Thursday, December 31, 2015

The article in which I get a little religiousy

At night when you call out alone, are satisfied with any single answer?  Because there are many who will respond.  I was told that I was an idiot for waiting until I was 24 before I had sex, on my wedding night, because of my Christian faith.  I waited, fitfully, I BURNED, and not perfectly.  I was no saint, not untempted.  I didn't carry my books in front of my zipper in high school and university because I enjoyed the odd look it caused in others,  it was to hide the 98 million boners a day.

If you turn to whoever answers your cries, and assume they are their to help you without being careful, you can be drawn in, even used, because of your weakness.  And it does not matter your views.  You can fall, like a house of poor construction, despite the highest of good intentions.  I was lucky in some respects, I had an enormous sex drive but, my mother raised me to believe that premarital sex was really worse than other sins.  I cannot say that I fully believed that, but every time I grew close to a person that I didn't believe I'd marry, my mother's voice would remind me, tsk tsk tsk, you are being naughty, a bad bad boy.

As I was married to a beautiful redhead I've never thought anything but that I was lucky.  She is my heart's desire.  I deeply and abidingly love her.  Whatever the problems come, being married is not easy, I am always in love with her, whatever the dialogue going on.  But there have been two times when we were separated by great distances for long periods of time, and despite being married, I had to be chaste.  I was.  I've never cheated, and that was not difficult.  But, the going without, in itself is very hard, and require firm resolve. 

The point here is, if you are broken by loneliness, you can be torn away from your deeply held beliefs.  You can lose yourself because of the sorrows of your heart. 

If you listen to the tiny voice of your conscience, you might remember your values, but it isn't fair, is it?  Those people who fuck anything that move get it all the time!  But life is more than that.

Listen to your soul's values and beliefs, not your fears.  Fear is a liar.  It will lie and tell you to accept less every single time.  Tell fear to go away.  Trust the things that you know are true.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Floating in the stream

People who read my work are usually aware of the fact that I have a single child that I parent along with my wife.  He is my glory.  I've never felt anything similar towards any other human.  Since I was adopted, he is the only human I've met who shares DNA with me.  I do not suggest anything about fate or destiny, only that I blessed beyond measure that God gave me this child.  My heart has been bruised and broken by life, and mercifully, my son renews my soul. 

“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”― Virginia Woolf

I am dealing with the impermanence of life.  My son Jonathan is now one year short of eighteen.  I am not suggesting that life can't continue and be great, that we won't change and adjust.  The direct pain though comes in the flow of memories.  His 7 year old self running out to hug me when I picked him up at school from 2nd grade.  Driving up to Duluth after 3rd Grade was over on the first day school was over.  Eating at Denny's to celebrate the last day of school.  He was beautiful, loving, intelligent, kind, and joyful.  He was overwhelmed by happiness when we adopted two cats (as I was too).

My heart is swelled with pride over him.  He is a beautiful human, filled with genius, talent, love.  He is handsome, and witty.

“He was painfully shy, which, as is often the manner of the painfully shy, he overcompensated for by being too loud at the wrong times.”― Neil Gaiman

The truth of the matter is, he and I are very much alike.  But we have had very different events that have formed who we are. We are both INFJ on the MBTI personality exam.

“To experience commitment as the loss of options, a type of death, the death of childhood's limitless possibility, of the flattery of choice without duress-this will happen, mark me. Childhood's end.” 

David Foster Wallace

But now I enter the final year of his time at home and high school.  I am feeling crushed.  I am an adult with a life, but the upcoming change will change my life again.  And I resist change.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

So I am me, and some dislike that.

The Banner is Raised

“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”     RUMI

In the world we live in, I am expected to accept certain things.  And I do not.  What that does is leaves me in pain, in disharmony with others, and outcast.  So I exist.  And to some people, the people who tell me I suck, I serve as a form of pest, or something that causes stress.  It isn't my fault, but to them, my very existence challenges their notions of fairness.

