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February 23rd, 2022

Nothing Is What It Seems Though We See Clear Enough

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts of preservation. My mind becomes a mathematician working on the equation to move me beyond this state of barely maintaining.

Makes arrangements without my instruction. I try to tune it out. Tell it to shut up. Get lost. But it persists. It’s a stubborn cricket that insists I listen to it. That I pay attention. See all the variables. Add this. Subtract that. Carry the remainder. Reluctantly I relent. Digress.

There’s no use arguing with a thing that governs earth worms, that tells my toenails to grow or the Earth to sit pretty in its perfect place among the stars.

It’s a strange thing to be aware of. To know I’m riding the edge and at the same time trusting something akin to a microwave. Something that gets the molecules in a frenzy. Gives them reason to move . . . And the end result either blessed relief, or Banquet dinners.

I’ve been spending much of my time at Lola’s these days. They recognize me there. I go in and order a coffee with oat milk. Sometimes a piece of focaccia or brioche with jam. That’s about it. It’s a small price to pay for WiFi and to stare at my computer screen, to stare at the people around me, the cars passing on Dodge. There’s movement. Makes me feel like something is happening. Momentum (I tried the library and although the WiFi is free the air is stale and staff move about like ghost and the whole space makes me feel like it is I alone with the dead).

Small groups gather around me, the humdrum of their chatter like a white noise and I go to work. I apply here and there. Write emails. I do what I can until my battery is nearly dead. I do what I can until I cannot, and then I sit and take in what others say around me. They tell me things. I listen as if they know something I don’t. And they undoubtably do. They come and go. Pass through this place and then move on to something else.

Afterward I, too, move on and continue my work here at 50th and Chicago where my windows look out at the world and I wonder how they all do it.

I wonder if anyone else feels the same pressure, if they’re wrestling with their existence in much the same way, the gears in their mechanism ready to turn the world upside-down with theirs efforts or have it come grinding to a screeching halt.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I don’t. I believe in choice, and that there is a formula and a form to this seeming chaos. There’s movement to it, a breathing that brings instances of clarity. Symbols acting out in real time. As the universe expands and contracts so, too, do our lives. What may seem disastrous could very well be a realignment. An adjustment like a conjunction that disrupts the normal mode of our functions. Nothing is what it seems though we are seeing clearly. Eyes wide open. Peering outward into the physical world. We interact with it. Touch it. Hear it. Bargain with it in hopes that we live long enough to reap the rewards of our wagers.

I know because I’ve experienced it. Been given glimpses of it in brief instances. The signs flash then fade and I can either choose to acknowledge them or not. I’ve even had conversations about them. About being aware of these arrangements in keeping with Time.

The music of the spheres plays in a grand orchestral design for all creation and our very immersion into it could alleviate all our worldly worries and doubts and fears.

However, the body has other plans and it anchors us, pulls us back down to the mundane with feelings and needs and desires. Gets bogged down by advertisements and political agendas, ideologies passed onto us from a different time. We can’t help it. It’s instinctual and reptilian and even ungodly at times. But the magic is there. I know it.

I recently spoke to Bernardo Soares about this and his own similar experiences, how the culmination of my life has come to this pressure point. When all is seemingly lost and fleeting and I cannot get a grasp on the world, when all my attempts to veer it for my own selfishness has become unfruitful, I have to remember this is part of it. I have to show up everyday regardless of the outcome. I have to persist. Pay attention. Be diligent in my efforts. Everything I have done and am doing points me towards the direction I’m headed. It is a period of refinement, of fine tuning all my assets. Getting my ducks in row for a feast of foie gras. I’m stuffing my gullet to the brim and feeding on my instinct. The belly knows best.

And when I woke up yesterday morning, before the sun revealed the light dusting of snow over Omaha and the soft yellow light casted its glow on the wall before me, I read an email that spoke of this very thing. It reminded me that all our efforts are preparation for the obstacles that come our way. We have to draw from the well of our experiences and make use of what we have. Everything pulls us towards the future, and there is no way to escape it. We have to face these things in spite of all fears and anxieties. If it means enough.

When all has seemingly fallen away, and my mind plays in an endless reel of worry, about a job, about a next paycheck, the hole in my tooth, am I trying hard enough, am I doing everything I can, will I be okay, can I make it, when my mind won’t shut the hell up and give me peace, I think of Buckminster Fuller. I think of his concepts of energy and human ingenuity. How both seem to be projecting us towards the future.

All the energy within the cosmos and eternal space never dying out, only transferring from one thing to the next, on and on, forever.

I think of his belief in humanity’s capacity for better days ahead, our intelligence expanding outward, always learning, perfecting, inventing, moving us towards the future with refined intensity. It is his understanding (And mine, too) that existence is not entropic as some may believe. Nothing decays and dies completely. It does not end. It begins again as something else entirely. Humanity. Creation. Exploration. Beauty. Existence. It flourishes in a sweeping riff of chaotic harmony, moving inward and outward. Outward and inward. Always changing. Becoming. All the refuse of the past, all our refuse in the present, recyclable, becoming energy again, the potential for growth and rejuvenation.

It’s a beautiful thought. And I will continue to keep Fuller’s sentiments at the forefront of my mind, to make sure I remember that the death of something is not a finality, that loss is in actuality gain. Transition. Transmutation. Metamorphosis. All of these are our permanent state of being.

Death is a comma at best. Life, a run-on sentence full of exclamations and question marks (A colon can take it’s semi and shove it) where even my failures are an opportunity to become what I am capable of becoming.

If I have to I’ll eat Banquets as if they were duck a l’orange and drink cheap coffee like champagne. And I will act accordingly until it, too, shall pass away.



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