A Knife to the Soul

You look around to place faces to the noise ringing in your ears. Those verses of perfectly timed clever wit. That oh so infectious angel choir chorus. You revel in the delightful sound of laughter unhinged. The theme of many endearing evenings. The go to soundtrack to those endless summers.

You join in when they beckon. Life is too short and far too inviting to constantly sit in the darkened seats in the audience. Jump to the stage. Demand the spotlight. And feel how delightful it is, just to share this elevated place with such remarkable souls.

You’re all a bunch of wolves, howling in harmony at an envious moon. And how blessed, how lucky it is, this rock suspended in the sky, to be in the presence of our company.

That’s your spotlight, kid.

These people, these happy few you share this stage with, what brought them to this place? How far have you come? Is the distance traveled now, even fathomable?

Where are you going to go after this act is over? When the curtains fall on this scene, will they exit the wings with you? Will they be there tomorrow? When the moons turns it’s spotlight elsewhere and the sun seeks to rise us from our beds? Will they remember you and the part you played in their life?

Semantics and over dramatics.

At the end of it all, when you are washing off whatever the night left on you; what can you do? But be true, to you. To them. And these smiling faces will come and go. The ones who choose to stay in your life will do so or they will not.

Life, it happens to the best of us.

All that really matters, all that really fucking matters, is that what we all do with the now we have. All that matters, is that they are here with you. Right now. In this small stain in time. So just stop. Drop everything you carry around with you in that hundred and something pound shell of yourself and just let it go. And just…be.

For the Past, has passed. The Future is a promise. Unspoken and uncertain. The Present, is a present. Be as a child at Christmas. Rush to it. Rip the fucking ribbons apart.

How I even came to this place, surrounded by this, by these smiles, these kindred spirits, I don’t know. These overwhelming gestures of compassion and inspiration…I wake up and wonder silently to myself, “What have I ever done in my life to deserve this?”

Was I meant to find these people? Was it destiny? No.

Destiny is a whore. And she spreads her legs for everyone.

We simply found each other. And you will find others. Hell, maybe they will find you. It’s all a matter of collisions. You never see them coming. There is no brace for impact. And whether they are here today and gone tomorrow, always leave an impact they will remember. Leave a stain. Leave a scar. Take a knife to their soul and show em what they are made of. And hopefully, they will look back knowing you at least tried to make a fucking difference in their lives. And by extension, made a difference in a world that has all but forgotten the meaning of anything.

Here in these moments, however temporary they may be, live and strive for them as if you could; infinitely.

– HOWl

Midnight Monologue

The reels of a cult classic have been playing against this back drop of grey matter. In my head I play back scenes that I have seen dozens of times.  A car drifts slowly into opposing traffic. The tires bump as the vehicle glides across the dividers like some percussive mantra and the whine of the passenger as he is berated by his driver are the only accompanying  melodies. This is a song that sticks with you for years if you really find the artist’s true meaning of it’s intended interpretation.

Look at you. Look at you! You are fucking pathetic! …Stop trying to control everything and just let go. LET GO!

Let go.

For a while, I couldn’t grasp the concept. Let go? Why? The anger validates me. The fantasy of revenge is tantalizing. Why forget the crimes committed against you? Why admit I have no control? As I have said before, for a long time, that weight was all I knew.

It escaped me in the early years of my adolescence. Lost in the throws of teenage rebellion and a rapidly expanding mind with a rapacious appetite for dissension. But, I learned. In my own way. There are things we have no control over and then there are things that should have no power that we allow to take control of us. There are transgressions we must not hold on to.

Call it forgiveness. I call it progress.

You either let go of the wrongs the world or you yourself have committed, or you can harbor them in a special cell inside of you where, eventually, they will escape. They will manifest themselves into other aspects of your life and relationships with you being none the wiser. And before you can even put a face to the crime, it’s already too late.

Let go. 

Soon enough, letting go was not the problem. It was what I was letting go of, that haunted me.

I have a remarkable talent for detachment.

It’s a survival trait. And I am ever the survivor. It’s something you pick up when tireless devotion is requited with staunch betrayal. Time and time again. But I ignored the unwritten laws of balance. Rather than learn when to let go, I simply became quick to throw away.

And as I was playing this scene back in my mind, it hit me. At 120 miles an hour. Holding back the salty shame from my eyes, I am reeling from the collision. I was wrong. I have been wrong this entire time…

Life isn’t about learning to let go. It’s about finding something to hold on to.

This realization should not have happened this late in the game. Hello, welcome to my life.

