities there giving autographs,so I started researching. Afterwards, I found out one of them has her own site, Max Wasa, which I recommend, as she was very personable and cool, and she's just signed for a new movie, EXECUTIVE RANKS! If you're headed to Comickazee, you should look up the NerdGirlz Booth!!!
I had not drawn as much, with Soul Rocket keeping me occupied (see MY fan page on FB, LOL), but once I started, with three days left, I knocked down one after the next. I had a nap the night before, but by bedtime, all I could think about was getting up and working on more pieces, because I was SO excited! What I pictured was a couple thousand people at least, and I figured they'd keep me awake. I also thought I'd get maybe two minutes with each celebrity, tops. What should I charge? What was something creative I could do with Boba Fett and his kid self? With Colossus? I finished my pencils of Raye Hollit from her webpage, and just barely got any sleep before morning. I was up early for the bus, back at work, and left the house at 7:30 am. This was going to work; this wasn't going to be like the glorified garage sale named the Los Angeles Science Fiction Convention!
I have a lot to tell you about this day. You're seeing actress Max Wasa, actor Marc Donato, American Gladiator Raye Hollit, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION's Marina Sirtis...there were others, like Daniel (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, TWILIGHT) Cudmore, who I only spoke with momentarily, partially because of a lack of sleep and a place to recover...I literally have at least two thousand words, the content of which I've pondered over the weeks since. I have these drawings I'd like to finish, too...but that may be another blog!
Never mind the Greyhound had no air conditioning. It wasn't as bad as that sounds; ventilation came from SOMEwhere. We were going to stay over in Oceanside for a while, so I stretched my legs. We were still there. So, I walked over to Burger King, where a very nice Hispanic lady with a pretty smile took my order. With Angela, I would've gotten it to go. Silly me, I thought I could watch out the window. My breakfast next involved me getting up with a tray in my hands, running towards a bus as it pulled away! The drive let me aboard with a chuckle: "did you go to Booger King?" So here I sat, dipping my hashbrowns in ketchup on an accidentally purloined tray, which I kept all day, intending to return it to Oceanside Burger King.
In Anaheim, I had to wander around a couple of times to figure out where the bus stops were, first, then how to cross the street to the Howard Johnson. At least the bus had air conditioning, and hey, it wasn't even taking a toll for some reason, so the gregarious bus driver gave me a free lift.
Well, I walked in, tired, and started to worry. Things were a BIT smaller than I thought. Quite a bit. But you know what? First, I set up, then I got to know the actors and actresses over in my room ("is this the exile room?" I wondered). Marc and I talked about mountain biking; Max offered to make me some coffee the first time she talked to me. She just has this way of walking and moving that exudes appeal, and wore something conducive to mystique. She told me it was her birthday. Like a dummy, I asked her if she was kidding. She wasn't. Why couldn't someone unbelievably charming be utterly sincere, after all? That, she is. Later, she would show me her beautiful pictures and even her sketches and script for a cartoon. Then, she posed for some pictures: I couldn't seem to get my pencil started, which sounds like a personal problem, but we came up with something more sophisticated: she asked for a Dr. Who drawing with her, being surprised and whisked away.
As for Raye, she reminded me of my Dad's firecracker sisters. I gave her the print the Marc Kane had signed for her, and she replied: "you drew my BOOBS too small!!!" Ah, me. She actually taped the print up behind her table for everyone to see. First, she asked if I could help her find some tape, and I had seen some in the bedroom reserved for our breaks, complete with sandwiches with mayonaise, which I'll never touch. So I looked around again, and up walks Marina Sirtis, asking if she can help me. I tell her, and now, here's "Councilor Troi" from Star Trek: the Next Generation, who I watched for hours on end in school, casually searching for some adhesive tape in a hotel bedroom with me. I still smile at that.
When things were slow, most people took a smoke break. I don't smoke. Too bad! I think the social possibilities are what keep most smokers smoking, truth to tell.
I kept manning my table as though I were at a convention. Eventually, I just had nothing to hold me up, so I curled up on the bed for a few minutes, tired enough for tears. I had to get into a mindset to deal with this. The retail situation didn't look like it was going to work out to make enough to get me to another convention this summer. I kept in mind this dictum: "Be sure to have fun!!!" I felt so much responsibility to make it work. I'm trying to make this studio successful enough to bring my partner on board full time as well. Sometimes, I feel guilty that I have the freedom already, especially when I'm tired. But what about, "have fun?"
