Author: andreblaze

A Moment Called Margaret.

The silence between each is both the death-knell for the second that came before this one, and the brief, pathetic highlight of the life of this one. The shortest, most overlooked birth, a swift race through life, what dreams it had, were it to have any, quickly lived through and the end arrived at.

The soft opening strokes of a guitar as the singer finds the right note and takes a deep breath, ready to break into song, and just as rapidly, arriving at the lowering of the voices of the cheering audience as the cymbals slowly stop vibrating from the drummers last strike with her sweat-coated hand gripping the cello-taped drumstick, and the bass ebbs from suffusing presence to dull nothing, the rapture of the music now a memory which the emptiness after it only highlights with a soft melancholy.

Then the second’s hand moves again, and that moment, like the one before it, is no more.

To explain the remarkable beauty and mystery that is life, we look behind us at the place where we might have come from, forward at the places where we might go, to either side of us at our fellow travellers, and finding none whom we can unanimously agree know better than we do, we take life in our hands and seek to demystify it. Hack it apart, label the pieces so we may understand it all better. Millennia and centuries, decades and years, months and weeks, days and hours, and seconds, seconds, seconds.

I think we are all afraid we may not be millennia and centuries in this order, that we may not be the grand passing of a leviathan in the shadowy deep of meaning and existence, that we may be nothing but seconds, rising to prominence, cresting and vividly occupying that moment, and then ebbing almost as soon.

Maybe we are. But what a glorious, beautiful second you can be! What stark contrast to the backdrop of bleak dark and unexcited grey you are, sparking into existence as to illuminate all beneath, above, and around you, not to be missed now, living so spectacularly as not to be missed ever.

And then the second’s hand ticks again.

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Margaret-Mary ‘Zara Gretti’ Toyin Joseph. Not missed; loved.

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Week One: #TheTruthIs

The 21st century has bequeathed us with more instant access to each other, across time zones and distances, than ever before in history, however there is much less really being said.

When you chat via any one of the self-replicating Instant Messaging platforms, do you remind yourself to stay in tune with what your current social-media persona is? No? Okay, that’s just me then.

Imagine yourself walk down the marble-floored isle of a completely silent, library, church or mausoleum. Hear that irritating, loud click and scrape from a pebble caught in the treads of your shoe? That’s a lot like what we carry around in our heads when we have to pretend or sustain a lie.

This week’s challenge is for unburdening. For those who dare be honest, while remaining anonymous or using a fictional name, leave a comment or tell a random person about something you’ve lied or pretended about. See if you don’t feel better afterwards.

After all, what’s the purpose of creating friendships that don’t create neutral, non-judgmental space for interaction between people? If you can’t be yourself without fear, why are you there?

#TheTruthIs..

Perfect Failures.

What do you want to change about the past? What would you change if you could? A year ago, that’s a question I would have answered easily and off-handedly, a year later; things have changed enough to be starkly contrasting.

Some of our greatest mistakes are also our best opportunities to rise above and go beyond our current limits, although I am well aware that even that doesn’t make the turbulence that comes with such change any more appealing. But how do you become the future you which you imagine is perfect and are so keen on bringing to be, without the past that serves as a backdrop for it? And have you any idea how many times one of your mistakes kept you away from a bit of ‘good luck’ which would have been ultimately detrimental to you, further down the line?

It’s easy to isolate our errors in imagination and see all that we would alternatively have been, but there’s also the mediocre, unenlightened, shallow, opportunistic, petty, spoiled, mewling product of that life which you would have become without them. Yes, I wish I had done better in the past, but I’m thankful that I was foolish enough to have screwed up enough to lose what seemed at the time like a perfect opportunity, but was really the opposite, that living otherwise would have brought me.

Beyoncé, Grammy Awards & This Thing We Made

The old-timers say it all the time, they remind anyone who will listen or isn’t moving fast enough to be out of earshot before the words can come out, that the world was a different place in their time, and people behaved differently and better. Those old timers and their tall tales, right?

I don’t know if there was ever a time in the history of our species when there were rivers of milk and honey (I never got that reference either, I’m lactose intolerant and indifferent to honey, if those were rivers of chocolate though…lol) but I’m grown up enough to understand that comfort, peace, happiness and morals are all relative concepts, especially those last ones. Our old timers are ready to decry Beyonce for her choice of costume at the Grammy awards, but they existed in an era where Larry Flint’s Hustler, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy were all in existence and available at news stands on many a street corner, but things weren’t that bad then?

