The Uncarved Block

I feel like a snake who continues to wear its old skin. Even though it no longer fits. Even though it smells. Even though it hurts to breathe. Even though it’s bulging, tearing, and completely unflattering. Even though the soft, new skin is being rubbed raw by the husk of my former self. There is nothing wrong with my life except that it is no longer a reflection of who I am/who I am becoming. I have been struggling to write for the last few weeks. It’s not for a lack of inspiration and it is certainly not for lack of emotion. If anything my emotions might be too big right now. I just can’t process them into convenient bite-sized pieces. It is like trying to eat the whole apple tree, when each apple is in and of itself a fully realized poem. 

I am trying to learn to ride a bike. Yes I am an adult. No, I didn’t learn as a child. My first memory of learning to ride a bike was when I was 5. I got a bike for Christmas. I was super excited. My dad took me out to the street in front of our house to practice. He was drunk. He tried for a few minutes. I don’t remember much of what happened during that short lesson. Both my parents were screaming. At me. At each other. At themselves deep down. When I didn’t catch on after a few minutes my parents decided to sell the bike. It was a waste of money. I was unteachable. They sold the bike.

When I was 10 my aunt’s boyfriend decided to teach me to ride a bike. We had never met before that moment but he was very patient/kind. My cousin decided it would be fun to unscrew the handlebars in secret so the lesson started out with a not so pleasant surprise. I managed to get over that little incident and continued with my practice (handlebars secure). My aunt lived in a very hilly area. The bike started to pick up a lot of speed while going down a brutal hill. I got scared and hit the brakes unexpectedly. The man teaching me flew over the handlebars and rolled down the hill and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop him. I remember running down that hill, blood dripping down my legs, scared that he might be seriously injured or worse. He was all crumpled up. He was okay but it scared the shit out of me. He wasn’t upset and luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt. He was as worried about me as I was about him. After that I never seemed to be able to get on a bike without intense fear.

A few days ago I started. Short sessions. 2 days into my own lessons and my daughter was riding her bike down the driveway and hit a car (a moving car). She was going pretty fast because of the intense incline on the driveway. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. All summer she has been inside playing video games so I was happy that she wanted to do something active. A few minutes after she left a woman rang the doorbell and asked me if I had a daughter. She then told me my daughter had been hit by a car. I have no idea what I felt. I have no idea what I said, if anything. She broke her collarbone and has various bruises and scrapes. It could have been much, much worse. She could have hit her head. She has informed me that she will never ride a bike again, that she has learned her lesson. The next day I went out and practiced some more. I knew I had to go out as soon as possible because if I didn’t then the fear would likely immobilize me. Hopefully by learning to ride a bike, my daughter will have the courage to try again.

I am so tired of living in fear. Happiness, authentic happiness only occurs when you step outside of your comfort zone.

I don’t have the greatest attitude when it comes to learning new things. As a kid learning new things often corresponded with abuse (physical, emotional, and/or sexual) so I tend to get defensive. I can’t change what happened in the past but I can change my attitude going forward. I have decided to adopt more of an “Uncarved Block” approach to life. Life is an adventure. I am a student and the obstacles I encounter along the way are for the benefit of my growth and development. I can be grateful while still taking responsibility for my own happiness. I can be grateful while still releasing what needs to be released. I don’t have to hang on to beliefs that do not serve me. I don’t have to devote all my energy into becoming a round peg. I don’t even want to be a round peg. Society rarely measures success in healthy/compassionate ways. So why should I adopt societies’ standards of beauty? They don’t reflect my standards. Why should I adopt any belief system or way of being that makes me miserable/cripples me/sucks me dry/causes harm to myself and those I love? I am starting to realize more and more that we create our own lives/experiences and that if nothing else we can always change our perspective. I have spent so much of my life struggling and fighting. When I am practicing on the bike. I fight it. I don’t let the bike do what it was designed to do. I come in thinking that somehow I can outwit the basic principles of physics and mechanics. Sometimes though I forget all that, I forget my fear, my pride, and just for a moment I think “Weee!”. I want to have more fun with my life, whatever shape my life takes, whoever comes along for the ride.

