Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guinness Is Calling You

There was not a space for you before you arrived here at birth.

You broke your way through.

There was some flesh and some desire, and then there was you, and you could not be stopped.

This: (Life:) Is not what I thought it was.

I do not know what I thought it was. I had an empty head and I died to defend that emptiness.

Life is a current to join. Literally. Like, current of a river. Like, the measurement of nowness. Like, the utility of money. Like, electricity.

That current, that time, that river, is the only safety possible, only, you don’t know this, because your idea of what is "safe" is premised on total bullshit.

It's bullshit because you are one blueprint that never existed before, and will never exist again, and you the blueprint are even shifting as you're reading this word, and it doesn't matter how well you describe the temple you're building, or who you describe it to. They will never be able to advise you better than the architect within you, and because they are not you, and they are not going to live in your temple, there are no stakes in it for them that are as immediate as they are for you, and that immediate hunger, that fire, the one pushing each of your cells a little further each and every chance you get? That pushing and that reaching IS your data, IS your information, IS your wisdom, IS your map, IS your application, IS your advice. It's the only good advice.
Your desire is your advice.

You think that by trying to avoid the commitment and taking the half-step, by somewhat considering it, so that you could then go back on it, you are being safe. It's not even that this makes you wrong. You're not even dead-wrong. You're just dead.

All half measures are your downfall. Your best 99% is your most successful fucking failure. Here's why.

To be in something, to have your body present, and to have your mind somewhere else, or nowhere else the whole time, is the sin. To not take full advantage of the goldmine that is all around you, all the time, is what will kill you later, when you see what you missed. The fact that there was a cliff, and that you didn't take a running leap off that cliff is what will kill you in the end. You will not have saved yourself by loitering on the ledge and complimenting the view and looking down at that drop and coining a multitude of positive affirmations and witty aphorisms. Aphorisms don't mean shit if you don't cash them and jump into the abyss. It doesn't mean you need to drive 80mph into a wall. It does mean when you've jumped off one cliff, build your wings on the way down and sail over to the next one. Don't crash to the ground. But if you did, good job! - Now walk it off. Walk it off. Walk it off. And walk it off a bit more. If you find yourself back at that same cliff - which, if you fell, and walked it off, you can count on doing - if you find yourself back at that same cliff, then remember the feeling of your footing right before you fell. And please know that that cliff is now also completely different, and you can't even approach it with the lessons you learned on the last one. Know why? It's not a cliff, it's actually a raging river. Good luck to you! So now, grappling hooks and shoes don't mean shit. You need a paddle and padding and a life vest and a boat to boot and guess what else? Physics tells you that stationary molecules are different from molecules in motion so even your sense of physics is fucked here too. So good luck to you! Maybe tattoo it somewhere on your arm or somewhere visible on your person that there's a lesson at hand here and though the goal is the same, and your instincts will be the same, the important thing is to HOLD THE FUCK ON and to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

You have to assume like the biggest asshole in the world that the river loves you even though it SEEMS like its going to kill you, IS trying to kill you, ONLY wants to de-limb and de-capitate you. You need to believe that its very roughness, its very turbulence, and its very deadliness is how it shows its love to YOU, you who are the goal, you who are the diamond floating along this little lazy river known as a raging rapid, you, the diamond, who somehow gets polished while you're being flung against rock break and broken log alike. You're going to be loved very, VERY hard. Mop up those wounds, splint the shit that broke, and say "Oh wow. That was, VERY, VERY kind of you, River, I appreciate your tenderness and that was quite a blow to the head just now and yeah, it appears that there's a branch with leaves lodged through my heart but no, it's not a big deal. What are you doing tomorrow, River, will you be raging again? Cuz I'd like to make this exclusive." Whatever you do, don't abandon ship. Or walk away from the cliff. Or jump out of the plane. All the cliches are true. Try not to make them come true.

You can only recognize actual safety in hindsight, and it’s not even a measure of precaution, or the hand you won because something did or didn’t happen that you did or didn’t value. Safety is, Here's a river. The river is not you. But because you're in the river, you need to be the River. Assimilate your ass to that river.

