Rivers

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“Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers till I reach you.” – The Head and The Heart; Rivers and Roads

For years this blog has been about memories and lessons, the way the world shifts beneath our feet and twists our ankles, the way we hit the ground… the way we get back up.

This week one of my best friends moved away from home. I don’t know when I will see him again, I know I certainly will, but I have no way of knowing when. This is another instability of life.

When I was a younger man I had this dream that me + all of my best friends would wind up in the same place. Despite the fact that we all wanted different things, teaching, theatre, engineering, photography, writing, it’s all the same, really. We all have these things that call to us and beg us to move forward step by step, even when we don’t know where to go there is always something pulling at us until our bones shake. Some small voice in the back of our minds begging us deep down to steel our shoulders and wrap the rope around our hands, to begin dragging the slabs of sandstone up long and shallow ramps.

It wasn’t until a couple years ago that this dream of mine had truly shown itself for what it was, a sham. Not that it is a bad thing at all. I’m so endlessly excited to see where each of the boys go, what they do, who they become. I’m so excited to evolve from Alan the Novelist to Uncle Alan, or Dyzygy on a Guest Stream, or even Alva Tobias, celebrity guest at a grand reveal of a play or movie. All of these things seem silly, I’m sure, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized that if we do not have these dreams, if we do not have these passions, we are lost completely. Each one of us, you and I, are bound together by one everlasting and powerful link that groups us together and cinches us tight.

Purpose.

I sat this week with someone who I hold extremely dear to my heart and talked with him about his novels, our jobs, his future and mine alike. We laughed like we always do, we joked like we always do, and we sat in the same dingy booth in the same shitty casino restaurant that we had frequented for years now and just experienced life together.

I ramble fairly frequently, if you think the blog is bad you should speak to me in real life. I have a hard time getting to the point, because I’ve never believed that the point is where we should be getting. We should be getting onward, guys like me don’t define ourselves by early or late. We don’t think about the end of the story, I know damn well that the end will come when the end comes and I have no intention of rushing or delaying anything. That being said, it is important that we must continue moving.

My life pulls me in a dramatically different way than everyone else’s. My best friends and I may not see each other forever, but they will always be a part of my pyramid. The bottom blocks, the biggest ones, that hold this entire wonder up. I would not be the man that I am today without the constant love and support of these men and watching them grow and change, evolve and struggle to overcome things is nearly greater than the joy I see in them when they have successes and we can share laughter over those small victories.

I love watching their stories unfold because I see all of us as these wondrous characters, grafted and designed with innumerable purpose, fleeting as our lives may be at the end of time, we can still stand at the gate of change or death or life and scream to the world that we were here, we exited and we lived, we loved with everything we can.

It is this way too, when friends and family pass on.

I talk so much about purpose, because I don’t think many people truly find their purpose. I stumbled around for the majority of my life, only recently discovering that I am here to inspire, to tell stories, to help others in some manner. I forget that sometimes. I forget too, that our lives aren’t meant to be rushed through. We have to take things one day at a time, thought is not a matter of moments it is an expanse of time.

Though thorough we may be to seek out our next step, it will come when it is ready. It is up to us to be ready for what comes next.

If you have to say goodbye, for the moment, or for forever, remember that it is all part of the purpose we are searching for. Each of us are destined to find our own way. Our friends may not live in the same city forever, but it never hurts to put yourself and your family in a boat and float down the river for a while, just to say hello every once and a while.

There are many things about my past that I don’t look to for inspiration. There are many facets of my own personality that I can’t stand to admit and yet, I was blessed with men and women who love me unconditionally through everything. Despite how horrid I believe myself to be inside some days.

I welcome change, I welcome the twists and turns of the earth. I know that my friends and I are in the same boat together and they will never be too far for me to paddle towards. I know they will paddle towards me in return. I am in no hurry and I am not one to wait around either. Everything happens, all good and bad, when the world wills it to happen. I cannot control it, so until the end I will enjoy every step, every laugh, every chest pain and every last splash of water into my boat, no matter who is sitting beside me.

Friends who love like that are hard to find, but they are out there and it can make you feel like the world will shake beneath your feet, and if you feel it…

You’re right.

Here is something that I did with my friend, I hope you enjoy it.

