Anxiety is a function of what is, what could’ve been, would could be and the unknowing how much time is left before the lights go out — forever.
A volcano is a clue that links the human inward and the non-human outward. A volcano is the source of rich soil, fresh glacial streams, abundant forests and wild life. It is also the source of complete and total destruction. But eternal processes don’t distinguish creation from destruction — creation and destruction are synonymous
What generated a sense of excitement in your childhood? Well, there was the belief in Bigfoot. You used to go on those excursions with your friend in the woods behind the neighborhood searching for the beast. There was also the belief in Santa Clause and the reindeer…the Tooth Fairy…the Easter bunny…the Great Pumpkin. Too bad these all turned out to be a bunch of lies. Why do parents need to make up lies and fairy tales? Is it because the reality and truth of human momentum is devoid of excitement? Is adulthood really that bad…forcing us to make-believe with our children? Perhaps…instead of lies…we could talk about some real significant humans and human achievement and celebrate that…or…there is an abundance of beauty and mystery to celebrate in the inhuman sphere.
There were lots of real adventures that got the heart pumping. Those secret missions at night, once the parents were asleep…sneaking out to egg and toilet paper neighborhood homes. Remember that time you and xxxxxxx poured gasoline on the neighbor’s firewood pile, set it aflame, and then proceeded to be firemen putting out the blaze? Remember how fast your heart was pumping when the cops rolled into your driveway? The approaching storms were invigorating. You would watch them approaching from the front porch…the lightening…the thunder…the swirling dark clouds…the tornado warnings. Remember when your brothers used to make you punch some random kid so they could watch a fight? How mean. But, it did get your adrenaline flowing,,,right?
Man, all the fun and enjoyment you had outdoors. Remember catching fire flies in your hands on a warm summer night? Remember building snowmen, snow forts, throwing snowballs at moving cars and running as fast as you could when they slammed on the brakes? All those games…kick the can…tag…war…bikes…big wheels…tackle football in the snow…playing for hours outside until dusk…when mom blew the whistle three times to let us know it was time for dinner. Remember the public swimming pool…when we would pick a corner in the deep end and as a group jump in with cannon ball form…blowing away all the would be swimmers…the corner would be ours. We called it…the Bermuda Triangle…lmao.
There were more memories of feeling excitement and being alive. Remember that trip to the Cayman Islands? You went skinny dipping with your brothers at night during a full moon. That beautiful water, light but dark…swimming in terror and excitement. Remember the horror movies, the haunted houses, the damn scary pirate mask that your brothers terrorized you with…the vivid nightmares? Remember that one night…when you thought about being dead forever…and you almost grasped what that meant? The fall…the leaves changing…jumping in piles of colorful leaves. And King, the family dog…a real dog…Norwegian elkhound…such a spirit…always finding ways to escape and roam free for days.
These are the broad memories of your childhood…the important ones…when you felt excitement…when you felt alive. I find it very interesting and telling…that the majority of this excitement was outside…not indoors. Indoors was the place to eat and sleep and get warm. Other than that…the indoors was simply a means to prepare to go outdoors…and live. There was also a little bit of trouble…mischievousness…freedom to roam…and some disappointment in the adults or culture…the lies…the fairy tales…the cover-up…the misdirected celebrations. But all in all, it was a good lively childhood…mainly spent outdoors…or so that is…all that I remember.
It is not nearly enough to just be awake. Your current awareness is analogous to a patient waking up in a hospital bed after a decade-long coma. No, you are being too hard on and critical of yourself. You gave the momentum a try – it just isn’t for you. Regardless, now that you are awake, it is time to begin to think about how you will progress forward to living, and then becoming Alive. Since the goal is to become Alive, you need to reflect on what that means. After you have an understanding of what it means to be Alive, then you can begin to chart out a plan to live in order to become Alive.
And you must set realistic expectations. The moments to be Alive are going to be less than the moments to live. The moments to be Alive, given the momentum, have to be earned through pain, patience, and the precious expense of energy. In order to define what it is to be Alive, for you, a reflection into the past is essential. And the past can be broken up into broad periods – childhood, teens, twenties, thirties, and now. In each of these periods, you need to think about when you felt truly Alive. When did you feel the intensity and lust of being? When did you feel the delicate…the sublime? When did you experience the dark…the light? It is the extremes we are looking for here, not the norm, not the grey area that we expense most of our waking moments and energy. What were the mountain peaks…the deep dark chasms? Of course, childhood may be somewhat innocent and devoid of dark chasms, but nevertheless, this is where you need to begin.
This is the final background piece before I begin posting journal-like entries. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is another poet, artist, or may I say universal man, that had a great influence on me. This poem, written a few years before his death, may be directed towards the young about ready to enter life and I find this piece to be quite poignant and wise. This piece is a potential remedy or a solution to overcome my utopian day dreams, excuses, and aggravation with the general human momentum. It is my intention and desire that my journal-like writings lead to more consciousness and action in the spirit of this eternal piece of wisdom.
No living atom comes at last to naught!
Active in each is still the eternal Thought:
Hold fast to Being if thou wouldst be blest.
Being is without end; for changeless laws
Bind that from which the All its glory draws
Of living treasures endlessly possessed.
Unto the wise of old this truth was known,
Such wisdom knit their noble souls in one;
Then hold thou still the lore of ancient days!
To that high power thou ow’st it, son of man,
By whose decree the earth its circuit ran
And all the planets went their various ways.
Then inward turn at once thy searching eyes;
Thence shalt thou see the central truth arise
From which no lofty soul goes e’er astray;
There shalt thou miss no needful guiding sign-
For conscience lives, and still its light divine
Shall be the sun of all thy moral day.
Next shalt thou trust thy senses’ evidence,
And fear from them no treacherous offence
While the mind’s watchful eye thy road commands:
With lively pleasure contemplate the scene
And roam securely, teachable, serene,
At will throughout a world of fruitful lands.
Enjoy in moderation all life gives:
Where it rejoices in each thing that lives
Let reason be thy guide and make thee see.
Then shall the distant past be present still,
The future, ere it comes, thy vision fill-
Each single moment touch eternity.
Then at the last shalt thou achieve thy quest,
And in one final, firm conviction rest:
What bears for thee true fruit alone is true.
Prove all things, watch the movement of the world
As down the various ways its tribes are whirled;
Take thou thy stand among the chosen few.
Thus hath it been of old; in solitude
The artist shaped what thing to him seemed good,
The wise man hearkened to his own soul’s voice.
Thus also shalt thou find thy greatest bliss;
To lead where the elect shall follow-this
And this alone is worth a hero’s choice.
Whoever cannot seek
the unforeseen sees nothing,
for the known way
is an impasse
where you set
your foot just now
is gone –
those waters giving way to this,
The soul is undiscovered,
though explored forever
to a depth beyond report
Applicants for wisdom
do what I have done:
Just as the river where I step
is not the same, and is,
so I am as I am not
The harmony past knowing sounds
more deeply than the known.
Heraclitus — Fragments