MAGIC HOURS: 2018 WAS THE YEAR I DECIDED WHICH WORLD I WANT TO LIVE IN

I started out in the blackest pit, but I could still see a small patch of yellow sunlight as I lied in the bottom of the hole. I scribbled on papers around me; this time I’m going to get out this time I’m going to get out. With moist yearning eyes I raised my eyes towards the sky & hoped that some bit of warmth would make its way through to the inside.

That I would not only make it, but making SOMETHING of it. Something I could be proud of.

The roaring cacophony of quiet drowned out myself as I stood at the edge of a sea I had no knowledge of, falling into the same coping pattern I had always escaped from radical change by using.

 

Wokandapix / Pixabay

She stood at the top of the pit, spitting down onto me & shrieking with laughter. I was dragged through the dirt. They threw putrid mud down into the hole, cackling at my inability to rise up. I numbed out, tried to dissociate from my experience in any way possible. Even if the whole numbing was a temporary fix, a question, possibly dangerous. But it couldn’t be more dangerous than it would be to leave me unchecked, left to my own devices, exposed & able to do worse things. She was not my worst enemy, nor was he, nor were they. I was. So I faded back just enough that I could crawl through each day & wake up again the next. Never enough time. That was okay though, maybe better. But I could never escape enough.

Was there really anything beautiful about acting as the tragic figure I’d written myself to be, but never really wanted to become?

I had just come out of the whirlpool with the new knowledge that what I had been seeking HAD NOT BEEN THERE. I finally had the experience, but it was worth much less than the price of admission.

Rakicevic Nenad

Then the world exploded; all that I knew fell out from under me & was replaced, rebuilt, reinvented.

In the best way possible.

I woke up one day. It felt sudden, but I’d been slowly waking up for the past few weeks. And it struck me as soon as sunlight touched my skin: I was becoming sad less often. I had realized my sorrow for what it was: an illusion I had firmly believed in & lived, but one that didn’t have to be real for me any longer. It HAD been real: the pain was too fresh, the blood too vivid, the scars too deep for it to have been all in my mind. But as easily as it had planted its deadly seed deep inside the soil of my meadow, I could slowly pull the roots out from under the soil & destroy the plant before it destroyed the whole world I saw. The whole world I wanted to believe in.

And once I realized I had let the tiny yearning to feel something, the tiny yearning to understand melancholy, grow to such ugly proportions, it began to dissolve. It ceased to grow. It began to fade back into the darkness which it had come from.

jplenio / Pixabay

And then another day, I woke up & realized I wasn’t sad anymore.

I have discovered that joy is always more interesting than sorrow. Each day I bask in the pure gloriousness of living that way. I am already a success. The binary of success & failure has always been an illusion. I have cut the threads holding me to what I once was: afraid of the future & afraid of what people would think. And now I am myself again.

I have finally decided what world I want to live in.

I do not have to beat myself down & stay hidden & bleeding under the highway overpass in the darkest night. There is a whole other world on top of this one, layers of worlds, & I am the explorer discovering them all. Each one feeling better than the next, & I am the one finally letting myself feel good. The world I lived in was not tied to circumstance, but to choice. My choice.

I have seen both sides of the coin. I have lived in both dimensions. Both are equally as real, but it is always me who decides which one I will live in. And by the simple shift in perspective; flipping the switch & crawling through folds of energy until I am firmly back on the level I rebirthed myself on. The Vortex is real.

The Universe always had my back. It was always sitting there, hidden in the back row but cheering the loudest of all. It was always rooting for me even when I was afraid that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. Just when I thought all the lights had gone out, the Universe always showed up holding candles, slipping a crumpled piece of paper into my hand which contained a clue for what I should do next.

I found myself. She sat there alone & frightened, but I brought her back into the light. Alone on that dark sacred highway at night, as I drove under the warm yellow streetlights illuminating the smooth dark highway, with the jazz playing deep & quiet & ineffable in the background. & the feeling bubbled up inside me, it frightened me because it was so strong & so sudden, the pure vibrating eternal radiance of the sincerest relieved joy. I found myself on that drive home on the pitch-dark highway as I trusted in the golden radiance & recorded the exact color of moonlight on my arm. The moon shone down around me on the sacred fields & the tiny farmhouse & the sleeping cattle, quiet & smiling & deeply nurturing in the pale blue sacred light.

It turns out, the environment I most needed to change was the environment inside me.

And there I was, slowly & quietly chipping away at the darkness which had held me back for so long. Slowly building a better foundation, brick by brick.

