-this is an unfinished working piece-
We constantly find ourselves in a sprint, a march, a stampeding effort up the stairs to where it is we want to be. A staircase we know well for we’ve marched it a number of times. It always looks taller and steeper than ever completed. It’s always demanding we continue to march, always telling of new heights to reach, and new lengths to fall. It never looks like we’ve done enough, and it stands tall in its taunting overbearing way daring for another step, and presenting to us equally. We spend so much time in preparation to make this climb, we spend so much time in doubt, but each step remains always right there in front of you, waiting. A bargain which we can negotiate into nothing until, or before we take the next step.
We march, and march, and march, each day consciously knowing that we are being wound down, knowing what’s in store at the top, knowing every step moves us closer, every step is different and changes sometimes unforeseen, sometimes pleading to go back, but we can’t. And if we could we’d have to lose and erase every single one of those steps we already climbed. Time moves another hour, to a new moment to allow ourselves a precious second to see how far we have climbed, and to taste the water that wasn’t there before. There is no going back. The older you get the more profound and pronounced those precious seconds become. And if you maintain your own pace, and you bask and rage rather than wallow in the natural decay, maybe by chance or whimsy, you can take a second and notice results, came and magically slipped in. Easier said than done. Perhaps easier to fall on your own sword, look back, and gather what’s around you the best you can, than to continue a tireless march up and away towards something completely intangible, entirely unstable, and where all that is guaranteed is a further way to fall.
A rigid and slanted crown we place on our head when we look back with extravagant fondness or deep reverence of how far we’ve come. A crown that is stale and unworthy of being called or pronounced as an endowment of wisdom or any real experience. Getting caught up in your own successes and achievements will only lessen and diminish the natural role which was played to “get there”, compromise all sense of reality, and/or possibly set yourself up to fall back even further and harder. Real experience reminds us of and sometimes even encourages us for how far we need to go, how little we know, and unsympathetically tells us how insignificant we really are. It does not glorify the path already paved or walked. It does not encourage our sense of desire. It will encourage our sense of awe and wonder, and stabilize a truth and reality greater and beyond yourself. It does not leave us yearning for more. It’s enough and allows us to be more because of it. It does not speak to us in terms of victory. You cannot conquer the world. A real experience will plant you with a respect that lets you know you cannot “win”, you haven’t gained, you haven’t gone. But rather it enriches and emboldens your sense of self within your time, which remains at the helm, and tells you there’s ways to go, there’s more to do. It allows you to take another step; knowing where you’re headed. No experience in this lifetime is better than another. They’re all subjective and they’re all worthy. Some experiences can be worse though. Some are just painful, leaving you only in doubt, and hurt. All of which though will serve to guide your path, and hopefully if they don’t enrich your life directly, they enrich the tools you carry with you, sharpen the edge of truth, and eventually ease and soften the steps you do take.
A flimsy and tired crown is worn trying to balance the essential demands of life_ like eating and sleeping, defining your own life and experience within the world, and managing the external labels placed upon us by that world. A crown with immense weight, but holds no shape. Slowly, one drip at a time, it bleeds down your forehead and into your eyes contaminating and staining your peripheral, leaving you incapable and unwilling to see the whole picture. Even for the strongest, even for the most ignorant, even for the most empty and unconcerned, it is impossible to heave yourself through life and not take note of the reflections that the world throws in front of you. And for those who are sensitive and willing to listen, without a developed compass and adequate shield, you’ll find yourself walking through a hall of mirrors saturated with doubt and unnatural misconceptions, leaving you lost and in spiritual paralysis; a clown in a carnival tent constantly asking “what do you think?”
The most difficult label placed upon me in my life was being anything less than a good guy. I allowed the question to seep into my mind keeping me up at night wondering who I had met, knowing they did not meet me but a shadow of myself, timid and worried of its reflection. I frequently questioned what I did and would make every bulletin of what I “should’ve and could’ve” done better or differently. It could take years to shake a single judgement that took a second to make. We are all subjective to the way we feel. That is redundant and obvious, but we need to understand our feelings, how they are, and for what they are. Because it is only when we are looking within ourselves unnaturally through the view of others and our eyes are not embracing and taking note of the world around you, is when you’re going to see the things that disagree with our ever adapting perspective. This is the most idle state of living, and it is exhausting going nowhere. When you are present, full within your experience of the world around you there is no time to notice “what you don’t like,” unless it’s mayonnaise. There’s too much beauty. There’s too much artistry.
