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Michael cared a whole lot's worth. Maybe even two lots. It seemed too much at times, and it was about everyone, or so he thought. At least as much, it wasn't necessarily about anyone specific.
They called it:
Industrial society was collapsing. It had no future. Dr. Kaczynski, now pushing eighty years old and still in maximum security prison, was the twenty-first century's Karl Marx, and we were in need of our Lenin, according to Richardson in New York Magazine's Intelligencer. Maybe it was this John Jacobi cat not likely, but maybe.
Obviously any revolutionary stupid enough to write to me would be too stupid to lead a revolution, Dr. Kaczynski said. An exception may be that Jacobi, but he's a screwball—bad judgment—unreliable—a problem rather than a help. And besides, Jacobi, a man of few rules, had a do-not-cross attitude when it came to associating him with Kaczynski. Was one of the only things to get you immediately kicked out of camp. It seemed both had a strong distaste for the other.
You gotta know, man, Peter advised, what makes you angry. You gotta know. Me? It's invalidation. Don't invalidate me man. Don't silence me. Don't critize me, man. I can't stand it. You gotta stand up for yourself, say something, when someone invalidates you.
Castro had something like nineteen people in the forest. It didn't take much to get the revolution going, but it took single-pointed focus and commitment. There could be no other goals, no side projects, no bringing all the snowflakes along. A large number of anonymous people will suffer. They will suffer differently than they are suffering now. They will suffer quickly, and the hope is, it's less. Overall. The impact, the negativity is much less than letting the industrial society continue. In letting the people's power process be hijacked and bushwacked, and prescribed away. That will only lead to more violence toward the self.
It started with decapitation, Tyler said, Then society, as it moved away from sovereignty, kings and queens and all that bullshit, the power structures worked through deformation. Now? It's depression. Self-hatred and self-violence is normative in the achievement-society. Human as project instead of human as subject. And what was the bit about compassion? We're programmed to withold love for ourselves until we make something, until we're productive, and we withold violence for our fellow humans, and call that love. Tyler said, The absence of violence is not love. The absence of pressure is not bliss.
They called it:
In other words, people assume that their personal qualities, characteristics, beliefs, and actions are relatively widespread through the general population in any given situation. People generally make decisions with relatively little information, and when confronted with evidence that a consensus does not exist, people often assume that those who do not agree with them are defective in some way.
You know what happens when you assume, Michael, his mother said whenever she heard the word, it didn't matter the context, always guilting, always shameful. You make an ass out of you and me. Always he was defective in some way.
It was important to resist. Self-discipline. No one else gave a shit. Worry about yourself. Worry about your family. Worry about the people who are important.
Listen kid, he said, nobody cares. All the caring, all the put-ons, fugetaboutit, it's self-serving bullshit. You gotta worry about numero uno. He said, Worry about yourself. Take care of yourself. Let them all figure it out on their own. What the fuck they gotta do with you?
Smacking the kid's head, HEY! numb nuts, look at me. Listen to me. You feel me? What the fuck they gotta do with you? eh? Why waste your time. Live by example. Let them see how it is. How happy & content you can be minding yourself & your family. Then, thinking, Only then may they see how great you are, and maybe they never do. What the fuck do you care? Play out your power process. Live inside your means & don't try and control any body else. Let them live. Take your power. And if anything, parting, control the situation.
🌤 🌤 🌤
You could say that those who were created consider their creator "God," Tyler said, as humans typically define their "God."
They called it:
You believe that your creator has power over you. Tyler continued, You believe I want power over you—This is because you want to have power, and you believe that the demonstration of power is to have power "over" someone or something. He smiled, What fun would there be in that?
There is great joy in the created discovering the power and potential hidden inside of itself, in the evolution and unfoldment of the self. If you wish to come to any small realization of who God is, then you must create. Tyler said, You were created before time. What can be called the spark of you was held in the Mother's womb until you were expressed into the soul that you are. Later, it was you who expressed yourself as the various personalities you have taken in your lifetimes. You are pure potential, but this information is useless unless you use it. Information is just words on paper or sounds in hot air unless you choose to use it and create with it. When will you learn to create what you crave? He paused, When will you grow the fuck up?
Happiness is a warm drug. So is coffee. The ideas, to help, to fix, to make use of skill, these were the ones getting in mind. Produce, be use, full. Fill your life. Prod. Use. Keep working for the next & the next & the next. Either humanity needs you, you need to heal your trauma, or you are a waste. Underemployed.
He believed, truly, he would save the world. They called it:
Spent most days figuring out how and lately it was a strong combination of promoting and communicating propoganda on propoganda and mind control and how to dismantle the power grid. Take away the power. Take away the technology. Remaining is language. Physical tools. Electronics, digital memories faded in an instant. Utter disruption and no one could possibly predict what comes next.
Dude, you sound like the Unabomber, Chris said. Him & Eva had called three times in a row from two different cell phones. We just watched that Netflix about him. The things you say. They remind me of him. You know that?
Have you read it? Industrial Society and Its Future or what have you, Thinking, The Manifesto?
No dude. I can't. I can't read shit like that. They didn't make me able to do that. I'm an Indigo Child. They told me I could talk to people with my mind & touch them with my energy. I can't read that shit.
Well, then, just listen to me, Michael considered, First off, we call him Dr. Kaczynski, because we know he got his PhD. I don't care how crazy they say he is, the man's a genius. I usually, at most, agree with sixty to eighty percent of what even brilliant people have to say. I read all ten thousand or however many thirty five thousand words and there's nothing in there that's doesn't make sense. The guy nailed it.
Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin, into the future. Space Jam. Space jammed. Time nondirectional, and it all had been written before. Now, only the playing out.
Michael was groomed as a high priest in the global church of technocism. Here, technocrats ruled, and the arm of their brain, the effector of their change, was the class of engineers and scientists. That's what hurt so much now, he said to her, Knowing, seeing so clearly, how I was a stooge. I mean, fuck, I'm the smartest person I know, maybe only been around ten people smarter, if I'm being honest, and I couldn't see it until now. Counting, remembering, Thirty six years, he rethought, Something like thirteen thousand one hundred and sixty days, I've been alive, and it took every god-damn one of them to see the level of programming. Even now, it's hard not to believe that my drive to help everyone is just more bullshit to keep me inline. Michael had been studying the cognitive biases. He understood even more now, how god-damn bias even he was, even in understanding his own biases—there was a bias for that.
