I went back and forth about posting this, the first chapter of the novel I'm currently writing; obviously I decided to go with it. I also wanted to work on the novel today instead of wasting the time writing a new column, or looking for something else to post. So, enjoy!
The thought of buying a house has always made me nervous and no, it isn’t because of the mortgage, or the upfront costs: of a down payment and appraisals, etc., or the extra costs of: home repairs, taxes, insurance or landscape maintenance or even the thought of the majority of my mortgage going towards interest for the first ten years; no what has always made me nervous about buying a house is the fact that I have not yet felt settled, anywhere. I grew up a “military brat” and my family moved around a good bit, I had moved 9 times before I was 10 and eventually, after my dad retired, my parents did settle in a small Texas town outside of San Antonio however, after high school, I started moving again and, every few years, the desire to pack up and explore someplace new would once again hit me; that is, until I started paying attention to the gestures of a universe that would convey the impression that it would lead me to where, and maybe even whom I was intended.
It was right after I had spent four years living in New York City: I had made a pretty decent home for myself, although I was living with four roommates, all roughly my age, all professionals at one thing or another, but I had been asked to be a part of that living situation and, after that point in my life—in my mid to late twenties, and solidly financially stable—I was really feeling the itch to be on my own, and almost as soon as I began to humor the realities of charging my roommates with the task of seeking out my replacement it seemed as if the universe began to reach out to me. I remember, at the time, feeling like everywhere I went someone was talking about-, or there seem to be some reference to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The first time it came up I was working with a guy whom also worked part time as a photographer and, one afternoon in conversation, he mentioned spending his summers in Santa Fe taking landscape photographs in and around the city, he spent weeks there every year for something like the last five years, the entirety of his vacation time, every single year going to this little art community. Shortly after I was walking through the MET and I stopped at a watercolor by Georgia O’Keeffe, one that I had likely seen numerous times, because I did walk through the museum often enough, but before now I had never really stopped to enjoy it, while reading her bio next to the piece, it was mentioned that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum was located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and that she had spent much of her life living at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico just outside Santa Fe; and again, very shortly after that, I came across an article about an HBO series based on the series of books by author George R. R. Martin that would be airing within the next year or so, and that George Martin was a resident of--yes, that’s right—Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were other innuendos—hearing the song “Santa Fe” by Beirut, the lead singer of which grew up in Santa Fe—enough that it was impossible for me not to take notice and so, after a month or so of processing this frequency illusion—or Baader Meinhof phenomena—I started looking for a place in Santa Fe. Within a week I had found a new place (I still wasn’t, yet looking to buy), I did buy a plane ticket however, and I made the trip to this northern New Mexican high-dessert artist community that, until recently, I had never really even heard of, nor had I ever been.
I flew into the Albuquerque International Sunport chartered a bus and sat, I waited for the introduction to what I had expected to be my new longterm vacation spot. The drive was nearly two hours of an incredibly vivid array of various shades of reds, oranges, browns, greens, and blues and rock formations particular only to American Southwest, it was gorgeous until we drove over a hill and the “city” of Santa Fe was nestled along the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. I’ll never forget my thought when I first saw the city of 75,000, Whe…where’s the city? I had lived in some small towns before as well as some of the largest cities in the world and coming immediately from New York City I was, still, somewhat floored—the tallest building in Santa Fe is three stories high, there is a story that the city buildings cannot raise any higher than the bell tower of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe and other than the fact that the buildings are not higher than the Cathedral, I’m not actually sure if the story is true—Santa Fe seemed like a barrio, some small seemingly comfortable suburb of big unappealing Albuquerque so, I suppose, in other words, it wasn’t particularly enchanting. I settled in after arriving to my new place—a few blocks from the Plaza. I walked through the downtown streets just after 6:00PM looking for something to do, and someone to talk to and almost everything was closed. There were several art galleries, a handful of restaurants, a weird mall type thing, and a Starbucks, the over-saturated coffeehouse was open so I sat inside next to the window watching the small handful of people and trying to picture the next few years of my life, I wondered if the universe was fucking with me leading me to this…place; my second impression of this City, Different was not very good.
