Sour Mash Doubts

Doubts and guilt, doubts and will

I want a bout with honesty, but still

It ain’t right that I write only to share,

so I walk ‘til I’m naked, alone, and scared

 

Working on a world made up of lines

a jagged sawtooth, I am dusty hammer tines

aging slowly, rusting like nails in the times

relevance buried in the “who, what, where, why?”

 

I watch you succeed, I watch you spiral and fail

I watch you unbridled, through a window unveiled

This whole time, we thought our calling had sailed

It was tomorrow we were following, on road & on trail

 

Yesterdays poem becomes todays advice,

biting me in the ass, these words I read twice,

You counted the cards ‘n I loaded the dice

Who could expect an asshole to play nice?

 

Every bee stung me, walking to the hive

I can tell you that I’m lucky to be alive

Back on battlegrounds we strive to survive

Us crossing lines, so quick to chance lives

 

I chamber a round, ‘cus death shoots hollows

Most men just want a war drum to follow

To give them some honor, sacrifice, and bravado

warping the story ‘til each man is Picasso

 

The drones are marching through sweltering heat

While others dodge illusion and deceit

They see a carpet crawling, rats up to their knees

Fighting for a feast while spreading disease

 

One beer at a time, one breath at a time,

Wasting money, it’s peace I can’t buy-

Could you spare a little peace of mind?

Or else cut a line and pour me some wine

 

If you accept my conditions of suffering,

I’ll accept myself and everyone else

I am my own hostage, couldn’t you tell

Pay my ransom or throw me in the well!

 

Envious of those who grow rich beyond riches

knees grow weary, digging penniless ditches

Rolling the bowl, inhale both genie & wishes

Life is joke between three laughing witches

 

Mash in the chamber, I am the changer

my experiences distilled be the only remainder,

Gulping and splashing drops upon strange anger

sharing libation and handshakes with strangers

 

I walk in the woods to stalk a truth I can kill

I’ll beat it and twist ‘til it lies naked & still-

kill or be killed, fulfilling a beast of will

We’ve got a full bottle and I’m a-cooking still

 

My song is a fly humming through wide open blue

My darling is a harp, playing faithfully and true

My heart is a snake, made of flesh and sinew

We left the apple on the limb, and a new tree grew.

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Oregon Hitchhike Trek Loop: Medford to North Umpqua Trail & Back!

With a few days of hang-time in Southern Oregon, I decide it’s high time I head for the hills. I’m ready for a break from all the fuss and bustle of the town & city. Dupree drops me off just north of Medford in Eagle Point.

It’s around 4pm when I get my thumb out there. Heading up small country highways, I stand for an hour with the sun in my face. Most of the drivers are behind big trucks and SUVs, some towing fishing boats, others hauling construction equipment. Most of ‘em ignore me. A few pass with a gentle wave or a disapproving glare.

I get antsy standing there so I start walking. In my experience, the deeper you get into the country the better it is to hitch while walking than hitch while standing. They see ya standing, they think you’re lazy.

Sure enough, a kid stops for me and takes me up to Shady Cove. He tells me it’s illegal to hitch within city limits, so he drops me on the outskirts of town.

With the sun tucked away behind the mountains, I pop a beer and level my thumb. I hail a ride from a guy named Taz. He grows herb up on one of the local hills and offers me a job and a line of coke. The coke looks clean but the job sounds bad: no facilities, no electricity, and his truck is falling apart.

Not that I mind rustic living conditions, but if my boss can afford powdered drugs but can’t afford solar panels, he probably can’t pay me on time. I take his number out of politeness and thank him for the pick-me-up.

Taz drops me at a day camp near Lost Creek Reservoir. Now I’m drinking some wine and watching the daylight fade. A few rides blast past and I’m feeling downright chipper. If there were more daylight, I’d surely catch a ride.

Dark & chilly, I set up my hammock and go to sleep in the day park. It’s peaceful beside the Rogue River.

The morning brings bird songs and rowboat fishermen landing huge salmon.

I have a quick bagel breakfast and wave to the fishermen before getting to the highway. It’s a bit frosty still so I find a patch of sun on the bridge and wait for well over an hour before I catch my first ride.

He tells me to watch out for his fly rod as I load my pack into the back seat of his Subaru hatchback. His name’s Drew. He’s going up to Bend and on into Washington.