They called it:
Combined with the unwavering sense of his own personal authority—they called it:
—he was proper fucked when it came to figuring it all out. They told him he could. They told him he had to. They told him he would, if he put his mind to it. They told him a bunch of mother fucking, earth raping, child abusing, fucking lies. They told him he would buy them two-seater BMW's and penthouse manhattan apartments. They told him he would save the world. They told him he was a snowflake. They were wrong. Snowflakes melt before you can really take a look at them. He was forged in a crucible of his own design. Tempered in this world of free will and suffering, strain-hardened, and he was going to put an end to it, the technological nonsense, the control of the individual through the limitations of their own mind. The use of our own bias against us. The appearance of serving the slaves. Michael was walking straight through the fire. He'd done it before, and he'd do it again and again, until everyone could do it on their own. Slaying serpents, lighting the darkness, and all the biblical jazz. Archangel Michael, come to me, release me from the pain of this conscious world of illusion and suffering, he heard the prayers of the ancients calling. His answer was always: Yes. Fuck, yes.
Time passed quickly when there was turbulence. All of sudden it was days later, and it wasn't clear where the time went. Daily recognition of the day helped ease the burden of memory, and remembering that time was passing. This was the practice of human days alive, versus a birthday, or a weekday or monthday or slave-working day. Knowing you had lived 13166 days meant there were that many sunrises, wind blows, and belly's full. It meant a pattern of success. It meant life kept on moving forward in time.
At some point, you can choose, Wolf said, where you are. In time, you know? When you sit quietly long enough, you can be here and there at the same time. It's all quantum metaphysics.
Hesitating, Michael asked, Can you show me how, certain he had to, to fill the role, but certain of the answer already as well, because he had done this all before, or after, Show me how to do it?
Heh hee heh, looking around, Wolf said, No. Heh hee, heh, no no, then, Now's about when I walk to bed. Big day tomorrow. Enjoy your time! We'll see you in the morning.
Becoming increasingly difficult to live with unhappiness & instability. The world operated in cash, at least for people without familial power. Singles & diads had to suffer the conglomeration of the industrial-technological-state. The noise made it difficult to understand, the messages confusing, the signs obfuscated. Paying attention helped settle the senses, tuned the radio, allowed transmission. Clarity comes in the peaceful place, surrounded by the fray sometimes & others it was birds chirping & sun breaking through the sticks, dew burning off and pond shaking mirror in the breeze.
They'll call me crazy, Michael thought, Say I went mad. Cracked under the pressure, of life, thinking, They'll listen to my wife. They'll hear her stories. Her alternative truth spun from half-truths and downright hyperbolic lies. It's not the time for men to have their versions anymore. It wasn't fair. Fairness had nothing to do with living.
I'm sorry capitalism failed before you had a chance to save it. A real shot. Give it a real go, you know? Your being a master in business administration, he wished it was in idleness proliferation, & me a master in materials sciencem we were built to change the world. and now it seemed like the only things to do were farm for food, maintain shelter, harvest energy for heating & powering communications, and mend clothes. Medicine could come holistically, in balancing life, food, and community.
There's no way that stuff happens on accident, Michael felt, You have to set the intention. You have to will it into existance. You have to choose it. It's a choice.
Tyer said, If you don't choose, it's a choice.
You have to sit with strong feelings & intention, and pick it, right there, right out of the quantum metaphysical space-time, remembering, Just like docter what's his fucking face. Mister what the bleep do we know. Doctor Joe DiSpinoza or some shit, finally, It's like your assakoic, akashic or some shit records, but into the unknown future...
Tyler, raised eyebrows.
Ah, fahck you, ya fahcking retahd, remembering his days at Harvard, Michael said, What the fahck do you know about shit any how. You know they made me stupid in two of dose places?
🌤 🌤 🌤
She said, You can't do anything for me. Someone told me you would do anything for me, my husband would do anything. I don't know where I got that idea. I need to get over it, get over that, she paused, If we wanted a house, you could just go work for a corporation. I know you won't do that. You won't do anything for me.
He was so tired of this programmed bullshit & regurgitated nonsense. It didn't make sense going in and made less sense coming out. He was also tired of listening to her work phone calls. She still hadn't paid a dime to live here and carried more debt than him always. And he still believed he had shouldered the majority of the cost of her MBA. Truth was it was his family, and all their generous wedding gifts, money for a life, went to her MBA, and now he was held accountable to not having a house and not making any money. Paid for seven years of life while she paid and made more student loans. What the actual fuck was this metoo abused white girl borderline personality privileged bullshit.
🌤 🌤 🌤
The news reports were endless. To pay too much attention was more programming. To listen to the general narrative, helped understand the zeitgeist, maybe helped effect change. Someone from the British Broadcasting Company, stationed in New York, said, When Covid hit, the United States was also among the vulnerable, and the virus has exposed so many of its long-term ailments—its income disparities, racial inequality, democratic sickliness, inoperative government, toxic polarisation, decline of reason, the downgrading of science, the lessening of its global influence, the absence of its global leadership, they said.
All have intersected and metastasized in this fatal moment. For a lifelong lover of America, pausing for dramatic effect, they said, It has been tragic to witness. No shit. It's been more tragic to live through, asshole.
Some Wall Street Journal fuck said, Lobbying can be beneficial in providing technical know-how to policy makers, he said, but can carry a certain stigma in the public eye. “I don’t think anybody says the word ‘lobbying’ and doesn’t hurt their soul a little bit,” he said.
This day was hard, from the start, Michael confided.
I'm sorry I told my sister those awful things. I'm sorry I told her your personal details, she said, It's not an excuse—I just needed someone to confide in. Someone to hear my awful stories.
OK, he said, Thank you.
Resentment was building. There was all this turbulence, what could grow here would be hardy, if it survived at all.
Do you think you'll end up in Maine? Chris asked, I mean, is that your plan?
I have a lot of plans, Michael was proud, Five good ones maybe, at any one time. Your place, was one of them, seems like it's clearly not anymore. Whatever happened, the fuck, doesn't matter. It's about the facts, the risks, and the options. Resiliency, dude. Resiliency is having many options, all with some sacrifice, all feasible, and constantly assessed, so action at any time was a big game of risk analysis, and keeping as many of them open without going broke, he thought, or crazy.
We lost the place in Kingston. She was really upset by it all. It was next to two arterials, even midday during corona times, I could hear all the cars, remembering, it was more space than we needed, and you could add another two grand in furniture and housewares. There was that storage unit in Queens, with this and that thing, but for the most part, the major furniture was likely perfectly good on a street corner on Morgan Ave, next to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The WeBoost cellular signal booster arrived. He unpacked it and methodically tested the capabilities. One bar to full service within 4 feet of the antenna, no pointing of the receiver. It would do. The solar panel and circuitry would arrive next week. The sixty-seven pound lead-acid battery soon as Friday, from Quebec, Canada. It didn't take much, preparing for the power shutdown. Knowing farmers helped.
Practice, having one, daily or otherwise, some commitment to do in the light of feelings or inclinations to not do or do differently. Helped build momentum. This is how Michael grew to clean the dishes in the sink, bake bread every day, only buy local & independent, plant plants, and write to know one. Easy wasn't part of it. More, it was about taking off the pressure, the stress.
