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A writer’s inauspicious origins

This is pretty embarrassing but I began this whole thing with absolutely no idea about how the blogosphere works. I was lazy in my research as I was eager to get writing, thoughts, and experiences out there  and accessible. Along with the catharsis I seek, I have an overwhelming desire to write. People have hounded me for years to  write my story. So much so that I began to believe it possible, that I just might have the chops to write well enough to do some good.

Writing is where I get my juice. I love the whole process and would love nothing more than to be a published author.

I learned to love classic literature and writing after my life choices brought me to what can be described as forced solitude and asceticism. After 6 years of living under the continual threat of violence I lived a monastic existence for 10 years.

I know that such a past will immediately repulse many. I will be dismissed and shunned. I have been dealing with those understandable consequences since I left the confines of that past 7 years ago.

I feel it is essential that the origins of my introspection, and compulsion to convey through writing, be known in order to have any real impact on even one person.

The “publish” button looks like a detonator right now indeed. But nonetheless, here goes.

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Brighter Than it Seems

When I began writing a few weeks ago I did so with the sole intent of slaying some demons and chronicling my rise out of the depths. I also hoped that along the way I may help someone who can’t find their way out. Of course that would only happen after I am able to write about actually succeeding in all that. 

Now as I read over it all, and as my family reads it I am besieged by feelings of, well, being a whiny little biotch. NOW HOLD ON! Not because of the feelings I conveyed. For they are all legitimate sufferings and are not to be marginalized, as they were deadly for certain.

My misgivings stem from the fact that I am not all doomy gloomy in my everyday life, my interactions, and my feelings towards my loved ones. I have pulled out SIGNIFICANTLY at present. However, it all still remains raw and profoundly felt. A “chronicle” starts at the beginning does it not? 

In the past when I had to pull out of it, it was always “get back on the horse,” “suck it up, “… ad infinitum. And I would so over-compensate for the recent havoc I would accomplish some great things, short-lived they may have been. Never did I acknowledge the Hell I caused or went through. It was Beast Mode period. 

I absolutely cannot continue this cycle so I feel it absolutely necessary to do something different. Writing this dismal, depressing story is my first honest attempt to purge myself by acknowledging I was there and it sucked beyond all suckery. 

So maybe as I write I am actually, for real, able to leave it where it lays and truly begin anew. However it plays out, my commitment to journal it remains steadfast, for I know that for me it is life or death. There is no doubt. So I will continue this course of honesty I am so unfamiliar with. 

As I write this I am already hit with some nice ideas for future posts of brighter meandering drivel. Maybe a little sign that it’s working, Sunshine baby! 

A Less Depressing Sonnet 

Extolling the virtues of love, beauty

As lauded by many, practiced by greats

An easy exercise for them, the snooty 

Gaiety and peace, unfamiliar traits

They’re required to compose those blissful odes. 

Plagued by my past, rueful, ashamed

Unexpected, beckoning sunshine goads

Relentless guilt, regret finally tamed? 

For a blessing indeed should it hold true

The thought itself a certain sign of Hope 

The beauty of a flower as it grew? 

Am I become less of a misanthrope? 

Write joyfully, my family imploring

But I’m colorblind, a flower’s boring. 

A Sonnet

It seems to most that I have not yet seen

‘nough pain and ruin to steer myself away

From paths on which sorrowed, seared souls careen

longing for dawn but ever seeing grey,

In all I see, God’s grandeur dimmed by hate 

with facades of such strength, purpose, and love

Profoundly false. Truth’s unrelenting weight

forced down my gaze, no more to see above. 

So many before, many more to come

apparently endless queue of the lost

Wand’ring among them I tread, dead to some

In contrived blindness I refuse the cost

Of the harm I’ve caused, the shame I’ve sown.

But this path I chose, this choice I must own. 

