I started this particular project more as a journal but intended to use the notes for a book in the future. The book was supposed to be a love letter of sorts— to the soul mate I have never met (or if I have met them, have unfortunately been unaware of.) I have been writing it for about three years. But the premise was that if this person did exist, I was writing to them the whole time we were apart— as if they were away at war or something— telling them about my thoughts, who I am as a person, events, feelings, ramblings, successes, disappointments, etc occurring in their absence.
Of course, this would be an overwhelming amount of information to unload on anyone so it is primarily figurative and I wouldn’t actually expect them to read it. Some of it is based on actual events and some from my imagination. The more I delved into the project, the more I realized it was more a stand-alone piece and it would be a disservice to make a novel out of it. It needs to breathe and exist but that is all it needs to do.
I have pulled out some one-liners for different projects (books/music/short stories/poems) but this is the process work much of my other creative work stems from. Much of Phoenix Rising (which is at weighing in at 50k words as we speak) relies heavily on the symbolism in these” journals.” I personally find it interesting to investigate the psyche internally and to dissect it. It is perhaps the greatest thing about being human— being able to communicate so many complex thoughts in written form.
I will be creating a database of short stories on this page as well that just, due to many extenuating factors, would never make it into physical books but still might be worthy of a brief read— so do check back often. Some of the short stories are happy or comical; others are tragic. Some are personal in nature and some are completely impersonal. Some are based on myth and others rooted in reality. Some are simply lines that never really quite fit anywhere. I write quite often and I very rarely publicly share anything that is truly personal so this is as much a new experience for me as it is for you. I’ll be working backwards chronologically at first for clarity’s sake.
Thank you for being part of the process.
”I write to you because maybe it makes it real. The collective “you” because I don’t know if you even exist. I want to believe that you do but truth be told, it is unlikely that you do. By putting everything I feel into words it makes it more stable and concrete—the things I hide, the dense or harsher realities about myself and my nature, and the ability to see within one’s soul. There is something about the fated state of things and I feel this will reach you if it is meant to. And if not, perhaps I will discover more about myself in the process. “
Notes from November (‘18)
*My soul feels weary lately. Sometimes I feel as if I am waking up from a dream. The world becomes something repetitive, as if there is a divine conductor orchestrating it in pattern and time. My footsteps feel heavy some days. I don’t remember when things began to shift—only that one day I was awake and suddenly I don’t know if I am awake or asleep. The world at best is synchronous—at its worst: chaotic. Is this insanity not knowing whether you sleep or wake anymore? So many signs point to the fact that this is a dream; a simulation. I used to avoid them or discount them. Now I welcome them like old companions. I know I am a just a visitor here now. I long for my home among the stars and there is this incredible homesickness I feel when I look out into that great dark expanse. This world is a safe womb but it is not truly my own.
*I think I was fine until that day I turned around and saw your soul. It was in a dark room that I truly saw your face and you saw mine and for a moment our eyes were wide in wonder—what almost felt like recognition. Like I had known you before—before our egos, before our bodies—just BEFORE time began maybe. Something so familiar despite the opposing beings that we are. We were like deer in headlights, souls exposed wide open, everything visible in that brief moment. It caught my breath within me audibly—which is very hard to do, I can assure you. Very little possesses me to react so abruptly. It seemed like minutes passed but it was probably only a few seconds. It is amazing to me that such a short moment of clarity lends itself to such an unforgettable impression. I have not truly shaken the feeling since but clung to it with some sense of purpose—looking for what meaning may or may not lie within it. I think perhaps you are the first to have seen me for myself and admittedly, it frightened me. It is like walking on the moon. Thrilling and terrifying all at once. I wonder if I was the first to explore those parts of your soul foreign even to you as well. Or maybe you didn’t think anything of it at all. That small moment has made me question absolutely everything since. It ignited a fire within me—you set a fire in my soul—and within the brilliance of the dark night I burn, I burn, I burn.
