Life

Wheel: An Elysian Rendering

Today I want to talk about a poem. It’s a poem from a video game–namely, Doki Doki Literature Club. On one hand, I have been obsessed with this game lately. On the other, though, there is some legit deep poetry that comes out of it. This one in particular spoke to me, especially since it is meant to sound like a raving lunatic but I was sitting there reading it going “Wow this makes perfect sense.”

So roll with me on this tangent, guys! Going super off-topic today! I could say this is entirely unrelated to the tarot, and I don’t think it is meant to be related at all. However, I have to notice the poem is called “Wheel,” and “The Wheel” will be the next card I post.

DISCLAIMER: this poem is meant to portray someone who is manic and going crazy, so, make sure you are in the right place mentally to read this.

Click here to read the poem.

It might help to note that this game is about computer characters gaining sentience. The realization of a universe much bigger than them kind of breaks them. But I think we humans can relate. We often feel like this grand intelligence stuck inside a very limited machine. So, while I pick apart this poem, I like to notice how it relates to the character who wrote it, but also how can represent real people.

General themes:

Wheels, Axles, Gearboxes–These all relate to the machine. She mentions a portal to another world–the computer connected to the real world.

Falling sky, Drowning, Torn harness–I think these all relate to her losing her grip on reality

More specific:

7 holy stakes–Symbolically, this could be a lot of things. But I think this is actually a game reference–there are a total of 7 characters: the main four, YOU, and two secret characters you learn about later: Elyssa and Renier. In that case, if characters are stakes, are they the ones holding the game together? Or are they just stuck there? Is it because a stake, unlike a ship, is a movable object?

Kaleidoscope of holy stakes, exponential gearbox–this is the madness of Saṃsāra, the physical aspects of our world as a whole. If you look at our world in data points, numbers, consumption, the endless monotony of it all can become very overwhelming. This is why we must find value and depth in the world around us. I might note that Saṃsāra also means “wandering” or “world” and it is represented by a WHEEL.

Forty gears and a ticking clock–You see the number forty a lot, and I don’t know if it has a specific meaning. Clocks may refer to people, or time as a life-giving force, which we will come back to later.

The deeper and the creepier:

A prayer written in blood–If you think of people as poems, and our existence as a prayer–intent, manifestation–and blood as our life source, then this sentence simply means “a person.”

I feel like all the references to human eyes are quite literal. Time-devouring snakes–DNA behind human eyes–our eyes are our doorway to the world. A thread connecting all human eyes, I think, is the internet. But I also like to think of it as the super-conscious.

A bolthead of holy stakes tied to the existence of a docked ship to another world–Holy stakes, I decided are characters or people. If stakes are a people, than the ship is the world we live in; our known reality. And docked to another world goes back to feeling like there is a dimension of reality outside, or above, or bigger than your own.

Another sentence I want to break down: “A time-devouring prayer connecting a sky of forty gears and open human eyes in all directions.”

A time-devouring prayer–is life. It sounds morbid, but we are time-devouring monsters. Time may be infinite, but for us, it is limited. It’s also the thing that allows us to exist, so I’ll take what I can get.

Sky of forty gears–again, the laws of the universe outside our control

Open human eyes in all directions–I think this really comes from her being in a computer and looking out. If you were a sentient being in the internet, and you looked out any window–any computer screen–what would you see? Human eyes. Eyes, eyes, eyes. If you think of a super-conscious–a plane of thought that we are all connected to–than it is like this giant mind, and we are all windows from it to the physical world. So it is a giant mind with open human eyes in all directions.

Thanks for exploring this poem with me. We will go back to our regular scheduled program soon. I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave me a comment!

 

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Life

What it’s like to be a crazy person

It may seem like a typical morning for a semi-lazy, not-completely-useless adult human being in America. I slept in until 10:30, washed my hair, gave our 40 lb Border Collie, Argos, a shower because he has bad dandruff this winter, and worked on estimating my taxes. (Working on my taxes? Does that knock me out of the lazy category all together?)

But despite the semi-productive things I accomplished, if you look at my habits lately (waking up late, playing video games, only performing the most necessary of responsible tasks) compared to over the summer (waking up early, being very active, proactive, creative, etc,) you would notice a drop in motivation. You might throw me a bone, “Well, it’s cold, people tend to be less active in the winter.” But here in Alabama we have been enjoying clear skies and mid-day highs in the upper 60’s. So that’s no excuse, unfortunately.