I sat and took some friendly retail advice and some suggestions for selling t-shirts from ...Betty! I'm sure her name was Betty, now. "You're being too serious, LOL" she told me, she even made me a list of ideas, like t-shirts featuring just the famous hair-do's of celebrities, like Amy Winehouse's beehive, which isn't really what I want to do. I'm an artist. (I'm too busy being tortured and extracting happiness from things any poor person in America can find ignored, right?) I want to make things that have meaning for me and share them, not just make things to sell. I'm a business person by default. But I recovered my energy. I did get some friendly customers and EMediastar even bought some of my things. Luann was very cordial, and Max and Marc were a lot of fun, and hearing about their careers and getting to know them took my mind off the rest. Finally, I decided to join the people hanging out at the pool; I envied the fun and energy Raye and the rest had for their fans, and tried to reach inside for some of that sunshine of my own. If there's one thing I've learned from this, you either need a very comfortable way to long distance shows, lots of sleep and less pre-show excitement, or a massive crowd keep you on your feet---and all three would be GREAT!!!
Once I started to schmooze, the rest did its trick, and from that point, I just had fun. The time was gone before I even got to know the two Daniels very well! They seemed fun---and getting to be ANY kind of Boba Fett is pretty cool (even in the later trilogy) and offered some artistic possibilities that might STILL be worth following up, if thinking about them did not make me feel so far behind...but then, I will have to really get the drawing bug again to start making a comic book again! And I have one poster in the cue for a lady who always wanted to be a comic book character, too. I'll tell you about Princess Jenn some other time.
Furthermore, I'd made an impromptu speech about being genuine to the core, how NOT to separate the self you put out there to meet people from a shadowed face that snips, judges and complains and nurses ill-will. If you are genuine through and through, you avoid the trap of superficiality, and you could do this by actively banishing such thoughts every day. Marc was so intrigued, and was such a nice guy, he gave me a lift to the Greyhound station, so we could talk about this and other philosophical points, as he navigated his own hopes and regrets in his career. For him, I've done a preliminary sketch featuring his character in the August Sci Fi movie "Haunted High" interacting with Danny Trejo---yes, "Machete"!---who plays a janitor who studies the occult, for the sake of his lost sister, anticipating the return of the evil headmaster from beyond the grave. Marc's character's probably the most complex of the lot, and I enjoyed the movie when I saw it the next week.
I still feel like I'm learning from that show. I wonder if I could've used the advice to give more away to make more sales? Always look like you have plenty, and roll them military-style---more good advice. The point was really to have fun and make contacts---after all, I'm not just a shirt or even a comic book vendor, I'm a writer, musician, and full-time nut! I especially second guess myself on Raye's picture, because she thought the penciled one was also for her, and I politely told her I planned to maybe sell it to a fan who would like to get her to sign it. I realize now it would've been better off on her table, and who knows, maybe I would've made a friend. You can't think in terms of scarcity, even while you're trying to be responsible. But hey! Marina traded me one of the photographs she sells for autographs for one of my pictures: "I want this one: they're both beautiful, but that one looks like my character, and THIS one looks like me in real life!" She also talked about football and natural cigarettes; she agreed, she's really one of the guys!
Dana also traded me a copy of her very fun comic book for a copy of my very scary and intimate one, and we had a nice chat, traded recommendations, and enjoyed meeting each other. She really liked my art, and c'mon, how can that not cheer you up? The people around me did give me that spark that helped me make the most of what turned out to be a cool day, and I got way more time with the people I talked to than I expected, much more casually. I thought I was too tired to go to the other room, until I wasn't; I couldn't let the opportunity just slip away, and they were obviously having fun in there. Sorry for whatever holes developed in my memory from exhaustion.
You start, when you are tired, being a little cautious about giving away things; you feel a responsibility to make your business work, and fatigue without those objectives achieved is cousin to despair. Believe me, when I thank all of you who are so nice and supportive to me, it's sincere, because there are times when the personal supply of energy can only take you so far, and you are trying to accomplish the unusual and surprising in a world filled with the same mundane obstacles as anyone else.
