Tag Archives: serenity

Master Of Serenity

Somehow I seem to have maintained my zen-like state for the duration of the afternoon. To be honest, I am just the slightest bit impressed. Normally it takes me nearly forever and a day to calm myself when I have blown my top. Rage is just the flip side of depression, and if there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s being mopey as hell, sometimes for days on end. But today, after the incident with the grasshopper in the parking lot, I felt a level of serenity which I’m normally not accustomed to. I brushed aside all of the frustration and disappointment, and sat down to get back to work. I couldn’t get back exactly to where I’d been before, but the ideas were still there in my head, and I just had to trust that I could get them out again. Sure, they weren’t as beautiful as what had come before, and each near-miss, a tiny stab of heartache, but I stayed with it and managed to get it down, If I’m being honest, though, my favorite part of that entire piece was the epilogue, and that was mainly because it had almost nothing to do with what I’d (failed to have) written. Plus, it either made me look a little more or a little less deranged, depending on how one might view a bald coincidence.

But enough jabs at my lack of hair: it’s time to focus back upon the very best parts of me. I seemed to have discovered a surefire way to find my center in the middle of a storm, and the best part of it is that it only requires a pack of cigarettes and endless supply of grasshoppers. I used to be able to more easily access my happy place, but years and years of falling back in the face of a constant barrage of disappointment and injustice have made it nearly impossible to find. It’s hard to keep an upward glance when you’re caught out in the rain, and by staring at my feet, I’ve missed everything else around me. Pleasant thoughts, like summer breeze, lift upward due to warmth, and the only ones which sink below are scuttled by the chill of sadness driven down by winter winds. Simple serenity, I’ve found, can be discovered in the smallest things, just waiting to be seen. It’s just a matter of letting all the screeching ego simply fade away, and learn to view the world through the eyes of a child again.

I’ve spent the last several years drowning the innocence inside of me, hoping to find the answers I’ve been seeking in the cold reason of adulthood. But all that’s gotten me is an unending stream of stress and misery. In trading youth for understanding, I’ve been left with neither, and the only thing that I can figure is that I’ve gotten it all wrong. The happiest I’ve ever been was when I was still a child, and my whole life lay in front of me, with nothing but endless possibilities as far as I could see. Every day was a new adventure, inspiring me again. From astronaut to baseball player to astrophysicist, each new bit of information launching me ever forward. And through it all, I always knew that I would one day write about it. That was the constant through every other dream: that no matter what I did, I did it so that I would have something I could write about. And as the years marched on, and my options began to thin, much as my hair would in the years which (shortly) followed, so too did my primary dream begin to fade. With every drop in probability, the joy and hope which once defined me continued to recede. Eventually all that was left was the memory of who I used to want to be when I managed to grow up. It never occurred to me to think that growing up would rob me of the very best parts of me.

A Moment of Truth, Presented in the Omniscient Third Person
A Moment of Truth, Presented in the Omniscient Third Person

A single leaping grasshopper in the middle of a parking lot. A man rapidly arriving at the end of what little rope that he’s got left. A thing of beauty, never seen, lost forever in a digital world gone mad. Tensions within the man’s apartment are written on the walls in large, swirling, angry letters spelling in out in great detail each and every slight and misstep committed by the occupants. The smell of hopelessness now permeates the air, the byproduct of the late-night arguments and fading faith in one another. Seven lives, hanging in the balance, each one counting on the other, and disbelieving them, even so. Like animals roaming restlessly, trapped within their cage, these now-empty husks of once fully realized people pace about, bumping into one another, and feel the rage begin to bubble over without the slightest provocation. Hanging above them all, a sense of doom nears palpability. A single spark could set them off, and at least one of them is smoking. But the man outside, having just lit up his cigarette, takes notice of the insect as hops directly in his path. Everything, every little thing then resolves to crystal clarity. The grasshopper is a metaphor, the man begins to realize, for his standing as mere novitiate upon the path toward tranquility. It is a sign that he must let go of all of his pent-up anger, and seek out the words within him once again. He takes a breath, and extinguishes his cigarette, opening the door, and walking back inside. While he has not managed to recapture his inspiration, he has at least found some measure of composure by which he may attempt to finish what he started. He knows that it cannot be the same, but the flicker of his muse has been rekindled and the echoes of his madness still linger in his brain. He breathes deeply, clearing out the doubt and agitation and begins to write again.