Why am I concerned with the new behavior? Well, it tends to be a sign of other underlying problems. Let’s just say that when I went to Massage school in 2013, there was a question on the orientation form asking about my mental and emotional stability. I hovered over that check box. I have never been diagnosed with any psychological disorders, but that may only be due to my never having been to a psychiatrist. Since barely graduating high school, after a brief recovery period, I have ascended to the status of being functional in society. This is how I gauge my stability and wellness. Last summer I went through one of the worst depressions of my life, and I still managed to function, show up to work, keep up with my house and responsibilities, etc.

However, sometimes chemical imbalances and old childhood baggage pops up to halt your progress just when you thought you had it all worked out. When I notice the signs, I go, “Ok, where is this coming from?” I feel like this latest phase has been one of over-indulgence. It’s like I just want to check out (not in the drugs way; I have never done drugs) and be cognizant as little as possible. Hence: sleeping in late, playing video games for hours and hours, and taking ridiculously long hot showers. These might not seem like major problems, but they are all ways I can gauge my escapism. I usually despise waking up late, and enjoy an active morning where I read, play games or brain-storm. Long hot showers have been a classic way for me to escape things I don’t want to deal with. And, there’s nothing wrong with playing video games. When I am at my healthiest I usually enjoy an hour here or there. But when I play for 5 hours straight, and go about my day wondering when I will get a chance to get behind the controller again… um… I’m having an escapism issue.

There is a quote, I don’t know from where, that goes something like, “If you’re rich, you’re eccentric. If you’re poor, you’re crazy.” Wage-wise, I probably fall right above the poverty line, but I have more than enough crap and I certainly feel wealthy, so maybe I fall somewhere in between the two. I certainly have some eccentric behaviors. Being un-diagnosed and un-medicated, I find interesting methods to shake myself out of a hitch.

This is why, at 1:30pm today, being fed up with my lazy behavior, I was pacing the house, repeating aloud a phrase from one of my favorite childhood Jim Carrey movies: “Everything you do matters, and everything you don’t do.”

Say it out loud with me, people. We so often feel that we are insignificant, but each and every one of us matters.

“Everything you do matters, and everything you don’t do.”

That last part is important. It’s not just that what you do isn’t harmful, it’s whether you take action on things you believe in. It’s whether you fall silent when others are being mistreated, or when certain people or groups are causing harm in the world. No, we can’t dawn a red cape and go take out all the bad guys, but we can explore every option and take every possible action to create a safer, fairer world. We can speak up. We can vote. We can, at the very least, be conscious consumers and vote with our dollars.

Now, the speaker from Liar, Liar was referring to a father showing up to his kid’s birthday party, but I think this phrase has grander applications–like to life, and everything. So I feel pumped now. I am actually shivering. I’m not sure if it’s chilly, or if it’s the coffee, or because I have stirred up a new fervor, but I’m shakin! It’s time to get out of this rut.

So here is to the importance of our actions and decisions every day.

Here is to finding new motivation, not just to take care of necessary remedial duties, but to go above and beyond in being the best human beings we can be.

Cheers! *Raises coffee*

Life

Daydream

Today I ran through an open field.

Why? Because, why not?

The first step is to step outside. I wondered, where am I going? What should I bring? But there was a nudge at my back, a whisper in my brain. Just go.

Sunday morning was like a ghost town in my neighborhood. It was before the church down the street was filling with people, so everything was eerily quiet. There was even a soft, steady breeze whistling through the trees. It was cool for a summer morning and the empty streets were slightly overcast.

Walking down my street, I couldn’t help getting that post-apocalypse feeling. I decided to go somewhere different–some way I don’t usually go when I walk around. Approaching the campus area, I turned left toward the highway instead of right toward all the familiar campus buildings, the giant new Art gallery on 10th Ave. In front of me was a vacant lot with the familiar sign: “Permit Parking Only.” There was a hill next to it. I had passed this hill but never seen the other side, assuming it was another lot or some boring office building. Climbing the hill, I saw it was a large white hunk of cement with bold black letters that spelled “Epic School.”

“What seriously?” I asked no one–perhaps the wind. Was this some group or art installment affiliated with the college? Under the bold title was a smaller indented designation, something about perpetuating the imagination, and the name of the person who started the school. No, it was just an elementary school. This thing was one block from my house. How did I never see this? The building was all corrugated metal and weird, slanted rectangles for windows. It looked more like an abandoned science lab.