I am not a person of great wealth, nor am I a person of great ambition in that regard.  I write, and the works I complete are works of love, and to create a legacy for my son.  If they ever are noticed, I hope they are, he will reap the benefit.  It would never be me.  I am not a person of great popularity, nor do I cultivate such dreams.  To do so would stroke my ego, and as a Christian who pursues his faith nearly as a Buddhist or Daoist, attempting to kill my ego to know God more, I do not find that I am constructed of the proper materials to become popular, nor am I inclined to do so.

But this is not all to say woe is me.  I realize it can be perceived as such.  I just realize that I am a square peg in a world of round holes, and no matter how hard the hammer might smash, I don't fit.  God made me in a way to realize how different I am, and in the last 5 days I've been made aware of the many times my life was saved, when I could easily have died.  I've been told by four doctors in the last 12 years that I should have been dead four times.  Adding to that the virtual death sentence that was my inception and birth in 1963 of rape, the knowledge that in the present the biological mother information makes it very clear that I would have been aborted.  This is all to say, I have a purpose.  I am meant to exist.  Even if I am not certain yet why.

I know, I know, why not.  Why not exist?  Well that isn't the point.  I have a beautiful wife, God truly blessed me with her.  My son is a reminder of how very good God is.  And honestly, my two cats are gifts from God.  They show me love, and give affection every single day.  So, I am not shitting on the gifts of love I've received.  The gifts of life too, I do not despise or spat upon.

But, here I am.

I exist now quite soberly not trying to escape purpose.  I've lived trying to bear the banner of Christ.  I've tried to live as a knight of Christ in the modern world.  All I am, all I can ever be, is found in the fact that my word is my bond.  My sword is my mind, and I've educated it well.  My heart is moral.  I do not cheat or lie.  And I do forgive others.

I am a failure to some because I do not make money, or, rather, enough money.  But I believe that is as much an indictment of modern capitalist society as it is anything else.  I fail.  I rise.  I am here.  Now is the time for me to move forward, and I am.

Happy 2016.  Happy Festive holidays, whatever you celebrate.  God bless you.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

How I went from being afraid to share my views to being a loose cannon

There are a number of factors that went into my slowly going from guy in the corner observing the people at the party, to talking to people at the party.  The same goes for speaking in public.

I was afraid to share my views in the past because people are usually unkind when others express their views.  But I have to do it.  Regardless of fear, regardless of rejection I am outspoken regarding what I think.  It isn't because think others need to know what I think, it is because I do not want to be painted with the same brush as anyone else.  On some issues it is more important than others to separate myself.

I make no attempt at convincing others, but if I am called strident, cynical or indignant, it truly makes me angry.  I never try to destroy another person's motives, or character.  I simply look at what was said or done.  Usually, actions will speak volumes about the motives.


I get asked a number of questions for a number of reasons.  I write fiction, but some people assume that because I do, I have an interest in any of the subjects I've written about, and perhaps I do.  However, since I've written about such a wide variety of subjects from Jack the Ripper to Bigfoot to Samurai to Jesus, the readers of my work have a lot to ask about, and assume about.

But what was the trigger for the change?  I had no choice.  In order to graduate from college I had to take a course for my minor degree wherein I had to give two 10 minute speeches in the class.  While the class was fun, interesting and I learned a lot, what I truly learned was, no one in a class wants you to fail, they are all, just like you, wanting you to succeed because a 10 minute speech can truly break you as a person, as the speaker, and as a member of the audience 10 minutes of a stammering, slow, pointless, horrible speech can feel like 100 minutes.  So, the course showed me that the fear of judgment by others towards me was baloney.  And at some point the classroom, at 8:45 pm, in July, was so dark I couldn't read my notes, so I thought, wait, if I can't read my notes, they can't see my face.  So the nervous factor just disappeared.  I got a B+ in the class, and both speeches got A's.  Who knew?

And now, I have decided to write here, for the future, about my world, political, religious, and philosophical views. I might not be entirely popular, or even, at all popular.  But my work of writing is who I am, and my poems tell my story.  I've survived my loss of my mother, my good friend Cathy, and now, I do not want to go forward investigating my depression, but rather, expressing my views, and catching some hope.




