The End of the World

“To feel bereft of purpose is the greatest struggle.

To find personal merit among madness, regardless of outcome, is the greatest accomplishment of all.” JSM

Someone close to me once died a painful death. A violent death. Unnecessary suffering. A death that makes one question why the brain allows such agony.

Such a good person. A tranquil soul with a heart full of love. Someone who gave selflessly and helped others through their time(s) of need. Why was the passing from this realm to the next, so brutal?

I can’t answer my own question(s), though not for a lack of trying. I ponder on it, and then I’m forced to stop. I intermix religion, ancient stories and spirituality, scientific musings and theories, personal research, life lessons, testimonials, mythology, then go off the rails and run circles around my mind, struggling to line up the pieces and connect the dots…

and ultimately run head on into solid walls at warp speed.

Some realms are shrouded in mystery and not all questions can be answered. I suppose that’s where faith comes into play.

Faith isn’t for everyone. I’m fully aware of that.

Despite that, I see life and living as a series of necessary balances. Speculation and truth. Good and evil. Heat and cold. Yin and Yang. Darkness and light. Sun and moon. Time and timeless. Positive and negative. Struggles and triumphs. Happiness and sadness. Elation and pain. The proper balance of nutrients for the body and mind to work at peak optimization. The required time for sleep and rejuvenation. Solid and liquid. Right and wrong. Up and down. Life and death. Earth and sky.

Because I see everything as balanced, and balance is essential to the natural world, death is therefore natural and should somehow have a positive purpose. In some way or fashion.

Without darkness, light will never shine. Without good, evil reigns supreme. Without living, there is no death.

Unfortunately, what happens after death is a mystery to me. But I have to continue to believe that even though I may not know, death still must serve a positive purpose.

Even if it’s just raising awareness. Passing on a story and helping someone else navigate their personal struggles. Allowing a legacy to live on through others. Turning a hard negative into something positive. Somehow, someway.

Finding reasoning where there shouldn’t be.

Forcing clarity from senselessness.

There must be a purpose and balance to everything. Even death. I refuse to believe otherwise.

That’s not the religious upbringing in me coming out. I don’t enjoy discussing religion in an open forum. I do however, enjoy spirituality.

In my opinion, without spirit, there is no purpose. Being bereft of purpose and devoid of spirit is the end of the world as far as I’m concerned. To wander through life not understanding and having an inability to see the truth of self is maddening.

The truth of self isn’t always apparent. The variables are sometimes hidden. At times we have to dig deep to find those buried truths. Sometimes we have to devise and construct our purpose, and create something from nothing to make those ultimate discoveries about ourselves. To mold and form perceptiveness, from all the senselessness.

Keep digging.

Creation of purpose, and the unveiling of personal truth, is an ongoing challenge. I’ll never fully know what my purpose is, but I’ll keep digging and searching until it makes itself known and obvious.

One of my personal core truths I’ve discovered over the last six years among all the endless digging, is patience.

That… and literally everything happens for a reason. Everything.

***

I had reached the end of my sanity. My ship had sailed right to the end of the world.

At this point in life, I was good at three things. Working my forty hour week, applying a fake smile while in the presence of others, and feeling sorry for myself. My existence didn’t make any sense and I made it obvious to everyone who would listen. Because of the situation at hand and all the negative variables, I felt destined to live a life of hardship and struggling. I foresaw nothing but pain and misery, and misery prefers the company of others more often than not.

I yelled frequently. I spoke unkindly to who I felt deserving of my verbal lashings, and I didn’t hold back. I isolated. I withdrew. I hated. I brought people down into my abyss and forced them to stay. I couldn’t let go of my burden. The balance was off so drastically, I couldn’t see any light.

What comprised my spirit was darkened and dead and swirled around as disembodied specters looking for a way inside. A shadowy mist floating and undulating, mocking and taunting. An icy cold snake slithering around my shoulders whispering words I cared not to hear.

I paced. I allowed the formulation of negativity to ensconce my soul and wrap me up in a cocoon of limitless anger.

I purged all the positive and discarded all potential purpose.

When Joseph met me at the front door of the refuge, he wouldn’t allow me entry right away. I had a task to complete first. A job I didn’t want to do, but my hand was forced.

Before I crossed the threshold, he placed a tool in my grip to get the job done. Instructing me that it would make everything easier and I’d feel better once completed. I didn’t believe him and I hated him for it. What he wanted me to do didn’t make sense, and is the opposite of who I am, but he was adamant.

With tears streaming down my cheeks I approached the center of the room, sword in hand, and killed Jessica Everett.

Thank you for reading and being a part of my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email. Please give it a like, if you like it, feel free to share with others or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.
Peace!

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Baked

“Ice is forming on the tips of my wings. Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything. No navigator to guide my way home. Unladened, empty and turned to stone. A soul in tension that’s learning to fly. Condition grounded but determined to try. Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies. Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I.” Pink Floyd

I’ve forced myself to rest for a spell and have decided to take a break. It won’t be a long break. It never really is. In fact, I’ve been on said break for awhile now, and should be ending the hiatus soon. When I’m idle, I drive myself crazy.