The concepts we live by are transient ideas that are strongly affected by the indigenous beliefs, history and traditions of the people, and of course the dominant religion of the era, (dig up ancient Inca or Roman religious beliefs and be amazed at what excesses were commonly permissible in that day!) and since most ideas come from people, either as strong Alpha Male
/Female individuals, or strong Alpha Pack collectives, who’s to say beyond personal opinions of right and wrong, what actually is positive-right and/or negative-wrong?

Final thoughts before I leave for the airport though; if you were an observer of alien cultures and stumbled onto ours, in the same way that you stumble onto deep-sea marine life and their lifestyles on NatGeo, for want of a better description, would you be terribly impressed by mankind? And if you had no religious beliefs to speak of in the way that our species does, what would you attribute our civilizations collective cultural directions to?

I’m still not an anarchist, lol.

The Deafening Dumbness.

Do we give other people too much power over us? At the risk of sounding like an elementary anarchist, isn’t it possible that we may have agreed without knowing, to accept the mostly irrelevant input that others bring to our lives just because we don’t want to be seen as the bad guy?

When was the last time you applied the random wisdom of the guy at the ‘low cost cafeteria’ (read as Bukka) you visit when the end of the month seems farther than Jack had to swim after the Titanic went down? Truth is, some warning sign tells us these people would be better of taking some of their own advice, and since they haven’t, you should probably not follow suit.

Who’s not bringing their quota of drive to operation Becoming The Best You, That You Can Be? Grab hold of the tethers that attach them to your life. Got it? Good! Here is a pair of scissors; it’s early enough in the year that your little snip-snip wont be noticed before the obviousness of the lack of value of the one you cut off is incontestable. The future belongs to those who will take her in the present. Tomorrow is a dream, yesterday is history; all you get is now. Own it.

And Now; Live!

One day, many millions of years ago, (or maybe just over six thousand, depending on whether you believe science or religion’s version of the age of the world and the human race) representatives of our race of sentient beings decided to do certain things, and disregard others completely.

Maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, but I’m loath to think that convention has been with us for the entire span of the existence of the human race thus far. At what point did we ascribe superior importance to a gender, at what point did the gender that was placed underneath accept and begin to believe it?

    An unshaken hand is an insult, even when there might be (scratch that, there are) germs on it, an adventurous female fits in to three, or five letter words that nobody says in church or at the mosque, the possession of wealth is the right to be right always, and when we gather together, everyone is alright, nobody is broke, sick, divorced, failing, doubting their self-worth, or falling on the crutch of a controlled substance.
 
We made these rules one day, I think. Seated around a fire made by rubbing two dinosaur bones together perhaps, we decided that going forth, these would be the acceptable borders of behavior.

      Nobody thought to wait for me to get born and be called into that meeting, so I will totally disregard all of that. Convention, as I have said before, are suggestions of appropriate behavior, but evolution is the decision to survive irrespective of who’s ox gets gored, and the meeting beside that fire, I totally agree with.

Stop reacting. Until you take your life into your hands, and decide where it goes next, you essentially don’t have a life. You are who you say you are, so find the beautiful silence away from everyone else, and in the quiet of that solitude, to your own hearing, say who you are.

Rainy Mornings.

Rainy mornings are supposedly weather for lovers and/or people who earn salaries (by which I mean monthly wages paid by others for professional services and who therefore fail to see that the person who’s development is continually stunted by skipping work or getting in late is really themselves, not the ‘yeye oga’) to stay under covers, and perhaps that’s true for a lot of people, but I love the rain too much to sleep or snuggle my significant other through its numbing drumming.

So this rainy morning, I sat by the window in my hotel room, and watched water, which had left the earth in form so thin that I didn’t realize a small river had ascended into the skies, return to the earth.

My mind pondered a million thoughts about angles of creativity, adventures of writing and speaking and travel which I wish to undertake, family, friends, I miss and the things I want to do and say and share with them, but for this moment in time alone, it was raining, and I was content to be here and just let the sky weep cleansing tears onto the earth while persistent waves of time slowly ate away the shores of the day and life happened in the background.

Write Through.

Writers block, the mischievous spirit that lies in wait for all writers, calmly poised to strike at the moment when they need their creativity the most. I have heard a lot of authors speak about this, but until fairly recently, even though I had experienced it a countless number of times, I had never given thought to the idea that maybe it wasn’t something that only writers experienced.

Do engineers, doctors and the like have moments where they are devoid of the ability to perform their professional tasks? If they do, I haven’t heard of it at all.  So why do writers, often the most painstaking of the creative line, suffer this so much?

In 1990 I fell in love with a peculiar book who’s author’s work inspired and has continued to inspire me since then, and I have dreamed of writing something in honor of the timeless tome of brilliant penmanship.

