3. Story

I was in a tough spot and I didn’t even know it. Looking around out there, desperately trying to find the answers to the questions I didn’t even realize I was asking and all the while acting like I knew what I was up to. After all, as I said, I had a plan. I say acting like I knew what I was up to – much of the acting like was with myself – I was scared, and confused, and afraid, and outwitted, and dumbstruck by all this stuff breaking down in life and what’s really most interesting, looking back was that I couldn’t even be straight with myself about it. I would put on the automatic funny smart exterior but internally there was even something more deceptive going on.

Frantic. There was this unsettled internal frantic sort of trying to figure it out going on. I would have trouble falling asleep because I was so busy having thoughts about who knows what. Like trying to figure life out, make some sense of it. Maybe I just drank way too much coffee before bed. I wasn’t even sure what I was trying to figure out but I would replay conversations, or think of what I would be saying if such and such occurred. I wasn’t asking anybody for any assistance though…certainly wouldn’t ask for any help from anybody because that would really mess up the carefully orchestrated external deception.

Exhibit A. Photo C. M.

So how does one go from the above, fairly happy 4 or 5 year old to the below not as happy not 4 or 5 year old? And, keep in mind that the below photo is a couple of years before things fell apart – I was actually pretty happy to be alive here. Though I wished I could put on a few pounds – ha!

With the evidence presented you can see that there was “always” a little bit of attitude (or was there). At 4 years old with the long hair and tube socks stretched tight and pulled as high as they would go (God I hated how they’d fall) in Exhibit A. To that same attitude displayed in Exhibit B with the plaid Halford hat in full effect. I mean I can’t even play the guitar but you can see that I think I REALLY was.

Exhibit B. Photo P.O

Somewhere in between those points in time there had been a concealing. Like a real cover up. So elaborate was the cover up that the person who’d orchestrated it didn’t even know that it occurred.

However, I didn’t know it at the time. Luckily, I knew everything else…

2. Story

…and there was a girl. Isn’t there always a girl in all the best stories? Remember though, this story isn’t one of the best stories. It’s just a story. And, obviously in hindsight, this wasn’t THE girl, this was just a girl. At the time though, if you can put yourself there I would have told you that this was THE girl. My first love, or what I thought I knew about love at the time first love. And this girl had recently broken my heart, broken it hard. Some sordid and treacherous stuff had gone down and I couldn’t even comprehend at the time that such stuff could ever go down. It rocked my world. I might say today that it rocked my worldview.

There was that job I was fired from. It was rational that I was fired I would say. Had it coming. Probably wasn’t performing well what with all that moping around about the girl and blown up world view. I can’t really say I was all that devastated. By this time it made sense that I had been fired because everything was crumbling around me. In a way I expected it and the event itself was just a milestone on a predetermined chartered course to destruction. By now there was no stopping this steamroller of doom and I had it all coming to me.

Whatever I’d done leading up to that point, I thought, was bringing all of these bad tidings upon me now. Some sort of naive view of karma or fate. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I was a pretty good guy and I didn’t understand why all these things were happening to me but I was pretty sure that it was “meant to be”. After all, there were all those instances of six six six showing up at random places, especially while I was playing solitaire. I played a lot of solitaire at the time, with real cards mind you, because I had a lot of time to kill and I was looking for what it all meant and trying to make sense of it all and put all the pieces together. I mean, I really knew it was going to turn out – at least I did prior to all of this stuff falling apart. After all, at the time I pretty much knew everything. The things I didn’t know were deep mysteries and I figured if I could just get a handle on some of those deep mysteries of the universe it would all work out. But not anymore. Things were in quite a bit of disarray. By then I really needed to understand “If you were driving faster than the speed of light with your headlights on what would happen?”

By then, I spent a lot of time playing solitaire, with real cards, and staying up really late drinking coffee and talking about deep meaningful questions that really didn’t lead anywhere to try to make sense of why all those sixes were showing up and why I had been cursed with all of this seemingly “bad luck”.

No wonder they stole this car – look at the fun you could have in it!

There were other things as well. Bad things that had happened that I can’t even recall anymore, but you can be assured that at the time they were BIG things, and they were BAD things.

Only a year before that I’d graduated high school and I knew a lot about the way life was going to turn out. I had a plan after all, and I had a girl after all, and I had a job after all, and I had friends to hang out with and drink coffee all night – after all. I was going to take the year off after high school, work for a while and save up some money to go to college. I sure wasn’t going for that join the Army for two years and get your $18,000.00 for college business. That was for suckers. I was no sucker. I’d spend that time working, and saving, and hanging out with my girl, and drinking coffee, and in time, playing solitaire.

