Ooh I saw Stars…

One of the most amazing sights in my life was while sitting in the middle of the Northern Iraqi desert on a border mission with nothing whatsoever as far as the eye could see. What I did see was more stars in one glance than I’d probably ever seen in my whole life combined. And yes, the Milky Way is real. If you can appreciate it, it will in fact, take your breath away.

I’ve come close to seeing it again as I drove a semi-truck route through northern Oregon and stopped for a much needed rest. It was high on a ridge where I pulled off and I crawled up and sat on the top of the trailer to see the asteroid shower come down as if I was in a Star Wars scene.

No matter your position on ‘greater’ things, there is no denying the amazement when you put in perspective the sheer insignificance we have in this universe.

We can comprehend the smell of a loved one’s scent, or the taste of our favorite meal. We can comprehend the reality of something that we purchase with money… but even though the stars are right in front of us, can we really comprehend the truth?

Living in Southern California is not the best place for seeing stars. Period. Even if I drive out into the desert there’s too much light pollution to really see the amazing stuff.

The few times I can look up in traffic at night I may see a star or two (or planet… whatever). I know it’s nothing magical. It’s a tangible ‘thing’ that is there. Science can explain the rest.

What it really does for me is remind me that no matter how much I try to deny it, there is a purpose for this crazy life. I stare at a star as long as I can to try and clear my mind to make sense of it. I put my mind a million miles away to force a disconnect from the constant noise I hear every day in my head. Some days I can’t stop it. Not alcohol, not sleep, nor anything else I’ve done in my past can silence it.

Sometimes I yearn  for the presence of another person but I am constantly smacked in the back of the head with reminders of betrayal over the years. I lose myself in it, and in turn I lose control of what I need to be for everyone else. Tonight, I saw a few stars and it brought me back to reality quicker than I could look away to see the car in front of me slowing down. We really need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Not just in space, but this life in general.

I miss the stars. I miss going home, sitting outside with a beer (and even a friend) and doing nothing but contemplating what this damn life is all about. I think it’s time for a slight change in my life. I say slight, because it appears my gypsy lifestyle doesn’t scream ‘stable’ to other people. My apparent ‘issues’ from my past are more apparent than I’ve ever given myself credit for. Hurumph…

If we could all just take some time, prop up the camping chair, crack open a cold one, and leave our problems behind we may find something that has been right in front of us this whole time but we haven’t admitted it to be true. Or maybe I’m full of shit and all of this is a joke… Anyone want to take me to the looney bin?

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A spin out changed it all…

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of giving up. As I stood in the kitchen of my restaurant a few years back, I gave up. I allowed myself to feel exactly what I wanted to feel for so long. All it would take is a pull of the trigger and I could move on. It wasn’t for guilt. It wasn’t for anyone else. It was for me.

It was quite a change from the moments I had when I would close the place up at night, turn on all the neon and mow down a bowl of in-fuckin-credible ice cream. It all started because of someone who was put in my life that I can’t quite come to terms with being OK with.

It was a snowy drive from the Tri-Cities to Spokane one night and out of the blue, a car spun out in front of me. Little did I know, that the person in that car would be the one to point me in the right direction… I never said being pointed in the right direction was a fun ride.

A handful of months later she would clean me out of everything I owned. All I had left was some clothes and a toolbox that she forgot to grab out of the outside storage closet.

A day or so later I let myself go… To the recruiter. I had no one to stop me and I had no clue if I’d make it out alive. I never would have suspected it would be a guilt trip turn suicidal thought that would put a stop to all of it. War, women, booze, shitty tattoos and a Harley Davidson was all I had to show in the end. What I didn’t show was everything that was bottled up inside me.

I keep trying to come to terms with what I really need. It’s time for me to get up, brush off the bullshit excuses I’ve given myself for being so stagnant and move along.

I’m starting to see myself in other people. I see who I was at one point in my life and it pains me to be unable to help them make a change. There’s a little more I’ve got to do before I pull the trigger once again. This time, it won’t be the same trigger I wanted to pull before.

