June 24, 2018. It has been quite a few months since I’ve put pen to paper. I tried to start writing a piece about California and discovery and self and well, you haven’t read it so you know how that went. I find it increasingly hard to focus my head for long enough to be able to string together a coherent sentence; somewhere in the last few months I lost the center. However hopeless that may sound, know that I have written that very sentence on many more than one occasion in this life. In fact, that sentiment seems to be the one constant throughout the years. I have months of incredible clarity, months that allow possibility and spontaneity. But those months always, inevitably, give way to months of crippling dizziness. Of grasping for anything that still feels concrete. The words always stop then too, precisely when I need them the most. But after this happens enough times you begin to wonder if it is even possible for language to adequately capture the force of the moment. And so, pieces like this are necessary; the ginger-flavored self-apologies that serve as a symbolic opening of the dam. Permission to rid myself of creative guilt and move forward.
On a related note, I have come to believe that there are certain times in a man’s life when he is forced to confront the fact that he is maybe not who he thinks he is — or at the very least that he is not who he presents to the world. Maybe there is no difference between the two. Regardless, as much self-reflection as one does on a regular basis it does not compare nor does it do much to soften the blow during the rare (but brutal) periods of time that strip away the facade of control in relation to how one views oneself. These periods sneak up as silently as age and truth and they allow a man to see, unobstructed, his actual self. This sentiment sounds pretentious but what I mean is this: every day that we wake up and follow the same routine as the day before we are, often, falling further and further from reality. We get so used to the groove of operating on autopilot that we start to lose sight of the minutiae. These periods that I speak of shake us out of that drowsy existence and force — or allow, depending on the circumstance — us to see our lives in high-definition. For some, maybe this reflection is not far from the avatar they have created of themselves in their head. For others, it is a jarring and many times overwhelming experience. I happen to fall in the latter category, as I privately theorize many others do. If there is any part of the human experience that I am particularly excellent at, it is certainly the one concerned with masking and burying and obfuscating. I throw into dark corners the parts of myself that I am either ashamed of, afraid of, or insecure about. And usually in that order. This allows my mind to shape itself around the holes of those missing pieces and calcify; creating a statue that does not represent me truly but that is on display nonetheless.
So, when I am confronted by that very same mind — now feeling shortchanged — it is often unbearable but always necessary. There is a power in owning who you are, all of who you are. However, for some reason this action is often the exception and not the rule in the society in which we currently exist. I suppose there are a number of factors that contribute to that tragedy but that is another discussion. What is truly important, and what I hope you might take away from this gibberish, is that you allow these moments to sober you; allow them to hold a dusty mirror up to your face because there is a singular type of contentedness that comes from seeing yourself as a being and not as an idea. And maybe that is what these moments are: the deconstruction of our own myth making; a clipping of our own wings before the sun is able to melt them. For it is always less painful (but not painless) to ground ourselves than it is to be grounded.