I was afraid to let myself be happy because I was so used to being sad & afraid that a future that felt good was also an uncertain one. At least with sorrow, I had its cold stale hand to hold, a familiarity I knew I could always return to. With sorrow, at least I knew what my future would feel like & how I would cope with it.

When I realized it had all been a sham, the walls shattered, & I found myself free in a meadow of sunlight.

What had once been a darkness I relished & lovingly extracted every ounce of pain from now became a song I’d never liked but heard play too many times on the radio. My old standby patterns weren’t beautiful & tragic – they were just boring, & didn’t allow half enough time for me to merely exist & simply be. Too much of it was shrouded in routine & in monotonous pandering to the politics touted by over-idolized figures I wanted nothing to do with.

Sometimes before I would wonder what it would be like to disappear & reappear somewhere else, my future free & with my slate cleaned.

No baggage to carry, no fight against my own glass ceiling upper limits. And in a way, I have. I have found the hidden door in the forest, concealed behind twisted wooden vines, & I have stepped firmly from the land of darkness & into the light. I have approached the door & grasped the gold handle, stepped in the fallen leaves & heard the crunch of the new moon in the starless sky. I have stood in sudden afternoon light holding that door handle, hand frozen, afraid to move forward, refusing to accept that I AM WORTHY ALREADY.

Too separated to accept that the Universe will always love me anyways.

Too devastated by the secret knowledge that all along, another world has been parading in tandem with this one, & I could have stepped into it at any moment had I been ready sooner.

And then I opened the door.

Sunlight spilled forth. I trust you, I trust you. I picked the road leading in the direction of the same breeze I’d felt on the beach & in the city, one which wordlessly murmurs of home. And I have found that home.

The whole world is fresh. The whole world has been reborn. The Phoenix has risen from the ashes, ready to believe in its own greatness again. She would be proud if she saw me, to see what she becomes. To see she becomes the person she needed when she was a kid.

I know now that I have what it takes & have the tools to do anything & become anything that I choose to. The whole world is new, & yet it’s been there all along, waiting for me. Everything looks different, everything feels different, because now I see everything through the lens of vibrant optimism instead of the mournful, violent grays of sadness. I realized I have a choice in how I feel & what world I choose to see. In whether I struggle to survive, or flourish & thrive.

I feel like I finally decided which world I want to live in.

I have found the magic again.

The Real Meaning of Santa Claus

The real meaning of Santa Claus

I was 14 & I still believed in Santa Claus.

My parents still hadn’t told me the truth yet. About how they’d been lovingly acting as Santa all those years. They hadn’t told me, mostly for the sake of my younger sister. My parents didn’t want her to stop believing in the magic of Christmas as young as she was. I had my doubts, & they’d grown a little year after year. But I still believed.

Who was Santa Claus? What was the gift-giving associated with Santa really about? I wrote the following definition after reading an article in an old issue of Guideposts magazine. Then I emailed it to everyone in my family. They loved it.

Here it is, with a few minor edits.

“Who is Santa Claus? Now, to most people, Santa is a charming man with a plump belly, white beard, sleigh full of toys, and reindeer. A man who brings presents at Christmas. But Santa is much more then that. He is a figure that withstands all time and boundaries. He is a figure of hope to those who need it most.

So, why can’t ANYONE be a Santa? Not THE Santa, but A Santa. Who says there can’t be more then one Santa? Image if all of the gifts given in the whole world were only given by Santa? Santa’s mission is to make dreams come true. So, make some dreams come true.

Whether you believe in Santa or not, that feeling of giving will still reach you. So, give. Give what you can. Just think of the drummer boy. I mean, he only had his drum’s music as the only thing he could give to Jesus. But he still gave gifts at Christmas.

So, do the same, no matter what you have or don’t have. No matter how much money you have or how little. Give a song. A poem. A story. A “Merry Christmas.” Even a simple smile. Anything. Just give what you can to who you can. Make some dreams come true.

And who says that Santa is only for Christmas? Do this all year round, but especially at Christmas. Give the world your best. Give everyone your best. Be a Santa.”

