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08/01 Direct Link

I want to run.

I want to hide.

I want to move deep into Mexico, I want to leap off the roof, I want to crawl under my bed.

I want to unplug the phone, I want to say 'Sorry, I can't talk tonite - go elsewhere for companionship, go elsewhere for friendship, go elsewhere for love. Just go elsewhere. Leave me the fuck alone.'

Yet it is my love for my sister that gave me back my family, and gave me back my humanity, or perhaps gave it to me for the first time.

This is a huge disipline.

08/02 Direct Link

It is more intimate than most other human situations; sometimes I don't remember that others are not as comfortable with it as I am.

I will never forget the night my father prayed, as we sat in his living room - he woke in the middle of the night, found me sitting up, deeply in the duress of my sisters commitment: He asked for care for those he loved, asked for guidance and direction for all parties involved, doctors, social workers, family members.

It was beautiful, soothing, warm, somewhat embarrasing.

Prayer with another is the easist way into the presence.

08/03 Direct Link

Socially inept, wooden, awkward, locked up.

I mostly dislike parties, and social events; I rely heavily upon structured settings such as work, or school, or church. I tend to come undone in other settings.

I am envious of others who are easily able to mix and mingle but I don't remember ever really being able to do so. It appears to be so natural, seems to come so easy to so many, but perhaps it is a skill, perhaps it is something which they have learned. I've given it a lot but have been unable to learn that skill.

08/04 Direct Link

A soul in discord.

If my personality violates my principles, pain is certain. Today this was borne out.

Remorse an easy snare - dissatisfaction with self, my abilities, my accomplishments.

Waiting for guidance builds patience, but this process is easily derailed, taken to fear for its benediction and validation.

I did not suffer the entire of the day nor did I suffer outwardly. Thank god. No longer must everyone in proximity suffer with me, no longer does confusion permeate for days.

Service work gave perspective, freedom, a remove from fear.

The giver and the receiver are one and the same.

08/05 Direct Link

Just words, and no ideas.

Lessons in patience tonight, and I don't think I learned them well - how I hate to wait, how I loathe god when I am put in one situation after another where I am forced to sit and wait, and wait, and wait still more.

Every traffic signal is red, every person I drive behind is slow and indecisive, every line I get in has the slowest clerk in creation. My truck rattles, a favorite cd scratched, my leg sore.

There are two sides to everything but tonite I see only the grumpy side.

08/06 Direct Link

She may be dead.

In any case, it won't be long.

She has an extremely dangerous, fast acting disease, no longer in remission, taking her down.

Dead Saturday afternoon but brought back; unlike others saved by rescue squads, she was furious when she regained consciousness, the drugs they slammed into her heart stopped her heroin haze, the pain back on her, ripping and clawing at her soul.

Grace her only chance, beyond human aid, in gods hands.

A delicate dance, loving addicts; open heart but open eyes also, love with open arms.

People leave.

She is twenty-one.

Pray for her.

08/07 Direct Link

A good day, a peaceful and relaxing day.

I am actually reading a popular novel, and enjoying it, settling in to the pace of it. Very rare for me to read 'light' novels, and I'm the same about movies - I figure that if many like it, certainly it is a piece of shit. I am certain that I have missed many good books by being this way, and many good movies also.

On the other hand, most of what I have missed is total dreck, the psychic drool of a culture that needs exploding cars more than story.

08/08 Direct Link

Hungry, a cold night, gazing upon candles in a warm room, a sumptuous table, clean linen.

Moaning the blues; no dancing tonight.

A song that I've sung for years; verses change, always a return to this chorus.

It is the most difficult piece of my life.

I have walked to that table, seated myself, dinner served. A black joke, my nightmare life; the table crashes to the floor, hunger unabated, heart consumed in flame.

Perhaps if I find immersion in work that matters? Denial. Foolishness. Self-deception.

I wish I could content myself with color, get my love through service.

08/09 Direct Link

Pain the teacher, a burdened heart.

I am learning to remember this: Before interaction with those toward whom I have assumed responsibility, I must ask to be carried.

I could easily sit back, enjoy the ride. But I keep pushing, steering, attempting to direct the course of the river.

This makes for an uncomfortable Friday.

All that's called for is that I be with those I've committed to in their time of confusion, but I cannot see this unless I ask for guidance.

The power is there, creative intelligence, showing the way, a gentle touch.

But I have to ask.

08/10 Direct Link

I've started this five times and nothing is coming, it's a big jumbled mess tonite. Maybe I waited too long, 2:16 am as I key this in.

Words about not wanting to write, or maybe words about not writing when energy is available earlier in the day. Words about nothing, words only about getting in my one hundred and shutting it down for the night.

I could write about her friendshp but it deserves better than just a nod; I could write about happiness or peace or tofu or aardvarks or sandlot baseball in Paraguay but I just don't care.

08/11 Direct Link

No pretty words.