*I am a sponge whose pores are filled with tiny universes laden with deep oceans. I absorb. I am a magnet which attracts and repels. I am desire, warm retreat, and I am layered against the cold and callous. I am forgotten amongst the stars, my arms all constellations, limitless yet bounded by the stellar boreal nature of reality. I am master and commander of my own destiny, beholden to no man. I am self-conscious and painfully self-aware.
*I try to carry the weight of these feelings and they seem to drag me downward into a seemingly endless abyss. And then I rise out of the depths and into a fire—burning, changing, metamorphosing into something else. Someone else. And worse yet—I throw myself into the fire- to grow, to change, to evolve, all the while knowing how painful it is to feed the flames and lose parts of myself once held sacred. I find my life cyclical, consumed by this fire as I form the ellipse of fragility around it. Every once in a while it is too much and I find myself so isolated and so sullen. Not used to being melancholic, I struggle with these feelings that seem to have no place or purpose. Are they even my own feelings or someone else’s? I don’t know what the boundary is between sleep and dream; mine and theirs. Is there any boundary at all? Isn’t that what causes a disconnect to begin with—having too many boundaries for the human condition to cope with?
*Because I am not fragile. I am made of molten steel and density. I am a solid core surrounded by energy and light. I am made of dreams and experiences and intangible things but I am never truly fragile despite all appearances. I am myth. I am legend. I am alpha and omega. Divine masculinity and sacred feminine. I am not some tragic figure but a girl, molded from time and space, floating inwardly and outwardly. I touch the ground with my feet but my mind is somewhere in the clouds—always searching, always processing, always curious. In some ways I am a scientist and in others a mystic. I know no other way to be but myself. I feel like I have died a million times and been reborn. It is like discovering new worlds but never really belonging to them. I don’t know what it really feels like to belong anywhere. I find myself constantly in movement, in flux, changing. I used to think I was more fixed in place but this adventurous nature, untethered spirit seems to bolster on despite any protests I may have to the contrary. I am always wandering—trying to understand the human experience and trying to understand all of the discordant parts of myself and the nature of existence.
*I feel like there are so many sides of me now. I take so many forms. Once duplicitous—now multifaceted. I used to know exactly who I was but now I feel like I am constantly shifting. Sometimes I lose myself in this gravity. No longer stationary, I find myself becoming whatever is needed with my deeper self conflicted between childlike wonder and ancient frigidity. Causal death becomes precipitous of change in this immutable state. I often feel myself trying to find a balancing act between two opposing forces—the head and the heart. I want to feel but I don’t want to be vulnerable. I want to be safe but my adventurous spirit carves out a wayward path. I want to be open but find myself often closed up until I recklessly implode. My lungs feel heavy—I carry the weight of those around me because I want to ease the suffering of others. I want to love but I know it only means pain for me. I feel life is like a series of open doors and I am just passing through them. If it were not for the gravity in this world, I fear I would just float away and condense into nothing at all.
*I fear being trapped. I fear suffocating in complacency. I fear the gilded cage I was once kept in because I had to keep up the pretense of status to be “loved. “ All those photos of us smiling gleefully in our perfection and yet I was dying inside, click by click. I wore a smile because I took my vows seriously, when in reality I should have ran as quickly as my feet could carry me.
*Sometimes I call out to you in the night. I have cried over you more than I have cried over anyone. Wondering why you never came for me. Maybe you died. Maybe you got tired of waiting for me and settled down with someone who was pleasant and complacency set in. I feel so angry sometimes at you and I wish I didn’t. I would say I waited for you but that’s not really true. I searched for you in every lover, in every passing face, in the integrity of everything. I wasted many lifetimes over trying, trying, trying to make things work and pieces fit that just never really could. I beat dead horses and carried my grief with me like a badge of honor. “I survived!” I would say each and every instance as life and time took me further away from you. I have looked for you in all the wrong places and faces. I wanted so badly to believe that you were real—that somewhere in this world you were looking for me, too. I thought that maybe through my excesses eventually I would find you and now I fear it was all for naught. Did you ever exist at all? Did you ever reach across to me somewhere in the ether only to find nothingness? It has become abundantly clear that I was meant to walk this life alone. Perhaps it is your ghost that haunts my heart now. I feel like I have known you all my life and yet you do not answer. The stillness of my words crawls into the silence and makes a nest in these collapsing walls.