Drew is in his fifties with long hair. He has eleven children by eight women. He shows me pictures of his Haitian and Dominican girlfriends down south. He grows cannabis in Washington state and earns a decent living investing in rental properties. He is full of humor and stories. 

He also teaches survival courses and invites me up to Spokane to take a course in exchange for labor. I take his number before he lets me off near Diamond Lake. He asks me if I brought some hooks and line, then tells me I ought to make a few dead falls after noticing all the squirrels running around piles of melting snow. We’re up in the mountains now.

Rides are slim up here so I hoof it to the Diamond Lake camp store and pick up a couple cold beers and some fishing line and hooks. I can stake the lines into the ground with hooks and worms overnight.

Only a fourteen mile roadside walk until I’m by the section of trail I want. I catch a short ride from a tweaker with an obnoxious laugh. Her baby is hollering in the back seat as she rants about her deadbeat baby daddy. She stops to let me off at an intersection and panics for a moment as a white ford pulls up near us. She’s pretty sure it’s a cop but I assure her it is not.

Walking onward with an outstretched thumb, I hail one more ride, this time from a friendly woman who confides that I’m her first hitchhiker. I smile bashfully and load my pack in and thank her for stopping. Her name is Layla and she lives in LA.

She just spent the night camping in the snow on the rim of Crater Lake. She’s headed up to Portland, stopping to see the sights of Umpqua along the way. I find myself as an absent-minded tour guide as we whimsically explore some of the North Umpqua sights. We hike a few waterfalls together, most notably, the locally famous Toketee Falls. 

The parking lot is swarming with visitors and we are among them.

We hike the short trail to the observation deck, also crowded. I notice a steep, narrow trail going down to the falls. Layla asks if I want to climb down to the falls. We descend, grabbing root, rope, and rock to get down gently.

The water is roaring like a frigid lion, spraying mist all over alien mosaic rock-formations and mossy caves. 

We spend awhile down here, talking with other hikers and admiring the view.

Layla and I ramble about our past, present, and future lives. Passions, careers, and reality. We agree that it’s nice to find spontaneous friends like this. After the hike, she drives me up to the hot springs trailhead and sends me off with warm wishes and a big hug.

Now in the middle of the afternoon, I have a choice to make. Which way to go? I can go east on the Dread and Terror segment. Twelve miles. Very difficult. My other option is continue onward west via the Deer Leap Segment. Nine miles. Moderate Difficulty. 

The decision is obvious: continue onward west, go with the flow and follow the river. Deer leap it is.

Out of shape with a heavy pack, I begin walking trail. The weather forecast called for warm days in the seventies and cold nights in the thirties. I think I brought enough layers.
On the trail, the mosquitoes are thick and hungry. I have a few miles of intersecting roads before I begin my segment. The terrain is downhill and gentle, following Toketee lake. A couple of mountain bikers ride past me.
I cross a road and hop onto my segment, finding a nice bubbling creek to fill my bottle. After a nice long drink, I march onward through the evening air. The trail climbs high into the mountains, challenging my body and rewarding my head with views of the rivers, smells of conifers & cedar, and sounds of the whirling valley below.

I hike until dusk, nearly out of water. I have no choice but to keep moving forward ‘til I find a creek but there hasn’t been one in a few hours. I try to move slow and steady, but end up half-jogging, covered in mosquitoes.

Around a bend I hear a steady, heavy breeze. Getting closer, there’s a slapping splash on a rock. My heart sighs in relief. I get a fill up and round the next bend to find an alpine meadow full of golden-green grass and yellow spring flowers. Almost no mosquitoes here.

I scramble over the rocky meadow toward a small hollow flat with four trees: two cedar, one oak, and a madrone. I hang my hammock here and get a fire going. I counted seven miles today.

I eat a feast of eggs, onions, and peppers and fall asleep to the calm and quiet pulse of crickets and soft wind.
I wake feeling rested beneath overcast skies. I start a small fire and get some tea and breakfast in me. I stretch and warm up, hit the creek to brush my teeth and wash my face.
The morning sun burns through the clouds to give a delightful view of Crater Lake and snowy mountains nearby. 


The sun dances on the flowers as I saunter down the trail to find overlooks galore.


I ditch a stick of butter along the way, deeming it as excess weight. Maybe a bear needs it to bake some cookies.

