Monday, September 29, 2008

A Response

If you grow up the exact moment you realize that where you grew up is not your home, perhaps I'm submersed in the process of growing up ---- awaiting the epiphany.

The house where I spent the last (often miserable) nine years of my life is not my home. I am much more at home in this square, bare cinder block room living within five feet of six other people and the length of my old sitting room from a dozen others. Here, in a dark corner on the third floor, I am more content than I have ever been before.

Yet, when I drove to my old home one weekend (when I realized just how much more I consider campus my home now), I couldn't help shouting in ecstatic nostalgia as I sped over the Tarrant County Line. I got a rush of welcome and knew that no matter how far I travel, where I move to or for how long, this metroplex that I grew up in will always be there. It will always be the place I know like the back of my hand, the place I prefer to anywhere else for little delights that pale in comparison to greater entertainments abroad, the place where I have memories, the place where people will be waiting for me (at least for sometime), the place that really truly means something to me and for good reason.

The town (and surrounding cities) is my home, but my house is not. Though I've refused since the age of 12 to formally refer to my house as my home, I think the critical factor ripping the label permanently away is that I don't know how much longer it will be there. It could be longer than I think, but I know that it is going away to be replaced by a myriad of storage houses, dorms rooms I can barely afford, one-week sojourns in one-room apartments and unknown quarters abroad.

Where they will be? Rockport Rockland. But no. Seattle Portland Camford .... Glasgow Denton Kashmir Austin Manhattan. "Dissociate me across the hemisphere" and beyond.

Who will they be? A vague idea. Hopes and dreams of friendships to last. Certainty of mother and brother. The three of us will be forever moving. Gypsies across the modern world. Troubadors of love, art, intellect and discovery. Screw our old permanence. Fuck our old ties and responsibilities. We will live for each other. With each other. Wine Music Cuisine Painting Travels Writing Relations Nature Lovers Spirituality Work Change Peace New. That is life we will carve together, coming as one and apart like a sine curve. We are the three and we are my home.

Hello Southwestern. Hello Austin. You are my current loves. A flirtatious affair that could last through proposal.... but I'll break your heart just as it gets good and move on to another city --- similar, better but still with its problems. I'll have intentions to leave it just as I did the others. Always falling in love with houses and homes, but never envisioning a committment for life.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Old Letter to Max

"... I don't think I ever want to fully know what I believe. You're always asking me what I believe and the question has been coming to me more lately as I've become more open to discussing religious matters (in great contradiction to my steadfast opinion that beliefs should not be publicized). I never quite know how to answer this question. It is not for lack of knowledge or faith whatsoever. I do know the core of my beliefs and I believe I know much more about many religions than the majority of people who claim to adhere to them. The reason I never know quite what to say is that my beliefs cannot quite be defined. Furthermore, the intricacies of my practices are in a constant state of evolution. I have my faith and basic intrinsic principles that will never waver but as I learn more and absorb more and more religious scriptures (I'm concurrently reading Exodus and the Bhagavad Gita at the moment), I experiment with various mantras and concepts. This exploration is something I never want to give up. When Chris* and I began to talk about religion (a topic I actually introduced when he mentioned how humans create meaning), he had his beliefs all figured out. It struck me as sad that someone would have every single aspect decided. I would be bored. I think I must remain with a certain degree of my outsider apathy in order to forever explore and learn. My hero, Joseph Campbell, when asked about his religious beliefs always responded with a story about an American visiting Japan. The American said to a Shinto priest, "I've seen you're ceremonies and shrines, but I don't get your ideology. I don't get your theology." After a moment of deep thought, the priest replied, "We don't have ideology. We don't have theology. We dance."

Though I have my opinions regarding ideology and I certainly have my own faith, this quote holds true to myself as it did to Joseph Campbell. You see, when I saw Chris telling me of what he has come to know as the truth, something was missing. When Joseph Campbell spoke, that spark was there. The dance was alive in his mind. The video, The Power of Myth, was recorded during Joseph Campbell's last year on this earth. Yet, in his voice, his posture, and his eyes you would think he was just a boy. His curiosity was still rampant amid his expansive knowledge. If you don't know, he concentrated on mythology and comparative religion. I dare to say he knew more about the beliefs of every culture than any man has before him. Through all of his knowledge, he never lost the "fire in his mind." I suppose that is why I have no desire to ever be able to completely answer what I believe. I always want that ounce of exploration and curiosity to be there. I want to dance."
-Written to Max Cornell on 20 June 2008

*I wrote this letter after having a three hour discussion with an old British man in a coffee shop in my hometown.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Upon Awaking from a Fitful Nap

He was there
Not spectral nor ill
In all his fullness and spirit
His hair as bright as ever
Wearing the very shirt he left us in
(of this I have no knowledge
but I knew)
He was there

I watched him move
I watched him sit
No one spoke a word
Did he know?
Did I know?
It happened
Though so far removed
I can doubt

For fear of
Breaking the spell
I tread away
From what I knew the truth
I asked no questions
In my hysteria

I recounted the
To two who were there
But not there long ago
Still they knew
I had told them
And now
My claim
Disturbed them
As much as I

He was there
Just as I had left him
Not how he left
He was not a specter
In my vision
I knew him real
He was not a specter
No not at all
He was there

I miss you, Sean. Thanks for visiting.

Kerouac Hates Me

This is an amazing site I stumbled upon.

The following is an impromptu piece I wrote for my friend when showing him the site. You can't really save anything on the site so I copied it into Word and proceeded to edit the piece, which is why it is titled as such:

Kerouac Hates Me
Through their names
You are liberated

I watch as their struggles
Free your own
Twisting, weaving, stretching
Filtered through your words

I don’t know the why
That’s why
It bothers me
You aren’t bothered
Because you know
Or because you don’t
And that’s ok

Your eyes
They see through me
Like a fiery stake
Through my insides
My heart misses a beat
It’s fear
Lust born from adrenaline

Their words are easy

"...who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes..."

"among the scholars of war...who were expelled from the academies for crazy..."

I am beginning home.

I am beginning me.

I am beginning lost.

"starving hysterical naked"