"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous." ~Anais Nin

23 January 2018

Blessing

Ultraviolet image of the Cygnus Loop Nebula
by NASA/JPL-Caltech [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I ran across this poem recently.  It feels appropriate.  Maybe it's a bit of synchronicity.  Beannacht means "blessing" in Irish. ~AJ

Beannacht

On the day when
 The weight deadens
 On your shoulders
 And you stumble,
 May the clay dance
 To balance you.

And when your eyes
 Freeze behind
 The grey window
 And the ghost of loss
 Gets into you,
 May a flock of colours,
 Indigo, red, green
 And azure blue,
 Come to awaken in you
 A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
 In the currach of thought
 And a stain of ocean
 Blackens beneath you,
 May there come across the waters
 A path of yellow moonlight
 To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
 May the clarity of light be yours,
 May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
 May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
 Wind work these words
 Of love around you,
 An invisible cloak
 To mind your life.

by John O'Donohue

22 January 2018

Meaning . . . Less

Revisiting the Veil Nebula. ESA/Hubble [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This image shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, as it was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.  This section of the outer shell of the famous supernova remnant is a region known as NGC 6960 or—more colloquially—the Witch's Broom Nebula. (Info copied from Wikimedia Commons, linked above).  Isn't it beautiful?
This winter has been hard.  Sometime around the beginning of December I hit a major downswing with my depression which I've not been able to claw my way out of yet.  It's annoying.  And it's so hard to deal with anything, do anything at times like this.  So that even though I know ways to deal, I can't freaking deal.  

What's left is to actually fucking deal.

Like I said, I know the ways to cope, to deal, to lift myself out of this hole, it's just so hard to get motivated.  Then you spiral . . . 

I need to recalibrate my brain.

So these are things help that I'm currently not doing because of weird brain stuff, but I do keep telling myself that I need to do them, and I have every expectation that I will be doing them at some point in the very near future:
  • Sleep—my sleep schedule is all wonky, it has been for years.  If I can get myself on at least a semi-normal sleep schedule I will feel better.
  • Drink more water—I let myself dehydrate when I get like this.  I forget to drink.  I need to remember to drink.  If I drink plenty of water I will feel better.
  • Eat—when I'm in one of my slumps I am not consistent in my eating habits.  I may go all day without eating and then binge at night, or I may graze continuously throughout the day.  There are only two consistencies in my diet and those are overeating, and eating "foods" with absolutely no nutritional value.  I need to be more consistent with my schedule for eating and I need to eat actual food.  If I do this, I will feel better.
  • Go outside—I haven't actually spent time outside since I quite smoking.  I need the sunlight.  I need the air.  I need the dirt.  I need the trees.  If I start spending more time outside, in the sunlight, I will feel better.
  • Move—when I'm like this, I will sometimes only get out of bed to get food and go to the restroom.  I'll just lie in bed and and watch Netflix or Amazon Prime or DVDs on my computer.  If I get up, stretch, exercise, move around I will feel better.
  • Take my meds—so, a little over a year ago I started a daily regimen of St. John's Wort.  It helped.  I had more energy, a more hopeful outlook.  I felt like I was healing.  In September I had to stop taking it while I was sick, so it wouldn't interfere with my antibiotics.  Since then, my regimen has kind of fallen apart.  I need to get back to it.  If I take my meds on a regular basis I will feel better.
  • Socialize—I have a tendency to isolate myself anyway, but I practically become a hermit when I'm depressed.  If I make an effort to see and talk to people I like I will feel better.
  • Interrupt—I get trapped on these loops of negative thoughts that end up reinforcing all the terrible habits I fall into when I get depressed.  In theory, I know how to interrupt these loops, these thoughts.  In theory, I can redirect myself towards something more useful than negative thought.  If I redirect my thinking towards positive thoughts I will feel better.
  • Meditate—this is to train my brain to get better at interrupting my negative thoughts and finding a bit of peace within myself.  If I regularly meditate I will feel better.
If I do these things I will feel better.  I will feel better.  I will feel better.

13 December 2017

Poetry Wednesday #65

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
Osawatomie State Hospital
This was written my freshman year. ~AJ

They Said I Was Crazy

Dark, empty halls
     of an abandoned asylum
     black-red with the blood of
     worthless, psychotic humans
     long since gone.
Dead bodies
     piled high in a room
     we can no longer get to–
     too many dead, can't open the door.
Another room filled,
     looking like it's going to
     burst—POP!—like a grotesque
     cartoon
Deep puddle of blood
     to swim in, to use as a pool.

Hotel of dementia–
Only me to keep myself company, and
Shadows dancing shadows
on the walls.
Trying to get rid
Of the souls of the damned,
Voices running past,
Singing their screams into my head.

The grandfather clock strikes thirteen–
That isn't even a number–
The candle brings the shadows and the
Voices again and again and again
And again and again and again and again
And again and again and again and sudden
SILENCE.

06 December 2017

Poetry Wednesday #64

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
By Steve Kaiser from Seattle, US (WTO protests 10) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I had to write and perform a rap for my poetry writing class my freshman year of high school.  This is it.  One day I'll tell you about the difficulties I had with this, but for today just enjoy the poem.  There are pieces here that work, but only pieces.  It's too bad.  Those pieces show promise.  ~AJ

"Cynical"

We live to survive, we survive to die.
We say we don't trick ourselves, but all we do is lie.
Lying,
Cheating,
Stealing,
Conning our way though life.
Running, running, running from death,
And what do we get for our strife?
We were dead before our lives began.
We're all dead before we die.
We were scared, so scared, and so we ran,
Thinking it'd prolong our lies.
As we ran we killed each other,
We killed our home, we killed our mother.
As we killed, we welcomed death,
We beckoned death, we embraced death.
Death scared us, and so we ran.
Running, killing, hiding, surviving,
That's what we do with our lives.
We live to survive, we survive to die.
We say we don't kill ourselves,
But all we do is lie.