Yet, you're not just trying to win today, you build your future, and to this end, you have to promote yourself. Maybe one of those shirts should've went home with each celebrity, because you never know who will see it---and I should've gotten a picture with everyone, too. But most of all: more rest, decide you're going early, prepare more material for sale and promotion (that idea didn't hit me until I decided to purchase the table a few days before), and be yourself, have fun, spread joy, don't let the money angle shake you up. One contact with one sincere person could change your whole life in some way you don't even anticipate. It may have nothing to do with money at all; that's hardly the only reward in life. (Just one you can trade in for other privileges; it's stored, potential energy.)
Wish I had Max's Dr. Who drawing done...what a nice thing to slide to her before Comickazee this weekend! But I did complete the layouts from my head, last night, while the Marc typed up her part of a story we're making for a collection that would make you blush. Wanna see?
It's going to look so awesome...
Max is so full of sayings that center the peaceful heart. As time has gone by, her words have been the thing so valuable, I can never regret choosing Science Fiction Saturday Autograph Show by EMediastar. Next year, if I go, though, I think maybe a ticket will be enough. They were very cordial but their press efforts don't publicize the people who bought tables, but maybe that doesn't matter, isn't the point: I never would've gone without trying it with a table, because I am about cultivating the fortunes of Integr8d Soul. I don't pay to go out to things for fun, besides about four movie trips this summer. Integr8d Soul is too urgent for me to even have Netflix! But no--- I don't regret my trip at all!
And hey---it's knowing Max and Dana that put me in tune with Comickaze...so while I didn't make quite enough to go to that con...I learned it exists! That's how it goes...next year, when Integr8d Soul is bigger...
And next time?
I'll write something MUCH funnier. It's time.
My eventual masterpiece for Max Wasa. When I tried just searching for photo reference images on the fly, I had NO real idea where to find her site (Maxine, Max), but from there you can find AMAZING pictures. She was a big surprise, so it worked out cool that I didn't really know...
One other touch? What if I DRESSED like a guy who had written and drawn a chilling horror story? What if I wore one of my black leather jackets, some jeans, my combat boots...built a bit of mystique? Like Max did with her outfit. It's the story of a rebel, even my love is rebellious...of course, in that outfit, I would've burned to a crisp. One of the days, that's a trip I want to make on a motorcycle. I could've gone from generic to genre---gone with a LOOK that would've made more people take my picture. And black leather jackets, I might add, make great psychic armor for some people. Cuddly, approachable and comfortable, with curls you could imagine running your fingers through---that's how I bounce around. My t-shirt holds all the apparent mystique!
I was replying in my ongoing conversation with my friend, who doesn't see any real evidence for expecting an afterlife, but is as kind and genial a person as you can know!
I think "spirit" is a highly-imaginative (not necessarily non-existent but not empirically documented, though occasionally suggested) way of blending consciousness with the deeper fabric of space, and its pondering is something like a swimmer floating across a great deep that is much too vast in which to stand. I think the inability to cope with someday not existing, however, motivates, on one hand, thoughts of legacy, in the positive, and on the other, self-centered thoughts based in panic. Legacy is very contingent upon the memories of survivors, and by the cosmic clock, that's still a miniscule blink! The marvelous fact (?) of our present existence and the continued renewal of the moment is the source of a remarkable diversity of experience. Should the continued renewal of the moment cease in the future, I won't be disturbed at that point, then, shall I? Consciousness is likely something we only need for our material existence, and so practices may be like depositing money in a bank that doesn't exist. How one seeks to accept their part in that which cannot be created nor destroyed quietly dictates, or reflects, the way of being in this world.
Love, Kindness, Beauty, Creativity, Expansion, Abundance and Receptivity seem infallible conduits for purpose, from whatever source keeps bringing us and all around us here. There is an undeniable wonder to being kind in this lifetime, and I think it stands on its own! After all, the moment is all we will ever truly have. Aleister Crowley made the interesting point that the present itself is already a kind of memory, and memory, the totality of our consciousness.
Some of the other strange synchronicities to which we may perceive patterns and convergences, since they are the stuff of this life, tend to be more my wheelhouse. The constant re-convening of independent events, i.e. for the word I'm reading and the word used on television to occur together in a moment, a very frequent occurrence of the sort that usually happens several times in a given day when I note it at all, is the sort of oddity, the sort of co-incidence, that re-enforces that poetic, noetic sensation of texture in my life, though what that mystery means, for all its comforting peculiarity, is uncertain.
