20 March 2009

Silence in the Heart of the Night...

When the silence takes you, deep in the heart of night, thoughts must answer the call unyielding in the wake of sleep. Dawn offers no respite. Indeed, the sunrise only signifies the wasted hours of reflection that did not even seem meditation. Even the wolf that had nipped at your heels retreats into the comfort of its den, longing for a deep of dark within you. The emptiness within, the echoes without, they distort the hope within such hours... they ignore what should be.

Would that I breathe you in, the cool night air refreshing me in your movements, even if it might be a waning dream of pasts of a future's eve. Would I might sense your heart open into a place unbroken, a world unimagined, sensations of realms within a new heart. A heart only seen in the attempt at understanding the nature of our souls, the joy of love within it. I can... could attempt, maybe even have attempted... and I think my life would not be a waste in such understanding.

You are the moment, wherever you may be in this life... the moment remembers... days, years... centuries hence. Your breath exhales the memory of a consciousness I might never see yet always knew existed. Wiping away the ache, the regret, and most of all, the fear... 

It waits... barely out of reach, this gentleness of spirit awash in the truth of understanding, the truth in all of us. Tantalizing, tormenting, a reminder of our attempts at romantic and spiritual fulfillment. The true tree of knowledge of good and evil waits outstretched upon a shore we might be incapable of crossing, bearing the fruit of ultimate understanding. What must we leave behind... and what would we become in the process? 

In the end, I have no answers, only the questions that punctuate the silence in the heart of night...


06 March 2009


I suppose when you get older, you start to think about purpose in life. Well, we do when we are younger, sure, but I have started looking back more than forward, seeing what was lost, all that could have been gained, and the middle path: what actually happened. 

It is tough to love someone and they do not choose you, or life inevitably chooses something/someone else for them. If you have ever had to deal with this, I am sure you understand. And it can be hard to forgive that love and harder still to be forgiven for loving, for only being human. In the end, one must forgive one's self for this purpose as well. I wrote the following piece some years ago, since edited it here and there (as I always do), but... it was a start down the road of forgiveness of self through the window of time, of course. I do not know how much further I have come since then, only that I am older and doubtless not that much wiser. Still, I like the poem mostly because it takes me on the journeys I have loved most in this life... and that is well, too.


I walked the shores of midnight seas,
Reveled in days that did not end,
Wandering ancient forests, 
Sleeping upon verdant fields
But a time, a soul would not wait,
And the longing could not fade.

Paths mattered little as I roamed
From city to town, hillside to beach,
Traversing storm-tossed crossings,
Metallic thunder racing the night
Yet a heart, a place could not wait,
And the yearning did not fade.

I sat watching the world amble onward,
Doing as it should to survive,
Embracing an enduring wonder, 
Reaching for unbridled joy...
But the heart and mind cannot wait;
For hope eventually wastes away.

It was not my wish,
But what happened remains;
And longing for yearning toward hopes of love,
Must like all things... 
Slip away.


02 March 2009


So, a year older... I wish I could say wiser, but no... even more foolish than before.

I glance back to the past year of my life, and really, this month was the beginning of so much that I could not anticipate, nor wanted to, ignorant in my perceived bliss.  While birthdays are anticipatory of the year ahead, they can be as much a reflection of days and years past.  I realize the waste of my life in years past, maybe to an extent some of this past year... I know I have more or less wasted the past couple of months, adrift in melancholy at times, hiding it as best I can.  I have done all I could to put my best foot forward, and it was never enough.  I ran away, seeking the solace of the other side of the world, and yet... respite is only fleeting in the face of sorrow.

I confess my thoughts might be maudlin, even a bit piteous, but I would like to think I am entitled to them.  Indeed, if you knew what I knew, what I have been told, what I have seen... you might understand.  I have done my best to give to you, dear readers, a glimpse of what I have seen.  Regrettably, my meager attempts at expression can only convey an inkling of the beauty I have experienced.  Alas, I seem to have expressed my sorrow with a greater degree of ease in this regard.  

I wonder at times as to a purpose, as I am one long lost... 