The funny thing about participating in what we love, is the intent to fully immerse ourselves; regardless of how good we are at the activity. Regardless if we’re merely starting out and learning, or locked somewhere in between. If we enjoy it, we engage in it. We’ll never reach a certain level or attain our goals, unless we do it consistently. Practice, commitment, time management, unwavering focus. Allowing it to partially consume us. Doesn’t matter what it is. If we love it, we’ll do it.

I can say with a fair amount of confidence, I’m not truly “good” at anything, or any one thing, or excel at any skill. And I love that about myself. I’ve tried the higher education route, and was fairly adept during those times in attendance. Decent grades. Areas and topics I wished to pursue and subject matter that caught my interests. But was never able to take it to completion (for reasons I can’t discuss here). I found niches I could slide into over the years where I climbed employment ladders and considered myself accomplished at a jobby job and praised for my labor, but outside the work arena, I’ve never considered myself “good” at anything.

I was also never inclined to try during those days of the Old Life. Too many obstacles. Too many walls to break down. Too many distractions. Too much bullshit.

I can say I’m good at specifics. I can navigate a computer fairly easy. I have an immaculate driving record. I listen well to those I consider important to my life and pay attention to those with greater wisdom, knowledge or experience.

I classify myself as a good parent, a decent friend and a loving partner. I have a preparation and survivalist way about me. But as far as skills are concerned… yeah… no.

Quite possibly the greatest thing I have going for me, is knowing I have no skills. Such a freeing mentality. Never locked into a concrete mindset. The focus can branch off, fly and explore without boundaries.

I made a decision, once upon a time, to try and follow in the footsteps of others. I wanted what “they” had. I had radically changed and adapted my thinking to try and transform into someone else, so I too could feel the same way as them. A sense of accomplishment. A sense of completion. Hands reaching for the sky as the finish line is finally crossed.

But the more I paid attention and the more I saw… the less I wanted. It’s one thing to profess accomplishment, smile and take pride in it, but to witness and experience the negativity, sadness, and gloom that’s accompanied with that accomplishment, turned me right off. If we love something, sadness should never be a dominant factor. Ever.

I then decided I will never allow sadness to interfere with what I love doing. I’ve discarded all the jealousy and coveting. I no longer want what others have.

My mind’s eye allowed me to understand one core basic concept. And I only speak for myself. The moment I try to be something I’m not, is the moment I become something that contradicts who I am.

I love who I am. I love what I do.

I can never be like someone else, or other people, because it will change who I am as a person. Unacceptable. All I can do is learn from others and try and make it applicable to my own life, in my own way.

Having a conversation with a close friend last night I made it a point to say, “I was this close to giving up. I almost quit. The weight was too heavy to carry.”

“But I didn’t. If I had quit, I wouldn’t be where I am at this exact moment. And life is about moments. The moments are what we should live for.”

The difference between failure and quitting is permanence. If we fail during our challenges, or experience failure in some fashion we can pick ourselves up, dust off the debris, learn from the experience and move forward hoping to do better. Quitting is permanent. Can’t experience failure once quitting.

They say, “It’s not work if you love what you do.”

I say, “What a load of malarkey.” It’s work. Lots and lots and lots of work.

Busy work. Work that challenges confidence. Demanding and time consuming work. Mind numbing at times.

Because I can’t quit what I love, I’m forced to take breaks. Not as a result of failure, but because my mind requires another reboot. I need to re-change my thinking again. I have more clutter to clear up and more dust to sweep away. Suggestions by others that demand integration. Some breakage in the structure, and cracks discovered in the foundation, that’s now in desperate need of repair and attention.

Can’t make a decent apple pie without a solid crust.

I learned that the hard way.

***

There it was. My first attempt to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. What a disaster. An epic embarrassment. I was so glad I was alone in the house at the time. I wanted a baked pie, and got exactly what I asked for. Baked beyond recognition. The dream led me to the store, I followed the instructions to the letter, complied all the ingredients needed, and created a monster.

The smoke alarm was the first clue. I dashed into the kitchen and smoke poured from the stove. I ripped open the oven door, yanked the plate from within with two pot holders, and tossed my creation onto the counter top.

A steaming, blackened, bubbling pile of burnt mess. I wouldn’t have fed it to Shelby and that mutt eats anything. The stink was overwhelming, an assault on the senses, and it was a good guess I’d be scrubbing the pie plate for at least an hour with a Brillo Pad to remove the burned edges.

Once it was cooled off and the mess cleaned up, I threw the pie in the trash. No one was seeing that awful concoction. I wouldn’t even venture a taste. I couldn’t in good conscious subject anyone else to it. It had to disappear.

Where did I go wrong? I followed the rules to a tee. It should have appeared just like the pictures. 

What variable did I miss?

The tragic part of being lost in life, is having the inability to see variables. It’s easy to follow a compass or a bright star home, but if the compass leads to the edge of a ravine, or a mighty raging chaotic river, the variables change. Unforeseen anomalies that just create another obstacle. We’re always fighting to tear down the walls, and dodge the overwhelming anomalies, but without the right tools and the correct mindset, the walls never move. The obstacles will always remain.