CONTACT

http://alexnesspoetry.blogspot.com  
https://www.amazon.com/author/alexness
http://memoirsofalexness.blogspot.com/
http://cargokultmodernday.blogspot.com/
http://catastrophicmemories.blogspot.com/  

Me at Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alexnesspoetry


Sunday, December 6, 2015

My quest is ended, but not my life, my life is my quest now.

Click to enlarge


My quest began more than 4 decades ago.  I was called to go, and I did.

The way I chose was arduous and bloody.  I faced enemies, personal crisis, and betrayal.  I did not expect most of the obstacles, but I did persevere 

I am here.  I have arrived in the promised land.  What should I do?

I don't have the usual trappings of a tourist.
I don't have the baggage of a guest visiting family.

I was a pilgrim making a journey.  Along the way I chose to give everything to the quest.  I have nothing left.

Except, that is, for my soul.

Click to enlarge

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." Albert Camus

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nope I am not, but just in case you need it to be more clear

I am not going to kill myself.

"Life is only a long and bitter suicide, and faith alone can transform this suicide into a sacrifice."  Franz Liszt

LINK

Need help? United States:
1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Inevitably people ask if I am alright if I refer to suicide in anything I write.  I get emails and messages from concerned people, and from the occasional asshole telling me how to do it best.  I explain that I am using the term figuratively.  But I have struggled with the suicidal thoughts and am depressed often.  But I am not about to kill myself.


I realize some people cannot even begin to imagine suicide.  To them it is a sin or would rob them of so many things.  To others it is a last resort, and they haven't come anywhere close to that in their existence.  In my world, I guess I just have never felt as though I belonged here, so suicide might answer that and relieve my pain and remove the world's pain of me.  However, I am aware now, and wasn't then, that I have people who love me, and some who actually need me.  So I am not going to do anything.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Life goes on, sort of

I lost my mother in 2012.  She had had alzheimer's disease.  It was a malicious disease and the watch and wait robbed me of joy for many years prior, and obviously since. 


In 2013 I was diagnosed with cancer, lymphoma.  During the chemo I was afflicted with an intravenous staph infection that nearly killed me, and phlebitis.  I was hospitalized and had two surgeries that weren't, altogether, successful.  My wife saved my life during this event.  The staph came very close to killing me, and she believed I was more sick than just chemo aftermath sick.


In 2014 I beat cancer.  It was odd though, my flesh was exhausted, and my outlook, which had been warrior-like, didn't change upon beating the cancer.  In May I was finished with the treatments.  But in August I learned that a person I love deeply committed suicide.   Along with a number of people who chose to attack me now that I was "healed" or safe to fight with, I went into a deep deep depression that was perhaps the worst I ever experienced. 


2015 is almost over.  I just came out of a year long depression.  People who supported me in my cancer treatment are still here, and there are a vast number of people who were called friends, who really were not.  I guess it is good to arrive through to the other end of the tunnel of naivety.  I thought that being generous and forgiving would make friends last forever.  But as I've arrived at this older and wiser state I've found that many people are self interested, self centered, and lack depth.  Don't think this is an indictment on humanity.  I received kind gifts of money, food, and support across the web, and this came from many sources, including people I had never met.  When friends of 30 years or more can't be bothered to check in on you, but strangers can, that tells you something real.


Now, I am NOT talking about family.  I was in a state, for example, in hospital, where I did not want and nor could I have visitors.  Mine would have showed up without a moment pause.  But, truly, the staph infection made me miserable and visitors were limited due to my being vulnerable to infection.

I was trapped by illness.  I was scourged by sorrow.  I was wounded by life.  I was limited by fear. But now, the gate is open, and I've escaped.    And no one is taking me back in.


Who am I now?  One month from 2016?  I don't altogether know.  I know who I won't work with, that list has one person on it.  I know I need to finish 4 big projects soon, despite distant deadlines, the co-creatives are all handing in their work.  I hate being the slacker.  My writing is improving, I promise.  Writing is my love, along with family, friends and my beloved cats, Sophia and the brilliant ninja cat Katya.





Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When Darkness Breaks

In the middle of chaos steel and blood met.  The battle of Towton was said by some to be decisive because the king was changed by the result.  But the War of the Roses went on, a dozen more battles took place before a final accounting was to be final.


That is my life and depression.    I've found that no matter how good and happy I manage to achieve in my mood, my world finds some way to crush my spirit.  Every day good is balanced by frustration or sorrow.  But, the darkness has broken, my year long depression does seem to have broken.

Some of this is because I am able to understand that false attacks by people who didn't do their part in a partnership means the attacks are meaningless.  I know the truth, so whatever the other says is false and I can go on.  I can move on in life in the area of hope.  I have hope for the world in which I live because instead of seeing only death and misery, I can try to do my part, encourage others to help, and at least do something rather than be frozen in place and be paralyzed by the horrors of modernity's plunge into the sucking of a whirlpool into the abyss.  I can rise up from my place of hiding in the corner, because there are people who believe my work is good.  When you tend to get only hate mail, you do not have a perspective that is healthy.  I lost one friend I loved to suicide, and lost another who was toxic and I am better for his leaving.  I mourned long enough the first, and I am moving on from the other.

The future is beautiful.  It has not been written.  It has not been promised to anyone.  So it is there for me to claim.  My son is soon entering college.  I am soon going to announce some very big news of some creative projects that will introduce my work to many new audiences. My wife and son and I will be moving to another home sometime too.  Changes approach, and I approach these changes with a new heart.  I refuse to be crushed by the past.


Life isn't easy, it is a battle, and battles leave casualties.  But as long as I survive, I intend to be a victor in the battle.  I bear the banner of my king, and there is only my king.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Death is a penalty?

We hold onto life as if it is precious. I have no idea if it is or not.  But I do know that my family is precious to me. I know that my friends and cats are precious to me.  But the rest of the world, I cannot decide for them and I cannot judge or decide about them.   There is a proverb saying Where there is life there is hope.  Hope does NOT spring from life.  It does not.  It springs from truth measured with seeing the potential for achievement of the goal.



"For certain is death for the born
And certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not grieve."

Bhagavad Gita


"equa lege Necessitas
Sortitur insignes et imos;
Omne capax movet urna nomen."

Horace


"Melius est bene mori, quam male vivere qui mortem metuit, amittit gaudia vitae; super omnia vincit veritas, vincit, qui occiditur, quia nulla ei nocet adversitas, si nulla ei dominatur iniquitas." 
 
Jan Hus


Strange—is it not?—that of the myriads who
Before us passed the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the road
Which to discover we must travel too.

Omar Khayyam











Sunday, November 1, 2015

Different sorts of the Final Act



For some people the end is believed to be the end of everything, and oblivion is entered.  There is nothing more, and nothing less.

For some people the end is a doorway to judgment and a trip either to heaven or to hell, based upon the beliefs and actions of the person being judged.  The judged might or might not get a chance to defend their life, depending upon the religious system invoked.

For some people the end is the ascension or descent to another level of the steps of existence.  If they have lived justly the soul ascends.  If they have not lived well, descent.

And lastly for me, I really don't know.  Yes I am a Christian, but, since I don't honestly understand why certain aspects of Christianity are how they are, for me there are points of my faith where I simply have to shrug my shoulders.


Things I shrug my shoulders over and wonder why:

How could a god who is just have allowed the Holocaust?

How could a god who is good allow thousands of people, many of them children to die from starvation, disease and violence every single day?


How could a god who is all powerful and good and just, make humans, who happen to be the apex predator but also relentlessly destructive and procreative?  Humans are over fishing, over logging, over mining, over polluting, over killing, over using the world, at a rate, that will kill the earth, or at least, the earth's ability to exist as a living planet.