The city did grow on me. …not immediately, it took a little time. I started doing the marketing for an art gallery as well as writing a column for the Santa Fe Reporter. Writing about music and culture in Santa Fe and working on the acclaimed Canyon Road assisted in revealing to me the city, different. Ah, right and, for those of you whom are unaware which, this early on, would, decidedly, be every one of you I am an author and a writer, yes there is a difference—the difference is slight; similar, perhaps, to the difference between playing the violin and the fiddle—nevertheless for professionals and enthusiasts the difference is distinct but, for the rest of us, the differences are not so much greater than that of the ‘bottom line’: I put words on paper for money, sometimes my intent is to be creative, to inspire an emotion through storytelling, fiction and, sometimes, I will explore the deepest crevasses of our political arena or the humanities as real, and as hard as the concrete we paved for the parking lot that was once 6 acres of a lush, green wide open space. In addition I own and operate an online bookstore, we—well, I—sell new, used, remainder, rare and collectible books as well as tea and a small handful of other services; my first year operating the store was rough, I put a great deal of work in for very little return, however, as any good business story goes, if you take the time to build and to nurture something it will, inevitably, blossom. A personal motto of mine, although I’m sure I have many is to “…work as passionately and as arduously as possible; and the day that you concede and decide to quit, the next day is the day that you would have succeeded.” It’s this work that has allowed me to move around as often as I do; until I started the bookstore, once I became committed to that I had to learn new ways to travel with a few hundred boxes of books. I’m a fan of USPS’ ‘Commercial Mail’ rates.
Writing the culture and music columns I was inspired to learn the city so I wandered the City, Different for weeks, spending time in coffeehouses and microbreweries, and exploring museums and art galleries, I walked and rode through the streets of Santa Fe on my street bike, and I talked to people everywhere that I went. Upon moving here I didn’t know anybody in Santa Fe, it was entirely new to me, and I was entirely new to Santa Fe. The city welcomed me with open arms, as if it had been expecting me while fate designed a series of avenues for me to explore. And, I, eventually, acknowledged the opportunity.
One morning I woke up, and I remember feeling the warmth of the sun on my face; one of my cats must have felt my vitality and she jumped on the bed, walked towards me and stopped while standing on my chest and, looking down at me from directly above, started meowing. If my cats have taught me anything it’s that a traditional meow is not inherent, it is learned and neither of my cats had the opportunity, it seems, to have learned how a cat is supposed to be meowing. Sometimes it flops out of their mouths as a coarse “Aaacckkhhh,” and other times, they do come to almost resemble the hints of a distant meow, “Maarrrrhh.” As Margaret Catwood stood on my chest staring down at me, “Marrrhh’ing,” and I pet her repetitively from head to tail a feeling of complete contentment swept over me and I knew, in that moment, that there would be something…different, even memorable about that day, and laying there petting M.C. I grew restless to start my day. It was beautiful outside, sunny the sky was spotted, lightly with clouds, it was early and yet it was already, comfortably, in the upper fifties, I walked instead of riding my bike up the street for a bit and stopped in at Aztec Coffee, one of my favorite spots since I discovered it. I walked through the door of Aztec to order before sitting down to work, Jessica ran up to me just as I stepped through the door, “You’re never going to believe who was just here!” I shrugged, and “Bruce Willis?” flopped out of my mouth. “What? No... What?” “I don’t know! Who?” I responded; “Johnny Depp!” she exclaimed, and I stepped back somewhat floored “Wait, seriously?” I said, as Jessica nodded her head wildly, “I didn’t recognize him, at first; he’s in town filming The Lone Ranger and he was in makeup.” “…and I missed him?” Jessica nodded at me, “Yeah, just...” “Dammit.” Then Jessica gave me a hug before skipping back behind the counter to put in my breakfast order and make my Super Greens smoothie.