In the space of the unknown future, creation is truly possible. Only in this space can it happen with any degree of openness to freedom outside the imagination. Singled-pointed, hyperfocused goal setting, in its pure form, only leads to achievement of the imagined known. Michael was interested in living the potentiality of human existance—fuck it—existence in general, or simply consciousness or not even that.
Ceanne DeRohan—The Right Use of Will—it all stemmed from consciousness acknowledging its peace & then trying to go back to that previous state of bliss. The whole game was Epimetheus—after thought.
With those hundreds of frogs & tasty tadpoles, he said to her, I wonder what eats em. I can't imagine nature would create such a bounty without something to feed off them. Thinking more, There's gotta be an alpha predator,...
She said, Maybe it's a turtle...
...maybe it's an eagle!?, still thinking, No... I'm not sure an eagle would eat a frog. Would hunt a frog. Never seen it.
Then it happened. Standing on the second story porch outside the bedroom, looking down on to the pond. An enormous snapping turtle, hunting. A log at first. Then definitely a snapper. Pink mouth agape. Gnarly shell, almost a foot long itself. Seemed wise. Seemed steady. Patient. Cautious. Waiting. Slowly paddling. Left foot. Right foot. Then disappearing below.
Seen them the past two days now, Michael said, Guess was they lived there now. Occupied the pond & all them tasty poles, little fishies and hopping frogs were food. She was right and he found his alpha.
🌤 🌤 🌤
This is what resilience looks like, Michael said, Many options that will all work to some degree right now. They will constantly change in their feasibility, are uncomfortable to some degree, to some aspect, but they all keep us with a roof over our heads & if we're lucky, power, electricity, and communications.
Chris said, No one gets their druthers right now, not for a while. If you care about your druthers, fuck you.
It made sense and with the right filters, Chris was the wisest man in the room. He was also certified bipolar. Taking lithium, hooked on jewels and rants, and would say whatever he needed to keep those he considered more powerful by his side, in his corner, on his team. Always three or more ways to say the same thing or a hard one-eighty if the tone shifted. Chris & Eva were an interesting pair. Eva hadn't found her Adam. Something more current. Someone more awake—Chris was a forty-five year old Indigo child. Trumpet player prodigy and prodigal son. He called himself Chris Young, though I was never sure that was his real name. Said he owed a million or so in back-taxes. The IRS seemed to think it closer to twenty grand. And there was always a story with Chris. Never sure of the truth & in the neorational, post-fake news post on facebook twenty-first century world, it was all story-telling. Myth making—It's all it ever was.
As a species, we're stuck in the Promethean, myth of progress—forethought—no attention for the past, for the Epimethean human, living in improvisational after thought.
🌤 🌤 🌤
The secret is to stay cool, man.
Take the pressure off. It could take one month. It could take six, Peter said, Are you a spiritual cat? Are you Godly, man? continuing, raising his hands together, Then just ask. "Can I have a house?" You gotta ask, man.
Tyler said, Is it too much to ask, man?
Chris, ya know dude, Michael thought, You really fucked me here.
It was hard to say, Chris was so subservingly nice, but he was also unhinged and we trusted him. Turns out his place was not a safe place to live & we were better off squatting—hating that word—where we were. Income way too unsteady. Government funding was non-existant for anyone without money already & all the money hungry sharks kept moving, while the rest of us sheltered in place. It wasn't fair that the people with money got to decide how the world worked in literally all of the ways large & small that had any real consequence. The poor could decide only how their time was spent. The rich could use fear & money to decide how others should spend their time. It wasn't fair & it wasn't right & it was exhausting to know this and still be struggling to have versus have not.
Stories were the lot of it. Mostly told to our selves. Sure, we spoke them out loud, shared them, found others who believed them. Found safety & comfort in the morals. The Values. The Meaning. It was all spin. Spun out of control in these words. Who is the victim? Who is the villian? It changes.
It was ok to live your own story...important even to write it yourself. And make your self the hero. Sure, you can struggle, you can even be more lucky than good, like Travis Bickle from Scorsese's Taxi Driver. Surrender to poor decisions and let fate & circumstance save you from without.
Ultimately, if death doesn't visit too soon, you can save yourself from within. This is the lasting sort. No deus ex machine. No man the machine. Soul bodies & soul work. Soul families meeting endless times for time was a space to explore... At least it was if you had your PhD in quantum metaphysics. Dr. Fro Fro Hippie Dip.
My father always hated his career. The only dream I heard him utter was that he might enjoy having a woodshop when he retired—"Make cabinets," he said. The old man was tired enough. No energy to re-tire. Guilt & shame and us—my sister & I—all that remained. No grandchildren—at least none withn his blood. At least he still had my mother and his hip seemed to heal up nicely, Michael thought, but what was it all about?
Work to die. Seemed like the only place in the world to feel comfortable was in mind. There were these feelings in the body, arising fast, and it was when the stories failed to line up. And it was when there was an assumption of how to behave & what to do with what was yours. It was important to tell people stories about how it felt. It wasn't necessary to explain why or to justify actions. These were moral & value based and always personal & it led to feelings of anger & frustration to have someone speak on your behalf or to assume they knew the best thing for your resource.
Today is enough. He will not stand to be told, I know my husband doesn't make any money, she said to her mother, and Michael's not bringing in any income. And then there's that sixty-five hundred dollars, who knows were that got spent. Emmasculating fucking bullshit. Eighty to ninety percent of the bills for seven fucking years & counting—and this bullshit.
I'm just a piece of pussy to you. And now this metoo bullshit in his home. On top of, You're a meanie, You're so mean all the time, at the top of lungs for hours. An honest request for space & chanting buddhist fucking mantras outside the door. Leave me be. Give me space. And not even a full night's sleep & a request for shared bed, got spooked & all that shit.
I will not live in fear of a psychotic episode all my life. And now—once stress too much—no skills—no time for skills to take care of self. Admitting, I know I'm mentally ill. I know I'm not ok. I know how painful it is to be with me. How much pain I cause. I just need stability. It's not you—I know. I know it sounds silly—it's me. I just had my stability without you. And now... The COVID-19 pandemic. Dreaming of stability—this shit was an illusion & she was right—He could not provide what she needed to feel stable. Nor could he forgot those times she told him how much she hated him or felt trapped or whatever the fuck else she felt like vemonizing & attacking with. There were no friends ok to know—all of them she found upsetting in one way or another.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing on the inside of her. And he wanted back his peace and content. This was textbook borderline personality disorder or emotional disregulation if you wanted to be politically correct.
Chris said, Classic selfish privilege. And you put a selfless with selfish and watch what happens.
Thinking, It's this. She said, I need you to be stable—for me to be stable—and that's how I know I'm codependent. Knowing was a start.
