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Reft | First Time Flowing
 

All posts in Reft

And I Never Wanted to be Either of Those

Tonight at w00tstock I ran into my friend Steven and he asked the perfectly normal question, “What’s new with you?” He just wants to say hi and see what has been going on in my life. I hate that question. It’s like asking a chronic stutterer to read Fox in Socks in front of a crowd. I hate that question not because nothing of note has happened to me but because I don’t remember. My brain does not parse events like yours does. If I don’t make an effort to mentally tag something as anecdote fodder so I can participate in small talk, I won’t think to mention it. I can maybe keep track of a few days, but beyond that is a compressed field of time where everything that has ever happened exists. Some time ago, when I knew I was going to meet a new person, I would look over a document which detailed facts like how long I had lived in my current city, how long I had been married, how long I worked at my current job. Part of this blog still does the job of that list. Without it, time becomes “a while now” inching ever closer to “always”. So don’t ask me time questions.

“How are you doing?” is the other pleasantry that annoys me. I think I’ve made my peace with it. It isn’t a real question; it is a greeting like “hello”. What gets to me is that these two questions remind me of the disconnect I feel from the world where everyone is confident with the answers to those questions. Even now I’m getting frustrated at having to attempt to express this. I don’t want to talk about what’s new with me or how I’m doing because I am so disinclined to participate in your world that there is hardly any overlap with mine. There is nothing to talk to you about except the lowest common denominator: television shows, the job, the weather. There is nothing new to report and no day is distinguished from another because I do not have the energy to be here with you unless it is going to matter. Unless it is going to be real.

Sometimes my life feels like my job: I’m exhausted by doing hardly anything. I’m burning out. Even on autopilot the fuel has to come from somewhere. Why should I do anything about it? What compelling reason is there? Man delights not me.

Achievement Unlocked

Sometimes I fall into that slough of self-examination where I feel as though I have accomplished nothing with my life. Or, when compared to Person X, I am found wanting. This often happens when I’m not currently working on a creative project, as they tend to define me and give me purpose.

So I think it might be helpful to recollect the things I have achieved. Not in a boastful, resting on my laurels sort of way. But to remind myself that I am the same person who did all of those things. Try it yourself when you are feeling somewhat less than. Continue reading →

The Old Man and the Sea

In my recent time traveling adventure, I arrived upon the calm shores of an ocean under a deep midnight blue sky. A lighthouse shone into the night. Sitting on the beach was an old man. Well, to be fair, he was probably in his late fifties or early sixties.

It was me.

He turned to look over his shoulder at someone out of my view. He had a wild, warm look in his eye.

I wasn’t alone.

In the end, the Tower becomes a lighthouse and I am contented to look out at the mystery of the ocean.

And I am okay.

Time Machine Go

It took a lot of mucking about in space-time to come out the other side with a new real thing: I love my friends and our connection is important. Chances are, you are one of my friends. Hello. I didn’t appreciate the connection we have and how things I do have an impact on your life and vice versa. But now I do.

The Lathe of Heaven

I guess this’ll teach me not to read “The Invisibles” and “The Lathe of Heaven” simultaneously while having an existential crisis.

The language is always going to be an issue. As I learned from The Invisibles, we’ve only been taught half the letters of the true alphabet. This entire experience is created in language and there are things I have no words for. Continue reading →

Why Are You Doing This?

[I originally posted this on Facebook, but I also want it recorded here.]

First of all, this is a genuine inquiry on a fundamental human level. Not an intellectual exercise, not a platform for theological discourse, but a sincere examination of something that spins constantly in my mind. Secondly, I am not here to indite your beliefs or ask you to defend anything you believe. I do, however, want you to explain *why* you believe. Honestly, as a human being. Continue reading →

Ouroboros

Writing it down doesn’t matter so much any more, but I keep doing it for some reason. Perhaps it is an X on a tree I’m passing, so if I see another X I will recognize the path.

I’ve discovered that describing what is happening to me only makes it worse and is sometimes actually harmful. So let’s just say I am discontented on a deep, fundamental level. And I am alone in this. It is something for me to figure out on my own.

There is nothing to be understood here. It has been my experience that people want to do or say something to “make it better”. If you wonder if there is something you can do: you are already doing it. I have already made arrangements with you, but you may not have recognized them as such.

Trust me, you are all doing a fantastic job.

For Just a Moment

I walked outside, carrying my laundry basket and it hit me. The wind was blowing and a cat romped in the vibrant green grass and it astonished me. For just a moment I had it. I knew that being alive was enough and the simplicity of existence was something I had unlearned. Every other meaning, every desperate grasp at what I thought was important, was something I had grafted on to life. I felt a heart inside the thing I called my heart. A secret heart that could barely take in the fact that trees exist.

And then it was gone and I had to do my laundry.

Quirkyalone

Sometimes I wish I could just date. Sometimes I wish I could just be the person she needed, whoever “she” happened to be at the time. Sometimes I want to ignore the extra layer of information I see superimposed over the world, my soul’s HUD for navigating waking life. But the pull of that silver path is too strong. And I want to follow it, even if it leads to my nemesis. No one wants to face rejection because of an aetheric arrow. No one wants to hear about time out of phase. My criteria is beyond unreasonable and I find this offends those who hear it. Simply put: She lights up. And I … ignite.

So this is an apology to all of the wonderful women who just seem so right, who just make so much sense. I’m sorry. Just think of me as a visitor to your planet, bound by alien directives and customs. It will be easier to explain my behavior that way. I’m sorry. You did not stand a chance against the avatar, the one I am moving toward as the sun moves toward the sea. I don’t want you to save me.

I’m not sick, but I’m not well

Historically, December is a difficult month for me, the darkest part of a yearly cycle. My wonderful friend Kristina, who practices Oriental medicine, decided to make a preemptive strike on this low season by prescribing some herbs. The Chinese name is Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Wan, but the more exciting, Potions class name for it is Bupleurum Dragonbone Oyster Shell. Already the herbs are taking the edge off.

I typically feel anxiety which rapidly snowballs into paranoia. Fantastical ideas about the people I know and their dark plots against me bloom in my mind. I realize how their supposed friendship was all just an elaborate ruse engineered to destroy me. No one actually cares about me and indeed they wish me harm. So I must be wary and watchful, striking first if I can. I peer out at the world from behind a veil, sensing that some unprecedented event is imminent. I fear that I will fall up into the sky or fly apart into my component molecules. The world fills with weird angles and indictments emanate from magazine ads and YouTube videos.

That’s how it usually goes. But in these past few years of doing actual work on these issues, they haven’t disappeared so much as become familiar monsters which I know how to handle. Having help in these times is an unexpected joy. I typically just go it alone, re-emerging on the other side. So I am very thankful for her.