REPORT A PROBLEM
It was beautiful.
It can't be defined, not really.
My cup runneth over.
Yes, it was that, tonight.   But that hardly defines it.
It was powerful.
It's huge, for sure, and powerful.   But that doesn't define it either.
So we're back to beautiful again, which doesn't define it so much as describe it.
Awareness of the power, outpouring, coming through, completely present but it's indwelling, I know that doesn't define it but it's sortof describing it yet again.
It is indwelling.   It is outpouring.   Or inpouring.   Or just an awareness of it.
I don't know.
I can't say.
The sunset at the beginning of the ride and the moonrise at the end of the ride around the lake tonight was so pretty.     God.
It's a beautiful world we live in.
I'm amazed I was able to see the beauty in it - I'm sorta flat tonight.     I didn't in fact even want to go and ride but knew I ought, always good for me and tonight no different.
I like endorphins.     And need to feel them coursing in my body.
I miss Elena tonight - nothing new.     But on a night of beauty it stings more.
When will this stop?
I am still fighting the discipline.
My ego still wants the driver's seat.
But I'm not fighting it as hard, it's damn sure easier to enter into the presence.
I've learned to call it Creative Intelligence.
It expresses in countless variations, from black holes to aardvarks.
It's not a being though it's often personal.
I don't always like it.
I don't always trust it.
But I damn sure don't doubt it.
To define it is to defile it - it's overwhelming, encompassing, larger than anyone could begin to comprehend.
I can only experience it, then try to relate that experience.
I'm up late.
11:41 as I key this in.     That is late for me anymore, I who used to stay up all night.
Jesus, you should see what I was going to post for my hundred tonight.     Black as hell, not seeing any good in my life.
That's easy for me to do.
But I caught myself, said 'Nuhn-uh' and meditated, and prayed.
And saw some light.
I actually became light-hearted, laughed, and grateful for the book I wrote, the paintings, the drawings.     I found comfort in that, I know it's good.
If nothing else, I've done that.
I am not bipolar disorder.
I have bipolar disorder.
And bipolar disorder has me.
But - I am not this disease.
I am a man.
I am an artist (seems the art streams through that same hole).
I am broken-hearted.
I am athletic, into my body's rhythms.
I am quite vain.
I am into contemplative prayer.
I make the best fucking lattes on the planet.
It's difficult to split it out - what's me, what's bipolar.
It's difficult to split it out - what's me, what's alcoholism.
It's difficult to split it out - what's me, what's resulted from the lunacy of my childhood.
Sad to hear the pain Amy's in but glad she's stepping out of that situation;   she would never be appreciated, her greatness honored.
I don't envy her current walk, walking through the hell of heartbreak myself, know the terrain - it's not fun.
I've invited her into my circle, a band of crazed artists, all of us creamed by life, all of us somehow walking.
There is no shame among us.
There is no pain too deep to be shared, and comforted.
Amy would fit this circle well, creative as anyone I know - she is Art, breathing;  Art, with skin.
Well, let me find my heart here…
I pretty much write something like the above every time I sit down to the keys for these hundreds, sorta sit back and see what's shakin' in there, what it is that needs put onto the page.     And I often even include a paragraph such as this one, explaining the first sentence, but then I get caught in a thought or a mood and I'm off, and that first sentence and this paragraph get cut, it's as if they never existed, they are never acknowledged, and unlike tonight, these words are never read.
Anger comes first.
Ego protects itself.     Judgment is costly:     Soul death.
And when I see it - if I see it - I ask that I may see her without rancor, her dignity intact, that I may see her with compassion, humanity, tolerance, love.
And seen in compassion and love I know my love for her yet again, the beauty in her, the goodness in her, I'm wrapped in burning, stabbing, twisting ache, I cannot understand, and I long for her, to talk to her, even to see her, and I know that I must not, there is nothing there for me.
The sky a most beautiful golden hue, a day of gray and rain and at days end that gray and rain continues but gentling down, and in the west and from the west comes forth the soft and luminous golden orange, diffuse, the entire of the sky lit with it's beauty, and everything under that sky.
A painting aged three hundred years, or four hundred, those Flemish masters could perhaps catch this, shining softly, burnished, glowing, a treasure, paradise on a wall.
But this paradise streams now through my door, fading down even as I write, now dusk, days end.
Picasso.     Redon.     Monet.     Manet.     Renoir.     Sargent.     Cassett.     Magritte.     Remington.     Matisse.     Bonnard.     Derain.    Pissaro.     Seurat.     Degas.     Derain.     Gauguin.     Cezanne.     Van Gogh.     Chagall.     Warhol.     Mondrian.     Modigliano.     Pollock.     Kline.     Johns.     Rodin.     Giacometti.     Rothko.     Turrell.     Bellows.     Eakins.     Rembrandt.     Chase.     Hassam.     O'Keefe.     Canaletto.     Toulouse-Lautrec.     Hans Hoffman - My Man!!!     Corot.     Signac.     Twombly.     Eliasson.
