My guess is this –
It’s safe to say that my journey began a long, long time ago.
Or, perhaps I should say it this way –
A long time ago, in a lifetime, far, far away; a great story took place.
And me, I am this story.
I was living in a time of youth and confusion.
I was swept up in the different ideas of truth and distraction.
I was in the middle of misunderstandings.
Safe to say that I was searching.
I was looking for life or what it means to be real and alive.
Somewhere in the mix of life and music,
I found myself in the center of my rebellions.
I was in the middle of commotion.
I found myself in the swirl of times,
which took place on a stage
that was set in the middle of normal, everyday life.
This was all held in a normal everyday tow,
not so different from yours or anyone else’s.
I was caught here. Swept away, in fact –
Semantics mean nothing to me now
I am more than fact and I am less than this but far more.
I am a series of factors; in which case,
it would be remiss of me to say that I am nothing more than this –
a birth of humble origin, a background
a series of misconstrued facts
The fact is, I am more part of this now than ever before.
I was young once
like we all were . . .
I was somewhere in the mix and caught up
in the craze of both wild and beautiful riots.
I wore the armor of anyone else in the trenches.
I did the things that were common for my time
I matched the rest of the chameleons in my surroundings.
I was an undressed warrior and an undecorated soldier
holding the line in a make-believe battle,
locked and loaded in preparation for everyday life
and shooting madly in the smokescreens of social warfare.
I was somewhere between the unknown and faceless
and caught in the crossfires of the popular and the regarded.
I call this place the breeding grounds.
I call this early experiment “socialization” in its earliest regard.
Some call this place school
which is only preparation for life.
This is it, folks.
This is the real training facility
This is what sets our scope before we take aim
and shoot towards the journeys we have yet to see.
Yes, this is youth.
But also, this is where we begin.
This is where we all begin.
This is where our cognitive development builds from its platform.
This is where we learn not to touch hot things . . .
to keep from being burned.
(I know I’ve been burned before . . .
. . . have you?)
Are you ready to learn now?
It started here. You know this, right?
This is where everything started, right here.
It’s not what we learned in the classrooms so much.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need math. We need to learn about science and history.
But trust me . . .
the math and the science we learn,
as well as the chemistry they teach in school,
are all more poignant than what we think.
This goes beyond the lessons in the classrooms.
And chemistry – yes, I say this twice, intentionally,
because our chemistry becomes our life.
This leads us to our connections.
This becomes our identity.
This draws us to our attractions and, most importantly,
this draws us to each other.
This is what led me to you (or you to me)
and more, this is what binds us to each other.
This links us together
which is why I couldn’t shake you
not even if I tried . . .
not even if I wanted to
because the saying is true: You can’t fight chemistry.
I see that now.
I remember my youth though.
I remember my need to bleed or feel and be alive.
I remember my appreciation for color,
like when the sky changes from dark to light.
I remember different episodes from my journey.
Take heartbreak for example
or what it means to not be the one . . .
I took a walk home,
just before sunset in the early part of autumn.
I remember the thoughts and the mental quandaries.
I remember the day in autumn
I learned more about the laws of attraction
or the lack thereof.
The sun was going down
the winds were still kind and free from too much warmth;
the trees had just begun to change
and, to me, there was something so distinct about this moment.
The sunlight touched the trees. As I walked home,
I detoured through an empty lot on the northside of my town.
The sun cast down a way that amplified the color,
only this was softly done, delicate and gentle –
almost highlighted, like a sepia colored photograph
like a picture I saw of romance to accentuate color
or soothe the eyes in an otherwise black and white moment.
I remember the verge of new life and how things change.
Crowds change too and so will friends.
So will plans and intentions.
Motivations will change forms and, of course,
so did we.
I know I had this need
which was more than a need to have a connection
or to find something.
This was more of a need to find my voice
or to speak out loud without the worry of reflection
or the sound of reverberation.
I knew what I was afraid of. In fact, I’m still afraid
all the time
I’m afraid to be laughed at
or to be the center of someone’s joke.
I don’t want to be the punchline and
I don’t have the need to initiate the jokes anymore
nor do I want to laugh at someone’s expense.
I never liked that.
If I’m being honest, I never liked picking on anyone.
But I did it . . .
I suppose there’s a bit of Darwinism in all of us.
Survival of the fittest or if not and since I knew I was far from the fittest,
I didn’t want to be the weakest or worst either
I never wanted to be undesired or unwanted, not included or worse –
Poetry was this thing to me.