The trail descends toward some beautiful creek, full of pools. I stop off by a particular picturesque creek, swollen clear and blue with the winter melt. I strip my sweaty layers off and climb down to the edge of a pool. Wading over to a small waterfall, I shriek in cold shock and dip my head under to take a brief rinse off. I chicken-walk back to shore and lay out in the sun feeling very refreshed.

I enjoy a light lunch of bagel and sunflower seed butter before continuing onward. The trail descends back into the valley, following the North Umpqua river again. 

I finish the Deer Leap Segment with plenty of daylight left. It’s hot in the valley so I take a siesta in some shade near a dam.
A bit cooler now, I walk onto the Jessie Wright segment. Four miles of easy trail. I hike a few miles and find a nice creek to rest at. I suspect it’s called Boulder Creek but since I have no map, I’m not sure. I explore up the trail and can’t find a better place to camp so I return to the creek. The water tastes amazing.

I put my only beer in the cold creek and start a large fire on a small sandy beach. I cook up a whole can of beans with some sautéed onion and pepper to fill my belly. I sway peacefully in my hammock by the waterside. Another seven mile day.

The next morning, I fry up some eggs and potatoes and get on the trail after stretching a bit. I stop to climb some boulders to catch a view. I explore some old logging trails and find a power line clearing. The poison oak is dense up here so I tread carefully.

The trail twists along the river for a few miles and catches back up with Highway 138. I start walking down the highway and find a light waterfall trickling into a roadside ditch. 

I decide to wash up here and get the poison oak oils off my skin with soap and cold water. I must look funny taking a shower on the side of the road. I try to ignore the cars buzzing past. I can’t help but laugh.

I dry in the sun awhile and continue down the road a few more miles, looking for the next trailhead. I haven’t seen any signs for it. I realize the trail connects in the opposite direction. 

After pondering awhile, I take the hint from the road and conclude my trail time for this trip.

Walking west down the highway, I hold out my thumb ‘til I catch a ride. First one takes me up a couple miles, near the next trailhead. I debate whether I want to hike the next segment but I have no idea how long it goes ‘til it comes back to the highway. I have one more day ‘til I have to be back in Gold Hill.

I hold my thumb out and let the road make the choice. I’ll give it an hour.

Before long, an old hippie driving a beater sedan pulls up laughing,

“Hey kid, you Rainbow Family?”

“Naw, I’m-”

“Well you were touchin’ ‘em up there at the hot springs! Get in!” He cackles.

I hop into the bucket of a car he’s driving. There’s a big daddy long-leg crack across the windshield but it rides all right.

“How far you goin’ man?” I ask him.

“Oh, I’m goin’ all the way to the coast, down through Grant’s Ass… ha ha! I call it Grant’s Ass because ol’ Grant was a real bastard, him and his buddies went through the west drinkin’, raping, pillaging and having a good ol’ time killing and robbing. The town ain’t too bad but Grant’s a real Ass.

“You know, the Rainbows got a free kitchen near the coast if ya need a bite to eat. They got one near Bend and another outside Eugene. There’s food all over, if ya know who to ask and where to look. They’re good kids. A few of ‘em are misguided but we try to keep ‘em in line.

He goes on,

“My name’s Falcon. I’m Bird-of-Prey tribe, sixty-six years old but I’ll live forever. I can take this body with me after I go. Everybody wants you to believe in death but you can take your body with you.”

I interject,

“Yeah, your astral body-”

“No, your physical body, you can take it with you after you go, man. I astral travel in meditation but I take my physical form with me now. It took a lot of practice.”

“But why would you want the body along for the ride? It’ll just fall apart eventually, all physical things come apart with time.”

“That’s what they want you to think.”

He pauses awhile and is intercepted with another idea,

“You know man, these mountains here look kinda freaky, right? They’re not mountains, these are ancient pyramids under these mountains here. They built ‘em and they got covered during one of the last floods and now they look like mountains. 

I saw a train last night come right up to the mountain and go under it. I saw the headlight and then it was gone, plain as day. The government is building underground cities here for when the water rises, they wanna kill all of us off so they can have the world to themselves. Yep, some fifty million people survive after their next manufactured war and they inherent the world but we’re not in their club. We don’t have enough money to be in their club.”