When it comes to how we experience and interpret life, there are of course ‘good’ labels as well. Tokens to be thrown in a fountain and wished upon for if subscribed to too frequently and too heavily can clog the mind and leave the soul just as idle and outside of itself as negative labels would, and turn what once had a chance for beauty into a stale rotting infectious poison that is drank with every meal and blessing you take. To begin with, no matter where it takes us, may we grow to have a heart that is open to the experience of life, and a spirit that will work to maintain that. And ultimately, it is always disgraceful and with insufficient consideration to ever contemplate being the king or queen of one’s self, rather than a passenger who in their own way prays for a smooth ride and the scenic route; and for steps that aren’t so steep.
To dream within a dream, to dare to dream again, to will out, no matter what the means or circumstances is the vessel for our greatest stories, but to dream without reason creates a destiny of illusion. For instance, Don Quixote is a nice story for an unfavorable life. There is no use in the greatest of wills without the ability and design to adapt, develop, and learn from previous mistakes and missteps. And what is the point to be a great man or woman if their dreams are based on a solitary experience? A big house? A nice car? Money? Great professional success? A great lover? If at the wake of a dream a single unaccompanied life is improved and advanced, should it have ever been dreamt to begin with? Was it our own? Was it much of a dream at all? Observe society’s elite, the most successful and what drives them. If it’s the next score, the next big break, some payday that surfaces from all the great deals that are being made… they are not happy or wholesome individuals. And are they really successful? What’s it matter though, if at the end of the day what is observed is “whatever gets it done?” It should matter to the individual, and also to the rest of us if we are choosing to observe. You have but one life, and no matter how much yourself has to consume or how well you look to everyone else, your dreams can still be lonesome matters of solitary external “success” that will lead to lonesome solitary external experience. However, dreams that are rooted in contribution to a community, and driven by a heartbeat sullied in love, are the dreams that create new foundations, new measures of humanity, and make for a better world and better life. Give your dreams the due process they require. What are my dreams for? What are they about? Where am I going? What do I want? What am I doing? Etc. And before your dreams begin or end, question everything you can about them so you don’t end up climbing a path and blazing a trail unnatural to you and what you originally intended, and/or successfully consummating a state of loneliness.
I am too young to profess any real wisdom, too inexperienced to paint a picture of life, and too lacking of professional endeavor to give concrete advise, but I am thoughtful enough to realize a few things to be true. Matters affect us on a daily basis. They will be a guide to where we are going. Variables interwoven throughout our time that lead us up each step of our life that hopefully at the best of times we have chosen. Our nature and determination, our design and vision, our experience and reflection, our temperament and subjectivity, our relationships_ what they bring and take, our universe and all its surprises, what we love and how we dare to dream—this list is not scripture, nor code or doctrine, it is not meant to be complete. We find different things affect us differently at different points of our life. There is no formula how to reach the top. I put it at the top because I believe life is an upward march; a march to take your time with (pun intended), and one that doesn’t involve placement of any kind. But it is still a march, an effort to reach and discover new life and experience. I do not and never have proclaimed to know what is at the top. And it is not a quest. It is not a matter of checking all the boxes before you kick the can. I am not seeking a better life, but rather receiving whenever open to it. Yet I do not get, I don’t obtain, I do not proclaim or profess to possess like when I was a kid, and when I do, I find that which is most locked and secured is most at stake. The more I have it in the bank, the more fleeting it is, the more corruptible it becomes, and the more frequent the attacks get. Instead I am a passenger trying to absorb and make the most of each moment. I cannot put the world or life itself in words that would be described as eloquent. I cannot describe my account with much accurate meaning. My interpretations do not always translate directly to thought. Whilst I have some time here, all I am left to do, is merely my best to make it an experience.