Wednesday, November 20, 2013

...and they will be simple.

Do not go gently into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas.

So Mr. Energy stood up, and said in a booming voice, "I can neither be created nor destroyed.", and everybody cheered.  Here at last was immortality.

And Mr. Entropy, sitting in the back of the room whispered quietly in the noise, "That might be true, but you will run out.".

By 1812, Ludwig Von Beethoven had already lost a significant portion of his hearing.  After the death of his parents he was the sole supporter of his brothers, and in a letter written to them, comtemplated suicide.  He'd had enough.

We all know the story.  One of the world's greatest composers was deaf.  We don't really think about it much, but imagine the impact it had on his life.  The sense he relid on most, not only for his passion, but for his living, was nearly gone.

"While still in my bed, my thoughts turn towards you, my Immortal Beloved.  Now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether fate might answer us - I can only live either wholly with you, or not at all..." - L. Beethoven.

It is now believed that the identity of his Immortal Beloved is known, and if you've seen the film with that same title...well...that's not her.  Great for the dramatic purposes of storytelling, but WAY off.  It's kind of a disservice to the truth, but it's still a pretty okay film.

Beethoven died in 1827.  Fifteen years after the letter to his brothers, and the three letters to his Immortal Beloved.  He never married, and he died alone.  I mean sure, we all die alone, but he died aloner than most.  20000, yes that's right...TWENTY THOUSAND people attended his funeral.  He lived a life of solitude.  He alienated most people he knew.  He was not a pleasant person to be around.  Often ill.  Always a perfectionist, and incredibly self conscious.  He stopped performing publicly after an embarrasing incident attempting to perform one of his own pieces for a Duke.  He couldn't hear his own music, and muffed it up pretty bad.  After that...never again.  He relied solely on commission.

In 1824, and the premier of his Ninth and final symphony, he went up on stage.  The orchestra had previously been informed that he may attempt to conduct, and if he did to simply ignore him.  They did.  They followed the conductor that know...actually the conductor.  When they finished, Beethoven, who was by this point entirely deaf, was pages behind them and still flapping his arms up on the stage.  Yup.  That really happened.

This man knew sorrow.  He knew isolation.  More than most.
He also knew passion.  And desire.  And...

It is known that the love he had for his Immortal Beloved was in fact reciprocated.  Despite his flaws, there was another person on the planet who loved him back.  As much as he loved her.  Not for his fame, or his ability.  She simply loved the man.
Circumstance would deny them forever, and he threw himself into his music.  It was his tragedy, and his salvation.
It would be for the benefit of the world.

Shakespeare couldn't have made this a better story.
Or more heartbreaking.

There is a rest of the story.
So L. is up on stage flapping his arms.  The Ninth Symphony...heard by everyone but the man who created it, is over.  He doesn't even know.

The Conductor gently grabs him by the shoulders and turns him around on the that...
So he could see an opera house.  Full.  Of people standing.  Cheering.  Waving their handkerchiefs at him.  Applauding.  Crying.

And L. wept.

Here's the thing.  I don't know if he wept because of the joy of accomplishment.  Fulfilment.  Joy.  Or if he wept because although he knew the piece.  He never....not once in his life...actually got to hear it.
Nobody ever said WHY he wept.
Only that he did.

Now I know most of my readers are pretty smart folks.  Many, if not all of you probably knew all of this stuff already.  And if you did...awesome.  If not...and even if you did...then...let that all sink in for a minute.

This man knew heartbreak.  At one point in his life he was ready to end it all.  He was wrapped forever in the love of a woman he would never have.  He was a deaf musician.  Think about that. A. Deaf....DEAF...musician.  He was perpetually alone with only his thoughts and his heartbreak.  He was forced to communicate through written word in a notebook he carried around with him.  He was a genius certainly, but chained by circumstance, and still.


He gave us so much.  Moonlight Sonata.  Fur Elise.  Eroica.  Allegretta.  Music that three hundred years later we hear.  We recognize.  We are moved.  It is music embedded in our very souls.

And of course, his magnum opus.  The Ninth.  The fourth movement has words that are sung.  In symphony we call this Choral.  This was a first for him.  A first for any symphony really.  For the Choral he took the words of a popular poem...altered them slightly to fit the music.  We call the fourth movement of the Ninth Symphony now, by the name of that poem.

So here's this man.  This desparate man, who lived a life of physical and emotional agony.  A constant longing for things he could never possibly have.  He lived, and died alone.  And this man, for his final piece, gave us...

Ode to Joy

I know I put that up on my FB wall.  I'm leaving it here as well.  This five and a half minute piece of music, that has survived centuries, still excites a pure celebration of life.  A fucking goddamn JOY.  This fucking man, who had lost his war, before it even began...who had every reason to hate.  To despair.  Every. Mother. Fucking reason to pack it in...

Gave us that.

