An Open Letter — January 29, 2017

“I don’t wanna live no more, sometimes I hear death knocking at my front door, I’m living every day like a hustle, another drug to juggle; another day, another struggle.” Everyday Struggle by The Notorious B.I.G

Working for an arts non-profit in Honolulu, Hawaii, can present its fair share of challenges. It’s the arts, and artists can be real fucking divas. Non-profits are always hustling, making do with limited resources. It is what it is but I have to say, I have never encountered anything like what I walked into this past Friday, January 27, 2017, when I found out we were postponing a concert, on just 25 hours notice, while kicking off the opening of a different production.

What could cause such a last minute hurdle during an already hyper time?

(Laughs)

The reason was quite simple:

A member of the trio we were promoting was stuck in Canada, due to passport and visa issues…

In a twist of fate, that same day, a very controversial Executive Order was signed in the United States that you can read about here. Now the reason the gentleman in my personal story was effectively grounded in Canada and unable to enter the country is far different than this story here.

While mass protests thankfully did not erupt around my work, people could not help to point to the irony as we sat there at the door greeting anyone who didn’t get the word via our outreach or the media.

Even the band members themselves joked with the hashtag #CheersTrump to laugh at the unfortunate experience, which left them feeling bad for their fans here in Hawaii, many of whom had come all the way from their native New Zealand.

But life goes on for all of us involved with minimal distress in the case of the missing visa and passport. Tickets for the event are transferable to the new date and most people were understanding, disappointed because they were so excited for the experience, but understanding.

In the other cases linked throughout this piece and others like it here, life isn’t going to play out like that. These stories, like those of countless others throughout generations of immigrants, are people who have sincerely pined and wanted a better life, a new present and future that America represents, in order to escape their current present and the horrors of their past.

Now on some level, the arguments for some type or political reform to address strengthening and assessing our defense against terrorists taking on the guise of refugees to slip through the cracks, are understandable. I am all for public/national safety and strengthening defense. In a just way.

But we cannot lose our humanity in the process.

Implementing sweeping change without adequate care surely leads to chaos. Creating initiatives that discriminate will only serve to sow discord, empowering those who hate us further.

You have a chance 45, a slim chance to enact change, and for better or worse, we are all along for the ride. Where 44 said to root that you succeed because we will all benefit, I’m trying to be hopeful.

My belief in human goodness as a collective truth of love and compassion trumping hate is hanging on by a thread. Please put down the scissors.

#AlohaKeAkua #AlohaHarder #MahaloKeAkua

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A Poetic 45 – Week 01

A week in, a weak one, and here we are, oh look, radiating sun

The Earth turns upon Axis, once more, has it won, and yet neither here nor there will we be, until the death of this sun

So small, is each life, so vast, why build strife?  Why build walls?

What point is it to divide?  To conquer?  Questions I ask, yet so many questions, I myself have failed to ask and live so who I am, when in a way, I have also lied, in essence create divide?

Protagonist in chief, no antagonistic thief, media thievin’ ya, but when governance fails to uphold the standard of human decency, who is it, brother, oh sister, that be deceivin’ ya?

Who is it that be deceivin’ ya?

A week in, a weak one, and here we are, oh look, radiating sun…

 

The Present

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It is so easy to be everywhere but in the moment yet isn’t that counterintuitive? The moment is really all we have. Ever. Always. Why is it then, that that so many of us live somewhere amidst the self-limiting beliefs socialized into us (past) and pining away for a day when it is all going to be better (future)? Sure appointments might be made, deals could be struck, pleasant surprises could come along, but what happens to all of the moments in between? What about the Here and Now (present)? Go stare at a lotus blossom. Perhaps it will tell you. And if you find something other than beauty, wow, amaze-balls, that’s okay too. Whatever manifests in the journey is just another teacher, guiding us to live full, authentic experiences before this long collective moment of living evolves and passes, which it surely will.#AlohaKeAkua #AlohaHarder #TheMaximsOfDelta#Mindfulness #Now #Okayness #Presence

The Inauguration Post

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Today has felt like a dark day. It’s not because of the media or “fake news” as some might discount. It’s because a great number of our brothers and sisters in this country and around the world are in pain. No matter who you voted for or what your slant, I challenge you to think about your own pain in life. Meditate on that. Sucks right? Why wish that upon anyone? It is in collective pain, failing to recognize that there are others who are hurting, who feel cast aside, that we build walls between us. A lack of compassion permeates the air because the world has molded us to be selfish, to think there is but one view, one way. And if another does not share that, then they are wrong, they are evil. Failing to look objectively, with true empathy has led us to where we are. If we do not rise up and stop perpetuating the infliction of pain through hatred, oppression, just failing to listen, we will just keep swinging from one end of the spectrum to the next. Maybe if we can stop pushing each other, if we can see where we relate, there might be something both sides can look forward to in the next episode. Maybe then we will celebrate our differences and finally embrace what brings us together, our humanity, which shares pain, shares joy, all of it. #AlohaKeAkua #AlohaHarder #TheMaximsOfDelta

The Dark of Night

The Dark of Night, Such Void of Light, The Piercing of my Soul, The only Way to be Whole

How is it that to be pierced, which in essence creates a hole, is the only way to be full?  Is it balance?  Is it experience?  Does it matter?  Does life care?

