Not that writing about late-19th century medical devices isn’t fun, (thanks to The Knick no doubt inspiring the past few rambling blogs), but I am going to try and get serious today. Words can truly stir emotion, shove reality into your face with such clarity there is no other thing to do but act. By the way, I am most certainly not talking about mine.
“If we let compassion and an altruistic attitude guide our lives, we will be able to achieve great things…” –Dalai Lama
I’ve been reading a bunch of things, but for some reason, and by that, I mean certain things we can’t see pull us in a direction that we ourselves are going, if that makes sense. Positive pulls positives, and vice versa; it’s hard to escape that momentum. Riding a downward spiral, it seems impossible to change direction, ascension seems futile, my mind drank that poisoned panacea for decades, way before the heroin entered my veins. There was nothing I could do in such a state of decay.
“Suffering is not something that always comes from the outside…we have within us this untamed mind, susceptible to all kinds of problems. It is afflicted with negative thoughts like doubt and anger. As long as our minds are beset by this host of negative thoughts, even if we have soft, comfortable clothes and delicious food to eat, they will not solve our problems.” – Dalai Lama
See, he gets it. Ever read something and have the hairs stand up on your arms and necks, a tingle spreads over your entire body, it’s knowledge being absorbed into your heart, and I believe that’s called wisdom. That path to truth, to pure, beautiful understanding, apparently for me at least, was a huge struggle to follow. It beat me down, over and over, and then I found opiates. Years of doubt birthed so many tormenting insecurities inside my head, the delusions piled up, a huge debt rang up, until my sanity accountant declared bankruptcy. In hindsight, one cannot pay off debts of those kind with vain attempts to ignore them, actions that add to the insanity and futility of it all. The ensuing spiritual siphoning left me cold and dead to any form of joy, stripped me of the most basic inherent purities we all enter the world with.
“It shows us that only through working hard and undergoing hardship over a long period of time will we be able to attain enlightenment.” – Dalai Lama
No way I am claiming enlightenment that rivals a master spiritual teacher, but yeah, I have no doubt the years of shoveling sludge and sewage into my inner void clogged any conscious contact with goodness, that real, undeniable, unshakeable kind, what I call God. The more pain, the thicker the blockage, and the further things like hope and faith back up, stagnant water in the stainless steel sink of the soul. Wonder what the next best analogy is- snaked, plunged, Drain-o’ed, maybe Rectorotored, yeah, I slipped that in…this is a really heavy blog, can’t believe the words are flowing from my fingertips like this, but I have this smile today, that my eyes opened, my voice carried to heaven, and the answer came to me, I wonder if God minds me calling him a plumber, if my imagination runs with it, him all hunched over that drain, holy crack showing and all…he gave me this sense of humor, so might as well appreciate it. Levity is awesome, because today it isn’t that defense mechanism…or at least not always. Perspective is constantly flowing towards the positive poles.
I tend to make everything so dramatic, it kept me sick so long. Really, none of this is that big of deal anymore, so a laugh brings down the self-perceived enormity of moments and memories. Not to say my past actions don’t carry heavy weight, they do indeed, there’s a long list who will attest to the fact that I wrecked all sorts of things, especially trust, which dominoes into losing love, friendships, and ultimately for me, any sense of humanity. My ex-wife Ann said it best: “You’d think he would have learned how to be human by now.”
The truth hurt, and it still took me months more to just admit I was a coward, afraid to accept responsibility, and terrified of life, so much so that I tried to give up on that too.
“Our self-centeredness works fundamentally to inhibit our compassion.” – Yeah, that guy again.
Achieve great things. Love and compassion, those are action words to me, so my prayers are simple, selfless sentences. What I desire most in this world is unshakeable peace and contentment, and the smallest taste I have been blessed with, like the sample I got outside Dunkin Donuts the other day (same day I saw the crullers by the way-if you are lost, see a previous blog), means everything to me. I crave that more than anything I have ever chased in my life, and how to get it is simple- be a stand up human being, doing whatever I can to help others, no matter how simple the act. After all, the slightest breeze still sends a ripple over a still pond. Yeah, I just got all Zen or something on everyone.
All I know is it’s a way better life to have strangers in passing, actually see me, greet me with a smile and a hello than shrink away. Maybe because I actually see myself, in a a much brighter light, and I will definitely take that today.