Amazing.

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It is.

I wanted to start this blog post by talking about all of these horrible things that have happened lately. A porn star who killed herself, friends who lost their grandparents and mothers. The racial tension in my country. The religious warring in the Middle East, the school shooting in New Mexico.

I wanted to, but I won’t.

I have this tendency to focus in on the bad things, if only for a short moment. I focus on job rejections, I hold on to manuscript rejections with the intent to put them in frames later in life when I’m successful so I can remember where I came from. I focus on those emails or letters and bleed out all of that anger into a new manuscript, which may be rejected. I focus on the bad side of a mixed message sooner than I even hear the good side. It’s a tendency we are all capable of. We are all a victim to.

We live in a world where media and information is processed so quickly that we only have a short about of time to dwell on something before something new comes along and invades the space between our thoughts. In a few days, the news of a school shooting will disappear and no one will talk about it because there will be something new to talk about. A new sexual assault allegation, a new religious war, a new person dead in the arms of their loved ones and with that notion, I wonder.

How long has it been since we have seen wonder?

I don’t mean something wonderful, although those things are often one and the same.

I mean wonder. The word, defined, is a feeling of surprise mixed with admiration at something beautiful or inexplicable.

Do you know how snowflakes form in the sky above?

Tiny ice crystals the float in the sky above when the air is cold, they collide and stick together and eventually they grow heavy enough to fall to the surface of the earth and stick there.

Do you know how supermassive black holes are formed?

Potentially, they came from super massive stars, powered by dark matter that eventually collapsed in upon themselves and swallowed the matter whole. Leaving nothing there but the immense pull of gravity, sucking the light into it.

Do you ever think about these things and give yourself a moment to ponder just how big and powerful the universe we are living within really is?

Each passing second there are things happening inside of your own body that you are completely unaware of. Cells are dividing and dying and multiplying so that over time, eventually you will be a new you. A version of you that is untouched by the harmful hands of life, the scars that you have gained will grow weary and thin, some of them fading out forever.

Beneath the surface of the ocean, deep down in the darkness of the sea there are creatures with ugly faces who do amazing things for the ecosystem. Wolves can transform the surface of the land and the world as you know it will continue to spin around and around.

If I were the man I thought I wanted to be, I would take this moment to tell you that nothing you do today or any day in the future will leave a lasting impact on the world around you because it will still spin. There will still be snow, there will still be black holes.

But I am not that man.

Today I stepped out of my apartment to go to lunch with my friends and saw the melting snow on the ground shining in the sunlight. The bitter air snipped at my exposed flesh, trying its best to leave wounds. I couldn’t stop looking at the small piles of snow that have been left over, most of them smashed from the people living here walking to their vehicles and going about their daily routine. To work or school or their friends’ houses. I don’t know where they go and I don’t need to, to understand what the snow was lying on the ground for.

Each moment in this universe, every passing nanosecond we are presented with chances and opportunities and decisions that we make on a second to second basis without barely a consideration of the result. Of course, some things, the obvious things we must identify and adhere to, large decisions like home ownership, parenthood and our careers. Still, I choose to walk to my truck a certain way. I choose to park in a certain parking space. I choose to pick up my pen and I choose to use it in accordance with this philosophy.

I could do nothing. I could fall into the routine of doing what I have done for years, the same way every day and without care because it will not ultimately impact the course of my life.

If I drink six cans of Pepsi a day, I will get fat. That is inevitable. If I take the same path to work every day, people along that path will begin to notice my vehicle and somewhere within their minds make note of that drive. 12:40 every day a maroon truck drives down Sage Street headed towards the college. The driver is wearing grey and blue headphones and singing lout and sometimes out of key in the cab of the truck. It may be carrying snow, but usually it is just letting a surplus of air spill out of the bed as he drives.

I can do every single thing the same and come to find that I will expect the results, but what if we changed our habits one moment at a time?

Instead of parking right next to the door of the grocery store, park far away. It may have little effect on your own life, but a woman with bad hips may need that parking space close to the doors because it is cold and she is having trouble getting around.