I've been told that perhaps we live in the kingdom of heaven in our hearts here upon the earth.  Well, I cannot accept that.  I've seen too much, been injured too often, and seen my loved ones hurt, to ever seen this world as heaven.  Ever.

I am not writing this as yet another bullshit attempt to depress everyone.  I am just saying, that while I believe in an afterlife, I am uncertain what my afterlife will contain.  I just hope it isn't here.  This place is dirty, loud, angry, and it smells.

Friday, October 23, 2015

That truth that is burning inside

“What have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed.”
― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land




















There is a conflict inside with people.  Acquire, consume, find, destroy?  Help, harvest and share, live with less, help with hope?  We are only gifted the one life, unless you are Lazarus.*  So how do you live it?  Do you harvest and help? Or acquire and consume?  Do you assume that life is for partying, or for helping others?














I was a memory before I became a ghost before I became free.  You have to remember, every person trapped in the material world, by their flesh cage is holding on to their winnings in a meaningless lottery.  They don't get to keep it.  Ever.
















 So, when I die people will remember me.

Then my words about the world will haunt them.

And then, they'll see that I was right, and that I am free.

* (After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." John 11:11)



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I am my own Demon

"Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear."  Charlotte BrontĂ«

Every demon has a task.  Every demon has a purpose. Mine is to destroy every hope I have.  When I was born I was a bastard.  A child of rape.  I was never claimed by the biological father, since he was at best a sperm donor, and at worst a felon.  I was given life by the fact that my mother did not seek an illegal abortion.  Illegal, yes, since I was born in 1963 abortion was illegal.  However, should I have been a fetus in 1973 I'd have been vacuumed out.  Or given a saline bath.  I'd have never been alive.

"Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, and do so with all your heart."  Marcus Aurelius
 



Since then, my life has taken a legendary tone.  I am a survivor of disaster.  I am also aware that the world does not view me as a valuable human, as a person who survived abortion, as a person without a father who gave him a name.

"No destiny attacks us from outside. But, within him, man bears his fate and there comes a moment when he knows himself vulnerable; and then, as in a vertigo, blunder upon blunder lures him."  Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry


I was attacked in life for being sensitive.  I have been insulted, abused and bullied.  But now, at 52, I have seen and done things that I never would have imagined.  I have met, spoke with, and slew dragons.  I've seen beauty that cannot be described.  And I've been made whole by love.

"I shall seize fate by the throat." Ludwig van Beethoven


As a child I was adopted, and my parents were people who were good people.  They gave me a life that I would never have had if aborted, if kept by my rapist father or birth mother.  My parents were not exactly the sort who knew what to do with me.  And were not the sort who were good for my sort of personality.  But it wasn't as if it were their fault.  They tried their best.

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”  RUMI

 

As you walk through these magnificent images by Virginia Skeritt from the public domain, consider, I am living a life that beyond the ken of normality.  I am a Christian, living a life of honor, no matter who dislikes my code.  I am a warrior, speaking words that have power.  I do not lie, even if some do not like the truth.

“Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” Rumi

So wait, aren't I a demon?  Didn't I say that?  Nothing anyone else has said, I haven't already thought, felt, and tortured myself with.  Am I crazy?  Not according to most people who I've told the real story to.  Am I insane?  I am not.  Am I a demon?  No.  I am a warrior, a Christian, a father, a husband, a brother, a poet.  Follow my journey, it has been an legendary.

“You have forgotten the One
who doesn't care about ownership,
who doesn't try to turn a profit
from every human exchange.”  Rumi


I was told by an artist that I was the reason he believed in abortion.  Let us hope he means for the health and safety of all women.  I ask for prayers for that person.  He needs them.

“Whoever's calm and sensible is insane!”  Rumi


"Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle." E.M. Forester

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cancer.