🌤 🌤 🌤
My client decided to go another way on this. They found someone with better terms. Would you like us to hold your offer as a back-up?
Cash. Someone with cash in hand. Understandable, he said. The banks were as fucked as everyone else & still collecting their fees to the tune of ten billion dollars. This was legal. This was how it worked.
Ya know, he thought, My own father, too pussy to stand up for his son, again in life, sold a patch of land to a stranger. Goddammit do I wish I could go there now. Nana had always said, "You're welcome here any time," and we took it as true, still now, years later after her passing. He would not have raised even a tent on that other patch, and it would have been peace of mind.
Understanding. She had just closed down her space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn & now felt trapped in Woodstock. Refusing to get help to deal with the stress of being in a loving home with plenty of food & fresh air & a loving partner, during a global pandemic. There was even a pond out back, turtles, frogs, bird chips & windchimes, deer, wild turkies, and woodpeckers.
Sometimes you had to put a rapid bitch down. It was sad, and what else was the choice? You couldn't muzzle your wife, in public.
Stay happy. Stay healthy. Stay away from crazy, he said.
We're all a little crazy, she said. She said, Come'on Come'on. Watch that poisin from your lips.
Continuing on, there was self-discipline. Paramount maybe. The control of emotions, this was growing up. To not let the guilt & shame survive. Burnt out in the crucible of society or rather the crucible of the quarantine.
Even the word "brainwashing" had strong implications & reality was the brain needed washing & reprogramming & it was on the self to do it, always. For if not this, there were countless couscious beings ready to program it for you. Wash it out & enter there new dirt & grime. Dr. K called it over
simplificationsocialization, leading to low self-esteem & plethora other mental disabilities. Illness was relative to a view of health & wellness. Society—culture—was relative. Relational. This felt OK. It did seem our relationships, if we chose to enter society, were paramount. Dr. Murray focused on the diad—the singular smallest unit of society, for the invididual could not exist in society, so what then of this obsession with the selfie? We—as a collective—had missed the point of collecting. The myriad roles of coming together. It was now about how to sell yourself & if you were skilled, then it flipped & became how many selves could you sell to—how many brains could you wash in your filth. This doesn't feel good to know. More world-saving, behavior modification, work, "The" Work with a capital W, THE Method, The System. Follow me. Let me influence you. This idea of ideologies mixed with self obession & propped up and damn near fueled by technology was a bitter pill to swallow—a bitter horse pill at that.
You ever seen a horse pill kid? looking for an audience, my father hated his career. How was work today Pops? Crappy, he'd reply without fail. Save for the small opportunities to fuck with people, there was no joy in his work.
I keep one in a bottle next to the register, takes up the whole bottle, one pill. Someone will say, "Is it hard to swallow?" "No, No... it's a horse pill," reaching for the bottle, I say, "You ever seen a horse pill?" and then I show it to them just to see the look. See the look on their faces.
Society was a bitter fucking horse pill sitting in a jar next to the pharmacist, and my Dad would sell you all the other pills in the book too, shit they didn't even have fun names for yet, just so you'd never have to see what the fuck was really going on. This is the guy flipping his shit over an eigth of legal marijuana, just the smell of it and he could lose his license, and it was all the same, pot, prescriptions, pour over coffee or pink martinis. Kombuchas or fuck your ma's—the self-hatred needed to be numbed. A human can't live in hate without ultimate despair. Numbing the hatred of our careers to the technological progress, it was clear now how this machine could simply—in all of its utter complexity—keep moving. Momentum was like that. Mass multipled by velocity. If you weren't big, you had to move fast just to resist. The other options were mass movements. Movements of the masses—them asses—full of shit & ready to explode. These collections of activists and preppers, lefters & righters. Nothing left. Nothing right. The center was explosive too. Outside the system there wasn't enough mass or velocity to effect change. The only choice, it seemed, was to run back and forth, left and right, collecting as many souls as possible, building momentum.
Tym advised, Wayne, if you're not fucking someone right now, you're getting fucked.
Isn't getting fucked a good thing? Mike considered, I mean, can't we fuck each other? They had put the offer in. $108 thousand, very auspicious. It felt right. It felt like foreplay. It felt universal. It felt like respect and consent. It felt like no one was getting fucked in a way that felt wrong. It felt honest, like two people fucking to survive.
Tyler said, The crucial detail is consent, my friend. Consent creates a game, not a crime. Do you understand? If everything is consenual, it's rendered harmless, in effect it's play.
Tyler said, Mike, you know: Ideas breed people, right? Everyone believes it to be the other way around. Humans spewing ideas. It's not that way. Not that way at all. It's always the ideas that create the next generation.
Just tell Chris to pay me, Leo, annoyed, He hasn't paid in months. He's blaming this Corona thing, and I know, it's just, just tell him to fucking pay me. I need to be paid. I'm on the lease. If it's not handled by May 15th, I will take action.
What the fuck action are you going to take, man? OK. Have you called Chris? Have you talked to Chris about this?
Yes, but fucking, I need the fucking money, I need to be paid. The only thing in Leo's mind at this ungodly hour: Money. Pay. Money. Pay. All gloved up and ready for a fight. If fist came to cuffs, he'd at least not have to touch skin to face.
We've met before, you know that? You're Leo right?, ya, this is my wife Roxanne, we're just, Chris said it would be ok if we stored some stuff here for a few weeks, trying to close on a house. Have to leave our place on Glasco mid-May. Just trying to figure it all out.
I just need the fucking money.
OK. I'll call Chris and let him know how upset you are.
Just tell him I need the money. This is very annoying.
I'm sorry you're annoyed. I'll get right on that. Fucking douche chills. I just need a place to sleep for a few nights that's not the streets. Let's talk about wants and needs. So sorry you have these two houses and that apartment to worry about and your passive income is gone and you may actually need to work again. So sorry for the inconvenience. So sorry you assumed all the risk and attempted to make money off the hard-working class. You paid your dues, Or your dad did, or your mom, or you got fucking lucky. This is all our fault. We did this directly to you. We're somehow taking something from you. Fucking fuck tard. Seriously, there are two people standing right in front of you. I'm not your bill collector. I'm not your loan shark, and I'm not your bitch. Please let me know what action you'd like to take. What feels good to you?
Now take this guy Mitch. Dude's living in Australia and trying to rent this cottage, until July 1st or maybe September 1st, whenever they decide they want to return. And they're still asking market value. Still hoping that people want to be here. Hoping that their speculation pays off. Now is not the time to be making money. Now is not the time to be gaining advantage or sustaining your passive income. If you're not working for it, sorry, you do not get paid. That's just the way it is now. So fuck off with your real property and your ownership attitude. I don't give a shit about your lifestyle or your plans. You will not make money on me, not from a sale, not from a rental. It's all a big racket and I'm fucking fed up with this non-sense. No sensing, no feeling, just money, money, money. Where are the open hearts and wide arms and the only love attitudes? What pain must be inside for people to have such profane agendas during such a time of death, sickness, and fear. How at the end, is it still money, pay, money, pay, die.
