Memories From the Balcony – Daylight Savings

It is 3:33 in the morning.
Actually, it’s only 2:33 but the world pulled a trick which we call daylight savings time.
I am awake (of course) when I would rather be sleeping.
I am tossing and turning and sifting through random ideas, like “hey, how great would it be if this were summertime and we had a vacation home that was somewhere far from the rest of the world?”
How would it feel to walk through the door of a place that was seasonally hibernating and pull back the blinds to uncover the view?
Must be nice to have something like this.

Mostly, I am thinking about different ideas like, what would have happened if I planned ahead more often?
What would life be like if I had followed my gut instincts instead of giving up or giving in to fear?
I’m sure that we all find ourselves awake in the later hours, wide awake after midnight, looking up at the ceiling and thinking about nothing and everything at the same time.

To be honest, I never sleep much.
I’ve never been a late sleeper and for most of my life, it’s safe to say that I’ve always had mild to moderate bouts with insomnia.
In fact, I have scripted my own soliloquies at times like this.
You know what this is, right?
A soliloquy is the act of speaking one’s thoughts out loud when alone, especially by a character in a play. For example when Hamlet opened up Act III, Scene I, he began by talking out loud.
He was speaking to himself but at the same time, he was speaking to the crowd and to the universe.
Hamlet said, “To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles.”
Do you understand this: whether it is noble to take this on the chin or fight back – what should we do when if comes to life on life’s terms? Do we give in? Do we surrender?
Do we stand up no matter how hard this may be?
Or do we submit and lick our wounds?
Here is the question:
Do we go forward and dare again – or we do withstand and do nothing?
Hence, we are forever defeated or thus, we volunteer to be a victim.

I used to sit up, late at night, and write poem after poem – just to write or to release the toxins in my head which, in fairness, this was far from helpful because once I started, the mind just kept going.
Once the brain started, it was hard for me to turn this off and go back to sleep.
Then again, here I am now, doing exactly that.
I’m taking notes at the hour of daylight savings, forfeiting an hour’s time to gain another hour beneath the sun.
And that’s fine.
(No, it really is.)
This means I might be one step closer to a magic moment that I’ve been waiting for.
This could mean that I’m one step closer to pulling off my trick.
So I can say, “Ta-Da!” and hope that this makes you smile.

Here I am, wondering and thinking.
Of course I’m wondering and thinking.
I’m alive, aren’t I?
Isn’t that we do?
We wonder and we think.
We hope and we aspire.
And sometimes, we dream . . .

I know that I dream.
However, due to atmospheric circumstances that are beyond my control, I have to standby for a minute.
I have to readjust and learn to re-navigate so that I can find a new path and pull off my trick.
This is big to me.
This is as important as breathing.
I have to find a way to get out of myself . . .
Otherwise, the temporary set-backs of dead-end prospects become permanent.
Then what?
To be clear, that’s just not for me right now
(At least not anymore).

I’ve turned a blind eye for way too long.
I’ve given up and given in.
I let my fate be traded and settled for a lower value.
I’ve taken the trades for a lesser or insignificant value which, if we think about it, each time this happens to us, no matter how tiny or miniscule the moment may be; each time we trade our best interests or give them away, this calculates and further derails the ideas which are pertinent to our lives.

Then what?
Where are we then, if we’re not where we want to be?
Like now, it’s about to be another springtime on our side of purgatory.
Let’s hope the winds will be kind.
Meanwhile, as we wait in the in-between and sift through our soul’s right to peace and happiness and later salvation; we find ourselves in the temporary range between the now and then.
We find ourselves living according to a calendar of when; as in, “when is it my turn?”
“When do I get to go?”

I am thinking about a song by Colin Hay.
I’m thinking about how he sings, “Any minute now, my ship is coming in.”
He sings about how “I keep checking the horizon.”

Put simply, he’s singing about his real life and how, in his words, “I’m waiting for my real life to begin.”
I get that.
(Don’t you?)

