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

True Cleric

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I do what I do to help others. I know that not everyone needs what I have to offer, but someone, somewhere does.

As long as I can remember I’ve been a person that my friends come to for advice or help, for a laugh or for comfort. I have been a healer for as long as I remember playing this game, and because of that I have been witness to some terrible things. The world is a mean and rotten place sometimes, the shadows behind us can grow and become bigger than we ever thought they would, but there is still a glimmer of hope.

Shadows only grow when the light is brighter.

I bring this to you today, because I was scrolling through Twitter on a break from work and I saw someone I’ve followed for a couple years who I never really speak to tweet to their followers:

“The worst feeling is when you give all of your healing soul to someone and they take that from you.”

“I have a healing soul, it is my nature, but when I need healing, where is everyone else?”

“That’s all I’m saying, the people who heal you are broken too. I want to be healed.”

I was caught off guard initially by the series of tweets because it sounded like something between a cry for help and a cry for attention.

So I thought I’d do what I do best and talk about it today.

I will never tell you that there are people out there who don’t need encouragement or help or healing. We all find ourselves in times of distress or fear or whatever other damaging moment that life sends to you. We all have moments to shine and we all need moments to recover, but there has been this growing notion recently about people. It started with “Old Souls” and has grown to be so much more than that. Before I get into the hook here, I want to be clear with you, reader, I have been guilty of the very thing I am here to discuss. I am no stranger to the desire for attention and help. I need it just as much as the rest of us do, but that doesn’t change one important thing about our lives.

If your purpose is to heal, then you will heal. It is your purpose.

Explicitly and divinely appointed to your heart are the desire and the necessary tools needed to have a healing spirit. That being said, we have grown lazy in our interpretation of healing. The kindness that so many of us spend on one another has become a game of who can catch up faster. Social Media posts riddled with self-aggrandizing images of us helping the homeless or standing alongside a burn victim who we brought to the hospital, the stink in our heart of our desire to help and to heal has been infected with a more powerful urge to be noticed for the things that we do. I can be accused of this as well, even in some moments bragging about the kindness I share on this very blog, where two years later I disavowed those things I said, or rather, the way I said them.

There rests a fine plane between kindness and healing for the sake of purpose and doing it for the sake of attention and I’ve seen that when we say things in the vein of “Look at what I did today.” Or “Why is it that I give my all to help others, yet when I need help no one is there?” it tends to come from a place of attention hungry infection, not true healing or hope.

If we are designed to be healing spirits, why then, would we seek to do anything outside of our original purpose? If what we say is true, we are healers for the sake of being healers, why would we seek retribution or payment for simply acting out of our base instinct?

We wouldn’t.

Unless of course, we were maligned by infection of some sort.

In as much the same way we seek approval from our peers for marital, athletic or creative success, we have ventured into seeking that same approval from genuine actions such as empathy and kindness. There should be no payment due for healing given. We are not doctors. We are Clerics. We are healers and we should expect nothing in return for what we do.

Healers are, at their core, people who are capable of indescribable love. Sometimes I doubt that it is my own purpose, but I am trying to remember that I know what I should be doing. I’m trying to remember that I know where I should go. I will remember + I hope you all do as well…

There is no return payment on love.

Feel Every Yard (BIG Announcement!)

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Before I get to the post today, I promised you a couple things from Wednesday. Sorry if it was a tad bit misleading, I wasn’t about to shout out some cool stuff if I wasn’t sure it was happening, but here we are.

So, first of all, I’ve been releasing a few shirts over on Teespring for Random Acts Creations. Year One through Year Four shirts/hoodies/v-necks are available now + I don’t plan on pulling the stock ever. I’m working behind the scenes to release a spring line towards the middle of April this year. It will be full of rad stuff like hoodies, T-shirts, and phone cases. (There is more but Imma keep some of it a secret!)

Second, I’ll be releasing a compilation of poetry from the blog itself (edited and updated, I promise.) Some of em were pretty rough around the edges but They’re shaping up nicely + you’ll be hearing more about them towards the third quarter of the year.

Third, I’ll be putting out another blog compilation this November, Year Five is going to come with a lil bonus though, I don’t want to give you too much about it, but I’ll tell ya you might want to keep some space available on your wall. 😉

All of that being said, if you’ve made it this far, you can check out my website, freshly updated and looking super fly to see my release schedule every single month. I’ll have days scheduled for blogs, poetry, YouTube videos + anything else I’m doing. Don’t think I’ve been forgetting about some of the older stuff you all loved. Over on the S+I Facebook page i’ll be bringing more happiness and inspiration than ever before. Snapchat will be live with some new tutorials just for kicks and I have SO much more. 2018 is just getting started and your favorite hippy is swinging harder than ever.