Now this story isn’t some cautionary tale about growing up and maturing as an adult. This is just my silly old story. And if you’re reading this you probably have your silly old story too, though it may not seem all that silly to you. Certainly, the timing lines up with a “oh, you were just a kid and thought you knew everything and had to grow up a little bit and have the world teach you some things through the school of hard knocks and blah, blah, blah…” kind of story. And yeah, that is one way to look at it.

The thing about this story though is that what I was looking for, this great mystery of the universe I was subconsciously seeking out, was really out there…

1. Story

I‘ve been planning to begin this tale for a while and have been envisioning how I would lay it out for a while. I still have no concrete answers and am uncertain how to proceed. The day is upon me however and I will begin.

Basik, Kona, HI

Along with this story I have been considering creating a new space within Aletheia, so to speak. It’s a concealment…an abstraction on top of Love. I think. I’ve come up with “Transitions” as the space to bring it forward. I still have some work with the WordPress to get it presented the way I intend and I don’t want to delay any longer. The sign over my head was too welcome and beckoned beginning. How can I delay. It will turn out exactly the way it’s supposed to, the way it already is. Perfect.

Today is the beginning of my 49th year. The story I want to tell has been coming up as a result of contemplating that. The first time I thought of telling this story was when I noticed it will have been 30 years for me. I remembered them telling me how lucky I am/was to get this while I was still so young. They couldn’t believe my good fortune. They were happy for their good fortune to have gotten it…most of them much later. Probably some of them around my age now. I can imagine what a relief it might be to have finally gotten that around the age I am now. To have lived a whole, full life without that knowing and then see the opportunity ahead of you with that knowing.

Along with that, my son is the same age I was then. And I’ve been wanting to tell this story for and to him. In a way that it may be impactful and may be heard. I know I couldn’t hear it and it probably started “showing up in my space” around my birthday, 30 years ago. Maybe slightly before.

The story itself is probably fairly boring. It’s definitely insignificant and will do little to alter anything for you. That is of course, unless you act on and from it.

I want to tell this story though. For me. To know that it’s been told. To know that I’ve done what I can do to make it known. Because it happened when I was “so young”, as they said, my mostly entire life has been a result of it. It, whatever it is, is something I could never get over. Something that I’ve done what I can to come to understand – to find out what it is that happened to me. That’s all part of the story I want to tell.

I haven’t yet decided if I’ll tell the story for myself first, and then publish, maybe in pieces or maybe all at once or maybe one post at a time. As it is a transition from other blogging I’ve done I don’t intend to be constrained by that. That is also part of the story.

As I sit here over looking Kalaepa’Akai from our recent “most favorite” eating spot (there’s always a new favorite) I’m reminded just how implausible this journey has been. Oddly, I think it was always possible. It is just very implausible that I am here. And in this way, the telling of the story is the retelling and the presencing of the possible.

And so, on with the story…

It had been spring and was moving into summer. My world was in quite a bit of disarray. I was in the midst of what could best be described as the most “uncharmed” stretch of my life. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I lead a charmed life.

Some of the highlights include my car being stolen, my sweet stereo (new technology CD player in dash, removable) which I took out a great consumer credit card out to buy placed “safely” in the trunk of the stolen car…

A 2359 Word Post On Standing Before The Flag

GloryLarge2 LargeGlory1

I recognize that every human is free.  Free to their own choice.  Free to their own perception.  Free to their own expression of that perception and choice.

I recognize that perception is limited and any interpretation of perception can be described as a story of what happened.  Each who perceives will tell a different story in their attempt to share their perception.

I recognize that your perception will almost certainly be different than mine.

I perceived the symbol captured here occurring much larger, much more vivid, and much more active in the wind this evening than these small photo representations will ever portray (sort of like my words – limited in conveying experience).  I invite you to zoom into the photos to give yourself a sense of the bombast of it, blazing before you.  If that doesn’t work, go to any Perkins at night, with the wind blowing in off Lake Erie and experience it for yourself – man, they fly a glorious Old Glory.

Sorrow was what I experienced for those who don’t stand before this symbol and experience anything other than the awe that I felt, standing below and before it waving wildly in the wind.

Shall I give up my experience in favor of yours?  Shall I attempt to empathize with your plight?  The plight of your creation, your perception, and your choice of story to tell?  Shall I listen and experience you?  Kneel with you?  Risk losing my Old Glory to understand yours?  Stand next to you and look down, ashamed for myself of what it means to you?  Or shall I stand?  Clear about who I am and who you are?  Standing for who we were born to be – free and mighty and in love.

