25 April 2011

Little Pockets of Perfection

In each of our lives, there are moments that ring true louder than the rest. It can happen when we least expect it, but is always pleasantly surprising. They're the sort of moments that you take a step back from a situation to see it for what it really is, a small pocket of perfection. A moment so surreal and so true to the essence of what exists that it can numb the mind. It can be insightful, offering a glimpse into futures unknown, or otherwise take a mental snapshot of what was once beautiful prodding through the wrinkled fabric of life. 

Shit happens, but it is these small moments that I live. They reassert any doubts that ever exist in my mind and sharpen the focus on both the past memories and the end goals. There is no logical formula for what produces these moments, and they strike--both at the chords of my soul and at free-will--without provocation or warning. It is a consuming feeling, knowing that things larger than myself are at work.

Forgive my vagueness if I seem at all cryptic or nondescript. It isn't for a lack of words to describe this particular occurrence, but rather that I'm being unfair as an author. I know it is my role to share experiences with you, so I'll get as specific as I possibly can while still maintaining some integrity.

A particular example of this took place no more than one year ago. There was nothing in particular striking or vivid about the situation. I was studying at a friends house. Sitting on her living room couch with my laptop out, inevitably putting off my studies in favor of wasting time. I'm pretty good at that. So anyways, this girl wasn't in the same room as me, but rather washing the dishes in the kitchen. Now, allow me a disclaimer. After finishing my story, refrain from bringing any gender dynamics into this. I don't give a shit what you think, it was merely a moment in time that stuck out in my head.

Back to the story. She was washing the dishes in the other room. We'd just ate a meal, I think it may have been a modified macaroni and cheese or else grilled cheese. Either way, it had cheese in it and it was tasty. I was in a post-dinner ecstasy state-of-mind. Content is the perfect word to describe it. I felt content. I looked over in the kitchen and noticed her washing the dishes. In that moment, I had a flash forward. Not too far forward, but rather a few years. It wasn't her shared-between-several-roommates college house, but rather our own. 

We were a couple years older, more hardened by the events of our past. More mature, but not too serious. Never too serious. Just more grown up. I felt like we were somewhere else, not in Michigan anymore, but just in another location. No rationale, just instinct. We are older and I'm sitting there on my computer and she washing the dishes post-dinner. Nothing special, yet perfect.

It was perfect because it was normal. It was right. I had another one of these moments today, and one the previous night. Moments that reiterate my eternal struggle grappling with love, loss, the usual 20-something problems. So these moment happens, perfectly uneventful. In fact, they'd go by in passing to most people without a second glance. It's lying uncomfortably in a bed with somebody and staying uncomfortable so they won't wake up and thus end the moment. It's spending time with their family and realizing how they idealize everything you seek. The world is too caught up today in completing checklists, rushing through things without taking in the moment. There is so much beauty right in front of us, sometimes just out of reach, although nothing is ever truly out of reach. Life goes on, day in and day out, the moon makes its passes, phase after phase, light and dark, renewing the night sky every 30 nightfalls. Just keep a mental note in the back of your mind for those little pockets of perfection. They may still catch you off guard, but don't lose the opportunity to take a step back and see a moment for what it is. Otherwise you might just be missing out on a lot. An awful lot.


21 April 2011

Requiem Cometh

"A fragment of time, which is not recorded. There is a moment of darkness..." - Bibio

Packing and unpacking/
the trickle down of information/
what was once quintessence now essence.


Should anything so pure exist anymore/
and what it means to be 'highly original'/
where lies my muse?


Not in the mountain lakes/
nor the Green goddess/
who so diligently helped so many before.


Rather it lies in every next word/
the anticipation of the requiem/
the story after the story...

15 April 2011


I have all these big plans, hopes, dreams. A million different paths my life could take at this point and it is all unstructured. I want to explore. Roam into endless fields, speckled with trees, skyscraping mountains in the distance capped with snow. I want to to sleep under a sky where the only light pollution is lightyears away. I think it is important that we all take a journey after we complete school, in order to purge ourselves of the toxins and rigors of life. Take me back to a simpler place. I want to adjust my frequency to that of the natural world. I'd bring with me only the necessary tools to survive, along with a pen and notebook to try and capture the essence surrounding me.

