I swear what I am about to tell you is true. Not only is this true but more than being true now, this has been true for as long as man or woman has been able to create sound.
The truth is sometimes nothing speaks to us (or for us) better than music. Sometimes, the rhythm is the only thing that makes sense. The music, the notes, the flare of emotion, which I can feel when the guitar strings play. When there are no words, to me, music is something that makes sense.
I find myself awake at times and on the couch. I find myself moving in different directions of thought. Take last night, for example. There I was on the couch, listening to the rain as it fell against the skylights on my rooftop. I hear this like a thousand footsteps; as if the raindrops fall in teams of countless soldiers on a mission, which is perfect though, because the rainfall somehow matches the way I feel.
The truth is I don’t mind the rain so much. I don’t mind the storms, which keep the streets empty and vacant from man or woman. I like the quiet sounds and the grayness in the sky. I call this the lullaby of all lullabies. However, last night, there was no rockabye baby from the treetops. The wind blew but no cradle did rock. No, I suppose there weren’t enough sheep to count last night. at least, not for a while.
What is a victory? What does it mean to win, to triumph, to overcome or rise above? Or wait, no. I have something better in mind. What does it mean to be at a level of awareness in which we have achieved a sense of both understanding and achievement without the contradictions of a win or lose mentality?
At this point, we can realize there is no opponent. There is nothing against us but our needless contraptions of thought, which are only imaginary. Besides, even if our imagination was real and something or someone was against us: So?
What would it look like to see life without the complications of adversaries? There is no more win or lose. There are no more rejection-based systems that hold us to the fires of judgement. The internal committee adjourns and the internal conflicts come to an end. There are none of the old diatribes or inner-criticisms. There is only internal and personal freedom.
There is a question that has been asked and pondered upon by countless writers, poets and artists alike.
What have I done?
This question poses an honest look at life. And I mean real life. What have I done?
What did I do and why?
The question is simple enough. What have I done?
But understanding the question is not the answer. However, to answer the question we have to understand the “Why” behind the question itself.
I urge you now, please. This thing we have and these moments we share are only fragments of time. They are small yet valuable. Every minute we have is priceless. Life is invaluable but yet, life is this short little atom of space and time. Nothing more.
And life? All of this is only a version. This is only a vision. Me, you, the trees outside and the mountains behind my home. The city and the landscapes, the views, the birds in the sky, the sea and the valleys; everything is only a vision.
I urge you, please.
Think clearly. Put down all the common distractions we cling to. Let go of the useless arguments. Release the pettiness, and the inaccurate assumptions, which are nothing at all. None of this is anything. All we are is all we have, which is this moment and the here and now.
I am thinking about this time last year. I was in the City, which was empty. The stores were all closed and the streets were like a ghost town. Within my time in this world, I have never seen New York City like this. Shut down. Boarded up, as if World War III dropped the bomb on us all.
I walked across 3rd Avenue in the middle of the business day. There were no cars. There were hardly any pedestrians in sight. Again, this was like wartime. We were quarantined. People were running out of toilet paper and there were restrictions at the supermarket.
No one expected this would last as long as it has. No one thought the virus would kill so many or keep growing. There were second waves, third waves and supposedly a fourth wave too. Only, it was strange to me because it seemed like none of us have recovered from the first wave yet.
Nothing is ever going to wait.
You know this, right? The saying “Time waits for no one,” is true.
Time doesn’t wait for anyone. At least, not in this lifetime.
Time moves and someday, the sapling we see will someday become a tree, tall enough to shade the grounds that you and I used to walk on. Eventually, all of this will be a memory. Even if we are stuck, like say, stuck in the past for example; or say, if we ourselves are caught in the snags of something either said or unsaid, either way, the morning will still change to become noon. Before we know it, noon becomes sunset. Then twilight becomes nighttime until morning comes again.
Two poles and I don’t mean North and South. No, there are two poles in me. There are two sides, and I mean the ups and downs. This is more than anyone can see from a surface level. There is no way to explain this.
All I can say is there are two sides to contend with. To which, I wonder if anyone can actually tell. I wonder if anyone understands or “Gets it.” Does anyone get it?
(about the two poles, I mean)
A summer’s evening and the wind was warm. I was sitting outside of Central Park, not too far from a bookstore that ripped apart my dreams, which was par for the course. Besides, this is part of the path I’ve chosen. This is how things go sometimes. Some days are favorable. Others, well, not so much.
I had my way though. I had one of those dirty water dogs from the hot dog cart with mustard, ketchup and sauerkraut. I could hear the sounds of the City. I could feel the wind in my hair. For some reason, 57th Street looked different to me that day. Maybe the world looked different or perhaps this was only a new chapter and there I was again, back to the beginning of something new.
When the numbers stop counting and there is nothing else in your mind to add or subtract; when there is only the acceptance that this is life; and whether in battle or peace, we realize that life is life; then we understand that there is no more us or them. There are no more quarrels or reasons to go back and forth. The sum of it all is simple to say the least. I am me. You are you. They are they. We are we and us is us.
We can set aside our pronoun troubles for a moment. We can stop pointing fingers. The pot can call the kettle black or not. Either way, none of this matters.
When the complications of our interpersonal math cease to exist; when the need to please, to interact, or counteract the neighboring bodies around us subsides and all else is clear; when we see clearly then we can understand that everything else is nothing more than a distraction. This is the dilemma.