   In the beginning, I didn’t do this because I was busy, I had to attend school, find my passions, attend more school, find my calling, have a girlfriend, maintain a relationship, with all the attention it demanded, and then there was work, and there has been work for the last 11 years.

Asked a few days ago why I hadn’t written it yet, (just like I have been asked if my long-promised mixtape was ever going to be heard, or just imagined) I blamed writers block for it. Yeah right. For twenty-three years? Balls.

I forgot the most important thing about being a creative person a while ago, and only remembered it recently. If you’re a doctor (dentist, surgeon, pediatrician) your job is to heal, if you’re an engineer (mechanical, electrical, petroleum) your job is to make stuff work.

If you’re a creative (actor, writer, editor, painter, dancer, sculptor, director) your job is to reach into the vacuum of nothing, grab a handful of thin air, and create something from it. I recognize the obstacle that is writers block, I’m not saying it is an excuse or imaginary, I’m saying that gravity was an obstacle too, until someone figured out how to make airplanes.

Dare to be great.

Write Through.

Writers block, the mischievous spirit that lies in wait for all writers, calmly poised to strike at the moment when they need their creativity the most. I have heard a lot of authors speak about this, but until fairly recently, even though I had experienced it a countless number of times, I had never given thought to the idea that maybe it wasn’t something that only writers experienced.

Do engineers, doctors and the like have moments where they are devoid of the ability to perform their professional tasks? If they do, I haven’t heard of it at all.  So why do writers, often the most painstaking of the creative line, suffer this so much?

In 1990 I fell in love with a peculiar book who’s author’s work inspired and has continued to inspire me since then, and I have dreamed of writing something in honor of the timeless tome of brilliant penmanship.

   In the beginning, I didn’t do this because I was busy, I had to attend school, find my passions, attend more school, find my calling, have a girlfriend, maintain a relationship, with all the attention it demanded, and then there was work, and there has been work for the last 11 years.

Asked a few days ago why I hadn’t written it yet, (just like I have been asked if my long-promised mixtape was ever going to be heard, or just imagined) I blamed writers block for it. Yeah right. For twenty-three years? Balls.

I forgot the most important thing about being a creative person a while ago, and only remembered it recently. If you’re a doctor (dentist, surgeon, pediatrician) your job is to heal, if you’re an engineer (mechanical, electrical, petroleum) your job is to make stuff work.

If you’re a creative (actor, writer, editor, painter, dancer, sculptor, director) your job is to reach into the vacuum of nothing, grab a handful of thin air, and create something from it. I recognize the obstacle that is writers block, I’m not saying it is an excuse or imaginary, I’m saying that gravity was an obstacle too, until someone figured out how to make airplanes.

Dare to be great.

Broken. And Okay.

 

You’re broken. Lets start there. Whatever it is that happened or was done tore deep into the core of you and came out on the other side, leaving an emotional wound the size of a canyon on your soul.

 

The memory of it makes you cringe in shame, flare with anger and rage, sober with depression, the thoughts of how different it could all have been are endlessly on your mind, and you wish daily that it were possible to undo it in some magical way.

 

It’s hard to go past certain places, do certain things, meet certain people in the aftermath of what happened, so you don’t. Instead, you’ve tried to create a new world for yourself over the ruins of the old that you can’t seem to get past, and for a while, that has worked. For a while it has seemed perfect.

 

But, you’re broken. And the hurt isn’t going away.

 

Life coaches, religious leaders and motivational speakers will tell you that you must go on, they will inspire you with great ideas about growth, destiny, development and how all that you have gone through is supposed to make you better, teach you more, strengthen your spirit, deepen your wisdom and give you a great perspective on life.  They will point to the future you and tell you how that will be the most beautiful person to encounter after all this is done and the lessons are learned.

 

And of course they are right about how this will refine you and make you better in future. But today, that feels like a long way away. You’re still broken and hurt! Do they not see what you must go through now?

 

I believe in the power of experience to grow all sentient beings in leaps and bounds, and in the necessity of negativity to groom the evolving individual, but I also believe that to a great degree we have misunderstood the concept of courage and strength. It isn’t the absence of fear or other emotions in the spectrum, nor is it the belittling of life’s challenges, it is the little flame that perseveres through the icy blizzards that comes unexpectedly, and comes even when you didn’t deserve it.

 

And that’s okay.

 

 Pretending to be okay, will not make you okay. Letting life happen one day at a time, with the issues that it comes with, with the pain, fear, confusion and more that come in tow, will give you an opinion of your own, one that’s original and earned and trusted and true to you. Live through, let your emotions breathe, and be original. You will be better tomorrow, but today you are broken, and that’s really that’s okay.