***This portion of the chapter may need to be its own chapter. I haven’t decided yet. The first part of this post serves as a segue/prologue to the rest of the chapter starting at the photograph of the Willow tree.***
Are there fixed points in our lives that were always meant to happen, or can we alter our destinies by missing an important rendezvous or choosing a different direction on our own? What would have happened if one of the 26 or so assignation attempts on Hitler succeeded before the plunder? Did cretaceous-era life always have an expiration date? Do creatures with different eye structures wonder why the sky is blue, or perhaps yellow or ultra-violet? Do they wonder at all?
What if Cobain or Lennon had stuck around? Would they be content stay-at-home dads? Would they still be channeling higher thought-forms for generations? Would they have become a couple washed-up geniuses selling off their catalogues and American-Dream surfing into retirement? What happens if humans destroy all the rain forests? Did that octopus really know who was going to win the World Cup? Was Nicolas Cage always batshit and doesn’t care if we know anymore? Was I meant to be gay? Why are some born into abject poverty? Why are some people abused and bullied and others seem to go gliding through life oblivious and unconcerned for the plight of others? And why is it so hot outside, these days?
I think the fabric of life is more fluid and malleable than we even realize.
Deja-vu has been happening more often than ever before in my life- almost on a daily basis. Perhaps it’s always been this way, but I’m witnessing the “I-knew-this-was-going-to-happen” feeling keeps occurring with pretty decent frequency.
I was listening to a podcast about déjà vu being a lining up with your future and past selves. It’s a clicking into gear mode. I think coincidences and synchronicities are signs showing you that you’re on your path. I’ve also started smoking marijuana on the reg, since Colorado, so I got a lot of variables (and edibles) to sort through.
I have a good general for-dummies understanding about quantum theoretical knowledge. Don’t use me as your lifeline, but I have read a couple of books and watched a lot of Neil DeGrasse Tyson to at least understand the basics. Confounding aspects of life make fuller sense when framed within a composite view of physics/science.
We perceive time as linear. You’re sperm and egg before you are a human. A bottom before a top. A fly girl before you’re J. Lo. etc. We see the natural interpretation of events moving forward into some nebulous future. We’re not getting the full picture because our three-dimensional reality only provides perception of time going one direction. Everything is moving towards the grave.
If we understand that we live in a physical existence with at least five dimensions it is still an abstract concept difficult to conceive. Even if we knew the true nature of reality in the fullest sense we still would not be getting the complete picture due to the finitude of our current human faculties. There are spectrums of light which cause cancer and we can’t even see it with the naked eye. There are more things in Heaven than your gods, dear Horatio. I’m looking to know them all.
What happens if I stay in Texas? Why do I want to leave even after long years of being happy?
Coming home to Texas was always a bit bittersweet. In the way that home was never where you wanted to be but there is a comfort in the familiarity of gnarled mesquite, broad flat prairies, and sad strip malls. I imagine it’s what going to heaven might be. You get there when you have no place else to go.
I moved to Texas when I was eight. But before that there was Philadelphia; Pensacola, Florida; and Mobile, Alabama. My very first memory is me at three years old. I am holding a mini-pumpkin in our Philly row-house wearing one of my father’s white v-neck t-shirts that goes down to my feet. My mother has just informed me that the mini-pumpkin is for a play-friend’s birthday party. It’s not my birthday because I just had my own one- of which I could not remember. Cool. Because of course my first memory couldn’t have been for my birthday. 😂
In all actuality this event was probably the first time I understood “otherness,” and also disappointment. Which could be why that formed my first memory. It’s not my party and I’ll cry if I want to.
We moved in 1993 and my first experience of Texas was in winter. I could taste the bleak dead brown grass of the landscape. There were no trees. Texas was flat, and we left the beach for this? My dad worked as an engineer for the federal government for over thirty years before retiring earlier this year. He was transferred due to the naval base closure in Mobile, Alabama during the Clinton administration. Let’s just say there was no love lost on his part, when Hilary failed to win her presidential bid twenty-two years later.
I remember scribbling, “I hate Texas” on my brown-paper book covers in Mrs. Blount’s 4th grade class. That’s when I fell in love with a girl named Aileen*. I thought she was beautiful and smart. Totally crushed on her. I actually ended up warming up to Texas a lot sooner than I thought. I made some friends and played street hockey. In fifth grade I ended up getting the student of the year award at my school, and had a big birthday party with school friends and neighbors at the home my parents had built from scratch. Things were going pretty well in my prepubescent life.
My greatest strength may be that I had a powerful knack for being underestimated, and I was often its most vocal proponent. I had always known I was different.
I was artistic and placed in gifted classes, and was so not into sports- which is basically a death sentence in Texas. It goes without saying how fond Texans are of putting folks on death row.