“Did you talk to him?” I asked, as I slipped my debit card out of my wallet. “Of course.” “What was he like?” “He was nice; quiet, I guess. Nice.” She continued. “He wasn’t very talkative?” “Nope.” “How does someone come into a place dressed as Tonto not engage with people?” “Maybe it’s because he was dressed as Tonto. Although he wasn’t really “dressed” as Tonto, he was just in makeup.” Jessica explained. “Ahh, that would have been pretty great. Still, I’m sorry I missed him. I’ve always liked Johnny Depp.” Jessica handed me the Super Greens smoothie and I took a seat in the adjacent room with my back against the far wall facing the cased opening between the two room still feeling annoyed that I had missed Johnny Depp, there is a third room in the back just through a small door off of this room and although I like to take a different seat every time I’m in here, or anywhere for that matter, I don’t often sit in the back; it feels small, closed and cramped and yet it is always full, more people will sit back there than any of the three rooms, perhaps that’s a part of the reason why I feel confined back there, as well as the one small window rear facing a graveled parking lot with very little sunlight; in the room that I’m sitting, to my right, there’s a large bay window and the exterior is framed with American Giant sunflowers, and the sun will shine through throughout the day defying all sense of time and nature.
The scene isn’t especially relevant it was, nevertheless, memorable and I wanted to share it. After I had decided on a table and while my computer was ‘booting,’ I stepped back up to the counter to ask Jessica where Johnny Depp sat or if he had. Last week a woman was sitting in the cafe across the room from me, she went out of her way to make eye contact with me regularly and even went as far as to look for reasons to talk to me, apparently her Internet was “out,” and she needed to confirm that with me, several times. Before she left she invited me to join her outside to watch the rain while an overcast filled the sky, it was monsoon season in Santa Fe so every afternoon around 3:00PM there is a heavy rainfall lasting around 45 minutes and afterwords the sky would clear and afternoon would continue as if nothing had occurred, and although I was tempted to accept her asking there was something, I don’t know, a feeling that I might regret where the invitation might lead. So, I turned her down, explaining that I had “…a lot of work to catch up on.” Johnny Depp had sat at the same table she was sitting at when she approached me.
It dawned on me, at some point that afternoon, and often does on any given day, how long I have actually been sitting at Aztec, or wherever I find myself on that particular afternoon, and for several moments I’m, kind of, replete in this awkward feeling of paranoia, as if I were being scrutinized simply because I have exhausted hours upon hours staring at a computer screen and watching people come and go while sitting here, the thought drifted through my mind and was followed almost immediately by the ambience and I stopped working long enough to look up and to see, standing at the counter talking with Jessica, a woman that pressed my attention, she was beautiful however the attraction I felt initially was elusive, it wasn’t love at first sight and yet there was definitely something about her and, I remember, pretty distinctly; you standing there engaged in conversation. You looked over at me, and caught my gaze. You held it, we saw one another and I felt a sense of awe imploding from inside me, from my core and I continued to watch you as that feeling began to rise through my chest and, in a breath, I felt as if I saw you for who you would become, to me. And, suddenly, you were so beautiful: the way that your champagne hair fell over your shoulder, your freckles: subtle and muted amidst the imperfections of your skin, that are so very uniquely yours, and the melody of your voice which I hear always, musing me between your salmon lips, and behind your eyes—which in alliance with your mien my heart, now, still simply forgets to beat—an ambitious ingenuity, one that is both in contrast to and complimentary of my own, and still, and in addition to everything, your nature radiates from your heart: breathtaking, glowing, awe-inspiring; seeing you that first time, and every day since, it was like watching the sunrise, the most exhilarating and inspired sunrise, and feeling the warmth suddenly reach my face, and my cheeks felt flush, and the day began, and it felt new, and I mean entirely new. Jessica handed you your drink and you turned again to look at me, your expression changed as if to say, if we meet again, and you turned to walk back out the door and I, without a thought in my head, stood and started after you.
I stopped at the door and watched you walked down the street, you were gliding so elegantly; and you treaded, acutely aware of everyone around you, you didn’t drift along blithely, carefree and aloft you walked as if you knew your place, and to you-you were plain, and your place almost unremarkable—it would take me some time to know, and I mean to really know how truly remarkable you actually are—I stepped off of the stoop and as I moved to step off I stopped and thought to myself I need to let this go, and lifted my foot and stood on the top of the stoop still watching you as you rounded the corner looking back at me standing there before disappearing from site. I stood there a moment and took a deep breath and looked around: the cloud cover drifting in from the southeast and all of the handful of people sitting on, and standing around the adobe wall outside of Aztec and walking along the street enjoying this beautiful day, and I thought about G~d, and I thought about his universe, and I thought about my co-worker working part time as a photographer who was the first to mention this amazing northern New Mexican high-desert artist community, and I thought about how I will never doubt the influence of the universe again, and I hoped that I would see you again.
photo from piggypolish.com
Wow, what a week...
