Bad Pharaoh

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Standing above the necropolis, the great Pyramid rises out of the horizon like a fang shredding flesh from the earth itself. What was once a gilded tomb, covered in gold and meant to stand as an honor to the ego of the Pharaoh, now has fallen to pieces, barely an echo of its former glory. The remnant of a dynasty that has long since passed away. Even today, the Pyramid of Giza is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I’ve spoken about the Wonders before, and likely will again.

There is much that we don’t know about the history of Egypt, specifically, some of the pharaohs. What evidence and knowledge we do have is slowly being uncovered day after day by the researchers and the historians who have devoted their lives to learning.

All of those things stand well and good, but I want to talk a bit about the symbolism of pyramids and one Pharaoh in particular, in relation to how we all can be today.

The pyramids, beautiful and impressive as they are, still are a symbol to some. In the hand of those who find their knowledge and identity in speculation, they belong to aliens or the illuminati, or, for some, Jay-Z. All of those aside, the pyramids are simply put, massive tombs. Legions of dead rest in some of them, buried with their Pharaoh, if my research was done correctly, they could have been buried alive beside their kings. A final attempt to reach the afterlife with their leader. The tombs are symbolic of their ascendance into the afterlife, perhaps becoming gods or supreme beings of one kind or another. The pyramids standing as a blister that shows the imagined importance of the meek human lying within, rotting slowly with each turn of season. The Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife, consider the structure of their mythology, the gods and how they interact with the living, the symbolism of their god of death, Anubis. Which out of the number of gods the Egyptians worshipped, seems to be one of the most popular in our lives today.

Humanity as a whole is obsessed with death.

Even in the time of Pharaohs, gods and goddesses, we have been fascinated with the possibility of death and what it is like. Why it occurs. When it happens. All of the aspects of death are impossible to obtain and then share to our information hungry society. So, many of us seek out answers through life that will satisfy our craving for the knowledge of death. We seek information and knowledge to dissolve the fear that every living, breathing being holds dearest to their hearts.

I tend not to believe those who say they are unafraid of death. I am not afraid of the afterlife, I am secure in my faith and belief. I believe I know what will come of me after I pass, but death itself, the act of passing to another realm, that terrifies me. Just like everyone else I seek out answers to satisfy and hide my fear deep within my heart.

I use these tactics by telling stories, by writing poetry, by creating music. On some deep level that I struggle with admitting, I do these things because I know that they will live longer than I will and I want what I’ve said to pass the test of time. In my own way, this blog is just one of many pyramids I am building. This blog, my novels, my relationships, my future, all of them are just tombs.

This idea, brings me to a particular Pharaoh, who I think on some level is just like you and I with more jewelry and gold trim. Amenhotep IV is regarded as the worst Pharaoh that ever ruled. Going so far as to erase names of previous rulers in favor of his own, taking the responsibility for actions he didn’t commit and I don’t mean that in the “Oh I totally stole your bike, I’ll return it.” When he obviously didn’t steal the bike.

Bicycles weren’t invented then.

The point is, more often than not I find myself thinking with the same mentality as our Amenhotep, I write the things I do because in some moments, behind a curtain where I can hide my face I begin to think I know more about life than I truly do. I have seen some horrific things in my lifetime. I have experienced a lot of death, the kind that is eternal. The death that gives you closure. I want the things that I write to stand out beyond the grip of death and give my friends that live beyond me, as well as everyone else I can touch a chance to see the world how I saw it.

This comes from the same place of desperation that our ego evolves from. Amenhotep built many things in his name, out of pride and arrogance. He wanted Egypt to worship him, even later changing his name to reflect that of a god in an effort to turn more eyes towards his false light.

I think we all do this, to one extent or another. I use my writing as a way to get people to look at me, there are so many other ways to do this, using job status, family name, wealth, looks, religion, political ideals. All of these things can turn a good leader into a terrible Pharaoh. I have spent my time as Amenhotep. I have seen the efforts of gilding my creations with my name and accolades instead of my deeds and purpose.

When Amenhotep passed away, he was buried and the succeeding line of Pharaohs spent years and years trying to undo what he had done. It’s a pretty stark reminder.