Luckily the next visit to the refuge with Joseph, provided me with one singular tool. I didn’t want it at first, but it was handed to me with a solemn promise that it would make everything better.

I wish I had believed him right away.

“I drag a heavy hammer. An instrument to break down walls. A weapon to destroy barriers that stretch up to the heavens and to either side as far as the eyes can wander. It’s a burdensome weight to be sure. Calloused and bloodied hands. Sore muscles. Endless fatigue. Yet, without that hammer, those walls would never fall.” JSM

Thank you for reading. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email. Please give it a like, if you like it. Feel free to share with others or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.
Peace!

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Heart and Soul

Things have happened recently that make me question my reality. Things that go beyond the realm of what I’ve always considered normal. Moments where I really have to stop and ponder, think it through, and be grateful. Recent paradigm shifting situations that make my eyes open wide, and to be honest, a tear may well to the surface from time to time.

I’m a big boy. I can shed a tear or two if it’s warranted. 😉

I don’t deserve this.

I can’t believe this is happening to me!!

Are those TV shows/networks truly following me on Twitter? No…way… you only have thirty five followers… how is this possible? There must be some kind of mistake.

To quote, the Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”

My brain has difficulties processing it all sometimes. The beginning of all this, to where I am today. In fact, it’s a little overwhelming at times and I find myself catching my breath as I try to wrap my mind around it. Because I can’t fathom the evolution of what’s occurring around me, I merely smile, and follow the journey’s path regardless and try to push on. I just have to continue as though I’m doing what “I” believe is the right thing for me.

And, with hopes it helps someone or two along the way.

Even as I compose this entry, I shake my head in disbelief and absolute bewilderment.

How is this possible…

So, before I continue, I must take a moment and say, thank you. From the bottom of my heart and soul. From the deepest places within me.

To the casual readers and browsers. The quick material skimmers. The subscribers. My Facebook friends who support me and have supported me since day one. My new Twitter family. Thank you. When I started this adventure, I never in a hundred trillion years could’ve believed it would ever have reached this point. I am humbled and honored beyond words. 🙂

Time is a precious commodity to me and I attempt to use it wisely. I keep to myself with social media. I don’t share much about my personal life and my feelings about things. However, I live inside the Chronicles Project and this is where I do my sharing. I allow my heart and soul to guide me now, and this is where I put it all.

It takes a lot to catch me off guard now-a-days or make me stop dead in my tracks. All I can provide in the moment is a heartfelt thank you, to each and every one of you. All of you make my soul smile.

***

Joseph Everett was right about one thing. I needed to look beyond the literal. To drop the wall of blatant intentional ignorance I had constructed around me, and see beyond the darkened veil.

Life had been moving so fast in such a brief period of time, by default, I couldn’t see beyond that wall. The veil was so high and thick, the literal was all I could visualize and the only thing in my life that made sense. I had the inability to see anything more than five feet away. I lived within my own bubble.

The next morning, after that visit to the refuge, I sat in my office chair in my small living space and questioned concepts such as synchronicity. Signs and symbols. Things which could be construed as coincidence and happenstance, but also quite possibly have a higher or different meaning.

Dream interpretation(s). Visions. Contemplation of the mystical.

I didn’t act on any of these thoughts. I only sat in my swivel chair, fingers laced behind my head, spinning in one place while staring at the ceiling.

No. Wait! What are you doing?!

I have to know…

Like the clue found in the linen closet, there could possibly be another one. The ball of yarn still had a home resting comfortably on top of my desk’s pencil holder. I knew the answers could be buried deep within the bowels of the internet somewhere, yet I wouldn’t know unless I tried looking for them. Can’t allow a series of dreams to make me go crazy without at least exploring all avenues first. These visits to “Joe’s world,” where I was nothing more than a guest, were growing cumbersome without receiving any concrete answers in return. To completely ignore it all would be careless. At least that’s what I believed at the time.

I dug and searched. I poked, prodded and perused. I turned over some stones and read some stuff. I researched a bit and scrolled through various articles. After about forty five minutes of looking and seeking out those hiding answers, I found myself on one final page.

There it was. As plain as day. The literal answer. The only thing that made any sense to my fractured mind. I reached into my bottom desk drawer and removed a notebook. If my printer didn’t need more ink, I would have just printed all the information out instead.

After copying all the material from the computer screen, I double checked my words, looked it over a couple of times to ensure I had it all correct and everything was legible. I’ve never had the best penmanship, so I really have to reread my hand written words and when all was said and done, I closed the laptop, left the house and fired up the car.

I felt relieved with my decision. My feelings on the interpretation of the events I witnessed the night before. I allowed my heart to guide me to the destination and I didn’t think twice on the matter.

An hour later, and after triple checking my grocery basket, I had all the ingredients needed to make an apple pie.