We went to the Messianic synagogue before Texas. We were actual “Jews for Jesus!” 😆 before Texas. I remember sitting with my parents and baby sister in synagogue, one Friday, when I was 4. I was bombastic and wearing dress clothes. I began moving up into each row, sit in chair for a while, listening to the Christian rabbi up front, and then I’d resume the ritual every couple of minutes. (My AD/HD was already in full swing.)
My father was livid and sent me back to where we were sitting. “If you move from your seat one more time we’re leaving.” I became sullen and obedient. I waited for a minute and moved back to where my parents and baby sister were sitting. That counted as a seat move to my father. I was crying as we left the synagogue. Ha! It’s so funny to me now. I think I lied to go to church sometimes as a teenager. Man, if that kid could see me now.
My mother was actually amazing. She is such a talented cook, artist, and human. Honestly. My mom was a devoted wife and mother to my sister and I. She had a really hard time growing up. She and her siblings were subjected to emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her father. My grandmother was beaten by my grandfather for almost two decades. And of course the man we called, Papa was a minister in the Pentecostal Christian churches. I have not spoken to him since I was in 5th grade.
I recently had a conversation with my mom about her upbringing. It was not lost on me that Child Protective Services would have been called on her family. They should have been called, but life in the 1960’s and 70’s was more archaic in terms of what happened at home. My mother made sure not to repeat the mistakes of her parents.
My mom and I have always shared a very close connection. That’s why it has been so hard to see our relationship strained due to my sexuality and renouncing of Christianity. My mom has come around to understand and accept me for who I am, but it’s still very much a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell scenario.
As far as I know, I am the only homosexual and non-Christian in my entire extended family. #Blacksheep.
My mom would take me to church revivals. She’d apply make-up to accentuate her kind blue and green eyes. Her blonde hair done up nicely. I thought my mom was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I don’t think I have ever told her that. There’s a lot of things I wish that I could say to mom, but don’t know how to say it in a way she will hear. That we cannot speak our truths to the people who matter most may be one of the cruelest ironies in life. I guess that would be too hard to shove into an Alanis Morrissette song.
* * * * * *
It is not fair for me to blanket the entire white southern South as intolerant two-dimensional stereotypes because that is simply not true. Overall people everywhere are generally good. Still it seems that a lot of them feel they are not being represented or that cabals of devil worshipping liberals are plotting against them and Christmas. They are afraid because they have chosen to believe worthiness comes from the outside in. Much of the modern Western world has been based upon what white men have done, who they’ve owned, and power that they have acquired over others through subversion and fear. “Love” wins is not just a phrase or phase- it is the only way we can reach across the aisle to really hear one another. We pull ourselves up from our own bootstraps, not by the pussy, in the real United States of America.
The America I know is the people I know; and no matter what race, religion, class, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, we come together. We are goddamn jewels! We are all consciousness embodied in flesh. We are so much more than any religion or political system, race, caste, or skin tone can define us. My words are frail attempts at capturing the beauty of ourselves. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.
* * * * * *
What do Christian males have to signify their ascent into manhood? Our paths were literally chosen for most of us before we even stepped out of the womb. The first thing our dicks ever experience is getting part of it hacked off. I’m not suggesting that my or anyone’s sexual orientation or issues stem from this. I’m more so pointing out how our penis’ path is already decided by somebody else and usually for religious reasons before we have any say over our own bodies. Girls in some countries have it worse.
Maybe there is some subconscious or muscle memory of this experience and it embeds itself in our subconscious. We are told that sex is mostly immoral and are all shamed out of our innate biological drives. If terrorists put down their Korans and Bibles and put their dick in their hands more often we’d have a lot less bombings and murders. I do not know if there is some scientific data to support or refute this but it makes sense that it could be true.
As I’m writing this at my campsite, the most majestic Steller’s Blue Jay I’ve ever seen flew down to me and literally took my breath away (see: Berlin.) There are times when I’m talking about chips-off-the-old-dick blocks and Jack-off-less terrorists that makes me mad at the world. Then I’m jolted back to this present moment of being in the mountains. Like I just had this beautiful connected moment with my totem animal and it feels more than coincidence. It makes me feel like a Higher awareness is secretly at play in our lives. I’ve started to believe that we are all part of this infinitely expanding consciousness. It will take hours to explain and somedays I wonder if I’m just making this up. It’s something I’ve had to outwardly friendzone because- bangability and Big-Bang esoterica don’t usually lead to a surplus of visitors in either the bedroom or the boardroom.
It may turn out God is only the construct of neural synapses firing off in our parietal lobes giving us the illusion of something more. I think that’s reductionistic and belies the beauty of the whole physical see-it-smell-it-taste-it-touch-it world. Occam’s Razor is a Middle-Ages philosophic postulation stating- the simplest explanation is usually the more rational and therefore the correct answer. So between the two following questions which one is simpler? “I feel like God exists therefore god exists.” “God’s existence is real and that is why I am able to feel him.” It does not matter either way to the person experiencing the emotion or feeling if either is true or false because reason without passion lacks conviction. When truth is spoken those words last beyond lifetimes.