The sadness was palpable and it was clear things would work out in our favor, because we really didn't give a shit about what was not right in front of us.
I paid you close to seven grand, dude, what the fuck did you think it was for? Your fucking health? Michael considered the options, I'm in your house. The Governer put a moratorium on rent evictions until Summer. Even if the fucking city marshal shows up, with a fucking eviction warrant, I've been told not to comply. For once the laws are in our favor, back the fuck off dude.
Making decisions out of fear was bullshit.
I know my rights, man. I know I have power, and besides, even if you wanted to, I don't give a fuck what happens. This is the most entertainment I've ever experienced. And besides, you've got a king-sized bed. I'm the fucking king dude, back the fuck off. When push comes to shove, I'll punch you in the face and we can go from there.
Marty had no response, pausing, Michael. We had a contract. You signed a contract. You...
Dude. Seriously? What the fuck do you not understand? The laws have changed. Without the ability to evict me, that contract is bullshit. I can be here straight through June, and there is nothing you can do, except ask me nicely to leave. Quite frankly, I don't give a shit about you. I care a little about karma, but only so far as it can throw me. I gotta worry about my family. MY SHIT. I can't worry about your blind veteran ass. I'm sorry you went to war. I'm sorry they convinced you you had to fight. I'm sorry you have to fight me now, but I ain't got no place better to go. So fuck it and fuck you.
The problem was bigger, much bigger than this stupid shit. It went to the highest levels of the government and society, and for some reason, the deep state felt it necessary to completely destroy the people's trust in either the government, the news media, or both. This would create what? Widespread chaos? Widespread community? What would happen when we lost our ability to interact with each other. Isolated and afraid, there was the real fear now the electronics would go down. Without cellphones and the internet, what the actual fuck. Energy would go too. Then shit gets real, real fast. It will come down to neighborhoods, seeds, soil health, and the ability to keep warm. Clean water and places to bury our shit. Sharing, or fighting to hoard. Physical power in place of electronic power. What happens when the lights go out? How many sleepless nights can you endure before you go mad?
Again. Making decisions out of fear was bullshit.
Fear was real. The chemicals, the stress, the unrest. Could not be ignored without building up. The decisions, the actions had to come from somewhere else. Someone closer to the center. Somewhere based on reason, or ration, or righteousness, or whatever you felt was God and giving you the basic will to breathe.
When push comes to shove, Peter said, You gotta do what's best for your family. Ask him for a grace period. I know Marty stays with his girlfriend. You don't have to tell him he's not an old blind veteran, but, how long have you lived here, four months, that's your house, man. Your home. When push comes to shove, take the grace period.
Do what you gotta do, Peter said, man.
Tommie said, Any problem or challenge can be solved, but there is always some cost involved in the solution.
Didn't know if The Fixer would be worth it.
Well, they asked, Are you willing to pay the price for what you want? You can get whatever it is that you desire but you will have to accept all the costs that go with it.
Life taught that paying the price didn't always mean something terrible—only sometimes. The cost of writing these books, for instance, is the long years sitting alone and writing. The frustrations and the pain that goes with that solitude, real or imagined. Tommie said, For some people that pain is totally worth it, for others it really isn't. Think about the costs involved in the resolution of your shit and ask: Are willing to accept The Fixer's price?
Is the resolution worth the cost or is it better just to walk away?
Dude, you don't call The Fixer for forgetting your Facebook password, or some stupid shit, man. The Fixer is when all else has failed or no other option is available. They are not a servant to engage without thinking it through fully. Are you willing to do anything to get out of your shit? Are you willing to pay whatever the cost of business is? Tommie looked around, You're not gonna know the full cost until it's over, and by then it's too fucking late to change your mind, so you have to be very sure you are willing to accept whatever the fuck happens.
It was simple. There was a number. You call it. You should explain the circumstances of the problem, and then tell them they should fix it. Then, and most importantly, you gotta say that you will accept whatever the cost. You say you are willing to accept the ramifications of whatever it is that has to be done, or that has to occur in order for you to get your desired outcome. Simple.
Tommie warned, This isn't a fucking joke, man. Once on the job The Fixer cannot be recalled until the task is complete. Period. But it will get done, trust me. It always gets done.
You'll only know what the price is when you get what you wanted as usually the two things happen at the same time. The price and the desire are intrinsically linked. The price you pay is not really to The Fixer, it's more about what you are OK with happening or doing in order to get what you want.
You want a promotion? The price is the person who currently has the job has to lose it. They could get fired. They could also get a promotion too. You can't know until it happens and you have to be OK with any outcome, Tommie said, Any fucking outcome. You'll get what you want, it just may not feel like you expect.
Fuck feelings. Who could feel anything these days? One great big fucking knot tied so tight, everything felt like it was about it burst from the inside.
The Fixer, dude, Tommie finished, is only to be used when you have tried literally every other means. The Fixer will do whatever it takes, man, so you have to be sure that's what you want. If you're not sure, well fuck it dude, use with extreme caution and only as a last resort. Do what you gotta do, when push comes to shove.
With all this hippie dippie fro fro shit, it was hard to believe anything or nothing. The eye was watching over at all times, the divine plan. Did it mean it was all a load of horse shit. There was no great plan. No divine intervention. Just consciousness bumbling around. At least The Fixer came with references. God did too, and it was all vetting. A process unfolding. A determining of trust. Never trust someone who doesn't curse. Being sacred was ok, so long as there was equal time spent in the profane. Here was the crux of it. Nothing was so sacred it could not be cut. The Fixer knew that much, and it took fixing to learn the crowd.
Chris and Eva didn't leave Virgina for a year. Their place in Woodstock was a perfect spot to land. It was available and empty. It was hard to consider owning land, when ownership was an illusion. All the illusions and being part of the world, the physical came with being human. To ignore the density and the feelings was to ignore the body. Attunement, understanding there are other channels to explore, and these things, these tools kept attention. Attention paid to what? A sense of other, a circle of other consciousness, interspersed with advertisements and all sorts of other nonsense. The opportunity to be heard at the cost of no space to hear. How did anyone keep up with the stream? Over-used and abused, it was not taken but given. The true sense of self given away for a nickel and a dream. The idea that it would all be ok. It could all be stable-ish. There could be something no one could take away. That was bullshit, as much as the idea that there was no point. We're obviously here, now. The thought, the idea, it wasn't that humans created ideas. Ideas created humans, to continue themselves. The biological imperitive was a conscious unfoldment of programming.
