Showing posts with label meditation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meditation. Show all posts

06 December, 2019

Spontaneous Nothing/ Done getting kicked

Jean Baptiste Rochambeau: traitor but not bad game designer
The aftermath of every major life decision is that my brain, my  old enemy, kicks out every single reason that I might have read the road signs wrong. Like as I might, blaming this on alcoholism doesn't feel like it fits the bill. Yes, our brains are our enemies most of the time... the brain as controlled by ego, at any rate.

To wit: faced with an unexpected 40% tuition increase from last semester to this semester, I decided it wasn't right to put that kind of strain on my family's already thin finances. The financial aid office, in all it's wisdom, offered me the opportunity to apply for yet another loan that I probably wouldn't get. If I had gone out to LA to deal with the issue in person, I'd have had no money to pay for lodging and no sure way home ... unless my wife and I didn't pay the mortgage.

See what I mean? Untenable.  Add to that the fact that the additional loan I was "qualified to apply for" was a PLUS loan... which is essentially a bank loan.  They check your credit score for that one.
So I didn't go. I was able to get a Leave of Absence for financial reasons, but that means I'll graduate a semester later than I originally planned... December instead of June 2020.

Meh. That part I'm not all that bothered by. A little bummed that I won't get to graduate with my friends in the same cohort. But it's that ol' brain... my Ego... that's been kicking my ass over the last few days.

Well, fuck you Ego. And move over.

This self-questioning has been a paralytic in the past. My joints lock up. My brain turns into an old rabbit-eared idiot box permanently stuck on white noise.  Generally this happens while I'm mid-stride into some half plan or another. Except that this time I had a plan, even if I'd forgotten that my old enemy, ego mine, would try and get in between.

My plan? Nothing.

That's right. Nothing.

I'm pretty sure my wife doesn't want to know this, and I'm damn sure certain that every productive member of the Machina Trumplandia doesn't want to know, either. Nothing flies in the face of that Engrained Something we were taught from the moment our parents started trying to socialize us.  My mother will worry. My mother-in-law, too. Pretty sure my daughter, who is preparing to have a daughter of her own, will have some concerns. If my father's ghost is hanging around, he'll have some choice words on the matter.

But yeah. Nothing. One Big Spontaneous Nothing.

That Engrained Something... that's ego. That's all my previous lives and decisions trying to run on repeat.  But like a religious has to die to their old life, a poet ... to truly be one... has to die to his or her old life, too.  While I have a deep respect for The Grand Experiment*, I've (finally) learned that there is no such thing as finding an accommodation between poetry and "life."

Poetry IS life. And there is no accommodating life. Either you live or you don't.

I know what you're thinking. What about money? What about bills? Yes, I will need to  make money. My decision to try and go back for my MFA was predicated on the notion that I had to find another track to be a good husband. My decision put off going this residency because of the financial hardship it would drop on my household was based entirely on needing to do what's best for my family. Not my ego, which would have had me going out to LA and putting our domestic security at risk.

No thank you, Ego. Fuck off.

Now, it's true that I've done a lot of things to earn money. Nearly all of them were awful. I attribute this to the fact that I've always hated money.  Even when I thought I was engaged in my own little capitalistic experiment ... and doing pretty well at it, actually... the thing I was sacrificing kept kicking me in the nuts. Poetry. Poetry kicked me in the nuts. Life. Poetry ignored is one big game of Roshambo, South Park Style.



I'm done getting kicked in the nuts for you, Ego.

Nothing. Live it. 

________________________

*The working idea that a poet can balance poetry, professional, and domestic life. I'm not saying it can't work. I'm saying it doesn't work for me. I was born with rambling feet, but I'm a lousy dancer.



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31 July, 2019

[re: lines on the day I remembered my father's birthday]

"Your skin starts itching once you buy the gimmick"  - Iggy Pop/David Bowie


For years I drove out by the old house to see what the new occupants had done to wreck the place. The time I drove out and saw the buried wagon wheels at the end of the driveway, like some broken redneck gate straight out of HGTV and the western-chic issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I knew my father's imprint was worn off. Finally, indescribably, gone.

And even as I write this, I don't know that I ever made peace with that -- until now, as I come to terms with how I feel about being at my mom's, and how my own wounded vision has impacted not only how I feel about this place, but about my Losantiville as a whole. 

Only now do I understand that I must see this place like any other place -- and that this vision must extend to all places. Even the ones I allow myself to be attached to.


Summer ends just as it begins.
Places abide in a mourner's memory,
an early morning dew. No house
holds out against the wind. No island
holds out against the current.


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03 June, 2019

A Tip for Traveling Well (Back in the Tall Grass)


Top of Iroquois Park, Louisville, KY: an Olmsted Designed Park
The top level of Iroquois Park in Louisville, Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It's only open to motor traffic one day a week, and most of the time it looks like the city has all but forgotten about it: tall grass, hidden brambles, vines, and flowers. The path through the tall grass eventually disappears and even though the earnest saunterer isn't that far from the road or from civilization, the wildness of the place takes hold and for a moment, it's possible to forget the nearness of  what has come to pass as civilization.


One of the blessings of my life is that such a place, and others like it, are so close to where I live. I've taken this for granted in the past because, well, my head wasn't quite turned right. I'd allowed myself -- with all the best intentions in the world -- to get distracted by work, by the demands of building a business that I built for what may have not been the best reasons, and by the trappings of a civilization and system that I'd spent years avoiding and actively fighting against.

But as I find myself back in the tall grass, having wandered off the marked path in favor one that I
have no choice to have faith in rather than the sure thing I can see, dictate, and, to a limited degree, control, I feel more free than I have in a long, long time. I was so busy trying to make up some kind of professional life after the one I loved (education) seemed to have left me behind... or, to be more accurate, filtered me out... that I missed the opportunity to really step off the path. Yes, I tried a few creative things until I put together some sort of business plan. But the business took all the energy and left me little room to breathe. And you may point out, Isn't that just the way it is?

No. It's the way I decided it was. That doesn't mean it was true. And no one had any control over it but me. I'd trapped myself in a maze of my own creation, with a monster of my own creation to whom I ceded all control of my life.

When I was finally able to see... or I was blessed with the chance to be able to see... what I was doing to myself, I knew that I had to get back to something basic:

PACK LIGHT.

On any journey, the things you carry are the things that can both help sustain you and make your life miserable. In some cases, the thing you're lugging around will kill you if you let it. So let go of what you don't need. Hang onto what sustains you.

The real bitch of it is that only you can figure out what those things are. But once you do, the tall grass is calling.





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30 March, 2018

Darkness as the absence, not the opposite of light (For Smiley) - A Draft

Mick Parsons Poetry

 My father, I think,
wanted to be a deliberate man.

On days when the boil in my blood near overflows
I imagine what the sensation must feel like.

These ill-humors do no one any good.

Do I blame the rain? Should I pray for the sun?
Would Heaven part for the prayers
of yet another more sinner?

Ghosts of a stern religious past
cast my lot in with theirs –
resigned, at last, to darkness.

At least there is no rain.

I think of my father.
I hope for the sun.

The floor is dirty
and dishes to be done
and obligations to fulfill
between now and moonrise

when all our dead fathers rattle their chains
and bade us revenge
this murder most foul.

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