As I stood before it I was immediately taken in, quickly distracted (enacted) into being with it. This symbol; this story; I was compelled to capture it.  To tell you that in it I saw the future – yours and mine – unlimited by our limited perception of space and time.  In it I saw Truth, Beauty, Freedom and above all things Love.

Truth and Love and Aletheia will set you free,

Ed

 

Are We All Stuck (or is it just me (or is it just Truth/Love/Aletheia concealed (as usual)))

This post began, as most of them do.  After that “perfect” amount of coffee, a little time to reflect, and some observations based on things that have been occurring in my reflection of the world.

I was driving, as I often am, when it came to me.  And I was driving somewhere new.  Not that I hadn’t been where I was driving before, but I hadn’t been driving where I was driving while having that blog-able moment come into my existence.

So much has “changed” since I last wrote.  Sitting at the keyboard is like an explosion of all there is to say and making any sense of it, the process of refining it to one of my already lengthy essays on nothing (Truth/Love/Aletheia), is interesting to observe.

I’ve had moments in the past 3 years (has it really been 3 years? – I just checked, it’s only been 2.5 years) but the opportunity to just sit and type wasn’t made.  There was that brief entry more than a year ago, an experience that was never completed by telling the story of it.

And that is the thought which provoked this entry. Telling a story, one’s story, to another creates an experience of who you are with that person.  It creates an experience of who you are as an identity at least.  Who we are cannot really be told, can it?

Despite the tangible gains I’ve made in becoming independent and free, I’ve been “feeling” awfully stuck.  Stuck with my own creations, stuck with the stories I’ve told about who/what I am, stuck with who/what I’m creating myself to be.  Stuck is an occurring when Truth/Love/Aletheia is concealed.

What does that even mean?  It’s like wearing gold plated diapers, babies.

I’m stuck with blogging about a topic that rarely makes any sense to anybody other than me.  It occurs that way at least.

My sense is that we’re all stuck.  If you’re paying attention you can feel it.  We’ve been stuck for quite some time. We seem to have a new medium for our stuckness as well.  This online presence business, these feeds and articles that come and go.

They never go anymore though, do they?  You used to be able to throw away the newspaper and it would biodegrade and you’d have to go to the library to find the microfiche of the old stories and nobody ever did that.  They wouldn’t go get that microfiche and reissue the old paper to show you, prove to you who you used to be and stick you with it.  Well, maybe sometimes, for the really “important” stuff.  Now, you’re getting microfiched all the time.  The old stories, they rarely go away.  You’re stuck with them.  Say it once.  You said it.  It will always be who you are.

Listening.  It’s challenging, day to day, hour by hour, moment by moment.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of another without assigning an identity to them.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of one’s Self without getting stuck to the stories we tell.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is the current audio book I’m reading.  My wife laughed at me recently, paradoxically, because I’m such a crappy listener.  She laughed because she knows that I’ve spent more time, effort and money attempting to “get better” at listening than most people you’ll ever meet.  It’s just that, with all that listening I’ve “tried” to do I’ve heard some things.  Some things that I really want everybody to know.  If you’d all just shut up and listen.

This is where this blog entry, and the others, come into play. I’m going to tell you what I’ve heard.  And I’m clear that this blog about things that are nearly impossible to communicate will be read scarcely.  In blogging, I hear myself.  I look back on these entries and know myself, if I’m listening.  When I articulate clearly to myself and truth/love/aletheia is unconcealed it is a reference for me.  I’m stuck with it.

Ironically, when it is not clearly articulated and I’m not present that becomes a reference for me as well and truth/love/aletheia becomes concealed and less present.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is an interesting title.  I’m listening to it more to Discover the Secret to Having Anybody Get Through To Me.  It’s probably a sales title to sell more books.  Just Listen.  That’s all that really needs to be said.  That may not sell as many books though.  Because we just want to get through to absolutely anyone.  In the book, Mark discusses techniques to put aside what you think, feel, want to say, to give the other the experience of Being listened to.

When the other is heard Truth/Love/Aletheia is present.  Mark doesn’t say that.  Another way to say it is that when the other is heard what “needs” to be said “disappears”.  Somebody else said that.  I listened.  And got it. The experience of meaning having been made occurs.  The other is known, for that moment, in that instant, to another.  To you.  If you’re lucky enough to listen.  Mark doesn’t say those things either.  That’s what I want you to know.

Now our most recent invention or medium for communicating is very good at getting the story told, widely.  It is not very good at getting the story heard.  It doesn’t disappear.