There is nothing we can't do.  There is no reason not to do it.
Our celebration is now.
Entropy will win in the end.  It will.
We will all be gone.
I think if we truly understood what that means, we would...
I don't know...
Do it.
Do it NOW.
Live MORE.
Dance FREER.
Hold hands, sing loud, smile often, have sex, eat donuts, swim in the ocean, jump in a puddle, wish on stars, tickle a baby, pet a kitten, write a poem, share a thought, don't hold back.
don't hold back.
Don't you dare fucking hold back.
If you are lucky enough to be with the person you love, you better goddamn let them know that every fucking chance you get.
If there is someone you want to love, but just aren't sure, you better goddamn let them know that every fucking chance you get.
Whatever you have to say...say it.
Whatever you have to sing...sing it.

There is not a single second of this life that you get a do over.
So get out there and make mistakes.
And recognize now.
Now is your only now.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time. The ones who never yawn, or say a commonplace thing but burn burn burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."  -Jack Kerouac.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The road to nowhere

I recently in my life made a number of moves to elicit change.  Change in scenery.  Change in source of income.  Change of location.  Made some calls, online communication of sorts with various other people and organizations.  Threw my cards into the wind, to see what would come up.  I was rather, well, quietly aggressive about this.  Only a few people knew of certain plans, and none but myself knew all of my intent.

Turns out it was all to no avail.  Everything sort of fell flat.  Fell through.  And so here I am.  In the exact same place as I was when I started, and although I still crave the change, I confess a certain feeling of defeat.  I spend a great deal of energy, and at the end, the let down is just sort of...I want to say frustrating, but I'm too exhausted for frustration.

That old saying...Never tell God your plans.  I think that's a silly phrase for a number of reasons.  First off, I don't believe in the fella, and even if I did...I'm quite certain he wouldn't give two shits about my insignigicant little personal desires.  There is nothing in the history of mankind that indicates to me, he would operate on such a petty level.  He's much more into destroying nations, simply because a few guys like to get their shag on with each other occasionally.  He seems rather fond of grand spectacle.

So then there's the whole "Put your positive energy into the Universe" thing.  All that kinda drives me nutty too.  Anytime I hear it, I just wanna go..."Do you know what the Universe is?"  I'll tell ya.  The Universe is mostly an unimaginable expanse of emptiness.  That's right.  we look up and see stars and wonder, and yes, it does excite the imagination but...


If you could see the universe, you would see a whole fuckton of nothing.  There is a LOT of nothing out there.  That nothing is big enough to hold billions...yes BILLIONS...that we know of, and quite likely even more than billions of galaxies and nebula.  And each galaxy also has a whole fuckton of nothing.  Like seriously FUCKTONS of nothing.  And each of those billions of galaxies in that hufuckinmongous universe is ALSO big enough to hold billions of stars.  BILLIONS of stars in each of those BILLIONS of galaxies in that one great big universe.

The mind cannot don't try.  Or do.  Rock out, whatever.

Now each of those stars, potentially contains a system of planets and moons, and with a relative degree of  Hell there's a good chance there's life right here in our solar system NOT on this planet.  Little microbes and shit floating around the oceans of Europa.

So inside that universe containing all those galaxies...ours is rather insignificant.  Inside this galaxy, our sun among the billions of others, is really nothing special.  And simply because we are the only conciously evolved species that we know of, doesn't mean that we're all that exist.  Seems kind of unlikely to me.
Face it folks...we're neat, but we're not THAT big of a deal.  Our ego is astounding, but reality even moreso.

So the idea that the universe is some wish granting machine paying attention to us, simply because we think happy thought and "send them out there", is just sort of weird to me.

I mean it's neat.  It think that there is some grand plan, or divinity, or consciousness giving a shit about our well being.  It's romantic.  It's hopeful.  It's probably gotten a lot of people through a lot of rough times.  It's just not for me.

I'm also not egotistical enough to demand that I'm right.  Fuck it. I don't know shit...I very well submit that I'm wrong.  I just...well... I doubt it.

All that Deepak Chopra metephysics/quantum mechanics bullshit that he pushes to sell books...actually kind of has about as much to do with actual quantum mechanics, as Yeshua bar Joseph does to Christianity.  Which is to say none at all.

Then again, who am I?  If you're reading this, and you do get behind all that stuff...then...go for it.  Honestly.  Whatever you find in the spin around the burning ball of gas that brings you happiness, or gives you hope...then by all the gods that never that shit up.  Get as much of it as you goddamn can.  Seriously.  Be happy, in whatever it is that gives you joy.  Or peace.

I also do go for the whole "positive energy" thing.  Not necessarily in the putting it in the universe sort of way...but more in the "we reap what we sow" sort of way.  It does make sense that if the action is positive, so will be the reaction.  Unless you remember that reaction is equal and OPPOSITE.  Okay now I'm just fucking around.

Or am I?

I don't even know myself.  See the thing is, it also comes down to energy, and I done run out of it.

The human brain is wired for negative bias.  True story.  Whether this is genetic, or habitual, or conditioning...I really don't know.  But a bunch of guys in white coats who are way smarter than I am, have spent years studying human psychology and behavior have discovered this.  Negative bias is natural for the human condition.  We are programmed to think the worst.

