Eyes Wide Closed

Took a walk down the street
But the street was a hallway
The toes were still attached to my feet
My socks felt wet but not today

When grasshoppers argue with chickens
The kangaroos will always win
Pull down your britches and run like the dickens
Cuz the right turned left and committed no sin

With eyes wide closed to the chaos without
More truth revealed the soul of a trout
The end of the race flirts with the beginning
Yet competition rules only when one is swimming

Sex on the beach is the best scented candle
Light one before glancing through the preamble
For a night light shines when the moon plays crochet
The sun say “Sir, I’ve never run through this play.”

The clown enjoys his 5G connection
Despite a broken sense of perfection
The paint from his face ran down with the tears
But it’s actually raining, this clown has no fears

Coconut trees meet for their yearly committee
How did they get here? This isn’t their city
The restaurants are wafting with the scent of ergot
Remind me what happened tomorrow, seems I forgot

Hanging baskets grow the greenest tomatoes
Dr. Seuss spoke of them in non-canonical portals
Those are the real lost works of society
Suppose he enjoyed all that notoriety

The Dusk of Autumn, The Dawn of Winter

The changing of the season is underway and amidst the shifting dynamic of the Earth I find myself in a time of reflection in a climate much different from that which I inhabit most often. The warmth of the Yucatan beautifully contrasts the chill setting over my home in the Midwest of America, which is opening my eyes to the reality that our perspective is a small piece of the whole picture of the world we share. As the years keep flowing my mind is opening to the minutia of the experiences of my life, letting me marvel at the details and sit back to enjoy the bigger picture that the puzzle pieces form as they silently dance across the rug of time and space.

Fall was an interesting time for me, as it always is, being the time of my birth and therefore a time of contemplation on the cycles of my life and how they fit into the grander scheme of things. Many travels were taken both externally and internally, providing me with loads of new information to integrate into my consciousness. The puzzle pieces are laid out on the table and now I get to work on fitting them all together to see how they create an image of existence. The interesting fact is that there is no box in which these puzzles pieces are delivered, no reference as to the final image they will produce. The puzzles of our lives will never be complete from our own vantage point. All we can do is gather as many pieces as we can find and do our best to fit as many of them together as possible in the hopes that what we leave behind may make some sense or provide some beauty to those who are left to observe the pictures of our lives.

The season has me thinking on mortality and how it factors into my decision making. How does my understanding of the limitations of my physical existence direct the flow of my consciousness? The way I live my life? In light of the fact that we are all finite I find that it is best to enjoy the whole experience. The moments of ecstasy are just as precious at the moments of despair, as they all are necessary colors of the palate we use to paint portraits of the human experience. The more colors on the palate the richer the picture will turn out to be. Best not to shun away from any color due to those which we have utilized in the past. Take the good. Take the bad. Be grateful for it all.

The songs that are composing the soundtrack of my winter season are in the playlist linked below if you would like a glimpse into my auditory experience of the world over the course of these few months. Lots of diversity in this one which has been a theme over this whole year. May the changing of the season share with you the beauty of the world. Here’s to lots of finger wiggling and fancy attire in 2020!

The Meaning of Metamorphia

In my life many events have unfolded, somehow finding the opportunity to undergo the formality of actually occurring. As all of these things have taken their time to happen to me there has been an undertone of thought that has been woven into the sub-textual rhetoric that accompanies all of this human experience. The quiet whispers that fling from the events of life sing a silent song. A tale of how the winds of change are constantly blowing, filling our sails and sending us forward across the ocean of life. The thought has crossed my mind that this concept of constant change may be the closest the universe has come in creating a universal law to govern the way this world works. Change is the only constant. Be the change you wish to see. If you don’t like something, change it. The pieces of wisdom that stick to the walls of my mind with the greatest vigor are those that address this idea of constant change. Terence McKenna said of the psychedelic experience that one of the greatest lessons that can be pulled from going into those spaces is the idea that nothing last, nothing is permanent. This can be a hard pill to swallow because it does truly mean everything. All the good, all the bad, and everything in between is in a process of occurring that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. This idea has had a greater impact on me than any other I have stumbled across in my rambles through the great minds of humanity which leads me to think that there is something incredibly substantial contained within it.