Does it feel to anybody else like it hasn’t slowed down since, I don’t know, around this time last week? The theme, I think, has been “perspective.” It’s weeks, such as this, that really make me grateful that I’m capable of discerning and variegated perspectives, and yet it’s also weeks, such as this, that make me wish more people were capable of consciously discerning and variegated perspectives; I’m surrounded by far more of the latter than the former, on a daily basis.
I think that, because of how the perspectives of two very distinct people that are surrounding me right now, I feel, for whatever reason, that this next week is going to be very telling, in a lot of ways. One of the two was very direct, in a very indirect way and the other is just prone to whiny'ness, and that might affect me hypothetically, which: holy G~d! The subtle conscious behaviors of people that are inexplicable and, just, disturbing, it's just like, "Why!?" and, for some unGodly reason, the world actually listens to them, like they matter, they don't. I will pointedly, and assuredly declare, once and for all, they don't matter. Not at all people matter, some people were put on this earth to provide a more challenging, and demanding test for those of us that do matter. I know that's a 'political incorrect' statement but, lets face it, 'political correctness' was sooo last decade.
Do you ever stop and think about how the seemingly insistent banality of a single week or day or few moments can challenge the fabric of permanence, what we’ve become accustomed to can be imposed by little more than thought, and the correlating emotion to collaborate it?
It’s just kind of, like, “f*ck it;” and it’s not necessarily born of anger or frustration or exhaustion, it’s just, “alright, what’s next?” If we don’t ask ourselves then G~d or the universe will eventually strongly suggest that we stop living somewhere in-between and make that particular change. And, it’s never a general change, it’s not like because you’re floating around in some state of limbo it’s time to hit reboot and start completely over, although a considerable number of people seem to live by that aphorism; G~D is not going to strongly suggest you to make a change that isn’t already apparent to you…
But, then again…
...perhaps you’re just swallowed up by the immediacy of it all, right? And you feel like you have to do something to get out of it. We often feel like some physical action is necessary to result in whatever reality we want to see.
Have you ever seen, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
“How Happy is the blamess vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;
Labour and rest, that equal perdiods keep…”
At the end of Eternal Sunshine Jim Carrey asks Kate Winslet, “Wait, I just want you to wait for a while.” I want to pause a moment to acknowledge how amazing that really is, and most people, I’m sure, just disregarded it. The immeasurable power of waiting, and of acknowledging the moment. The scene continues with Kate Winslet listing her faults which Jim Carrey was already aware of because he had just listened to a tape of him listing all the things that he didn’t like about her, including her list of faults, and then Carrey responds with, “Okay,” to which Winslet repeats, “Okay.” and the content that exists between the two of them existed because they each had slowed down and they were involved with the moment and not with the anger the frustration the exhaustion, or the fear the uncertainty or insecurity.
In those moments we become more capable of relating to another person, most of us get frustrated because we don’t understand why someone might not relate to us in our vulnerability, and we get so consumed in that-that we don’t acknowledge that the very fact that someone might not understand us in those moments is because they don’t share our perspective: they think differently, they feel differently, etc., and it’s worth the time to find a way to relate to that person.
Slow down and relate to that person, not verbally; do it quietly, silently, and that doesn’t mean you need to understand them, just realize that they think and feel differently, that’s all we really need to know. In that moment we can be discerning and variegated and, if we really want to, we verbally try to understand them; but, in that moment, we also hold the right to say, “f*ck it, I’ve stopped, I’ve acknowledge, I’ve considered things, and I still choose to react to it in exactly the way that I was going to.” The difference, even though it may ultimately wind up the same, is that you allowed your thoughts and your emotions to get on the same page.
Maybe this next week won’t be the slightest bit telling for me. Perhaps I have been consumed by a series of events that just happened, and the way I react whether discerningly, consciously or thoughtlessly or maybe in deciding not to react at all choosing, instead, to “...wait for awhile.” (Maybe it’s too early to react… perhaps the reaction should be so subtle and eventual that it doesn’t appear to be a reaction at all.)
The course, and direction explored by the events this week will, ultimately, be decided by how I choose to perceive the events, and therefore how I choose to react to them. Maybe the most telling thing won't be the direction this week will eventually lead me but, rather, how the way I choose to react influences who I am, and who I want to be to those who may not be so discerning and variegated, in my life.