No words at all, really - a repeat of last night. A flat night after a flat day, not a lot that I want to commit to words, here or anywhere.

I just do not care now.

I know that this is a spot in the road, a spot that I hate but one I am familiar with. I rarely do this when working, always commit heavily to a job I take on, but have trouble doing that when the commitment is not made to others, when the commitment is not in a job.

That's my hundred.

08/12 Direct Link

Kelly committed suicide this past weekend.

Depression was unrelenting, always in her face, on top of her every day.

I did not know her too well, saw her occasionally, a person in my circle of friends. But I knew her well enough to observe how bad she was hurting.

I am glad that she has been released from that pain. Now it is for those left behind to hurt, and miss her, but Kelly is free.

Anyone over eight years old knows that life isn't fair. But those who suffer from clinical depression have an extra burden.

Wish her well.

08/13 Direct Link

I've tumbled from one bed to another.

It would be fun if I were a player.

It depends upon what you want.

I know now that what I wanted is unrealistic; marriage is hard work and good luck. Most marriages that I've seen are horrifying. People settle.

It is grim.

But this alone thing - god. I wouldn't settle, but they at least have warmth, comfort, company, children, common cause.

I have ... Art? Not enough. Service? Not enough. Prayer? Not enough.

My plan - normal love; sane, warm, lasting, sharing joys and pains, backrubs and road trips.

Then life happened.

08/14 Direct Link

So I don't chase after women any longer; I'm much more passive.

Let the river flow.

I don't think that I'm going to find what I was looking for, and I am now extremely gunshy, the whole thing a source of pain and confusion.

Sitting at that table watching others eat, and not pulling up a plate is ... anorexia.

But if every time you have had a plate in front of you it ended up in your face, my guess is that you would become pretty circumspect about the whole thing also.

This is a big pain in my ass.

08/15 Direct Link

The 'F' word.

Fear.

Fear is a complete lie but presents a very convincing case: Covered in sweat, heart pounding, mind racing, eyes rolling, peeled back. Fear is a good liar, a practiced liar.

It's different from fright: Fright is being in the middle of road, cars coming fast, honking and veering; fear is being in the middle of ego, thoughts coming fast, honking and not veering.

It's just a big movie, a comedy, a black comedy.

Writing is the surest way out - on paper, fear vanishes instantly, smoke in the breeze.

Then laughter, as you get the joke...

08/16 Direct Link

I was not going to tell the truth here tonight.

What I have committed to is to write about what is the most element of my day, or what was really strong on my mind upon sitting down to write. But tonite I did not want to share the most important encounters of my day.

The reason for this is that I am dishonest.

I didn't want you to know some things about me.

And what really brings me joy is that though I have copped to dishonesty, I still did not tell you what was on my mind.

Ha!

08/17 Direct Link

Pain and joy flashing in my soul.

Mania.

It cannot really be set loose or contained, runs on its own. But caffiene and colors can blow the doors open.

Meditation impossible, a million paintings tumbling in my head, the colors blasting the silence.

Color is my only joy. No - it is the only thing that I can create which brings me joy.

I believe that the colors are a gift from the pain.

I want so badly to let it run but if I do I'll crash hard - Hard! - then flat for days.

I am wide open.

08/18 Direct Link

In the detox, she's happy and now has hope amidst her uncertainties. My hope is that she'll stay in as long as she can and then follow up with a stay in a halfway house, keep this the focal point of her short and thus far unhappy and unproductive life - as is often the case, she's very concerned about what she's going to do and not about saving her life, the typical addict/alcoholic mantra - one day life completely out of control, then, two days clean, total focus on life goals when they can barely blow their nose.
08/19 Direct Link

I watched my parents leave the church - oh, so happy! - after their wedding.

Today, on my television screen, these beautiful young people - and they were achingly beautiful - walked through the first 19 years of their marriage, six children (of seven; Daniel waiting his chance), different houses, family get-togethers.

Watching it unfold, it was clear - there was no malice.

They did what they could as best they were able to.

No face foreshadowed the chaos and grief of the next fifteen years.

We hadn't a prayer.

And no way of knowing that one was desperately needed.

Innocents.

08/20 Direct Link

It is the dailiness that wears on me.

Regardless the state of peace or grace or happiness of my yesterday, each today is a clean slate, open.

Which can of course be a good thing, every day a fresh start. Cut closer than that, each minute, each second, each now, a new beginning, the option to choose.

I have learned as much from not practicing as I have from practicing; when I'm not clear of self, the lay of its terrain becomes familiar, I can see closely the game it wants to play, and does play.

Today I chose peace.

08/21 Direct Link

Resentment. Fear. Depression. Sadness. Foolish anger. A friendship ended.

Not a good day.

When will I learn? Some days are so fine and all is so clear, then a day such as today and I want to throw in the towel.