A confluence like the child-like play of the wooden wands
we bought from our friends' children and a gratifying rain of decisive break-throughs, culminating in the wonderful advent of the dolphins, adds to the rich poetry of my life and convictions, which remain cheerily uncaptured by laboratory methods. We generate adaptations that make us feel less a victim of life's random draw of events ---an Angela specialty---or to comfort ourselves into a state more congenial with activities likely to spread delight and build bonds of this lifetime, such as the ataraxia of sensing my father's loving presence while I draw (or converting the decision-making voice to creator Jack Kirby's, so as to feel a sense of guidance and greater creativity). I don't have to have a spiritual basis for enjoying my father's continuous re-appearance in my dreams, always as agreeable company affirming his love even by his casual presence; what matters is that I am not emotionally hobbled by his absence in this world, which still, in practical matters and some emotional ones, naturally asks me to acknowledge a void that is based on appreciation. It is part of that chosen body of Memory which enables the consciousness of the brighter person I create from my being, whose successes do tend to fall into that ineffable realm encountered by those seven faces of intention I mentioned above! Yet, there is a reliable reaction that comes of the love and cheer in others, in which I can participate with the flow of my being and insight of its potentialities that furthers a humanitarian and benevolent heart.
I also crystallized some of my thoughts on the hard but necessary decision to simply stop talking to someone I loved who strongly resents me, which I have tried to understand, benefit from, and move on. If someone's troubled, I wish to help all I can, but in this case, avoiding direct contact seems to be the prerequisite, as I have been marked as an irritant, and so, there's no desire to force the matter when I can see plainly. I responded to her approval into rewarding the negative behavior of someone I thought might share mutual benefit in our continued lifelong friendship with continued outreach, which may well have dissolved into defending my life, which harms no one, while ignoring the dreadful consequences of children growing up around bitterness and self-loathing, which is actually, while incidental, very, very irresponsible, as your example and love matter every bit as much and more as material support. From what I could see, there was never any need to criticize his parenting in either of those aspects, so of course, I never did, and never looked down on their happy family. I wrote, but did not in entirety send, the following: my thoughts on my singular troll, the only one who will ever matter as we were companions in days gone by. What any others will say, it's, as Mom says, "like water off a duck's back," but this was from someone I thought (despite some evidence to the contrary, like vanishing without explanation for years when we lived in the same neighborhood) squarely in my corner...someone whose life, at least, gave me inspiration. If I had my way, it would've never have been different, but alas he thought along the way his own inspiration was some sort of sham and apparently decided I was wrong about myself and him, too. Since he is the one who has so much to gain from seeing the inspiration he is and can be, I'll have to disagree with that!
Agree on the personal matter. When he or they are ready to talk about what bothers them OR encourages them without being so needlessly defensive and critical, I'm open to doing so, but while I miss their unique presence and so will find myself going back to their place at my mental "table", my eyes opened to the fact that, if they are not enjoying being part of my life or have a love/hate relationship with it that I personally cannot afford to have and do not wish to have about them, then I don't actually need them, and found their company and correspondence fairly difficult to enjoy, though, paradoxically, loving them and encouraging them, even if THEY didn't take it to heart, was easy!.
After all, I haven't sought THEM out since I said, "tell you what, I'm going to at least take the year off from contacting you, and if you need me, write or call me"---and if someone can't take the best of you, it's no call to give them your worst. I was often uncomfortable trying to put things a certain way in our conversations, but I thought that challenge was going well enough. Considering the cost-benefit analysis of dealing with someone who despises your style of living, he or she may mean well in advising you to do things differently, but when it comes out as destruction and general disrespect without any specific care given to what details succeed and which may improve, why should they feel forced to participate in your friendship, when you have no desire to inflict your brand of charisma or style against their will? We both would like to be doing other, more affirmative things than fighting one another over a lack of purpose. He couldn't really be such a bad guy; he just needs to keep trying and give himself a break in the meanwhile. If he could've passed a firefighter test or I had realized, I, too, could become something like a diplomat early on, we'd like be good friends, happy with our service to humanity. It DOES seem like he would be less mad at me if I were more successful in the conventional sense, and it may be, to his thinking, all my fault for not trying harder to have commercial success or some greater purpose yet. I could think that way, too, but I know where he got the idea: from judging himself, as he's learned to do.