And a thousand others, more.     Two museums, three smaller collections.     A million, billion colors, brush strokes, techniques, styles.
A long-assed day, Houston and back, fun to be in my old stomping grounds, stomping around, two great meals, great company, and great to get the hell out of there, back Home, Austin.
I'm floundering, I can't find my feet.
One day strong, the next day not so strong.
It's confusing.     Frustrating.     Painful.
I need privacy right now, but my parents continue stepping over that line.
I'd not called them because I don't want to be grilled.
My father called me three times last weekend;   I deleted the messages without listening.
What he said is I have no right to privacy.     That I am to feel guilt if I don't call them.
I gave way too much these past years.
I did what they would not.
They expect more.
I don't have it.
I'm not going to write the rest of this until after I've meditated.
I'm certainly not quiet inside, words and images and thoughts and relationships roiling and tumbling around in here.
Only briefly did I get the sense of stepping into the presence.
Not stepping into it.     It's more being in the presence, but it's not that either.
It's just being, it's what happens sometimes in the stillness.
But that's not it either, because it's not a stillness, it's a huge beauty, and living.
What matters is that I sit.
What matters is that I take the time.
I watched today lives of actualized artists, the arc of their amazing creativity.
Jim Morrison.     Jimi Hendrix.    Neil Young.
I often watch Stevie Ray also, totally in his love, his vision.
These people lived it totally, fully, completely, Neil Young still is.
I'm so lost to entropy, indecision, fear, laziness.     I barely get through, I'm not living my vision at all, or don't even have one anymore.
I don't know why I'm not painting, I just can't, I doubt I'll ever draw.
I'm pretty lost.
My plants are alive, I'm writing, I'm involved deeply in people's lives.
But that's it.
Well, yeah, my life is a fucking wreck and all, but I just don't give a flying fuck tonight.
Tonight I'm happy.
I've been doing this the final re-write and in that process I've had fun, and at my favorite Starbucks, too, a great cast of characters.
Coming home, I bought real good organic food, spent too much on it, and I don't care.
I'm wearing one of my favorite shirts.
You'd like it too.
I just lit two religious candles, after prayer on my knees, asking Mary:     Please, guide my steps through life.
Feeling good feels good.
It's called ‘orthorexia'.
It amounts to eating healthy, organic foods, no junk food.     Living to an ideal of eating the right thing.     But.     Not eating enough.
Or so it seems.
Another.     It's called ‘exercise bulimia'.
It amounts to eliminating all the calories that you eat, and more, through working out.
These are a relatively new phenomenon in eating disorders.
I'm told they often team together.
I'm told that they are teaming together in me.
By people who know.
By people I trust.
I'm like "Leave me the fuck alone.     Back off.     I'm fine."
Denial – Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
I do try to have a bit of class though, I wash my underwear and stuff - does this mark me as a metrosexual?     Must I shove dirt under my nails?     I thought driving a pickup was enough, and having a blue-collar vernacular, and playing with guns and knives - do I have to begin shoving my filth-encrusted fingers into my nose?     Must I start wearing bad clothes, and stop showering, and date big ol' fat gals eating big ol' fat food, wearing polyester?     Give up my cool, fun, eclectic, intelligent friends for dopes without a thought in their heads?
Without the prayer I don't have much of a chance at a happy day.
It's funny – my life is almost certainly on the outside better than ninety-nine percent of the earths population.     I eat well, I am clean and healthy and have good medical care and great friendships and on and on and on.
But if I notice what is going on inside, there is often turmoil.
But not when I practice;   nowhere near the same level of angst.
So it seems that I do have choice in the matter, life is going to happen, but I can have peace.
I spoke with friends tonight about the power of laying it in the open, in general and in particular.
I am a proponent of putting it on the line;   I think that nothing but good can come from it.
That's been my experience.
I believe that it is a fundamental human need.
It's imperative that I hold a confidence, can be trusted with secrets.
Only after I've told others of my life have I found peace in it.
This is one piece that the Catholics got right, and I think other denominations and religions have missed offering a huge peace.
The colors are spectacular - there is a period where it turns from green to almost but not quite white, just the slightest shade of green left, then changing from white green to white blue, and then, the prettiest part of it to me, the color on the water goes from white blue to a rich electric blue, not neon but electric, and it holds this hue for the longest time, a feast for my eyes, I never tire of this, it is my favorite time of day, the beauty of the Austin sky on the water as dusk comes on.
I'm a slob.
I wish that I wasn't.     But I am.