“Yeah, but even if we did…”

“Yeah man, we ain’t no reptile-brained fools, God’s children ain’t cut from the same cloth. We live with the land, you know, I’m a trained shaman. I go out and touch a mushroom and I get high, I don’t even have to eat it.”

He offers me a hit from his hash oil vaporizer. I decline in favor of the half-smoked spliff in my shirt pocket. 

Falcon keeps rambling,

“So they’re gonna nuke us and the planet is gonna go to shit. I’m goin’ down to New Mexico to take part in a time-travelin’ ceremony. You know the Hopi and Navajo learned how to split themselves off from this time frame and hop off into another fold. Only problem is once you go off you can’t come back. So if I go, I’ll be gone from this time for good.”

I listen awhile but it keeps coming back to “us & them” and “apocalypse”. I’m getting sick of all the doom & gloom prophecy. Looking out the window into the bright green hills, hearing the birds and bugs dance along to a swollen river song tells a much different story. Amidst decay, life springs forth.

I tell him,

“That sounds pretty far out, but why don’t you navigate this reality like a ship, help us drive now to the place that isn’t getting raped or blown up? We gotta pilot this thing together, man, and if people keep buying into the whole apocalypse ending, that’s where we’re gonna go and that’s how the book’ll end. I sure as shit ain’t buying it.”

“Right on, brother.”

We sit in silence for a few moments, winding down the riverside and on through Roseburg. We jump onto I-5 south and Falcon keeps talkin’ at me. He rambles between coherent and incoherent ideas for a while and I just “um”, “ah”, “yeah”, and “hmm” accordingly.

We make it safe and sound into Grants Pass. I pitch him some gas money and we share a meal together at a Chinese restaurant. The portions are huge and we eat in silence, grateful to have hot food, clean air, fresh water, and good weird company. After dinner, we share a shot of the Vietnamese wine I’ve been carrying around all weekend.

Falcon drops me off by the old Highway 99, on the edge of Grants Pass. He gives me a big hug and tells me,

“You’ll get where you’re goin’ kid, all the way. You’re livin’ right and we’re all takin’ care of each other. You got the good energy on ya and you just see- tonight your third eye will be blazin’! You’re Family. Bless you brother!”

I wish him well and thank him again for the lift.

It’s six miles to Gold Hill. I pick up a cold six pack to carry home, just in case Dupree is thirsty. I pop a can and walk down the road along the Rogue River in the evening heat. Nobody is stopping so I keep walking.

Somewhere I see a sign by the side of the road, “Support our Teachers” obscured by some weeds. I hop over the ditch to stamp the weeds down so I can see the sign better.

On the way back over, I find a twenty dollar bill on the ground. I grab it and look down the road to find another twenty, and then one more. Sixty dollars on the side of the road more than pays the weekend expenses.

Just then, a ride stops and takes me a couple miles up the road. The sun is setting golden on the Rogue Valley and I’m all jolly smiles, cradling the six-pack under my arm like a baby.

The sun gone down, I catch a ride for the last mile to Gold Hill. Nice kid from Oregon, said he’s been on a road trip to Vermont. Rare thing to hear on the west coast. Most folks I meet from here don’t make it out east. He says he wants to hitch across the country someday and I agree. I give him some encouragement and he drops me in front of my road.
I hoof it up the long driveway and on down past the gate to say howdy to Dupree and drop my stuff off. A few cans of beer and some belly laughs are shared between us.

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Alpha Beta Questions

Extroverted pick-up artists: have you found a lasting satisfaction? 
Introverted closet-freaks: does self-imposed monogamy have you wondering “what if?” 
Alpha-humans: are there enough notches on your bedpost? have you found a peak that is high enough? Do you cherish the memories of past triumph and mourn their passing? Are you living a legacy or leaving it?
Beta-humans: Do you accept your current conditions? Do you feel that quality overrides quantity? Do you find yourself settling for any vista the mountain has to offer while others climb to the peak? Does competition leave you feeling defeated? How do you compensate?
Free-thinkers: do you feel that these concepts undermine your innate liberated state? Recognizing that something small can only exist beside something tall & someone loses only when another wins, how do you maintain your detached balance?
$0.02

(Warning: mundane philosophical observations ahead)
There is no virtue in demonstrating competition. 

Practice is akin to a sharpening stone.