My quest to dig into this idea of constant change is what lead me to create the website Metamorphia.art as the internet is a crisp mirror reflecting this concept back into the minds of humanity. In this piece I will outline what Metamorphia is to me in two aspects. First what the website is and how I see it developing as it moves forward into the short term future. Second I will delve into the philosophical aspects of the word ‘Metamorphia’ as there seems to be little about this that I can locate in the present moment. As a word it has very little usage at this time. Never have I heard it come out of a mouth other than my own. A quick Google search revealed that there is a Sonic The Hedgehog character named Metamorphia but as far as a linguistic definition there is practically nothing that I have been able to locate. If anyone has any points of study into this word please contact me as I would be interested to look into it further. At this time it would appear to me that I am the only person working on developing out this idea in a such a focused fashion. The idea of constant change is nothing new, I am not so delusional as to think I am the only person who has noticed this, but it does seem that people are trepidation when moving around this idea of constant change, of Metamorphia, which also comes to me as no surprise. The work that I have done to develop this idea has been  difficult and often taxing in a myriad of ways. One needs to sum up a good deal of courage to face the idea that everything they know will one day finish up its tale, come to its final conclusion, and eventually give up the ghost.

So once again I will muster up my courage and delve into this topic. This project feels like it has been a long time coming in my mind and as such I intent to take my time with it so please bare with me as I work my way through this unknown territory. This truly is an expedition into the unmapped areas of my mind and the collective consciousness that seems to surround this so if things start to get a little dicey please stick it through. This idea is one that needs to be worked out and I can feel it formulating in my mind as this piece has been working its way into the realm of physical reality. This piece stands as a road marker of sorts as I expect my thoughts on this to develop as I move forward through time. This is the initial expedition into this territory and it will serve as a basis for all further excursions into this mental playground where the swings and slides are all made of mind. Thank you for coming on this journey with me.

The Internet may be one of humanity’s greatest inventions. In thirty short years it has made our world smaller than it ever has been before. We can see what is happening across the globe often with greater ease than discovering what is happening across the street. We can have real time conversations with people in the farthest corners of the globe. This connection has created so much novelty that it is staggering to witness. Yet this connection is also invigorating and inspiring. The ability to share anything with anyone puts much more significance into every word I type. My friends in my hometown have the same amount of access to this piece as my friends thousands of miles away. The technology we created also has a damn near perfect memory. Once I publish this piece it will remain in the neurons of the digital matrix after my own have died and turned back to dust. Boy, talk about pressure. But now is a time that humanity needs some pressure. The atrocities we have committed against our planet are too numerous for our limited minds to comprehend but this is no excuse to sit down and let them continue to be committed. Now is the time to fight back and this is the only way I know how. With openness and honesty and that is what I hope this website will reflect. There is no point in saying things that we don’t mean and every word that finds its way into this weird website is placed with intention and truth.

This website is an exercise in honesty. For much of my life I struggled to share my truth and those days I hope to leave behind me. We could all use a little more truth in our lives so I will do my best to find truth here and carry it out into the world, into reality. If anything I ever say seems ingenuine please call bullshit. If there is one thing I do know it is that there is much that I do not know so I will need to be checked left and right if I am to stay strong and true. At this time I am walking this path alone. I am my editor, web designer, accountant, marketing team, personal trainer, biggest cheerleader, boss, and employee. Hopefully this can continue but the delusion that this project will be perfect or even satisfactory with only two eyes checking it before being published is one I constantly try to fight off. If any little elves of deception slip through my fingers I implore you to alert me post haste so they can be quickly done away with, or at least noted for future avoidance.

The struggle to find truth is heavy since truth, possibly more than anything else, is a great example of the existence of Metamorphia. As soon as I find one thing I believe to be true ten more questions arise causing me to rethink all that I thought to be real. Truth may be the most elusive thing that humanity hunts for but that only means we must search harder every day. Nothing worth finding in life is presented on the front door step and life often gives me a swift kick in the ass to get me out the door to search for something greater. Much of my life was spent in the safety of the front door step but those days are behind me. The hunt is on and will hopefully continue for at least a few days after I breath my last.