...and maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and feel indifferent to the events of this week, leaving them to drift impartial in the wind. Who the f*ck knows... :)
(To those who might not yet grasp the point of the seemingly aloofness in this column: eh, that's OK.)
I was thinking about the people that are in our lives and how they affect us, how they influence us, and how they change us for better and for worse; and, honestly, I haven’t been thinking about this all that long, at least in the scope of this column, although it is something that crosses my mind a good bit.
It’s fascinating to me how people relate to one another. Why people fall in love and why someone might not like a person, for no particular reason, they just don’t like them, and also how a person might willfully deceive another, it’s interesting telling the story of the people in our lives that have left a scar; the people who, for whatever reason, were a negative influence. I’ve had a number of those people in my life and, it’s difficult but important to acknowledge, the people who I may have negatively affected.
I started thinking about this, in the scope of today’s column, last night while I was writing a note to someone who is incredibly important to me, I was, kind of, addressing it in an indistinct way—not precise—I ended up scraping it, the note, because I kept going around in circles, as I have been known to do with said person from time-to-time; we’ve talked about people in her life that have intentionally made it more difficult than it needed to be and, to be completely honest, I am having trouble fathoming it. She’s just too amazing to imagine how anyone could be so awful to her (I also know how unpleasant I’m going to be if I ever come across these people who have hurt her, in any way).
I understand that there are people in this world that cannot accept when good things happen to other people, to people whom are, specifically, a beacon of light: they emanate nothing but good and beauty; and the people that recognize in these beacons only what they themselves are not will resort to actively tearing the beacons down. And, disastrously, these people too often come close. They don’t know how strong they are, these beacons, what they are capable of and they often don’t know that the majority of the people in their lives are better because of them.
I wasn’t there before when she needed me to be there, because she needed someone who wouldn’t allow hate (for the sake only of hate) to nearly beat her, and the idea of that is crushing, just knowing that I wasn’t there, that nobody was, and knowing that I would have, simply, not allowed it, and I wouldn’t allow it now—at least now she knows that.
I suppose that what I’m getting at is stop allowing this shit to happen to good people! Geezus.
First and foremost stop being that person who might believe that in defeating others you elevate yourself because you don’t, you don’t get anything out of it, and it will, ultimately, drive you to create a fake front, change your name, and, I don’t know, take the frustrations of your failed life out on your spouse, your family, your friends and the people who otherwise give you the shred of humanity that you have left…
...and if you are someone that sees this sort of thing happening, get involved, stop letting the most amazing of us get beat down, because all these people want to do is make us better, they’re not selfish people, in fact that’s a word—selfish—that is no longer part of your vocabulary when you’re with them, all they want is to know that someone loves them and appreciates them and that they matter; and you do, the people you have around you and what you create are evidence of that. Help these people in your life to know that you appreciate them.
I’m tired of hearing about bad things happening to the people who deserve the absolute best from us, especially when they may not have been treated the way they should have, the way they have deserved to be, for most of their lives; even if it wasn’t always awful, it should have been better.
Homework assignment for my readers: elevate somebody’s day today (every day), simply because you can. Don’t worry if you come across as foolish, do it anyway. If you can’t do something for that particular someone that you wish you could, do something for someone else and know that it was them that inspired you. And don’t post it on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or whatever else, just do it because there are people in the world that you find awe-inspiring, and it takes a little bit of effort to keep that feeling alive.
Alright, so, I’m just gonna say it, I know political correctness and ethnic sensitivity are important topics of general concern, and I know that a number of my readers are from or live in the Middle East—I am sympathetic of Freedom of Religion, my ex-wife is Muslim, and my ex-ex-wife was LDS, Latter Day Saints: Mormon—but, man, Iran has just, kind of, gotta go, you know, I mean, like, Global Imperialism, of a geographic regard, is pretty much done. The rest of us have set our focus towards economic and technological neocolonialism while Iran’s getting hit in the back of the head by the Tetherball that they just swung.
(I’m going to keep this going a little bit, I’m getting a good laugh...)