True competition is born from necessity. 

Only the resilient & adaptable will endure true competition.
Whether you fuck for sport or fondle for love, fight for glory or kill to survive, we all experience victory and defeat. 
In this way, our experiences are uniquely bonded: the predator and the victim are one as “all life feeds on life to live.” 
As physical beings, we fuck & fight our way through time ’til death while a weird starry-eyed serpent chokes down its own tail.

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Passion Fruit Lemongrass Wine

Woodstock Wine #1
Passion Fruit Lemongrass Wine (experimental) Recipe:

Makes ~20 liters
-1.5 kilos sugar

-quart-sized pot of rice

-1.5 kilos passion fruit

-1 kilo lemongrass

-1 tsp honey

-1 strong pot of green tea

-1 packet of Emergen-C (or Ascorbic Acid Pills. / Vitamin C supplements)

-A good book

Sterilize your jug with hot water and a capful of bleach. Rinse and dry.

Cook the rice with plenty of water until it’s pure mush. Cool off and throw into the jug to start your wort.

Cook the sugar until it dissolves in water. Cool and add to the wort.

Cut open the passion fruit, empty into a pot. Add some green tea (just because) and boil the mixture to sterilize it. Cool and add to the wort.

Cut the lemongrass down so it will fit into a pot with water. Boil it down for half an hour. Let cool and add to the jug.

Top the jug off with clean water. Most bottled water contains chlorine, an enemy of fermentation. Ascorbic Acid helps to break chlorine and chloramine down. I experiment by using half a packet of Emergen-C to the jug & mixing it. 

Add a pot of cooled green tea to the jug for yeast nutrition.

Stir a glob of honey into a quafter cup of hot water. Let the water cool and add your yeast packet when the temp is around 38°C/105°F. Cover the cup and let the yeast activate for twenty minutes.

Add the yeast to the jug and cover the lid with a paper towel (or clean rag) for 3-5 days.

After the major fermentation is completed (3-5 days), cover the mouth of the jug with a vaporlock (I’m using a balloon with a pinhole in the top.)

Wait ~20 days. Taste & enjoy. Decide if it should be bottled as wine or made into hard cider instead!

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New Travel Blog (Family Friendly)

Hey folks, my girlfriend Sierra & I are sharing a run-of-the-mill travel blog with occasional absurdist episodes from Southeast Asia. So far, we’ve experienced the tourist side of Thailand and all it’s multi-faceted scams & schemes. Next up: The Golden Triangle, Laos, & Burma.

Stay tuned!

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Surrender to the Mystery

It’s hard when you live away from your home

Not the home where you’ve grown

But the one your heart knows

The places we’re born, some remain until death

 

But I know I will travel ‘til I find my rest

Expand all limits ‘til the final test

I don’t wanna catch the thing that I know lyin’

So I’ll chase that old dragon ‘til the end of crimes

For it’s not what you get at the end of your line

Nor the bait or the hooks or the length of the time

 

Most men know a relief from their defeat

And the bittersweet peace at the end of a feast

But that hunger will awake with the crow & the sun

As sure a some black hole is calling for everyone

 

Now I watch & wait & let the world come to me

I’ve got rot in my teeth and an ache in my knees

I ain’t crazy ‘cus I live with what I cannot see

And it takes all that I’ve got just to live peacefully

 

Beyond yesterday’s answer lies a deeper mystery

A body doesn’t have to move in order to be free

I surrender to the mystery so I can be free

I’ll surrender to the mystery so I can be free

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Pre-Travel Ponderings

There is something which changes the mind before traveling to a foreign land. As if in preparation, the mind renders the sight of daily routine into something naked & foreign. While driving the same roads in the evening, I hear each creak of the gas pedal as the body hims & haws across chipped pavement. I pull in the salty breeze and let it tickle my nose hairs. Copper sunshine pierces through a veil of stormy clouds. The hills of the Humboldt coast are like so many healing bruises with peaks of gold. Gusts from the ocean whip through me. Going to far on a one-way ticket, I wonder how long I’ll be gone for. Have I always been gone?

I look out onto the bay, following salty dock posts and depth markers stretching out to the breakwater. How many men have lived here, worked here, died here? Who inhabited this land before us and how did they live? Did they toil, live, and die like we do? What will the land look like after all the men have traveled away or died?