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Peace!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Eleventh Hour

“Tick, tock, tick, tock. Time is a fleeting thing. It can kill the spirit, dull the mind, or help the heart to sing. I can no longer speak about yesterday, or see what tomorrow will bring. All I know for sure, is that one closed door, which could be hiding everything.” JSM

“Well, well, Jeremy. I see you’ve decided to return. What took so long?”

“I had things to do.”

“That’s what they all say. That’s what they all say. Everyone is so, so busy.” Joseph used his one free hand and raised the table back on all fours. “You want some pie?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Of course you are. Hunger is what brings you here. Hunger is what brings everyone here.”

“I said I’m not hungry. I want some answers, not food.”

“Answers you seek. Some you may find. Depends on how far you dig into the mind.”

“Listen, Joe,” I crossed my arms high on the chest. “I don’t want Jessica’s food. I don’t want your cryptic rhymes and messages and dance routines around my questions. Just shoot me straight, OK? Can you do that one simple thing for me? I don’t ask for a lot.”

The old man smiled. “First help me clean up a little, then we’ll see if we can find some answers to your questions. Can you give me a hand?”

I picked up large broken lobster shells from the carpet and placed them on a cracked plate along with other crumbs, silverware and debris. The walls of the refuge felt cramped and closed in this time. Less of a wide open area, and more congested. I’ve always had bouts of claustrophobia in my youth and tried my best to ignore the uncomfortable sensations.

Jessica exited the kitchen. The scowl I was accustomed to was smeared across her face and she continued to avoid my eyes. Instead of her silver wheeled cart, she dragged a vacuum cleaner out the door, and the power cord bounced and slid across the floor behind her like a dead orange snake.

She plugged it into the wall, flipped the switch and it was silent. No high whirring hum. No pieces sucking up into the machine. Only Mrs. Everett moving the floor cleaner across the carpet in quick strokes. When she completed the chore, she dragged the vacuum away and returned to the kitchen.

Joe was back to sitting at the table. “Are you going to join me? Or just stand there all day looking like someone killed your dog.”

I found a chair at the head of the long table, placed it across from him and sat down hard. Shelby curled into a ball at my feet. I refused to speak. I wanted something from him, but I couldn’t formulate what that something was. Instead of talking, I sat quiet, my hands folded on the surface of the table.

Joe slid the pie between us and it’s smell watered my mouth. He grabbed a long knife and cut into it’s steaming center, “What most people don’t understand, Jeremy, is without an absolute perfect balance, and the right timing, an apple pie fails across the board in all categories. The crust has to be perfect. The apples cooked to perfection. What happens if the apples are under cooked?”

“The texture’s off. There’s nothing worse than crunchy apples in a baked pie.”

“That’s my thought as well. Though, some are happy with that outcome, and content to eat it anyway. They don’t care about the texture or the flavor. The thickness of the crust or the perfect sweetness. They don’t care if it falls apart or crumbles into pieces on their plate, or it doesn’t maintain its shape. They ignore the warm liquid center oozing and dripping from the middle or the noticeable imperfections. Others however, take their time when making a pie. Over the course of time, trials by fire, struggles and failures, they continue to strive to make it as perfect as possible. Something they can take pride in. The Missus takes great pride in her ability to make it perfect. Look at this beauty.”

I had to admit. The pie was indeed perfect. The crust was designed with weaving lattice work across the top. The filling was solid and smelled delightful. As though Mrs. Everett belonged on her own cooking show.

Joseph continued as he placed a slice on a small plate, “The difference between those who strive to be perfect, and those who don’t, is time and commitment. It takes time to blend, mix, roll, and place a perfect crust. It takes time to cook the ingredients, test the flavors and find the balance. It takes time to slice and dice the apples. It takes time in the oven to bake to perfection. Jessica would say the key to a perfect apple pie, is patience, consistency and time. Time is always the determining factor.”

I leaned over the table and pointed to the old man, “And just what in the hell, does any of this nonsense, have to do with me?”

“Everything.”

“Excuse me? I don’t want to bake a pie. I don’t even care about making pies.”

“I understand that.”

“So why even bring it up?”

“Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. You have the inability to see the bigger picture. I use a pie as a example. Stop being so literal.”

“I can’t help it. When you’ve been through what I’ve been through…”

Joseph rose from the table and my heart skipped a beat. I sucked in a breath and held it as his voice rose loud enough to shake the windows. “NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME! THIS IS MY WORLD! MY REALM AND YOU ARE A GUEST HERE, AND DON’T EVER FORGET THAT! FROM THIS POINT FORWARD YOU MUST LOOK BEYOND THE LITERAL. DROP THIS WALL OF BLATANT INTENTIONAL IGNORANCE AND OPEN YOUR EYES! I AM NOT YOUR ENEMY! I AM HERE TO HELP YOU!

Leaning back in my chair, a smug smile grew across my lips, “So you’re going to teach me how to make an apple pie. If that be the case, I’ll just show myself out. Thanks, Joe, but no thanks.”

“Wait.” He replied raising his hand as I grabbed Shelby’s leash and made my way to the door. “You can’t leave yet.”