There are a lot of changes taking place both within me and in my life right now. My very identity is being re-written. Maybe even my fucking DNA. I don’t know. All I know is that I want to be on this journey.

I never really learned how to deal with the fact that someone might someday love me back. I have spent so much effort in protecting/destroying/redefining my ego. What the ego perceives is not reality, it is illusion. Yet I invest all my efforts into supporting a view of life/reality which is not only false but incredibly fucking limiting and unpleasant. My ego was shaped in tragedy by people who were themselves deeply traumatized. If I accept my ego as the sole component of my identity it is the same thing as letting my traumas define me. Don’t get my wrong ego has its place/its function but the ego doesn’t speak from a place of love and compassion, it speaks from a place of fear. The ego seeks only to justify itself at the expense of others. You see there are no absolutes, no one-size fits all philosophies, no living being that does not evolve. We each create our own truths. We bring those truths with us to every situation and it evolves with us because it has to, because we are not static, because we are not dead. Everyone of us is gifted with intuition. Instinctively we know where we belong. We know when we have acted or spoken in a way which is not consistent with our truth. Our bodies react to it. We know when we first encounter someone if we want to get closer by the way we feel because we feel something which wakes us up/because they challenge the limited perceptions imposed by our egos. The ego screams danger, danger, whenever anyone or anything challenges the status quo and when we let ego dictate our lives entirely we limit love. We limit our creativity. We limit abundance. We limit our ability to grow spiritually and emotionally. The ego will always choose addiction over love.

Wordle #196

Wordle 196

All I ever do is write
but words can only
take you so far.
Sometimes the air curves
like a waning satellite,
sometimes it takes
blood even to breathe.

My intuition falters
in the face of my fears.
I have forgotten
what it is to be
autonomous.
Advice never comes
free of expectation.
How do I stay wild
and still belong?

I am just a series
of regressions.
Sometimes it takes
greatness just to survive
from one moment to the next.
I gave it all away
without a thought
as to how I would ever
replace it and I just fell apart.

Now you say to me
do it again.
Do it again.
Give it up.
No one gets to have
No one gets to be
Writing just isn’t
something that
you can afford.
Be useful
go and shine
someone else’s shit.

Today’s Tip “Set Goals”