The parking lot exited onto a familiar road, the one that led past the sports fields and a couple of campus parking lots, eventually feeding onto a main road. I would usually be unconcerned with the sports fields, but on the other side of the fence were the first two humans I had seen this morning. They were dressed in uniform, obviously warming up for some exercise. Passing the opening to the fence, for some reason the thought occurred to me to run out into the field. I shook it off, but it had a strong hold. Well, I thought, seeing the water fountain right at the entrance, they won’t mind me stepping just inside to get a drink. My throat was a little dry.

So I took a sip, glanced to see that the two men hadn’t noticed me at all, and continued on my walk. But several feet down the road I stopped again.

Why the hell would I not run across that field? Sure, I would look weird, but who were those people? It wasn’t as though I would disturb them, they were obviously having some informal practice, and on the other side of the field. What would it hurt? Who would care?

Before I knew it, I was walking sternly back toward that opening. There were even stairs leading right into the grass–beckoning. My heart was pounding.

When is the last time you did something that made your heart pound in your chest?

And then, with a smile, I was climbing those stairs, and the wind was blowing past me, and my feet were beating into the grass, the ground hard and sturdy beneath me, and all that was in front of me was open field.

Glancing back before I left, breath catching, heart still pounding, I saw that the two men hadn’t noticed me at all.

Life

Sculpture Garden

I went on a little journey today. Here’s me: bored late twenty-something on her day off. The one thing on my agenda other than a few scattered chores is a trip to a local esteemed art gallery. It is a small gallery which I have only been to during openings, but according to the ad, they have normal viewing hours Monday thru Friday 1pm to 4pm, and today is the last chance I’ll have to see the latest installment, sculptures made of heavy material but shaped to look weightless. The example I saw online was one made of four heavy slides of metal, two base pieces that were vaguely pear-shaped and sandwiched together to accentuate their slim sides, each with another wavy piece floating gracefully into the air. The whole thing reminded me of a whale: huge but graceful.

Little did I know however, that my journey would lead me far, far from the art gallery. The first thing I did was almost hit a child. Prompted to cross by the stop guard, he put his arms out and ran across the street at top speed, and without pausing, turned and crossed the adjacent street, right in front of my car. I stopped well within time, but the people at the corner and the cross guard were giving me demeaning, disapproving looks. I stared at them in shock for several minutes before continuing onto the next road. What was wrong with me? Why did I attempt to turn when a child was crossing the road? Children are damn well unpredictable. I shouldn’t have moved in any direction until the child was completely clear of the intersection.

Trying not to let this distract me, I headed in the direction Google Maps suggested, which looked completely wrong. Pretty soon I was in the East side, boarded-up-windows territory. Large, handsome architecture, half-collapsed and falling into disrepair.

I tried not to gape like a damn tourist, but my eyes zipped around. There was an arcade shop and a furniture store. I passed a dinky little burger drive-through. Knowing this was obviously the wrong way, I asked myself how far I should venture before turning around. And then, across the street from what was clearly the projects, over the hill came rows of stones, a monument, a mausoleum. It was the biggest graveyard I had seen in town–and I had no idea it was there. Like the people in the projects, it was stuffed off to the side; forgotten.

I found myself in the right lane at a red light, right in front of the entrance. I turned in. As I drove, I looked around in wonder. Rutheby. Gillepsy. Carmichael. Our resting ground. Our final destination. For a moment I was crossed with the indignation at how much people had to pay for such a privilege. Then, driving along the paved path, turning a corner, I gasped. The stones went on for acres, stretching much farther than I had originally realized. My breath was taken for a moment, but I resolved to leave, feeling like a trespasser. Pulling out of the Yard spit me right onto the street I needed to get home.

It was 3:40.

Passing a neighborhood of more large yet dilapidated houses, I finally saw the buildings of downtown. Giving up on Google, I realized I KNEW where the damn thing was–I had been there several times! Shaking my head, I headed North yet again and down toward the shops on 2nd North. Once in the area, I found a place to park. Only 50c for an hour! A nice man whose dogs were jumping on me directed me to the next block up. Reaching the next intersection, I found the familiar street lined with cafes and bars, but could not see the gallery. Turning the other direction, the mass of brick looked like more office buildings, but then, in the distance, I saw a paper taped to a window reading “art classes.” That’s it! I jogged across the street, past several blocked doors and window displays stuffed with student art, and finally reached the show room. The door was locked. It was probably just after 4. But through the window, I could see the sculpture. The metal one with the fins. And I was fantastically dissatisfied with it.

Smiling, I headed toward the cafe I passed, contemplating my very profound experience in the sculpture garden across from the projects.

Life

The Big City

“When we graduate, let’s just buy an RV and drive.”