I glanced back to him over my shoulder. “Why is that? It’s apparent I’m not going to get the help I need here. I have to seek it elsewhere.”

“No. You can’t leave. Not until you understand.”

As I reached for the double doors, a magical force bolted them shut and a long wooden timber dropped down from the ceiling to cover the exit. I reached for the handle and tugged with all my strength. I was trapped inside the refuge.

“Sit down!” He commanded.

I returned to my chair.

“I know you don’t want to cook pies and I understand your need to leave. But what it is you don’t understand, is what I’m trying to show you. This pie… is you, and your life.”

I laughed. A belly clutching chuckle that poured tears down my face.

“You may laugh for the moment, but you won’t in a minute.”

I wiped my eyes, “Try me.”

“You lack something.”

I was my turn to be stern, “Now you listen to me, Joseph. I’m lacking in a lot of things and I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a big boy and can own up to my ineptitude. Have you ever felt safe and secure in life, only to have it ripped away from you against your will? Have you ever built up something from scratch, only to have it torn down and obliterated into powder? Have you ever had your foundations shaken so violently, you can’t distinguish the difference between reality and fantasy? When you hit that point, you let me know, then we can talk.”

Joe stuck his fork into the warm dessert and placed a chunk into his mouth. He chewed with his mouth open and mocked me. Crumbs trickled from his lips. “Oh, boo hoo. Jeremy’s been though some crap. Jeremy’s reality was shifted. Jeremy feels lost and hopeless. Join the club, buddy boy. Everyone feels that at one point or another. You think you’re the first to feel betrayed by the world? What makes you so special? Why is your pain greater than that of anyone else? What you do with this crumbling life and those broken foundations is what makes all the difference. You’re still upright and breathing, right? That is your foundation. You are alive.”

“I suppose. But it’s all stagnant, suffocating and abysmal. Life doesn’t make sense. If we’re discussing apple pies, then it’s safe to say, my ingredients are off balance.”

“Ah… now you see it. The ingredients are off balance. In fact, my guess is you haven’t even been shopping for the ingredients yet. You currently lack the components to bake a good apple pie. Or even something edible.”

I paused my rant and relaxed into the seat cushion.

Joseph continued. “You have a foundation from which to rebuild, but it’s made of dirt. You have walls for protection, but they’re thin and lacking strength. You have a roof overhead but it’s leaking and full of holes. You struggle, because you choose to struggle. If you’re unhappy with the situation at hand, you must change it. Only you can take care of you. Before making the perfect pie, you must first have the perfect crust. The foundation from which the rest of the pie is constructed upon. You need to find that balance you seek.”

“I seek what I can’t find.”

“But you must continue to seek it out. Don’t give up. Don’t stop looking. See the forest for the trees. Seek out opportunities among madness. Stop looking for perfection right now. Perfection is never perfect. Seek out ideal instead. What defines ideal for you?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s the first question to answer. Start small. Look for something else. Stop seeking that which can’t be found.”

“I don’t even know where to start.”

“Start at the beginning. It’s time to go shopping. You have a pie to make.”

When my eyes ripped open from the vivid dream, I threw my blankets off my sweating skin and lurched from the bed. My breathing choppy and erratic. My face was red, my hands shook and when I splashed water in my face and looked into the mirror in the bathroom, I had to stop and stare.

Seek ideal. Stop seeking perfection. Perfection is a pipe dream.

All of this is happening for a reason.

Time to go back to the basics.

It was time to continue the hunt. The hunt for the invisible. The hunt for something, which was trying it’s best to hide from me.

I enjoy puzzles. I like games of all kinds. The one thing I despise, however, is mind games. I was locked into a mind game and the only player was myself. And the clock continued to tick away.

>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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Talking to Myself

It’s easy for me to admit now. I don’t relate well to others.(sigh) Some of it’s by design, some by default.

I have varying viewpoints on subject matter that don’t correlate with the standard norms and social conventions. It is indeed a double edged sword.

Over time, I was forced to stop my inner conflict and come to terms with this. As the days continued to drift on by, it became a pill that was easier to swallow. Because I don’t relate well, I see things differently. I experience life and what it has to offer on a different wavelength. And I can’t turn it off.

The down side to this way of life is obvious. It’s an isolationist lifestyle. Conversations with others outside my circle are attempted surface conversations only. I don’t have a large and wide option of friends. The friends I do have, however, are treasured relationships but I can count them all on one hand.

In actuality, I wouldn’t have that any other way. Simplicity and trust is essential to my complex universe.

Additional downsides include sometimes being forced to bite my tongue and keeping my opinions to myself. Watching the experiences of others from a distance or (in regards to social media) reading the experiences and dialogue of others and doing my best to not butt in (and boy have I come across a doozie or two recently). Allowing people to slowly approach but keeping them at arms length.

I’ve had to recreate solid ground to stand upon, so I had something I could stand for. Viewing trust as a reward as opposed to something that’s just given away willy nilly without taking all possible variables into consideration.

Well, Jere. That sounds really, really sad. 

