May 30 2006

Capacitance

I’ve been neglecting my introspective self lately – no small lessons, no moments of stillness. I’ve been all movement, as if I’ll coagulate where I am if I don’t get all this other shit done. And I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain the suspense, to give the full digs on everything that may or may not be coming up in my life: it feels like my future is a pressure cooking with a creaking carapace, ready to blow at any moment, but I know that in reality it will be a series of small resolutions, in my favor and against, and they’ll be no explosion, no enlightening thunderbolt, but merely a slow process of learning and experience, as is the case most of the time. The climax isn’t there – there’s too many variables, and unlike a novel, they’re not overly interconnected. So I won’t be able to turn this into the serial you’d hope for, not without bending the truth farther than I’m willing to, and you’ll have to bear with that.

So what’s been eating at me lately, what are the atoms? A pile of trashy suburban vocabulary: HOA Assessment. Kitchen remodel. Home staging. Mortgage payments. Words I’ve grown to hate. Words that suck money, and more importantly, time. And then there’s those words I love, those that are leaving – no, not leaving, but evolving, changing into something I don’t yet know the form of. Shodan testing. Martial arts school closing. Last martial arts retreat.

And these atoms are bound in time and place through me: what structure will my future training take? How much time will it demand, and how much time will I have to give? Where will I live? Will I be able to walk away from this house unscathed, or at least minimally scratched? Will the high bit be set on my currency counter? In the worst case scenario, where will I find the time to do those things that are gnawing at me, driving me?

Yet, even then, I know I’ll find a way to make it work. It may be a different way, but it will still be my way.

Event if I’m living in Portland with a cowboy hat and no one knows my first name.

Hmm, that sounds kind of attractive….


May 24 2006

She Divines Water

My iPod’s random shuffle has been on a retro-kick these last few days, pulling me decades back into a wave of nostalgia. When’s the last time I listened to INXS, Suzanne Vega, Billy Idol, or Camper Van Beethoven? I really couldn’t say.

One track hit me hard, one the way back from lunch. It was a tumultuous time in my life; filled with uncertainty about the future and my girlfriend at the time, feeling very … lost. It was late at night, perhaps around 2am, and I was alone driving down Lincoln Avenue in Phoenix. There were no other cars on the road, and Camelback Mountain was close enough to block out much of the light of the city, although I could barely see the stars through the tears that began jumping involuntarily from by eyes.

How can I believe that everything in this world is going to be fine?
How can I believe that everything in this world has its place and time?
When I lay down to sleep, I feel the world spin
Slightly off axis, it’s shaped like a fig
And when I lie next to you, I shiver and shake
You tell me you love me, I dream I’m awake

How can I believe that everything in this world is going to be fine?
And how can I believe that everything in this world has its place and time?
‘Cause when I lay down to sleep, I have the same dream
Of a world-famous actress in a pink limousine
And she flies through the sky in that pink Cadillac
While the boys of the Press, we drink vodka in back
And she tells us our fortune by crumbling leaves
And she teaches us card tricks, the Jack makes us weak
She divines water by dancing a jig for the boys of the Press
She will whistle a pitch –

It touched me then, adding a compassionate but unpredictable thrust to my tailspin. But somewhere between there and here, I evolved. I can still summon that old me – and sometimes it’s summoned for me – and I love that I still have that part of myself. It humbles me. It gives me hope that I’ll some day be double this growth, that I’ll be one more story up on the helix of personal evolution, and I can look down the spiral and say “without those levels below me, I couldn’t be who I am today,” and then, glancing up, “and that is where I’m going. And I will get there.”


May 19 2006

Full Throttle

The emails started trickling in, from blog-readers to those I (used) to see in real-life, all asking pretty much the same thing: where the fuck are you? What have you been up to?

Well, I’m still right here. I alluded to some massive forthcoming (welcome) upheavals in my life, and they’re still there, looming on the horizon. I can talk a little more freely about some of them now, but still have to be a little vague about the rest, or omit reference to things entirely. Here’s the quick and dirty about what’s been consuming my time (and money):

I have no kitchen. My roommate and I are remodeling it. We’re not actually doing the work, it’s more the stress of having the process go on and anticipating the shrinking bank account. Oh yeah, then we’re going to be staining the cabinets ourselves and repainting a bunch of the house. Then we’re selling it.

I was invited to shoot the 25th Annual Golden Scissors Fashion Awards and Show tonight, last minute, and hopefully I’ll be able to hang some work as well. Finally, a fashion show with an actual photog pit and an elevated runway. Sweet.

I’m under 180 pounds now. Damn.

I’ve been doing the show circuit. For those of you on the spam-list, you know I showed at the Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park at they’re poetry slam. The show was good, the poets were phenomenal (Reg E Gaines was the featured poet), and I ended up getting paid by the museum to also shoot the event. Afterward, I headed out the the Honey Bee Hive in East Village with the poets to see some sick breakbeats and B-Boy breakin’ – honest – and may have made another contact or two for photography. I’m certainly going to see if I can see some more of the poetry slams.

I’m training as hard as ever.

