Cut Up Towel

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Everything you do folds into everything else you do. Each moment of your life you are acting or reacting to other things, it is up to each of us to make the best out of what we have available to us.

The other day as my girlfriend and I were cleaning our house, we dragged a bunch of stuff out and cleaned up the bedroom, I worked on my office and we had decided to take a break, the following day in an effort to drum up some more inspiration to continue the cleaning project, she went to go clean my truck as how dirty it has gotten has begun to bother her. While she did this I went to work on some projects for Salt + Iron and she pulled this pink towel I’ve had for years out of a box. In it’s past life I’ve used it to wrap my consoles in when I brought them to other places. Since I’ve moved out and purchased a laptop, that isn’t necessary any more and It’s laid in the bottom of a backpack for a number of months. She asked if she could cut it up when she was cleaning and use the scraps as rags.

She went ahead and did it as I continued about my day and later that evening I went shopping with my mom, just to spend some time with her and talk about future plans for my life and my business and to get in some quality momma bear time. When we got back I invited her up to the apartment so that she could look over what we had been talking about and we talked about it briefly. Before she left, she noticed the towel still on the plastic table in our living room and turned to me. Her voice almost quivering as she asked me.

“Did you guys cut this up?”

I nodded and said yes, when she told me that it was a wedding present from her brother. 30+ years she had held on to that towel and the rest of the set he had gifted him, long after Montie had passed away and she had shared the stories of his life with her.

As she was explaining that it was a gift from my late uncle I felt a sudden burst of anger, a feeling that I should have known better. That I should have had my girlfriend rip up a different towel, or a T-shirt I don’t wear anymore. Anything but that towel.

I apologized immediately, furious with myself because I should have known better. There was a reason I dragged it around with me and didn’t ever get rid of it. I should have trusted my instincts. I didn’t, because I didn’t remember. I didn’t recall the importance of the towel, if any resided within the cotton still. I had no idea why I dragged it around, assuming at the time that it was just there because it was ratty and old and I didn’t feel a need to use it for drying myself off anymore.

Still, I apologized. Knowing how much small things mean to me, I could only imagine what it meant to my mother that these towels would remain intact. It was a physical representation of her brother and I had given my girlfriend the go ahead to slice them up.

After momma left the apartment I talked to my girl about it, she was really upset that we had ruined something that held so much intrinsic value to my mom. I was upset too, and somewhere in my heart there was this thing tugging at me, knowing the feeling of making a mistake as it clawed at the inside of my head.

I returned to my office to continue working and sat down at my desk, unable to focus on my work. It was a towel, of course, it was silly, but it wasn’t just the fact that it was a towel. Just like my grandfather’s pocket knife. It wasn’t just a knife. It was my grandpa’s. I try to take delicate care of those things in my life, because I know how much the memory means to me. I don’t often keep pictures. I keep fragments of memories that rest in shelves or in cases, between the pages of books that tell stories of my grandfather and my friends. The concerts I’ve been to reborn as bookmarks to keep the new stories I read wrapped tightly within memories. The shirts I wore to concerts worn down to slivered threads with each wash as I keep them and drag them to shreds, remembering what I did as I wore them. Hats and beanies my mother have made stick on a rack until I need them again to hold my unkempt hair together.

Memories surround me. The stone I keep in my pocket that I panic when I lose was given to me by my mom years ago. My tools a gift from my father. My words, each and every one, a composed structure that was given to me by my family. The small bead keychain I don’t keep on my keys because I’m afraid I will shatter it. The tickets from dates with my girlfriend and more all revolve around my life. Many of them hung and pinned to the calendar hanging above my main computer where I do my writing. All of them hung there as memories and keepsakes of moments in my life that I look back on often when I am lost and when I am afraid.

How could I have thought so carelessly about a towel? I wondered.

So I penned an apology to my mom. Promising that we wouldn’t cut it up and we would use it with great care in the future. When she responded, I didn’t expect the answer, though I know my mother well enough now to know that I should have.

