Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep

When I lay awake at night, when the long night won't take me on a short journey so easily it's generally because there is too much going round in my mind.

I'm thinking of life, living, being and how to do those things properly, as always. It's not uncommon for me, I seem to be particularly concerned with these topics, more so the ideas of, than the implementation. It is a topic you can never stop learning on, there is no definitive answer, more a general direction and in a sense, journey.

The art of living you might call it, a path that if achieved properly will be full of events which topple you, that will throw you down the stairs. But only due to these events will you then climb higher than before. Each stair ascended you'll realise there is even more steps than previously thought. In a sense this is the journey.

Here are some pointers that I can humbly offer to help you climb.

Make good sacrifices.
A sacrifice is essential to being human. Many thousands of years ago we discovered what sacrifice was, that is to bargain with the future. While our being is trapped in the eternal now, our being, within this eternal now can project the concept of time to allow us to make choices that benefit this future self. So in a sense this is what allows you to improve yourself. This is why you save money, go to university, skip desert and iron your shirts. While this all seems rather obvious one fact you may overlook is the quality of your sacrifices. Not all sacrifices are successful and we often never understand why, but if you sacrifice what is of value with faith, if you give with truth and honesty it will be repaid. You will see returns worthy of your risk. Try it.

Speaking of truth this is the second pointer I can give

Speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
Now this is a kind of obvious but this doesn't just mean to others, but to yourself as well. Speaking the truth has power that is hard to comprehend till you wield it and use the spoken word to bring forth betterment for you and all others beholden and stranger. Truth will strike through any problem, it is that powerful. When you speak the truth good things will happen, by that I don't mean you'll suddenly end suffering on Earth. What I do mean is that you can, with your effort and truth, bring light to your own little garden. Start speaking the truth to those closest to you. Watch those relationships become stronger, as they will starting speaking the truth also. The hardest concept to understand of this is that by speaking the truth doesn't just mean saying things that are true. Discovering what this means will have profound effects, just try it.

Life is suffering.
This is pretty much the first thing you should learn about life. It ain't simple, easy, kind, compassionate or fair. These are simple facts. The sooner you realise and accept it the easier the whole journey will be. Not because you cannot then be disappointed, but because then you will find value in life. You will see that the suffering you accept and bare burden to is what makes being human so special. This is a great segway into the next pointer.

Don't be afraid to be vulnerable.
The reality is that life is suffering because your immense vulnerability. From disease, from injury, from cancer, heart disease, drowning, suffocating, the list is endless. It's a wonder we all can get out of bed in the morning really, but if you think like that then you are missing a very valuable lesson. To be vulnerable is to be human, to be limited is to be able to strive. To be human is to fight, for life, for survival, for growth, for success, for your fellow man. With this our emotions would be useless. What good is love without loss. Our vulnerability is what moves us to emotion. It is what fills us, it fills us to the point of overflowing, in art, in music, in exploration, of mind, body and world. This is how we create what gives us joy, what gives us drive. This is what gives us purpose! We take what is raw, we take what is cold and we bring it to life because we feel it, we can emote and bring meaning upon it. To be vulnerable is to be alive, embrace your vulnerability as it is what brings the value to your suffering.

It is late so I must retire, but when you lie in bed awake next think of your sacrifices, your suffering and your vulnerability. I hope these thoughts fill you with the fulfilment they do for me.

A poem addressed to myself

A poem addressed to myself

Time passes, moments that could have been spent with you are lost.

Building sandcastles on the beach, so high.

Laughing as sand blows into our lunchtime sandwiches, so gritty.

 

Dynamic dreams, opening the door onto a world that is closed.

Waiting for the signposts, so intuitive.

Reality dissolving inside a cup of watery subjectivity, so inviting.

 

Utterly isolated, waiting for what is meant to come to come.

Aching for newness, companionship, love, so eager.

Satisfied and comfortable without however, all too independent.

Living in other peoples insecurities: INFJ

Living in other peoples insecurities: INFJ

The boundary where someone finishes and the INFJ begins is often all too misconstrued, blurred. In the mind of the INFJ that is. From an INFJs perspective that is.

Ever wonder why INFJs are some of the best listeners? We absorb the stances that those we share our lives with take, both defensively and offensively. We hold these stances temporarily, putting our feet in the warm, hopefully not sweaty, shoes of those around us. I gravitate toward people that wear Converse for that reason. Walking around in soemone else’s functional, trendy and comfortable Chuck Taylors for quite some time isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

A problem, a conundrum of epic proportions starts here.

I wear Chuck Taylors. See they are often not only the choice of shoe that those closest to me sport but also the shoe I wear habitually. And I am guilty far too often, of wondering just who’s shoes are on my feet. ‘Are these mine or yours?’, my right brain asks my left.

In friendships, in family and in most occurrences with intimate relationships, the boundary between myself and those that matter has dissolved. The drawbridge is down, the crocodiles in their moat have been fed and the knights in the castle are on lunch break, swords in a pile, leaning against the wall on the far side of the mess hall. Whatever walks across that drawbridge becomes my problem, and not only a problem, a big problem.