The upside to this life style, outweighs all possible negatives. I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to concern myself with impressing anyone. I can be honest. For instance, I never have to consider the costs, stress and preparation of hosting a dinner party with wine, or mixed drinks, fancy appetizers and matching dinnerware to impress others around me. You come to my place to eat, we listen the 1979 Star Trek the Motion Picture LP, or Led Zeppelin while playing Risk or some dice related table top game, Phase Ten or Chess, eating pizza and chips, or Chinese Food, waiting for the brownies to finish cooking all the while sipping strong coffee. Then, it’s outside to sit on the porch and chat about things.

I can be myself without fear of reprisal or condemnation. I’m not forced to wear a multitude of hats and disguises for varying occasions depending on who I’ll be around, or where I’ll be. I can talk the way I want to talk. I don’t need to blend in, be fake, fight for attention, lie, or ever have to worry about personal hypocrisy. In fact, when I encounter hypocrisy, lairs and fakery, I want nothing more than to lash out and speak my piece.

Yet, I don’t. If someone wishes for me to intervene and speak my mind on their behalf, all they have to do is ask.

I don’t care about people’s personal opinions of me and it’s so freeing. I know who I am. I don’t need verification from outsiders. If someone doesn’t like me, it’s probably because they were force fed some negative bullshit about me, or who I am, and if that be the case I scoff with a resounding Ha!!

Or… perhaps I did give them a true blue reason to speak ill will of me or talk about me in some negative way and if that be true, then it’s something I’ll have to accept. Either way… I don’t care about the negative anymore.

I digress.

In order to accomplish my goals, I’ve had to adopt this way of life. I’ve had to be honest and say no. I’ve had to ignore from time to time. I’ve had to disappoint. To bottom line it all, I’ve had to be true to me. As a wise man once told me, “You, are the only one who will always look out for you. No one else can take care of you, but you.”

Being myself has bitten me in the bum on more than one occasion, but those days are in the past and I no longer dwell. As of this moment, it’s time to focus on the future. At any and all cost. Especially in this day and age.

Living life as a part time hermit is a tricky one. It’s a never ending battle.

“Do I want to do this, that, or the other thing? I know what I have to do. What do I focus on today?”

“OK… let’s find a way to squeeze it all in.”

That’s the most rewarding thing (in my opinion) about calling the shots and being true to myself. Having long periods of time where I’m all alone and devoid of company. I get to do what I want (within reason), when I can, without ever shirking responsibilities. I can find time to manage it all without burning out. I can binge watch a few shows, play a game, chill out with my kiddo, hang out with Nancy, doodle, help others as needed, chat with my buddies, write, work the jobby job and complete my chores and never once feel as though I missed out on anything.

I’ll be honest though… it’s not always easy. Like I said, it’s a huge pill to swallow. I was always afraid of missing out on something.

Being who I am, has always conflicted with what I believed others thought I should be, or what I should be doing with my life. But at some point over the years, I stopped caring about that. At one point along the journey I snapped, had a nice long drawn out conversation with myself and realized I was allowing too many people to live in my head and it was time to clear out the clutter. The only one who belongs in my mind is me.

Talking to myself has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. Luckily, most of my internal dialogue is akin to chatting with a close friend. I know and understand my good friends for the most part and what we discuss, and I know myself, so having these little chats while I’m alone is comfortable.

“Jere, are you sure you’re not just slowly losing your marbles?”

“To be honest, I’ve never been more sure. But thanks for asking.”

I was invited to attend a function not too long ago and early on I was approached by an attendee. I was told outright through small talk with a total stranger, if I didn’t watch a specific news network, on a certain channel, I was crazy and I needed to start watching it. The rest of our uncomfortable conversation was me trying to look impressed and not bored wishing she’d leave me alone and find someone else in the room who might relate to her.

Crazy? Really? If that’s normal I don’t want sanity. I’d prefer to “lose my marbles” as it were.

“Hey! Did you catch the college game the other night?”

“Sorry. I couldn’t even tell you who played (shrug). Thanks for asking though.”

“Wow, you’re really missing out.”

I guess I’ll just have to miss out. No offense.

“Please tell me you watched the music award show last night.”

“Oh, man, sorry. I don’t watch that stuff. I don’t even know who’s popular.”

“Everyone watches it and listens to it.”

Not everyone. 

I was always running into a hurdle I couldn’t jump. Because I don’t relate to a lot of people, I don’t talk a lot. I have to force my mouth to wait a moment as I compose my thoughts before I speak them. Sometimes I have to be strategic with my conversations, especially with people I barely know.

Therefore, I enjoy talking to myself. We hash things out while washing the dishes, or cooking dinner. Shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. I don’t have these conversations out in public. Only within the walls of my home.

Five years ago, I realized Joseph Everett was that other side of me. He was me in a conjured form I still to this day can’t rectify in my mind.

I didn’t know it at the time while interacting with the old man, that it was just me arguing with myself. Figuring it all out took many trips to the “refuge” and many messes. Many situations and multiple events.