So what does it mean for everything to be constantly shifting? This fact means there is nothing that we can hold onto forever, maybe even for a moment. Especially the present moment, which is all we truly possess, passes us by before we know it. Blink and you’ll miss it. This leads one to a cool kind of acceptance. Letting go of all we try to grasp onto for dear life brings an acceptance of the fleetingness of the present moment. It is impossible to step in the same river twice because the water is always flowing. Even standing still in the water the molecules that touch your skin are constantly flowing, being replaced by new ones the very same way in which the cells of our body are constantly dying and being replaced by those which just underwent mitosis. Every seven years all the cells in our body have died and been replaced by new ones so are we ever the same person from one moment to the next? I would say no. Frank Ostaseski said “when my friends tell me I haven’t changed a day I’m almost offended” in his comically compassionate tone. The deepest, most meaningful, and impactful changes in our lives take place within our hearts, souls, and minds where others are unable to see. Perhaps two or three people we come across in our lives will be able to spot these minute changes and still see us for the unique individual we are our whole lives through. These are the people you want to ride the wave of Metamorphia with across the sea of life.

Change is scary. The shifting sands of time reveal all that we try to conceal. This is what Metamorphia is for me. Authenticity. Wiser men than me have told me to be the change I wish to see and what I want to be is me. Even when it’s scary, when I scare myself, I know there is no one else I would rather be on this journey. As the terrain moves beneath my feet I will take comfort in what I have within. Gratitude and Love. These are the things I truly value. These are the things that are greater than the power of change, greater than any strength I may pretend to have attained on my own. Love is the wind in the sails. Love is the flow of the tides. The sun shines on us his Love and the Moon cradles us in her compassionate embrace. As everything falls away one thing remains and that is Love. Long after my life has ended, when my time has run out, after my words fade away, and my name is forgotten I believe that this Love that was here long before me will carry on into eternity and with it a piece of you and me. Be the change you wish to see. Be Love.

Morning Thoughts #4 ~ 4 A.M. Again

This evening I helped a friend take her first acid trip. I joined her and many strange points have connected in my mind tonight. The timing of this greater Mexican adventure keeps coming back to me. I can’t shake its significance. We left March Fourth and return on the spring equinox. These days have glistened in my mind into the far reaching past and now they are here so I am wondering how to move forward. I got myself this far and now where do I go? What do I do? Whatever I end up doing will it be the right thing? The questions overflow in my mind. I find one answer and two hundred new questions arise. There is no end to the cycles of existence. I feel trapped in the cogs of time.

Psychedelic trips used to have a playful tambour but that has long faded away. Significance looms around every corner. Meaning oozes out of the cracks between the cobblestone. But what is the message? The moral?

Psychedelics used to trap me inside the trip but now I feel trapped in life. Even as it is a life I desired I feel constricted by it. My boundaries are painfully obvious. My limitations are always resting on my shoulders.

The timing of this trip looms with significance. It seems impossible that I march forth on a journey on that fateful day and am set to return home at the start of a new season. I feel an old  me falling away. A part of me is dying as I write this. I have to face this death. I know I need to face it but I want to cling to life. The paradoxes are destroying me.

I finally feel the desire to live, even if in small pieces and with little regularity, but the desire is there. There was a time where I did not want to live. I prayed to a god I didn’t believe in to spare me the pain of existing another day. I would pray for a truck driver to fall asleep while next to my tiny ford escort on the highway. I almost did it myself. But now I am fighting to find the desire to live and I fear that the fight is killing me. But everything is killing us slowly right?

How do I live without longing for death? How do I truly desire life? What am I living for? Why do I wake up in the morning? Early. Every morning.

Why do I write in all the journals? Words that may never be read. Do I do it just for myself? Am I just another self centered asshole? Am I actually doing any good in this world? What is even the point of asking these questions? Why does it matter where I go?

I have no answers and I doubt more everyday that I ever will. It is the empty space that makes a vessel useful. Perhaps that is what I am meant to be. An empty vessel for others to fill with their troubles and their sorrows?

Is that what I am supposed to be?

On the side of the road there is a trailer full of debris. Cinder blocks thrown on top of wire cages nestled around bags of straw and dirt. Most people would see a pile of trash. I see working materials. I wonder if that is how people view me. Down anyone see me the say I see this trailer full of debris.

Does anyone else see potential in me or am I just lying to myself? Is there anything to me?

