Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Tri-Cities' Christmas

A Tri-Cities' Christmas
It’s a holiday defined by scratch tickets,
Critter Christmas,
Singing happy birthday to Jesus
And blowing the candles out on the pudding cake.
It’s a holiday defined by late 1:45am beer runs to Wal-mart.
Countless 5 am talks on my downstairs couch.
Perfect decorations told not to touch,
Even to the two year old who can touch everything too much,
Except when it’s your heart
No one can get enough
 Everything melts
You forget the stress of holidays
Or shopping haze
And remember what its all about.
It’s a holiday defined by family not the number of gifts.
It’s a holiday defined by the hellos and goodbyes
No cousin popularity contest.
It’s a holiday created for good yearly gossip.
It’s a holiday that brings emotions of color.
Good bad and ugly until you watch a good movie
And forget until next October.
It’s a holiday that has made Christmas cards and television shows seem like they set the tone, but it’s a holiday that is asking for everyone to create their own,
Traditions and jokes,
Everyone on the deck smokes
The ashtrays are there to show that we care
We don’t hold it back
We give and we give and we give.
We rest and we rest and we rest.
We party and we party and we party.
In Tricities Christmas is defined by the reindeer at Beaver bark, the uncertainty of snow and running into people you never expected to see again while buying ham at the store.
It’s a holiday that brings us together.
We learn,
We talk,
We sleep,
And we eat a lot.
We keep traditions while making new memories.
We talk to those people we wont see until this time next year.
We love it.
We enjoy it.
 We never destroy it
 Because without Christmas
It would just be like any other lame day this year
So why not celebrate with all you have,
Have a good Christmas and be thankful today
That you have the ability to say
This ain’t no ordinary day!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Freedom Howl.

Cliff woke up knowing it was time. Crawling out of his bed, wagging his tail he went over to the mirror. His heart smiled as his eyes took seriously this moment. He recognized the furry face in the mirror. It was the same face he had seen everyday. It was the same basic look as the rest of his pack, but he looked deep into his own eyes and knew the quiet pride he took in that sparkle. There had always been a desire in those blue eyes that other wolves had not understood. He knew he was different. They knew he was different. No matter how much he tried to belong it never satisfied. Today he knew it was time to understand why complacency of his supposed normal would never quench what those wondering blue eyes sought.

There had always been questions, but the process had always seemed to be answered by others. He wanted his own answers. He wanted his own process. A childhood dream flashed in his mind like a twinkling star in the dark night—Mount McKinley. Determined to not let this feeling pass him by he said farewell to those he loved with a vague explanation of his desire to set out. To his surprise they understood. This desire of his to understand the world did not come of a surprise to them. The pack new that Cliff was not like every other wolf and they had been waiting for someone to fearlessly question. Unbeknownst to him everyone had secretly hoped that he would be the one wolf to change things, but their own fear had projected fear onto him. Their cultures insecurity to question life had made him believe that he must act that way to survive this life. This idea struck him deep. He was allowed to go. So he went.

Mount McKinley was his dream, but he longed to understand his own process.  What was a question without a good journey to an answer? He began to walk, with only a simple knapsack carried in his mouth. “If only I was privileged enough for opposable thumbs like the monkeys” he thought. His expectations of being picked up while hitch hiking were low. This animal kingdom had made separation of species pretty defined. Yet, in this quest to change his own perspective he began to believe differently. He began to wonder what would happen if all the species worked together. What if every different species asked these questions? Could we create a more accepting animal tale? We would no longer have to congregate with only our own, but we could learn from those who see the world through different eyes. This idea seemed like a distant dream until a truck pulled over. This old blue Chevy seemed friendly enough until he caught a glimpse of its driver. Shocked, he was stopped in his tracks—it was a monkey. Monkeys generally don’t associate with these parts of the East. Naturally taking his position in the norm of society he hopped in the bed of the Chevy. The monkey looking displeased in the rearview mirror motioned for him to jump in the cab. As Cliff hesitantly got in he found kindness in strangers eyes as he said, "Hi, I'm Norman."