*I have never experienced love for my true self. People loved me for different things—for material things, for the body—never for the mind. Never for the soul. No one loved me despite my faults. They only tried to mold me into what their identity needed. They only scratched the surface of who I was and in time resented me for the very things they once prized. There was no one who looked at me and thought how lucky they were. I made no one happy unless I was compliant with their desires. I wanted to be an equal but was expected to be submissive into my own oblivion. I was never seen for myself. Always a child or low-lying creature but never a mighty eagle. I was rendered an abstract form of everyone who came before. Who were they searching for in my eyes— what ghost; what wounds? Even in my own family I fear the limitations and conditions of love. I grew up being told love was unconditional, or should be, only to find that my mother who taught me to love no longer believes it is so. I have both loved and loathed myself. I often strive to be a better person and do better things but sometimes I am lazy, selfish, or stubborn. Yet I love people. I am the keeper of their secrets, the confidant in which they confide their deepest fears, and I will shelter them no matter the cost to my soul. And so it is their burdens I carry on my back; not just my own. I collect them and compartmentalize them and ease the weight of the burden. I bless those who have fallen in their path and I hold hate for no one. I always put their needs above my own every time. But I am not a saint. If anything, I am a demiurge. I create worlds…. and I destroy them, too.
*The ebb and flow of the tides of life seemed to propel me ever-forward, mastering nothing and yearning to experience everything simultaneously. It was an endless cycle time and time again. And at some point I’d just exhausted my heart and settled into my disappointment. In a world where the ratio has such a dramatically high gap, why would someone prize intelligence over beauty or simplicity? I would like to say I am simple, but I am not. I wish I was—maybe that would have made life easier. Maybe I could have had those fantastic things like love and stability. Normalcy. Infinitely complex, overthinking, constantly moving, fluid, mutable, reshaping, changeable. I question everything and stop at nothing. There is something warlike and dynamic within me; ancient and caustic. I have so much passion within me but it frightens me sometimes because passion can conflict with self-control. The intensity of who I am is too much. I try to curb it but it is ever-present. My dynamism is a constant reminder of the dilemma I present to the world and the paradoxical sentient being that exists.
*Most people are content to live above the surface. Were I myself not an ocean, I would be, too.
But I’m not content with what is apparent. I’m not satisfied with simple things to pass the time. I am visionary and my worth is not cemented in idle things. If I seem world weary, it is not life that causes this weariness but disappointment. So many people fail to grow beyond themselves and I am often put into their lives as a catalyst for growth whether I am conscious of it or not. Many do not grow—whether for fear, comfort, or perhaps something else entirely. There is much beauty beneath the surface, despite the darkness and the nebulous quality of a void. I have been called impenetrable, indomitable, and aloof—but it is there where I go during those times-- because there I am free. I eye the world with a clinical eye—detached whenever possible—always watching, analyzing, rationalizing, and questioning. Every thought has a question mark attached to it and I must find a satisfactory answer before moving on. Learning is a lifelong obsession. I fear that laziness robs us of the experiential aspects of being present.
*I have chastised myself these three years—never once slipping although it would be quite easy to do. I have had many opportunities to do so but my capacity for self-control has grown, too. My understanding of the lower natures that govern me and have hindered my progress. In some ways, I guess it denotes something innocent; virginal in my newfound adulthood. A chance to redeem myself from the past. A chance for a choice. My innocence was taken from me and not given freely. At sixteen I knew so much of the world yet so little about human beings. He was fifteen years my senior—a friend’s older brother. It was a trap he had set and my intuition failed me that day. I still hear his laugh, the weight of him, the smell of turpentine. I was a tattered flag, captured and conquered. I felt like a piece of cloth but my body shattered like glass. I wanted to scream out, I wanted to cry—instead I retreated into a world I had learned to carve out for myself. A world of dreaming and pleasant things. The body was just a shell—I told myself this and it comforted me. I was afraid of him and ashamed. And so I never told anyone. And it took me a long time to come to terms with that.