I have different connections to this song.
I think this means more than just about waiting for my real life to begin.
I’m thinking about how I need to understand that there are plans ahead of me.
There is something worthwhile out there.
I know there is.
I know that somewhere out there, there’s a path just waiting for me to discover it.
I know there’s love for me. It’s out there.
I know there’s a door and it’s out there somewhere, just waiting for me to knock on it.

Come to think of it, I can remember when I was young.
I can remember when I would come home to a small bedroom in the basement of my Aunt’s home.
I remember the double zeros, blinking in red lights, which meant that no one called and that there weren’t any messages on my answering machine. 

I can remember what it felt like to believe as if I was speaking to an empty hall.
Everything was vacant. Absent.
Or maybe abandoned is a good word.
I was singing to a voiceless, faceless and empty crowd in a place with empty seats. Yet, I had a dream that someday I would figure out a way to fill this room.

I wanted to bleed out loud. I wanted to show the world my color.
I wanted my moment where I could reach the audience with my soliloquy.
To be, or not to be.
To get up or quit.
To fight back or to lose like sediments in the sand lose to the outgoing tides.
I wanted to sing and scream and cry.
In fact, I still do.
I want to allow the world to see me in such a way that I am finally no longer hidden from view – but instead, all is clear and at last, there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. There is no reason to hide my hopes or my truths.

I have been waiting and working. This has been me for as long as I can recall.
I have been moving and going forward. I have been writing and learning and working on this new thing which I call my trick.
Guess what?
My trick changes as the days go by.
This changes often because times change and, therefore, my intentions change and even my intensity changes.

I want it though –
I want to be something.
I want to stand and read and share and show.
I want to undress in such a away that my true self is not naked in any way.
Instead, I am simply open.
Thus, my transformation will be complete because I will have evolved.
Then I will be like a piece of art. More importantly, at last, I can be beautiful.

I know that I have more in store for me.
Then again, I also have a fear that I might miss my train.
I’m afraid I might miss my flight to a place we call salvation.
I believe there’s a word for this.
Some people call this anxiety.
Some might call this depression.
Some call this life or some say this is either the pot or the kettle.
Still, I admit it.
I’m afraid I might have missed my shot.
I’m afraid that I might have missed the window or that I turned left instead of right.
Or as the saying goes, maybe I zigged when I should have zagged. 

I am not desperate.
I am not weak.
In my defense, I am enduring and moving forward because it’s exactly like my Mother used to tell me.
No one ever promised you a rose garden . . .

I am tired at times.
I am like you
(and I say this all the time).
I am like anyone who wakes up and, somehow, in spite of everything, I am like the person who gets up to show up and repeatedly, each day, from now until the hour of our death.

I told you something yesterday –
I told you about the voices and the sounds and the auditory distractions that used to haunt me when I was young.
I am uncomfortable about these truths.
I am uncomfortable about the shame from my past.
I have blood and sins and mistakes on my hands.
In fact, I do what I do to answer for this.
I do what I can to answer for my faults and to serve as my amends. Sometimes this means I hurt.
Sometimes this means I have to regroup and learn to redirect my attention to a brighter screen.

I told you about the mass gadgets of my personal self-destruction and I know I’m not alone.
I’m humble though – modest too.
I am like the meek yet I’m not waiting around to inherit the Earth.
I’m not in line where the first will be last and the last will be first.
I’m in line though, just like you and anyone else in this world.

I know that I have held on for this long.
I’ve held on for more than 50 years which is a success in anyone’s book.

Right now, I am sitting in a dark room and in a mainly dark place.
I am sitting. Thinking.
I have music playing in the background.
I have the City outside of my window – and believe me, she inspires me.
(Just like you do.)

I have opposition to contend with.
In some cases, the opposition is me.
In other cases, the opposition is the opposed forces which are (as usual) out of my control.

I tend to forget that it’s normal when a so-called enemy growls.
That’s what they do.
I forget that unkind words from unkind people are status quo.
These are understandable; in fact, kind words from unkind people and smiles from enemies can only mean one thing…
This means you have something coming in the mail.
This means you have something coming your way.
This means something is in store.
And I get that.
There’s no such thing as friendly fire anymore, just interpersonal wars which, of course, is another battle that I’ve grown weary from. This is why I’ve chosen to surrender here. But more so, I’ve chosen to surrender to win because no one ever wins a fight. There’s only a side that didn’t lose as much.

