Veils, Shadows, Minds, Hearts…

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You feel it coming before it hits you. Did you know that? Insanity, in the true sense of the word. That feeling of not being “all there,” or separation. It doesn’t wash over you like a tidal wave. It rises, from the feet up, it’s hot at first, but it cools down and freezes over your head. You can’t move, you’re too afraid to move…. “what if I make a mistake? what if I hurt someone?” You can see faces, but you can’t see PEOPLE.

How does one like me explain… there are no words in any language created by man. Only analogies and allegories. You’re walking with your loved one, the sun is warm, but it’s overcast, a pleasant kind of overcast and there’s a light rain that feels good on your cheek. You come to a fork in the road and you go right. Your loved one goes left, ’cause she realizes something that you don’t: there is no right. But off you go anyway, you hear her words, but not her voice, and you think she’s still near to you. The path is treacherous, it rains so hard that it starts to flood, you whistle a familiar tune to calm yourself, even though you didn’t realize there was anything wrong in the first place. But when it finally hits you… when you feel the water rise over your head, when you’re drowning, when you see “him” standing in front of you… you know, him, you, but the you that went left… that’s when reality sets in. That’s when you KNOW that you’re different, that the world you thought you knew is not as tangible as you thought it was. That the “reality” isn’t very “real” at all.

At times like these, I just have to separate myself from everything, watch the universe go round and round through a window. I can’t step outside. It’s dangerous out there… that would be suicide for sure. People may forget me… I may forget them, perhaps… I may forget how to walk and speak and pray and love… but I’ll live.

Survival is a talent forced upon all of us, and one I dearly wish I did not have.

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Be Who You Want To Be

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“Be yourself” is outdated. It really is. It’s easy to get caught up in that whole “YOLO I don’t care what other people think cuz I’m MAHSELF homie!!” but at the end of the day, do we really think about what that means?

When you’re going through a tough time especially, like a breakup, it’s easy to make yourself feel better by saying “I’m just not going to care, I’m going to be myself and get over this.” I’ve done it, plenty of times. But “be yourself” is so vague, isn’t it? What does it actually mean? Who is “yourself” and why do you want to be him/her? Or here’s a better question: do you even want to be him/her at all?

Think about it! If you’re perfectly content to spend your life either watching TV, driving down to Pueblo to pick up your niece just ’cause it’s something to do and you’ve got no friends in the Springs, or eating, great. Good for you. The problem arises when you don’t manage to make any new friends, people don’t really want to hang out with you, and then you start blaming everyone else for not accepting you for who you are… which is BORING. That’s right… BORING. Is this really who you want to be? Do you truly not care what others think if you have to preach about it?

We’re human. We like to have other humans to socialize with and to interact with, ’cause let’s face it, as much as we like to hate on other people, people are the only thing in the world that could actually potentially care about what happens to us and that we can relate with. That said, no matter what we might think, we do care about others’ perceptions of us. So I have to ask again, do we really want to be ourselves? Or is what we really want to be the best person we can possibly be? Ah, now that sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it? I can guarantee Mr. Couch Potato would be a whole lot happier if he tried out some new things, got over his social anxiety (I have it too, so no excuses), and made an effort to strive for something he wants to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best at something. Passion is attractive, be passionate for God’s sake…

My point here is, don’t fall for all that “be yourself” crap. Don’t be yourself. Ever. We should always strive to be nicer, more productive, more caring, happier… better, however we may define that word for ourselves personally.

And if you can be Batman, please, by all means, be Batman.

Daughter

I saw a picture of my daughter, Eevee, several days ago. I didn’t have the presence of mind or the will power to write about that experience at the time, but it’s easy to remember how I felt. The first feeling really surprised me: happiness. I felt happy. There she was, smiling her big, beautiful smiling, just being pretty and wonderful. She’s only 2, but I kept thinking, irrationally that maybe she thought about me sometimes and I wondered what she might think.

Then I saw Sarah, holding her. And I felt something different: guilt. And sadness. She was smiling too, but I knew it couldn’t have been the same kind of smile. So many questions began to formulate in my head… What does she think every time she sees Eevee? Does she think about me? What will she say to Eevee about me when she grows up? How can I live with the thought that I did this to someone? Will she ever forgive me?

It hadn’t taken long to get over Eevee after Sarah and I broke up. In fact, I hardly thought of her at all, the only person I could think about was Sarah and how angry and confused I was. But now, 2 years later, Sarah’s become almost an after-thought. The first thing that comes to mind is Eevee, my daughter. I’ve denied her existence more times than I can count at this point. Partly because I hate myself. Partly because I don’t want to think about it. Mostly because admitting it has always just taken me to the brink of what I can handle emotionally.

Just last night I was thinking about how much like a dream that whole section of my life feels. I could almost truly believe it never happened at all if it weren’t for that picture, or for finding the occasional piece of Sarah I forgot to erase in some dark corner of the house or the internet. I want to be able to watch Eevee grow up. I want to experience it, but I know I can’t. I’m not ready emotionally, financially, psychologically… I’m just not ready yet. But I miss her. I miss her and I haven’t even gotten to really know her. And why shouldn’t I miss her? She’s my daughter, a piece of me walking (shakily) around and laughing and hopefully being curious and open-minded.

Hopefully going down a brighter path than my own…

 

Spirited Away

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Most of the art that I like speaks to me on such a deep level that it actually arouses emotions that I oftentimes forget are there. Music is far and away the art-form that speaks to me most clearly, but I want to talk about films, visual art.

It’s the films that make me cry that I know are the best. Often-times, it’s not that they’re sad necessarily that causes me to cry, but it’s that they bring out these emotions that I know will go away as soon as the film is over, and I don’t want them too. They remind of a part of myself that is hidden in some dark corners within myself, that in everyday life I can’t bring all the way out, into the light. The most recent of these is Spirited Away, the animated film by Hayao Miyazaki.

