Reflection on Downtime

Photo on 7-20-14 at 1.09 PMNot sure how the times pan out as we roll along this republican joy ride; however I am sure of my feelings of depression, which sit in the very back row of my room, veiling forward over each conscious notion of hope.

To get thru the bleak flash that sneaks in during the day, I focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and not worrying in that very moment what is beyond where my feet stand.

The pall that hovers affects the way I interpret my life’s daily reflection. Today, questioning writing dirty tricks. Wondering why I ended up standing in this limbo spot; contemplating whether there is another spot I should be in: or should the conversation be something else which I cannot see or have been excluded from.

Am I a casualty of clearing the swamp of UN-notables? Should I be content with my mediocrity, and see my creative as just another self-indulgent grandiose hobby? The fear of fear plays tenacious tricks that never seem to let the thinking remain in any place of contentment. Stay on the move, traveling forward  thru the delusion to safe ground, is consciously to conscious.

I have to re-affirm that the next mountain is right around the corner, bordered by the sea of opportunity. I enjoyed sailing on the masthead with my spade flag, and want to continue the ride across unexplored oceans and byways.

Upon giving name to this angst, I realize my guttural voice – that which the stars aligned from inception – always there – was preserved by my years of neglect and brewing, and re-imagined and re-born by recovery from the debauchery. I try not to be afraid of myself, or worry about acceptance. But I worry anyway. In the end, my intellectualism understands that me is me; you are you; and they are the others. Yet only one sits in the chair and types.

Sure (K)Not

knot
My slowed processing does not keep pace with the people around me. I always saw that as a disadvantage, but then I realized that there are reasons for who I am. That at my birth, the stars aligned and the energy converged particular conditions by which I was born into. I became concrete in a way unlike others. I am who I am not just because I have a particular class, birthdate, or upbringing that claims pre-conditions for success. My distinct self is energy formed in certain ways that moves my DNA unlike any other force. My unique being should be a thing cherished, not disregarded because people don’t always see my way of doing things.

Learning to celebrate individuality works against a society that craves conformity. Looking back through our history, at some point the reinvention of the self could not gel without financial security. Today we live in a world where varied classes of people have the basic material goods that signify a middle class identity. Our cell phones, sneakers, hair styles, music and cars speak to a concerted MC formality. Many times the rich dress in MC ways to hide their wealth, while the lower classes dress to shield against the widening poverty.

Materialism, at the heart of our obsession with material goods, comforts us in ways that lead to uniformity of denial. We acquire accouterments of modernity for its age that speak a relative sameness in our expressive language. Although we tend to walk in varied philosophical clans that compete for power at any given point of public persistence, in the end we are all converging to sameness – conformity of a prescribed way of acceptability.

Personal stresses usually come from comparing our disparity, whatever it may be, in whatever relative term, to other people’s “prosperity”. In a constant mindset of being “disadvantaged,” we make decisions of trying to find a way to “advantage” ourselves, while dismissing the notion that all of this materialist mindset drives us further from our true selves.

People will defend that any counter of their codified path to success, require defending their beliefs on how things in the world function, despite creating wrongs to those who deserve compassion and dignity. Their motivated reasoning – trying to make their ideas win – while others lose – forms a type of denial. They righteously claim, “the proof is in the pudding!” People don’t like you – you have a hard time getting along with people – you are too much against the grain. All of these rationales disqualifies each strength in a person. So…that man or woman accepts this way of thinking out of fear of failure – still/always believing there is a chance to overcome the shortcomings. In reality, each step can never really right itself without buying the legitimacy of mainstream competition that disadvantages the “uncool,” “ugly,” too “loud,” awkward “irrational belief of greatness,” which sends the loser to the back of the line.

Our self-centered market worlds spills into every crevice of our social interactions. People’s denial refuses to acknowledge this, and so people don’t see their bad behavior as a part of their own competition – they will rationalize that is what talent and success is. The golden ring of power over people.

Altruism is dead. Service alludes to the principle of selflessness, however there is no such thing when you exist in a dog eat dog race. The two faces of a person – the success and the virtuous – is a product of one’s state – tabula rasula. The inherited hierarchy of being feeds people more for a material greed, supporting the race to the top, than a shared community. Competition kills equanimity.

Taking on the Role

Role

Always thought the role I played was of an observer. Watching time pass, while at the same time, catching a framed tableau in a moment’s consciousness. Waiting patiently for the rain to roll in, the sun to set or witnessing the river flow. Taking in the scene.