I try not to pay attention to these kinds of things.
I don’t like to think about this.
Besides, this is a distraction.
Instead, I’d much rather check the horizon.
I’d rather keep an eye open and look out for my ship which, hopefully, will come in soon.
Hopefully that door is going to open
Hopefully my phone is going to ring and then I’ll hear that voice.
I’ll hear someone on the other end say, “Where ya been, kid? We’ve been looking all over for you!”

I have been sifting through my memories or in this case, I’ve been thumbing through my memories from the balcony.
I have been thinking about the ins and outs and the true whereabouts of my soul.
I have seen great things and sad things.
I have accomplished and failed and, to me, this is my yin and yang.
This is my give and take. (AKA: Life)
I have only been to the opera once – well, maybe twice.
I’ve never been to Europe.
I’ve not made that trip to New Mexico to see my Grandfather’s grave yet.
Oh, and there’s a mountain or a place where people go to be healed there too.
I could use a dose of this.
I’ve never taken a train across the country which, someday, I promise you . . .
I’m going to do this; but now, I promise the outcome will be more spectacular.

I have more to do and more to say.
I suppose what I’m looking for is my platform.
I want to build my own theater, so-to-speak. Besides, I believe it was Shakespeare who said “all the world’s a stage.’
He said “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances and one man in his time plays many parts.”

I’ve played my share of parts.
I’ve been the villain. I’ve been the hero.
I’ve been the part of the plot which has thickened and I’ve contributed to the setting of tragedies, victories and, as best as I could, I’ve done my best to contribute to the symphonies from my heart.

I have love to give.
I know I do.
I have thoughts to share and hopes to brighten the sky to light my way.
I know that there are days like now, when the news reports are sad and the people on the street push and shove or bitch and complain.
I know there are days which are filled with rejection – or at least so it seems.
Then again, rejection is only as real as our investment. 

The one good piece of advice I was given was given to me long ago.
This was given to me by a salesman.
He’d been around the block a few times.
“Just keep moving, kid.”
This made sense to me.
Keep moving.

I go back to a memory of helping The Old Man work on a home project.
I watched him use a hammer and a chisel.
He was hammering the chisel as hard as he could,
Bam! Bam! Bam!
He missed with the chisel a few times and hit his hand.
Like, OUCH!
He did this a few times and then The Old Man started to bleed.
But no matter what, The Old Man kept pounding on it.
Pain or not. Blood or not – he just kept swinging the hammer.

I remember watching this.
I remember thinking, “What the hell is he doing?”
I wanted him to stop because he was clearly hurting himself –
This was hard to see.

Finally, The Old Man broke through.
He let out a grunt from the pain.

I asked him, “Why didn’t you stop?”
He told me, “Because that’s when it starts to hurt . . .”

We have a challenge when it comes to pain – mainly emotional pain but this is true regardless of any pain.
We have a problem enduring . . .
This is why people choose to keep running.
This is why people fail to stop their habits.
This is why we run instead of face the change because if we keep running, maybe the pain won’t catch us.
But it does.
No matter where you go . . . there you are.
People run all the time.
It’s because when they stop, that’s when the pain settles in.

I have been part of this so-called play that we know as life
I’ve been a writer and an actor.
I have been a director and a content creator.
But my job is not done.

The stage is not finished yet.
I have more to do and more to say.
Besides, it’s like the song says –

I’m waiting for my real life to begin.

So, I don’t mind being hopeful
I’m fine with being a dreamer.
So what if I’m the only one who shows up on opening night –
At least I gathered the stones it took to keep going.
At least I got up and got in there.
I did what I had to so that I could persevere. Regardless of the pain, I never stopped hammering until finally –
I found my way to break through . . .

Don’t give up, kid.
Not yet.
I promise something big is about to come your way.

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