A little violence. Another devastating storm. Anger. More food. Sleeping on the ceiling and chopping trees at the end of Joe’s parking lot. Creating a duck on red paper with uncooked macaroni and glue.

Witnessing a raging inferno from afar, the flames licking the ash filled clouds above. The cleaving of continents. Mountains collapsing into the sea and tidal waves racing across the land.

Yeah… Joe’s thinking was pretty far out there. I think I spent a month visiting Mr. and Mrs. Everett. I was never sure with each time, what to expect.

>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear of the Unknown

Not only have I written some books of various lengths (currently in editing phases. They’re getting there. You want to talk about a ton of work, commitment, patience and time… holy moly), I’ve also spent a number of years in research as well. Sometimes deep, down the rabbit hole research. Everyday I try to learn something new, or investigate a subject I didn’t know or understand; or something to which I was never exposed.

In my universe, research is essential. Research, to me, is just as important as breathing, eating and sleeping. I need it. It’s required to survive.

Not the research and learning that’s projected through the television. No. I don’t pay attention to any of that. Or reading the first major news article from a popular network that pops up on the social media feed, so I can say I’m informed. Thanks… but I’ll pass.

I’m back to reading books. Old books. Back to the library and the dark corners of the Web. Spending time away from mainstream media. Digging for the roots and the heart of the matter and not being satisfied with what’s shown on the surface. I enjoy origin stories, the mythical, following bread crumbs and delving deep into what most of the population would consider a colossal waste of time and absolutely absurd. I live in it. I thrive on the archaic, mysterious, controversial, conspiratorial, ancient, and the days of early recorded history.

Not an expert by any means. Not even close. Only engaged and interested. I will never profess to be an expert in ANYTHING.

Just the opposite. I feel thankful, blessed, lucky, and I eat humble pie three square meals a day. Research is a part of who I am and what I like.

It’s the ongoing journey which I need in life. I need to educate myself.

Without that time spent in self education, and investigating the topics I desire and feel I need to investigate, I’d go completely insane.

It didn’t happen all at once and over night. The urge to explore was progressive and slow at first. An idea would pop into my mind (from out of nowhere), and as a result, I’d spend days researching it to absolute death or until I had my fill and felt satisfied. Some researching adventures have led me places where I scratch my head. Why did I feel compelled to look into this? What was the catalyst? Why am I invested and interested in this material? Then, unable to answer my own question(s), I’d carry on as though it never happened and move onto the next. A consistent psychological conundrum.

The problem with research (my opinion only), is everyone has differing opinions or levels of expertise. What may sound plausible from one author, is contradicted by another. What might have made sense in one book, is seemingly nullified just as quickly in a different book.

“I’m right and they’re wrong.”

“No, I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

“No, both of you are wrong, I’m right. End of story.”

“None of you are right and everything is speculative and mostly guesswork.”

Some authors are on the same page. Many believe the same thing(s) while declaring themselves experts, which is nice. But because of all the confusion and varying ideas and nothing being absolute and concrete, despite some random scattered similarities, I decided instead to whittle my research down to only working with common denominators. I focused on grand unifiers exclusively and was then able to eliminate the congestion and confusion I was creating for myself.

My research topics are neither here nor there at the moment. I won’t spend any time in the here and now discussing what I’ve studied, or explored, or what truly interests me. I believe my musings today are centered around, fear. For myself, fear is, and was, the ultimate enemy.

Deep inside my brain, was a locked door. I’d peek through the keyhole from time to time, ponder opening the door… then back down, and retreat. I think I was scared of what I’d find.

We all experience that. Determined to look into something, move forward on instinct, question the what if scenario, then run away from it at full speed because we’re so content with our life and the way things are. “I don’t want anything to jeopardize my current thinking, or come across a wedge that becomes a hindrance to my way of life.”

I was scared to death to follow my subconscious urges because I knew it was about to take me to something. Although I didn’t know what that was. All I knew, is it was something. I was terrified to go beyond what’s perceived as normal and tear down a wall I constructed around my mind and heart. A tall, thick barrier mostly built from a need for immediate protection.

My gut would say, “You need to look into this, for some reason,” and my mind generated an argument instead.

Why? Why go there? What will you possibly gain from it? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Close up the laptop, crash in the bed, zone back out to the programming and re-read that sci-fi magazine you like so much. Tomorrow’s a brand new day. You’re thinking crazy thoughts, you fool.

I’d fight the urges and give in to the fear. I didn’t want to explore and waste my precious valuable time. I didn’t want to go beyond my current level of knowledge. I was so Hell bent on surviving life, I couldn’t consider anything else. I just needed to make it through the day and sleep the night as best I could, while battling away the nightmares and vivid dreams that didn’t make any sense.

Then start it all over again.

What possible good will come from breaking that routine? I have to work full time. Have to abide by the schedule. Have to maintain normalcy. Have to stay structured and robotic. Have to keep my dignity. Have to prove something.

Hold on… what do you have to prove? Think about it for a moment. What could possibly be holding you back from perusing something that interests you? What are you actually afraid of?

Your interests are moot right now. What you want is irrelevant. What you need is paramount. You need to be afraid of what you want and desire.

