When there was nowhere left to fall, then there was no were left to go. When there was no place to turn and no one else to turn to, it was here that I stopped wondering about the numbers of what could go wrong; therefore, I became numberless. The calculations had stopped because the complications of my life had simplified me down to the bottom of the barrel. It was here that with no other attractive opinions, I chose the option to change.
But yes, I admit it. There are photographs of me that are blackmail worthy. There are pictures of me that should I ever choose a life of politics or if fame should hit, I am sure these photographs would surface.
There are pictures of me in less than favorable conditions, positions and pictures that were taken of me at locations that were less than righteous.
Included on this list are pictures of me from different fashion tragedies and photographs that even the simple thought of them is enough to make me cringe. This includes my different hairstyles, which I shake my head. And I laugh because somehow, I suppose I thought this was a good look for me. I think about my wide leg jeans and my black boots with the wooden heels, which were in style at the time. I think of this and all of the places and stories. I still cringe, at least a little bit.
There is this idea we have that everything we believe is true. And it must be true because then why else would we believe something if it wasn’t true? Am I right?
Even if truth and belief do not match, we find ourselves with the firm intention of defending our beliefs. This is it. This is truth. And that’s that, right?
There is the fact that perception is not truth. Perception is only true to us and our belief is altered by opinion and emotion. To me, my truth can be changed and altered to fit what I believe.
But this is how self-deception works. This is where the deception of our perception tricks our belief system into following a matrix of ideas that keep us from our best.
Don’t believe me? Okay, then read on.
I suppose the start of my life was to learn more about this thing we call boyhood. Then it was how to be a teenager. Then I had to learn how to be a man. Then I had to learn how to be me. It seems like most of our life is spent learning how to be something we already are.
I trace this thought back to the days when we were on corners or in front of stores, asking the so-called “Cool” looking adults if they would buy us some liquor or beer. The conversation always started out with the same, “Excuse me,” and sometimes we’d luck out. Sometimes we’d find someone who thought it was their job to educate us on life. It was enough for me to roll my eyes, thinking, “Good God, man. Just buy us some beer or get lost.”
I think of all the writers that I’ve heard about. I think about the names like Shakespeare or the other greats whose names may differ, according to opinion. I think about Kerouac and his long, unending sentences, which make sense to me. I think about Tristessa, which is a great one by Jack Kerouac. I think about this and what the novel means to me.
I think about the late poet Jim Carroll and how he would read his poetry at open venues. Carroll read his poems regardless of his accent or the sound of his voice. I think about this and how it leads me to regard myself.
I think about Robert Fulghum and one of his best selling books, which I took from the nightstand next to my Old Man’s hospital bed.
I am on my way like I have been more than ten thousand times before. It is early and the months are growing colder, which means sunrise will not come until later. We are entering the final approach and soon, this year will end and the new one will begin. My body is in that familiar sense of auto-pilot again, which means I am driving and alert. I am aware of my surroundings but my mind is someplace else. It’s crazy to think that we are at the close of the year. Soon enough, we will hear all the “New Year, new me” ideas and people will begin with their New Year’s resolutions.
But my resolution is simple.
“Just keep going.”
So much happens in the tiny pockets of our memory. Trees grow here with roots that bury deep within and sprout in the fields of our dreams. And dreams? Yes, I have them. As a matter of fact, I am thankful for each and every dream I have.
Today is Thanksgiving, November 25, 2021. The temperature outside is 31 degrees. The dawn is just about to break and the early light is changing the color of the sky. It is still dark and quiet and from what I hear, the weather is supposed to be partly cloudy, which is fine with me. You can call me crazy, but I appreciate a day with gray clouds in the late autumn scene. It’s not sad nor tragic. It’s just a reminder from the great Mother Earth who says “Relax.” And I plan to.
Relax, I mean.
I would like to believe that I would never forget and that above all, I will always remember who I am and where I come from. I would like to believe that I will never forget what it took me to get to this point, which has nothing to do with success, least of all a monetary number or a bank account. This has nothing to do with where I live or the type of car that I drive. This has nothing to do with a portfolio or net worth because I have learned that money can lose its value. Fame is fleeting, which is not to say that I am famous or anything like that. But popularity is only plastic. The rest of the world is see-through but if I am to be held to the light, I want to be more than what appears to the eye.
I am sure we all agree that awareness comes in time. I am also sure that awareness comes in stages. For example, I was more aware of my surroundings when I was younger. I was more aware of fashion and flash and glory. I was a younger person in search of thrill and thrill-seeking things, like, how fast can I go or how can I push my adrenaline to the highest peak.
Now I am less aware of things that divide the crowds or the status of social popularity which at one point was something that mattered to me. But simply, the older I become, the more I find myself completely unaware of new technology or how to use it. The more I advance, the more I move away from unimportant ideas that crippled me in the past.
I was standing outside of my hotel room in the early hours of the morning. My body was on New York time but my location was Los Angeles, California. This was one of my first trips out to L.A. which was more like a dream to me. I was partly awake because my body was unsure about this thing they call time zones. I was partly up because I was excited to be where I was and partly so that I could call in to one of my Sunday morning empowerment groups.
After losing a considerable amount of weight, I loaded up a backpack with the same amount of weight that I lost. Then put this on my back. I walked around for a while and felt the weight that I had lost. I did this to realize how much weight was gone and after removing the backpack, I realized how much lighter I felt.
Weight has always interested me. I know how much a pound weighs. I know how much ten pounds weigh and twenty and so on. I understand that my concept of weight differs because my strength and depth of feeling is unique to me. I don’t know what ten pounds feels like to anyone else. I only know what this feels like to me.
I know that holding something that is lightweight can eventually become heavy. I also understand the process of accumulation. I know that one thing can become two and two becomes four; therefore, before we know it, we find ourselves carrying way too much.