Within moments the two were laughing like old friends. They discussed their lives, their problems with the system, and their mutual desire to understand the world. Cliff couldn’t believe how soon he had found friends outside of his lifelong pack. Leaving home had taken to him better than he could have ever imagined. Just hours previous he would have never believed someone so different than him would share so many thoughts about the world. They traveled from the east coast to the state of Washington. Norman had planned to stop in Montana, but had taken such a liking to Cliff he drove him all the way to the border of Canada and Washington.

Cliff had always known he had an ability to make friends, but he had surely underestimated his affect on other animals. He knew that many wolves were drawn to him, but he didn’t know this appeal could go beyond what he had always known. He longed to understand why he had been gifted with this ability.

After parting ways with Norman, his new monkey friend he was faced with a series of obstacles. Crossing the Canadian border, traveling to Alaska and finding somewhere to stay when he arrived. He thought about strategies for sometime then without an answer to his problems he set forth. Things always placed themselves in order like the best puzzle without him even having to try. Of course it wasn’t perfect. There were a few hours of waiting for someone to pick him up and a few questionable looks through border control, and a constant pain of hunger but almost in a blink of an eye he was in Alaska staring at Mount McKinley.

It was cold. He hadn’t planned for that. He kicked himself a bit, because he had often prided himself in preparedness, but if this particular adventure had taught him anything it was that faith had gotten him this far. His faith in his own dreams and intuitions had gotten him here. It was no accident. He couldn’t even believe that all that had worked out so far could be merely coincidence.

But this moment he was at a loss. He looked out at Mount McKinley. He knew he had come to see his dream come true, but it was still far away and it was getting dark. Again he began to walk having faith that it will be okay. As he walked away from the small town he had last been dropped off in he realized civilization was beginning to dwindle. Worried he debated going back finding a hotel, but there was something in him that kept him going forward. He walked a bit further. He walked for several minutes until he saw a dim light hiding in the forest. Taking in a deep breath the cold swept his lungs then without a firm decision he darted across the street and into the woods. He approached the dim light slowly. As he drew nearer he realized the light was coming from inside the small cabin. This small cabin looked almost as familiar as a dream. Simultaneously it looked abandoned, yet too nice to be left alone. A quick peak into the window he saw the candle on the table in the middle of the room. Hoping for the best he made his way for the front door. To his surprise it was cracked open with the dim light flooding out. He nuzzled his nose into the crack and suddenly found himself warm inside of a cabin that felt like home. The candle was not bright enough to light the whole cabin, but he got closer to it and realized it was perfect. Wandering over to the couch next to the table that held the candle he jumped on to feel the most comfortable couch he had ever encountered. He sat on the couch and stared at the candle. It flickered. As joy spread to his soul the candle seemed to brighten a bit. He could see more of the furnishings around the room. Simple, peaceful, and inviting were the feelings he acquired from this room. He fell asleep within moments exhausted from his journey.

When he awoke he had no idea what time it was. He didn’t care. It no longer mattered when he did things. He was in a world of his own and he could now do things he wanted to just because he wanted to do them.
Days began to fly by as he hiked, read, and wrote, pen in mouth to write, of course. He began to lose track of time completely. Each night sleeping in his perfect cabin that he so casually had stumbled upon. He had begun to realize that every time he found a new activity that brought joy to his heart the candle that existed to light the whole cabin got just a bit brighter. Each time it got brighter he was more able to discover the things that were held inside of this magical cabin. It was too good to be true. The books he discovered were the answers to thoughts he had always wondered. The hikes he found were a quench to cravings his soul had never known it had. On top of these beautiful self-discoveries he had began to meet an eclectic crew of characters.

To feed himself he had taken up fishing in the river for salmon. On this excursion he had met many bear friends that were at first baffled by him, but quickly accepted him as one of them. The salmon not only sustained him, his fishing time opened him up to new species with new stories and new perspectives.