29 November 2017

Poetry Wednesday #63

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
This next poem I wrote for the boy I was "dating" my freshman year of high school.  Yes, the same boy I mentioned ever so briefly in the previous Poetry Wednesday.  I gave him my virginity and used him as my inspiration for this poem.

I don't know how I feel about that.  You'll understand once you read the poem.  It's . . . Well . . . 

I'm not sure I liked that boy very much.

~AJ












                Jon
Young girls in pigtails
Small reptilian creatures
Dead metal poles lying on the pained expressions
          of little boys

Healing a timely death
Just to go through it again
Powdered jellyfish in the form of Jesus Christ

Blue-haired women
Settling at a hard life's end
Living one more hour for old lovers' memory

Mud covered prick in a basket
Hungry cat eating the flesh of its master
Roses in an open grave covering the stench of the
           living for the dead

Armageddon and dry martinis
Starving children that could be fat
The rich toasting the depletion of the poor

Words lying sleeplessly on a paper doll's head
A loaded semi-automatic pistol floating dreamily in the air
The dangerous and holocaustal attitudes of opposing forces

A psychopath of 18 years
Graduating into cold reality
Destined to some day rule the world

Death, the beautiful lady,
Creeping closer to oblivion
Screams to hold on to the wounded

24 November 2017

Getting Moving

I like how he looks like he has somewhere to be.
photo by Angell Williams, via Flickr
I didn't sleep last night.  This was mostly due to the fact that I lapsed into a Thanksgiving brunch (because, yes, my family had brunch this year) coma a little after 1 o'clock PM which lasted until about 8:30, totally fucking up my sleeping schedule.  I wasn't tired again until 6:30 this morning, and since I have to work tomorrow and so need to sleep tonight, was not a fucking option.  I'm feeling a little bit pissy, a little bit lethargic, and only marginally homicidal.  Kinda like a big cat at a zoo who's not sure whether to pace or sprawl, and who, yeah, will eat you, but only if you're stupid enough to come near it.  Like, delivery, man, that's all I have the energy to deal with today.

But my brain still works.  Mostly.  I'm a little loopy from lack of sleep, but not severely so.

So, last night, somewhere between marathoning the first 28 episodes of InuYasha and watching the entire 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice—man, I need to reread that book—I made the decision to eschew the internet in the month of December because I need to.  Get.  Things.  Done next year, and it's doing me no good sitting around here waiting for the calendar to turn.  I need to start to get things done now, and my over-reliance on the internet is hindering that. 

Actually, I'm going to try to stay away from all screens.  I have to use a computer for work, but that's barely any time at all.  And I will need to check my bank balance and schedule my bill payments on the 1st of December, but, again, barely any time.  The trick will be keeping myself from checking the blogs and websites that I now do on a regular basis.  Well, that, and keeping off my phone.

My plans for next year require—which I'm not ready to get into just yet; I'm still feeling like I'll jinx myself if I do—involve a considerable amount of planning that I need to get on if I'm going to hit the ground doing like I want.  Along with, I can actually get started on doing some of the things that I know I want to get done, which would put me ahead and increase my chances of success.  Probably.

And I need to succeed.  Even if it's just modestly.  I literally need that success.  It's a huge gamble.  A huge, huge gamble.  One I'm not keen on taking, but the circumstances of my life have forced my hand, so gamble I must.  But I have to do everything I can to move the odds in my favor.  Which includes making desperate bargains with disreputable folk.   Because, you see, my very life is on the line and the conventional route isn't working–hasn't for years.  I'm out of options.

Gods!  It's scary and awful and I don't want to do it.  But I also do.  I want it more than my next breath.  Even if it makes me feel sick down low in my belly.

Anyway...

How will my internet-free month affect you guys?  It won't really.  I've got several scheduled posts to take you into the middle of December.  I doubt you'd know of my absence if I hadn't told you just now.

I guess I just wanted to say goodbye for now.  I'm going to be working on getting shit done.

22 November 2017

Poetry Wednesday #62

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
By Miguel Carrillo Villarreal [CC BY-SA 4.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
The following poem I know I wrote my freshman year of high school, because I wrote it for the first girl I had a crush on.  Laura.

Now, I mostly prefer men, but every so often a woman will come along who is just . . . breathtaking.  Laura was such a girl.  And she was lovely.

I went to an arts school for middle school and my freshman year of high school.  One I sorely missed after my family moved to the Kansas suburbs.  My school focus was writing and drama. I was confident and knew my own beauty in a way I haven't since, but the different arts didn't mix much, and Laura was both a dancer and a year ahead of me.

I never even talked to her.  Just watched her from afar.  I didn't have the courage, or the awareness, I guess.  Besides, I was dating a really cute boy.  Still, even though I haven't thought about her in decades–barely remembered her until I found this poem–I wish I had talked to her in high school.
~AJ


. . . For Laura

   Soft golden ribbons
Floating 
             Falling
                            Flying
Sweetly seductive             dancing
About heavenly shoulders—
      beautiful face
lighten a room
a soft glow of fire
Laughing eyes
Cat-like curves and angles

Grace in motion
      No restraints
Freedom at its finest