This seemingly simple line just saved it.

– HOWl

Waves

Someone asked me recently how I stay happy. As if to call my bluff almost. It’s one of those questions that evoke a million answers.

I do so love a challenge.

I guess it all started with hiking to be honest. You put yourself out in nature and suddenly, everything comes into perspective. When you just allow yourself to fall under the spell of being away from everyone and everything. You are out there, reveling in the magnificence of it all and you begin realize that in comparison to the grand scheme of things, you are quite insignificant. I am out there and I think to myself, “Were I to die, these trees would still be here. The waves would still crash and recede as they have always done. With or without me, life goes on.”

And then all the burdens I have been unknowingly carrying, the resentments I have been harboring, all that stupid, shallow and superficial bullshit is suddenly washed away. Because out there, outside of the little world I live in, they mean nothing. It’s just you and an expansion of wilderness that has been here since before time was even conceptualized as a form of measurement. You figure out that all your first world problems bear no consequence to the Earth as a whole. This planet doesn’t give a fuck about you until you decide to carve an existence for yourself. Then, she remembers you from the scars.

You come back from scaling some mountain and crossing a river somewhere, back to the modern hustle of it all and it’s like you’re still there when you come home. A thousand miles away. Or rather, that feeling you found out there went home with you. And all those nuisances and worries and problems have been deconstructed and broken down. And you smile, because you realize none of it has any substance. We ourselves give weight to the weightless. Whether consciously or inadvertently, we have become so used to the flair of the dramatic that we have all but forgotten the sanctuary in silence. We have found meaning in our struggles. It gives us a purpose, a focus. More importantly, they draw us away from the conflicts within ourselves.

We have lost pursuit of what really matters; the pursuit of the knowledge of self, in exchange for something cheap and artificial. But being out there amoung trees and mountains that tower over you, in spite of being surrounded by titanic forces of nature, you suddenly become very aware of yourself. As if it were a long over due introduction. A meeting that should have taken place years ago. Or maybe, just after all this time lost in your own private wilderness, you have simply forgotten you ever met.

So, you smile. You wish for more days of adventures and your head is lost in a daze; dreaming of the next thrill. You begin to identify the obstacles that seek to deter you in your pursuit of happiness. You separate yourself from the vexations in your life and avoid them. You are reminded of your mortality and the one life you have to live. With that in mind, why give them any second of what precious moments you have if they cannot enjoy this gift with you? You learn not to worry when you take the issues at hand and solve them to the best of your ability, one step at a time. And if you tried your best and failed, you can look back without regrets knowing you at least tried.

You work to live, not live to work. You do it to feed, clothe and provide for whoever is counting on you. You remember to take time for yourself and time for others. Others who can appreciate and are worthy of your time. Cause whether or not it occurs to you and all your insecurities, whether or not you choose to believe it; you matter to someone. You matter a great deal. Because at this point now you have learned what truly matters. You can show people that this is who I am, without fear of condemnation or reproach. And there will always be those who cannot accept you. Who come to despise you for reasons you will probably not understand. All you can do is be true to yourself and true to others. And people will gravitate towards you and the smile that, now for the first time in a long time, is truly genuine. If for no other reason but to figure out how you came to this seemingly impossible place.

You live for those moments where just sitting next to someone, sharing a moment and making a memory is enough. Because it’s the little things we take with us. Nothing, in this regard, is trivial. You learn that this pursuit of status and materialistic obsession means absolutely nothing. When all you need is a home of your own surrounded by great company and a reciprocated love from someone great you found along the way. Kindred spirits seeking only the same pursuit, if only for a moment in time. Cause that’s all we have; moments. They are the only currency in this life that will ever truly hold any merit. And all else just burns away. Spend your currency wisely and with people who will be happy you spent it with them.

So raise your glasses and toast to your health. Wrap an arm around a friend and tell him, “I am glad you are here!” Find someone just as wild as and crazy as you to run with. Revel in your youth. Surrender yourself to your greater passions. Never let anyone tell you who you are, what to think, how to feel, or what you can’t do. This world was built by people who were doubted and labeled as insane till they showed this place something it’s never seen before. Don’t be afraid to show who you are and more importantly, don’t be afraid to know who you are. Follow your instincts, listen to your heart, and know that the meaning of life is only that it is meant to be lived. This, at the tender twenty third year of my youth; is my way of staying happy.

And I take some sick satisfaction knowing that no matter what I do with the moments I have been graced with and even long after my death, the waves will still continue to crash.

-HOWl