The night finally came that he had collected enough salmon, and firewood to invite his new friends over for a party. As he set the old dry wood on fire his guests began to arrive. Walking back into his cabin he noticed that the flame of the once dim candle was extremely bright on this night. He had done so much self-discovery he was excited to finally share his new ideas with friends, and potentially see them make their own self-discoveries.  

As the guests arrived they gathered around the campfire, which was growing bigger by the minute. The looks on their faces when they arrived were glazed over looks of forced society. Even in this land of Alaskan adventure Cliff noticed that many of these animals still lived in the ways of HAVE TO. He could not settle with this. He began to share his salmon and ask each guest questions about themselves. As the hours passed he could see the crew come alive. It was as if they had come to this party forgetting that they were interesting, but after participating in this fire they were excited about their dreams once again. Their spirits were set on fire. A desire to answer their own questions erupted in them instead of letting those HAVE TO’s of society block their journeys.

After a joyous night of friends he walked into his cabin tired, but satisfied. Even with his eyes half open he was almost blinded by the light emanating from the candle in the center of the cabin. It was as if the candle reflected how he felt—full of light from sparking light within others.

The next morning he woke up feeling freer than he ever had. He did what he loved most, he found a good hiking trail. He hiked to the top and sat. Across the beauty of this Alaskan landscape he saw his dream—Mount McKinley. With joy abounding like he had never experienced he let out a howl. Nothing was holding him back. He was finally free. This howl was louder and longer than any howl he had ever let out.
It was his howl of freedom. In that moment it dawned on him, he had not even accomplished what he had come to Alaska believing was his dream. Instead he had found his process. He had found that he loved the process. He found that in his questioning of truth the process was the answer. Dreams will come, be accomplished and disappear into a memory, but the process of discovering truth will always be a joy enlightened by one’s own journey to learn.

This story doesn’t end with the accomplishment of a dream as one might expect, instead it ends with the success of discovering of one’s own journey. Cliff will keep dreaming, keep learning and that is where he finds his truth. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Hawks and the Found.

Autumn Creature, Author, & The Hawks and the Found

When someone leaves your art inspired to do his or her art you know your doing something right.

It is a common human tradition to ask ourselves if we are good enough. Are we good enough to pursue what we believe is our art? What if we do what we love, but no one cares?

Within moments I was shocked to be entranced by a sound, a sound that captured you and took you on a journey. Experiencing music with these bands I realized that loving an art over a crowd was the very essence of being a musician. As the evening began in the backyard of a beautiful home in Laguna, the crowd wasn’t as big as one who is going to perform might hope, but as Autumn Creature stepped on stage you forgot about your surroundings. Just by listening I began to obtain faith in myself. It was as if what they believed in was rubbing off on the crowd—hope in dreams.

Author spoke to a sound and created a connection. Stunned by the dedication these musicians had to what they loved I was equally impressed by their talent. Bringing stories to life with their desire to see it come true they unfolded each chapter pulling you into their story.

My favorite and personal bias lies with The Hawks and the Found. The headliner for this evening, and also a dear friend of mine from my months in Hawaii, blew us away with talent and passion. These boys from Texas know something that few have grasped. They have talent, the love what they do and they do what they love, even if it means nothing in return. Pure motivation for the love of the game. As Megan Ysais put it, “they found something that makes their heart happy and very few find that.” When you can play shows day after day, a new city each night, with no money in your pockets, watching others eat taco bell around you and still get up and play a show like it’s the best moment of your life you know you have tasted raw passion. When you bang your head just as hard for ten people as a hundred you know you are in the right place. Many fear that others won’t appreciate their talents so they never go after their dreams thinking that no one will care. But these boys are not afraid to go after their talents even if all they have is the music. Not only are they determined, they are musical genius’. It was the perfect mix of endearing lyrics, capturing melodies, and just enough passionate screams to take you on a journey you can’t forget. Even their transitions were better than a page turn to a storybook, flawlessly, maneuvering between songs and never losing our attention. Songs felt only seconds long, because it took me into a place I didn’t know could exist in a setting like this: contentment. It must be an inch of what they feel as they give it all they have up on that stage. Content to be doing what they love.