You may not need to save twenty dollars so you consider spending it on a meal or a movie. If you save that money, maybe a twenty dollar need will arise in your future.

You don’t need to say the things you say, but you do. But what if you didn’t?

The whole world will continue to revolve around you whether you choose to let it or not, we are not that powerful, but we are powerful enough to make an impact.

If an asteroid is headed into our atmosphere, a proposed plan to deflect it is to paint it with tiny paintballs, diverting the energy on one side to another. Of course, this would take a lot of paintballs and a lot of time, but theoretically it could be done.

I wonder some days if we are more like asteroids in how we interact with people. Do we allow ourselves to smash into them and make an impact that will leave them changed forever or do we push others away with paint that we have made, afraid of what they would do to us.

We can chip away at things slowly, it won’t hurt us.

The snow falls slowly, flake by flake it collects on the ground until we are left the following morning to look at a blanket of frozen white shards, refracting colors across is surface. The fact that snow can glow in broad daylight leaves something to be said about our world, doesn’t it?

I would assume, by now, that I’ve run out of metaphors for what I’m saying and I can tell you, I’m not.

This world will spin no matter what you do, so I want to pose the question…

Why do anything other than everything in your power to live a good life.

You are in full control of only one thing on this giant rotating marble,

You.

So you are the only one who can change your situation. Good or bad, it will always come back to your choices. You are your whole world. You are the one who is growing new cells every day. The choices you made seven years ago don’t define who you are today,

And that is amazing, isn’t it?

I’ll be uploading a couple YouTube videos this weekend, make sure you’re subscribed to the channel so you don’t miss them!

Dyzygy (YouTube)

www.linmtba.com

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Dark Marks on Tall Trees

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I made a big deal about this announcement last Sunday, but, just kidding its happening THIS Sunday. Oops. I had a couple surprise things to get in order.

If you like the blog, you’ll want to tune into my YouTube Channel on Sunday evening. I’ve got a big thing I want to show you.

(Don’t worry, its pretty much 100% G rated.)

I’ve been thinking about my attitude lately. I have been really unappreciative of the things I have been given and the life I am allowed to lead. Reading over some tweets and other various social media posts from people in my life has lent to this realization. There are plenty of old friends populating my Facebook timeline who are having kids, getting married and more wonderful things, on the other hand there are plenty of people who are dragging their knuckles around through the consequences of their own choices, there are those who were dealt a supremely bad hand and have had to fight over their own fists to claw their name in the sand and then… there is me.

I often take for granted the life I lead. I want for nothing. I am able to freely express myself through my writing. I don’t depend on anything to process my emotions, I have a support system that is beyond my imaginable dreams. I have a family and friends who are so wonderful I couldn’t’ ask for better. I have a roof and I have a place to sleep every night, yet…

I still allow past pain to damage me. I think of all the bad things that I have been witness to, the things that have been done to me, even the small unimportant stuff like getting picked on in grade school for being the nerdy fat kid. (I wasn’t even that fat, for the record.) I dwell on these things quietly, when no one is around I kick myself for not standing up and saying something when I should have. Of course, this is all silly. I am a grown man with few enemies, those who have chosen to dislike me or hate me have come from rumors and the fact that those people don’t know me at all. I don’t let rumors of today bother me because I know what I am. I know who I am and I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come and how far I know I am going.

Still, there are dark thoughts that creep into my mind. I worry and panic about decisions I’ve made and things I’ve said or done. These tiny thoughts pile up into a mess within my skull that eventually would crush my focus and my mentality if I let it.

I think all of us have felt this before, we consider actions that have been made against us, torment ourselves over them and lose sleep or forget work, and we are nothing better from it. Just an anxious mess. Of course, there are other scars we bear that are much more serious. Assault, broken hearts, true horrible things that have reached out to slash our flesh and damage us forever. Those scars are much more vicious and real than those of the words that have been thrown at us. Still, we all have scars. We all have marks on our bodies that are damaging us with each moment we focus on them without seeking growth.

The other day I was watching a video on YouTube, I don’t remember the context or the information passed along. I couldn’t pinpoint the actual video to you in a list, but there was one scene that stuck with me and I will likely not forget.