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It made me think about my life and how I just use things. I use people’s kindness to my benefit when I need assistance. I use their trust when I want to gossip. I use the items I’ve been so graciously given by those in my life like they are just similar pieces to an ever-expanding puzzle. I allow things to come and go freely between my heart and mind without consideration of where it came from.

I thought about the weight of the towel as I held it in my hands the next day and realized that I don’t carry the weight of what we all do quite enough. Each word we say and each thought we entertain creates who we are. As time goes on, we become worn and battered, meant to be a gift to those around us. Not one to be squandered and tossed away. We aren’t impractical. If the life we share is a wedding. We are not picture frames, not ceramic vases. We are not these things that are meant to hang on walls and be looked at. We are so much more practical. We are towels to clean wounds, to rinse the rainwater off our friends. We are rags to soak up oil and we are much more simple gifts to one another. In their eternal search for purpose and meaning. We are a simple gift, sent from one home to the next to provide a service to them that they cannot get elsewhere.

Will a bookshelf soak the tar of life from the carpet of your home? Will a cell phone clean the wine stain from your dress?

Will an unused word grow the hope of another bride or groom, wandering the soil alone and searching for purpose?

No, it won’t. It never will.

Not until we look at one another as the truly simplistic and still incredibly complicated gifts that we all are. The gifts we all have to give are wildly unique and special. We cannot see it any other way if we want to live meaningfully, with purpose and most importantly, with immeasurable hope.

The next time you brandish scissors in your hand, consider your own use. Are you a gift, practical and useful in your application? Can you survive the next 31 years doing your duty, or will you wither on the shelf as you fill your soul with temporary decorations that can easily be destroyed by a rampant fire of pain or a few days without the water of life?

If your answer is the latter, consider my uncle’s towels for a moment.

Find your purpose.

Pick the scissors up if you need to, but whatever you do. Whether you slice apart the towel or not, consider what it came from. The life that it gifted and the worlds it changed so effortlessly with groundbreaking thoughts and compassionate speech.

Cut the towel, or don’t.

Whatever your life will have you choose,

Live it with a smile.

If you enjoyed this, consider checking out my website where you can see when I will be uploading next! (Every Wednesday + Friday.)

www.linmtba.com

Separation Therapy

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Welcome Back

(Wanna see a schedule of the weekly releases? Cool, I thought you might.)

I find it most comforting that after a long day, I can come home and visit my girlfriend, relax and do whatever I please. I am blessed with the comfort of knowing I am taken care of. I am comforted knowing that I have a home. A place to sleep. A place to think.

I took some time after my birthday to just be, for a while. A lot has changed since the day I decided to put forth something worth consuming. I have spent so much time only soaking in things and I wanted so badly to put those things back into the world in a new way. I just didn’t know how.

Hell, I still don’t know how, but I’m building.

I’ve noticed a problem in my work pattern and my personal life that needs to be addressed publicly before I can really work on it privately.

I’m terrible at owning up to things. I am possibly one of the most passive aggressive people I know, I am cluttered, and I am messy, and these things make up a pretty spectacular light show failure as each connected bulb pops one by one.

I have a hard time committing to a schedule, even though I schedule things adamantly. I have a purpose, and in an effort not to let this block of text bore you into slumber, I’ll get to the point.

I have a purpose, but somehow, I don’t know what I want to do. I have so many things in my back pocket that I slowly chunk off one by one with each passing day. I work adamantly at everything that I do and I come tell all of you about it on the blog. But what is it truly worth? I’ve seen a decline in the way I’ve been behaving. Short tempered and obsessive. Things I am not, not truly.

I came to be a part of this world and not to simply absorb what others can offer me. This led to my break. After a rather impressive period of high stress and panic, my own insatiable despair mounting in a way I had not anticipated I found myself somewhat lost at the crux of this moment that I had spent so much energy preparing for. My birthday is often a big deal to me, something that I choose to celebrate all month long with my friends and family, as well as any fans I’ve picked up along the way.