Safety has nothing to do with somehow knowing a possible outcome and trying to control your way through to that desired outcome. It's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when he steps out into thin air and suddenly there is a path to God being built right under his feet. That path, that IS God, will be built right under your next step, by virtue of you taking that step. The path doesn't get built before you take the step. Know why? Because you create physics. You create a vacuum with your desire and your action. That step into thin air IS God. I'm not even sure yet what that means or what it looks like, but we've all taken such a step, we're rewarded when we do, and we'll all need to take them again. We feel it when we do it and we'll get more and more comfortable with being that uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is God. May we all have the strength to trust Out of Thin Air.

If you think safety is to be had by refraining, or by hesitating, or by dragging your feet, or by half-committing, as if showing up halfway somehow means you can both ‘be there’ and 'not be there at all', then you are dead wrong. You're wrong because a) physics doesn't permit such a possibility and 2) neither does logic and c) neither does anything that runs this whole video game called Life. That line in the sand that says "no, not past this point" is the way you learn. And you can't learn if you don't cut off one thing from everything else. Somehow you can only grow by cutting.

You also don't know happiness.

Your half-measures are the greatest roadblock to your happiness. In fact, you may as well call "trying", "misery." It's the half-dedication, the "I'll say I'll do it but I really don't give a shit" that will make you want to off yourself. Know thyself? Yes. Whatever it is that the you in you really wants, fucking listen, and fucking go get it. Stop thinking about it. And you'll know what it is you want because you won't be able to leave yourself alone about it. This is God talking to you, even if it seems not-God. Get over it. You're wrong. Being wrong is sexy. Try to be wrong more often.

Because you are alive, there is a thread of possibility that extends into infinity. You travel this little silver spider-thin thread of an assumption that is life that is a mind that is a path, and you can bulldoze it or tip-toe or doggy-paddle your way through, but it actually keeps moving, or really, the current around you keeps moving, even when you try to wrangle back that current - which you cannot possibly do, which is really just you fooling yourself into thinking that you could possibly wrangle it, or that there's even a thing that is that current that you could understand enough to try but still not be able to put your hands around. Do you think this sounds negative? Cause I sure do, I think this sucks. But I also know that this is the only way you build positivity. The world is entirely distraction so what is pure and vital is rare and quiet. If you accept those limits, then you can build off those limits. And guess what? - Without limits, nothing has a value. So then there's not only no way to be positive, but there's nothing that's negative, either.

You carve out tangents to that path and none of it, not the tangents and not the original recipe, is a pre-set design.
You are both a particle and a wave.
You function in two parts.
And on that note, you are also a tone.
You are a moment of music in a greater piece.
You are your own score to be conducted.
You rise to the crest of the wave because you are alive and then you become part of the part of water that may not be noticed because it is there to support the parts that are supposed to be noticed next.
No one else sounds or smells or tastes like you.
You are not pre-set.
You are not pre-designed.
You have a quality and a sound that is all your own and you cannot avoid it even though you try so hard to mute it out or don’t try at all.
When you try to mute yourself, all you get is distorted sound.
When you try to mute yourself, you get a flat note.
Your sound cannot be extinguished.
There's no way to mute yourself.
There's no way to not have a tone.
There's only a way to make a sound you don't like listening to.
And how can you be the wrong note if YOU're the note?
"How can I be the wrong Alice if this is MY dream?"

You are in need of everything that is always being offered to you, and guess what?
We all need, you, too.
We need you to show up and to unselfconsciously, enthusiastically, throw yourself at us, balls-to-the-wall, and at what you do, too. Mostly, at us.
What you choose is fine as long as you engage with both hands rather than hold back.
Don’t you know the world needs you?
Don't you understand how vital you are to life?
There’s a need for you, and for you to throw yourself into us, because of the fact that you’ve thought about it enough to take one step forward.
There's a need for you because that thing was sparkling enough for you to even think about it, to even venture an "Ok."

