Archive for the ‘Essay’ Category

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       It is common knowledge that death is a topic of discomfort and distress for most people. Often we are expected as adults to not bring up this subject in front of children or at social gatherings, as if the reality of our connected morality is a truth not yet invited to play and ponder at any party. What a strange world we live in where such an undeniable truth is rarely given breath. It is only, if we are lucky enough to have such connections, to be discussed infrequently with close friends and family–mostly acceptable in the days and weeks after the loss of a loved one. But for these conversations to take shape outside of these acceptable environments it is often perceived with unease or spurious subtlety, reactions wide ranging from offense to avoidance. Why is this? Are we simply a product of our youth crazed, beautified, go-forever-society or have we always been like this–stiff armed and shaky with anxiety in the face our own truths? We will all die. This is truth. Why can’t this be okay? Or better yet, why can’t we learn to love it? 

        It has been over a year since my father passed. I often find myself replaying moments of his passing in my mind, images of him smiling and the smell of his scent, the color of his skin as he faded away and the last time we gazed into one another’s eyes. These thoughts flood my heart and break the levee of my emotions nearly every time. Simply put, I cry. And I do it often. It is always in this place that I connect with him most dearly and most deeply. Perhaps I feel it all so strongly because deep down I know this is all I have left of him. Perhaps, in some way it is him. All I know is, it is something.

       After going to this place, I always want to reach out to others, particularly those that knew him best. Not to find comfort for my pain but to connect together as I did by myself in my own tears–to feel the love. This, unfortunately, rarely happens. Instead, I find places and people that are so shaken by the topic and simultaneously the pain from having lost our shared loved one that walls and distances are put in place to help them feel safe. I don’t blame them for this and I don’t judge them either. I know in their own way they are only trying to keep their love for my father safe and to protect themselves from their own pain. This has little to do with conscious choices and more to do with these societal circumstances throughout their lives that have led them to close off in these moments as opposed to leaning in. If they only knew of the abundance that was waiting for them to be met in these moments with open hearted vulnerability they would make another choice. They would lean into their feelings and together, the intimacy present only for a funeral, could be something exercised willfully and often. To clarify, I don’t mean shedding tears and sobbing for those men easily disregarding my words, although perhaps that is what it looks like for some. I mean connecting to your heart and your loving during the topic of death as opposed to clinging to your fears, phobias, and familiarity.

       I imagine Obi-Wan Kenobi reminding me of the power of the force, but instead it is my father telling me to be open. There is a force that surrounds us, that penetrates us, that binds us with the galaxy, it comes from making a choice in the moments to do things differently. To unlearn what we have been taught and what we have seen. To rise above our fears and face the moment with unabashed authenticity. I know this because I have done both since he passed. I have made the choice to do it differently and lean into my feelings. And when I have, I have been rewarded with a connection not to my pain but to the love I have for him. A love that strangely connects me with something universally beyond, something bizarre and beautiful. I have also leaned out and not made the choice in moments where my openness was met with unease or judgement. In these times it was done with unconsciousness and in these times I have felt the depths of my pain and my sadness. I have felt isolated and I have felt alone.

       The past year, I have watched myself wildly change. In some ways I wish my father could see who I am now, in other ways I wish no one did, especially my fiancee who has patiently loved and silently participated in my pain of leaning out as well as the power from leaning in. I have done and said things I couldn’t have expected, I have put myself first in moments where I always went last. I have put others before me in moments I had always put myself first. I hurt and pushed people away, I leaned into and got closer with others. I closed myself off to the world and hid, I opened myself up to the universe and shined. I felt more alive and alone than ever before, more loved and lonely than I ever could have imagined. I laughed. I cried. I loved. And I tried. I tried my best to experience it all and even still, I know there is a lifetime of lessons awaiting me. An endless tapestry of colors yet to be experienced and expressed. And while some of it scares the shit out of me, I know it is all there to help me grow and to become a better human being.

       To accept death, to experience grief, to express your pain with presence is the most powerful way I have seen to live a life more full and more free. It seems like the perfect joke. Paradoxical and laughable, that we would have to remember what it is that we forget. Death is only a door and on the other side is not the unknown but a life worth living. The key is leaning into love in those moments where everything is telling you not to–everything except your own heart. Just listen and you will feel the force.



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A writer is someone who hears voices-

someone who is honest about his soul on paper and pen

because there is guilt from deceit he’s dragged in a world of dread.

A painter is someone who locks away dreams-

streets can be nothing but benign and bleak,

anger burns until the next lock of devotion is given a key.

A musician is someone lost in space-

swimming through reason and rational thought,

but uncovering, glowing, and knowing through the spirits’ soft majesty.

A carpenter is someone of finite withholdings,

with a pledge of continuance whether right or wrong,

to rip away old sorrows and find feeling in an executed end.

A farmer is someone who envisions all times-
an isolated future and the secluded past beneath his boots,

Dirt, like Blood, is both of history and persistence.

A sailor is a man of many moons,

his oddity and the ocean-an ensemble cast,

a multitude of magic from the mind, forlorn from conventions of the dying land.

A traveler is someone longing for resolve,

a ravenous hunger from his gut raids in pain,

until the lamented locus is echoed in reminisce and he’s not sure if he want to forgive.

A lover is someone who feels first with their eyes,

they’re soon rushed by harsh, heavy winds to happiness and ownership,

they fleet feelings assail before they are warned, as fate strikes the hearts to halve, and hurting is born.

A dreamer is someone who time travels reality, in and out of his mind,

he can change the meaning of a word with the inflexion of his diction,

dreams can be made reality with simply believing and aspiring.

A believer is someone manifested from a dreamer.

it was lose and confusion that had the believe in a clasp of control, but as if a

wake up call alarmed and triggered the soul to ecstatic emotions of ideas.

with more resistance is the final dream, a shot and a blow and gone too soon.

A teacher is someone with a seed to the memory,

Someone that can shape and nurture with knowledge to grow,

and when gone and understood, even if it late, make that seed show.

A warrior is someone who lived and died, and has since been forgotten.

His soul was right and whether his heart wrong, is only of option,

For he was whole of his honor and not just an image, but a man with a moral compass.

A hero is someone who may have never been but now lives again in pretension,

The tales accepted as common as convention, but never held to the light or questioned,

And it manifests like yeast and grow and feds off a lie that began small in origin.

A legend is a folklore or fable, and claims nothing of it to be true,
Unlike Hero it is known as fiction and messages reveal contradictions

Worst part be it still is relevant, even though it was written ages ago and exposed to human convention

A man is someone, like a maze through the mind, a mystery of no conclusion,

He is a physical reality of a sensible one where we define these things and as all agree,

But it’s only an aspect of a greater existence of our souls, this will only happen when we wish and want and work to set our souls free.

A soul is my entire entity and is not the I or ego,

It’s not the physical depiction of me either, this is simply a body.

The soul can change and stay and such, for it’s always in a state of searching,

It’s looking and longing for something, and never is settling for an answer

Experiences can be vast and vivid, intense and interactive,

But the misconception of our souls is, is that control is the best reaction

And in such powerless states, fear and doubt will be the plague of this people because they’d rather just stay in the limbo state of ignorance as opposed to awakening.

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