You know, in our youth we always saw videos about kids carving their names into trees? Sometimes they were just the names of the kid. Maybe you carved your initials and your girlfriend of six months into a heart on a sycamore out back, then the girl left you or cheated on you and you’re stuck looking at the carved out heart for the rest of your time in the home. Maybe you carved your abusers name onto a tree in a forest, hoping someone would find it and send help your way. I hope they did, but even if not, that carving remains there. Due to the way trees grow, carvings such as these will likely never be repaired. They will stay on the tree until it is cut down or knocked down by a bolt of lightning or the surge of flame.

The nice thing, however, is that the carving will never stretch or become bold. It will stay on the trunk of that tree and it may never go away, but it will never change size or shape.

The tree however, will.

You and I are like that too. The things that have tormented you or hurt you in the past may stay in your memory forever, but they don’t have to grow with you. They won’t. You’ll get taller. You will cast your shadow on more things, you will become something that others flock to for relief from the heat of the burning sun and they may see those scars, that’s okay.

Those scars on your trunk will tell a story about lost love, but gained insight. They will tell a story of recovery, of hope, of a towering future, resounding through the forest with every single push of the breeze.

You may have scars, but we were built to be like trees. Forever growing, passing through cycles of death and rebirth, and here we are still. Standing strong, towering above the places we were hurt.

If you have collected new scars, or are looking down at your old ones, just take a breath, shake out your branches and look up.

There is so much wonder in the sky.

www.linmtba.com

Building Pyramids

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This is the last month of Noose Ends, and I’m planning the next movement now. I’m excited to finish this year. It has been full of love and joy and excitement, rife with sadness and pain and I have come out with so many beautiful stories to tell. I’m excited to bring you into the following year with me.

I can’t explain much in this life, I can tell you with certainty though that the stories we are writing are all worth it. I promise you that much. I’ve wasted a lot of nights worrying and fretting about things that aren’t real, that won’t happen, that don’t even exist. When I was younger I first heard this rumor about Stephen King. That he hired bodyguards to stand outside his bedroom at night when he sleeps so that the things that he created won’t be able to get to him. It was a silly rumor and maybe it is true, couldn’t tell you. Don’t honestly want to find out about it because if it is true it will invalidate everything I’m about to say.

Oops.

The point is, I’ve spent hours of my life worrying about fake scenarios in my head and things that don’t matter in the long run. I create these monsters for a living and it has become my go to for real life scenarios. A while back I was panicked about something and talking to my mother, who grabbed my head and whispered to me:

“Chaim, you need to go to sleep.”

Referencing Chaim the Writer, a Seraphim from my novel universe, who writes the aspects of the story down and is sort of the main force in my writing. I’ve often joked about him living in my head because of the frequency that I will have story ideas for myself to write down. We all do this in different ways, I happen to make stories out of my fears. I haven’t gotten so proficient at writing just by luck, I’m constantly telling myself about things that don’t exist. I haven’t gotten good at the whole happy endings to the silly stories thing yet, but I’m working on it.

I like to think about things in triangles, by that I mean there are three angles to every scenario. The first, is my point, which can range from totally factual and honest to completely made up and panic stricken fairytale. Then there is the second point, the other party. Whatever they feel or think, which can stem from fairytales like my own to nothing but hard hitting facts and logic, then there is the third point which is the outside influence, what do others see and say about things? This mentality affects everything in my life from my personal relationships to my business. There is what I want, what others want, and what the world thinks I want. The important part of all of this is that there is another aspect that I don’t’ think about often. All of those points are valid and need to be examined, perhaps not all of them taken seriously, but at the least need to be seen. Then there is one more aspect in the center of it that sits at the root of the diagram I draw in my head.

That I am in control.

I may not control others actions, or thoughts, but I can control my own and I will continue to do so for as long as I live, because why would I let myself live without control over my own mentality?