When I remembered in moments during their set that I still was apart of this real world I considered how big they could make it. If only they could be heard by many and appreciated for what they are worth. I long for the days, even just as an avid fan, when they look back at shows like this and think I am so glad we played our hearts out for a few friends who trickled in, because now the thousands appreciate that we treat them like family as we spill out our hearts on stage.

You know you’re on to something when what the world deems as failure you only see as a really good story to tell when you succeed.

And succeed they will, big time. All three of these bands won’t settle for less as they set out to do what they do best—Play music. Watch out world a few new boys shaking up the sound.  

Check them out on Youtube and ITUNES.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Poetic Desire.

What do you want from me a new sense of empathy to cover your empty? You wish you created, but you did it sedated. Choose your new drug. Ask me? Mine is from above. That is why I lack nothing as it turns into something. Your nothing turns into more nothing, because you are looking for something in a place with fake filled in holes. Your answer is found in the holes so if you began to dig them out, all the grout, perhaps you would discover your own.

I don’t think they have fully grasped the desire I know. It’s beyond. I’ve seen little, but I’ve gone on to know not to settle on simple. Where is my motive? Success? Popularity? Or the simple ability to be liked for what I can do for you? How can one do something that quenches their own desires, but be selfless tires. It is just ticking waiting to fall out of me. An understanding a story, but its held back by… unseen. Break it open and let it fall out. I enjoy having someone to tell it about. Can’t someone read it and care for it more than they dare ask of it, but my need is deeper. I want to help them see clearer. I write something they don’t know. These escaping me are filling a space within that needed to escape to be refueled for what was hiding behind sort of a cover or curtain to take away the real purpose. In my exhaust, uncertain pain and desire the words enter a place and a need to trade in. We need more than we ask for, but we ask for a lot, but because we don’t know what to ask for we end up with less than we deserve. We see it every day in the way we play the game of love, the way we treat each other. The way we treat that homeless guy on the street. We need love, we ask for love, but our acceptance of love is longed to require little of us. What if our need for love required all we had, then it would be quenched to the depth we are asking, but we are asking holding our tongues, because even in our asking we don’t want to have to give anything up. Don’t ask for the fullness of anything if you haven’t learned the art of release. Love is graspable, but are you willing to let go what is already in your grasp. I would believe it’s false security. A back up plan if you will. Real love never asked for or excused itself to also have room for a black up plan. No love is something that will probably only come to its most genuine point when you’re desperate enough to have nothing over fake. As long as your choosing a false form of something the real won’t appear until it is allowed to draw near because you let go of all its competitors, that were never meant to win in the first place. If you got yourself too far in and you think there is no way out your wrong, each moment exists in a turning point to what you always knew was the right way to go. You don’t have to follow back through the waterfall. You thought the turning back point would require you climb up the slippery slope that you so easily slid down on, I’m going to let you into the secret and say you don’t have to go back that way. Is it going to be easy? No, but it was never going to be easy, every route had a difficult path to understand its real need for genuine requests to be responded to correctly.  You’re down this river deep because each time you glanced at your actual desires you saw difficulty; fear took you over. Fear was never a real existence, just a hope from the opposite to get you not to listen to your own heart as it screamed out even louder than your doubt. Drop your plans now and wander straight to find out how to accomplish your turn to truth and the answer to your lifelong search. Your entering now from some old ground, but the new ground will taste better, patience is better, struggle and go. You’ve got this. Love roots for you to know. You’re better than you let yourself be. The strength you are gaining will help you know you’re worth saving. You were always worth saving. You were always worth love. You worth what is from above, because He wanted you fully all along and now he is excited to see all you are willing to be because your in this together and take it from me, it can’t get any better than to wander together.