Return to Mobile Redux

I’ve really let myself go. I haven’t meditated regularly since before I went to Montana, or practiced yoga or worked out or hiked or even walked much.

In fact, for the last three months all I did is drink too much, smoke too much, and watch movies.

I was giving up. In self destruct mode. I just didn’t know it. Funny how that happens.

Why would nature give us a self destruct mode anyway? Is it a part of the evolutionary process? Perhaps it’s a way to filter out those less willing to succeed regardless of their genetic traits. A way of leveling the playing field.

Whatever the reason I need to terminate it because two days ago, just a week after arriving back in Mobile, I loaded up my car and started driving back north in blind obedience of that instinct.

I had a list of “valid” reasons for leaving, like being in a place I felt like I didn’t belong while struggling with a strong need to belong somewhere, feeling stagnant and nonproductive and wanting to do something about it, and the deep emotional pain of loss, loss of love, loss of dreams, loss of hope, loss of Self.

Wah.

The entire list is made up of excuses that justify the urge to self destruct.

I have a home. It doesn’t matter that I live 2,000 miles away in NE Montana, Mobile is my home. The job in Montana is just a means to an end.

I belong in the world. Not in a little trailer far away from anything that can hurt me in front of a big screen with a drink in my hand while I binge watch Game of Thrones and give up on my dreams.

I feel stagnant and unproductive because I’m not doing the things I should be doing and I can do those things anywhere.

Okay, the pain is real but it’s not fatal unless I allow it to be. So I’ll keep reminding myself that pain is where the light gets in and offers the lessons I need to learn. I have so much to learn yet so I’m grateful I’m getting the opportunities.

It took a whole day of driving, 1,100 miles, to begin to understand these things. To admit to myself what I was doing and to apologize to the people I hurt by running away, because that’s all I was really doing.

I reprimanded myself, cried, forgave myself.

Then I turned around and began the long drive back home.

When the weather changes and the work season begins again I will drive back to Montana to follow through on the goals I’ve set, but not until then.

The first things I will do when I get there are throw out the TV and the ashtray and find my yoga mat.

So many walls

Bucketosoldiers

Every time I think
I’ve smashed them all
I find another fortress
Occupied by some juvenile
Version of myself
In eternal battle
With who I was
The dark child trapped in battle
Green plastic army men
Hand painted Vikings
Urethane dinosaurs
Lining the walls
Of stone basements
Bound in blankets
Piled on boxes
Pillows on all sides
Of the shared fulcrum
A house of cards
Carefully built
By those who would command it
The brothers battling
To occupy as much space as possible
Before inevitable annihilation
With thoughtless tactics
Careless violence
Unrewarded surrender
Fights ensue
Trust fades
Time divides
Brothers break
Three
Then two
Then one
Dancing at prom
In a hand me down flesh suit
Driving hand me down cars
Dating hand me down girlfriends
Who become second time wives
Who spite
Or rage
Or just don’t give a damn
Jobs that lead nowhere
An attitude that leads to despair
A life that leads to solitude
Until I set the men myself
Upon walls that remain
Strong
and well guarded
And the house of cards
Never falls

 

Return to Mobile

live.fearlessly

 

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”
– Kevyn Aucoin
I’m back in Mobile after driving 2,000 miles in 2 days. I’m not sure what the hurry was, except to get it over with, and now that I’m here I can’t decide if it’s better to stay a while or get my things and head back to the wastelands. I guess I’ll take a few days to figure it out.

It’s hard not to think about the last year in terms of time lost. Effort and emotion and money that all seem to have been spent pointlessly because I find myself back where I began this journey, working in the oilfields, alone.

While I can’t argue that I gave up a lot in the last year I also can’t argue that I gained much and this situation, however intolerable, is temporary.

Seeing that isn’t easy. I have to look beyond the furnished home I simply gave away to be here. Beyond the debt I created attempting to enter a life I wasn’t born into. Beyond the personal and emotional goals that evaporated like a mist. Beyond the pain.

Beyond all that are the amazing experiences I had along the way. Experiences that opened my eyes to possibilities. Experiences that led me to new friends. Experiences that taught me about love and allowed me to experience it like I never have before. Beyond that is a future I haven’t even imagined yet.

I lost nothing.

Okay, so I’m rebuilding a life from nothing again. I’ve done that before. Experience tells me I’ll be fine. I am lacking direction and goals but I’ll find them or create them. I’m in a sort of free fall and reaching out in a hundred directions but that’s what you do when you fall. That’s how you land on your feet. Leave it to luck and you will almost certainly crash and burn.

But I’ve crashed and burned before and came out just fine. It’s not so bad. Nothing like Hollywood would want you to believe, where the car speeds uncontrolled off the road and invariably explodes.

In real life you never really go up in flames and you don’t “lose” control so much as give it away. Giving up control is a choice. Sometimes it’s even the right choice. Not this time. The crash happens in slow motion in real life. I have time to make decisions. To control the damage. It plays out for weeks, months, even years, but soon enough it will come to an end, I will eject and tumble and roll onto my feet and dust myself off and continue on my way.

Having been here before makes me fearless. It’s scary. It sucks. It’s difficult and time consuming and a real concern at any age but there is nothing for me to fear.

