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!

Release of ‘The Phoenix Sessions’

The winter and spring of 2019 has passed bringing summer in with plenty of heat to burn away the unnecessary pieces of our beings. This midpoint of the year feels an appropriate time to release this set of tracks that catalog my development over the last 6 months. In these songs I hear quite a difference between the first and last tracks and that feels very real and honest to me. This is a good time to move into the future with only that which needs to come along for the ride. Keep the trip light and enjoy the ride.

Click here for a link to the Bandcamp page of The Phoenix Sessions.

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.

The Lost Walk

My emotions are in tumult. The anger in me is swirling like storm clouds. There is so much that upsets me, that pisses me off, but seldom do I make that fact known. The struggle is that I seem to be perpetually unsatisfied. I wonder is there anything in this life that will give me the deep kick the whole way through? If there is I haven’t found it yet but I will not be giving up anytime soon.

Several times on this Mexican Journey I have made points about not giving up. Giving up IS NOT an option. The first time I made that point was at dinner with my Grandpa and Grandma the evening after I landed in Mexico City. Abuelo and I were talking about music and I said that giving up is not an option. I meant it about music but subconsciously I made the point about life. Giving up on life is not an option, even as enticing as it may seem at times. There is much I have yet to do in this place so I can’t be giving up the ghost before it is my time.

I starting this trip expecting to be in an art museum but the gallery was closed all evening for a private event so I was left gravely disappointed. It would seem I will not get the chance to see this exhibition that I was looking forward to greatly. My greater intention for this trip is to my my respects to my Grandma Esther and it looks like I will only have enough time in this city to complete only one of my two goals for my time in this city.

Later I found myself on a short stoop under a canopy as the rain drizzled. The city was quiet. Across the street stood three trees adorned with orange flowers. A power line ran between them and a pair of blue shoes dangled.

I walked up and half-way down Nebraska Street to clear my head a bit. A man in a suit stepped out of his car. I wondered if he’s any different from the suits of the U.S.

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?

Slowing Down ~ Reflections on the Winter Season

As the Earth’s axis tilts away from the sun the cold winds begin to blow in frigid air with a subdued energy of hibernation and takes us on an internal journey across slippery, snow capped slopes. Within still days and serene nights winter holds great potential. This potential often flies over people’s heads as our way of life buffers them from the natural turning in process that the ecosystem goes through to a greater degree than we have been ever before in human history. All living creatures that live in a seasonal climate adjust themselves to the winter season but mankind has taken this to the extreme. This has put humanity at a disadvantage since the slow and deliberate way one must navigate the winter terrain holds much knowledge if one lets their mind adopt that same mode of operating.

There is immense value in the act of slowing down. The beautiful details of life come into focus when we slow our roll even just a little bit. There is a concept of yoga that says while practicing we take time to rest between poses to give the body time to recuperate and build up strength, which it is unable to do when it is in a state of exertion. This idea of slowing down to rest and recover is what winter is all about. A time for restoration and preparation. If used wisely the time of winter will be equally as enjoyable and productive as the days of summer but the key is using those winter months wisely. While winter is a time to slow down cabin fever does not give one an excuse to waste away the winter months. On the contrary the work one does when they slow down is often harder than work requiring physical action. How much easier do people find it to go to the gym than to sit quietly for thirty minutes and focus on the underlying discourses of their mind? Neither of these is easy for people but most would find a trip to the gym easier than a thirty minute mindfulness meditation.

This internal work is tough and tedious but it needs to be done if one hopes to live a balanced life. All the things that come into our worlds have their source in mind so to let our minds fall out of shape will lead our worlds to fall out of shape. The reverse is that if we see our world in a shape we do not like then the first step to take towards shaping up our world is shaping up our mind. All that we perceive is a reflection from our mind so we need to keep our mental mirrors clean to get clear reflections. The deep scratches in the mirrors of our minds take time to buff out so taking time to slow down and tend to the deeper mental wounds that we all possess in one form or another is key to maintaining a habitable mental space. This slowing down is a natural process and so many people are suffering in our age because we have lost touch with our natural cycle of slowing down with the Earth.

All the beautiful details that get lost in the dry dust under the summer sun can be admired in the winter for all their splendor. The immense comfort that one gets from a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter’s evening is easily compared to the relief of cold lake water after walking across a sun baked beach in the summer. The coziness we feel on a dark winter morning warm under a big blanket rivals the relaxation of a nap in a grassy field on a golden summer’s eve. The trick to appreciating the beauty of the winter is slowing down. Taking slow spoonfuls of soup to notice the steam swirling into the cool air. Stay in your toasty bed and listen to the wind blowing across your window for a few minutes in the morning. Take your time.

Life truly is beautiful all year so take the time needed to find all the little gems hidden in winter. Don’t go through winter without stopping to look at snowflakes. You will regret it come spring.

D&C Cuyahuga Falls 6/20/2018

A large part of my summer fun involves seeing the band as much as possible when they come through my neck of the woods. I had no ticket to this show but went to enjoy the lot and hang out on Shakedown Street. This turned out to be the best date to do that as I heard Cuyahuga Falls is known for having one of the best lot scenes on the circuit and I found that to be the case. I met amazing people while the sounds of the show peaked over the tops of the trees between we in the lot and those in the gates. The entire place was the party so there was no missing out being left in the lot. Enjoy!

Lost Valley, Oregon

In the summer of 2017 I made a cross country road trip with a friend who was living at Lost Valley, about a half hour outside Eugene, Oregon. I spent about a month out there myself before returning to the Midwest and took these photographs on a solitary stroll one of the last days I was on that side of the country. It was a wild time that I am still slightly reeling from almost a year and a half later. Enjoy these images captured from my trip.

Published in Landlocked Lyres Issue 1!

Check it out! https://landlockedlyres.com/

That’s right! I’m an online published photographer! Spring 2018 the literary magazine Landlocked Lyres released their first issue and a handful of my photos were accepted to be featured in the issue. This is super exciting to me! My name is on the cover and everything! Okay, boundless excitement aside I am incredibly thankful and grateful to have my worked shared with the likes of some massively talented writers and artists. Check out the Landlocked Lyres website for a free download link for Issue 1 and check out my photos and the other work of the talented folks that live here in the American Midwest. I have only read a small portion of the works that are in the issue but what I’ve read so far has been impressive and greatly worth the time. If you’re a reader this one is for you.

This is also the first post I’ve made on my new website and I am so excited about that as well! This site has been a long time coming and finally it has become a reality. There isn’t much to look at as of yet but as time goes on I’ll get the space all nice and clean and pretty like. Thank you for reading this and following me in the journey that is the crazy experience of life.

Happy Trails To You!