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Month the Tenth

1.4.24 New Year Same Struggle


I have completely lost track of time. I don’t know where I was last year, allegedly Earth but my mind was spinning through space like a Steve Miller tune. Sorry to anyone I offended with my last post. The process is what the process is, and I am neither slave to it nor in control of it. I have agency but it is limited. My limbic system makes sure of that. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I suffer from Bipolar disorder. It sometimes makes my life a living hell, right now it seems like several times a day.


How I got here is not important. The morning came and went quickly, safely-ish. I called my Grandmother and caught her before she went to church. That made me smile, to hear her voice. You see I’m just a man, a man who likes pleasure and hates pain. Only maybe it is the opposite, for I often have more pain than I can manage. Over the holidays I didn’t leave the house for three weeks or so. I was scared to shower, I was scared to do anything. Like Bill Murray in What About Bob. I hope I don’t need death therapy to be healed. Of course I’ll never be cured, recovery is a constant struggle.


And I think we are all in recovery from one thing or another. Trauma is the way of the world and the body keeps the score, as the saying goes. My brain just happens to keep the score. I have so many fears, so many fears that keep me down so often. I am trying to just live on human terms and be the small guppy that I am. Just a little guy who is sick and tired of all the violence in the world. But I don’t think it will ever end. Too many evil people. You jsut need to keep the good ones close and keep on keepin’ on, which is the only thing I know how to do right now.


I’m not an election denier as I purported in my last post. I don’t know about election security, I’m not an expert in much of anything, except maybe the written word. And not literature even though I’ve read a lot. I’m trying to learn spanish not because I think it is the language of the revolution but because I want to better myself and it’s the language I know best other than English. That’s what we seek to do as we kick off a new year, right? Is better ourselves? So that’s what I’m doing, one day at a time: as the saying goes.


1.7.24 Pangs of Grief, the Wee hours bring Relief


As the Orthodox Church celebrates the birth of Christ I greet you, here, on the cusp of the deep night. RTD Vodka made me paranoid, it is amazing how sensitive I have become to the whims and ways of my food. For Alcohol is food, in the sense that it is metabolized and contains calories. And psychoactive too, so also a drug. My body feels fine, but the karma that came through that High Noon was certainly unwelcome. It brought out a side of my brain that was unfriendly to Richard, which is the last thing I need.


I’ll spare you the details, but I was worried about being shot by Firing Squad, which I hope is not how I go. I want to go in my sleep holding the hand of a loved one. That’s what my dream is, ultimately, and I think it’s achievable. 


When I’m manic I feel Grandiosity, which is the feeling of great personal importance. One time I felt it so strongly I thought I was God, which is certainly untrue. God is a force of nature, a facet of what is if not the fountainhead from which all being springs. Who knows? Many have said much about that over the years, there is little new to say on the subject but I have tried, in my work. Maybe I’ve succeeded, maybe I’ve failed, but either way I tried, and I can’t judge the efficacy of the attempt, being too close to the work.


But about Grandiosity, it is a feeling that, like a Panic Attack, you can never forget once you’ve had it. Probably there is a similar mechanism in the brain, with a different neurotransmitter. But it makes the world a scary place to be important. It is good to be small, good to be invisible. That is what I embrace now as the high comes off and I watch the snow come down. For Alcohol gives a high, sometimes, and being a Central Nervous System Depressant, it in this instance put down my brain’s resistance to a broken sense of self-importance I acquired in my first mania and have never put down.


In a sense I am very stupid to think this way, in a sense I am very stupid to write this. But I must put away my fear and put my faith in Science, must rely on our understanding of the brain. For Science is the thing that ultimately has the best chance of saving us, if it doesn’t destroy us first.


For Medicine is helpful, if used properly, but Science can also build great and terrible weapons of war. It can just as easily cure cancer as cause it, and it remains to be seen whether AI will be the death of us all. Certainly it has made it easier for Big Brother to gather information on us. Probably in real time. Can you blame a person for being paranoid in a post-1984 world? The voice of reason is not always available when you need it, and so, as Ram Dass put it, you can make it some big thing like it’s all about you, or you can ride the wave.