Chihiro worked so well for me as a main character; she was young, naive (but not stupid), charming, and most importantly, she had character. I could connect with her from the VERY beginning of the movie, when she’s reading her farewell card in the bouquet of flowers, complaining about moving to a new city. I knew right away there was something special about her, a mystery that made her less than a normal, scared 10-year-old girl in a big new world. She was different, aloof in a way. Mature not in her actions, personality or physique, but in the way she understood things and thought about the world. In short, she reminded me of myself.

I was enthralled throughout the entire movie, of course for the beautiful animation and the wild imagination of Miyazaki, but more than anything for the story and the characters. Chihiro grows up, in a way, as the movie goes on and she experiences different things, but she never loses one important quality: acceptance. The most valuable quality of childhood, the one that makes me sad as I watch it disappear in children as they get older. Unconditional kindness and love. She has it for everyone, she’s able to forgive everyone (and does, in the end).

No Face is my favorite example of the importance of this unconditional kindness, and is my second favorite character in the film. To me, he represents most of the people in modern society; lonely, sad, hiding behind a smiling mask, and immediately attracted to the genuine kindness shown by Chihiro. When he is rejected by her the first time, he becomes upset, and craves the attention of everyone else, “eating it all up” if you will 😛 No Face is not truly happy with the many things he indulges himself with, but he pretends to be, and over time becomes more and more moody, angry, and gluttonous. Chihiro, in the end, rejects him for the last time, but not because she doesn’t like him, because she knows what’s wrong and that she isn’t the answer to his happiness. In the end, No Face’s happiness comes in the form of a simple life out in a village, in the company of a witch, who appreciates him and recognizes his talents. He’s not lonely anymore, he’s found his place and feels like he belongs, thanks to Chihiro’s help. Same for Haku, who is reminded of his real name by Chihiro towards the end of the movie.

In fact, by the end of the movie, the one person who doesn’t seem to have “found her place,” truly, is Chihiro. I think this is symbolized by the fact that the hair tie she received in the other world flashes at the end of the movie, reminding us that she was truly there and has left a part of herself there in a way. She exists in two different worlds, a mediator, a person who helps others find their own way but never stops long enough to find her own. And it’s THAT thought that made me cry at the end of the movie.

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Some of us are born to fill that role it seems. To help others. And we lose our way more often than anyone else I think, because we forget that our place isn’t one specific location. It causes more harm than good sometimes. I admit that I’ve lost my way more times than I count, I’ve had selfish thoughts, wondering why I help others just so that they can be happy and then forget about me, no longer needing someone unstable in their lives. But that’s the point, isn’t it? To embrace it, to cherish our talents and our understanding of the world, to not withdraw ourselves. To not think about how horrible the world is, but to help it become a better place, because we’re the only ones who can. To remove the masks and stop being “No Faces,” and to show our real smiles and laughter underneath.

I highly recommend Spirited Away to anyone who hasn’t seen it. I apologize if the post was all over the place, I can’t be sure because I’m simply writing all of my thoughts quickly… but anyway. At least tonight I know, and I won’t forget my place… at least tonight I can sleep comfortably, with a little bit of Chihiro in my heart 🙂

You Live Right Here

You Live Right Here

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When poets forget how to

Make people cry,

When all of the airplanes

Start arriving on time,

 

When all those who care can no longer try,

Never forget that I love you.

 

When all of the music is

Spoken and not heard,

When the words that we speak

Become mundane and absurd,

 

When the paths that we walk take the darkest of turns,

Never forget that I love you.

 

When the mountains collapse

And the oceans overflow,

When hatred at last

Becomes all that we know,

 

When God calls His people and nobody shows,

Never forget that I love you.

 

Never have I met,

In the time that I’ve lived,

A girl to whom my heart,

I’d so gladly give.

 

A girl who forever and always will live

Right here in my heart,

 

Where we’ll never be apart.

I Don’t Exist

Forever Yours

I don’t exist. I’m like a ninja by accident. Even in my own home, it’s crazy… I can walk around the whole house 5 times and not one of the 6 other people here will say a word to me, and I won’t say a word to them either. Why? Well I already told you… I’m a ninja, that’s just who I am. It’s not who I want to be though.
Outside of my home it’s quite the same way in the virtual society that tends to be my main source of contact with everyone else (it’s hard to get out when you’re constantly monitored by silent Watchers and don’t have a car). I try to make contact occasionally, to no avail. At that point I’ll fall off of the map completely, and notice, with some disdain, how NOW I seem to be a source of interest. Now that I’m not there anymore. Now that I’m a NINJA.
It’s a vicious cycle though, really. When I do speak I’m rarely really listened to, and when I don’t I am, but I don’t care. ‘Cause it doesn’t mean anything, you know? NOW you want to talk? Why NOW? Because I’m somehow useful to you NOW? The saddest thing, though, is that I’m the only one I can blame for this situation. I don’t exist, I’m a ninja. If I weren’t that way, things wouldn’t be the way they are. It’s not something I can change though, it’s me…
I guess I’ve deluded myself. They always say “fake it till you make it” and for a while, I was faking it, and I’ll be honest, all things considered I was doing a great job! It always comes around to bite me though, and I realize in the end that, yes, I am alone, and that is the way it is. Again, I can’t blame anyone but myself for this, but boy, do I wish it weren’t so… I do wish… I wish it every night. I wish that I could change, be better, be more like someone else, be less like someone else, be able to truly believe in God, be able to understand why I’m here. Nothing changes, no one answers. I speak; my words float away. Someday, I will too, and that day can’t come soon enough.