The longer I forgo taking action, the more difficult it comes to escape the surly grasps of society. I don't plan on living a conventional life. It isn't for everybody. Most people rely heavily on doing the same day-in day-out actions to get by. My "problem" is that I get bored too easily. I need adventure. I'm stuck in the 21st century when all I want to do is get on a ship and explore the uncharted. If I could have any job in the world, what would I choose? Cartographer. Nothing could be more thrilling than forging the first maps, seeing things that no other human has ever bore witness to.

Sometimes I think my love for writing is only living vicariously through the adventurers of the past. I have the freedom to create my own universe. I gain pleasure from sending my protagonist away from the comfort of his home and throwing him into the beauty and perils of the wild unknown. That is gratifying. I'm slowly realizing there is only so much time we have. I fear I won't be able to accomplish everything I want to in life. A realistic and problematic concern, although every second I'm not acting on some accord is only my own fault. It is cliche to say how little time we have, but noble to realize it and have the courage to make something of it. That is all.


13 April 2011

Farewell Michigan

Though I'm still approaching the last hellacious stretch of my final semester as an undergraduate, I would like to address some loose ends.

Dear Michigan,
You have changed me so in these brief four years. I came into this institution a boy, and now at the end of this liberal education, I am an enlightened boy with a tinge of discipline and capability. I still make most of the same mistakes as always, I'm just a lot better at covering my tail and managing my time. Those are the lessons that cannot be taught by even the most dedicated professor.

You've taught me to lose. It was a hard lesson to learn, but with the state of our sports teams, the elusive female or otherwise being the least knowledgable person in a given class, I found myself at some of the lowest of lows. It is an important place to be at least once in your life. The only way to go from there is up, and it is only when we rebuilt our foundations do we actually make progress. Trying to build on a fault is only going to result in an eventual and inevitable collapse of spirit.

You've taught me to be honest. It is a process infinitely in the works, but an important one. The world makes it a terribly easy place to be deceitful, to cut corners, and so on. Don't get me wrong, I'll certainly be the first to take a sharp turn a little bit fast, shaving a second here and there, but I'm doing it for the right reasons. I'm trying to get from point A to B as fast as I reasonably can without causing any damage. Forward thinking or reckless? It is debatable.

I've learned to be my own boss. The amount of control an individual possesses is amazing if he or she looks past the institutionalized red tape that the system ingrains into our self. There is much power in saying, "no." It demonstrates the capacity to earn and dictate respect. In a world dominated by the status quo, it is inspiring to try to challenge that system. Overcoming those walls or not, as I very well may burn, I won't feel as though I'm alive until I try.

I've learned to take care of myself. After a few years of treating my body and soul like shit, it has started to catch up with me. I have prevailed over loans and debts and came out of this crazy tornado of a lifestyle with not a single anchor. Freedom is a thing to cherish and as I emerge from college a grown individual, I savor my freedom. Not a place in the world is unobtainable so long as I put forth the effort at this point. It is refreshing to feel so light, as I could pack my belongings and forge whatever life I so desire.

Most importantly though, I've learned to write, to articulate, to talk and express the human condition. This is the most formal of my learnings, as my coursework led to much of this contribution. Special thanks go out to those professors who sparked my creativity: Jeremiah Chamberlin, Ralph Williams, Sean Silver. You guys were great and I credit the three of you. Whatever your reasons for teaching at this university, here is an informal shout out to applaud your efforts. They have paid off and paved the road ahead for me.

Those close friends of mine who have become my family, I couldn't ask for much better in a crew. We've survived the pitfalls and the uptakes. We've ridden out the choppy waters and partaken in some of the most spontaneous adventures. I cannot speak of my impact in your respective lives, but I wouldn't have made it had any of you ceased to keep me pushing on. You know who you are, and know that I am forever grateful for gracing me with your presence. Graduating or not, I have nothing but confidence in your future endeavors. Thanks for putting up with my bullshit, because we all know what a pain-in-the-ass I can be.

