I’d buy a dump truck full of weed, a small house in a warm climate, and a give the rest to the people of Palestine. ;-)
Here’s a piece I just turned in for a class at school. I don’t know that I expect a fantastic grade or great feedback on this. It’s a little surreal and experimental and… well… weird.
Everyone’s life is falling apart, I guess. On my part, it may be mere vanity to suppose that my falling apart, here and now in the quiet middle portion of my third decade, is any different than the way anyone else’s world is crumbling. My vanity is to pretend that I am not vain and to play as if the destruction inside of me has been my own decided course of martyrdom. My vanity is to say, again and again, that everything will set itself into place in the world and in the ether and between the neurons in my head, if I just live for a moment longer. St. John hypothesized a special step along any truly spiritual journey, which came to be known as The Dark Night of the Soul. It is an interval during which a cosmic seeker realizes that he is no longer making progress by doing what had previously been the things that availed him all progress. The Dark Night is a crisis of conscience and of faith. The terrifying moment when neither prayer, meditation, love nor chemical oblivion help to jar the suddenly immobilized inner-self. I consider John of the Cross and imagine him, in those “dark” moments, teetering on the brink of suicide and wondering why he couldn’t explain in words how suicide would be a progression to the divine and not an escape.
My charge, given by those surrounding me, is, of course, to march forward through what I will bill with vanity to be my Dark Night. My desire, though, is not to move forward now but to sink. John had his faith, at least. I’ve known no steadfast God to whom I may appeal. I’ve no ambition to participate in the economy of the world. I’ve no ambition to abide by the law nor to capitulate to the social norms and mores of the human race. I have done my best to purge physical excess from my life, but feel ashamed at all that I have still and all that I eat. I am writing little things here and there and waiting for someone to grab my hand and cry with me and tell me “I know exactly what you are going through, my brother,” but when I’m out in the world all I can see is economy and its constituent slavery. I am writing little things, and they could be called non-fiction, meditation, pandering or pondering, but, peering out from inside the night, the one thing that is clear is that all is truly fiction and nothing is verifiable as real. I grasp onto the Cartesian truth. I think, therefore… therefore…
From the fiction of my life I recall clearly my second memory. I existed in a trailer-home that my parents shared with my mother’s brother and I was perhaps aged two and one half years. There was a white dog of which I was wary, and white dollops of cottage cheese. I sat one day staring out the back doors, which were made of glass or some transparent plastic substitute, across the New Mexican desert landscape. The sky was of pristine azure, and my mother sat with me, young and perfect. In my second memory, which I consider to be fiction, mother was all of my world and she showed me things in the clouds. There a soldier, and there a dog. Spanning the sky wider, above the soldier and the dog, was a tremendous ship suitable only for an ocean, which I had no concept of at the time. A lumbering ship of cotton, cloudy nothing floating above a soldier and a dog and my sweet mother resting on the floor with me, fully embracing her life, which was also fiction. “The shapes will change, Charles,” she said. She spoke to me as if we were even and that I hadn’t stolen from her nine months of vibrant youth, or after that, countless hours of peaceful sleep. We watched and the boat became a nothing. “The shapes will change.”
Relearning now what I had learned that day is proving to be the most violent and painful experience of my life. More painful than all the cold jail cell floors, the rehabs, the detox centers. More painful than those lovers lost and the ones I never gained. More painful than hallucinating the faces of the devil in dim blue for want of drink. My mother hadn’t meant to, but had been teaching me that all is fiction and that life is transient in nature. The cloud ship and the mercenary and the mongrel had been morality, the self and God, all three shifting, drifting, and struggling not to be burned up by the southern sun. All three figures disappeared. Today, as I’ve detached myself in subtle ways from the senses that define and the language that separates, I’ve seen that my Dark Night consists of watching morality, the self, and God shifting, morphing and then pulling away from themselves until they’ve evaporated into the canvas of spirit, a sky of brilliant blue.
I am so vain, even through it all, even as the world burns. I say on the one hand that I seek the destruction of the ego, and then on the other that my ego is wonderful enough to deserve its own destruction. I have bisected the ego, in this sense, and hidden a portion of it away from the exacting eye of whatever God is today. This is a vanity and a need to impress God or to become closer to that thing we call God. St. John of the Cross, perhaps, wanted that greatest of theological treasons: to merge with God. This might have caused his depression. He might have seen that his life of devotion and prayer were not bringing him any closer to forbidden intercourse with the Almighty. Perhaps prayer stopped working for him when he realized that what he wanted more than anything was to be God or even to transcend God. This would have made him an infidel and this makes me an infidel because, watching the cloud called “God” disappear in the rays of the sun, all I can think about is how to take its place.
Everyone’s life is falling apart in this way, I think, torn between belief and atheism. Sense and spirit. The self and love. Most people have an aptitude for ignoring these crises. I’ve used up all of my mechanisms of preservation. Prayer and meditation are availing me nothing and I sit here ashamed of my station and of my cheap garb, which is too rich, while simultaneously imagining myself wearing the crown. All things are transient, and every thought I have separates nature from God, making the world appear before me as hell. Each life is falling apart while I rest here waiting patiently to be recycled back to that good moment, sitting on the floor with my mother looking for shapes in all that is, which is simply fiction.
within-and-withoutt asked: I'm so glad you followed me and I found your blog. This is exactly what I needed tonight, you have a beautiful mind and such a unique perspective. I'll be up a while reading through your posts. Thank you.
Well now you made my night! :-) Thanks, brother! Let me know if you dig what you read.
sleeephead asked: I'd say your blog is badass, but that doesn't begin to cover it. Your blog is downright inspiring.