What if it's not too late for either of us? I tend to believe---I'm convicted---that I will still have years ahead for another career, whenever the time has passed for doing some of what I presently do professionally. My interests are like those of a diplomat, my way of learning, in line with these things, much like my former interest in the Peace Corp, itself still a possibility! At first I didn't want the government looking over my shoulder all the time in the Peace Corp, but I really have nothing to hide that they should care about, and maybe the bit of fear in the advice I heard need no longer apply? But I did not go that way; I tried to do what I could do if I had every choice. I still have the choice, I believe, it has not evaporated; the opportunity to succeed in many directions still seems possible, and we will continue to grow. With this perspective, you never know what combination of experiences will work best, or even if your most honorable choice will really lead to success. People are neither always idealistic nor meant to be controlled; the law, I guess, is the place where poetry meets practicality, but then, not every law suits that ideal, either!
All I wanted, in the days we were close friends, was to make people think, think for myself, and make people laugh, make my friends laugh. I had no idea how I'd do it...I guess I just thought ONE day I'd be a comedy writer, however you got that job...even though I wrote and forgot about so many stand-up routines along the way, and that's really where that job tends to begin. Submitting books to publishers, advertising our songs and shirts and comics and shows, promoting shows...that's where any "next level" of "success" will be. What has to happen then is simply a continuation of something I can presently appreciate almost always one person at a time. I hope it will still matter to me, what I can bring an individual; after all, I am only one person, myself. My partner and I contain a world of bright ideas, and who knows with what you are ready to experiment next? (Could always be our private stuckwayze jokes will be our big game changing contribution to humanity!) When the feeling to do it is most intense, the experience is satisfying of its own merits---but the reason the dream resonates with well-wishers is the possibility that in one task, we might contain multitudes...and his or her individual well-wish can live on, which is a great blessing for any gift.
In the meantime: who and what am I meant to carry with me, and who will my path share with the world? What I do has already taken along so many interesting people and things, and not only what can be had, but what can be SHARED, and what that bit of uplift given each individual time matters, completes the picture, and explains my happiness quite beyond a desire for greater status.
What if my job is to inspire and intrigue the teacher, the soldier, the business owner, the fireman, the diplomat? If I am attuning myself to inspiration, and taking whatever I get with gratitude and sharing it with developing abilities, is that not already a part of purposefulness itself? If one person or one million takes that inspiration, does not each one of them, each uplifting moment along my path, count? How does one build a consensus of a nation if they cannot champion the encouragement of a single individual?
That sense of purpose is one thing I can encourage but can't really convey, except directly upon myself, and hopefully by some inspiration to others. I know it's strange to think about resurrecting one's language skills to go into diplomacy on a day when diplomats died in Benghazi, but what if the good of their sacrifice was to highlight the importance of their work? What if it's not all just lies and heartless manipulation, but a genuine effort to lead humankind to maturity? I mean, I tried to subscribe to much of my friend's pessimism without realizing the price of seeing the world that way, and I'm sorry I couldn't change that for him, only for myself. When will I know I have run my course with what I now do, and will I ever be the foreign teacher, or just WHAT, anyway, is the way to do something intended to be heroic, if I cannot find it in my choices, today?
It's likely any attempt at friendship could be taken as instructions, more smug patronization, and therein lies the gap: the self-esteem it takes to be me, to be patient with the need to develop things further, seems impossible, to him, without arrogance, when in fact it demands humility, as I am in the meantime afforded no status nor guarantee of comfort in old age (which may never come!). I do believe he and I both feel I could achieve more impressive things, somehow, and I hope he finds nobility in what he's trying to do, and will try to still do noble things that suit his noble heart.
I love what the product of that confidence gives to people, and clear the channels to perpetuate it. If that is insufferable to him, that is his problem, and at present, I'm being as honest as possible with myself so that it is not MY problem. I don't feel the pressures he does to live up to who-knows-who's expectations; I am learning not to be crippled, as it is, by my own, as they require patience and generosity towards myself as the servant, and so, my witness self must be kind and wise.