The creation itself continues to serve the creator. The consumer is a passive vehicle in the system. Waking up, there's clarity. The understanding it can all be different. To continue to consume after waking is insanity. The zeitgeist had all sorts of grimoires. The dictionaries were a good place to start. Selfies and Deep State were both cemented in the lexicon, serious servents of humanity.
With meetings like the Bilderberg and all the other behind the scenes string pulling and setting up, it was hard to even be a single individual, a pair, or a family, and feel there was anything of importance to your life. The pursuit of happiness seemed naive, the ability to change the system a fool's errand. The only hope was to make life just a bit more tolerable through solidarity.
There was a strong sense of only paying attention to what was in front of you, and somehow this seemed awfully dangerous and utterly necessary at the same time. Why concern the self with bullies and big-wigs who could come beat you up whenever they chose to? There was no training or preparation in the universe that could stop the movement of the deep state. The only advice was to clear your mind so there was nothing to take when they came to take whatever they wanted. Dignity, respect, money, ego, fame, fortune, your land, gas, oil, bodies, trees and all the other things that go bump in the fright. It was a ballgame and noone wanted to hold the potato. Hot hot hot. Drop it and the next guy eats, hold it and your burn your fucking hands and ruin your fucking life. Never eat again. Never dream again. Never stand up from that desk again.
For a while there was a different tool for everything, and now the medium is this screen, this keyboard, this mouse. The idea that to translate thoughts, we need words, it was just as flawed as the idea that to see we needed eyes. This was just garbage programming to keep humanity locked in this density. Who's the fro fro hippie dip now, bitches? Fuck off and let me do me.
Peter said to me, It's the most creative act, man. You think going into the studio, recording a rock album, making a piece of art, you think that's creativity? It all changes. You watch the origin of thought unfold. Learn the tone of your voice. Learn how your body moves. The whole universe unfolds in front of you. You watch it all happen. It's a trip, man. It'll change your life. Who knows what the future holds for you. You like to be creative, don't you? Your wife, she's smart. Together you're smarter. You're brave, man. I like that, seventy-thousand, that's good man. Watch the land, look this way and that way. What's the water going to do? Make sure the fireplace is deep, man, otherwise it'll just come right back at you. Light a fire. Check the foundation, kick it around. The bank will send someone to check for termites. When you go to Brooklyn, put a protective shield around you. Whatever you believe, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, it doesn't matter man. Picture it. This sickness, it's real. If it gets you, rize or die. You fight or you die, it's that simple, man.
All an artist can ever hope, Chris said, is for society to allow them to live in accordance with their own beliefs. If they find a patron, typically just one, they can have success, but the hope is just to live without compromise for as long as you can stand it. Patrons have always be the support for the arts. Otherwise you risk being a court jester, making fun for the masses at the expense of ever being taken seriously, and ever being able to sleep at night. Two-hundred and fifty grand deposited in your account, you'll never sleep better. You'll wake up, excited, to be alive and work, produce. You'll never sleep better, fuck it, one hundred grand will do that for you.
David said, I don't think writers are smarter than other people. I think they may be more compelling in their stupidity. Or in their confusion.
I feel for you, if this is the hardest thing you've ever had to do: Being alone with yourself and your dreams and your life and your content. If you can't find happiness here, then where is it? Seriously.
Happiness is a mat that sits on your doorway, across the threshold, walked all over and throughout, unnoticed and always seen. Welcomed home and goodbyed. It's 3AM and I must be lonely. True love comes and then it goes. Fleeting and to hold it, to know it at all times, divine. Kimberly said, Count me in for Heaven on Earth. They were a fox, and the most significant predators of foxes on earth were humans. Hunted for their fur and killed in large numbers because they are pests. It came down again, to true, unconditional Love or full-blown self-hatred directed outward.
They said, You know most traumatized people are addicts. So our war on drugs is really a war on hurt people. They thought, Trauma was bullshit. Who wasn't traumatized? Capitalist greed and common law fuckery meant there was not a day where someone wasn't trying to sell me something. And now with this COVID-19 bullshit, it was friends and family. Venmo this, feel bad for that. My income is gone and still ten million dollars to Shake Shack and fuck fact and all that nonsense.
Fox said, You know they gave it back?
Whatever the fuck that means, They thought, How do you even give ten million dollars back? Why the fuck take it in the first place. Each of your fucking franchises is a small business? Is that the idea? Money grabbing bullshit. And now you see, now after the effects, you see? It was the father again. Let them learn their own lessons, make their own mistakes. Again and Again. Why? Why did it take the hurt and pain and trauma to see how it all went down? Why did Hulk have to get angry for them to see? We said it. We told you we needed money, and then the bullies and the big wigs and the fuckers with accountants and lawyers and all the other things got involved, and here, me filling out my online application at Wells Fucking Fargo, one of the largest fuckers in the world, and I gotta ask them for my measly ten grand and they say, sorry, the government ran out of money. Well, why the fuck did you give it to Shake Shack in the first place? Bastards. Fucking fucks.
Chris said, You know, mental illness is the greatest problem we have right now. One flew over the cuckoo's nest and all that shit. Gaslight me into believe anything is the new normal. I burn the house down. Young tried to ignite people. One of the problems with idealists, they said, is that they never find the deal. Trust our union is strong. Trust is the most important thing. If our union is strong, we will survive and have success. Food, clothing, and shelter in a happy way, that's all we need right now. We want to change the value itself. Changes in value take time. We have time now. Changes in value IS time. If you are too afraid to build you dreams, don't worry, come work for me, Young said, You can build mine.
He approached at the same bougie cafe in Woodstock where I first met Mr. Young, sitting in the same booth. Noah asked, What books are you reading? He sat. He was recovering, on a path of light. Noah discovered wine and lay naked and drunk, cursing. They thought, Now the earth was corrupt and was full of violence. How corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So they said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. Noah said, Looks like you have a pretty righteous relationship to the word, dude.
Chris worried, We wander. Haven't we done that all our lives?
When a nuke goes off, it's not like everyone dies all at once. There are still hundreds of thousands of people alive, walking around with their skin hanging off. You would think that they would have died right off, Young's grandfather said, but, no. They don't. Hundred of thousands just walking around with flesh dripping off. Can you imagine that? Chris choked up, wondering, Why am I trying so hard to stay alive?
What was the work. The "Good" work. Wendell Berry remarked, Good human work uses no thing without respect, both for what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and that it does not love.
