The open tunnel
A few days ago, a dear friend of mine sent me a link to an article about a man who had done a picture a day project, just like mine. The article stated that the man intended to do it for one year but instead continued the project for more than 400 days. I thought that was very impressive. This is actually my second time doing this. In 2011, I successfully completed a year-long picture a day project. Unfortunately, the platform I was using got attacked by hackers, who erased all of the data. In some ways, it might have been poetic justice. It was as if the universe had intervened to return all those moments to the realm of memory. That is a tricky place. I can still see some of the images in my head, but most of them have faded away like the many thousands of days of my life.
The guy who completed 400 days of posting pictures said that he did it because he wanted to learn how to be more in the moment. He thought that by becoming a better observer, he could somehow learn to better exist in the now. Toward the end of his project, he understood that the project was having the opposite effect. It was removing him from the moment in much the same way an out of body experience does. He was there but not there at the same time. So, he quit.
My goal is different. Instead of being in the moment, I am trying to preserve it. Like the 365 images that got blinked out of existence when my server died, someday (hopefully a few decades from now), the collection of moments that make up my life will also be blinked out of existence, unless I preserve some of them. I can do that through the stories and images I share here with you. You will bring immortality to my first kiss, the day I spoke to my brother in the spirit realm, the day I got two strawberry dipped ice creams, and the sound of my first publicly performed poem. Even the dark days are important because they are the path I used to find my way to the light. The time I escaped the bad men, fainting from hunger, lost my dog, slept with a hole in the wall, and heard my mother shouting like some great lioness, “Don’t hurt my babies.” Those are the cobblestones held fast by the mortar of my existence, the path I took that has led me to you. Those dark days should be preserved as a reminder of how lucky I have been.
Aside from preserving the moments, I am committed to this project because I want to keep the tunnel open between the realms of reality and creative vision. I want to see the world as a collection of metaphors and philosophical musings. I want to have the sight that allows me to have a kind of x-ray vision that can penetrate the surface of everything around me. With it, I can see a glimpse of the grand design of the universe. When I look, I want to see it with a microscope that allows me to see color, shape, lines, texture, and form. It’s a kind of synesthesia. Instead of seeing sound, I want to see the interconnectedness and beauty of everything.
I could call this power at will with the wild shouting of poetry to rich tapestries of music in my youth. Each performance was like opening a gateway to another dimension. I had become obsessed with finding ways to keep the door open so the vision I received would never end. For a couple of decades, I received amazing and powerful visions. I didn’t give two shits about competition or being the best. I was only obsessed with being able to beam between states of consciousness. It was a battle, though.
My old demon friend has never released his hold on my soul. I have performed in tiny venues in front of ten people. I have performed at stadiums in front of tens of thousands of people. I have even performed on television in front of billions. Each time, I was frightened to death like a lost little boy who couldn’t find his way home (something that happened and perhaps a story I will share for another day). The demon is the shyness I spoke of in earlier posts. For a time, alcohol helped to quiet him, but eventually, they began working together against me. I have Amy Winehoused my fair share of shows, which is why I think I understood her. When I watched her, I could see her on stage with her demon smirking by her side. My demon also began to work with age to quiet my howl through second-guesses till all that might be left, if I allowed it to win, is a whimper. But, you see, by opening another door through this daily exercise, I can once again sidestep the demon and continue my quest.
If this post reads like the psychedelic rambling of a lunatic, just remember. It’s all about seeing the world in metaphor and philosophical musings. If you change your perception ever so slightly, you might be able to catch a glimpse of her, the beauty I have been chasing through time. She is the light that shows us the garden where we were before we were skin and bones.