Morning Thoughts #3 ~ 24 Hours in Mexico City

The struggle to make my way to the homeland of my heart was immensely oppressive on my mind, body, and soul. My first trip to Mexico in over a decade was delayed several weeks (for good reasons) so my February was spent hiding from the arctic chill of a polar vortex instead of sipping mimosas on a beach in the tropical sun. So that was perturbing. The starting day of my travels was March 4th, a day that lives infamously in my mind thanks to my studying the life of Terrence McKenna. This is the one day of the year that is formulated as a sentence, moreover it is a command. March fourth.

Much reflection had I given to the significance of this date beginning my Mexican journey. I thought perhaps it would be a chance for me to step out of my childish ways and start living as a fully responsible and respectable adult and then I brought the wrong passport to the airport. Only after a four hour drive did the woman at the counter discover that I had brought my expired childhood passport meaning they couldn’t let me on the plane. Cue the self criticism and deprecation! Immediately I began making calls attempting to fix the mess I unknowingly created. Looking back I am proud of myself for taking immediate action. I did not let the negative rhetoric flood into my thought monologue because I had absolutely no time to entertain those thoughts. Although after getting things sorted out they came rushing back with a vengeance in one of the worst anxiety spells that has hit me in over a year. Even so, with the help of many I acquired the necessary passport and then a ticket for the red eye to Mexico City.

If all this wasn’t enough when I walked up to the flight gate the ticket scanner wouldn’t take my ticket! The man taking the tickets had been helping me through my ordeal from the start and he said to me with a smirk “aye Manuel, what are you doing? Just get on the plane!” On top of all these fiascoes I am fighting some type of illness so my body aches from head to toe still as I write this. Not smiles times.

Getting here to Mexico was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever taken on. Years ago I gave this piece of advice to many of my friends and acquaintances, the difficult things in life are the ones worth doing. Over the last few years my life has been unfolding in ways that require me to follow the advice that I would give out freely and openly. Life has been testing me to see if I can take it just as well as I can dish it out and these travels have been one of the biggest tests I have taken thus far but I passed and made it to the great land of Mexico!

Recently I hit a monumental road block in my philosophical reflections. I was questioning the existence of true compassion in humanity, in myself. This was causing me great distress. This ordeal of travel has proved me wrong in questioning the existence of human compassion. The staff of the airline were mind shatteringly friendly, helpful, and understanding which softened the metal cage that had formed around my heart. My grandmother said to me as we embraced upon reuniting “welcome home” which brings tears to my eyes as I write this now. Over the last few years my heart has not felt at home. Inside I have felt like a lost wanderer, wondering if this was the path I would walk the rest of my days. Her words “welcome home” showed me that there is at least one place in this world that I can feel at home, that I can feel welcome. Even if I never return after this trip I will take that knowledge with me down the road of life. There is a place that I can call Home.

Sagacity by Alejandro Soto


Morning Thoughts #2 ~ Disgusting Modernity

Gas stations have attained a greater level of utter disgust in my mind which is impressive in a gut churning sort of way. While in a gas station at around 4:30am I first noticed the forty ounce bottles of cheap Cobra malt liquor haphazardly strewn across a metal shelf. What met my gaze next was the abrasive LED glow emanating from inside the coolers, casting a cold hue on the plastic bottles that contained something that I once thought was worthy of putting in my body. Anger began to boil in me as the falsity of these items seemed to be so clear to me. These things are of no value yet so many get caught up into the western capitalist trap that snares the unwatchful into a devil’s deal with the rat race. The rack of sunglasses welled up fury of a similar form. What are these things here to do for anyone? Who is going into a Special K looking to spend $4.99 on an old Ben Stiller DVD? In my mind I was screaming “this is all bullshit and it is so goddamn obvious!”

The discussion that surrounded this gas station excursion touched on the idea I hold that the CEO’s and other men holding corporate office have no sense of empathy to the people that are affected by the decisions that they make because the chains of command have so completely separated them from the working class who carries out the necessary actions to see these corporate decisions seen through. This idea has helped me to find some compassion for the corporate officers on the basis that in a way “it’s not their fault” and “they’re products of their environment” but I have also held the idea that everyone is out here trying to do their best to help people along and I cannot comprehend the ways that the Pepsi-co and Unilever corporate directors can send out truckloads of sugar disguised as food sealed individually in plastic containers that will end up in a trash dump or on the side of the road, maybe in a stream where I have to pick it up once springtime rolls around.