*I have always in essence been rather solitary. I was a square peg in a round hole and never really fit anywhere. I have always been a loner and looked after myself. I liked building something out of nothing. I operate best in a world of firm scientific phenomena and quantum abstraction. Structured chaos. I lived entire lives in books growing up— I found this connection to the mind most fascinating. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope. This set me up for a disadvantage, however, for as I retreated into the sordid world of dreams— everyone else was already living them.
*Writing and experiencing are two very different things. I write a lot and dramatize a bit—most of what I write is true. At least for the time until a new perspective makes me alter my opinion of it. The written word has always comforted me in the darkest hours. There is something of an intellectual (or perhaps a poet) in me that feels so moved by words and music. The communication of deep thoughts and emotions conveyed through such a seemingly impersonal sentiment. As a child I would find myself drawn into these other worlds. They felt much like a secret and I would cling to them in my infancy—in some ways becoming the notes and the words with deafening sound. I was not like anyone else I had ever met. While I do not think of myself as superior to anyone or special in any form, I recognize that I am different. It would be impossible not to see that now. And that difference in itself can be isolating and confining. I am an exhibitionist much of the time, because the surface world is easy to demonstrate to. When I want to I can say and do all the “right” things—but it is the fear of being disingenuous or lacking honorable integrity that prompts me to dispel these more extroverted energies.
* I have an innate tendency to test people for their mettle, their depth, and courage. I show bits of myself—piece by piece, note by note. This may be wrong or unfavorable but it helps me determine their character and their limitations. I experiment with this—can I trust them with the breadth of my soul? How little? How much? Are they capable of entering the waters or just skimming the surface? Can I trust them to keep my secrets? I test them to know their morality, their values, their weaknesses. It is not wholly conscious, usually automatic, unless they intrigue me in some way. I would probably test YOU if given the chance.
*I became self-sufficient and independent because I learned early on I could only depend on myself to steer away from the rocks. Had I been more dependent or more submissive, I might surely have been wreckage.
*The first moment I saw you I “knew” with intuition so rarely wrong. And I almost ran away. Because I knew very well the amount of beauty and pain that would come from such a union. In the end I stayed because what I felt for you was worth the pain I would endure. It was as if your soul called out to me and I answered its siren call. The how and the why lost all importance. Just being near you and knowing you are safe and happy is enough. It just has to be enough in this life.
*I survive the storms of life. Each year I am reminded of how close I came to death and in the darkest hour I how I fought valiantly for survival. I never knew of my courage, my strength, or the brilliant light within until I was faced with the impenetrable force of darkness. I am above all things— resilient.
*I am often most amused by laughter. For laughter is the most musical attribute of human expression.
*I may weave tales much like Scheherazade—the more I know about the infinite complexities of human existence the more I can populate my stories with them. I must entertain them with the tragedies and foibles. But these stories are often rooted in painful experiences of which I have had many. And the main driving force for expressing this is imminent death. I want to know everything, experience everything and everyone, and it is perhaps the most heartless thing to realize it is impossible. A human life is not long enough. No life is. One would have to operate on a level of omniscience that is not rooted in a material plane. So I tend to these tiny universes, a few dimensions over, sowing seeds. So when I am gone perhaps those worlds will still exist and become something else. Sometimes I sit in silence, on auto-pilot—and no one knows I am holding pieces of the fabric of the universe together. No one dares to see the hidden things because people are afraid of being underwater. It is like diving in without oxygen, so I understand their fear. I was born underwater, in the void. The world beneath is much more a home to me than the one above. I tell you my secrets because I want someone to know who I am before I become something else entirely. Time seems so impossibly long yet is passes by so swiftly. I fear I am being carried away by the impetus of time, my light extinguished a bit too quickly, and there is still so much I’ve yet to do. In my heart I am fearless, brave, humorous, lively, and impulsive but very few people know these sides of me.