It would be different if I didn't care;   I would feel no shame when I have folks over, I'd just be comfortable being who I am.
But I do care. So it is very difficult to have people into my home.     As in, VERY DIFFICULT.
So I gear up, and clean up, and get lots of order.     But in almost no time at all, it all falls back down again, disorder, chaos.
I so admire people who have order in their homes.
But I'm not one of them.
Three pieces -
The detox AA meeting – what a blast!     I know it so well,   I am so completely at home there, I know these people and I know what is needed and I do it well.
Legs day; my least favorite workout in the gym.     Huge muscles, to work them to exhaustion is to work myself to exhaustion, if done correctly.     I'll be limping tomorrow and especially Wednesday.
The book is done, the final re-write completed.     I'll print it tomorrow, one copy, skim it once, then print copies.     Finished tonight, ten p.m.     I can't believe it's done.
I watched the beauty of the sunset and as I did so was stabbed by the pain, that of being alone - no one to share this with.
It is a painful thing, this being alone all my life, and unnatural I think, but I have tried, I have put myself out there as much as I can.
Every time I've thought I've found love it's been a dead end.
I don't know if it's karma from my days as a player or if I'm just too fucked up to be with someone or what.
This piece of my life sucks.
I pray with people I sponsor, holding hands.
This damn near extinguishes ego - here you have two people holding hands, it is humbling, in the good way.
I say a prayer.
Then the other person does.
Then we sit in silent prayer, holding hands, until one or the other is moved to pull back.
It is intimate.
Comical - an old AA friend told me an old boyfriend wanted to pray with her, told him 'No way!';   she was happy to fuck him but no way was she going to let him get the closeness that comes in prayer.
I seem to be through the worst of it.
I am not moving, not really, not in any area of my life - I'm stagnant, maybe.     Or maybe not - read today a good essay by a writer I admire who said it's all of a piece, there is no such thing as being blocked.
Anyhow.     I've gone through entire days without being in overwhelming pain.
And now - what's next?     What do I do for my next trick?     What rabbit do I pull out of the hat?     Where the fuck is the hat?
I've stilled, need now to center.     And then move.
I love words, and their power.
But I wrote only letters, mostly heartbroke love letters:     Dear Sugar Britches -
Six years ago, I wrote an essay which I enjoyed writing and friends enjoyed reading;   one friend still uses it in her classes.
Two years ago, I began writing one hundred words daily, and that is how I learned to write:     To learn to write, write.
I wrote a book in November 2002, just because, and I was sparked by that challenge, and rose to it.
I enjoy laying words into sentences, one after the next, and then stopping.
It's burning from inside, I'm hurting like a bastard on fathers day.
I see in the mirror my deaths head, my face changing from the face of my youth to the face of my dying, it's happening before my eyes.
I feel like a dog looks, beaten too many times, not cowering any more, just worn down, weary.
I've got no snap.
Another day alone.     Another night alone.     And in that day and in that night thinking of Elena, the sadnesses of it all.
Old song:     I feel just like a bucket out in the rain.
Mournful.     Sorrowful.     Blue.     Down.
It's not my wish but it is my course, that is clear to me - it's almost thirty years that I've been mostly alone, the odd heartache set here and there in that thirty years, nothing to stay, ever, seems a pretty goddamn clear pattern.     I don't know if it's my being bipolar or karma from my days as a player or if it's just life or if I suck or what.     No telling.     But it doesn't matter, it's laid out behind me to see, and I hope to christ I see it this time, and just let it go.
why did you move so fast?
I feel your smile
you don't know my heart
nor do I
the worst is dusk
that is what I want to share
most every night
it surely stabs
and I just can't let it go
for some reason
I have a stupid heart
a willful heart
I love too goddamn hard
and too goddamn dumb
I'm a fool
I loved her
with all my heart
I totally shredded my back muscles, hard as I could, not unsafe but a full-blown, all out workout, all up and down my back.
I think something in my diet allows me to completely shred myself and not suffer near what I used to after a workout.     I'm eating as best I can, damn near everything organic and all full-grain, vitamins daily day, tons of good stuff in my diet, expensive but worth it.
My muscles surely do get tired but I don't suffer the pain.
I love the endorphins, and I love the fun in the gym, and awakening energized.
I started writing the hundreds July 2002.
I've completed fourteen months;   I've probably started twenty.
This process has helped me;   it has deeply affected my writing.
Good writing is re-writing.
Cut to the bone.
Find the essence.
I now believe in my writing.
I've written a book, some essays.
To learn to write - write.
But it's clear - I'm not putting as much into this process as I have in the past.
I intend - July - to put my heart back into this, attempt to create small pieces of shining beauty.
Not just emotional content, but content with style.
The Tip Jar