Poison/Honey

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… the dose.

2017.12.6- Poison Honey.jpg

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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

Ghost Me

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A bit about social media and how we behave.

I was talking with a friend today about how our generation makes up all of these terms to explain how shitty our attitudes are. We are a society of people who want to explain things with cute words and terms instead of actually talking about how we feel. I even fall into this category. I use a lot of the terms too, not ironically, and as someone who prides themselves on their vocabulary that irritates me.

This might get kind of bloody, I hope you’re not easily upset by the crucifixion of words, because I’m planting stakes.

I am a part of a generation of assholes who are “talking” to one another instead of explaining their feelings, who would sooner smash someone and not see them again despite the implications that it may have on their futures, our guys have side chicks and our girls have sides of bullshit too. When all the drama from relationship gets to be too much we get lit at parties and pride ourselves on blackout drinking. We describe one another with memes meant to throw shade and destroy each other’s public opinion. When a conflicting ideal rears its head we sooner turn to white pictures with text on them instead of talking about our differences, over a cup of coffee or a blunt I promise it would be better than sending “Fuck Trump” memes. I don’t care for him either, but there is a reasonable and intelligent way to discuss it, but instead of searching for validity so many of us choose to investigate the holy words of our almighty Queen Beyonce and the ever revolving pool of drool take your pick, Chris Pratt, Brad Pitt or Chris Evans so on and so on. When we come across someone who aligns with our narrow and shallow idealistic portrayal of reality we choose to bind ourselves to them in moments shorter than milliseconds and they become our best friend. We also aren’t great at making decisions, either. I call three different men my best friend. One woman too. So I make criteria to divide them. My best girl friend + my girlfriend, and then my best friend from childhood and my two best good buddies and it’s all bullshit. We would rather roast one another and disappear when we go too far instead of recognizing that we just dragged someone when they didn’t deserve it. We form allegiances based on religion, political affiliation and educational ideals but not exactly because half of us don’t even understand what the fuck is going on because we were too busy voiding our intelligence in favor of reblogs, retweets, likes and favorites. So many people in my life would rather meet up online with their friends, rather than go outside and talk in person with them. Myself included. I’ve become a hermit who has fallen into laziness with the way I speak and act. Then, to cap all of this off if things don’t go our way in relationships or life, we have no qualms with dropping everything and disappearing without a trace from others lives. We call it ghosting.

Well, I’m here to haunt.

Before I continue I’m going to make this perfectly clear, I am not saying all of this from a place of arrogance. I am just as bad as the rest of us about how we speak and act. I am passive aggressive, I would rather use these bullshit made up words instead of talking about things in a real way unless I’m worried about the outcome. I am selfish and confused, confusing and hardly amusing so I feel the need to take to a blog I’ve been running for four years now to receive the attention I feel I am owed by the public just because I spend hours every week writing novels I haven’t released or really even spoken about for a year and a half.

I am not above this, but that being said, the best way to destroy a tower is to topple its foundation.

Language exists because we as a society needed a way to communicate. Each language and all of the words within, slang or not, serve a real and powerful purpose. Romantics, Encouragement, Dissent and Growth are just a number of the hundreds of things we can achieve with language.

Language itself also inspires something much more powerful. It is the reason we are capable of connecting and being true to one another. So when we dumb things down, like romantics, for example, we turn dating into seeing each other, seeing each other becomes talking, talking becomes nothing. I’ve believed for a long time that the concept of “talking” to another person when used this way eliminates all the possibilities of being hurt. If they aren’t interested, if they screw you over, if they hurt you, it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t actually anything.

“We were just talking.”

Of course on the other hand, we give up all of the wonderful things that come from romantics. Putting your heart on the line for another person and having them accept it. It gives a rush like nothing else in this world. It opens up parts of our heart and mind that couldn’t have been opened otherwise. By reducing romantics down to “talking” “hooking up” etc. we eliminate the possibility for that hurt to happen, but at the same time we limit the ability for us to feel the things that should come with relationships. The same can be said with how we interact with one another. Using digital conversations like twitter messaging and texting instead of truly spending the time with others limits our ability to be hurt, but also limits our ability to be connected. All of these things evolve into a quick recipe for us to lead half baked relationships and still inevitably feel the burn of them falling apart without holding the truly great memories close to heart. Girls I’ve “talked” to have totally shit all over me, and I realized that the moments we had spent together were hollow and filled with nothing that mattered. They were jokes to both of us because neither of us would take them seriously. This even falls into platonic relationships and workplace friendships. We have become masters of wearing two faces. So kind and jubilant to the faces of our coworkers and friends when behind those faces we are scowling, filled with anger or frustrations at their actions.

We choose not to talk to them about it and instead, like I have done so many times, passive aggressively try to mediate the inevitable confrontation by making underhanded comments to others that I know will reach the person I want them to reach.

Our personalities can so quickly become hollow and built up to fulfill some kind of social media image that we don’t even notice we have lost ourselves. Instead of voicing true frustrations and engaging in conversation we shortcut all of that by blocking people who disagree with us, telling them they are worthless if their vote cast last November somehow makes them invalid as human beings. I see it on every side of the political spectrum. My conservative friends are just as insufferable as my liberal friends who engage in the playground game of tag.

“You’re the reason our country is going to shit. Unfollow me.”

On the other hand we scream powerful opinions and defame those who stand against us. There are plenty of things I don’t support or approve of, but bringing those to light against the wrong crowds will not get me engaged into a debate or a conversation, it will get me blocked and unfriended like the number next to my twitter handle means something significant to my personal life. My author profile is another thing, and carving those groups out so that I have found an appropriate audience can be frustrating, but most of us don’t run author profiles. Most of us are just us, we don’t have alter egos that write books or make movies or music, we are just us on twitter, a bunch of wet white sheets snapping in the cold winter wind. Ghosts on a timeline.

There is so much more to get into, but I will leave it here with this…

I will consider the language I use. Each word was created for a purpose, some of them are incredibly hollow. I decided that instead of ghosting out on those people who need to hear what I have to say (or, what you have to say.) We should instead, haunt them.

Say something powerful. Be honest. Expose yourself to pain and happiness and don’t hide behind the weak walls of social media. The man or woman you are on the internet is not who you are in real life when you must carefully craft every line you tweet and every picture you post. Just, for a while, take the ghost costume off and look each other in the eyes. Get to know one another, over a beer? Maybe?

I bet you at the end of it, good or bad, you’ll understand what I’m talking about and you’ll stain your costume with spilled whiskey to set it on fire. Maybe we can burn with something other than selfishness and social image. Maybe we can value ourselves based on something other than Twitter favorites, Insta likes and number of sexual partners.

Maybe not, maybe I’ve exaggerated the whole situation.

After all, we are not really who we decide to be on social media.

www.linmtba.com