So, with that said, it brings me back to the Stephen King rumor I brought up. I am great at making up scenarios that don’t make any sense or that just simply aren’t true. As a matter of fact, I’m so good at it that I’ve done it for a living. I’ve only recently been better about calming down and not letting those scenarios freak me out, I’m looking at the whole pyramid, not just the base triangle. Hanging above every problem in your life, real or imaginary, there is something you should keep in mind. The point above all of the other three is that you will always control your reaction and your own actions, there is nothing else you can do at that point, so don’t let it rib you.

You built the pyramid, after all. No monsters will get inside. Just lie down and sleep soundly.

www.linmtba.com

Year One: Ferociously Blessed (2013.11.10)

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With the news about Las Vegas today, my heart is hanging heavy. I will be spending a lot of time praying and finding out the best way to help these people. When something like this happens it is always frightening, it is scary and it is awful to hear, it happening in my own state was a bit of a wake up call.

Take something away from the news today though, our lives are so short. We don’t know how much sand is left in our own hourglass so make sure to tell those you love that you love them. Don’t let a second go past with fear or hate in your heart. If you do, people like the terrorist who did this will win.

We won’t let them win. I promise you that. I’ll be fighting every day, with love as a weapon.

I love what I do. To be honest, it is my favorite thing in the world. I have this incredible opportunity in front of me with my clothing company and my writing and all of that. It floors me sometimes. I realize that not many people get to say what I just said, there are so many people who get up and go to work and go home and go to bed and get up and go to work and so on and so on… I don’t get to do that and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Writing is my passion, above everything else, and besides writing, I get to draw, and sing, and play instruments, and live this beautiful life what with its little hurdles. I am so ferociously blessed, that I can’t often comprehend. I have just spent the last three days working with one of my best friends in the world on my passion, and we have spent the last two days doing photo shoots with a beautiful girl, who happily represented my company. We even have another model lined up to shoot tomorrow. When people told me that this was going to be hard work, I agreed, because I knew that it was going to be hard work day in and day out. The thing they didn’t say though, which happens to be the most important thing, is that I absolutely love doing what I do. Meeting new people, getting the opportunities to make new friends and talk to artists and expand my view of the world.

Who gives a rat’s balls what you do with your life? It is your life. Do whatever makes you happy, that’s what I’m doing, and let me tell you honestly. I love every second of it. If you are sitting at home or in a coffee shop reading this, and maybe question what you want to do with your life, I have only one thing to tell you.

Do whatever the hell you want to.

As I type this, I am sitting less than ten feet away from one of my best friends who probably is doing the same thing that I am doing. Typing up a blog about our weekend. And this? This is work. Can you believe it? Every single thing I do is work to me, and I love doing it. If you hate your job, and can’t find a good reason to get up and do it every day, I hope that you find out what will make you feel like this soon. Because I want every single person in the world to feel how I feel right now. I am ecstatic about life, friends, the ability to be creative, Anxious about my future, but still completely calm at the same time and to be truthful, just a little bit exhausted from all of the nothing it has felt like we’ve done this weekend. Even though it has felt like we have done nothing, We both have accomplished so much.

This trip hit my life at the same time that some emotional turbulence did, but I am so thankful for it, because it got me away, it got me to sit down in a whole different reality and look at my life. Right now I am living a story, and somewhere along the line I think I forgot that.

I remember now, though.

In some small way, it feels like the story to a book, like a real book. The Hobbit, or Harry Potter, I don’t know. Maybe somewhere out there, there is a room just full of old dudes, who constantly watch a certain group of people, and write out every single thing that they do. they would put them chronologically and arrange them into a story, bind the pages with some leather and store them away when they die. There would be millions of these dudes, just sitting in buildings on the highest peaks of the Earth, or the deepest levels of the sea in little huts. What if at the end of our lives we get that book? It would be considered a great value on Earth, it took nearly 80 years to write and it’s full of a lifetime of stories. I believe that there is something like that out there maybe. I have no way of knowing for sure… All I know right now is that someone out there is ready to hear my story. I want to make sure that when I meet that Person, I hope to have a good one, because I am ready to tell it.

 

It’s adventure time.

If you liked this blog post, consider picking up the compilation and giving the rest of them a read! I’d appreciate it so much. You can find them on my website as well as Amazon.