Goal Setting

  • Set short term attainable goals. As humans we crave feedback and as change is a gradual process, so gradual as to sometimes go unnoticed, it can be very helpful/encouraging to set challenges for yourself that validate/confirm your efforts.
  • Reward yourself for achieving goals preferably with items that inspire and support your journey (avoid food rewards).
  • Set realistic, healthy long term goals.
  • Lasting changes are internally motivated. The only person you can change is yourself. Take responsibility for your actions, for your happiness, for your health. If you are waiting for the world to change, for your friends and family to change, for all temptations and obstacles to disappear, for your life to be perfect you will be waiting forever.  You are in control of your own destiny, no one can take this journey for you. Begin at the beginning, right where you are, make do with what you have in this moment. If you create an artificial environment/conditions with which to facilitate change it will be very difficult to maintain those changes when real life intercedes.
  • Make use of the Zeigarnik Effect the brain naturally seeks closure. So until you are in the habit of exercising everyday you need to create what is known as an “open loop”. With exercise that might mean scheduling your workouts for the week on Sunday or simply putting on your gym clothes at a specific time. When I wake up in the morning I put my gym clothes on and again when I come home from work even if I don’t feel like exercising that day this simple act can be all the motivation it takes! Once I start a workout I almost always finish because I hate to quit in the middle. To avoid snacking in the evening I floss and that triggers to my brain that it is time to stop eating for the day.
  • Goal creation should be a lifetime pursuit. Create experience and fitness based goals as weight-loss goals have an expiration date. This goes back to the Zeigarnik Effect we spoke about earlier. What happens after your lose that 10 lbs? I’ll tell you what happens to me I either regain the weight and start the process over or I continue to lose unnecessary weight in an effort to “maintain” the high and sense of progress I experienced when in pursuit. Weight-loss should be a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle not the main objective.
  • Don’t punish yourself when you fail to meet an objective/fall off the wagon. Everyone fails, failure is necessary and you can’t have success without it! Get back on track as soon as possible. If you find that you are continuously unable to meet your goals then it’s time to reevaluate your goals and your approach! If you miss a workout don’t double up the next day. If you overeat at one meal don’t skip the next or even restrict. Just move on.
  • Be flexible, life happens! For years I was completely rigid when it came to exercise. I never compromised my workouts. I drove my loved ones crazy. I ruined my health. When I get sick I no longer force myself to complete the scheduled workout if that workout does not work for me. Often I will switch to yoga or a simple walk to get a little fresh air as these activities have proven to aid my recovery. If I am very sick I don’t exercise, I rest. If I know that I have plans and won’t have time for a full length workout I switch to a short intense workout or I workout at a different time of day. If I simply can’t squeeze in a workout then it’s a rest day and I get back to exercise the next day. If I have an injury or very sore muscles I work around it by doing exercises that don’t strain the affected area. If you find yourself making excuses/continuously skipping workouts it’s time to reevaluate. It could be that the you need to shorten your workouts or split them up to better fit in with your lifestyle. It might be time to try something new or to find a workout buddy. It might be time for a change of scene some people find it very difficult to workout at home, others find it impossible to get to the gym. If none of these things helps then you need to evaluate your priorities and to make more time for yourself.
  • Choose activities that actually interest you. Nothing new is ever easy but you will stick to and progress more rapidly if you are enjoying yourself.
  • “If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.” You will get stronger and faster. Your balance will improve. Your technique will improve. Your stamina will improve. Despite all these improvements it will never be effortless, if it is too easy you won’t progress and eventually you will find yourself sliding backwards. The body adapts. In each workout you need to find your edge.

Wordle #266

266.jpg

I wrap straw into effigy,
a guise of betrayal,
a fire writhing to ash.

I pull log after log
from a basket
feeding into deplorable rage.

I like to think I tried,
that I championed
for a righteous cause
but in the end
there can be no us.

Winter remains a vestige
to a faltering spring
and within that aberrant whiteness
I find little warmth.

However, I adjust myself
the dye still bleeds from my veins.
So I smite thee, my mortified self.

 

Wordle #125

125

I shift my answers

To the center,

One must have magic

If one is to take heart.

I split the avenue like a bell

Footsteps echoing,

Belligerent as a stain

Always announcing

My whereabouts,

My mutability, as I skulk

From place to place

Desperate to remain unused.

In my dreams there is only me

Though I wear many costumes

I appear most often as a house.

What intrigues me most

Is that we pay for our mediocrity

However, profound our gifts.

(the secret to genius is sweat)

We want to possess,

To change without struggle,

To validate without work.

Scarred and encumbered

I have wept and waited

I have withered and illumined.

But the most profound role

I have ever portrayed was man.

Hidden

letsbefriendsbyscatterhbq0

Do I cater to the tempestuous,

The saccharine need to disembowel?

Must I live in the gutter

In order to know

The profundity of heaven?

Too close and I fear I’d overlook

The divinity in the mundane

 

Repression has rendered me oblivious

Despite essay I am the same as I ever was

Still jealous, still competitive, still irritable

A blood red hexagram somersaulting

Between preservation and curse

 