No matter how beautiful you think your world is to others, the status we keep, the money we make, the ideals we hold, none of them matter when it comes down to the wire and we are being carried into the necropolis by those that either loved us, or hated us in life. I asked myself this question the other day, and I want to pose it to you as well…

When they drop your body off beneath the pyramids you built, are those people going to leave talking about how amazing you were, how you helped those in need, how you offered a kind word or gesture to anyone who needed it, how you were the pillar for those in times of weakness, or will they spend their lives trying to erase all the damage you have caused?

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your pyramid is, one way or another tourists will show up, will the guide to your life explain how you lived with kindness and grace, or will the stories of your victories be followed by stories of greater victories by others for a greater purpose? Either way, the people will strip the gold and the limestone from the face of your pyramid and you will be none the wiser lying beneath it, dead and gone like the rest of us. Peacefully staring at the ceiling, all of the things we obtained here in this life meaningless to the clawing void of necropolis, a labyrinth for the dead.

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Why Worry?

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Welcome to September, we are only one month away from the end of Noose Ends, I’d tell you I have something special planned if I did, but I don’t, I’m just out here working on this bridge, trying to make it the best one in the countryside.

I often think about my story through life, how I got from A to B, then to C, and here we are at R, or T, or whatever letter that would best explain where I’m at today. One of my favorite things for no real reason at all, is tracing where I’m at today back as far as I can. I work where I do because of The Fish, I worked at The Fish because of my friend Lukas, I met Lukas through Preston, I met Preston through Choir in high school etc.

Every moment in my life I can trace back to the beginning, I remember the hallmark moments that brought me to sit where I am today. When I think of things in this perspective all of the pressure to succeed and to keep pushing forward seems so much less significant, as if, perhaps I was meant to be here today.

Perhaps there is another Alva Tobias out there somewhere, perfectly painted and created to be a non-stop machine that can work without pause that can accept all manner of ridiculous emotional stress without batting an eye and can continue as if nothing happened.

Perhaps not, that isn’t how we were built.

A few years back I had a blog post in which I mentioned that God built us like trees, not machines. We are organic and sometimes we need to hibernate, otherwise we will wither. We are not a bunch of mechanical pieces that are strapped together for the purpose of production. We need rest, we need breaks.

I go on this rants pretty frequently about how important it is for us to remember where we came from and who we are today. To think hard about where we want to be.

The pressures that come from trying to live your dreams can be insurmountable at first glance, but look at you, you’re doing it without even thinking about it.

What I’m saying here is that I have a tendency to worry.

I worry about how my books sell, how many people see my blog and my YouTube videos and so on. There are some nights that I crawl into bed, exhausted just from the stress I gave myself from worrying about my business and my future. What is interesting to me in all of this, is that my future is happening right now. As I’m writing this, I am potentially cementing something in the future for myself, some kind of success or new opportunity I would not have had if I had not written this blog post. I do the same thing every single day at work, I speak to all kinds of people I may never see again, a handful of them have come in and made themselves at home with me and others will remember me for a while in the least.

Isn’t that the coolest shit?

Our lives are always building. We are always digging paths, building bridges and watering gardens we have planted with every new thing we do each day.

If you’re worried about your future today, I want to let you know, you don’t have to worry.

There might be another version of you out there somewhere, perfectly painted and created to be a non-stop machine that can work without pause and can accept all manner of ridiculous emotional stress without batting an eye, continuing as if nothing happened.

But probably not, that isn’t how we were built. That isn’t how we grow.

Take your stress and think about this:

You are standing in front of a wide river, the current is fast and you know that if you jump into it then you will be swept away. However, you need to get to the other side. Across that river, there is a city with a grocery store, so you can feed your family, or yourself. Within that city also lies your duty. You must pay the tab for keeping the land behind you, you must pay your taxes, you know that if you do not, someone will come along and take what is rightfully yours. You have a number of bills that must be paid, for lumber and metal that you purchased earlier so that you could extend your house a bit. To give yourself or your family more room. With you, you are wearing a heavy brown apron. Inside of it there is a handful of nails, a saw, and a hammer. Your carpentry tools jingle and smack against your thighs as you come to see that there is no bridge where you thought one would be.

What do you do?

Will you venture along the side of the river, looking for a bridge elsewhere, or will you turn to your right and begin cutting down the trees that are there beside you, so that you can get across in a timely manner. You have all of the skills, after all, you are a carpenter and you’ve built your own home.

Are you going to let others take that away from you while you wander along the banks of a rapid river, worrying about how you don’t know the next step?

Or are you going to make the next step yourself?