It does not matter the avoidance method - I tried to eat it away, sleep it away, exercise it away, push it down, push it away.

Ha ha.

It was on me like a cat, ripping and clawing. Self-pity, sad to lose the friends, and pride telling me that I am losing the friends.

Today was totally fucked up.

08/22 Direct Link
I just can't write about it tonight. And no reason why I ought to - it is nothing but pain anyhow, I ought to be able to get out of it. But I can't, not today anyhow and not yesterday. Foolishness. I need respite from this pain but it keeps coming on, and on. And of course I've pulled back from everyone, the only people I have let in live thousands of miles away. I think I took on too much here, this whole thing with family pulling me down fast, no harbor. I need to ask for help.
08/23 Direct Link

I gave it words and the words released it.

I laid it on the stone.

On the stone it burned.

It burned in the prayer and it burned in the words and it burned, oddly, in the tears.

The stone warm now, the ash scattered.

It's love or it's fear and I've walked both roads; grace guides me into the love when I'm done fighting.

I didn't feel it go but I feel it gone, worn now but not wired, an ease, a fever passed. And now I am tired but I am free.

I wish you this ease.

Peace.

08/24 Direct Link

No shrieking in my presence - Enough, enough of this girlishness!

Shoulder thy burdens with grace and vigor and joy and heartsong, lean deeply into the lord thy god and thou shalt find thy fragile craft shall founder no more upon the shoals of thy deep and abiding depressions, into the blue depths of the deepest waters of thy silly fears thou shalt not sink!

Nay!

Nevermore!

For thou shalt burst forth into the sunshine of the love of the joy of the goodness of the greatness of the oneness of the onliness of the total cosmic forevertude!

for Amy

08/25 Direct Link

You can't have it both ways.

Twain wrote about this eloquently: You cannot give god the credit when things are grand and give people the blame when things are a mess.

If god is everything, if god is all-knowing and is complete love, then why schizophrenia, why lonliness, why beaten children, why my ex-mother-in-law?

I know that it is a set of principles. I know that it is each persons job to align as best they can with these principles.

But sometimes circumstance prevents good, regardless peoples attempt to place themselves harmoniously with the will.

Things are fucked up.

08/26 Direct Link

I cannot find work and don't want to, not in IT, good at it but not great, never will be.

My money is fading fast and no more coming in.

I don't know what to do, and I don't know where to do it.

I've ended friendships, cut out family members.

I performed well in construction and in IT, but I don't feel that either trade was true to my nature or my gifts, lived a lie.

I don't feel scared, actually excited at the idea of going to school to take a course of study I am interested in.

08/27 Direct Link

'I must do this every day. I do it to honor my teacher - the silence.'

Silence is the teacher.

In the silence, all the stories which I make up are seen for the comedy which they are. There is no fear, there is no anger, there is no pain.

Difficult to say what's there, easier to detail what isn't.

Because my conscious mind does not recognize anything there. And it hates for me to go there, does not want me to stay there, will distract any way it can.

It is where the power is, and the glory.

Amen.

08/28 Direct Link

Moved into the paint tonight; talk of Alison often leaves me blue, which sucks, or blue and stirred, which sucks also but at least color emerges.

A canvas I've been afraid of: As it will hang in my home I wasn't totally open, caught by place, not as free as I like, not rolling out color for fun. Saved again by white, a red smear now rich, glistening depth.

Alternated painting on paper using interference medium; brightens, adds depth, changes dramaticly with perspective. I love this paint and love how it looks and I love the painting.

I am lucky.

08/29 Direct Link

Of course not all of my breakdowns were breakthroughs, which makes it all the more confusing, and some were bipolar related and some were drug/alcohol related and some were situational depression related and some were just due to my inherent weaknesses fostered by my outrageously demanding and well-fed ego. But some of them were in fact stumbles into the next place or a different place or whatever but they were not to be jammed into a corner or a closet or medicated or mediated, they were to be experienced and inhabited and internalized, my soul steeped in their essence.

08/30 Direct Link

Tonight I'm not going to write anything you will want to read - it is damn sure nothing I want to write, the only reason I am sitting at the keys is because I have commited to these 100 words every day. I am tired and worn and fuzzy and want to go to bed, been sorting through the lint of my life, three boxes of junk from the last three years to be delved through, have found many treasures but mostly just crap. To the Dumpster! I am glad to have it done, hard work toward order.

Meditate, then bed.

08/31 Direct Link

What I let go of has claw marks all over it.

I rarely let go until my fingers are broken.

Surrender cannot be forced. But knowlege can shorten the travail, undermine it.

It cannot be addressed directly. The mind that created the problem cannot resolve it.

It must be done obliquely.

Almost impossible to convey this to someone blinded by pain; they flail madly, struggle wildly. It is normal and natural and human.

It never works.

Surrender is seen as defeat, an ending rather than a beginning.

Surrender allows humility, the ability to be taught.

A process, not an event.