So, Iran is like that kid that peaked in High School and became a cop to justify pushing people around late into his 20’s because his football career didn’t “pan out,” while also, simultaneously, being the cop that the other cops don’t really want around, and yet they feel like they have to keep him around because it would be worse to have him on the ‘outside’ than it is to tolerate his stupid crap from inside the clique; essentially, what I’m saying, is that there’s no place for him—after Persia (you had a good run)—but regardless we’re stuck with them and we think we have to find a place for them or they’ll lose it and start cold-assailing black people, and none of us want our local PD on the nightly news for racial profiling.
“Gawd Dammit, Honey, we have to move again YOUR son can’t seem to stop trying to intimidate the bigger kids, and beating up minorities!” “It’s not his fault you never hugged him as a kid!” “Whatever, where’s the TV guide?”
With that said, however, Trump could have found a better way to “retaliate” than to kill a top Iranian General while in Iraq, because that was pretty passive aggressive; that was like, when someone’s talking during the movie, in the theatre, and another patron’s like, “Dude, shutup, WTF?” and the offender responds with, “Who’s talking shit?” and instead of going straight to, “F@$k You!” someones says, “Sshhh…”
Iran, if your listening, starting a war with America, especially now, is...well, it’s thoughtless and it’s stupid, no one’s going to be like, “Oh shit, check out Iran. That’s badass, they got some balls!” because nobody cares, and after, maybe, a few years of skirmishes, in Iran, your government will be overthrown, replaced, probably by Eric Trump, and there will be American troops in Iran FOREVER.
White millennial girls will be like, “We should go to downtown Iran. I heard it used to be sketch, but now it’s pretty chill.”
Should the Untied States be policing the world? No, and yes we do, it sucks, but we’re paranoid, we’re all paranoid, a few years ago, in Boerne—the heart of the Texas Hill Country, about 200 miles north west of the Texas coast—when Hurricane Harvey hit, I couldn’t find bottled water anywhere, nowhere for a week and half and, on top of that, I had to wait two hours for gasoline at the gas station, people went nuts but, guess what, it didn’t even f@$kin’ rain here; wind speed, 2 mph at its most aggressive. It’s all just stupid, it’s all so stupid, I just, I can’t...I can’t, even!
I was talking to her the other day, about what I should write about today, and I told her that I didn’t want to write about Iran, because...politics, FUCK! There’s a very, very fine line between our political atmosphere and watching reality TV; the news is just as worried about Sweeps (is that still a thing?) as The Crown or Modern Family, it’s all a form of entertainment, all of it; we are way passed our morning and nightly news for the plausible benefit of our day-to-day lives. I honestly think “now” is one of the worst times for anybody to be starting a “revolution,” and I mean, most notably, like, any progressive agenda, because all it is, right now, is a sound bite, it’s a conversation piece, just something for a handful of people to have differing opinions about until the next revolution or installment of Star Wars comes out.
You know what’s news, Boeing! That shit is news. If you’re not aware Boeing has made some changes to their in-flight control algorithms and they forgot to tell their pilots and, as a result, three, that’s right, THREE planes, within an unacceptably short-duration, have crashed; killing people. The most recent of which was, guess where? That’s right, IRAN! Like, two days ago! And, it’s “still too early to tell what the cause of the crash was...” according to people who determine such things. Considering that Boeing is in the middle of Senate Hearings regarding the previous two crashes...I’m going to have the wherewithal to check ahead of time who happen to, I don’t know, design and build the engine of the plane that I might be flying in prior to, I don’t know, like, flying.
This is how I know it’s not news, anymore. If something is real, and it actively affects our day-to-day they don’t tell us; it used to be the reason why we watched the news: to know how to plan for our days, and weeks, and lives but now we watch the news in order to actively avoid what’s really happening, which is crashing around us in a fiery blaze of machine parts and computer algorithms, if the pieces somehow manage to escape the 5G bubble inconspicuously surrounding our Hill Country hamlets.
See you soon, love!
Shout out to Paul Simon, Michael Che, and Tom Segura
Stephen Chbosky, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
I’m struggling to come up with new column topics, and it’s not because there are a lack of things that interest me or that I want to address, it’s just that...well, every time I start a column and then try to develop it I always seem to look for ways to redirect and to focus my topic on the same one thing, and a part of me is doing it subconsciously and another part of me doesn’t want to write about anything else.