If you enjoyed this, I’d love if you shared it to Facebook/Twitter and just let your friends see it too. It would mean the world to me, maybe a few of us could meet up and get to building some cool stuff together.

Small Things

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So as you likely have noticed, I’ve been absent for a few days. I apologize for that. I needed to get my shit together, I needed to have a talk with the gentleman in this blog post, evidently.

As for the business front, some things will be changing and most things will be staying the same. I’ll be putting up the first official Vlog next weekend, as well as beginning Spoooky Saturday and Dyzygy + Friends.

Oh yeah, I HAVE A NOVEL COMING OUT THE 21ST.

There is this guy that comes into my work all the time, he and his mother order the same thing each day and they show up early, his mom pays for it and he waits around to pick it up from us. While he waits he will walk around the restaurant, speaking to random customers and telling them stories.

The way he busts into stories astounds even me, and I can Segway into just about anything. He just walks up to you and starts talking like you weren’t doing anything else just before he showed up. It’s like a phantom confidence that surrounds the dude that he just knows you’ll pay attention to him when he walks up to you, and if you decide not to pay any attention to him he doesn’t care he will just walk off and find someone who will.

He was shot in the head when he was younger.

I don’t have all of the details despite hearing the story a couple times a week, and it isn’t any of my business to repeat to you. But that is why he is the way he is, he lost sight in one eye and his mind doesn’t seem to function like the rest of our minds do. So he tells stories, it’s usually one of three. A kid he knew back when he was still in school, the bumper sticker on his mom’s car and how he got shot. Some of the people I work with are really bothered by how he is, that he has no social graces and doesn’t care about what we are doing when he wants to talk to us. A couple of the employees make it a point to speak to him every time he is in, because they know that he probably just wants to talk to us cause he wants to talk to us. I don’t know why he tells the same stories every single time he sees us, but it’s been a nice wake up call.

You know when you start behaving one way and you eventually get into a routine even though it’s a poisonous routine and should just not be that way ever but still are? I’ve been there. I have been having a back and forth battle with myself between letting my jaded and cynical side prevail or continuing the toothache fight that is being sweet and gentle all the time. (Spoiler alert: Cynicism is winning.)

Then the other day when I was working, just before going out of Elko for a friend’s birthday camping trip he came in and wandered around just like he always does. He spoke to a handful of tables, one older woman in particular looked especially incensed that he bothered her meal, to that I hope she knows she can get bent. Then after a while he came up to me at the bar and told me about his injury once more. I nodded along at the perfect cues and said “Wow, that’s crazy.” Like I do every other time.

There was nothing especially different about that day, I woke up late after spending time with my friends the previous day. I finished the edit for another book, I went to work and I set my sights on making it through another day without a cigarette and hopefully without a meltdown, but I realized how shitty I treated the guy.

Not so much that he knows I treat him shitty either, it is in how I react to him entering the building. I see him and know that he will tell me one of three stories that I’ve heard a million times and I have memorized how he tells them so that I can nod when he gets to a specific place and the nod is timed so well that it urges him on. Then after he finishes showing me a scar I’ll say “Oh my goodness. That’s crazy.” Then if his food isn’t finished he will go on to tell me about his mom’s bumper sticker and how much he loves her sense of humor. At first I would truly laugh when he spoke and anymore I just force a fake chuckle and say “Boy that really is funny!”

A week or so ago a new girl started, on her third day she said something to me that stuck with me. I was giving someone shit behind the bar and making a joke about how the restaurant was a prison and we would all die there. (You know, cause I’m light-hearted.) and she looked at me to say:

“I thought I was the most cynical person in this town and I’m surprised I’ve been proven wrong.”

I wanted to argue, but she was right. I knew she was right when our friend came into the restaurant and told me his story again and I replied again just like every other time I have. I made it a point to repeat myself and make sure that I didn’t give any possibility for expanding conversation.

What?

I felt like one of the guards in Skyrim with limited options for conversation. The adventurer came up to me and all I just repeated the same shit a million times.

“I took an arrow to the knee.”

“Oh my goodness that’s crazy!”

It likely wouldn’t bother me so much if the girl who called me out for my cynicism wasn’t such good friends with an old co-worker who used to praise me and marvel at my genuine kindness.  I wonder if it disappeared when I failed one too many of my own tests. Maybe I lost it in the grandiose plans I make. Maybe I lost it with my free time. I think the most likely problem that I’ve begun facing is that I am constantly eye to eye with drama and power hungry dragons that I’ve given up on fighting. It isn’t like I lost the sword, it is like the sword isn’t there anymore.