Will I be here again?

I have a job here. I have security. I have a bed to sleep in. If I stay and work a few years, I can make a lot of money and build a life for myself somewhere. I should think about my future. What if my health fails? How will I afford the hospital bills? What if my mother falls ill & I am to care for her; how will we survive?

We will survive the way all creatures do. We will eat when we are hungry. If there is no food we will forage, hunt, and fish. We will work gardens and raise hens. If the land is fallow and the hens are not laying we will dig through trash cans and dumpsters. We will attend Church dinners and wait in line at food banks. Onlookers will gaze down upon us but we will stand tall, knowing that all creatures are equal in death. We will eat silently with gratitude and we will share.

When we are tired, we will sleep. We will stir the coals and throw on a big log. We will make our beds. Whether they are beds made of feathers or beds made of cardboard, they are beds just the same.

Here in America, even the poorest of bums are rich on a world scale. We have nearly constant access to clean water. We have electric outlets and wifi in nearly every town. We have churches that hand out blankets and clothes.

Whether I have the finances or not, I will live how I live and I will die how I die. I will die like all things, which also live.

Here, “poverty-stricken” is a term meant to inflict damage upon a mans sense of pride. These things cannot harm the man who possesses strong will. The truly poverty-stricken are those unable to find food, warm clothes, or clean water. They may die as a result of their poverty.

What am I? I live under the table eating scraps. I collect enough to live & travel. I was dealt pocket Aces. Each time I capitalize on currency exchange by taking US dollars to foreign countries, I use my Aces against 2’s and 3’s.

It’s the game of men. Most men play by the rules or else find themselves alternately victorious and defeated by alienation. There’s that saying, “it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.” A chosen few live as true kings; above, beyond, & without the games of men.

This is our privilege and this is our curse. Playing the games of men has dangerous consequences. We can dimly fathom the interplay of cause and effect. Like ocean waves, we are subject to laws of rhythmic correspondence. The surface sings songs knowable, yet beyond the depths lies a darkness each man imagines yet few men can prove. To light this darkness & catch a glimpse of the all-pervasive pressure is to make friends with enemies & make sense from confusion.

A handful of cold sand between my toes, I piss with the wind and light no cigarettes.

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A Sheltered Heart

 

A sheltered heart lives

As an inmate of the chest

But through a slit comes light

For the songs of all things blessed

 

 

A sheltered heart is safe

From the ache of the outer call

Yet it knows not itself

Nor why it exists at all

 

 

A sheltered heart contemplates

And grows beyond all doubts

The space between walls shrinks

In joy, the heart cries out

 

 

A sheltered heart longs

For a world beyond the walls

But it knows not how to escape

Nor why they were built at all

 

 

A sheltered heart moans

And blames the other ones

Yet the etchings on the walls

Only this heart could’ve done

 

 

A sheltered heart learns

The origin of its pain:

The design for the cage

Were made in its own name

 

 

A liberated heart sacrifices

Protection to be free

A gift, well-deserved

And trusted unto thee

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Who is Society?

Who is society? (A Subjective Coalescence with the Living Object of Society)

 

While contemplating the concept of society, I often forget to consider myself a member. Society is a living, breathing, and constantly changing aggregate of economies and entities. Forgetting this, I envision myself as an observer, somewhere high above the petri dish of humanity. In doing so, I sterilize all learning with the immature habit of disconnected reflection. I avoid the dust of the world so as not to get my hands dirty.

I don’t want to take responsibility for the ill effects of industrialization & globalization. Dirt is inevitable. I’ll effortlessly purchase throwaway cell phones, receive goods in plastic containers, burn fossil fuels for travel, & spend US Dollars.

In avoiding major sources of societal expansion, my sense of pride tells me I am making a difference. Through this feeling of pride, there arises an idea: I’m not like them. I am not better or worse but I am certainly different from them. This type of thinking brings separation with it. Embracing separation from our environment denies a fundamental law: nothing exists separately.

This very idea of the rugged individual, I believe, is responsible for a dangerous disconnect. The individualist diverges their identity with the organized human form, creating a dualistic separation of organism and environment. This dualism leads to avoidance of the tough issues of life, mainly ethical & philosophical.