Anytime we make a positive choice, that's what it is...a choice...against our programming.  Now we can make similar choices often enough that like any other muscle it becomes easier and easier...but we are still acting against programming.  It is simply easier to think negative than it is to think positive.  So positive thinking takes effort.  Especially for sustained periods of time.  Especially for sustained periods of time with no positive result for reinforcement.

I put this out there, not as excuse or justification for being or feeling or thinking negative.  I'm putting this out there as a public service.  A "The More You Know" sort of thing.

Negative thoughts are more natural, and easier to access than positive thoughts.  So it doesn't really do any harm to send positive thoughts/energy out to the universe, if thats the phrase you need...because at least you're making the choice to not follow the natural negative course.  So I'm not saying its a bad thing or idea...this whole universe worship thing that has become so popular.

The only thing that bothers me about it, is the idea that The Universe is actually a concious entity that will grant your wish if you just believe hard enough.  I don't mind a choice to be positive.  I just don't like the God replacement that it's become for disgruntled and misplaced formerly religious.

But that's just me...

And I'm off topic.

I do that a lot.  I ramble.  I say all the wrong things.  I piss off any number of people.  I talk circles and go nowhere.

Especially when I feel stagnant.  Which I do often.  I'm a restless sort.  There are some certain, specific things that I would like to happen, and well...they aren't happening.  I become focused on these things.  I make moves, extend effort, and then nothing happens.  And that's what kills me.  The nothing.
I am made out of patience...but I only have so much mass, and take up so much space.  So being made out of patience still is not an inexhaustable resource.

And so what happens is, I'm tired, and I don't want to play anymore.  I did the work.  I put out the positive energy.  I wore my smiles, and said my words, and they were all the wrong smiles.  And all the wrong words.

And I come to my bed, at the end of each day, and I wait.  I want.  I look up at those stars inside our galaxy, inside our universe, and I make my wishes, and send them out there.  Knowing full well the futility, but still exercising my frail human imagination.

I send my love to the ones I love.  Thinking of them.  Thinking of you.
Yes you.
I remember that although things may seem endlessly frustrating.  Fatiguing.  Infuriating.  This too is a cycle.  The down part of a roller coaster.
I know that the price of joy is pain.  The price of love...loneliness.  And I have had SO much joy, and SO
much love...and so the fare is due.

Its really just the greedy selfish part of me that wants you so badly.

So I'm still here.
All things...
as always...
On hold.

I'll wait for you.  I really will.  My imagination may never meet reality.
One who has wedded chaos as I have can never pretend to know a future...
But that can't possibly kill the hope of a bright one.
A better tomorrow.
A glorious disaster.

You know that thing when stars collide, and planets are born?
You and I should do that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And all our yesterdays

We are so temporary, you and I.  Our fate determined at birth.  We feel so compelled to live our days as dreams, and dream our adventures in sleep.

Life's but a walking shadow

A fleeting moment.  A whisper on a slight breeze that passes in an instant.  We were born in stars, and will in a blink be dust.  All the things we meant to do.  All the things we've never done.  We are at some point nothing more than someone elses memory.  We craft the image of how we'd like to be remembered, but we hide the things worth holding.
I loved you, refracted. 
I tasted what you were.
I want to taste your am.

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.

How many people did you touch today?  How many minutes of your hour passed in a wish of something different.
Something other.
Something else.
I hear your song, but I don't know your words.  My god, I want your words.  I want your joy.  I want your others and elses.
Giftwrapped in light and silhouette.

It is a tale told by an idiot

It is indeed.  Our leaders, and teachers, and priests, and presidents, and politicians all holding our best interests.  All showing the way to a better...

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...

And do we really want to join in that dance?  

Full of Sound and Fury

and bluster and noise.  And I smile because I know the truth.  I hope you do too.

Signifying nothing.

Nothing at all.

We are going to not be here anymore.
That's going to happen.
Do you know that?
Do you?
Do you get it?

We only have right now.  We are better than they have made us.  We are better than we have allowed ourselves to become.
There is a real possibility for nobility. For something grand.  
They rape our time, 
and justify it with wage
not commensurate for living.

So live without wage.
Live without rage.
Live without guilt, or regret.

We are shackled only by our willingness to believe.  To pretend. 
We are set free in each other.
At least we can be.

There is a rage of love, burning iniside us just waiting for the opportunity to burst free. 
Your dance is not so disimilar to my own.

That brief candle will go out, out. And the darkness is all that will be left.  This shadow life for me, and for you will stretch with our own revolution.
We can be the infection
and the disease
and the cure together.

Our conversation does not have to end.  Our nights don't have to be so cold. Our days so grey.  The color is in the refraction of the light...not the light itself.

You don't understand yet do you.  The end isn't the point.  Everything ends.  Who cares.  Are you going to stop, before you start, simply because you don't like the final sentence?  Is fear of pain, going to prevent all the things that lead up to the pain?  Why?  That's where the good stuff is.

There is meaning in everything.
Nothing means anything.

Except I love you.

That's all things.

There is not a single part of you, 
That doesn't captivate every part of me.
I want your sin, and your salvation.
I want your petty gods to fight my own.
And our demons dance in bedsheets.

I want your best bad day. 
Your shadow life.
Your brief candle.

I want
I want
I want

Our story to be written.