Meanwhile, he "humbly" punishes himself with feelings of futility and unworthiness, which enforce more of the same---and for what? To please whom? Where does right and wrong originate in his convictions, and what lies beyond a warring of these dualities? Why does anyone else's opinion of what is right over ride his own attunement's value? I am simply choosing not to be cruel to myself. He has so many pages and thoughts from me, that if he cannot resist being cruel to me and attempting to fill me with doubt as opposed to discernment (and I am wary of demonizing him), then he already has more of the best of me than most people, and if he cannot shine down on me with a general vibe of appreciation, I cannot afford the cloud of his disdain. I never directed the hatred and judgmental words towards him he has towards me---I never felt he deserved them; while I may have been unaware of how his slackness and alcoholism---his choices, as I have made mine---tormented him, I always assured him he, too, could enjoy being creative and kind, for the task's sake, not for society's acclaim. But I have said all these things to him, and if they did not matter then, it's up to him to decide if they matter now; I do not need to be right in victory over him, I need only continue the discovery of what is right for me. I do not need to take abuse from him when he already has so much from my life, and if HE doesn't appreciate it, I at least do, and in the meantime, I'll give what I can give to anyone who comes along and not direct it solely at him, though he is welcome to discover it at his own choice without any pressure to respond.
I think it is my shameless pursuit of my mixed vocation, without abesiance and with defiant desire to make it work so well as to open a healthy income for my constant, supportive partner and I, which he finds galling, but I will play by "their" rules only as they are necessary, and not complain about the limitations that arise, admittedly, in mobility. The time is better spent on generating work that is worthy of patronage and perusal, and I will not destroy my well-being nor the happiness of my partner nor the outreach of inspiration and humor to my friends for the egotistical luxury of being too hard on myself to continue developing. He has given me by his example the ultimate control subject on this approach and underscored its wrongness for me. If he criticizes the income he is not sure he sees in my efforts, it is hypocritical then to spend the money on a bottle and let me send him for free material I created to sell---because why would I take to heart the criticism of a person who won't invest in me? If you criticize, do it thoughtfully and with measurement; it is a good gift. If you have attempted to do so, you can't worry about how that is received and shouldn't take the reaction personally one way or the other.
He seems to think I will only get it right if I am punished for my willfulness, when my partner has devoted her life to generating that willfulness, and enjoys my company to the fullest in that I have great freedom and wish to use it both responsibly and receptively.
He may find my way of life selfish, but if he were not so selfish, he could've always used his own communicative abilities to give back in turn, and stop making excuses for their poverty, which exists in his perceptions of them, not mine, and so has generated scarcity, which has left him bitter. But there is always hope, while there's life! I do not need to serve others in the ways others do, nor is it possible for me to squeeze in being a teacher, fireman, cop and brain surgeon credibly all at one go, but I do take light and admiration in the many ways I see people serve one another and wish to give them strength for the difficulties in their sacrifice...maybe even with some intriguing reading or good music or a nice picture, and maybe in some other way entirely!
I simply do not want him, nor anyone, and not you, dear reader, to destroy whatever gifts lay within his nature with the savagery of impatience, which robs a creator of the process in favor of the outcome, and were he to engage as a creator, he would find that just can't be; mastery of your process can lead you to reliable freelance work, and of course, from writing to music to drawing, I have differing degrees of mastery, to be sure. You can set out in a given discipline to assemble a thesis or dissertation, and one day that may be desirable to me, as many studies can yield benevolent results for society; in this, work, with an adviser's aide, becomes.oriented towards a result. Additionally, such work will also be eligible for grants, and if the student loan system were not so treacherously addled, I might already be doing this...but then, what of the desire to perform, and make music? With no children in the mix as yet, there's no nobility in sacrificing any of my dream, and I have seen the joy a well-done job can bring to people, and in it, find purpose...not to mention the fun of developing it alongside the Marc Kane.
Technical writing, marketing, and many other writing endeavors also lend themselves towards a specific end, and can become sources of increasing income, even balanced with tutoring, creative endeavors, coupled with the vast sprawl of my interests. Freelancers.com is an example of such a resource online---now all I have to do is make more time for it! I look forward to digging back into the Writer's Market again---it's painfully low pay while your building your reputation, but if you're also creating what you want meanwhile and not starving or stealing, the process does not require more patience than living with a horrible physical disorder!