The trees always sang the wind’s song, while pantomiming a narrative. Nature holds the only truths – it has no intentions; it only breathes the in and out of air to CO2 in a skin of designated cells that repeat through the cycle of life and death. Energy shapes nature, which witnesses our stories.

My voice used to hide behind a fearful eye that needed a boost to find its confidence. Once given the instrument, the heart and sound flowed freely – that voice became comfort and calm – the only sound that I could hear with clarity. As time moved forward and the ages grew, that voice moved from one symbolic page to a different script – then another and an other script. Nothing came full circle. The scenes always moved on before coming to fruition.

I always thought it was my uncontrollable passion that stopped my clarity. My brain never seemed to work right. I would see one way, then execute the strokes, which always derailed at some point. No follow through. No clear line that was a flawless run. I always believed good intentions over-rode the jagged starts and stops, which were just a part of the process of reaching for the stars.

When I read deeper into the story, my reflection painted a picture where people moved further away – repulsed? scared? I considered too afraid to face their own fear. I retreated with their retreats. I moved further from the center, and packed my bag and moved to the next studio. New circles. Inventing a new role to play. Looking for the right fit – the right being in the nothingness I clung to.

The human’s tension, so cerebral, does not shake the possession of time easily. With eyes closed, I envision something different, and then strive only to breathe and let the mind full flow to something else…

Racing for Answers

truth_2
Imagine a concept of self as high functioning compassionate worker, passionate creative artist, and purposeful friend, all at the same time.

Can this type of person actually exist?
Success depends on detachment from deep feelings of apprehension or fear.
Can success sidestep acrimonious, self-serving competitor’s eyes?
Humanness without ridicule needs a strong determined and grounded right being.
You cannot move forward, while holding on to the past at the same time.
You become stagnate.

Your Mercury/Messenger clears nature’s obstacles with intellectual swords of crisp language in a well thought out script, balanced on strong limbs. The rat race proceeds – hurdle after hurdle – each leg having to lift higher, stronger and maintaining momentum – keeping the running stride.
If at any point between hurdles the Mercury/Messenger slows down, then time becomes wasted in re-accelerating or recalibrating the course. The desperate effort to “win” gets the race of ideas to the end of the track. Adrenaline rising as thousands of voices claim their ideas as more deserving than other’s, deafening the senses. Mercury/messenger pushes forward avoiding a fall or stumbling moment; working hard to land on both feet at the finish line – so close with a photo finish showing a mix of elation for finishing without dropping to the ground. On closer inspection, the runner’s pensive brow, and nervous hands pose in uncomfortable positions, while limbs search for grace to make the stress worth it.

Races – competition – one’s life work.

Arrogant, headstrong determinism believes the delusion that manipulations are everywhere and necessary. Is cheating necessary to reach the highest categories of success? The broad – vast – playing field, covered with many categories of learning, many paths to run, is impossible to master. So gaming the system becomes part of the system. Does running this type of race actually bring out one’s best self?

Questioned intentions.
Only the lines on my face speak the truth.
Yin and yang cannot hide from the eye if you are looking close enough.
Can you see the real lines?
Or do you see what you only think you see – hear only what you want to hear?
is there an objective truth?
Truth is only true to the depth you are willing to see.

Self-serving antagonists hide behind their limited generosity – just enough to play nice in the sandbox so the unobserving eye only sees their glitter in the sun drenched sand. The truth sits in plain sight – on the sleeve – within the movement of the eyes – the posture, or forced wear and tear of the voice. Eventually, the light reveals the truth when sight clears from foggy obsessions.

What to do if faced with such a truth?
Choose.
Go into the breach, or look the other way?
Focus on that hurdle of unforgivingness, or focus on the letting go of the illusion of unforgivingness?

Ideas are chimeras until made into something tangible; until they acted upon.
If races are never run, then nothing would be made real.
Illusory ideas would never be built because no one would show up to build the structures thus affecting us all to become puppets to the process of the “chosen.”

Divisive minds not rooted in consensus dialogues reject anything they don’t like. They shut out voices because they assessed the unworthiness of other’s voices because they know better and usually hold a resentment. No weighing options because they have figured everything out. The rebuke with their unyielding absolutes creating greater hurdles for Mercury’s success – greater moments of unforgivingness to overcome. Is this divisive mind trying to break spirits so they will all just leave?

Each has their own truth.
Each must speak their truth.
But in giving truth a public speech, each must hear the return of that voice in other people’s truths.
Compromise between voices volleys back and forth but if the runner stops mid track because they have decided to play it their way or the high way, nothing resolves.
The players will not able to shake hands at the end of the race – because the game wasn’t really played.