I have lists and lists of birthday related projects that I want to work on with each new year, I have novels to write and poems to create and I know all of this consciously, but I realized that I wasn’t in quite as much control as I’m used to this spring. I was set to finish my latest work in progress in March, and I put it off every day for one reason or another. Spend time with friends, family, girlfriend, random dogs I find in the street, whatever.

As a creative I often find myself caught up in things. Things that vary in importance. I can spend hours looking up fantasy names for a D&D campaign and do absolutely no work. I can spend the night playing video games instead of sleeping. I can spend a day in a coffee shop reading instead of studying. I can do all of these things and I have this profound ability to waste time, but it is wonderful.

The fact that I have this choice at all, is wonderful.

I have been blessed with a monumental gift that I have often squandered. In most blog posts, I’ll tell you that I mean writing. Not today. That isn’t the purpose of this blog post. This is a reignited fire. A part of me that sleeps so frequently and finds itself awake in the midst of a torrent. A part of me that is alight with energy because I felt the presence of this wonderful gift that each of us shares.

We exist.

We exist and there is a clock on our heads. There is a moment where everything will run out and we will be gone forever, but between every ticking second, we have all of the time in the world. We have all the ability we could ever hope for to stop the clock and look around us. To make time stand still and really see what it is we get up and fight every day for.

I needed a moment to do that, so I’m sorry you didn’t get anything from me all through the last month. Then again, without that break I wouldn’t be here now, would I?

I don’t know. That’s the beauty of life.

I don’t know anything, and it is my job merely to learn and experience. Everything afterward is a choice of my own making and there are few things more beautiful than that.

Take a break today, rest the stress off. Play video games. Watch a movie with your kids. Just…

Live.

 

Ether (Poem)

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Welcome Back.

I’ve missed this.

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If you enjoyed this, I post a new poem every Wednesday! If you’re curious about the upcoming posts + if I have a schedule, you’re in luck! I do. It’ll be going live on my website this Friday.

If you go now, you can find a link to some new shirts from the RAC line there. I think you’ll like them.

www.linmtba.com

Untitled for 25 Years

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I’ve taken a short break after my birthday, sorry for the absence. I wanted to spend some time with my family and friends and girlfriend and think about what to do next, where to go and what mountain I’d like to climb soon. April will likely be scarce for blog posts because of this small break but I hope you’ll forgive me. I want to make the words I deliver to you better. I am trying to do that they best way that I know how.

My fundraiser for Polar Bears International is live on Facebook until the 14th, so if you have a few dollars and would like to help save the polar bears, please consider donating to them.

I can’t think of a better way to open the blog post this week.

There is a lot of pain in this world. There are so many things that we fight against daily. The physical and the mental tribulations that we go through can be a lot of weight. A friend of mine was hospitalized due to the failing of her kidneys a few days ago, she is better as of writing this. At the same time, I’ve just purchased a laptop to replace my current rig, which has dutifully served me for the course of the last seven years. I’ve grown attached to my friends and I’ve watched friends pass away. I’ve seen children brought into this world and I’ve had to buy new bikes because mine were broken beyond repair. I’ve been brought great joys from card games and friends have had their multi-thousand dollar collections stolen from their vehicles. I have been given jobs and had them taken from me. I have loved the abused and I have unknowingly abused the loved. Our life is a cycle and we repeat things whether we want to or not. Each movement in your soul, big or small, can cause lasting ripples that will change you forever. There is no greater joy than pure love and there is no more melancholy silence than the fear of death.

I found myself in a strange place after taking a short break from my business after my birthday. I wanted to maintain momentum but I had nothing to write about, I was floating on the sea with both paddles in my hand and too many docks to choose to land in.