Doki Doki Literature Club: [Ep. 1] – Let’s Play a horror inducing dating simulator.

Not into video games? How about this then?

Embalming Us

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Have you ever wrapped yourself up in the sunlight and just thought for a few seconds about where we are in life? With all of that warmth around us, healing us, protecting us as if it were linen cloth.

The sun, as much as I hate it, is an integral part of our existence. We need it in order for everything around us to thrive and continue to exist. As is with all of the stars, they are blinding and beautiful. We have always had a fascination with the stars, as long as we have existed as a civilization. We want to know what is out there. We want to see them, to harness their energy.

When I think of the stars, I think of Pharaohs. I couldn’t tell you when or how that association came to exist within me but it has been there as long as I can remember. Perhaps it has to do with the whole royalty thing, or maybe that Egypt is blazing hot all the time. I couldn’t tell you.

I think that all too often we start to feel like Pharaohs, we get a bit ahead of ourselves and begin to swing our scepter around thinking it is made of gold. I know I’m guilty of it frequently. One or two good things will come along and suddenly I start acting like people should bow down around me. This change in attitude frustrates me and then evolves into me just being angry because I got cocky about where I’m at.

So then I’m pissed for a day because I acted outside of the person I’m trying to be. It wasn’t until a couple days ago that I was thinking about my recent attitudes and habits and realized that a ton of things are changing. My living situation, again, friends are moving, getting into serious relationships, we are getting settled into our careers and I subconsciously think that I’m behind or something, for some silly reason.

It forced me to go from Pharaoh to slave real fast.

It’s crazy how quickly our mind can completely change itself and how strong our thoughts can be. I was enjoying my day at work a few days back and someone said one thing and I let my mind control me for the rest of the day without doing anything to stop it. It is so silly and I don’t understand when I let my mind have that control back.

I am no slave to my own mind. I am no slave within it. I am a Pharaoh. I am the Polar Bear King. I am the Aethermind. I am so much more than just a puppet being controlled by others words and emotions.

You are too. Don’t let the things other people say influence you. They don’t matter.

You are the sun.

You are the stars.

You are Pharaohs.

Eventually you will need to step outside and remember that things are going to be okay. No matter who you are fighting with, no matter who you haven’t spoken to, no matter what is going on in your life. You can fix it. Just step outside, let the sun wrap its arms around you and close your eyes. All Pharaohs were embalmed.

Embalm yourself in kindness and love. There is no better way to be remembered.

www.linmtba.com

Universal Understanding (Poem)

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I was recently looking back on some of my previous blog posts, reminiscing on the blind happiness that I was once such a slave to. That isn’t to say it was a bad thing, not at all in fact. I was oblivious for a year or two to the horrible things that happen ever day but eventually I was worn down and couldn’t let my emotions be self contained. In a moment of weakness I broke down and afterwards I was filled to the brim with frustrations and self-doubt, worry about the world and all manner of other plagued thoughts. I forgot to focus on the simple things that I had built so much of my blog and business around. I know I like to spin the “blog + business” thing a ton, probably too much but it is so close to my heart. I need to reiterate it here every so often that GME + S+I are so damn important to me.

Because of that, I wrote Universal Understanding. A poem about not being shitty to one another, because I am working every day to remain focused on the good. To accept the evil in our world for what it is and fight against it every day. That’s what I started all of this for, I can’t give that up because it grows difficult.

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www.linmtba.com

Third Law

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There are men and women in this world who are proficient in magic, in our world that can come across as so many different things. Have you met someone who is great at speaking? Like they just know exactly what to say and when to say it? How abbout people who create beautiful sculptures out of glass? Or art that takes your breath away or makes you feel things you can’t describe. We all have magic inside of us, some of it is natural and some of it may be artificial, but it is always here.

I am seeking my own magic, and through it I have found that there are a handful of laws that I must follow in my journey to truly uncover what my magic can really do.

This is the Third Law.