Shelly looked at me uncertainly. I wasn’t joking.

I was fed up with school and I hated the idea of a desk job. Monotony. Routine. I wanted adventure. I wanted to be different. I looked up the prices–55k–not to bad. We could do it if we really wanted to.

Shelly and I never got that RV… probably for the best. But just about a year after I graduated high school, a good friend of mine moved to New York. He was majoring in something sensible and minoring in acting.

I had thought about L.A., but after learning more about the culture there vs. New York City, I felt the Big Apple was more fitting for me. Yes, I dreamed of big lights. Big, bright lights, with me right in the center. I wanted to entertain and astound people.

So I told Cato I would move to NYC with him. He was all about it. But he wasn’t going for acting until after he got his more sensible degree… whatever that was. We talked on the phone from time to time. He was very busy and told me about learning music and acting lessons and late night parties. “Everything moves very fast here,” he said.

“I can see you in New York!” the fortune-teller said, her eyes all a-glitter. “You will be poor, but happy,” this prediction came more calmly as she turned over the Sun card. But she was older and very fond of me. I could tell she wanted this for me, which meant the reading was subjective. Somewhere in my heart I knew it would never happen.

I heard from Cato less and less. He was always losing his phone and getting a new phone number. Then, over the course of several months I sent him email after email (usually the only way I could get in touch with him.) But he didn’t respond. I searched for him on facebook–nothing. I asked our high school friends but no one had heard from him. And neither did I… ever again.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Make It Anywhere.”

Life

My Morning With Depression

You could say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Or the wrong side of my brain.

For a disclaimer, let me say that I have been mostly happy lately. The last several years have consisted of long, consistently positive times, punctuated by a few dreary occasions when my depression crept up. This morning was unexpectedly sad. The plan was to get up early and do yoga. But as I rolled out of bed after laying in for an extra hour, I found I didn’t feel like doing anything except sitting on the couch. I snapped at my boyfriend a couple times, which is very unlike me.

My good friend texted me.

One thing every person suffering from depression needs is a friend who understands depression.

When she asked how my morning was going, I answered honestly. “Shitty.”

“What’s wrong?” I used to hate this question. I didn’t want to face my problems or my feelings when I was younger, but now I appreciate it as an opportunity to put my issues into words and hopefully find solutions.

I explained that I felt like I had no direction in life (which is usually what my anxiety attacks break down to.) There are two compents to depression in my experience. One is the whole chemical imbalance thing: feeling sad for no good reason. But, while the emotions can fluxuate and quickly become escalated, I don’t feel like they are completely groundless. In my case, at least, I found deep-seated fears and anxieties that were at the base of my mood swings.

Before my friend kindly consoled me, I went out onto the porch. It was a beautiful day. I love the sun reflecting on the leaves on the trees towering over my neighborhood, the soft whisper of the wind passing through. It’s been chilly, but today was warmer, and before noon the temperature was perfect. I felt instantly calmer. I thought of a couple things I might accomplish today. By the time I went back inside, I felt better.

An hour later I went on a walk with my neighbors–some really wonderful friends of mine as well as friends of theirs whom I don’t know, and their kids. I got into a long conversation with one of the women.

While trying to explain my situation to this new friend, I found myself putting my whole situation into words in a way that it made more sense to me, which resolved my anxieties and questions from earlier.

And the rest of my day was pretty great.

I had some new insights, read an interesting article, thought about life, and printed out some more Passion Planner pages, which always makes me feel better about life! I think it is amazing that I can wake up absolutely hating life, and then go on to have a really great day.

Life

PhilosoFREE

Philosofreedom

Philosokingdom

The philoso fee

of your thoughts is free

You can’t take free speech away from me.

*I thought of this little poem while trying to conceive a new title for my blog, but I felt “Philosofreedom” might be a little too pretentious.

**Also, when I studied the brain in massage school, one of the purposes listed for the frontal lobe was “Ideation.” I marveled at that word. “Ideation.” Our whole world, our lives, our society, is built on “ideation.” So, just now, I wondered if “ideate” is a verb… ? One Google search told me YES IT IS. So go, my people. Go ideate today.

Life

10 Minutes of Unfiltered Mind

Hmm, 10 minutes of my unfiltered mind? Are you sure you can handle that? I type fast you know… I can probably write a novel… Here we go!