All of my best wishes,

11 April 2011

Blur (A Period Piece)

"Blurry lines are the best kinds,"
I spoke to her that very night.
As she wondered and wandered
while we back-and-forth pondered
why be there no reason for fright.
Of course she has her doubts
about all the bouts
that inevitably affect our lives.
Especially from afar, the door left ajar,
so that the light only shine through a crack.
Yet as long as the light stays lit through the night
the sun does the work half the time
Enlightening our path, so solitude we'll hath
and connecting when the light doth shine.

04 April 2011

Things I Like

Being the last asleep and first awake
so that I may misconstrue my bad decisions
for a skewed omnipresence to the world.
And consider how I reflect best when
the last dreamers have laid down for the night.

Listening to the sounds of distant trains
and watching above me the far off planes.
Where I waste my days in wonder
of where those people are going
but really where they're going.

Natural highs.
The kind brought on by music, adventure
Love and fond memories. My favorite drugs.
Euphoric and consuming, dynamically ecstatic
With a beautiful alpenglow afterglow.

The chatoyancy of tiger eye
so that it looks woven of silk
Natural yet mathematical in design
The intermediary of man and Mother
Nature's joke on a higher intelligence.

Dew-coated spider-webs at sunrise
Even if I despite what created such beauty
A woven network that succeeds only in
The unique ability to reenforce each point
With the strength provided within itself.

Walking down the middle of the street
at 5 am, hoping the world isn't abandoned;
Only to be reassured by the lone driver
starting an early supply route, and the
mutual respect shared from the passing glance.


Well hello everybody!

It's been QUITE some time. I extend my apologies for the extended length without update. My life has essentially been in overdrive. I've found myself at a junction of sorts. Finishing up my undergrad course work, traveling, and bouncing back from a weird slump of sorts has consumed ALL of my time. I really mean it too. My social life has been on the decline and along with that, my online identity.

I'm back now though.

I think it is very interesting and something I've contemplated long since its initial occurrence. There seems to be phases to every individual. I realize this is nothing revolutionary. Everybody has their ups-and-downs. Cliches spring up by the truckload to emphasize this point. Conversely, one thing that doesn't often get discussed is the way in which we consider what catalyzes these phases.

What drives an individual to a slump? What makes them recluse themselves and let the little things permeate to all aspects of their life? I think it all boils down to perception. We color things the way that becomes most convenient in our lives. Pessimists dig their holes deeper, so they're harder to climb out of. Conversely, optimists keep climbing the rungs, so that the fall is greater. Eventually, a greater equilibrium reigns and everything balances out. The ancient Greeks had it right: Everything in moderation.

The world works really hard to keep things on a somewhat even keel. On one hand, the probabilities are low for the average person to break through and become famous or globally successful. This can be dissuading, if one doesn't consider that likewise, you have to be a pretty big failure to mess up things enough to lose it all. Fortune only plays so much into either of those hands. The rest comes from not hard work, but smart work.

That brings me to my next point. I find myself very conflicted by the idea of working hard. Everybody older than me says its the best way to earn happiness as a reward. I don't know that I can agree with it. While hard work is important, what you work hard on is subjective. I think if you work hard on the correct niche things, you'll work a lot less hard, though equally harder for smaller bursts and yield the same, if not greater reward.

I was raised being told that I always had a keen knack for cutting corners. I've since come to realize that I could embrace it. No need to condemn myself when I could twist it positively and utilize it as a talent. Cutting corners is what the person who sees me negatively would portray my character as. Consider me rationalizing a fault if you'd like, but the way I see is is that I find the most efficient path to what I want to achieve. No need to diddle dawdle around when I can just get right  to the core of things.

I'm not perfect by any means. I don't like losing and I don't like being told no. My competitive nature usually permits me to reroute and or persuade at my discretion until I appease my need to succeed. It is a unique situation and a gift I'm eternally blessed to embrace.

So what is the point of all this? I guess I'm simply stating that so often people find themselves polarized. That is to say, stuck on one end of the other of the spectrum. My advice? Start thinking unconventionally. The greatest minds throughout history did so. Haters are going to hate. They'll suggest that it is also the quickest way to failure. How many of them committed so fiercely though? I suspect not very many.

Do what you want to do. Follow your heart. Find a way to win. Always.


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