I still have a ways to go. I still have a ways to go to understanding people, people’s natures, my own vulnerability.

My castle is strong, my fortress is sturdy. After all this time, I will say it feels cold, it feels hard, devoid of any softness. The battles that I have invited in have torn the place to ribbons overtime. The knights I have lost within my own hallways have dripped off the walls, ponding in places only dust should gather.

Its about time this INFJ cleans up. Buries the bodies, scrubs the floors, mans the towers with lookouts and readies the swords in sheath. Always, this castles drawbridge will remain down, for those who have the depth of personality and bravery to walk inches away from snapping crocodilian jaws. Those who value me. Those who are willing to put their value on the line to understand me and the sacrifice of mine.

A queen will come by one cold afternoon requiring respite, walking within, encapsulated. She will envision my hallways filled with her art, kitchen filled with her favorite ingredients, wardrobe filled with her clothing. She will sit down to share a cup of tea, transfixed with the view, transfixed with the land it overlooks. We will share.

Sharing starts with a cup of tea.

 

 

The significance of a haircut

The significance of a haircut

As a natural neon colored advertising sign, one of those flashing in a sea of neon lights, up in the reaches overlooking metropolitan Japanese and South Korean streets, your hair advertises, compels, encourages or repels. My hair has always served my life with opportunity and complexity you see, a lavish bush I would call it. The type of hairstyle that would have come accompanied with a strategically placed comb, lost in endless curls, and puffed up in humid 1970’s sun.

As a young child between the ages of ten and sixteen, this fro offered me the opportunity to steal and from my parents of all people. On a fortnightly basis my mum would hear the same sentence again and again leaving my lips, ‘can i get twenty dollars, I need a trim’. Lest she didn’t hear the scissors snipping in her own bathroom while I was cut my own locks, pocketing and spending the ‘dirty cash’ on essentials all sixteen year old’s need: chocolate milk, petrol, condoms and alcohol. Around this stage of my life, the relationship between my hair and the person who lay behind the hair begun.

Simply, hair allows you to express yourself without others consent. It gives others the opportunity to judge, it encourages judgement. With long hair, I received countless compliments. Some ladies I found out quickly are drawn to curls like a bird to its nest. Young students of mine climbed up my limbs as if they were a trees branches, to simply touch this nest, if only once. To identify yourself and allow others to identify you with wacky skull fur, however requires courage and self-expression. Plenty of people will chuckle, smirk or whisper insults. These folk are the individuals that make us stronger, I thank them for their closed mindedness, I thank them for handing over an abundance of feathers to put into my courage and self-expression hat.

Now as a twenty seven year old, this relationship between myself and my hair has matured, it has matured with me, it has matured me. I recently got a haircut. Cut the sides short, while still holding onto those curls on the top that I could never let go of. I am older, I am getting older I now know. This haircut has shown me that much. My hair is getting grey, wow, grey. I am accepting my age, my life, my slow loss of youth, through this recently evolved feature I have acquired.

I like it, truly, I enjoy and feel fortunate to have greying hair. I keep smiling. To simply identify myself with this masculine, maturing symbol of awesomeness. To give others the opportunity to identify me with this masculine, maturing symbol of awesomeness. I keep smiling.

Juggling a fast paced life

Juggling a fast paced life

My dad has always told me ‘leave work at work, never bring all of that back home with you’. It is one of those things he still cannot accomplish himself.

In this age of fast paced benchmark driven labour world, the literal pinch to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself is becoming harder, more painful and never ceasing. We are holding onto everything so tightly in our lives, allowing ourselves, our relationship with our own mind and bodies to slip out of our own palms, slowly to pour out from the top.

Society makes people. People are made to juggle shit. People juggle shit. When the focus says ‘bye-bye’ and the concentration required to juggle is lost, we end up shit everywhere. The term is ‘the shit has hit the fan’. In one of these moments, it is precisely used to mean ‘the shit you have thrown up, you have dropped, squished or simply forgot about, it has landed everywhere, all over you, look at the shit in your hair.’

We are not jugglers, regardless even jugglers themselves know when to take a break, a technical time out. Some things we juggle are heavy, some may be light, but one thing is certain there are too many objects thrown up at different heights, we can’t predict which one we are to prepare ourselves for next.

The art of living a healthy lifestyle, well the understanding I am learning to slowly employ in my own is just that, an art. Letting go: to put down the shit we either no longer have to juggle, no longer have the energy to juggle at the time, or simply should not juggle. Work often falls into that second category, manipulative relationships the third category. Put all the heavy chainsaws and bowling balls down, those lighter watermelons, cellphones, pencils and mint flavored M&M’s, put them down too.

We have to make time for ourselves, we have to consciously let these go. Don’t break them, just sit them down, to be picked up again conveniently, but only when we have to.

We have to find the breathing room within ourselves, the strength to juggle our personal things effectively, first and foremost.