Renovation seems to me now

A form of murder if I change anymore

I will be irreparably diminished

Blinded by my desire to disguise

That which is inherent in man

I will transgress in the dark

Assigning to each defect a proxy

*

When I was a child I was very competitive (not in the positive way) and very jealous. Over the years I have read countless self-improvement books and tested out countless methods to alleviate these unsatisfactory traits. I thought I’d made substantial headway as some of the problem behaviors had subsided but I recently learned that I still possess these traits in abundance. Only now they are manifesting in new less obvious ways. Which led me to believe my more recent relationship issues were related to other unidentified issues when they were in fact related to my jealousy/competitiveness. I wish I’d realized sooner the source but years of repression aka change and I am completely out of synch with myself. The last few days I have been very much in my head hence not being so available. The truth is I haven’t changed much over the years obviously I don’t react to situations quite the same way I did in childhood I have matured in some ways but I still harbor exactly the same feelings, many of the same thoughts, and more or less the same personality aside from a few natural preference changes (I like mushrooms now haha). I think self-improvement has more to do with self-hate than growth. I am not saying that at 33 it is okay to throw a tantrum whenever I don’t get my way but it is okay to feel whatever I am experiencing. It is okay to express myself as well. Many people who embark on self-improvement exercises (self-included) hope to get rid of unwanted traits and feelings but that is impossible. You are who you are. You can alter your responses but only if you are dead honest with yourself about who you are in the first place.

Suppose

Womb_of_the_World_by_ArcaneWolfXIII (1)

ArcaneWolfXIII@DeviantArt

 

Percussive moths stir

My heart whipping the contents

Into a hysterical froth

I do not like expectation

The futility of my tongue

Nodding against a wooden palate

To speak now might alter

Radically my approach

Better to suppose uncertainty

For what could I know

Of this blue womb

That we euphemistically

Call earth?

 

 

 

Photo Prompt #2 “Mollusk” Peristalsis (Audio)

don__t_worry_by_sheerheart-d3fp0ty

Tomoki Hayasaka

Each person has a heart line

A palm-woven guide given

To sincere acts of self-expression

My line is composed of barbed wire

With every confession my scars

Sink deeper, scars being the residual

Of lips that no longer elongate or ascend

*

My heart line is defective

Not because I cannot love

My composition is eternal

Not because I lack passion

Though mine burns

For very little besides poetry

But because I cannot find

Within myself that spark of genius

I am then again perhaps I am not

A writer but what of endowment?

What of the mollusk that tends

My garden divesting each muse

As if a wholesome cabbage?

What of my carapace

Which prohibits any reality

Counter to the spineless sliver

That constitutes my own?

What of my wall-crawling heart

Weeping and sluggish in exile?

I am afraid that I will not last long

That I will accomplish little if at all

*

Your exposed pupils scream

Too low for the human ear to detect

Your hysterical slopping brows

Taking detour after detour

We do not meet face to face

Or soul to soul but hip to hip

There is no question of desire

No question of existence or love

When we are primitively employed

*

There are too many questions

Too many hypotheses

Both judicious and presumptive

I can no longer feign human

My gait forbids acceleration

Steps are impossible

I move through peristalsis

*

Audio

http://vocaroo.com/i/s14JBO9IGWzA

 

Life is not an intermission

water clouds fish surreal bubbles fantasy art mermaids sunbeams underwater 1920x1200 wallpaper_www.wallpaperhi.com_591

She is a coal miner’s daughter

Raised with the expectation

Of a stoically borne tragedy

She is the accoutrement of a cage

Clasped irrespective of occasion

I carry her, a pale, tremulous fist

Aggrieved by the imperatives of war

2

There is something inconsolable about immortality

The way it accelerates the death of all we hold dear

There is something oppressive about the sky

When it remains too long unbroken

There are storms of necessity and clouds

Full of hormonal surges and silver tinged hopes

We do not want happiness everlasting but passion

This moment full of unexpressed gratitude

Is not an intermission it is and ever will be the truth

*

This poem actually accompanies the monster post I wrote today for my other site Curious Flowers

http://curiousflowers.wordpress.com/

Which I called The Happiness Game basically it is me trying to process

Leap

7792947BE

I sully all transition

Fear is the anticipated response

To progress, change itself

Being a form of termination

*

Will my wings exceed

My heart’s momentum?

*

At what point does preparation

Become a method of diversion?

*

How high must the ground rise

Before I am willing to leap?

*

I crawl under a thick duvet

Whenever I sleep

I have a thing about spirits

Being drawn

To overscrutinized flesh

*

If I died today

I’d idle for a long time

Before passing on

I’m still getting to know myself

And you who I love

More than life

Are incomparable as a beacon