Feminism.

feminism

My dislikes of women has only to do with what I refuse to see or accept in myself as a woman. To work toward equal ground, and celebrate the differences among us and the talents between us, depends primarily how comfortable I am as a woman in my skin. I project my fear of not meeting the survival of the fittest standard by asserting strong likes or dislikes. This counters the very essence of feminism: women accepting the equality of others despite our differences.

Now this goes the same for those women who wield their hatred against me – brandishing your judgment like frogs shooting out your mouth, into the air either as a casual quip, or out-and-out calculated aggression. Such testy rivalries only serve to reinforce how feminism is a dirty word – something truly illusory and unrealistic as women can’t seem to exist on an equal plane among themselves. Such competition among women, tearing down others whom they have declared unfit, reinforces a standard, or rather a cloaked perception, around a patriarchal notion of right and wrong.

For my feminism, I too easily have experienced that uncomfortable act of trashing another woman. My aggression, internalized by patriarchal tendencies, consciously and unconsciously acts in ways to seek approval by men as the right move. In my youth, I reinforced division by dressing like a man, seeking androgyny, spouting thoughts in hard language or aggressive tones. All this showmanship co-opted a belief of womanhood that purposefully created a division among women because it made me feel powerful in a powerless position. Working among men who only feel safe around women who don’t challenge them helps to pit groups or women against other women because they are establishing the norms of a woman’s right or wrong view. All who reinforce that kind of subjective selection are complicit in allowing men to dictate the norms of womanhood.

This marginalization of women reinforces the growing popularity of anti-feminism. When women co-opt competing womanhood by judging other women’s level of femininity, belief systems or choices – too fat or slim, tall or short, sexy or bullish – women lose their ability to have feminism as a tool toward a true condition of equality.

We have a tremendous capacity for change. So stop it ladies and grow the fuck up – take a good look in the mirror and accept your part in the process of shaming others whose politics, lifestyle or preferences are different from yours. Don’t judge based on age, or size or the power of some singular talent – embrace feminism and see beneath the veneer of your materialism that although gains in access for women exist, we are still operating in a privileged patriarchy.

Work Shopping Development

leadership-valuesSelf-reflections are the necessity of design.

The essential self needs the ability to reflect, however, the way we feel about ourselves colors that reflection. So if a fruitless character trait, ingrained over years of use and misuse, weirdly appears whenever you don’t want it to, coloring a too sensitive lens, reflection becomes skewed. The result is not a state of truth, but rather a more self-centered degrading state, from a life long trait staying despite efforts, at a crossroad of needed change.

“Why me?” retorts provide opening to reflective counter arguments of silent discussions that have no audience, but in one’s mind’s eye seeks to answer the frustrations swirling over and over, rehearsing right voice.
regretwoman
Although time-consuming, reflection becomes the only process that leads to a safer personal space after the wrenching moments of fearful regret that forebodes being turned out.

Searching for breadth to hope.

Social norms shape responses, prohibiting truth because people act within the confines of polite virtue, especially when they want others to like them, or give them something. Fear of failure, rejection or loss outweighs celebrating a true self in these moments, especially when weakened by lack of sleep, rest and basic nourishment. No one values a good “f— you” at the expense of propriety. Society directs us to embed maneuvering through the social protocols as a means of survival. Yet in the end, this strategy lessens the ability to follow through on the things that make you happy.

The work-shoppers, a collection of self-seekers, who pretext their actions with justifications of uplifting themselves to be more of service, in truth only act and move the discourse when it elevates their positioning. Their strategic anecdotes move into the arena to seize the opportunity to tell a story of self, the subtext of which is a maneuvering of power. Stories, moving audiences to some great emotional finale of a lesson learned, only pit one against another with competing emotional narratives tuning to the pulse of repression and gross rights violations. After these types of performances, dogmatic dialogues prevail because no one dares to mention how the fabrication is just that – fabricated to manipulate people to some end. It is always about power for work-shoppers.

How did I get here?

I daydream at these points. Competing for attention only reminds me of a youth I rejected. So for survival, my attention diverts to understanding character, and how they fit into the play. Their lives become part of a script, which in the stage directions describes the way they wear their shoes, hold arms folded, or purse lips, listening, but always thinking of the next thing to say. Or the ones whose silence waits to find strained comfortability, yet still struggles in the way they hold their bodies, hearing the quiver in their tempered words, always seemingly working toward mastery, yet continually uneasy, with what feels like slight emotional instability. The work-shoppers become part of a scene, only a glimpse in time. People sacrificing for a check in their bank. I see the scene unfold, and predict the end.