What I’m saying through eighty million veils is that our regular lasagna guy came in the other day and helped me find the handle. I realized how important it was that I would always tell myself that each day I wake up was a gift. It had been so long since I really heard that, that it shocked me to hear it once again. He always mumbles something under his breath in between his stories when he is wandering around the restaurant. Like most people, I tuned it out. I stopped listening after he exited his story because my life is just “too busy” for him. I don’t have forty seconds to take out of my day and humor a man whose life was changed dramatically. He came in again and was speaking with one of my other coworkers, a girl who found her passion in working with the disabled and handicapped. I was half listening to their conversation when the magic hit me again. He was mumbling to her and as always I was ignoring it, then, unlike myself she truly responded to him.

“Yeah, it is a great thing to wake up every day.”

She said it and for a second everything stopped. The people stopped moving, glasses stopped clinking, the clock stopped ticking for five seconds. I needed that five seconds to remember that.

Holy shit. I woke up today.

What am I being such a grumpy bitch for? I’m still alive. I have a job that I enjoy. I get to do my passion every day. I don’t want for any single thing in this world and I’m still trying to justify being a mean little bastard all the time?

Life is a lot of big things. Job changes that make you relocate, marriage, divorce, childbirth, the passing of our loved ones, the birthday celebrations that mean a lot, the advent of beginning your career. There are so many big moments that we focus on to make our lives. I had been waiting for six months to win a competition that as it turns out, I didn’t even get an honorable mention in. I was furious at first, because I thought I deserved it. It would have been one of those big, life changing moments, but I failed. I spent a day or so moping about my house frustrated by how unfair the world is. Then I went to work and saw the guy again.

All this time I was ignoring the thing I needed to be reminded of the most.

“Every day I wake up is a blessing.”

Even if I’m not where I want to be, even if I don’t have a handle on things like I thought I would at this point, even if I come home sometimes absolutely furious about my work life, even if I bicker with my friends, even if most of my meals are crammed into my jaws in the midst of a busy shift, even if I have to curl up in the fetal position to lie in my bed and not hang off… I am here still. I can still do what I love. I still have a job. I have friends who care about me enough to tell me I’m wrong. I can still eat whenever I want to. I still have a bed to lie down to sleep in and tell myself that “everything is just so unfair.” And in the morning I can wake up and remind myself for the millionth time (because I need to often.) that yes, the world is unfair. Unfairness means that probability is slighted against us, and in that, it is absolutely unfair, but it is not unfair to us, not like we think. It is unfair to the universe. The chance of us even existing at all is so tiny we couldn’t comprehend it. I can’t claim to hate anything, because I was created, I was gifted life in the massive galactic mess and I can never one time take that for granted. Our lives are built up because of the small things we encounter day to day, not the big things that can change us forever.

I woke up today, and it is a good day.

The Laughing Children

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I was planning on doing this blog post like the rest of them from this month, as a median between storytelling and talking to you all but as I sat down to write it I changed my mind, see I just read back through a few of my previous blog posts from the first two years of GME and I’m feeling reminiscent.

I entered into this world with a wide eyed glassy sensibility and I would easily crumble at the slightest stress that was placed upon me. I grew bitter and frustrated as the years passed and I seemed to only grow increasingly lost and confused. I didn’t know my place, I didn’t know my purpose and I sure as shit didn’t know what would happen next.

I expressed that through my writing and was made fun of a great deal in high school for being a poet. I wrote this one poem when I was a Sophomore about Christianity and the crucifixion and how it related to me. In the poem I spoke about Christ as a friend to me. It didn’t take long for this kid who sat behind me to snag the notebook and read it aloud, asking me how I felt about my “friend Jesus” and I hung my head, ignoring him and the mass laughter that came from the other kids in the class that though poetry was silly.

I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I stopped writing after that.

It wasn’t worth it to me, to share my work in class because it all came from a deeply personal place and I was horrified of the possibility that I would be chastised or made fun of because of it. Another time, when I was much younger, I was tasked with writing an essay about “your perfect teacher” in fourth grade. While the majority of my class simply wrote that our fourth grade teacher was their idea of the perfect teacher, I took it an alternate route. I remember vividly because of the embarrassment it caused. I described this perfect teacher physically, noting down scars and figure, and left much of the personality aspect out of the piece. The kids didn’t necessarily laugh at me that time. Most of them were so weirded out by it that they didn’t speak to me for years.