21 February 2009

Golden Bay

I suppose, technically, I am referring to Wainui Bay, a place of indelible beauty and comfort (at least to me), north and west of the Abel Tasman Track on the South Island of New Zealand. It was one of those places where you could be wading in the ocean and yet see some peaks in the distance still covered in snow. The imagery in this place was quite staggering, as were many places, really, but I felt I could lose myself (and depending on the tides, trap myself) in the nooks, coves and small beaches of the area. Sometimes, I wonder if I still do... memory being what it is. So, what follows is a little stream of consciousness/blank verse about thoughts and such while walking across the bay and the area. I had written these thoughts down while in New Zealand but was finally able to put them in some cohesive format (um, at least for me I guess :)

'Golden Bay'

A drifting illusion on water
Amid such quiet calm
Beyond a distant twilight,
Lingering upon a gentle shore.

A passing thought in silence
Burdened by the tempestuous wind
Reaching toward your caress
Within the memory of simpler days.

Moments of serenity...
Lost to vanity and pride.

An image of a wistful dream
Borne in a sea of stars
To yield our tempered passion,
Hidden beneath the scars of night.

An illusion on water,
Carried by the wind.
Seeking some hope of resolution,
Upon the solace of your distant shore.


18 February 2009


I have never really attemped haikus before. I mean, I knew how to do them, but something never really clicked. However, I started thinking of some old work and wanted to see it in haiku format among other things. Funny, I was vaguely inspired by an old 'Calvin and Hobbes' strip where Calvin offers a haiku to a sleeping Hobbes... quite funny, if you are a fan of the classic comic. In any event...

'Fontevraud Abbey'

Crumbling ruins...
Whisper in silent repose
Duchess and King.

Ok, so one old piece... the following is new.

'Golden Bay'

Such quiet calm...
Comfort upon a distant shore
Warm... your caress.


16 February 2009

The Nature of Thought...

This is similar to the contemplation of the contemplative mind, but I digress and wonder about the nature of thought or more precisely, the nature of our thoughts.  I have argued, perhaps weakly, that our thoughts aid in the perception of the universe at large, maybe even aided in the creation of the universe... or someone's thoughts at least.  Since we are comprised of the same elements as the stars themselves, I am inclined to feel our thoughts and words have real power.  Certainly not our everyday conversation, such as 'I feel like getting a beer' or 'Like, that outfit is totally...' (maybe those types of thoughts help wipe out star systems... celebrity supernovas?).  Sometimes, though, an excellent conversation can help contribute to the wealth of wonder amid the stars and ourselves.  Admittedly, most conversations would not fall into such a category, though perhaps the universe loves the ordinary as much as the extraordinary.  I suppose it would be arrogant to think otherwise.  Of course, maybe one must be able to percieve the connection between our hearts and the beating heart of creation in order to effect an influence upon what awaits in the gulf between the stars.  And there is simply the idea that just because we are made of the same elements of the stars and planets, we have no influence whatsoever... again, arrogant egos.  Still, I like to think we are connected and that thought, like many others, is a part of the nature of thought itself.  It gives me as much comfort as I need sometimes, though not necessarily all the comfort I want, but who really gets such comfort these days?  Maybe I will simply never be truly satisfied, and always searching for an answer when one might never have existed in the first place.  It is certainly a possibility... I am ok with that.  I know my path.  It is one I accept, though I may not like it... I still accept it.  I suppose that might be the nature of my struggle within the nature of thought.  In order to seek such a higher purpose, I have to give up what I might not be prepared to give.  It is something I do contemplate as I delve further into the ideas of thought.  

I have left so much behind... I am not sure I am capable of taking the necessary steps.  Maybe none of us are.  It should make me feel better, but it does not.  


04 February 2009

Memories Of This Life...

'Memories of This Life'

A tempering calm amid the burden of sin,
Instinct laughing in the weathering face of time;
Resolve eroding with every 'might-have-been',
A singular, tangible moment our only crime.

Remnants within seconds lost to the gulf of night,
Awakening upon the beauty of a far-green shore;
Distant echoes of indelible days unfurl beyond sight,
A heart yielding yet wanting for more.