If you’re here, if you’ve arrived, and if you’ve been invited, then you’re needed.
Did you think that this was a luxury?
That there's empty space to satisfy nothing?
If you’re here, then there’s a space waiting for you over there, and there is where you're next.
You've lived so long saying “yes” and meaning maybe.
This has caused you more pain and anguish than diving headfirst into a shallow pool, which would have been better than hesitating and circling for a century on the edge.
It may be that it's too much to make your own choices.
The pressure and the uncertainty of not having direction or solid ground?
The suffocating anxiety that feels like white noise surrounding your head and eyes, because you are not being told what to do, and you desperately need to be told?
It induces paralysis.
What if there is no right or wrong choice?
Are you okay with that?
Are you okay with your decision being the only thing that makes it right?
That it’s right because you choose it?

So you looked at all of this.
You looked at what you wanted, and didn’t get, and what you should have done but didn’t, and you looked at how you hurt him, but he moved on, only you never could.
And then you did it again to someone else.
And then, you did it again to someone else.

How it killed you that you cost this to yourself, and how every cell in your body, on your face, in your heart, has been affected and there is absolutely no going back.

What good is there in a life lived unconditionally, where anything is permissible?
Where you set your whole heart upon something, or someone, and you don't get what you want?
Is it enough to be alive and to have all else unwanted, satiated and met, and the one thing you're reaching for, you do not get?
All else filled in the universe, and the one thing lacking, that means most, and this is somehow supposed to be okay, the not-getting?
Fuck that.
It's about possession, plain and simple.
It is both possession, and possession with a light guardian's hand. A custodianship.
But's the getting that means anything.

So I said,
Fuck this.
Fuck all of this,
and fuck you too, God. Fuck you for all this desire.

And that felt like shit. And I wanted to off myself whenever I hated God, and I hated God all the time.
And it had to stop, because it's me or my belief, and somehow, we'd become mutually exclusive.

If I could verbalize it about God, then I was wrong about God. And it suddenly felt good to shut up about God.
So I had to happily accept that I didn't know, and wasn't right, and was actually happily wrong - Thank God - about God.

I walked down the hallway and stared down the devil, and I said,
I understand you. And it's okay. Because I know you're not here to hurt me.

I looked at the sins I thought I'd pay for, and how at times in life, I had so little consciousness and gravity in my own head that the only way I can explain my behavior – even though I “knew” what I was doing - is that something was leading me and my life around on a string and it was a thread extending into infinity, tied to an infinite number of others, and ultimately I had no control.

I looked at what we know of the universe, the grand scope of Life that we can maybe guess that we know. I looked at the stars that are born and burn out, at the non-negotiable need we will always have for food and water, at the preference for paper towels versus cloth towels, and for this paper towel versus another, at the desire for digital versus analog, the compulsion towards the 87th pair of $160 jeans, the kid starving in the apartment on that side of town that you'll never see, at the bodies thrown in mass graves in at least 37 different countries at any given moment, at the militia-led mass rapes and murders, at the director in a townhouse in New York filming 67 takes of that couple walking down a staircase until he gets it just right, at the girl who just gave that guy oral sex because she felt she'd be doing something wrong if she didn’t, and it's all a lot of different hands flitting about in a frenzy, fussing over different objects and colors and yet it's all the same, and it's all riding on the same feelings.

I looked at the duck whose mate was just run over in the street and who stands there, still, among the racing cars on either side that could also end him at any given moment, and he stands there, standing against every one of his instincts. He doesn't know what happened to his mate, but he knows something has gone wrong.

And I heard about the family of ducks in the hotel in Nashville, who ride an elevator twice a day, chaperoned by a nice bellhop, to soak in a fountain, and then back up the elevator at night to sleep on a nice rooftop.

I looked at how I didn’t respond to his last email before he took his life.

I looked at how I would try to save it, and the trying is precisely what would cause it to fail.

I looked at how I didn't try, didn't even think about it, never once cared, and it would come to me like it was born in my hand. And how once I looked and then started walking towards it, it crashed and burned.

I looked at how I may be the magnifying glass to my own excruciating scorching sun, and I'm singeing ants every step of my way, wherever I turn my gaze.

And I was left with: None of it matters.