That we, humanity, are alone in the Universe just rings false in my heart, and scientific discovery. Were we alone I would be glad to be rid of all of religions.That I think there is something else we don’t understand at work in our lives was nothing I was expecting to stumble upon after leaving Christianity.
Pascal based his wager in fear and to avoid everlasting torment. I offer no wager because it doesn’t matter if I do or don’t believe in or against anything.
I do think that there is something bigger. If it is a leftover impulse infantilizing the parent then that is fine too. If I am right that is fine. If I am wrong I am fine. I don’t think I will ever quite arrive at a convincing answer. The way I see it- the best way to let god be god is by not telling him that he is.
Everything we do is a way to get right again. Here I am ready to Blood-let my spirit on the mountain. I’m circumcising the flesh of my soul.
What if we really are vibrational multi-dimensional beings that create our own realities by thoughts, feelings, and stirrings on a vibrational level? Like not in some magical superstitious way but in the way that our ideas take form into physical manifestations.
I know how some of this shit sounds. Like someone’s been hanging out way too long in the New Age book store and listening to Enya and fucking whale songs and of course he’s moving to Portland. Speaking of whale songs, Bjork and The Dirty Projectors put out a whale sound themed album out a few years ago and was actually pretty decent. I mean if you can put whale cry over a dirty beat it’d probably better than all that scammy pop shit that is being sold as music. What I’m trying to say is that I have one foot on the ground on a lot of this stuff. At least I’m not at tinfoil hat stage and no plans on visiting anytime soon.
I would have thought that law of attraction was some janky, prosperity, Joel Osteen bullshit a few years ago. But since I began meditating I can feel the physical energetic vibrations flowing through and out of my body. I used to sometimes freak out when I first smoked pot back in my early college days. I was so unbalanced and had no idea that my panic was induced because of misalignment within my thoughts and through my chakra system. The second time I tried a guided chakra mediation I felt my body exploding with energy. I was completely in awe and shock. My mom had tried a whole gamut of pseudo and Eastern spiritual practices that I totally made fun of her for. And here I am a decade later seeing and feeling the evidence of chakra meditation.
I feel a resonance with this Mountain. A deep knowing that I am the Mountain. I can feel a Higherness speaking to me. “Listen” it says. And I hear the faint gentle roaring of a stream that flowed into a lake and a stream and lakes and other mountains behind this one. Or maybe I’ve just smoked way too much of legal Colorado pot. The words of a wise man and the ramblings of a drunkard/stoner can sometimes seem the same. Those who have an open heart will be able to discern the difference. There is wisdom in all sorts of things.
* * * * * *
The strangest part about a mountain is how quiet it is. This place teeming with life is so serene. Mountains imbue their inhabitants with an inner stillness. I needed this calm, collected tranquility. I am sitting across from the same mountain last night. I felt it was my mirror. I am the mountain and I am going climbing today.
There are always guides and signs along the way. What is nature trying to say about itself? What does nature say about us and can we ever truly know that without us projecting our own hopes and desperations onto it? When I feel inspired I guess I don’t really care about where it came from because it is the totality of my experiences that has led me to this realization or creativity. It’s all about our mindset and letting ourselves be guided by our inner selves and that it happened at all. In that shared inspiration you are One. Your attention, your consciousness melts with that of nature and a beautiful transcendence occurs.
Right now, sitting in this beautiful mountain moment I feel connected to something larger than myself. I have discovered that there exists a place for everyone. Even if it is one other person. Even if it is only yourself. Even if only in the mind. I feel engulfed in the totality of who I am and who I am becoming. I’m heeding the call to self-hood. I don’t know what that will all look like, but I know it is real and important. I know my path is spreading me out farther and this chapter in my life is ending. Leaving is a way to make room for more. When I left Texas at the age of 20, I had no intention of ever returning for long. As I prepare my move to Portland, I know that I’ve made peace with my hometown, my family, myself because this time leaving Texas is going to break my heart in so many good little ways.
Isabel Glacier, Colorado- August 2017
* * * * * *
First Things Forth-
All new things are created
by the plaintive cries of youth.
Completion comes round
through foreign forms.
Here I stand
My jean pockets filled to the brim
with unclenched hands
Hope is but a prayer
we slowly begin to believe in.
We are galaxies flowing forth.
We are secrets to ourselves
All this time-
hidden inside of atomic hemlines.
Do you realize that you’re god as well?
sewn in every cell.
I’m skydiving into
Words are wings
Taking flight with our intentions.
And when we meet
I will love you now and always.
Meager vessels have held much more with just a promise.
There is power in naming things.
I call you by your own.
In every mouth