For all such solace beyond the thoughts of love,
I can put aside the ache and shadow of our strife;
A wandering soul with nothing left to prove,
Hope fulfilled in the memory of this life.


27 January 2009

Staving Off The Night...

Our world is changing...

For good or ill, I have not the insight or the arrogance to say. Change for the sake of change is simply foolish, but then so is complacency for its own sake. While most of us have a desire to fight shifts in the political, cultural, physical and personal landscape, such shifts are inevitable. Nothing, except extinction, can really stop it. Fear usually stems from the fears of change. For in that fear lies the deepest fear of all: loss... loss of life, property, love... self. Fear is unknown, and that is simply why so many fear the night, the primeval unknown. And the future? The ultimate unknown. Hence the debates, some civil, some outrageous, about futures we can and cannot control. In truth, while we say we control our own destiny (oft cliched thanks to sporting events), only the present moment is under our direct control. That is the choice we have... the only choice. If in that moment, the future changes, well... so be it. Such becomes the nature of our existence along the roads we travel, literally and metaphorically. The Holmesian mirror of hindsight can temper new choices, open up new pathways, but in the end, the speed at which present and future collide can overwhelm even the most logical and stoic of philosophers just as it blinds almost every romantic... and most of us in-between. Change... change is our blessing and curse... one of many unique gifts, this capacity of will. Certainly not our greatest gift (in my rather minority opinion), but good enough at times for us to perceive a glimmer of the future hidden in the depths of the past.

In closing, I can only offer my own hopes... in the best way I can. I had written the following several months ago for reasons that matter little now, except one. It is all I can do to help stave off the night...

'The path we walk is lined with the voices of the distant past, our own past, the present, and a future which conceals itself until it merges with the present. Those voices are the words of time. They are the rocks we stop and pick up and examine along the way, a seashell that might be more enduring than another, a glint of starlight dancing upon calm waters, or the gentle calling of the wind from a distant, verdant shore. As we walk, we can choose to leave our own words for time to hear, for the posterity of those that might decide to pick you up one day and see how extraordinary you were to generations hence. Our legacy is not the visceral monuments of our arrogance and perceived greatness, but in what we carry with us... what is unique in all of us.'

The world is changing... and that is well.


24 January 2009

Excerpts From A (now) Uncluttered Mind...

Well, Mom has come through her surgery ok, and appears to be doing quite well, though I think she over did it today.  Still, she should be fine unless somehting unforseen comes up...

It has been a fairly long week, though not as tough as some, but mostly dealing with helping my Mom out while she has been out for surgery.  That was mostly from worry, because I am happy to help family out when they need me... story of my life, to be fair.  Regardless, one gets random thoughts about all the strangeness in this life and it starts to clutter up the noggin some. So, I figured, in lieu of being particularly poignant and/or obtuse (which, regrettably, can happen simultaneously... what's the point of being poignant when no one gets the point... *sigh*), I thought I would clean out some of the mental debris that has been accumulating during this week.  Also, I have a couple of writing projects I have been alternately stalling and starting on (these things happen), and the mere exercise of doing this helps now and then... 

So, some random thoughts but not necessarily random in purpose...

So, am I going to see some of that 170 million spent on the 'national celebration'?  If not, why wasn't I invited? (and it's not a question of whether I would go or not, it's the principle of the thing :)

Though it's rather cold, ice cream sounds good at the moment.

Since the new president is freezing White House staffer's salaries of over 100,000, does that mean he is taking the job pro bono(since his salary is around a quarter of a million a year)? And what if you were making 98,000... do you get the shaft, or would you be one of those real troopers and take the hit for the good of the nation?

I think Congress should follow the White House's lead... most of them don't need the money either.  If they all did it, in a couple of years we could just pay off the inauguration :)

Why is it ok to take back all the wonderful things we say in love, but it is never possible to take back some of the horrible things we might say in anger... I might argue the sting from the words in love can be worse.  How arrogant we are in the passion of love. (note: guilty as charged, and if you think you are not... then you have never been in love)

We are all responsible for the mess we have created... I wonder if the stain on our souls can ever be cleansed.