We talk about love, a lot. It’s one of the most common themes in the humanities, and in our day-to-day lives, even in history and politics there are layers and aspects of love that we actively seek out, for any number of reasons. If we are lacking love in our lives, or we feel like we are—actually, I’m going to interject a moment, I’ve always thought it fascinating when we are interested in someone in particular we just don’t notice anybody else. We might feel lonely if the ‘apple of our eye,’ doesn’t notice us, and in our loneliness and our desire, we tend to ignore the affections of everybody else, we may often even go as far as to feel like “nobody” loves or appreciates us, while there is almost always someone looking at you the way that you’re looking at somebody else but, in our affection or our sorrow, we’re too blind to notice—we lose ourselves in pity, in most cases, however, it’s likely that you are lacking in self-love; and without self-love you’re not going to find true love. It’s important to acknowledge your own interests and dreams and to get to know yourself and to encourage and to develop that self for yourself, and for the people around you, and if you want to attract the things in your life that are important to you.
“we accept the love that we think we deserve.” And, even if we recognize love and accept that love in a particular scope or means, we may not truly accept and welcome or obtain everything that love might offer. I have made it no secret throughout my columns over the last, gosh, several months, really, that I am in love. It’s not perfect but, almost nothing is. She’s in my life and I welcome that as nothing short of a miracle, because she is a miracle. Quiet literally, actually through her one can more openly know God. You follow my columns and my blogs so you know my understanding and relationship with God I have been candid about it; though her I genuinely relate to God differently, and more openly, and I believe that anybody that knows her is better for it, and has a better relationship with the people around them, and with God. She is a miracle.
Nevertheless, I might be better off, in the long run, not getting too deeply involved but here’s the thing, I have self-love, and I know true love, and to love unconditionally, even if we were capable of making the choice, means to love wholeheartedly in the moment because, regardless of our situation and how perfect our love might be that is all any of us really have: moments, and how those moments are labeled is irrelevant, how they are spent is what matters. And we—her and I—we never waste a single moment, and we never have. So I cannot be anything but grateful and I cannot express anything by love, unconditionally.
I wrote something for her, the other day, and I want everyone to read it (no, love, it’s not that...), for obvious reasons, because this is why it’s so difficult for me to come up with columns. I mean, it’s the start of a new year for goodness sake! I own an online bookstore! I could easily write about resolutions and reading and how all of you should resolve to read a book a week and resolve, as well, to acquire said books from the best online source of literature knowledge and supply here at Communitea Books ;) , but here I am, not writing about any of those things. Still, I mean, to be honest, is that really what “you people” want to be reading? I have a wealth of knowledge of literature and a variety of so many other things but you don’t care because the reason we read and acquire knowledge is so that we can connect with people to read about people connecting with other people, and there is no greater means of connection than love.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that you love someone so fiercely that you want to, “shout it from a mountain top.” I have heard it, of course, and I thought that I understood it but I didn’t, not really, not until I found you. What it is-is this ceaseless, infinite warmth inside that intensifies and is amplified as if it were about to rupture, like Whitman’s “Barbaric Yawp” and it’s yowling, it is yawping, “I love you.” ...but, no I mean, “I love you!”...you still don’t get it, “I LOVE YOU!” mm, no that’s still not quiet it, “I...LOVE...YOU!...”
And, by “I love you,” what I’m really trying to say, of course, is that “I am yours, absolutely.” You are the reasons and the aspirations, and you are the odyssey, and you are how we are capable of knowing God, and you are...and you are...and you are… and it’s not any one thing, it is the apex, it is the composition of all the things, which is why it takes me in circles, because the only way to express all the things enveloped in the perfection of your love is simply,
I love you.
. . . . . . .
..also, resolve to read and to buy all of your books from Communitea Books, because even if I don’t have it, I will get it, and in better condition, and a better price (for the condition) than you’ll find on Amuhzon or at Brahms & Nurples.
How am I able to do that you might ask? Simple, by taking a page from Michael Scott’s playbook and undercutting the price of my competition so ambitiously that I am simultaneously putting myself out of business as well as forcing Amuhzon to make me an offer! Take that business strategy!
“I am going to make this so much harder than it needs to be!”
I have written both music, and advice columns that covered a wide variety of topics, such as: relationships, communication, lifestyle, business, and life (coaching)