How can we expect to bring happiness and newness into our lives without creating space for them first? Ditch the clutter.

Tragedy, in all its beauty 

Tragedy, in all its beauty 

One’s life can be viewed in many different ways, depending upon which philosophical ideas you subscribe. The purpose of life, the existence of a god and what happens when you die. Not typically questions many attempt to attack and determine without doubt, but most have a general idea of what their own reality consists of.

My own reality is the absurd. It seems to me the only logical choice and is a rather satisfying answer, not only on a philosophical level but also an emotional one.

This human experience is one of complete contradiction with the universe it is played out in. In general we feel disconnected from this world, we say things like “I was born into this world” rather than saying “I was born of this world”. This represents the feeling many hold, when the things that matter to us most, meaning and purpose to our lives and a lasting impact for our labour. In return the universe offers nothing, it offers us no purpose and inevitably destroys all we create. In the face of such ideas one might find life meaningless. Personally I see it rather different, this only brings meaning to my life.

One might argue the we are all here by chance and for the most part that is exactly right. In the face of the absurd and this happenstance existence what does one do? Well, personally I find meaning in the grey, between the lines. Not just in actions or relations, but in the beauty that to me is plainly offered by this absurdity.

There is something rather comedic that it is essentially meaningless, I just have to laugh at how desperate most of us are to know there is a greater purpose for us outside of ourselves and that what we face is cold and distant, something completely inhumane, something bereft of even being able to give purpose. In a lot of ways this is rather tragic, being born with the greatest desire for something that just isn’t there, unless one subscribes to a religious narrative, that might be satisfactory for some of you, it isn’t for many.

So this leads me to the beauty. Everyone loves a good drama. A play where someone has so much desire and hope. In the end the story is pointless and boring if one does not lose it, the story would feel meaningless and lacking a plot. One might say that in this desperate search for meaning where there is none is much the same, the value that is created is immense, then to lose it or be faced by the inevitable fact there is none. Well, to me, that is just inherently beautiful. It is the tragedy inherent life. It is the beauty right before you. Now life simply may be beautiful in itself due to this tragic nature, but there is far more beauty to be found.

I find Irony is often the best form of this beauty. In the face of the absurd, to be offered ironic tragedy is, well, bizarre, and in this, comedic. When one can desire so much and to be betrayed by what you were born out of in such dramatic fashion, well, how can one not laugh at that. What a tragedy others might say about your life. Maybe you beat cancer before finding love only to die on your wedding day in a car accident. Extreme example, and many might say that there is nothing beautiful in that, and if that’s you, then you take life too seriously. I mean, it’s all meaningless, don’t let your desire for meaning play you. But back to the point, such a scenario is an epic and rather ironic tragedy. It is in these areas we find the beauty, and in that beauty we find meaning, so I implore you to not be too concerned if your life is perfect or not, wouldn’t living out a beautiful tragedy be so much more meaningful? Let’s be honest, there are many made famous by leading such lives.

So in the end we find that meaning and the lasting impact you’ve been searching for all along. In the tragedy of the human experience, all found in the face of the absurd.

A Tribute to Hermann Hesse

A Tribute to Hermann Hesse
“Romantic souvenirs had a way of attaching themselves to one when one wanted to move on, but they were not to be taken seriously.”
 After turning the final page, after reading the final page of the fifth Hermann Hesse book I have finished, I found myself fuzzy. Like in all his other published titles, I found myself fuzzy. He places me in someone else’s shoes to such a degree, that when I am finally required to take the shoe off, I look down to see a foot that is not my own.
Narcissus and Goldmund was a book, similar to Steppenwolf, that I saw myself in. While reading it with my night light on, my person not only cast a shadow on its pages, but also in its pages, in its story.
I want to discuss a quote from this book, the one written above.
This quote came from the mouth of Goldmund, a romantic character, a wanderer, living in a world like my own in which the lines between him and his surroundings are ever dissolving.
The quote above depicts Goldmund in a nutshell. It depicts the person I strive to become.
Living in a world of giving. Influencing those around you in the purest way only you can. Each person has their own capabilities and blessings they can offer everybody around them. Each person has something they can teach, inspire by. When you offer and give this willingly, without expectation nor greed, not possessing a feeling that you deserve repayment for the act, people will then gravitate.
People will become transfixed, encapsulated, shrouding you in romantic souvenirs. Attempting to hold on to the romanticism, joy and perception you have distilled into their lives. People will begin to hold on to you for that romanticism, joy and perception you have yet to distill in their lives. You, you like Goldmund must stay focused on your capabilities, being the purest you you can be, learning the most you can, teaching the most you can.
Boundless love is only found between two that stay focused on their own capabilities. Whilst offering each other all they willingly can, without expectation nor greed, while not possessing a feeling that they deserve payment from the other for their acts. A boundless love shared between two givers. Boundless love that doesn’t require for one to move on. Boundless love that realizes that learning and teaching each other is giving to each other, loving each other.