I am a narrator, crafting a monologue of my reflection to divert to some distant place, searching for who I am.

The workshop facilitator explains, in squint and exhorts great excitement, to awaken interests with stories of leading the ship in treacherous waters of data, while riding the waves between the symbolic and the theoretical, and then gliding into the sunset, along to real world applications, always linking back to theory, then forward with personal quips and quivers for dramatic effect. Like a yo-yo, up, down, in, and out, moments pass: the process repeating each week, after week, into months. The work-shoppers, some tried by their own process, yet there’s always that ‘one’ who continues to maneuver.

I feel like a camera.

Processing so many stories dizzily jams my elder brain, which weighs priorities differently; knowing in the end, nothing really changes. Days provide dull light with faint overviews of what feels like a hangover from working overtime into the early morning hours, alone with my stories. monologuing in my head.

People will perform in what ever manner that provides the best path of least resistance. Power, privilege, and authority drive the soul of the go-getter – the work-shopper – only to find that something can be anything if you can hold your head high.

In the end tho, we only have ourselves. The goal is to live without regret.

Life-Balance

Rock It!

feminist.inline-vertical

Born into third wave feminism still meant I would be defined by men’s concept of femininity. Growing up struggling with my identity of womanhood led me to rebel into playing music on the fringe. Rock and roll women redefined femininity in that male dominated field. I’m not talking about Lilith women – I mean women who possess the raw, energetic rhythms of crunching guitars, rants and churning melodic choruses. Hard core women redefined my concept of gender and power. Many abandoned femininity for androgyny to keep a foothold of “being in the business,” and not to ruffle the boy’s feathers. Surviving beyond the misogyny, female players remain true to the rhythm, not pining for stardom, yet keeping the beat in whatever respectable position they can. Women carry our feminist culture from generation to generation, helping to support women to reach their fullest potentials. Although we look to Patti Smith and Kim Gordon as iconic rock and roll mothers, all rock women, in their own measure, pave the way to carry forward the art punk/hardcore feminist anthem.

The crossroad between mediocrity and excellence.

Mediocrity1

“Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Genius is never calculated. It is idiosyncratic, and moves in fits and starts – never a straight line.

My day of reckoning on the journey to “genius” hit a fork in the road, demanding a decision to decide my future path. I wrestled with which direction to take, perceiving one as destiny versus the other a calculate end. Each path its own rugged journey, but both options possible. My desire, tinged with the fear of not being able to feed my child, ignited dreams of successfully switching crafts, driven by an intuitive and insightful creative imagination. I never saw that 10,000 hours meant another lifetime of practice; believing my skills, although latent, would take me to the next level, despite the truth saying something different.

Instantaneous reflection sums up all that I came to be at that point: weighing options for the sake of security.

This biblical moment of choosing – changing a life path – demanded humility and acceptance of my true self within that moment. All that I was, and all that I was capable of being from years of practice whirled in wild imaginations of becoming something new. Leaning toward efficiency and the least resistant path, my delusions of grandeur fueled my ego, believing I could command any task. The appeal of the fast track to success led me to make regretted phone calls; to not realize my inconsistency; and “give randomness and ambiguity the appearance of order, structure and uniformity.” My choice quickly revealed the pedestrian nature of my new vocation.

When the paycheck becomes more important than the dream, the intuitive becomes stunted.

Artistry too easily caters to the price tag of fame, forcing the genius impulse to breed ideas outside of main street. Its idiosyncrasy becomes compromised because its first stroke, like the first thought to action, is an inchoate creative act illusively tied to prescribed financial ends. Success becomes the product sold in the galleried marketplace, not a boundless understanding of things tossed about in the imagination. The product driven genius then becomes a pseudo intelligence, channeled only to find the right path money dictated necessary.

The rhetoric of rugged individualism requires that pervasive mediocrity exists.

Managing competition inherently relies on people never reaching success, but feeling they can if compliant, reinforcing the pseudo-genius. Market forces use an American Dream “success” story to perpetuate a delusion that people buy to feel their brilliance. This contrived success masks the mediocrity. Subliminal selfish ends compromise first thoughts, which feed the stroke of the pen, brush or hand that sets out to interpret the scale of form and function. All creative acts become a competitive act.

There are no mechanisms in America where society nurtures and celebrates creative impulses for their own sake.