I really hope the Steelers don't get a 6th Super Bowl ring... Steelers fans are bad enough... yes, I know, so are Cowboys fans, but I am not one of those Cowboys fans.

I need to be back on a beach...

(Am I the only person that thinks in parantheticals?)

Strange, I really know what it is like to be a pebble trying to stop an avalanche... worse, when you see it so clearly, and you know what is going to happen and have no way of stopping it... feeling powerless against the tide of history is a relatively normal occurrence for me.

The saying goes, 'you are only as old as you feel'... today, I don't know how old, or young I feel... but, I was always old, sooo...

Hmmm.... still a little cluttered, but less so than this morning.  It's a start...


09 January 2009

Thoughts On Genetic Memory

Wow, it has been awhile since I have written here.  Not unintentionally, I guess.  Simply working on other projects and having two conventions around the holidays will do that.  Well, then on to the actual matter at hand...

The idea of genetic, or racial and collective memory is not new.  I suppose the term genetic memory is more commonly used, as racial memory is decidedly un p.c, and collective memory seems more metaphysical.  For my part, I probably use the term collective memory and genetic memory more often.  While I have understood the concept of collective memory for many years, I really did not think about it as much until I read Arthur C. Clarke's groundbreaking book Childhood's End.  Without revealing too much regarding the book (and though from 1952 I highly recommend reading it), aliens come to the planet and demand the end of hostilities and potential nuclear war.  I know, sounds like a recent and not so recent movie, but Childhood's End is much more of a philosophical read, as Clarke delves into not only our past fears, but our future ones as well.  Clarke uses the term racial memory in the book, but I find the term genetic memory more palpable these days.  Further, my understanding of genetic memory hearkens to Clarke's ideas in this regard.  Put simply, Childhood's End is a tale of innocence lost (hence the title) and how we must eventually come to terms with our collective and individual genetic memories.

What, then is genetic memory?  Is it simply instinct, our natural reaction to images, sounds, words, feelings? Or is it something higher, a collective memory that reaches from a future already written though without a clear understanding.  In science fiction or science philosophy, I can easily propose such questions; however, the science of the 21st century might find the idea of a future memory within our genetic structure laughable.  Therefore, I am delving truly into the realm of philosophy based on some good reading and probably gut instinct (or gut insanity depending on who you ask and how you feel in the matter).  Regardless, I can only offer my view, which has been shaped through my own ruminations, writings, and reading on the subject.  To me, I see this memory in action in many ways, especially in the instinct of our fears, our acquiescence in the strangest of situations, and our ever popular mob mentality.  I understand it in my darkest moments, in the abyss of thought that can drag you into places you never wanted.  And yet, I feel it in the reflection of the light of the universe in our eyes, the gentle hope of a new day, the promise of a home in the cradle of stars.  We are the worst and the best in ourselves, and much of it comes from our instinct to hate and our instinct to love, what is written in our genetic code, our memory of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

While this memory can be on a collective level, it can be, at least to my mind, exceedingly personal.  I have noted this recently in some of my writings, wondering if a few of the things I had written were less about present inspiration but more drawing from a memory of the future.  It could be I simply have the mirror of hindsight, though a few poems and commentaries seemed remarkably prescient and appropriate.  Of course, considering the way I write, it is rather easy to project one piece upon multiple situations.  The cynic would merely opine that it is all mere coincidence, and some part of me would be inclined to agree.  The realist in me notes my penchant for overthinking at times.  The optimist, the dreamer... the romantic, the man who has seen so much wonder in this amazing universe, been given so much for so little in return, understands the truth, even if it is only a small truth.  The higher truths tend to escape us anyways, even when we are confident in our understanding, as I thought so many times, especially in the vanity of youth.  On the other hand, I could be drawing upon that memory even now, yielding only to the truth that exists in all of us.  

One thing I do know, after reading Childhood's End, I never looked at the stars quite the same way.  We are the universe made manifest, after all... and knowing that has helped me understand, for good or ill, past memories of future's days.