I believed at the time maintaining what I currently had took precedence over anything else. I was walking on eggshells, sprinkled across thin ice, surrounded by twitchy landmines, tip toeing through my fragile paradigm as though my life depended on it, and deviating from that in any way—could cause a schism and possibly destroy everything I’ve retained. Fear was in control.

I fought the fear left and right, tooth and nail. I came to conclusions which told me I needed to live life, as it was designed around me. Since everything happens for a reason, the transpiring events are what I needed to embrace and nothing else. This is how life is supposed to be, despite the conflicting thoughts on the matter.

Stay inside your box and stop thinking outside it. This is where you’re safe. Maintain the wall around you, and you can’t get hurt.

That lasted about a month. A month of internal dispute. Thirty days of second guessing and overwhelming confidence issues. A month of shutting down. A never ending avalanche of negative energy. I couldn’t figure out my feelings and my desperate need to go outside the box, so within it I remained. Better to be safe than sorry.

I had become adjusted to the battle, fighting not only external forces but forces deep inside, and the end result of all that warfare was the essence of “self” continuing to slip away.

I feared myself. I was scared to death.

Have you ever had a fear you felt couldn’t be conquered? It’s debilitating isn’t it? Mind numbing. Fear has the ability to shatter everything and morph the psyche into a vessel for madness, confusion and terror.

My terror was hashed out in the dream world. The waking world made no sense to me. My feelings, emotions and thoughts were in constant battle with my mind and spirit, and the only way I could process it all, was by experiencing the situations conjured up in the realm of dreams. My conscious mind was smothered. My subconscious took control when it was demanded. And for some strange reason, it all centered and originated from something that was trapped in the box beside me.

The dreams slowly opened the cryptic door I had kept sealed for so long. Although, before I allowed it to swing wide, at the time I was devoid of a key.

Joseph Everett was the keeper of that key, but I didn’t know it. He kept it hidden from me and the next time we met, boy oh boy was I pissed off. I could have ripped that cocky old man’s head clean from his shoulders.

*****

The church-like building was surrounded by the thick woods of central Maine and could be found located far off the beaten path, away from all main roads, out in the middle of nowhere. I reentered Joe’s “refuge” and stormed into the wide open room as if I owned the place. I could smell the lobster right away as I shoved open the double doors, and a hint of cinnamon lingered in the background. The mean old woman baked another apple pie.

Keeping her back to me, Jessica entered the kitchen and dragged her wheeled cart along behind her. I’d only see her for that one brief moment. That was okay and more than acceptable as far as I was concerned.

Shelby walked beside me as I approached Joe’s table at the far end of the room. The broken glass had been replaced and new quotes were etched on each individual window in black lettering, but this time I couldn’t make them out. The words were fuzzy and seemed as if they were made of crackling black static.

Joe sat at the center of the table, wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the Star Trek insignia over his heart, and beside his mug of tea sat a plate full of lobster debris. A thin napkin dangled from his collar and the white material was stained with streaks of melted butter.

He placed the tip of a knife into the warm center of the freshly made dessert, and pulled the blade through the middle. His eyes opened wide as I grabbed the edge of the heavy table and grunting against it’s weight flipped it upside down with every bit of pent up rage I could muster.

With cat like reflexes, he snatched the pie from the surface, stood up as though his seat was on fire, and held it over his head as we both watched the table’s contents crash to the carpet. Shelby barked once, I stuffed both my hands in my pockets and all the old bastard could muster was, “Well. It’s good to see you too.”

>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Light Story Entrance Pattern Riddle Fear Lamp

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Ax to Grind

“Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.”

Carl Sandburg

“The air is crisp. Autumn’s coming. The colors of dying leaves. The four winds blow to each and every corner. In my ear, they’re whispering. A devil before me. The demon behind. I’m circled by the angel’s wings. The past is dark. A future darker. Tired of everything.

Back to sleep.

Tired of limbo, tired of sleeping, tired of a tired mind. Tired of trying. So unsatisfying. Tired of the uphill climb. Yet in the background stirring, a hint of madness, the thing that’s sought to find. To break up the dreary, and bring life to the weary, seek a new ax to grind.

Time to fight.

Complacency easy. Once content with a old dream. Dying for the thing that hides. The illusion’s a veil. Dark shadows prevail, while screaming from the mountainside.

The battle is won. Life is the spoils. Yet the war is so hard to fight. Take up the blade. Swing with the fury. Transform the dark to light. Merciful morning, please grace me your presence, help me combat through the night. The wicked oppression. Depressive obsession. Agony’s delight.

And know in your heart, within those deepest parts, there must be better days. Look to the skies and all that’s despised, then see through the cloudy haze. 

Just a phase.

Look in the mirror, the image much clearer, time again to change the mind. Let the soul go to flight. Bury the pride. Find some new ax to grind. Though some paths lead to nowhere, more dead ends and despair, and some paths too hard to find. With the blade in my hand, I can reclaim my stand. Consciousness redesigned.

Though unrefined.”

JSM

>>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

ax

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