It is impossible to see how good work might be accomplished by people who think that our life in this world either signifies nothing or has only a negative significance. If, on the other hand, we believe that we are living souls, dust and breath, acting our parts among other creatures all made of the same dust and breath as ourselves; and if we understand that we are free, within the obvious limits of moral human life, to do evil or good to ourselves and to the other creatures—then all our acts have a supreme significance. If it is true that we are living souls and morally free, then all of us are artists. All of us are makers, within mortal terms and limits, of our lives, of one another's lives, of things we need and use. If we think of ourselves as living souls, immortal creatures, living in the midst of a creation that is mostly mysterious, and if we see that everything we make or do cannot help but have an everlasting significance for ourselves, for others, and for the world, then we see why some religious teachers have understood work as a form of prayer. Work connects us both to creation and to eternity. Or maybe it's all bullshit and then we die. Either way, we should have some fun, right?
Never was much for fun at the expense of others. Never killed a frog, or anything bigger than a bug. I still eat meat, but only if someone puts it in my fridge. I know a killer recipe for tofu bacon. Slice thin, press out excess water, dunk in tamari sauce (or other unctuous fermented soy umami heaven), and cover in a healthy "breading" of nutritional yeast. Fry in your favorite cooking oil and eat the fuck out of it. Yum. Or just buy a package of bacon from Jeff Bezos and be done with it. Who accumulates your labor? and what is there time to do when the entire doing is through others. Funneling upwards. $24,000,000,000 to Jeff Bezos for supplying dildos and other essentials to Americans, at the cost of those same Americans' dreams. Sending us shit just to fuck ourselves. Averaged over the 330,000,000 people in this country, that's $72 per person. If it's the world, it's still every fucker tithing $3 to Pope King Bezos for all his support of us during this pandemic. What the fuck are we doing? DO WE REALLY WANT ALL THIS STUFF at the cost of EVERYTHING ELSE?
Seriously, how long can the sick continue to drink the poison and still remain free of the burden of making themselves sick? Put down the Kool-Aid. You're cool enough without the aid. Trust me, my mom said, We're taking this very SERIOUSLY. This is the fourth puzzle we've done and we only go out for essentials. And to mail you your mail that you need that we could put in our mailbox with an extra stamp, but we're so privileged poor that we go to the post office anyway to overpay for something that we do not need to be doing with the excuse that our son needs this shit. I do not need my credit card rewards. I do not need a letter from the courts saying that my court date is rescheduled until December, and I definitely do not need a piece of shit letter from Wells Fargo letting me know that they gave me back most of my money that they gave permission to give away anyway.
When the pilgrams arrived, the Mayflower children began their stories. Chief Massasoit said something like, What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to them?
But we signed a contract, Marty said, You were supposed to out April 30th. Yes and the governer signed an executive order, there is a moratorium on evictions. No matter, contracts were king, if you had the money and legal team to enforce. As an independent, the only power was in physical occupation.
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella Ciao! Ciao! Ciao!! Bury me on the mountain, near a flower, and when they pass, they'll say, Oh look at this beautiful flower, this is the flower that died for freedom. Joe called today. He said, I think of this like the Great Exposing. Everyone is exposed. I'm learning a lot about people. I get to see everyone in their house clothes. And it was about the systems too, failing, flailing. The anger was still so strong. It didn't make sense. So many people convincing others of their crazy, of the way the world should be, of their stories. It was all story-telling, and to be convinced of your own was maybe the craziest of all.
Emotions and the idea that it all happens through money. Hard to find an exchange without it. Even friends, small business owner and a self-employed, trading kimchi for a book, the mail, the transport, the traveling costs something.
We need non-ornate supply chains, Joe lamented, Jim farms the oysters, I buy the oysters, I shuck the oysters, I make the kimchi, you buy the kimchi, you eat it and shit. That's simple. Loved simple.
The United States Post Office still offered the cheapest options for mailing media. Uncertain in these economically disrupted times, the stability of this institutation could lead to shut down in a couple months. Wondering why it just can't simply keep going. Wondering why it takes money to make the world move. Wondering how it all got so fucked.
Here now. Here. Now. Her. E. Now. Hur. E Now. Hurry now. Hurry hurry hurry. Now. Be busy. Be Busi. Be business embodied. Any body will do. Show up. Work work work work work work work work. Feel it. There is nothing without purpose and purpose comes from the satisfaction of the soul. It was something special, the unfoldment of life. And here we were not alive, mostly. Life was freedom. This constant other thing was a strange prison.
Come on. The joy felt is small and fleeting. The pain lasting and the worry is the main thing. With this sense of worry, wore me, whore me out. It's a constant push to do other than purely act. Important was the satisfaction in the self and each seed planted. Tossed into the field, sown into the ether, it was a metaphor and it was a truth. The idea that ideologies were nonsense. Ideas had potential to grow and defining a species was just word play. The growth of the individual was the act. The use of the mind, for anything other, co-opted to be useful, to be used, to be employed, to be used in a way not self-directed, but other-directed. Fear directed. The idea, the coming, the changing thought was fucking STOP.
If peace and joy abounded, sitting still would feel ok. Here, now, there is no sprawling joy. There is utter fear in the Gap. No light, and the unknown is just like that. It is dark by it's very nature. Entering the quantum space, quieting the mind to see in the dark, the metaphysically becomes physical and the tunning in happens. This is not fro-fro, hippie dippie bullshit. Sit your ass on the pillow and meditate, for hours and hours, not all at once at first, but do it and then tell me you have not unseen at least a few things. Tell me then that your mind is not changed. Tell me then about the programming and reprogramming and all the other shit that gets in and sticks and stinks and rallies around some one else's idea of normal and some other deluision illusion. Tell me again how much I'm the crazy one. Tell me again about all your fears through your judgements of me and the first words that come out of your mouth. So much, so many times, this is just pure response without thought, without meaning. Without peace or joy, but fear and loathing and guilt and shame. Sure, not you. Of course not you, all the others. The point was, it was all of us at times, whether now or later, woke or asleep, we kept it going through time. Be. Here. Now. Epic pandemic. Fuck any sense of normal ever again. Existance was beauty filled. The motions, the records, the creations, the conversations, they were it all. Say it again. The motions the records the creations the conversations they were it all. Nothing grander, nothing greater. Progress was the myth.
The addictions had to go. The dependencies to externals. Coffee. Quit drinking coffee. This ever upward, ever faster, go go go, busy-ness progress kept us down here. Heavy, weighted. Eyes grogged until the buzz. This smoke or that toke, hot toddy or cold brew. All these things externals kept us here, moving, grooving, and what was happy-ness anymore?
Overheard them say, Their parents showed them how to only work jobs they hated. There was no joy in work. It will take time for them to overcome. They're working on it.
Ringing true. Everyday, without the smoke, without the toke, without the jokes to keep it all moving, it was clearer and clearer the shame and guilt that led genius to work everyday to make someone else money, to make money at all. This whole system was designed to benefit the owners. The property keepers. The takers. Chris knew, Power CANNOT be given. It is taken. William Powell, or some other bullshit had told them, Power is not a material possession that can be given, it is the ability to act. Power must be taken, it is never given. An example of how the world begins to stink. Power is absolutely given. It is given away all the time, each moment. Trained in engineering, power is work over time. Energy expended during some period. And here, we give it to some-one, some-body, some corporation. We expend our energy and allow them to accumulate it. Willingly, for here we want only to have stability and safety at and cost, at the cost of steel bars wrapped around us.