A Behavioral Non-Explanation

I have often, almost obsessively tried to assign some kind of explanation to the plethora of destructive behaviors I’ve consistently exhibited since, well, pretty much as long as I can remember.
One primary reason this has so utterly confounded me is because, in periodic moments of honesty, I have to admit that the majority of the time I knew what the right choices were, yet quite consistently chose the most harmful, painful, and just altogether wrong decisions.
When considering my earlier days of birthing catastrophe I can certainly say that blissfully ignorant selfishness played a major role in most. This ignorance is truly no excuse as I remember having good examples to follow in certain role-models during my Pop Warner years of chaos-mongering.
As I reached apprenticeship and negative role-models abounded in the high school stoner culture, it’s easy to assign much of it to the typical ridiculous idiocy of the budding drug addict.
Then came THE DECISION. The One which earned me the full scholarship to the premier criminal institutions in the country. My freshman experience was Leavenworth Maximum security penitentiary, and it progressed from there, in security level and violence, culminating in 10 yrs. of 22hr. lockdown.
Now, the typical addict reasoning played minimal if any part in this, the most harmful series of decisions I ever made. For I had been clean quite a while when it all began and drugs were in no way involved. So perhaps a touch of mental illness? A developing suicidal tendency? I could go on and on.
After I made it out of what was, and still is considered an almost inextricable situation, the devastating effects of those years, on every aspect of my being, were myriad and firmly planted.
My decisions during these last 7 years of “reintegration” leave little doubt as to the why’s. However, it still remains, actually even more so, that I am able to discern not only what the right choices are, but also in the most absolute terms, the consequences of making the wrong ones. Yet I almost invariably choose the latter. It seems to matter little whether I’m chemically impaired or not. Though I must admit that the skill and creativity employed are significantly enhanced by a profoundly altered state.
What I am finding, as my mind flitters across the broad spectrum of often contradictory viewpoints, ie. Psychoanalytical, sympathetic enabler, self-reliant unforgiver…, it may be impossible to identify the cause or reasons for such consistent aberrance. Considering the fact that I often operate under the assumption that I must know the why’s in order to “fix” it, I am faced with a significant hurdle on my path. But hey, who isn’t. 

 

 

A Confusing Spiritual Musing

 Recently my journey has been almost exclusively geared toward seeking a deeper understanding of my relationship with God. Not surprisingly I am indeed etching a long, circuitous path. Sometimes confusing myself, as I often find myself in agreement with seemingly opposing concepts. 

Anyway, when I started noticing my confusing ability to agree wholeheartedly with conflicting theories, viewpoints, and philosophies I first thought I was simply too ignorant to discern truth. And, well, that may still be the case. Hah! Blessedly so in some cases. However, truth hasn’t been the objective for quite some time. 

Of course Spiritual truths do not land in the same arena as philosophical or scientific truths, and It would be a horribly grueling exercise for me to delve any deeper into that for both of us. Suffice it to say that I prefer to keep as my objective Spiritual enrichment. In doing so I have found myself arriving at some very simple conclusions. Indeed so simple it has taken 15 yrs of voracious study, innumerable horrific life experiences, costly harm to very dear loved ones, and other misfortunes I dare not mention probably ever, to anyone. 

Which actually leads me to a primary cause for my apprehension in sharing these hard wrought conclusions. These are so important to me in large part because of all the experiences, inexplicable misery, and arduous study it took to arrive at them.

How can I share about a Spiritual enrichment I have yet to achieve. But I write to line my own thoughts out anyway. 

In my basic conception of God I see an infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, all everything being who defies any definition me in my finite understanding can muster. However, it never occurred to me until recently that I should probably at least try to understand what those characteristics mean to me. A difficult exercise to say the least. 

I realized that no matter what I study, understand, think I “know”, even feel viscerally, any perceived enlightenment and definitions assigned are bound by their finite nature. That being so, what would ever make me think that I could possibly even come close to assigning adequate definitions to such a being, even more to It’s will. To question why this Being does this or that, or allows dreadful things to happen is truly an exercise in futility. With such an inadequate understanding, what makes me think that a tragedy to me constitutes a tragedy in His eyes. My tragedy will be my pain and sorrow. It is neither lessened nor exasperated by any absolute understanding of Why.