The school is closing. Yup, the martial arts school I’ve been training at for over 5+ years is closing. Last day of operation will be June 30th. After that, I’ll be doing scheduled privates with Sensei. There may or may not be an intensive training class, in some incarnation, but he hasn’t decided yet. What’s intensive, you ask? Think several hours per night, four consecutive nights a week, for six to twelve months, outdoors – beach, park, desert, forest, where-ever – with Sensei. No student teachers, no matts, full awareness. I’m not really giving a solid impression of the gravity and intensity of such a potential offering (think how much outside of class I’ll be training just to make sure I absorb the 12-16 hours of material from each week), but since I don’t know if it’ll happen, nor it’s shape, I’ll just leave it at that. Given that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, if it’s offered, I’ll be doing it. Which means, depending on timing, duration, an whatnot, it may push my little trip back another year.

The rest, well, I can’t talk about that yet.

If I’m going to pull a lesson out of this, I suppose it’d be one that crept up on me – one I didn’t realize I’d already learned until the words were out my mouth. I was talking with a friend last weekend, someone I haven’t seen in quite a while (of course), and while catching of on a lot of this with her, she asked, in reference to juggling so many things, “How are you with that? Me, I’m not so good with it.”

“Well, I can’t accelerate any of this to resolution, I can’t force any decisions ahead of schedule. All these things are in some way co-dependent variables and I have to wait until some of them start congealing into values before I can move on the rest. So, in the interim, I’m just having a good time.”

I don’t know where or when I learned this – though it seems so obvious, I know at some previous stage in my life I’d bee full of stress and dread and having a difficult time with all the uncertainty. But now? Ahh, revel in it, suck up the chaos and make it my chaos.


May 5 2006

Momentus

Without getting into details, I can tell you right now that the next year of my life will be a truly challenging, rewarding, and life-changing experience. And no, not because I’ll be dealing with the effects of turning thirty next September – I couldn’t care less – but because I’ll be walking down one of two paths; two path in which the experience of either will far eclipse the trivialities of age. Two paths that are mutually exclusive.

Some of you know I have a little adventure planned for next year. That is one path. However, if the stars align correctly and I’m presented with this other opportunity, the adventure will be pushed off for another year. There’s no way to do both at the same time.

If the opportunity pans out, it means you won’t see me much, even though I’ll be in town. I’ll have to give up my language classes, photography shows (although I should still be able to shoot now and then), and the blog updates will probably trail of to nearly nothing. I won’t be out and about town, I won’t be going to the museums and art shows and concerts, and there’ll be precious little time left for dates, much less dating stories. No vacations, either. And I’m more than willing – excited, even – to make all those sacrifices. Just imagine how important this thing must be to me.

And I’m looking forward to it, whichever direction I take.

But don’t worry, these things won’t even start until at least a few months down the road, so the blog isn’t dying yet. Just mark my words: ‘06-‘07 will change my life forever.


May 1 2006

Innocence

I hung with G—— quite a bit this weekend, what with both of us showing at the art walk this weekend. On Sunday, during some downtime, G——‘s friend A—— came over and hung out for a bit. She was in the back when I went to grab some chicken off the BBQ and we had a surprising conversation, at least for me.

She stood with her head and hip cocked to the side, pulling on a cigarette slowly. She was analyzing me, but smiling, trying to figure out just a little bit more about me. “I’m so glad you’re here, I didn’t know if G—— was going to be alone all weekend.”

I wasn’t sure if she knew I was presenting as well, or was trying to elicit more information with the vagueness of the question. And, well, we’ve have been hanging out beyond the art circuit as well.

Cue the sufficiently vague answer: “Yeah, it’s been a pretty crazy weekend, we need all the support we can get.” Besides, I don’t know if G—— wants it out about the art scene. Last thing I want is for people to think I’m getting gigs, and I’m recommending her for fashion shows, just because, well, you know. (Particularly since that isn’t the case – I think she’s a good designer – I’m not a big fan of her art, but her clothes and fashion I think is wonderful, I would say her strong suit – and I believe she thinks the some of my photography is reasonably good.)

She continues: “You two,” I can already see there’ll be pause before the end of the sentence, “make such a great” and here, letting just enough time elapse to let both of us know she doesn’t know what to label us, is the break. I fill it for her, honestly, but without resolution: “I don’t know what we are.”

She smiles. “You’re a good guy. She talks about you.”

“Reaallly?” There’s a playful, descending tone to the interrogative.

“Good things.”

“Interesting.”

She pulls another drag off her smoke and smiles coyly from a three-quarter profile. “You’re good together. Sweet. You’re so … innocent.”

I smile back, thinking. “Even more interesting.”

She stubs out her cigarette. “Well, I’ll see you out front.”

In that twilight of wakefulness and sleep, before I fall completely into a deep slumber, I find myself skipping non-linear through a review of the day, taking tangents and what-ifs and introspections just two steps from lucid dreaming. I run into the conversation again: am I just that innocent? Or perhaps she was just complimenting me? Maybe giving me a hint? Do I hide my the scars of my past indiscretions that well? Are my indiscretions so minor compared to her environment that they truly qualify as a relative innocence? Is she just obtuse?

Or do I realize that dark side of me is something I have, and will always have, but that it is not what I want right now, and that when I turn it off, it is off completely; it doesn’t seep through into the rest of me? That my innocence is just a reflection of a lack of malcontent, an appreciation of what I was and what I am? That the two are not dissimilar but not the same, that there is a trajectory between the my past self and my current incarnation, though my coordinates are no longer rooted to my old propulsions?

Probably a little of each.