Best believe that.

It’s funny how they say time is money when we are so reluctant to spend time but we will freely throw away our time. Before I get into this week, I hope that you spend much more time this week than you do money, it is so much more valuable and so much more appreciated.

Last week I was having a conversation getting to know a new coworker and discovering their interests when they told me something I have said to others. We were talking about his passions and his dreams and he told me that he wanted to travel, he was going to set up a motorhome and just drive around the country in the next three years. That his dream was to see every state in the US and then he continued by saying something I have said countless times before.

“I know it seems stupid…”

Right before he launched into the description of his dream since he was a child, he wanted to touch every piece of dirt in the USA and he looked away from me in shame as he told me that.

It rang a bell inside of me that has been softly ringing since the day I picked up a pen.

I remember when I was that kid, unsure of my future with lofty goals and dreams, this grand desire to be all that I am working to become, an author, a YouTuber, a poet, a musician, a business owner, a chef, a friend and a blogger among so many other things. I remember being in that exact same place, telling others that my dreams sound stupid.

That was before I found The Buried Life, I’ve written about the show before + in case you’re new around here and have been hiding under a rock, they set out with this idea to cross off items from a collective bucket list and along the way help others cross one item off of theirs. The show + corresponding book inspired me so much that I decided to do the same.

It’s funny how these things that cross over into my head overlap so often. It is a still small reminder that my purpose is clearly defined and I cannot stop building for it, fighting for it and praying for guidance along the way.

I lost my job and began to panic about making money, how I could support myself still, how I could keep moving forward and what I could do to pay my bills, when I was provided for as if by magic I silently prayed a thanks and kept moving, without realizing that I had begun orienting my time beneath making money. The time I spent with friends decreased, the time I spent working increased and I began to trip up a lot, wondering if I was worth it or whatever.

Well that’s some shit if I’ve ever heard it.

Talking to my friend I was reminded of the madness that my life has become and how I enjoy every last second, every last wasted cent, every last smile and tight embrace between myself and those that I love.

This life is so much more than we always think it is. In the midst of darkness, for you or me, there is always light. You have your purpose and I hope that you consider it if you feel lost today. You have dreams and goals somewhere within you, you have a calling and there is no greater sin than wasting you valuable time.

Spend it instead, searching for the next step and moving forward. If you want to become an author, start writing. Streaming on Twitch? Download the app and go. There is no back tracking as long as you are aware that you are accomplishing goals and dreams with every new step you take. So don’t stop stepping.

Just get out there, climb in your motorhome and hit the road. We have a long list of items to work through, it is going to take a minute…

…and every minute will be worth it.

Thank you so much for reading.

Thoughts 3 (+ an Announcement!)

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It’s been a while since I’ve come to level with you. I haven’t really said anything about projects that I’m working on + have been absolutely SHIT at talking to my readers + friends through here, twitter, Facebook, or Instagram where I should be better about interacting with you. I mean, you hit up my blog twice a week and read what I have to say. It’s pretty unfair for me to be such a ghost.

The fact is, I’m terrible at communication. I’m getting better, so that we’re all on the same page, this Friday I’m going to have an updated website with a bit more information + some graphics to explain what is going on behind the scenes. I’ve got some things up my sleeve, clothing, poetry, YouTube videos + more content here on WordPress. I have three large releases planned this year in the various fields of Salt + Iron. I’m excited to share it with you, so come back this time Friday. I’ve got news and you’ll know all about it then.

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www.linmtba.com

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?

Snake in a Bank

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So, you may notice that the poem is a touch different than it has been in the past, that’s because I’ve been having some difficulties with Illustrator over the past couple days + had to improvise. Turns out I kinda like the new format too. Enjoy!

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If you dig it, tell your best friend about it. Or just like, their dog. I dunno. It’s your choice.

If you want to see more, you’re in luck! I have a big announcement coming soon regarding the GME poetry. I’ll publish it here so you can get a good look at it too. Expecta  few days of a wait, but it’ll be around.

In the meantime, rep some S+I gear and show it off. All four central blog designs are live on Teespring right now! A perfect gift for Valentines day, ya know.