So yeah, I’m trying to get it up for blogging again… I haven’t written anything new, but I am rewriting, which is what writing is all about anyway… BTW, I hate it when I get all preachy like this… LOL
* * *
The book of love has music in it... in fact, that’s where music comes from.
Peter Gabriel, The Book of Love
I could very easily fall into a deep depression if I chose to look at life from a certain perspective. Like most, I have problems, experience frustrations, and perhaps like many others, anxious desperation. I think we all experience these emotions -- it’s part of the “full catastrophe” that Zorba the Greek spoke of...
On the other hand, rather than choosing to feel like a small boat in the midst of a perfect storm, I can choose to identify with the ocean itself. In that way, the waves are not as threatening, life isn’t so damned serious.
It’s just a wave; I ride it, feel it, accept it, and let it go. Or maybe I can choose to be that wave.
When I am experiencing what see as emotional turmoil, I have tried to develop the habit of stepping back and noting my gratitude. You can’t be grateful and miserable at the same time. Life is hard and to live is to know suffering, but it’s not enough to suffer or just note how much “life sucks.” Aren’t we a little too old to cling to such delinquent notions? You have to be a bit narcissistic to be out on Broadway like that. Life is also about smelling the flowers and about loving. And you know what? Suffering is optional. Get the fuck outta my face with that pathetic bullshit “life sucks” routine, it’s embarrassing.
And if the shit really hits the fan and I’m all fucked up (tragedy!), I simply remind myself that, no matter where myself today, it’s infinitely better than when I was stuck on stupid (aka as “life sucks”) mode. For example, today I woke up and I wasn’t addicted to anything; I woke up in my own bed fully conscious of who and where I was. That wasn’t always the case. In addition, I woke up today a relatively free man. That too wasn’t always the case. Some of my saddest Christmases were spent in prisons -- once in solitary confinement.
One of the things I am most proud of is that throughout all of my incarceration, I got into only 2-3 fights. That’s a huge thing. Prison isn't Oprah Winfrey or getting in touch with your inner child and violence is always seething under the surface. One time, out of fear, I had to put someone in the hospital and as a result, I ended up doing a week in solitary confinement. You know what I did there? I meditated. That cell became my sanctuary. And since most of you most likely have never experienced the torture and abuse of such a situation, let me tell you: solitary changes you at a molecular level. LOL So, if I could find some measure of serenity in that extreme situation, please forgive me for not feeling entirely empathetic for your “life sucks” routine.
I know, I know -- you’re probably saying those are low standards, and that you’ve never been addicted nor have you ever been incarcerated, so your frame of reference is different from mine. You are not like me! Let’s not take this relativity bullshit too far, people. With good reason, I happen to think many of you are hopelessly addicted and are prisoners of your minds.
I learned the art of liberation while incarcerated, one of the many paradoxes of this Redemption Song I call my life. I learned that prison is a state of mind, not an actual place. Yes, the state can force you to be in a physical prison but only you can give anyone permission to imprison your mind. Please take note of that because you all freely give that permission on a daily basis. I can guarantee you that much.
There’s a well-known lesson in prisons. It goes something like this: you can do the time, or let the time do you. It’s a reference to the fact that, while the reality is that you’re in prison, you can still actualize yourself or evolve as a human being. I wonder how many so-called free people are allowing the time to do them. In fact, I will do away with the whole paradigm and simply say that some of us are doing time, while others are living it. Living time… what a helluva concept.
As you bemoan your fate today because you don’t have this or that, or because you live in circumstances apart from your wishes, or your parents were fucked up, or any other complaint you might have, please know that that time could have been better spent living. Don’t worry, there’s another moment coming right now and you can either celebrate it, or choose to stay in your internal lock up. Which one is it? Keep in mind the next moment isn’t guaranteed. Will you do time, or will you live time?
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…