Explainable haze pt.2

This 365 blog is quite a challenge. It’s been a month and so far I’ve stayed true to my goal. It’s not so much the difficulty in logging on to write something, but writing something worthwhile. I’ve cheated a few days here and there with nothing more than a sentence. A least I did it right? Anyways, as I plug along in this little journey I’m slowly starting to get a grasp of what it would be like to make sense of more things in my life. I other words, I’m still a little far off from where I need to be mentally, but I’m confident I’m on the right track. I strive to pour some emotion into some of these but for some reason I can’t right now. Tonight will be a struggle to stay focused on what I feel like saying. Partially because I just rolled my ankle pretty damn hard playing racquetball. It was the creepiest sound I’ve ever heard come from my body. It rolled to the outside and it felt like every bone and muscle was ripping apart. There’s even a little pain up to my knee because of the way it pulled. It almost sounded like I stepped on a pile of walnut shells. Soo I’m trying to ice it now with a few doses of Motrin to help. I’m not so much in the mood to be disabled right now.

So, a few days ago I wrote about finding god. Assuming you’ve read it, I’m not going to explain again what ‘god’ is to me in this context. The first place I’ve mentioned is finding god in the battlefield. Or again, for non military types it could mean school, church, family, workplace, or in any social arena. This could also mean battles within race or gender. I guess it doesn’t really have to be a battle per say, but more so a level of interaction that we have with other human beings as souls.

Tonight I’ll talk about another avenue that I feel we can find god. I relate it to finding it in the gym. I say something simple like that because its easy to explain. Not that everyone participates in physical fitness, but hopefully it can be understood because of the commonality. I’m no body builder by any means, but I’ve thought about this since the last five months or so I’ve committed nearly every day in the gym. Lately I’ve backed off for reasons I’ll discuss later. Whether its the gym, running on the road, bicycling or even something that has nothing to to with physical activity, there’s times in our lives when it’s between us and god. No one else. When I get myself mentally pumped for a workout, I focus on nothing but my soul, the connection to my physical body and the limits that I push it to. I find that I don’t push myself hard enough and I hate it. The battle is truly between myself and my self imposed limits.

Not even in the gym, when I find a way to break through these limits I find out things that I never imagined before. It’s this ‘god’ thing I’m talking about. I realize who I am and what I am really made of. Now I’ve done some random things in my life to push my limits but only a few times have I truly found the edge. It’s beyond tears and pain. You realize that your body won’t break itself and its capable of much more than we think. The bigger realization is that when we approach certain things in life, it’s not about anyone else.

I don’t believe that we are solitary beings. Our quality of existence relies not only on our interpretation and acceptance of things, but also that of other people. Before allowing myself to rant about the influence of other people, I’m going to try and stay focused on our souls within. My soul within. Though physical trials have brought me closer to a realization, so has the solace in solitude. It has become an important part of my life that I had otherwise taken advantage of until this past year. Allowing myself to be alone was a struggle a long time ago. Not that I was an overly social person, but I didn’t like the idea of being alone with myself. I knew that coming back to school was going to be a culture shock. What I should have prepared myself for is not having my own quiet time. I don’t have a peaceful home to come to at night and there’s not many places I can go to get away from obnoxious commotion.

There’s a slight reason I mentioned being around certain situations in this topic. I don’t have many things around me that I can use to push my limits. Working out gets old and back alley fights just don’t cut the mustard. I lose the desire to enrich my own life when there is little support structure. This is partially a motivation for starting this blog. The lack of consideration I receive in my everyday life is in a way my pseudo-gym. How much endurance do I have before I snap? When you’re in a gym, you don’t kindly ask the weights to lift themselves. You put them in their place. We find ways to destroy our demons within. Well, being around humans is a little more dynamic than a set of dumbbells. (I actually beg to differ to myself after re-reading that last sentence). This is the connection I find between finding god within yourself and finding god in the battlefield. You push yourself when you can for yourself, and you accept that others will push you when they can. But really, it’s not a fault of the others. It’s simply them living their life for themselves. Generally being adversely influenced by others actions is an unfortunate coincidence of being in the wake of their own life path. That is why I generally strive to leave people alone and move along when I can. What’s more important to me right now is not the battlefield with others, but the struggle within myself. A cliché quote I like is ‘How others treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.’ Just like the guy who robbed me years ago. Though he put my life into a dark place because of his desire for money, my survival depended on how I handled myself with no help from anyone else. He is a scumbag but I can’t fault him beyond what I know of him. I’m quite positive my actions have affected people’s lives in adverse ways. Maybe not as violent as the robber did mine.

If there would be any persuasion I could give to someone, it would be to find ways to look within yourself for answers. You may not figure out the purpose of the universe, but you may end up figuring the worth you have while playing your part.

One of my favorite topics on finding god is in the bedroom. I know I was supposed to write about that one but this one popped out today. That one will come soon.