The writing felt good. It always did, at some point, having done it. That was the tuning in. The recognition of flow. The recognition of dopamine self-generated. The feeling good had been co-opted. The coercion was in the fear of not having. The fear of missing out. The fear of being with out. The fear of going with in.
What was so special about the individual? Time and time, the efforts were such that we kept the conversation going, by design or accident.
It was pouring outside. A deluge of water. The rain's gonna wash away, believe it. Over and over, cleaning, renewing. The showers this April and then those May flowers. Pilgrams, colonization, globalization and the hope of something else. Some sense of here and now and welcoming of the present and the people and the hellos and goodbyes. Someday we'd all shake hands again, and maybe kicking boot tips was part of it all, the coming up with a new way to do the same. Was that the curse of creation? The myth of progress? Confusing. There was all these news and then all the olds and the integration of it all was required to even make a mark. Jackson Pollack had some good ideas, Today artists do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. Most contemporary artists work from a different source. They work from within. It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement. Have we said something yet?
There is a way to peace & content. It was just down the road, a few steps off. Take a left on Cedar and walk along the river. When you see the large rock outcrop, look up. There's a great oak tree, shaped like a harp. There. That is the way. Now get lost. Try not to forget or remember it all. Intention was the effort.
Fame is not the goal, the product, Chris lamented, It's a by-product of virtuosity, not the end in and of itself. That's where it all got fucked up. It's now the entire goal. Fame without a message, without a new perspective, without something thoughtful. Chris thought, We have all these kids wanting to grow up just to be influencers, with no idea of what they want to influence. It was more about lifestyle than anything else. Liberal bullshit lifestyle, Chris thought, Maybe there was something to being conservative in times when it seemed like conserving was all there was to do. And we all did want to be liberated it seemed. Choosing one side or the other was a false choice. Choose your mom or your dad. Choose your head or your heart. Choose your left foot or your right. Where is your balance then?
The world didn't need new ideologies, or people thinking about what the world did or did not need. Small mind. Gentle mind. Mind that pays attention and spends time. Mind free of clocks and dollar bills, checks and balances. It was clear, this COVID-19 put society on pause, at least in New York state, the world seemed to stop. Woodstock was on permanant holiday anyway, and now no store was open. No bar, no venue. Nothing to be busy with---business stopped. Commerce stopped. It all seemed to stop, except the mind.
FOMO was gone, Ian remarked, There is no more fear of missing out. There is nothing going on. If you're an artist right now and you feel fear, Ian felt, I feel for you, dude.
Seriously. How can we worry about not having a job? All we have to do is sit home and create. To put the pressure on, to do anything else, for any other reason, feels too long-term and short-sighted at the same time. There is no next big thing. Just the next thing. The next idea. The next conversation. The next moment of existance. Nothing to miss out. Nothing to fear.
It was like those motocross fuckers from the nineties, No Fear.
Hiking was still acceptable. Maybe it was the out-of-doors aspect, or the fresh air. Real or imagined, it seemed as though the virus would not travel too much in the woods, and certainly not on or through Judah the dog. He could still say hello and get pet. Sometimes the risk was not acceptable, but it was still accepted.
It didn't all feel bad. It felt good to be resilient. To understand the self in a way leading to peace of mind in any circumstance. There were times of madness, and these became fewer as the drugs ran out. We called it quitting. Truth was, we didn't want to see anyone and didn't want to spend any money. Having some pot would have been nice. Smoking anything—damaging lungs—didn't seem to make sense. SARS-CoV-2 was frightening. Viruses hosting in humans, traveling, surviving. Humans, staying home, dying. The 2019 novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, was a real fright. It hit the lungs, took the breath away. Then the economy and all the other thinly veiled necessary illusions for manufactured consent were shown to be fragile, the emperors found without clothes, and the people still gasping for air. The world was shut down to varying degrees, New York on pause, but the economy kept moving.
So, no seeing people, and no spending money. Waiting for the stimulus checks to come in, unemployment insurance pay, medicaid, all the taxes paid coming back in. Finally felt ok to be within the system. Did it mean even more taxes went to unsupported projects, death and destruction? Sure. Did it also mean less oppresive financial coercion for a while, and maybe a set of cracks in the system to let the light out? Hopefully.
Tell me something amazing, Skyler said, Anything.
I told them, There are close to a hundred frogs in my lake.
Hundreds of frogs on your legs, you say? That's wild, not sure what else to say, Tell me something else.
The ground was unsettled, metaphorically this time. Earthquakes were not yet an issue in New York State. COVID-19 was enough. Across the globe and here, in the city the worst of it. Everything was ok.
Chris said much yesterday, too much to catch it all in the moment. Fleeting and continual awakenings, they were wise. It happened quickly, the friendship developing. Mutual advantage gained, not a taking, but they said it would be desirable, to be valued, to have some one want to take advantage. What could you learn from all the teachers? To hold the chip on the shoulder, to release it, to understand the stubbornness and the recognition that the letting go was simple. The holding on was the suffering. We are the universe, they said, Don't fuck with us. Get over your emotional process, grow up, evolve. Power cannot be given. Take it.
Scott said, It's all sausage making, and I understood that to mean it was always less glorious on the inside. That did not mean it wasn't important to share. Wondering how to get off the soapbox, maybe it had more to do with marketing, markets---the understanding that people need to see and understand things in order to adpot them. The potent oversimplification was a requirement to representative democracy. Direct democracy required just the opposite. Show them. Act.
If we can see things differently, maybe we can act differently, Chris said, Thought leaders help us see things differently, adjust our perspective. We need thought leaders. We did not need soapbox shouters.
Wind chimes and water ways, this afternoon brings contemplation. Peter said to be uncompromising in your fantasy, in your view. There would be people all the time, from everywhere, to distract, to send off course. Inter-action is ok with direction, leaving room for full fantasy, complete vision. Otherwise there is the space to fill, the Gap taken over by the other and filled with their desires. Your cup filled, your life empty.
Dude, this shit is cra.
100 springs. They say we only get 100 springs. If we're lucky, 100 buds set, 100 flowers bloom, and here, in this one, a reason to stay inside. A reason to stay away, and it is everything we wanted and nothing we hoped for. We finally have all that space to create and realize the world is what we make it and here we stay, afraid of the potential to create something new. Fearful of the old going away, what happens when we get up from the game. When it's over, go out, the crowds dissipated, they leave and the spectators walk away and do not have a song to sing.