We’re all stuck.  With it.

Or, is it just me?

With Listening for your Truth/Love/Aletheia,

Ed

Witnessing the Other

Transformation, when it occurs is immediate.  Sometimes the manifestation to what’s next takes some time.  Sometimes it’s immediate.  This post is a bit of a welcome back to me.  To not share my experience of the past four days at the OD Network conference would be selfish.

Starting in the hotel lobby also does not sound like my favorite option either.  This will be the completion of the post but I wanted to make an entry.

With Truth/Love/Aletheia,

Ed

Sometimes Truth/Love/Aletheia Looks Like A Punch In The Throat

“The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Fascinating weekend in the stream of life.  Beyond questioning “What exactly am I manifesting in the world?”, I’ve sorted some random items together to put some perspective on the current, streaming-by, over the always unseen undercurrent of Aletheia.

First, a story.  I was greeted at my front door Friday evening by a heavily tattooed unsavory looking fellow (the tattoos alone did not indicate he was unsavory – it was visible in who he was being) who showed up to do me physical harm for verbally accosting his son who’d participated in some bullying, intimidation tactics toward my son the previous week at the playground next door to our house.  He punched me in the throat.  I was being at the moment of truth as I ran down the street to avoid getting punched again.

It was fascinating and unexpected.

Now I was certainly over the top in my confrontation with his son, 14 or 15 in age, not slight and not the least intimidated by my requests to know who his friend was that ran off (a resident of the development) so I could speak to his parents about their bullying of my not slight 12 year old.  Nor was he intimidated by my loud, rude and obnoxious requests to speak to his parents since he wouldn’t give me his friend’s information.  Rather, he informed me that his father would be over that night to beat my pussy bitch ass.  He waited a week – it definitely threw me off guard.

This kid didn’t even live in my development, but was a guest in my common area.  He and his friends had been admonished two days prior by my wife for throwing around F bombs, racial slurs and derogatory language about the feminine form and I’d considered blogging about that occurrence, coming weeks after the Trayvon Martin ruling and my inability to make any kind of meaningful sense of that whole affair.  I thought about writing how we needed to deal with racism at the parks where young teen men (Black, White, Hispanic, etc. – or how is it they put it on those EEO forms? – so correct politically, but so incorrect all around) grow up and learn to share what they’ve already learned at home about race and women.  My wife dealt with these kids that day because I passed by with our baby in the stroller, willing to let it go since nobody was getting hurt and I’d been one of those boys at one point in my life.  My blogging suffered the same effect – the baby has thrown a wrench lately in any meaningful production.

Great story right? which stands at this point with my waiting to hear from the police and waiting to hear back from the results of any conversation that the president of our homeowners association will have with the board of trustees next week.  I don’t have much faith that any “real” change will come of it…as he said, the teen problem will just manifest itself in them vandalizing the signs as they’ve vandalized our community center. Who are they though?  And who are we?

Along with that I was voraciously finishing reading “The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler” published in 2002 by James Cross Giblin, a book laying around the house that my wife picked up from the library for my son’s assigned summer reading.  I’d always been interested in understanding how all of that happened since the days of my youth watching “In Search of…” with Leonard Nimoy where my memory tells me I saw my first glimpses of life (and death) in a concentration camp.  It may have been some other show as my Mother always had a bit of a Hitler “obsession” – perhaps to better understand how my Father came to be or maybe for other reasons.

I found the following passage to be most worth sharing:

In Germany itself, a group of students at a university in Munich dared in 1942 to criticize Hitler’s conduct of the war.  The group adopted the name the White Rose, symbolizing purity, and, with the aid of one of their professors, wrote, duplicated, and distributed leaflets attacking the Fuhrer.  A typical leaflet, headed “an Appeal to All Germans,” stated boldly that the war was lost and urged its readers to part company with Hitler and his fellow Nazis.

“Prove by your actions that you think differently,” the leaflet said.  “Tear off the cover of indifference which you have put around your hearts. Make your decision before it is too late. Do not believe that Germany’s future is associated for better or worse with the victory of National Socialism. Criminal actions can never obtain a German victory.”  The leaflet concluded with a vision of the future.  “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary actions of criminal terror states – those are the foundations for a new Germany, a new Europe.  Support the resistance movement and pass on the leaflets.”

At first White Rose members distributed the leaflets only to their fellow students within the university.  Then they branched out, stuffing the pamphlets into mailboxes throughout Munich and even traveling to other cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Vienna, with the leaflets concealed in their suitcases.  Back in Munich, they were distributing a fresh batch at the university when a janitor spotted them and notified the police.