The struggle is how do I find commonality with these humans who are the corporate officers when there is nothing that I can see about their actions that I can approve of in good conscience. I want to believe that they think they are doing something that is helping people. I want to believe that they are misguided and misinformed about how destructive the things they create are for people because the destruction on human beings by things that line the shelves of American gas stations is so blatantly obvious to me I wonder how an intelligent person could miss them. I do not want to believe that these people know how destructive these things are for people yet they do so anyway. I want to find a way to believe there is still compassion in the hearts of the greatest evils in our world for if compassion can be found there where could it not be?

To the New Year

Once again I have made my way around the Sun on this big ball of rock with all the other humans that are along for the ride. This New Year season I am noticing the energy of transformation that this marking point contains. The calendar helps us to see that this is the beginning of a new cycle. All life is built upon and operates in cyclical processes and this is a time that I find myself reflecting on the more encompassing processes that form life as I experience it.

This year I have done more celebrating of the New Year than I have in most years previous, truthfully my celebrations started at the Winter Solstice so I have spent a moderate stretch of time ruminating on the thoughts and feelings that arose in my mind while observing the happenings of this time of transition. This time has been incredibly useful as 2018 was a fairly monumental year for me in terms of personal growth and development so consciously taking time to reflect on the events of the past year helped me to learn about how those events shaped and molded me as well as giving me the chance to find gratitude for the things I did and  experienced. At this moment I feel a massive amount of happiness and thankfulness for the present state of things and I feel invigorated and excited to move into this new year. These feelings of happiness, gratitude, excitement, and invigoration are so valuable and I have learned that these feelings need to be worked for and established. A positive internal state is not something someone simply stumbles upon one day by chance.

A large amount of my mental energy this New Year season has been focused on developing an intention to carry into the new cycle and that expenditure  of energy has paid the fee for a strong intention that has me feeling quite strong. The intention I established is Dedication. I came to this while in a yoga class and decided to hold that as my intention for that evening and afterwards the teacher explained about how she had spent two years working with a single intention and that rooted my intention of Dedication deeper into my soul. This past year I worked on developing my focus and concentration and now with those aspects of myself sharpened the time is right to apply those improved attributes into the projects and pursuits laid before me. At this point Dedication to me means committing to decisions, following them through, keeping one’s word. A dedicated person pays attention to the things that they care about and see that they are cared for properly. A level of intensity is required for dedication to fully flesh itself out. One has to keep a sharp eye on their surroundings to keep that dedication in check and on the right course. This is an intricate intention and I feel like a child in their first day of dance class trying to figure out the footing positions right now but I am excited to delve into this concept and discover what it means to me in my journey through life.

The New Year brings a new beginning and a chance to leave the pains of life in the past. I feel myself letting go of many things I have been holding onto out of fear or feeling of obligation and that in turn is creating more space inside me for new flowers to bloom, full of life and fresh color. The past year saw the stripping away of many things. Like a forest that was engulfed by wildfire, the landscape at this moment may look barren and lifeless but that heat released the seeds from the last generation of trees and now is the moment when the new life begins to germinate beneath the surface. Seeds are absorbing moisture, waiting for the warmth of the summer sun, and their chance to peak their heads through the cover of the soil. We hold within us the force that burns the forest down as we equally embody the energy that brings it back to life. When the fires of destruction rage the rebirth and regeneration of life is close behind.

Morning Thoughts #1 ~ Spiritual Skepticism

The path I have found myself going down in not a new one. My quest to discover who I truly am is not one I am alone in pursuing. This could be described as a ‘spiritual path’ but strangely I still find myself skeptical at times that the human spirit really exists even as I have already begun down the path. That skepticism is a part of my motivation for taking the time to do these practices and go through these experiences. In a way I am trying to prove to myself that there is a spirit contained within and existing as a part of me. There is evidence that I have found through direct experience that leads me towards believing in the human soul but there is still a voice of doubt hopping around my mind.

Perhaps this quest to find proof of my human soul in connected to the innate fear I have about death. If there is a spirit in me, something that exists without the constituency of my physical body then perhaps it goes beyond the ending moment of that body. I want to discover the infinite within because my individual experience is contained within myself so if there is no spirit aspect present within me how could there be any part of me that travels on past death, even if there is a spirit that exists outside of me?