I get it, I was a weird kid. I didn’t understand the question and I had a crush on our student teacher.

@ me.

The following year, because I was so horrified of my own writing and I think because of my own imagination, when the class was offered a choice in assignment I spoke out against it. We were offered to write a 5 page essay on a political topic we had been studying in the quarter, or create a presentation for it. I stood up with my friends and looked at Travis, who I told aloud that “There is no way I would write the essay.” My teacher plucked me from the group and told me that I no longer had a choice. I was going to write the essay or take a failing grade. A while later in that class after the essay had been finished and I turned it in with a sheepish look about me, we were tasked to create a story. Travis wrote this enlightening piece about animals who were injected with this molecule that made them hyper destructive fighting machines, like ninja turtles except way more badass. I liked the idea, so I took it and ran in a different direction. (I say that, but I plagiarized the shit out of him.) I had written and illustrated this story in all of the graphic detail it contained. This snake man who was the cause of all of the problems faced off against the heroes, a wolf, a tiger and a lion on a mountaintop laboratory. Seeing that they could not end the dispute peacefully, they coiled the snake upon the spire and impaled him as his blood drained down the summit of the mountain. I showed this to my parents and they told me immediately that I “couldn’t show that to anyone.” I was confused. I had been brought up all my life to be creative and to explore the parts of my mind so many people keep hidden. I had been taught by my mother every day to write and work and create something that no one else has before and then when I did (well, I didn’t, not really, not the point.) they told me to change the ending. It was my first and last experience to date with a true editor. I remember taking the last panel of the book up to my bedroom and tearing it to tiny pieces after I had spent so much time creating it. I didn’t want to feel that way again. I hated destroying my work, but my parents were right. I couldn’t show that to someone. They would think I’m crazy. If destroying my work was like death, the laughter of my classmates and the insults I would hear afterwards would have been eternal damnation. I would never feel that way, I couldn’t bear to.

Then I entered high school. I wrote and sketched every day. I began to blossom into a creative machine who could not be stopped. Until I wrote that poem my sophomore year and I once again felt that laughter that burned my heart. I couldn’t bear the insults and the jokes made at my expense so I stopped writing for a long time. I turned to music because it was the “cooler” creative hobby. Of course, what no one tells you is that it’s only “cooler” if you’re making money or are attractive while doing it. I was neither of those things. Playing guitar only gave me relief in that I was good at it and I used it as a tool to overcome stress from my day to day life. I had finally found a place to fit in. I was playing guitar and working with two of my best friends every day sharpening my abilities and I even joined choir. Music really did save me, but before I get into that chain of events, I had to feel the blistering pain of failing at that too once before I could understand what I was really on this earth for. It was my junior or senior year and I had been practicing for a New Year’s Eve talent show at my church, I was going to play “Dear God” by Avenged Sevenfold for these people who loved me and supported me for years. Hours every day I had spent practicing and before I knew it the night had arrived. My parents and I showed up to the church and I sat down to tinker with my guitar before the show started. I was feeling confident and capable, nothing could stop me. Then, as you have probably guessed by now, something shook me to my nerves. There was this kid that I went to high school with who absolutely hated me. I had no idea why, I still don’t. He was the kind of kid who was cool in high school because he didn’t care about anything, not really. He skirted classes and dates and treated his girlfriends like shit, you know the type of guy I’m talking about. I saw him come in and suddenly my nerves broke. I began sweating and shaking and on the verge of tears I stumbled up to the front of the church at the provocation of my parents and a family friend. I sat down to play the song and made it through the first verse well enough, but I couldn’t get my fingers to land where they needed to land. I couldn’t get my mouth to make the right noises and my lungs couldn’t hit the notes like they needed to. I let my fear get the better of me and stumbled through the rest of the song like an idiot, rather than giving up in the middle of the performance and stepping down I was determined to keep going so I took a break and started again, finishing out a 6 minute song in 9 minutes and doing it more poorly than when I had first begun to learn the song.

I left the New Years Celebration shortly after he stepped up to play a song and wooed the crowd. His voice was beautiful, even if he was rotten to me I can’t deny him that. He was a fantastic guitarist, still is as a matter of fact, I see him every once and a while playing a show at the Rodeo or in one of the bars.