Put on trial for treason in February 1943, the three leaders of the White Rose – Hans Scholl, his sister, Sophie, and their good friend Christoph Probst – were all sentenced to death by beheading.  The trio remained defiant to the end.  Sophie walked to the guillotine with a smile on her face, and her brother Hans shouted, “Long live liberty!” before he died.

Yesterday I came across the short story Dialetheia* – by Anil Menon which just happened to be set in pre-World War Two Germany and amazingly and eloquently shares a “view” or “taste” of this phenomenon which I attempt to explain while attempting to catch glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye.  Perhaps I’ll have to investigate this notion of “inconsistent mathematics” that he mentions.

In reading this book, and this short story I see that we are very much still living in a world vastly shaped by the charisma and actions of this one very determined person.  The state of the world today, shaped by the past yesterday – “Time is a partial order!” indeed.

Linking that, one of my facebook friends posted a link to this video.  It says a lot, it’s worth watching and it’s worth questioning everything through the video as a lens.  Life isn’t clear cut, especially when Love is concealed and your righteousness clouds the view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsqwErd6sPg&feature=share

Finally, this excerpt from a link from the above interviewee Glenn Greenwald’s page puts a final lens on my thoughts for the weekend and really for the last few months.  “Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.”  – Read the full article here.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts brewing, for a long time, a lot of unrest – apparently like the rest of us.  I thought I’d better start blogging again to begin unconcealing.  Perhaps if I can return to, or get closer to, Truth/Love/Aletheia I’ll open my front door next time with open arms and a smile or admonish a bully with a gentle, loving approach.  Either way, living life is clear cut.  I may get punched and I still love us all.

Wounded with love,

Ed

It’s All Fun and Games Until…(This post is not for the faint of heart)

somebody shits in your sink.  Ahahahahaha.

Seriously. Both literally and metaphorically this happens every day in your town, your country, your world.  What is your response when somebody does it?

First, let me give a little background about what I’m talking about here.  By now, you should be clear that “Love is.” from reading my blog.  It’s here, perhaps concealed from your view, but here none the less.  All there is to be the “sort of person” who allows love to be present and experienced in the moment. (This is not a grammatical error – all there is to be – It wouldn’t make much sense to say all there is to do is to be, that defeats the point of being and it’s a limitation of English language.) Simple, not easy.

Second, until now I haven’t really mentioned in the blog that I own a few laundromats, du laverie automatique.  They provide me a non-stop training environment for being love present and experienced.  This, what I’m referring to, is my latest example.  Even the cop who came to check out the vandalism was fairly shocked, disgusted, and appalled with what one of my fellow human beings left as their ‘contribution’, though I’m certain it’s far from the worst he’s seen.

IMG_0284

Now, it would be easy to distinguish the source of this turd as an operational issue.  You’re open 24 hours, of course somebody is going to shit in your sink.  Of course.

I’ve long held (since getting in touch with who I am is love, present and experienced) that each of us has a full opportunity set of being in which to dwell.  Any one of us could be Mother Teresa or Thich Nhat Hanh (choose your favorite “favorite person”) or the next Osama or Adolph or Dylan (choose your least favorite “nut job”).  Most of us dwell somewhere in the middle.  We don’t shit in anybody’s sink, but we also don’t clean up the shit that somebody else left.

Much easier to lean toward the villainous side however than to take a stand for causing a shift.  There are really many more examples to model oneself after and we’re often so self denigrating that we rarely think that I am amazing.  We’re curious about these “nutty ones” and we like trying to solve them, figure them out, label them, and fix them in various “correctional” facilities or solutions.  It’s very challenging to let them be somebody who shits in your sink and love them anyway, maintaining your “always open 24 hours, vulnerable and willing to accept whatever offers you make” demeanor.

When “those people” are not shitting in my sink, they’re stealing copper, or change machines, or vandalizing in any multitude of ways.  It’s fascinating.  It’s also easy to become a reaction, put in more secure whatever, cameras to watch, drones to blow people up, whatever.  Not being a violent reaction – that’s the real work.  Not adding more hatred on top of the concealed love…man, that’s some work.

Building the capacity to allow love to be present is like climbing a mountain that has no top.  It’s synonymous with honoring your word (aka, maintaining integrity) in that there will always be some area where you are not being love present.

People will always “wrong” you in your life – the people playing much bigger games than I am have much larger turds in their sinks.  Compassionate laughter is my best friend.  What’s yours?

I love you.  All of you.

Ed