So instead I decided to write without purpose and publish the results, good or bad, for you to see. I’m so excited for all of the projects I’ve undertaken, and I hope to expand on them in the future, but as my birthday came and passed this year I’ve reflected upon my life and the things I’ve chosen to do. Twenty-five is shaping up to be wonderful and I am by no means an old man yet, despite what some may say. I am excited for the future, even when I am lost.

Today I googled “How can I help?” As I was without something to write about in this blog post. I came across so many self-help books and meditation guides, religious institutions claiming a new way to save a soul and more I laughed to myself reading it all through. Not from sadness or despair, not even close. I was comforted that there were so many resources available to those in the world who haven’t found their purpose or who don’t know what they want to do. It was wonderful seeing so many different plans and places to guide a life when one feels like they have no guide. It can be difficult to choose a future and to pursue it. Trust me, I’ve chosen thirty just for myself.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I hope you’re well. Whether you are 25, 18, 48 or 71 I hope you are well.

I hope you are well and that you continue to be well for the rest of the time you have here.

I am blessed to lead this life with you in it. Thank you one last time for giving me another birthday worth celebrating.

This life is a gift, take the present. Unwrap it and use it. It is, after all, the only thing we have any certainty in.

Lifeisnotmeanttobeawful+

www.linmtba.com 4.18.18

Superhuman

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So, there are no guarantees in life. Since that’s a fact, I gotta tell you. I don’t know if my YouTube video will be up when I need it to be. The internet has been kicking me in the balls over and over again this week.

Doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop trying.

The Darling Bones is on sale still! $7 on Salt + Iron, go cop a copy + read about spooky dudes and a ghost lady.

I have been proud of many things I’ve done over the course of my life. Going to NYC to sing a 9/11 memorial with a number of singers across the country is among the top of the list. Working three jobs and still getting all of my writing and work done is another. For a while, I became used to people telling me that the things I do are amazing, and for all of that “amazing” that I am capable of, I still felt as if there was more I could do. That there was more I could accomplish. I constantly battle within myself, back and forth, knowing that I can accomplish something wonderful and awe-inspiring and yet, somehow I feel as if I haven’t done anything amazing in years. I’ve been struggling to fight against the tide of my life, against the stress or struggle I’ve imposed upon myself and it’s been wearing me down.

Of course, this isn’t going to be a bunch of words explaining why my stress is somehow more important than yours, not at all. I’m here to tell you that it is okay.

It is okay if you feel like you can’t do it all. Sometimes, you just can’t.

I am a master, a legitimately certified master of biting off more than I can chew. I am fantastic at taking on too many tasks and being unable to complete all of them. This is why I am such a rigid planner. My days, when I have my way, at least, result in a perfectly executed schedule of work and play mixed together, with damage done to every giant task I give myself so that I can move forward for the next day.

Of course, life cannot be scheduled. Which is where this blog picks up.

I’ve had a million ideas for various projects and goals I want to reach and in theory, they are perfectly laid out, if I accomplish X task in X time I will have X free time in my day, but the reality of it is life is not nearly that simple.

It’s like socialism, fantastic on paper until you let greedy humans into the mix and everything goes to shit.

So, it’s like capitalism.

My point is this. There is no government institution, no group of kind passersby, no singular human on this planet that has time to do it all. Likewise, it is in your best interest to plan your projects and your goals in a way that allows for you to get everything finished yourself. This may mean you will miss opportunities and ideas will slide by you, but that’s okay. You can always recoup and get them sorted out at a later date. Time is a made up construct for us to run our lives, and in the essence of doing anything important to you, you’ll need to understand when to abuse your time and when to slip out of time-keeping altogether. I’ve said for some time that I have control over time. Of course, it’s silly. No one controls time, but I was told that once. A friend I used to work with said that it felt as if I had control over time, I could speed it up and slow it down as I saw fit. Time with me always lasted exactly as long as it needed to and I loved it.

So I used it, I started to build into that philosophy and I have harnessed that power since then.

We all have small powers, just like that. Of course, no one can control time, but just that tiny thought, the idea that you can change how time flows only based on your perception of time, doesn’t that make you just a little bit superhuman?