It was 2008 & this was the year that I finally started realizing that the world was a bit more challenging then I’d previously thought. But it was still good. And despite the uncertainties, there still was magic that existed in a realm of equal uncertainty, but still could be felt.

airplane, bright magic tree : a manifesto for newness

Airplane + Bright Magic Tree

  1. I am thinking about all the things I want to create for myself. It tingles at the ends of my fingers. Power. I am excited for it. All the things I want to bring into existence. That car. That mode of living (away from the fear). I think about my goal list & all the things that are tingling there too, vibrating & waiting with electric levitated energy to be brought out of thought & into my life. Finally traveling. The way I don’t have to wait any longer, to make things real, because all of it is mine, pick & choose, & I realize that I lack nothing that I need.
  2. Bright red-orange hair. I think about his face & then I think about the hair. First I feel a twinge of sadness, missing it – & then it makes me excited because I am soaring & it is freeing, to become all the things I couldn’t be before. I associate the hair with the separation of that person & this person. A tangible symbol that I have moved on. Reinvention, once more. 
  3. I am excited about the upcoming weeks & months. The electricity of it is happy. Thinking about the way it all flowed so damn easily last year, now & before. Keeping it rolling. Flowing, it makes so much sense now. Continual motion.
  4. I don’t even know her name.
  5. The gold-embossed owl plate sitting under the Christmas tree on top a wooden Tarot card box, reflecting the lights. Mirth incense.
  6. Looking with melancholy out the window at the full moon. Selectively brooding.
  7. I illuminated the room & nothing bad happened.
  8. Honey-dew melon colored water after painting.
  9. I am watching it finally becoming a reality. The birth of a dream, finally. I sent off the words today, & then I will be at the helm of the ship, with the ability to make magic happen, & mold the sand upwards to make mountains & sky-high pines. Outer space, to touch the stars like so many before me have done.
  10. Now that it doesn’t have to be you, it can be anyone.
  11. Email minimalism. Cutting out everything that doesn’t bring me joy. Goodbye, newsletters subscribed to from past selves.
  12. Nautical clothing. Five things I need to add to my wardrobe soon. Things to make nautical outfits out of. Suspenders, to wear with bright-toned skater skirts. White t-shirts & sleeveless shirts. Bright yellow. Combat boots.
  13. The moment I realized it isn’t worth obsessing over the Fictions told by others or seen on TV or read in magazines; to spend more time worrying about keeping up appearances than working on making magic in your own life.
  14. It is pointless trying to read things cutting them down in order to justify your opinion of them. You are entitled to what you like & don’t like. Hate & annoyance is a waste of time. Spend more time loving things.
  15. Love is light. Feel the light coming out the ends of your fingers. Feel it in your chest. Stars died & were reborn & universes were created, just so that you could feel. Spend more time leaving behind $5 bills places with messages of good vibrations & send ripples out there so people can feel them. Leave behind messages in books. Write letters to people who you may never know, wishing them good things in their lives. Make it all feel loved. Become your own personal version of Love.
  16. His music. I listened to it, lying on my back staring up at the ceiling; it was melancholy, it was hopeful, it was electric, it was truly beautiful, & it spoke to my soul in a way that I hadn’t felt in a long time. They were the anthems for the new person I had become in the time that had passed.
  17. Stop wasting your time trying to follow the comings & goings of everyone, & keeping up with what all the Joneses are doing. Focus on your own shit. You’re better off that way.
  18. How To Be Happy Single. Realize that it isn’t that important. There are better things.
  19. I will order her book soon. & the hair dye, & everything else. Phoenix. Names. I am beginning to write a new narrative for myself.

Reflections of Flowers

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 10 by Ashlee Craft - Cover

From A Thousand Cranes, Volume 10

rhymes floating in floodgates of windows, Hey Jude is playing quietly in the background, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road too as she’s walking across the cement, the ground below her is absorbing the sound of footsteps, & they’re echoing between buildings / cool cement in the late afternoon, long shadows / she has decided what she is going to be & walking towards it, bags packed / uncertain future in the distance, like the sun, but she runs to greet it because it is the sun

words floating in empty buildings, they are totally silent but for the street traffic outside, horns honking & the quiet lull of motors, breathe in deeply the emptiness & realize that emptiness can become anything / this building is empty, but it is beautiful / think of the geode: a plain ordinary rock that only when it is broken reveals the quartz crystals that were inside of it all along; this is you / you think your brokenness makes you ugly, but being broken was the only thing that allowed you to see beauty that would have been otherwise hidden from you

raindrops floating in reflections of flowers, you sat inside while it was raining & watched the droplets falling, thinking that you were stuck inside while the storm raged / I said something to you about how everyone must learn not to be afraid of going out to get what they want / you looked me in the eyes & got up & opened the door, took a deep breath & stepped out into the rain / “I don’t have to let storms stop me!” you sobbed, smiling as you walked barefoot in the puddles, watching raindrops bounce off flower petals, & ran through the gardens as the storm raged outside, & I joined you / eventually the clouds parted; warm rain stopped falling & the sun returned from behind the clouds, warm sun in the humid air in lush dark green garden, & the flowers were still dancing