If all is forgiven in the end, and then if it’s not, and then if there is something vague and nebulous and ethereal with spirit, and then if there is nothing, and then if we are only biology with something brightly firing in our brains, and then if there is nothing beyond the something, and then if there is something when there could be nothing, and then if we are reborn, and then if we repeat the same life over and over, and then if we have a chance to not repeat but we slip into whats comfortable and could, but do not, avoid repeating it, and then if she was a big deal in another life, and then if I can never change my neural pattern pathways, and then if this was destined, and then if there could be no other way, and then if there was supposed to be another way and I couldn’t cut it, and then if the angels were calling my name the whole time but I got the signals crossed, and then if the devil were only inside of me, and then if I were Jesus but never believed it and I lost it for all of us, and then if He actually was just a human being, and then if God isn’t even something that talks to us, and then if we never see each other again after we die, and then if I pray silently but God respects the privacy of my mind and doesn't listen to any of it, and then if all of my prayers are wrong and selfish anyways, and then if we aren’t even real, or aren't actually seeing each other now, and then if there’s an infinite number of me and you, and an infinite number of possible worlds, and then if I’m in the version where I’ll never be happy in love, and then if my thoughts reach a critical mass that cause your actions, and then if you were born with a stronger will than mine and I can't do anything about it, and then if each of us has created all of us, then,

Then, I thought, as I curled my hair in my stark white bathroom, and (empty) put on my lip gloss, switching tops and (empty) checking my hair in the mirror again, getting ready to go out, and feeling (empty) any and all possible meaning to my life receding back just like the tide (empty) right before a tsunami hits,

Then, If I’m going to get old, and all of this will fade, and something that is not me will take my place, and nothing I can contribute will ever cause a tidal change to the world, and I’m too scared and so without hope to even try,

then what do you do, if you choose to stay here, in your life, on earth, and live it out?

What do you do?

You do what you want, at every given moment that you possibly can.

You do what you want desperately to do, but are afraid to do for fear of repercussion.

You do what you have been taught not to do but have always wanted to do, always sensed is just plain fine and rational to do, that you don't even consider doing anymore, somehow, or, ever.

You do what you've just accepted, earlier, as wrong or bad, but that, upon reflection, is actually normal, healthy, or at the very least, typical. You get the tattoo, and you sleep with the guy for only one night, and you adopt the baby on your own, and you quit the job, and you move, penniless, to New York, and you get the other tattoo, and you submit the headshot, and you ask out the girl, and you write that one verse of a song that you’re afraid your band mates will ridicule you for, and you don’t apply the sunblock because you actually don’t care about skin cancer, and you call in sick, and you dye it blonde, and you say “I’m not coming” to your dad, and you buy the fully-loaded model, and you move to the farm in Pennsylvania, and you order it with whipped cream.

You take out the loan on the assumption that you’re going to be around tomorrow to pay it off.

And each morning you awake, in the same spot, in the same body, and it's yours.
It's yours.

And it's all, all a loan that will be called at any second, but you have to buy the fact that it's an endless trust fund.


  1. I just love where you went with this, where it started, the trip it took me on the middle, I love where you went with this. I love what this made me think about, I love that I had to reread it to understand it all, I love that I had to read it again because there were parts I wanted to revisit, I love that then I ended up revisiting the whole damn thing because I couldn't stop. I just love this.

  2. Jess
    I’m glad you reminded me of that goldmine waiting in the shadows there for the taking with only a simple leap, only I can take. It’s what makes me, to shoot for the moon but end up in the stars. I’ll regret what I didn’t do way more then what I did wrong!


  3. "The shell must break before the bird can fly." -- Tennyson

  4. This post is incredible. Mind-bending. I may have gotten my life back because of you.

    1. thank you :) I read this comment at like 2 am or something and it was the perfect cap to a really remarkable day. thank you for reading and for reaching out to express this. these are things we all know or suspect deep down. I actually have to re-read this frequently: I trust next to no one's advice, and yet I have to exercise taking my own advice...and exercise it frequently :)

  5. What a beautiful post. It touched me more than I can possibly express. Thank you for making my day.

    1. Thank you!! This means so much! I'm sorry this is over a year late xD thank you for reading and for reaching out! Best wishes to you!