This was somewhat of a lifeline, I suppose.
I never told anyone,
let alone allow someone else to read what I wrote.
That would be too brave for me.
I never dared to express myself.
I’m not sure if I knew how.
I never knew how to be myself or be “me”
exposed in the open lights of true self.
I was afraid to do this without anything to hide behind.
I didn’t think I was beautiful.
I don’t think I was ever brave enough to look,
at least not deep enough to see.
No matter where we go and no matter how we pretend,
beauty is still beautiful.
Nothing can change this.
No one can deform me
And beauty –
this is a number of different things.
Beauty is infinite because beauty has no boundaries.
Trust me –
This is our Fantasia.
This is our Neverland.
This is our ever-after.
No matter what we do or how we mask ourselves,
love is still love, life is always life,
and the sunsets and sunrises are beautiful.
I used to sit in places just to watch the sky change,
which I know is not the typical thing for a so-called tough guy.
Maybe this is why I covered myself with invisible scars;
to prove that I can endure,
that I can take pain and eat this like candy,
that I can consume this without flinching
because if I can do this, then perhaps I can offer some kind of trade.
Maybe this might allow me the softer features of dignity
or warmth from the soul.
I, me, or anyone in this world is the same
We are all the same when it comes to life,
at least in this way –
We come to the understanding that life can be a wall or a bridge.
And sure, I’ve burned a few bridges.
I’ve built a few walls too and mostly,
I hid behind those walls to stay protected.
Only I missed a few tricks in the making of these barriers.
I wasted too much time
I missed to many opportunities
I spend days, weeks and months building this so-called shelter.
There were times when I hardly saw the sunlight.
I know that nothing so dark
could ever douse the light of true beauty.
However, there is truth to the words hysterical blindness.
There is truth to the self-destruction of inaccurate beliefs.
And, there’s truth to our own misconceptions.
More so, there’s truth to the misperceptions of self –
as in unknowing of your own beauty
or the possibility that you too
are absolutely amazing.
I suppose it isn’t tough to say or wish that I was beautiful.
I suppose it’s not tough to say that I want to be beautiful.
I was a character in a movie once.
Well, more than once yet
none of this was me or about me.
I have a relation to different characters though –
I have always been a searcher.
I have always been a dreamer.
I agree with the hopeless romance of life
and the pure color of emotion.
I love this spectrum of light. I love this variation of color,
no different from the sky when it changes forms.
I agree and understand why this beauty is only momentary.
I believe that Frost was right though . . .
He was right to say:
“Nature’s first green is gold.”
He was right when he called this “her hardest hue to hold.”
Then he said:
“her early leaf’s a flower. But only so, an hour.”
I understand this now.
Time is finite and more
time is everything . . ..
I understand this now
I get it
beauty is a living and breathing thing
and life cannot live if life is not free to breathe.
But me . . .
I just wanted to breathe.
By the way . .
Do you know what beauty is?
It’s not me or you or us.
It’s a moment in Central Park that could never be relived
or reformed or changed and
this is us and everything we do.
For now, we are in the human form.
This is beautiful.
This is a trillion miracles happening at the speed of light;
all at once yet we never take notice.
I have never noticed you this way, in this light before
and so many times I’ve seen you –
you’ve never looked more magnificent than this
Pure . . .
Perfect as ever
and perfect for me.
We never take a moment to appreciate how amazing we are.
We never realize that as bad as life might be
as hard as times might get,
nothing dark could ever dispatch the grace of light, at least not on my watch.
So, to close,
I want to leave you with this plea . .
I want to be light.
I want to be like that version of sunlight.
You know the one, right?
I want to be like the sunset over a marina.
Or, I want to be like the orange hue
like the one when sunset hit the trees that time –
colorful and different, aware and accepting,
tolerant and loving.
Even though I was on the verge of an unfortunate experience,
lo and behold, at least I had the sunset to walk me home.
I want to have that feeling,
that sense of ease.
I don’t want to be tough anymore
I don’t want to bleed or feed into these invisible scars,
only to make them deeper or worse,
only to build another wall or burn another bridge.
Life is meant for the living.
I want to live.
I want to be beautiful.
Above all –
I want to be me . . .
It’s funny how I still don’t let anyone read what I write,
except for you of course.
I don’t read out loud.
I don’t share this with anyone . . .
I can’t wait for the sun to go down now.
It’s when I feel closest to you –
and just like that –
everything is beautiful
(because of you)