I couldn’t bear the laughter and the stifled laughter that I had heard like viscious echoes all through my life every time I put myself out there and then immediately failed. I have grown paranoid of it. I still have nightmares to this day, that I will release a book and the kid in my Sophomore English class will rip it out of my hands and ask if I really think Chaim is real. Or I will be at a book meeting and the kid from the NYE Talent show will step out and begin playing guitar while lying naked across my signing table so everyone stops paying attention to me. I’m horrified that these things will still happen but this sad and embarrassing truth comes hand in hand to you with another;

Just like high school doesn’t last forever, neither will your uncertainty.

I have put out so much content over the last four years that I barely know what to do with myself. I have over 400 blog posts in total that I have been writing since 2013. That’s nuts, isn’t it? I have (as of now) five published books, with a sixth coming out later this year. I work every day to better myself and make something more important and more powerful because I learned a long time ago in the middle of the night, as I listened to the echoes of the other children laughing at me…

I was a child too. Each child is given a purpose. More often than not we must fight to carve that purpose out for ourselves and we cannot give up. I have done my best carving during those late nights, wondering why people don’t understand my mind and feeling like I am viewing a party from the outside. “I think so differently” I would tell myself. “Why can’t I be more like them?” On the nights when the laughter was increasingly hard to hear, I would put my headphones on and write something for them. Something I will never show another living being as long as I live and something that will hopefully be lost before I pass away. I would turn the music up when I was done and I would cry myself to sleep. I withdrew into a shell and wouldn’t let anyone have that kind of power again. I wouldn’t let anyone destroy me with their jokes about my art or my music or my writing. I couldn’t stand it. In the throes of those endlessly painful and harrowing nights I was given two things, one that I had to claw away from the deepest parts of me, wrapped in bad memories and calcified tears, it was that I had always been different. I had been created to be different. I see things in a way that not many others do. I take things from a new perspective, like so many artists before me, but I use words as the catalyst for change and dissection. I found this through the muddy water inside of me as I ran each night from the voices of the other children laughing at me. I learned quickly that the fastest way to tune them our was with music, mind or otherwise, so I would strap headphones to my skull and turn the music up as loud as possible as the voices tried to distract me. After years of doing this, I found that I have developed a minor case of tinnitus.

It’s okay, however. The ringing in my ears only serves one purpose. It is quiet still, but just loud enough to drown out the voices of the children still echoing around in my skull. When I go to submit a manuscript or propose an idea to my friends and family, I am blessed by the eternal ringing within my ears. Because it keeps the laughter at bay so I can remember…

I have a purpose, and it is this.

I will never give in to the laughter. I am not a child, and even when I was they never controlled me.

The laughing children don’t control you either, so keep writing, keep fighting and pushing and painting your future. Embrace your differences and rejoice within them. We are all designed with our strengths and weaknesses, don’t let them take yours away.

Thank you for reading, remember that life is not meant to be awful.

www.linmtba.com 

Aethermind, Reconstructed

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I took some time off, and this week I wanted to take a second to talk about that time with all of you.

My father, (when he was a child) and even still to this day likes to take things apart to find out how they work. He loves to find the gears and the circuits that charge and rotate the things we use. He applied that talent to building models and working on vehicles. I’ve spoken about it before to all of you.

My mother, (when she was a child) and even still to this day likes to look at things and understand the soul that they lay bare. She loves to find that emotion that we course through our arms like electricity. She applied that talent to constructing poetry and crafts. I’ve spoken about it before to all of you.

When they wed and gave birth to a child, I was created. My father carefully placed gears and wires inside of my mind so that I could think and understand the world like he does. My mother used pure magic to instill within me a passion that even I could not comprehend. When I was born, my mother offered me up to God and told Him that I am His. That she had me and felt blessed. She considered me a gift.

Because of that, I’ve considered my own gifts.

I took some time off this year to rethink some things. To really understand what I’m doing, why I exist, why I have this urge to write this blog and why I want so badly to write period.

Why do I want to accomplish all of these things?

Between the poetry and the videos, the music and books, the art, the graphic design and the multitudes of other things I have taken to mastering, I felt stripped bare.