Work going well and not going well. Oh, of course work is the first thing I think about. Yes, I punctuate when speed writing. Today I felt better. I sensed some newness, the old newness that used to accompany me. It goes by you know, it always goes by no matter how much I treasure it, how much I aim to savor the moment at the end of the day the day still ends. This is what I have been struggling with most. But que se-freakin-ra right? That is how it must happen. Without time, we would accomplish nothing. Without time, we would be motionless thought-blobs with no physical, no evolution, no cycle of thought, action and consequence. So I’m back to square one. Might as well enjoy the moment because you can’t stop it from melting into a pool of memories.

Human evolution. That keeps me going. If there is one thing worth all our efforts it is the idea that somehow the future is brighter ahead and we have made some sort of a mark on society that might make lives better for those who come after us. There are even those traditions who believe that we are those same people over and over, so the idea that I could even experience this future is a little heartening. I don’t want to miss out on the fruits of my hard work, after all! I am joking of course. I don’t work that hard.

So yes, speaking of work, it has been a little difficult. A couple of encouraging friends, a few good healthy emotional breakdowns, and I am feeling more and more like my good-ol’ zen self. Peace. Tranquility. The beauty of now. And the knowledge that because of finality, we must strive. We can’t just hang around. We gotta do stuff god dammit because otherwise WHAT IS IT ALL FOR.

The Dalai Llama is coming to my town. MY TOWN. I didn’t manage to get tickets, which is very sad, but I am glad his presence will be here. In this local magazine article he was quoted saying to wake up every day being thankful to be alive. Thankful to be able to experience the beauty of the world one more day. To try and have a positive effect on others as much as possible.

I will hang on to these words, though I have heard them before. To experience Love–true Love–Universal Love…

Inspired by Daily Prompt

Life, Prompts, Uncategorized

When all the little units are strong, the whole will be a thing to behold

Community, and as a by-product, conscious consumerism, are huge topics for me. I think a lot. I say to myself, ok, let’s not just take this at face value. Let’s sit down and pick it apart. And often it doesn’t go beyond that–I think about it. I don’t join a group or start an organization: I just think about it and go on about my way. But one thing I have made a true effort to change in my daily lifestyle is consumerism. How are the aforementioned topics related? Oh, very closely.

It starts with the Government. I thought a lot about our Government and our Country. There are too many schisms, I thought. We aren’t one unit anymore, and people get lost in the vastness of it. Most people in my generation don’t take action on what we care about because we have the world at our fingertips… and it is too big. We say, “How can I conquer this?” But if you just look around at your local community, it doesn’t seem so unimaginable to make a difference. After all that thinking, I came to this conclusion: strong communities are the building blocks of a unified nation. Preferably one with over-all good intentions. Impossible? No it’s not impossible. You just start with your community.

A good community comprises many things. One is involved people who love and care about each other. Another is health–a healthy biosphere and healthy food lead to healthy people. Another thing–a very important thing–is industry and commerce. In order for a community to thrive, it needs talented people, places for them to work, quality goods and a thriving economy. That is where conscious consumerism comes in.

You see, if you are like me and you want to support a healthy community, you have to think about what you buy, where it comes from, and what it is made of. This is important for the individual’s health as well as the community’s. Items made of toxic chemicals are bad for the environment and the health of the people. Your dollar is a vote. When you buy something from a company, you aren’t just making one purchase: You are supporting that company. You are saying, “Hey, I vote for you. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing.” Therefor it is important to support companies who make good quality products, contribute the community, and treat their employees well. Is this idealistic? Sure. But striving to live up to ideals is how people and communities can improve.

There is also the obvious benefit of buying locally–supporting the local commerce. If no one is buying locally, that community isn’t getting any money, and its economy will deteriorate. You need a good internal economy as well as imports and exports.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, so thank you anyone who is reading! My lifestyle had greatly evolved as I continue to become an independent citizen and conscious consumer. I pay more for things because they come from companies I believe in and they are made of ingredients/materials I trust. I don’t make very many whim buys (when I do, it is usually coffee!) People get annoyed at me because I try to eradicate plastic from my life. I don’t want to fund slave labor overseas. I don’t want to fund toxic chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere. I don’t want to be any part of the quick & easy thoughtless consumerism lifestyle. I am passionate about this because I believe good, quality items are better for those producing and those making the purchase. I believe helping our environment and being mindful of our home is the key to sustainable living. I believe a strong community can reduce crime and poverty and increase health and happiness. Yes, I believe in happiness! I believe that if we build strong communities, we can have a strong and mindful government, and we can be unified as a country.

Thank you for giving me a moment on this soap box.

Cheers,
Tezzatipoca

*Inspired by the Daily Prompt