Walking Through Forever

Yeah, it’s going to be one of those days, I can already tell. You know the kind: every thought explores the depths of meaning and perception, and simple tasks unfold before you like a never-ending scroll. I’m not sure exactly what might have set this off, but I think that I’ll just try to roll with it to see where it will take me. I mean, it’s not like drowning myself in metaphor is an entirely new thing for me. Sure, I used to have assistance to reach this frame of mind, but I guess that decades of staring into the void have finally produced results all on their own. This could mean that I’m beginning to take my first steps toward enlightenment, or it could signify that I’m falling down the water slide to madness. Truth be told, I’m really not all that worried about it. I’ve spent years and years trying to keep it all together, and if this should be the day when everything unravels, so be it. It takes a lot of effort to try to appear even slightly less “eccentric” than gladly I’ve become, so why bother with normality? Let’s see what happens when we pull upon the fraying threads of this tapestry. Will the whole thing fly to pieces or will the truth become apparent, liberated at long last from the tyranny of mundane life?

I’d like to go on record here, before we start again, as declaring my sobriety from everything except the caffeinated nicotine which even now is coursing through my veins. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with a little altering of one’s perceptions, from time to time, rather that I wished to make it absolutely clear that I’m in (as much as I’ve ever been) my right mind.


“I think, therefore I am.”

And with that we have established that the reality of self. One knows that he exists because he knows that he exists. Are we just a form by which the universe has chosen to know itself? Are we living in a world which exists apart from us, and yet is one with us, or one which we create within ourselves with every breath we take? Does it extend beyond perception, or fall away to nothingness beyond what we can perceive? If I close my eyes, does it cease to exist, held in memory for it when it may be needed?

Are we agents of Free Will, or slaves to narratives which we ourselves have written long ago, and then cause ourselves upon our births to forget we’d ever done it? What if this life is merely a crucible by which to forge ourselves into the beings which we’ve chosen to become?  Bereft of everything except for the very essence of who we are, we act out life or death scenarios to teach ourselves what we must learn. Might this not explain the sensation of déjà vu? What if we are simply pages we had written while we existed outside of time, or hints which we’ve allowed ourselves to keep us from despair? Is coincidence truly ever so, or are there connections all around for us to crack the code?

And what of everyone living in this world which may or may not be? I can prove my own existence, but not that of another. Can you prove that I exist, and can I prove that you do too? What if the entire world around me is just some sort of living dream, populated by the phantoms which exist only in my mind? Does everyone I meet have a piece of knowledge which I must unlock, aspects of my consciousness designed to move me forward? Am I speaking to myself through strings of written words? I am swimming through a sea of metaphors in search of solid ground.

The only thing which I can prove is the fact of my existence, and then, only to myself. I cannot prove that anyone or anything outside the confines of my mortal consciousness is anything more substantial than a half-remembered dream. And when I am deep within the arms of sleep, am I back in the reality from whence I came, or is it merely another nuanced level for me to figure out? I could make the case, as long as I’m only here arguing with myself, that there have been too many little things for me to just dismiss out of hand. Little tricks of numbers, or double entendre prophecies which sail right before my eyes. Sometimes I feel like I could skip ahead if I only paid attention to the clues I left myself.

Considering that I feel like this, you might wonder, I realize I’m still talking to myself, how I feel about the subject of my death. It would stand to reason that if I were the only game in town, that the very concept of an ending would, at the very least, give me pause. But there are other times when I’d just like it to be done. I’m tired of jumping through my hoops, and have a score to settle with myself. Will I even feel the same, rejoining with the eternal version who made me, or will I come to call him out for all my pain and suffering?

For an atheist, it sounds an awful lot like I have some issues unresolved with faith and spirituality. Or it could be that the backstory was laid down as yet another clue to help me work it out. If that’s the case, then I have got a lot of blood upon my hands. I realize that if no one else is real, then no harm was ever truly done, but still, it seems a bit excessive.

And then there is whisper I’ve not heeded for some time: a small divergence from the theory stated just a couple of paragraphs above. What if everyone I meet is both a version which I’ve molded to fit my narrative, and yet somehow also pulled from someone who actually exists? What if we are all shadows in the dark, muted copies of ourselves living out entire lives as someone else’s NPCs? When I meet someone, are we interacting, or is it just a message on their answering machine?


You’ve made it through, so I feel I owe you this (if I’m wrong, and you actually do exist): While the first paragraph is from my original post, the rest has been an attempt to recover what was lost when the internet abandoned me. It’s kind of like this:


I should also note that I find it… intriguing that as I was tapped into whatever force I draw from when I’m nestled in The Zone, ready to uncover the secrets of reality, my internet went down. According to Comcast, there wasn’t anything wrong. A couple of resets fixed the issue, but they couldn’t figure out why it went down in the first place. And then, having been in a rage since losing what I’d written to the deepest reaches of the ether(net), desperately trying to claw my way back to serenity, I went outside to smoke my sixth cigarette in just over an hour and a half. And what should jump right in front of me, as I was contemplating how to get myself back together? A grasshopper! A grasshopper! I live in the city. There is no real grass in which this insect might have hopped. And yet it popped out right in front of me, like a slap to my sensibilities. And just like that, the rage began to dissipate, and I knew that I could write again. I’m still pissed off, don’t get me wrong, but at least I’ve had a chuckle.