I’m sure you have an ability like that too. Maybe a great big mouth so that you never take a bite bigger than you can chew, maybe you have fast hands or legs, maybe your smile is luminescent. Maybe, just maybe, despite all the stress and all of the struggle we face that blinds us to our own realities, we have a power hidden beneath it all.

Mine just so happens to be time. I know how I can make time for everything, I just need to commit to making that time.

Of course, I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong before, but until I am proven differently I’m going to continue believing that you, me and everyone we know has the potential to be superhuman.

That’s just how it is.

Find your power, harness it.

Don’t let anything stop you.

www.linmtba.com

Bigger (Poem)

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I’ve been struggling recently with the amount of stress I’ve been under. It’s been difficult to keep everything in one place and running smoothly. I’ve been faced with things I haven’t had to face in a long time and that uncertainty breeds a level of fear deep in my heart I wasn’t prepared to handle. More often than not I’ve found that I’ve needed to lean on myself to an extreme degree. But looping around myself constantly has been a challenge in and of itself. Still, there is no amount of stress that I can’t face. There is nothing that can overtake me. My power does not come from myself. It comes from Something much bigger, much more powerful than I am.

(I will be posting my weekly blog post later today as well, I didn’t have time to upload my poem this week + I’ve been struggling with internet shortages all week as well delaying my Dyzygy video being posted, but it will be up this weekend I promise!)

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The Darling Bones is still on sale for $7! Go pick up your copy today + enjoy a suspenseful story about a young man who has lost the most important thing from him, while he comes to grips with losing the love of his life, he finds out that she was taken from him and the darkness that enveloped his whole world returns, fighting to take him over.

But he will not relent, he will not succumb, neither should you.

www.linmtba.com

Congratulations.

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Happy  Birthday to everyone today, mine is coming up soon + in celebration, my book, The Darling Bones is on sale all month! check out the sweet deal here + pick it up, enjoy it, and then keep coming back. I have some more sweet stuff on the way later this month!

The desire to overcome punishing weather in the midst of a devastating storm sometimes feels like a quiet whisper in the middle of a concert hall.

Congratulations.

If you woke up this morning, congratulations on another day. I’m happy you’re here. I am happy you’re alive. Whether you might regard yourself as an enemy to me is of no consequence. I have no enemies. Sometimes we face new days with great trepidation, fortunately for you + I the world will find us at our lowest points and try to beat the hair from our heads.

There are absolutely no guarantees in the world we live in. One day I am going to disappear and most people probably won’t really care. I will be surrounded by laughter and love and peace.

I admit that peace has lately been a distant bird, singing somewhere in another forest but I can hear it gently chirping. If that is all I find in this life, I know I will have peace. I will take it for myself in the quiet moments, in the whispers, in the thunder, in the fire and famine, I will remember the song of that small bird.

I hope that today you consider something, you exist and there is little reason for that existence. Which is wonderful, because it means something.

Should your heart be beating today and your eyes scanning these words, you can surely say that you have been blessed with life and with purpose. No matter the season you are sensing at this moment, winter winds or spring bloom you are still alive to see it all. The world will always revolve and you can take that peace to heart.

This season will end, be it good or bad. I take it to heart that I have much to be congratulated on. As much as you do, you know.

If your relationship just ended, congratulations.

If you’ve just had a baby, congratulations.

If your job just fired you, congratulations.

If you just started your job, congratulations.

If you lost your phone, congratulations.

If you just quit smoking, congratulations.

If you have a few days left to find a home, congratulations.

If you woke up this morning, congratulations.

Congratulations, because every single day, you are allowed a new life. Everything that has plagued you, or burned you, or burdened you for years will be gone in a moment. You will have time to start over, it might take work, it might take time, but you can always rebuild anything you have. Just remember, congratulations, for feeling the way you do today.

It means you are alive and there is nothing to be more thankful for than that.