I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.
It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then
I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.
… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.
A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.
Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”
tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.
This … is who I am.
“We are embedded in a biological world and related to the organisms around us” ~ Walter Gilbert
“I am just a dreamer, and you are just a dream” ~ Neil Young
“I was always ashamed to take, so I gave. It was not a virtue. It was a disguise.” ~ Anais Nin
They said I was crazy
for throwing away a certain future
in order to chase a silly dream
But, said I
I would rather have a wallet stuffed
with post-notes of scribbled poetry
to place into the palms of strangers
Than stacks of stiff bills
staring up at me (old, dead, white men)
As I die a fresh death every morning
sinking deeper into the center of my cubicle
They still call me crazy
I’m still more successful than I ever imagined i could be
I still scribble poetry
I don’t even own a wallet
and i breathe in new life when I wake up … whenever I want.
Like .. a never-ending one.
Way back, pre-magic days. I was working my last job, at Heritage resort. I was asked to accompany my boss on a walk through the property. We chatted and walked, then sat beside a lake in a really green place. We were building a lighthouse stage there …
He complimented me on the work I was doing (writing scripts and executing them via live acting and puppets) and praised my efforts as an employee, husband, father, and human. You know that meme where it says that giving me compliments is like trying to put a wrinkled dollar into a vending machine? Yeah .. was then, still is true now.
And then he said something that still echoes in my head: “You have a really great way of reaching people, showing them your heart and loving them, that’s a real gift, but I never see you take much joy in yourself. Where is your happiness?”
Later in my story (couple of decades later) in the midst of an argument my wife accused me of being chronically miserable. She told me I could be happy if I could just act like I used to … find the ‘real me’ that I used to be. “You’ll be happy when you decide to be.”
My friend Andrea reminds me that I still create art for others and … it’s amazing and I’m really good at it. I’m dedicated and I care. All of these things are true.
Yet … I sink into a hole when I walk off stage. I give everything I have and I empty myself. I will get very still and quiet. On the best nights, after the best shows, and almost every single time I’m driving home from the Castle, I weep uncontrollably.
I’ve looked, I’ve meditated, I’ve quested for happiness through several therapists. I’m still sitting here with all this weight pressing down on my shoulders and i still have not recognized joy in myself.
Chronically miserable, though you’d not really know it unless I told you. Unless I foolishly laid out all the words about how painful life is. The persistent loneliness and certainty that I am unworthy. Not capable.
There is art to be made and art can be a forge that turns my grief into sunshine for someone else. So I’ll do the shows with all my might, all my heart.
Even when my heart is just a tiny, bitter, green pill.
Let nothing in my hand be a weapon.
Neither gun, wand, nor pen.
If my fingers should fist, please break them.
Should I be tempted to raise my hands in anger, quickly remind me that you did not give me hands for that purpose.
Violence is not the war i wage.
The hand … the hand is one of the most incredible instruments in the universe. Of all the bones in the body, one-fourth are in the hand. The balletic interplay of sinew and bone that is the human hand cannot be overstated, though it always seems to be thirsting to make a fist. Our greatest moment of humanity is when we open (un-fist) our hand to extend it in love … cradle a glass of wine … cup the chin or cheek of a loved one.
Even more … let nothing in my mouth be a weapon.
Not teeth, spit, or word.
Let my words be sweet … or savory. Never bitter, for I may have to eat them.
Turn my heart from hatred, and let love be the seeds i sow.
Fear is not the war I wage.
If I am to be known for anything in this world, let it be
“He left love where he went.”
Filed under Musings, poetry
Libraries, archives, and museums all find themselves at the intersection of materiality and the mystical. Perhaps this is why we’re so quiet when we enter them.” ~ Jenn Shapland,
Someday I dream we’ll visit these holy places together.
We’ll make a Holy Place of Our very own, someday.
A place without any fear.
A place where i will gather all the things I have written to You
Gather them close and read them aloud to You
So You can hear the love in my chest
Among the hitches in my speech
and the small gasps of affection
and I will dream of it until then.
I baked a cake today, from scratch. And the first time in a very long time …
I created an orange bundt cake. It came out a wee bit heavier than I would have liked, but other than that it was perfect.
It made me happy in a way that I cannot explain. I prepared, I planned, I executed, and I cleaned up after … And I made a new thing.
It’s a very odd feeling, what I’m feeling right now. Like something is about to move in a very big way. I will do my best to explain how I feel.
I’m going to wait and do that tomorrow. Tonight, I really need good rest.
I hope there is love where you are.
I’m broke, but no longer broken. I’m weaving the scars into tapestry. Art heals.
Nashville appeals to me in ways I didn’t expect; there is art and music everywhere. From new architecture to old country. The city has embraced the art that I brought to it and seems to genuinely like me. Granted I’ve only been here for six days, but after the initial fiasco with TSA in Los Angeles, it’s been a really incredible and Uplifting week.
Because you asked …
I stopped posting pictures with the hex fastener because I found out that the gift it was based on was an utter lie. I believed in it and I had faith in it for a very long time, (and I have deep regret) but I can no longer display it because I discovered its falsehood. Many people have asked, and that’s your answer. I was used, I was lied to, and I put it behind me.
It still nips at my heels, but I refuse to let it control me anymore.
I’ve decided it’s time to wake up. Admittedly I’ve been coasting for quite a while, but it’s time to seriously take the reins to walk my path as true as I possibly can. More proactive in my heart, my art, and in my life.
As a reminder, I do what I do for the beauty of it. For the satisfaction that it gives my heart. Not for contests, not for accolades, not for anyone else but myself and the giver of the gift. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that what I do pleases people. I hope that it inspires them to chase their own curiosity. That’s how things change for the good, right?
This journey has been enlightening and amazing. The VisionQuest I didn’t expect, nor plan. I’ve gotten a little closer to my own truth, and that makes my heart very happy.
I hope there’s love where you are