October is always a big month, I’ll be rearranging the blog and my webpage a bit as the days go by + I have cool stuff on the way soon! I love all of you. Spooky Saturday will be returning this weekend + I’ll be managing my YouTube channel a bit better, participating in NaNoWriMo + more. For updates, check out the S+I website. 🙂

www.linmtba.com

The Knot That Breaks (Noose Ends)

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I usually save this post for the end of October, but as I woke up from a nap this afternoon I decided I needed to say it now.

Keep holding on friends, Life is not Meant to be Awful.

I was laying on my bed this afternoon napping lazily through my day, I woke up at 7, played guitar, sang songs, watched Friends, wrote poetry and spent time admiring all of the beauty that God placed into my life.

I realized in all of this that I haven’t actually published a blog post in weeks.

Oops.

There is a part of me that wishes I could come to you with some story like, “oh, I’ve been so stressed and out of it, but this is how I got over it.”

But that isn’t the case. I’m much happier to come here and say I’ve forgotten to post my blog posts this month because I have been so happy just living and being around and writing. Enjoying my time on the Earth while I still have it.

I started Noose Ends in the darkest place I think I’ve ever been in. The whole world was on the verge of swallowing me. Sure, I had just published Mean Shadows, I was working through poetry, starting YouTube, working on music, my job was great, my friends and I were great, my roommates were great and so much about that time was great but I refused to just shut up and watch the magic of my world unfold.

I basked in the darkness, I let it surround me. Reveling in heartbreak and the unsure moments I feasted on like oozing fruit in a brass bowl, I sunk my fingers into the darkness and told the world that biting through it would make the rest of the world light.

Stop me, if you’ve heard this before. I know I’ve said it.

Mod Sun recently has been working on some new music and I’ve kept an eye on it, being as I am and connecting my own life to music, Movie, his last project sat with me in a deep and heavily emotional way. I poured over lyrics and concepts he mentioned and glued it to my life (As I clearly have a problem doing with my musical inspirations.)

Still, he’s been previewing this new song and one of the lines is…

“Grow through what you go through.”

I thought it pretty ironic that it came up after this year. So much has changed, friends are moving, more of us are settling down, things are moving sometimes too fast to keep a handle on. We are building our lives and we are still going through all the mud and the dirt, we are swinging from the rafters hand over hand like a jungle gym.

I started this year in darkness, lost, hoping that I could be some kind of light to you and that I would reflect whatever I cast out so that it would shine back on to me. So much has changed. So much has gotten better.

I was sitting outside of my apartment the other night looking at the sky, there were these huge tunderheads above me and rain was threatening to pour from space and cover the city. Later that day, when it did, I was thinking about the people I’ve met and the people I have had the chance to grow with. I was with someone and I was talking about painting sunsets, cleaning up the rings in the ocean and more. All of these things my mom and I had talked about Heaven.

I think, what is most beautiful about this year is that I have struggled to find a place, I have struggled to fight off the demons in my heart and my head. I have struggled to get my feet back on the ground. I have struggled to stop myself from choking.

Yet, here I am. The noose I tied, made out of the people in the city, the feelings that were returned to me broken, the shortcomings of my own creativity and goals, rejection letters and denied applications, poems that failed, a world that seemed out to get me slowly faded away as the snow melted this year.

I spent the whole summer thinking about what I need to get better.

I just didn’t see that it was right in front of me.

If you are where I was, hell, where I am, I’m not out of the darkness yet. I doubt I ever will be, but damn, if you feel these things, take a nap, watch some friends, eat some peanut butter cups and think about this.

The sky at sunset.

The way the moon shines red behind smoke like a big ruby.

The way your friends and loved ones laugh.

The way you’re still here.

There is beauty in that.

There is beauty in all of this.

We just have to stop looking at all the rotten fruit and appreciate the beautiful bowl it is sitting in, then we can remind ourselves to pluck it out and replace it with the good.

It is never too late. I promise you that.

Keep swinging, keep struggling, and keep focusing on the end goal. It is coming. I promise you that.

I promise you that.

www.linmtba.com