So yes, you DO want to publish, unless you have the luxury of keeping it all like Emily Dickinson, or you do want to structure your work into a creditable body, though the number of Masters and Doctorates that do not generate the individual's actual employment are considerable, and any pretension generated from ownership of the achievement could be a hindrance in a less graceful individual.
If what you make can reach a broader audience, however, it can be even more influential, and you remain free to explore more disparate influences, really take a journey that requires support and patience. It is the very fact that society often fails to value that journey beyond lip service where he and I part ways, but I will either take the support with gratitude and an eye towards passing something of value along, or defy and generally ignore my nay-sayers.
And what if we are called to do yet more? WE may always fail! We may seek to be writers, be teachers, be rescuers, be diplomats, be preachers, even be singers, but we must seek to be our best at whatever we do in its due course, to where if it DID reach the world, it would be a fine thing. We will always run the risk of failure. Only our hearts cannot falter, and it is so that life will conspire before the eyes to both demolish us quickly or raise us stone by stone. We have to maintain the capacity to believe we can make any of it work, to even try at all, much less, to do!
We have to see what is at hand through to its deepest possible aesthetic success. That is what makes us then the person who can rise to some new challenge.
I encourage you to do the same! Doesn't have to be writing...just express yourself...give away what you feel moved to give...give in to the movement, as the creators and lovers of Man you've admired have done, and if you've given your best, don't worry about the result...the best will come of it!
From my letter to my dear friend and biking pal, Smorg, who you can find here on blogspot.com in the Smorg Zone:
What a good time we had biking to University Heights!
For one thing, Angela made the Park Avenue hill to Balboa with no problems! She's gotten the hang of the gears and pacing; I know she was looking forward to beating that hill in one go!
Thanks for putting up with my British accents! I couldn't shut up! But singing and pedaling have given me a stronger diaphragm this summer so it's like training for two events in one!
I loved seeing how easily we could bike through North Park and U. Heights; I've been meaning to spend more time up there.
The best part, of course, was crossing Hillcrest after dinner and zipping through those massive dirt road hills beside the Girl Scout headquarters! I always think I'm going to fly over the handlebars on the way down! I thought we did pretty good on the paved hills, too, considering they were a 19% grade.
The huge hill on the way to Vermont Ave. was the crowning touch. You go so fast on the way down, it shoots you all the way to the top!! And hey, I didn't run into Angela...unbroken record for safety!
I do believe we all got into the moment and never once took a photograph today! I know we all remember what we will need for our pleasure in days ahead. See, Angela's reading about drinking tea: the author wishes to live in the present, not be stranded, in the relative past, away from the future. Drinking tea, doing things mindfully, body awareness. I seriously think we would enjoy sharing some tea on our rides, once we get the logistics of the cups and thermos situated. To ride hell bent for leather, or at least with vigor and enthusiasm, to some place, then sit and enjoy the tea and our surroundings and sensations, sounds like a nice addition to our terrific recreational time.
Also: the idea of meditation as observation...not to create a war between good and bad in one's mind, and not to use techniques to repress feelings and thoughts, however distasteful they may be at times. The joy of any activity is present when we do it, even if not when we THINK about doing it! Even sad thoughts I did not wish to remain alone with should not be evicted, nor will our humanity abide even a well-intended effort not to dwell upon things. This observation becomes the lesson, the liberation from ignorance, and the content of what is said and thought during this time, however its personal values relate, need not be the same for the situation to apply to many people with various content. In my case, I would not and was not shown too closely what my old friends' problems were, and now am sorrowful for what I know, where before I simply had the positive energy I wished to shine, without judging the uncertainity and sensitivity I might detect in our awkward moments of communication. But, in embracing the sadness of what they suffer, that compassion becomes fulfilled, and maybe one day it will be easily, readily shared. Until that moment, I need it for myself, if I am not allowed to share that kindness directly as I once did. I still have it---I still want them to have it---even if they are apparently not good friends for me to have. Frankly, it need not involve me, then, at all: if that kindness would come to them from any source---if ignorance were removed, as we all must remove ignorance of some thing as a root must push aside the soil---then the goodness is achieved. I have never been in a situation where the encouragement and company I had to offer was resented so much, and I would gently let them be. I would like to believe in their ability to resolve their attitudes----to think of themselves more like I have thought of them---as someone whose feelings do not need to be dissolved in drunkenness.
