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.
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.
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!
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.
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.