“I love man not the less, but nature more.” Lord Byron

Industrialized humanity has abandoned wild nature in favor of human nature. Human nature is a part of nature. I consider it to be inhibited, suppressed, in denial. Extending this to myself, I realize that I too, am those things. In me grows a resistance to accept the ultimate nature of society as it is, here & now. Living in a world of potentials and ideals, I sometimes miss the pragmatic counterweight of realism.

I feel a restless spite toward civilized humanity; at odds with some greater human entity. Denying benefits in favor of losses, focusing on ugliness rather than beauty, giving in to self-loathing before recognizing self-approval. If I am to take responsibility for my membership within “this”, how am I to feel? Rejecting society, living on the fringes is only an avoidance of the real problem: how do we cope with ourselves?

Through quiet acceptance, a door beyond intellect opens. Emotional states become unreliable. Just as thoughts, feelings are mere relative responses, not to be confused with ultimate nature. Soon the thought might arise: I am society.

All these things I am, in an ever-expanding fashion as all forms consistently dissolve into space. I am ultimately inexpressible. I feel myself filled with life, I feel myself decay. I see it everywhere, inside and out.

All mammals arising from the womb of a beautiful female, we share these experiences. I am not separate from life function & the cessation of life function and neither are you. We share this and we are this.

None of these ideas belong to anyone, as much as character doesn’t belong to anyone. They are collective reflections of influences, both inward & outward. They are gifts from society, just as much as our biological makeup is a gift from nature.

As a member of humanity & its greater idea of society, we are inseparable from the discoveries & failings of our members. We are able to share (or deny) these discoveries just as we contribute to the overall catalogue of evolution & decay.

We are these ideas. We are this ignorance. We are these inventions. We are this destruction. We are society.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller

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In Memoriam of 2016

In memoriam of 2016.

 

You were a year. From start to finish, your sum is the increment of time occupying a calculable distance across space. You gave me the feeling of certainty. You convinced me that time is tangible.

Between you and me, you weren’t a bad year.

It helps me convert this collective mass of moments into a solid human aggregate. Put simply: I like to anthropomorphize the years.

Your name was Joey. You had a mole on your left cheek & a pencil-thin mustache. Your hair was parted in the middle where you’re been examining your hair loss every morning. You liked honey mustard on your hotdogs & you’d only masturbate on Sundays, for discipline. You had two pet mole rats & you’d feed them Ritz crackers and ice cream sometimes. You had a nervous habit of itching your belly button and smelling the lint. It smelled like crab cakes made with fake crab. You weren’t a bad man, but you had some ill-intentions that were well-disguised beneath a propensity for tipping 25% gratuity on lunch & dinner. You’d take food off your neighbors plate when he wasn’t looking. You were perpetually 10 minutes late for work and you lied to your dentist about flossing.

 

You spent your last day waiting quietly in the rain at a bus stop. You were wearing a wool blazer that had gradually been soaked through a leak in the skylight. The bus schedule had been changed without notice. You waited until hypothermia killed you blue.

Now that you’re over, I’m not so sure what I’ll do with this old calendar.

Even worse, now that you’re gone I’m not so sure about time.

Where does time live when there is no calendar to keep tabs on it?

I can’t get another 2016, Joey. I just can’t.
I spent a lot of time in 2016 forgetting about time.

You know what I accomplished? The cells in my body continued to grow & decay in strict relation to my surrounding environment. I observed these processes in unison. It sounded often like music, which I enjoyed halfway despite my immense boredom at classical arrangements.
There’s a lot I want to say to you now that you’re gone, Joey.
I wrote this poem for you:

They say that every rose has it’s thorn,
And every shape has its form.

Just like every clock has its hand
And every native lives on land.

Every candle has a wick
And every prostitute charges, even for a lick.

Every square has four corners, every circle has none
Each day lives through darkness, just like space holds every sun.

As a relative concept, time is pretty cool. It makes sense.

It’s something I can read. It lives in shadows and it’s written mostly on the wall.
2016’s abrupt end left a lot of questions lingering.

In an expanding universe, does time expand?

If so, do our clocks compensate for that expansion or does the watch shop sell expansion packs?

These things, I fear, we’ll never know by thinking.

So long & thanks for all the dust, 2016.

I’ll think of you during my next few bowel movements as the meat of the year filters out my intestines & swirls gradually down the porcelain highway to Shittsville.

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