Personally, I think I enjoyed talking about consciousness more; I was pleased to hear you say "even a snail can have consciousness...just maybe not one we know how to measure!" It felt wonderful to cut loose and mention how any of a variety of chemical, astronomically-referenced, or energy-based forms besides our featherless biped form we know and love so well could hold a form of consciousness...how the vast cosmos could hold a dizzying variety of forms of life? While you're at it...have a home fry in barbecue sauce!
How appropriate I went back into KFC to wash my hands after messing with the bike and heard "Sad Songs (Say So Much)"!! The look on the older gentleman's face nearby when I cheerfully declared Elton John "the most enduring and popular male gay icon" amuses me still.
Remember your joke about going straight on Utah St? Or Angela talking about neat things to re-incarnate as, and me blabbing about bodhisatva, and your reply about coming back as a sea gull? Remember how we asked why you would sing in Heaven, when singing is something you need in your body to pick you up? Remember Angela asking why Heaven would be so materialistic in substance? (I think Revelations is a set of codes and metaphors I'd like to explore afresh one day!) Remember how we wondered what you would do in a place where want and challenge are removed...how that could never be "heaven"? Is it true the heaven we can find here on Earth is already worth our gratitude? Remember laughing over how MAYBE some of these notions are not so well thought out...and that's why you need the complimentary scary place? Do you think any sort of after life could involve entirely different states of energy or dimensions yet beyond our ken? If we're thinking about it already...isn't that existence already part of this one?
But what of the present? As I prepare to go shower off the sweat of an afternoon of riding, I remember the fun of coming to your house---to any friend's house---the first time, the novelty of being welcomed into one's private quarters. The conversation about the need for jet-pack safety, and the yearning for absolute freedom---the robotic nature, as you said, of people who can move without thought for their own safety---leads neatly back into Awareness. I think there's a science fiction story there about using technology to stand in for what people need to develop from their inside, from their own personal potential and resources.
Remembering wondering aloud where consciousness resides---and how it is that, were one to be a ghost, so many determinants of personality were related to one's physical state---and so, how could a spirit retain the same personality as one who is, say, afflicted with terrible arthritis? As Angela pointed out, a person can be shaped by their pain...even while some decide that their pain is not relatively so terrible as that of some others, and so they behave with kindness and compassion. I don't think we're done with the subject of ghosts, or the continuation of existence beyond the grave, either!
Part of why we can continue that discussion is that even scientists, as you pointed out, are human beings. For this reason, there are paradoxes with which we make our peace: the factual and reasonable on one hand, and the reasonable adjustment of living with poetry, with metaphor, with association, with reminders of those who have passed in things that happen, things left behind, comforting presences...with the art of that which cannot be proven to another, yet may be totally convincing...and maybe necessary to the well-being of the person who observes and believes! WE had some fun speculating on the afterlife, as well. Is Heaven particularly well thought out? Is this one reason for the necessity of Hell as a concept? And how many forms of consciousness may exist in energies and matter so different from our carbon-based featherless biped forms as to be beyond recognition of the five sense ---or at least preconceptions?
One thing I DID come back to fill in: after coasting down Sixth Avenue off Banker's Hill, which is a pretty grand launch pad, we made it to the Baltic without wrecking and hugged and started talking about how to measure the work of the bike rides. The Marc suggests totaling the miles of all the roads, and I mention the hills, how if one were a stickler, it's possible to measure the inclines and multiply them by the familiar force of gravity across the topographical changes, height by distance times mass in order to measure, in essence, the joules or calories burned by the work. So as we get increasingly technical, prodded on by the presence of our mathematically gifted friend and biking gang leader, what does Smorg do but quip: "I would measure my ride by the hamburgers I eat afterwards! This ride was about two hamburgers!"
What a wonderful time: I hope to practice meditation in each thing I do, and not lose time trying to summon the energy to do it. I think I could write twice as much as this, and may have to do just that! But that's one for the blog....and it's time for a shower now!
There's gotta be a sequel to this, I guess, so much more in-depth stuff...with research and networking, there's just not been time...okay, talking to four of my favorite people DID take up a lot of the time, as it does, oh, almost every day (different people, for the most part!) Not to mention the many other bike rides...I would love to have written about them, each and every one...but hey, might be a good time to reflect on the summer I actually spent out LIVING!!!