In Motion

What is the best way to let a world fade? Should we watch it dim from afar, like the soft light at the end of a match-stick? Or should we walk into the dimness and allow the light to consume us like that of a tunnel?

I go through the day, and in my head, I find myself confronted by the faces of so many friends and family.

The faces of these friends and family say nothing in actuality, but the fact that they appear so suddenly in my mind makes me pause.

Their faces are like those of still characters. Like those of puppets, even, of a play that won’t materialize until I give them lines to recite.

The lines I give them are my interpretations of what they each might say about my day, based on my experiences with them from our time together before, in the life of yesterday.

And yet, the lines I give the faces of my friends and family aren’t so important in and of themselves. What is more important is the voice that they recite them in. Every voice is its own entity, crafted by its own collision of forces from the world.

And what is life at its core if not sights and sounds, and the feelings created by these things? Sometimes I think that especially as a writer, what captures me first and foremost is the way the world looks, and how it makes so much ambivalent noise.

These things speak to me in an unintelligible language which is beyond words, but which I make into words anyway in an attempt to process what they mean.

I suppose that these sensations are just like the imagination of my friends and familys’ faces, then. Maybe none of them say anything; and maybe, in the grand length of time and space in the universe, they all say exactly nothing at all.

Here and now, however, neither my mind nor my heart are content with nothingness. Perhaps when my mind and heart stop pulsing, nothingness will be just fine, but while I’m still here, I want everything, including contradictory things:

I want to know how my friends and family are doing, at the same time that I want to know nothing about them at all. I also want them to know how I’m doing, at the same time that I wan’t them to know not a single thing about me.

I understand, however, that if I wanted to find out these things or share them about myself, I’d simply reach out accordingly.

I also understand that as a great writer once said: “the past is not dead; in fact, it’s not even past.”

Because every time I speak of the times, I speak of the past; because no matter when or for how long I pause to reflect, the world is always in motion.

This is when the ambivalence becomes solid clarity:

No matter how much any light may be dimmed by the times, the times are just based on perspective; I haven’t actually lost anyone in my life, because each individual I’ve crossed paths with is still a part of my lifeline.

In the grand scheme of space and time within the universe, we are all literally on the same wavelength, overseen by the same sunlight, breathing the same air, and wandering across the same ocean(s).

We forget, though. I forget.

I become wrapped up in my words, which at their core are feelings, that seem to come from anywhere in the galaxy except myself.

Maybe, they come from my friends and family, somehow.

Maybe I am with them –as they are with me– far more than I can understand in a single moment: rising together, falling together, and picking up the pieces to continue the lifeline no matter what, together.

I can’t be too sure, but the words do help me reach a kind of peace with the times. And as my friends and family observe the words, I can only hope they help them reach a kind of peace, too.

With More Soon,

Mind Over Matter in L.A.

It looks to be a warm Saturday in Los Angeles today, which should make for a hell of a day over at Starbucks! It’s going to be frappuccino madness and whipped cream extravaganza. Earlier this morning though, I forgot I was scheduled to work. For a slight second, my time as a barista was lost somewhere, as a part of some other life.

The thing is, for the last few weeks I’ve gotten up early on most mornings for work, and in all the rush and daze of breakfast and showering and running to the bus or the car (because I switch it up), I’ve known quite clearly my purpose for the day. In turn, to get up late this morning and forget that I was scheduled to work at around 1 was to find myself in a gray space.

I was another person, again.

And it was a strange thing, but it was also a great thing, to be lost in the wilderness of not knowing what to make of myself.

It had just dawned on me the other day, as I was speaking to a co-worker: how it’s natural to think of work as work for money, but less natural to think of work as an effort to get away from ourselves. Sometimes it’s both. But for myself, more often than not I think it’s the latter!

Some days, when I get up and head over to Starbucks, I’m just grateful. Not because there’s money to be earned, but because there’s a function to perform there, and that’s all. The function to perform is something other than myself to focus on, and that’s a gift, especially on the days I feel empty.

This morning, then, I guess I felt emptiness again. In the moment I sat up, not knowing where to go or what the agenda for the day was, my body was a temple with all of its materials misplaced. My mind was chilly air inside. Rather than running from the offset temple, though, I held steady, as if to pause and reflect before the great mystery of my being, of my essence.

Everything which has happened up to this point –with work, with friends, and even with J.T.– it has both placed and misplaced me. The great discovery is still waiting for me, which makes everywhere I’ve been and everywhere else I’m supposed to go just one sequence of events out of a myriad of possibilities.

By extension, then, the strange temple is the universe. The mind is the indefinite depth contained by the universe. Today, as I get to spend another day with these things, it doesn’t matter whether it’s at Starbucks, or at home, or anywhere of a dozen other places I can be; today the emptiness is a gift. I choose to make it that.