Life is for the living. Not for the worrying about living or the cost of living or the pain of living. Those things just come along for the ride. Life is there to live. For those who live.

Live fearlessly. But wear your seatbelt.

Loved

ravi-pinisetti-loved

Happiness
That divine right
Borne at the moment of conception
Ravaged by experience and suffering
Lost through too many moments of anger
Masked by pain and fear
Found again in a moment of acceptance
Shining like light from a tower
Beyond the broken rock and roaring waves
Beyond this self imposed solitude
Guiding me
To the lush green fields
On an island of One
One life
Joined with All
One Soul
Shared across the endless miles of unknown
One heart
Loved

 


 

Image by Ravi Pinisetti

One Pearl Longer

On the eve of each new year I reluctantly don a necklace
of melancholic nostalgia
the significance of which envelops me.
Strung from pearls of wisdom gathered by my former selves.
One per year.
Each radiant globe a diamond of priceless memories
compressed by me into a diminuve crystal ball.
Offering up reflections of immense happiness
tempered by devastang tragedy.
Each precious gem a hard-worn, hard-won epiphany
of the ebbs and flows of life.

Midnight revelry trumpets
auditory triggers of inescapable images.
With each mind’s eye vision comes anew
the heartbreak of loved ones lost forever.
The chain grows heavier and heavier,
constraining tighter and tighter.
Joy and pain, light and dark
intermingle to murky fog.

Come dawn, a fresh new day’s light pierces the gray numb
clarifying each orb until only lightness remains.
The warm beads now comfort me with their familiarity.
Carefully I remove the gossamer strand.
No matter.
Once disturbed, the tenuous connection evaporates scattering mirrored circles of life to places unknown.
Hidden here. Tucked there.
Only to return in their circuitous configuration in 364 nights
to be worn hesitatingly, reluctantly once again,
yet with honor and thankfully
one pearl longer.

– Karen Brown

Image by Karen Brown

My midnight muse

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You dance within the twilight of my dreams
Whimsical and lithe
Lingering here
Darting there
A firefly in the dark
A flickering spark
Playful
Alluring
Enticing
Enchanting
A shimmering vapor drifting through shadow
Your heart beating in pyrophoric frenzy
A strobing cannon
A beacon in the cavern of my soul
Inviting me
Drawing me
Beckoning
Further
Always further
Always closer
Always just out of reach
So I climb
 and scramble 
and hazard these frozen depths
Careless of rope or harness or blaze
Because where you go
Returns us to the surface
And once in the light of day
We
Will mock the sun
Together


Image by Jonatan Pie.

Be still

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Be still now
Let your breath slow
Listen to your heart
It knows you
Knows your needs
Fears
Desires
Listen closely
And you will hear it whisper
Be still now
Let the fire within you glow
Listen to your soul
It speaks to with love
Compassion
Tender care
It wants only the best for you
Only ever the best
Be still now
Let the world you know
Pass by without you
Just for now
Just for this moment
Here
Now
Be still
And let Love in

 


I want you to know

FA05D3FB-6AD0-4CDD-B231-0D0DEC0EF0E3
I loved you then
With eyes open
With a heart filled
With the fury of a thousand suns
With the radiance of a million stars
With the fullness of the moon
With every breathe
Every beat of my heart
Every thought
Every action
Every word
With all that I am
And all that I will ever be
So I ask you now
How could I ever love you less?

Image by Kimberly Mas

 

Personal Update – November 8, 2018

Surrender isn’t the same as giving up but it sure can feel like it.

The insurance adjusting never paid off. Thousands of dollars, 6 licenses, 32 certifications, over 600 hours of training, and I never worked a single job. Some things just aren’t meant to be.

I’ll take what I learned there and try to apply it somewhere else but in order for me to do it right and to continue pursuing my goals to turn to writing full time I need to be able to support myself and can’t do that alone on the substandard wages I made in Mobile.

So I came back North to finish out the season hoping I could make enough before freeze to at least pay off the debt I created trying to change careers and bank some to see me through winter, but it’s not happening. Freeze came early. The season is pretty much over.

Unless something unexpected happens I have no choice but to commit to driving truck for the full season next year. The man I am working for in Montana is providing a comfortable trailer rent-free as part of my pay so saving money will be easier.

I’ll head back to Mobile for a few months when I know for sure the work season is over and return in the spring.

I was optimistic and hopeful when I moved to Mobile last year and while I’m not giving up on my goals I can’t help feeling like I failed even if it is just a temporary setback.

But that’s just a feeling and I am neither defined nor controlled by it.

I will make the best of what I am given and keep moving forward no matter what.

Always

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Love
Is all that matters
It wakes me in the morning
Sets me on my path
Gets me through my days
Keeps me warm on coldest nights
Sends me miles from nowhere
To somewhere
Makes a home
Where a dream rested
Makes a life
Where hope is tested
Makes me full
When I’m hungry
Heals me
When I am unwell
Welcomes me
At all hours
In all places
In all ways
Whether I travel in the company of passion
Or reside in the solitude of self
Whether desire is by my side
Or the isolation I abide
It is always with me
Love
Once given
Remains