TMI warning.  I am about to discuss my precancer diagnosis symptoms.  They include my health issues.  If you do not like hearing about such, don't tell me TMI, or that I am consumed with my own affairs.  This is blog is about the subject of my journey, so, kindly either cast your gaze elsewhere, or be prepared.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 
-Romans 8:18

When I learned I had cancer it wasn't the sort of cancer everyone who knew what I was going through thought I'd have.  I had near daily, at least 3 out of every 4 days, diarrhea to the amount of 20 or more runs to the restroom.   The most I had was 50 runs in a day.  I had some darker red blood happening too.  I was miserable.  I was not happy in any way.  The health issues were not limited to the bathroom.  I had hip issues.  I had spine micro-fractures.  I had sciatic nerves that were crushed and they never stopped being triggered and firing.  I lost MANY nights of sleep.


So, I was in pain, I couldn't sleep, and I was shitting myself silly.  Repeated trips to the doctor led to many scans, treatments, and nothing helped. After a clear colonoscopy and a clear lower GI, the doctor in question said I would've bet you had colon cancer.  But, she added, lets do a upper GI and a couple other scans to be diligent.  And the scans revealed I had several small peach sized lymph nodes.  I had lymphoma which is cancer of the lymph nodes.


My life was saved by my doctor, absolutely no question in my mind about that.  I received immediate care, and it was the correct course of treatment.  But, my body lost 80 lbs, and I couldn't stop shitting.  It was telling my doctor, something is wrong, and if you don't do something, who knows what I'll do next.  In fact, who knows, maybe this guy's dick will just fall off.

Thank goodness, it is still there.


Friday, September 25, 2015

MEAT

I eat too much food.  And I am fat.  I eat too many calories.  Despite having lost weight and taken up a more healthy diet, I remain fat and I remain a meat eater.  I am, however, growing unconvinced that what I do is moral. Eating more than my share, is not evil, more careless, but eating meat is a subject I am preparing to deal with.


I believe that at one time we were meant to eat meat, and that as we were growing more intelligent we were allowed to eat meat, but now, when we can feed more people with the grain used than it takes to feed the meat to feed people, there is a moral paradigm that is changing.  Meat has become a math problem that doesn't work any longer.


I know people will argue that humans were given stewardship over the earth, and by that animals are lower upon the list than humans in God's eyes, but I might argue that it is only in degree that we are brighter, and only by degree that we should consider ourselves intelligent.  I do not believe that the reign of humanity over the earth is one that would be blessed by God, nor is it one that can last long in its present state.  We are on a path to oblivion, planetary oblivion.


After all, if you remove consideration for the soul, every animal, every being including humans is made of meat.  Nothing else.  It is only by the intellect we've built by saving our accomplishments and building upon them, and by our self awareness and language that we are higher in form than other beings of meat.  And when you look upon our record of kindness, of humane treatment of our own kind, we do not even look good in comparison to many of the creatures we consider ourselves to be superior.   Meat is meat, human or otherwise, and how we treat other humans, and animals, displays how evolved and how morally developed we are in our spiritual and moral development.  I see precious little.



First they inspect the corpses, and upon the approval, that the body was good for consumption, they flense the corpse, and toss out the left over remains. The process is too bloody for some to watch, but is done behind walls to hide the process from eyes that might be offended.



We string up the animals and hang them upon hooks, for the flesh to drain of blood, and for ease of the preparing the corpse.  Meat hooks make it all work so easy.



I wonder if we are marching the companions we share the world with, off the death camps.  If you accept that we are in authority over their care, I have to say, yes.  And it reminds me of a very deep sorrow humans committed upon other humans, as if we are all meat.

I am not of a mind that other people should take up my cause, and change.  This is my personal conviction, where it begins, and why I am.  When I can I don't eat meat.  When I have to, I reduce my intake.  People all have their own reasons, and I am not here to debate the issue.  As always, my views are simply speaking out loud explaining who I am, and how I came to be here.  I worry that the issues of the day are often inflated with ego and meaningless sacrifice, but I believe the issue here is real.  Our choices of how to treat each other have to play from beginning to end, when nobody is looking and into public view, and as someone who is trying to be moral, I have to walk that path, even if I like to eat the thing that I should not.



You rebel you

I am often told that I think too much.  When in my mind people do not think enough.  I am told I feel too much.  When in my mind people d...