You see, I have issues with control. I grew up in a house where some things were very permissive and other things were locked away from me. I don’t blame my parents, but I want to break the generational trauma that bred their parenting style and to get free, to live as free a life as possible within the confines of the society around me. For we can only change the world incrementally. Revolution is untenable unless it is slow, and perhaps constant. So maybe Mao was onto something, only we didn’t know it because his methods were so suspect. Or maybe Kissinger got it wrong. Or maybe some secret third thing, as the internet suggests.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a communist. Not a marxist or a maoist or anything else of the sort. I’m not really a revolutionary either, fascinating as the topic is. I’m not breaking any new ground, or at least I don’t think I am. I’m a writer, who feels better about himself and his place in the universe when he sits in front of the blank page and pours out his thoughts. To quote Whitman (Walt, of Leaves of Grass fame) of course I contradict myself, I contain multitudes. And I’m not an artist a la Tom Robbins, where I create my own reality in defiance of the material world. I am of the world and happy to have a seat at the long table that we all share together.


For it is only together that we can progress, into a future with better healthcare, with more social help for the homeless. Maybe we can end homelessness in my lifetime, but I doubt it. Vagrancy has been around since the Vagabonds, who if I recall were a Germanic tribe in the time of Rome.


I have some concerns with even mentioning Mao. He has been a figurehead, a cult of personality for radical communists in this country for a long time. And maybe he was not as terrible as history remembered him. Or maybe he was. These are questions way above my pay-grade, which is why I have concerns about even mentioning him. I only have access to the histories available publicly, and on the internet, which are both separately unreliable for different reasons. I won’t comment further, but I am done trying to change the world by high handed blind dominance. I will try to engender peace in the world by living my life peacefully, tastefully, without trying to figure it all out, as is my double edged nature.


You see I like to know things, and knowledge is power, but power is corruptive. I do not want power, and so I may in turn find power by the dictum about making yourself humble to be mighty. For all of my issues with Jesus Christ, his teaching is full of gemstones. Assuming it is his, as it was codified by the early cardinals. And we all saw how corrupt the Church became. Power corrupting, gold corrupting. I do not want gold, I do not want fame. I will take U.S. Dollars and quietude if I can have it. That is my dream, that is what I want for myself, if I am being honest.


To be no one with everything that I need and many things that I want. That is the American Dream in my book. Which I suppose this is. Some things will probably have to be redacted if it is to be published for profit, but such is the nature of America, which may in fact be the greatest country in the world. And capitalism its greatest system, if the tax code is wrong in its treatment of the wealthy. But that’s more than enough about politics. I love all beings, understanding I can’t save them. That is all, and that is enough. Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men.


1.17.24 Solid Ground, At last, At last


It feels good to be back on my own two feet, after months of floating above the floor. And the writing is flowing, more than this journal that for some insane reason I elected to make my first published work. And self-published at that, with no attempt at profit. Shrug emoji. I guess that’s okay, it served as a sounding board to work through a lot of the far out ideas that had been pinging around my head for most of a decade. And some of them interesting, if not insane. Possibly both, the two are not mutually exclusive. But now it is a minor plot point. To get the rest of the work out and continue to build the portfolio, those are the things.


Who knows if I will ever make it. Talent is not enough. Persistence is not even enough. Sometimes it takes a stroke of luck. And that cannot be predicted. Maybe the right person will read this and wonder about what else I might have written. Maybe I will only reach my audience of four now that I have deleted instagram for fear for my mental health. That is my priority ultimately, and if I labor at menial jobs the rest of my life and never make it as a writer that would be disappointing but certainly not the end of the world.


The end of the world came to me in a dream not long ago. My dreams have been terrors. Perhaps that explains why I have been so neurotic. But that’s okay, I’m doing somewhat better now, a man on the mend, on the path to something. I’ve written some good books, will write some good ones yet. That’s what it takes to be a writer, and so I hunker down as the winter rages around this house that I grew up in and hammer out the keys to my own destiny, producing ever more, tending more than one project at once as right now Television plays from the stereo resting atop Telegraph Avenue. And getting the professional help that I need. And not smoking too many cigarettes, I hope.


But that is a writerly habit, is it not? Not a healthy one but what true habit is healthy, besides exercise and I intend to take that back up when the weather turns. Or maybe even go back to the gym. Who knows? Not I what the future holds. I hope that it holds good things, but surely bad ones too. Such is the way of the world, and I a man of the world as I have said many times before. To hell with the spirit world that held me hostage for a decade. To hell, straight to hell. It ain’t coca cola, it’s rice.


TTFN.

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