A Mere Idea

My reading has steered my journey just as my journey has steered my reading. In a show of great modesty theologian Stanley Hauerwas said “To have an original thought is to have forgotten where I read it.” For him I say modesty personified. For me, fact.
There are those times however that it only took a seed of an idea for my typically circuitous line of thought to ripen that seed into something very personal and profoundly influential to my world view. The moment my actions change according to this new world view, the physicality of those actions creates a sense of tangibility out of the intangible. The Power of an idea made manifest.

A Reflection (re-post)

Some days it seems as though practically every sensation reminds him of prison. It doesn’t matter that he’s been out over seven years now. Actually, the more time that passes the more frequently and unexpectedly he is assaulted by them. Time heals all wounds they say, apparently unless Time played a significant role in the slow, relentless infliction. One of the few defenses being the absolute certainty that he suffers this relentless infliction as a direct result of his own foolish, manic actions. No deadly,  unresolvable resentments.
16 years.
Given Time water will wear a rock down, enough time and the rock disappears altogether. At best it becomes unrecognizable. Of course one must consider the form of the rock at the beginning before one bemoanes the loss of its previous shape. In that too he is free from regret.
He reflects with a depth shared by medieval monks, and prisoners of all eras. The primary difference being that the monks were afforded the luxury of directing their thoughts to something other than their own existence. How incredibly fortunate.
Considering not only the 16years, but also the included 10years of relative solitude, he believed that such prolonged introspection could lead only to improved self-awareness. Which for the most part remains so. However, when left alone with memories that bring pain constantly, one is impelled to relieve that pain, lest it drive him mad. So accompanying an improved self-awareness came a finely honed skill of self-deception. Which, in those times prevails in the interest of the preservation of the Spirit.
In looking back over the chaos and harm of the last seven years he sees that madness was not altogether avoidable.

A mirror image

For the better part of a year I have been watching someone half my age do exactly as I did for 30 years. Absolutely heart breaking. I feel a as though I’m looking at a mirror.

I understood the truth of that whenI realized that I was terrified at the thought of seeing him come around. Terrified, not because I feared for my safety or any concern for myself, but I knew the depths of his pain and I couldn’t bear the thought of watching the disintegration of his young spirit.

I also knew the pain his family was bound to suffer. And I Love them all.

In my years of counseling and therapy-on either side of the desk-one of the most revealing exercises I’ve attempted was writing a letter to my young self. What would I tell me if I could do so before I chose that path.

Having been in some kind of therapeutic program almost constantly since the age of 15, (minus  prison of course), and having a well established, almost instinctual sense of self-interest and self-delusion, it’s been quite a while since I’ve benefitted from any of it.

Even with that therapeutic obstacle the letter writing exercise was unusually effective. Painfully so actually.

I now look at the brokenness of this kindred youngster in front of me and I am confronted with a million things I didn’t even think of saying to myself.

In all my years of surrounding myself with people in recovery of one sort of another never once do I remember feeling truly relatable. Of course there  were commonalities but I couldn’t lose the omnipresent feeling of separateness I’ve felt for as long as I can remember. On the deeper levels I simply could never relate. Not like I do right now. It is one of the most heart-rending things I’ve encountered.

It was inevitable in my journey that I began to involve myself in trying to help others who walked this path. Even in doing so I cannot say that I actually concerned myself truly with their troubles. That has been cause for significant regret. While I know that I was fortunate enough to help many steer themselves to a better path successfully, it mattered little to me one way or another.

This thing. This new genuine concern is more than a little unsettling. For I have practically no training in this.

I am compelled to caution by its unfamiliarity and the eeriness of seeing myself at 20 in real life. If there ever was a time that the pain, misery, and destruction I’ve inflicted could possibly be purposeful it is indeed right now.

I also strongly suspect that, if he truly is like I was, my words or any effort to show him will almost certainly be for nought. So I’ll be here to seize the opportunity if it comes and brace for the storm.