*It is when I express inward things outwardly that I feel the closest to the energy that surrounds us. As I become older, I feel the shifts in people so clearly. The shifts in moods. The energy. Creative energy springs from me in bursts brought on by any intensity I feel, and for a brief time I am no longer myself but some divine, detached form of energy. It is then that I become elemental light and divorce myself from the ego. It is a cycle I trust but do not necessarily like as I have never been quite comfortable within it. I am always afraid if I transcend reality I might disappear. I am attached to this world by microscopic strings that seem all the bit too frail and small to keep me attached to it. Creation is cathartic. It is the process of dying and being reborn over and over and over again. And every time, I feel a little less of myself is intact and my wounds exposed. Like magic, it too often comes at a price.
*I fancy myself an adventurer, full of valor and energy, yet I likewise desire calm and peace. I try to facilitate both aspects often unsuccessfully. My soul yearns for freedom yet I am a bit too proud to shirk responsibility. The duality of my nature and the irony it presents is never lost on me.
*I never want to stop moving or progressing for fear that I might die. If I keep doing and being perhaps I will never die. I am not afraid of death—quite the contrary. Death has in fact been my most constant companion these thirty-three years. But there is so much to be and do and I want to live forever. I have much faith in a higher power so much as I believe that things happen in the pattern they are meant to. Most things follow a structure and have meaning. I look for the meaning in everything because it is like a treasure hunt. By trying to connect the dots and patterns one might achieve some sort of symbiotic dance with the universe. If not, it is still an amazing adventure.
*I am an exhibit and prime example of what not to do in your waking hours.
*I walk through the world as if in a derive. I could practically flow through the world like water or air if my frame would make it so. The colors are so vibrant, the auditory patterns so pure, the feeling of objects and air so tangible. Does everyone experience the world like this? It is almost magical. Every day it feels like this grand gift to see all of these things happening like a well-oiled machine. Everything is in movement—nothing stays the same; not even the buildings. The sky moves, the earth spins, and the inhabitants slowly meander through time and space (blissfully unaware in typical fashion.) Can you believe that beyond those clouds there are countless stars? Can you believe the world is so vast, so full of energy and life, and that we are barely even fraction of what exists in the universe? Do you ever think about it as the world becomes surreal and magical?
“You may not realize this right now, but at this very moment I am operating on ten separate dimensions and holding a tiny universe together.”
I stared at my Chucks, unsure of whether to proceed or to just act like I hadn’t heard her. And then curiosity got the best of me.
”What?” I shifted in my seat uncomfortably, my eyes glossing over the edge of the book I was reading. My headphones hung haphazardly from my ears. I was taken aback, looking at this phantom of a strange girl who sat opposite of me on the El. She looked like a ghost— pale and white in a lilac blouse. When I saw the seriousness etched so unapologetically on her face, I could almost believe her.
“What…what kind of universe? How tiny?”
My first mistake.
”Oh—I don’t know.” She tilted her head, eyes upward, as if annoyed by the simplicity of my questioning. She raised a hand in a mock shrug, “Maybe 200 square feet. It is exceptionally small and ordinary. There is a lot of fog….and some grass….” She trailed off. She then sighed rather dramatically, this utterance of her annoyance barely lost on me.
I wasn’t really looking at her at this point. Just being polite. Two more stops and I was home-free.
”Not very big one then, huh?”
She glowered at me then before unleashing an unholy fury of expletives in my general direction. She stormed off the train at the next stop, clearly with some damage going on.
”Shit, man…” A fellow rider mused. “You sure pissed your girlfriend off.” I shrugged. Even if I could explain it no one cared. I sure didn’t.
I slid my headphones back in and stared back at my book. This is why I never speak to the natives on my ride in. I checked my coat pocket to make sure my tiny universe was still safe and sound. It was.