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www.linmtba.com

 

Consecrating the Beast

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On any rainy night in any town in this world, you can see them. If you look carefully. Fine hairs cover their bodies, their pale flesh shines off of the moonlight. Their hair disheveled and their hands occupied with lit flames or poison in glass bottles while they wait. They are the most advanced hunters our earth has ever seen. Waiting for the prey to stumble into their nests. Behind dimly lit bars, or even within. They rest in the halls of churches, in the seats of Congress, they work in restaurants and mines. They bleed and breed more of the same with each new generation, a new pack is born that can hunt and kill with ease. The most painful thing about them is that when they kill you, you continue to live. They shrivel up your soul and drink the life out of it like a paper carton of coconut water. These particular creatures are what made me pick up my blade and fight. They spurned me, beat me, and have tried to sink their fangs into my soul for years.

I’ve come face to face with them, I have lived to tell you the tale…

 

I’m talking about people, if that wasn’t obvious.

Working in the service industry has taught me a ton about the nature of people. Especially from being a bartender, I see the best and the worst of people on a day to day basis and dealing with that can grow tiresome. It’s so easy to slip into manufactured ideas that we have at the ready. Misconceptions about the people we see but don’t truly know can rip at us for years. Especially when we see the bad side of people often. A guy was on a date with a girl, and after the date was over he left his server his number and asked her to call him. I’ve seen drunk men need to be lifted out of the restaurant because they couldn’t walk on their own. I’ve seen fights and I’ve watched relationships crumble because of infidelity. People cheating on their spouses in my restaurant and their partners finding about what was happening on the sidelines. It’s so hard to deal with sometimes. One memory that sticks out vividly that I have written about before, a family came in one night and were assholes to everyone, the dad was drunk beyond belief and regularly told his daughter that she was ugly. I was frustrated by it and at the end of the meal I asked if they wanted dessert. Daddio said they would go somewhere else, but the girl wanted cake. While I was standing there holding the bill the dad looked at his daughter and through death breath told her “You don’t need cake, you’re already fat and ugly, and cake will just make you fatter and uglier.”

The girl was maybe six years old. How can someone do that? I couldn’t comprehend it then. I can’t comprehend it now. In my frustration, I bought her a piece of cake and gave it to her after her dad had stumbled out the door. His wife came in a while later and apologized for him, and thanked me for giving her daughter the dessert she wanted. I was so pissed when it happened and it has stuck in my mind since then.

It’s hard for me to tolerate assholes. I just don’t get why we would be like that for no reason. I dwell on it and let it gnaw at me and those kinds of people are the ones that kill your soul.

So what do we do to that kind of person? The evil kind?

We fight back with love.

Everybody will run into someone selfish and needless, we will all encounter our own version of the cake hoarding asshole in a new skin. It isn’t that they are inherently evil, that’s definitely exaggeration to drive the point home. They shouldn’t be held against a wall and fired upon as being evil. They make mistakes and are foolish, we all are.

So what can we do?

Consecrate them.

Consecration, by definition is declaring something (usually a church) sacred.

So then, we can consecrate our own lives and mentalities. The way I believe in love is sacred to me. It is something that should never be destroyed. Of course I fail, I grow weary and I snap at people. We all make mistakes, in those instances it might seem like the right thing to do but I still backstab my own beliefs. Instead of fighting the beast with the best I can offer, instead I stoop to their level and battle with brute force. I try to prove to them that I’m the bigger asshole.

That’s not the kind of man I want to be.

Recently, I had the chance to speak one on one with a customer I once thought was a huge dick. He told me about his grandkids and his late wife, he told me that he goes out so often because he doesn’t like to be alone. He told me lots of things, but it was what he didn’t say that really hit home.

Through all of his stories he told me that he was lonely and he was bitter. Perhaps angry at God, perhaps angry at man and science. I can’t say, but I looked at him with a new light afterwards.

Sure, he was angry and there wasn’t a reason to be an old grump, but that was what he had engrained within himself. I can’t let that happen to me.

This life will not make us bitter, the monsters we see day to day will not make us lose our faith, especially our faith in one another.

We will consecrate the beasts with love. After all, every villain, every evil thing in this world once started from something good, something that wasn’t evil. We had to learn hate, so it is our job to teach how to destroy it.

This was supposed to be up last week and then again was supposed to be up at the beginning of this week but I got caught up planning some cool stuff for my birthday so I lost the work in the process. Anyway, it’s here now! I’ve got another one coming for you in a couple hours too. 🙂

www.linmtba.com