Artists become a happenstance – classified as some special being sitting outside the mundane, and challenging norms because they have courageously denied participating in the day-to-day ‘systems’ – or have found a means within that system which appears to extend their creativity. In this society of product driven ends, materialism forces the artist to hide in cubicles, day in and day out, until their job salaries provide enough to get them back to their real work.

The starving artist illusion, worn like a mantle, feeds the pseudo genius, who waits for the singular moment of discovery by the service of wealthy patrons.

Money coerces decisions at the crossroad. Immediately strategizing to give value to an end product, logos churns conflicted thoughts. As a well-bred daughter to my parent’s mission of robust independence and self-reliance, my creative intelligence conflicted with their conformist interpretation of working toward the golden ring. Their narrative conjured a strategy to achieve the “right” end, exemplified by possessions, such as the right house, right car and perfected dress; promoting the ‘Horatio Alger’ myth of meritocracy – man against man for position and material success.

“Mediocrity’s shallow soul finds refuge in insincere moral platitudes – such things as ‘appropriateness’ and ‘respectfulness’, ‘politeness’ and ‘civility’ – and it is by nature deferential and obsequious, and places much emphasis on status.”

Under the light of competition, strategic moves to win, become a valued monetized action, derailing the creative purpose for truth in form and function. Operating under this motive “to win” denies any imagination to internalize how structures move within time and space, negating exploration and constraining real reflection. The preoccupation with making money, and considering what that money can buy, feeds the glory and fear of star power. With this mindset, the best end is a selfish manipulated end, which always means people lose.

Calculated materialism deadens artistry, and a mediocre reality with its preconceived notion of virtuosity deadens genius.

Superficial people co-opt mediocrity to make themselves powerful. Keeping the middle ground as a cultural norm means people get just enough to satisfy their base needs, prohibiting any motive to challenge the system of power. Position and influence measures the utility and synchronicity of being, wrapped by self-serving competition, which motivates the artist’s drive to sell their craft. Art, no longer an expression of truth, becomes a commodity, pitting idea against idea like a drag race, defining those who have “it” with those “who don’t.” The price tag defines the “it” piece. The artist becomes a shoe salesman in hipster clothing.

Innovation demands our hours in the chairs consist of learning, re-learning, and surviving the cycle of success and failure.

With the multitude of people on this earth, and the different players in any given game, the best, at best, is only a fleeting moment of time. There is always someone else in the wings, or another perspective of brilliance to shine forward and capture the pockets of big donors. Playing to the benefactor curtails the freedom to think. We are too busy playing the financial catch-up game to sustain our best true selves. This game nurtures the American soul, and is nurtured by big donors, tethering all ends to our philosophy of materialism.

To rise above the tide of mediocre expectations, and its self-fulfilled prophecies, depends on accepting the obstacles to creative truth, and turning them over to something forward moving – not being afraid to stand outside the mediocre masses.

Clear vision challenges aimlessness. Fierce curiosity distracts and sidelines comfort zones. We must believe in the third eye that counters righteous indignation against the cacophony of voices, pushing and pulling the truth, over and over again, to justify their watered down norms of thinking and being, and settling to the lowest common denominator.

The artist’s truth, isolated to the fringes, rises above the fray of mediocrity when it can feel a deep connection to love and nature, and exist without the need for power.

Art gives the abstract ideas of past, present and possible futures, real constructs. This creative imagination, inherent in the birth of its being, cannot be bought. Society needs to nurture the sentient artist rather than force it to the confines of materialism and the will of wealthy often political patrons.

We must know who we are, to rise against this tide, and trust the process of becoming.

The Canon

SonicHighway_Finalepisode

Seeing the path before envisioning a completed dream.

Possibilities continually cling to secret thoughts
Narrating the poet’s script.
Desire slowly yearning for a space to show itself as
The now waits to live a second chance,
Inspired by remembrance of once being something.

The window opens and closes.

Hope searches into the vista,
Patiently breathing new air into the baggage of old skins.
Eyes materializing one truth, while
The id questions the unseen truth
Hoping the authentic self finds its sea legs.

Humanism struggles to balance the automated heart with the visceral conscience.

Walking through fear’s river of senses,
The moving moments create waves yearning for tangibility.
Practicing to stop thoughts without falling asleep.
The wind picks up the pen to the page like a brush on a canvas;
transitioning to give meaning to changing landscapes.

Whatever the platform, the eye opens to execute a hard-copy of unmitigated thoughts to the senses.

Sailing on the  paved road,
Signs pass by witnessing
The present moving to a distant past.
Memories intoxicate the imagination
Motivating the idiosyncratic stroke to be in absolute rhythm.
Only afterwards can the soul be reinvented.