Through our lives I think we get cloudy. We are filled with expectations and desires that are pressed onto us. We are pumped up with confidence when we do well, stripped of it when we do poorly. These things fill us up like cold water vapor and before we know it we are living storms. We go from day to day and find it difficult to control the urges within us. To laugh, to cry, to scream, to do anything at all that reminds us that we are alive. I see it in myself and in so many around me, we simply wake up and muddle through day to day trying to figure out the next step. I’ve personally grown tired of the politics. I wish so badly for one day where I can wake up and not have to hear about what is happening politically. I wish that I can go through a day where there are no fights rooted in ignorance, even outside of politics. Arguing over video games and hair styles, bitching at one another about work shifts. I saw within myself that I was just wandering around, touching everything but not truly being a part of it. I would roll off of my parents couch, listen to them talk about Donald Trump and what the media says about him. I’d half-heartedly sit down to edit a book, I’d go to work with my eyes half shut, listening to any kind of music that could put me in the zone. When I arrived, I grew weary immediately. Vouching rather to turn around and exit the scene instead of stay and complete my given tasks. I was in our world, but I wasn’t a part of it.

There is this magic in my mind, something I truly believe exists outside of it as well. Perhaps it is a way to explain the world, but I think there is more to it than that. This magic force comes from something called the aether. This massive condensed magic energy that flows into and out of everything living in the world. In some instances, it has even infected the inorganic creations too. They have magic within themselves they sometimes can’t control. This thing, the aether, revolves around them always and relatively few are capable of tapping into the pure yet destructive power it contains. This concentration of magic is dangerous to be around, and few who ever encounter it live to tell the tale. Even fewer of them would be willing to tell it because of how awe inspiring it is. This force with no face that creates as often as it destroys. It feeds us and powers us, it gives us the things we need and renews our vigor when things start to die on us.

I have spent too much time trying to dumb down what I say for the sake of clarity. I want so badly to be known and to be understood that I ignored my purpose.

I belong to something much more powerful than I am. These things I write and do, the way I live, it isn’t meant to be mutilated because I feel alone. I may be alone, but one singular storm is made up of millions of drops of water.

Walking through this life without having opened eyes is useless to me. I can see the leaves that will be growing on trees soon, but it will mean nothing if I don’t appreciate them. The tiny veins that carry life through the face of the leaves. The roots beneath us that root life into the earth. I can see the creations of man, buildings and vehicles that are nothing short of magical. I can witness the height of a skyscraper but what is it to me if I don’t take a moment to appreciate how small I am in comparison? Things don’t exist in this world just for the sake of existing, I have never seen it that way. I can’t subscribe to this idea that I am the center of the universe either, there is a magic within everything. This force that brings us life and renews it when things in our lives begin to die.

When I took time off, I thought about everything. The rain in my heart that kept me from writing. The fog in my eyes that kept me from seeing. The ox horns weighing down my tongue that kept me from speaking. Ox horns I used to display proudly in my home, the ones I ripped from my own stubborn beast. Things started to die and they were renewed.

It is the law of the aether.

All that dies, will return. Perhaps not in the same way, but it will return.

All things broken will find themselves repaired.

It will bridge the gaps between lost and found.

It will summon the ancient things we forgot that we knew.

All things exist within, outside of, and because of the aether.

I took time off because I knew what I needed to do. I needed to dive into that force. Headlong. There is no better way to rediscover your own purpose.

When I landed within the cloud I was suspended and I saw everything I had seen once before. The way I affect others. The words I used to hold so dear. The ideals that I have kept for so long. The way we are all connected with tiny spider webs, from lost, to found, to missing again we are all part of something bigger and more powerful.

The torrent of the magic that has been alongside me for my whole life ripped at my flesh. It pressed the dark clouds out of my lungs and it shattered the stained glass I used to cover my irises. When I emerged, I was nothing but a frame of bones, and a bag of parts.

Then I remembered my father as the gears floated up and pressed themselves into my mind. I remembered my mother as the aether wrapped its warm force around me and I felt the magic course back through my veins. The gears began turning in my skeleton and it spun the magic back into flesh. I stood reconstructed, and remembered where I came from.

The aether first gave me purpose, because of my parents. My friends and family have only grown that power and I have evolved now. My mind harbors the aether that exists in the world alongside me. I am a vessel for pure, unlimited magic.

Now that you know that, you are a vessel too. So don’t be afraid. Don’t be held back. Don’t be misguided. You are more powerful than you could possibly know. Use that power for good. The aether is here for you, and it is waiting.

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