Nature surely does not for Nature unfolds as Nature would, without bias, free from discrimination, and surely without retribution if something happens against it.

The Flow of Life flows forth from strife, the swirl of galactic chaos.  In the next life, perhaps I’ll be an albatross and spread giant wing with wing,

then soar.

Burnin’ and Lootin’

People have been telling me lately that I look tired.

Or burnt out.

(Shrugs shoulders)

Maybe both.

2016 was hard for me and I was not one of the lucky few who seemingly escaped unscathed.  95% of the folks I’ve chatted with about last year agree that this ’16 was not so sweet.  It was so bad, I’ve been considering getting it tattooed, perhaps in Roman Numerals, as a reminder of what it was, what I learned, and how I grew despite feeling as though I was walking through a field of landmines.

For the first 4 days of 2017, I was upbeat, but then it hit me, right there on day 5, that frustrated yearning for a greater experience caught my attention again, and I’m left to look at what hasn’t changed.

Is it the hurt I’m feeling over how the relationship I was in evolved to where we are now?

Or maybe it’s the anger that I feel over not knowing who I can trust these days because where I’ve put that energy might have been misplaced?

Is it the aggravation that prods each day as I wonder, wow, what the fuck really happened since I begrudgingly accepted that I was on a spiritual journey now 10 years ago?

Or is it that I’m just 36 years old and have much more learn.

I’m not only 36 years old, I’m 36 years old and moving through new territory as a man in my family and close circle.  No other man who I am close to in my life can give me any guidance that relates to my current overall life situation.  That ‘band of brothers’ is non-existent.  I seem to recall a statement about being there in the jungle, bolo knife in hand as I consciously traverse the unknown savage lands.

Dramatic much?  Perhaps, but I’m a writer, and the symbolic language helps me release and look at the facts.

My Dad and Brother had both experienced marriages, fatherhood, and divorce by this age I occupy.  I’ve not.  My mentors or older friends?  While some similar values might exist, many of their lives are vastly different than anything I shall encounter.  My peers are at various poles of experience despite being able to relate as closely as possible: 1. settled down or give zero fucks as to why they should, 2. immersed in a career or attempting a transition, 3. looking to cultivate anew or accepting their fate .

While I can relate to some elements of that, I’m also wired different.  So it all doesn’t help me very much.

“Be your own guru.” ~ Adya

So I have to put my money where my mouth is and look at how I feel because experiences are always different and the feeling is the only space where we can relate.

Right now, it feels as though I’m alone, wandering a desert.  I might physically be present with people but I’m not really there.  Pieces of my Soul feel as though they’ve been scattered along the journey thus far and this is the first time where I feel like the abyss has more Truth than not.

Sure there are people around, but I can’t relate fully as outline above and let’s be real, neither can they, nor should they.  It’s not that others are incapable or don’t want to, sometimes time really does not allow us the space to connect. As much as I enjoy the career field I’m in, the spiritual wi-fi signal and connectivity isn’t always serving me well. While I might have cleared the landmines, unidentified drones will randomly drop new ordinances so taking another step in this same direction isn’t all that inspiring.

Going back to the start, where I have been told that I look tired and burnt out.  Let’s be real, it echoes in my words:

I am.

I’m tired of taking shit.  I’m tired of at times feeling taken for granted.  I’m tired of people telling me what to do, how to do it, and when I do ask for help or actually need, the ghosting that comes with it.  I see Rage, I see it sitting there but it’s not how I feel nor will it serve me so in its place, I feel Lost.

The last time I hit this space in my early 20s, I grew really angry, took up Rage, and acted out in a fashion where I didn’t care.  At the root of that, I lacked self-love, which led me to having experienced a bit of Soul-crushing because without self-love and grappling with uncertainty, it was hard to pick myself up or be encouraged.

This time, my Soul is crushed, but I have worked much on loving and caring for myself over the years.  I’m just emotionally drained and there isn’t enough happening or time for me to recharge so I feel like I’m in neutral.  It makes me look back to the ‘simpler’ times of my 20s and realize how wise it was at 30 to see how much time I’d squandered worrying and in angst.

Since I’ve but a few short years left in my 30s, I am actively working on allowing what feels to come and go, feeling it fully, letting it go as I can, and keeping myself busy.  Most recently I re-committed myself to Jiu-Jitsu and grappling, which has taught me much about myself and the human condition over the years.

As I look at the big mirror of the world around me, I see a macrocosm of my own experience ten years ago and my approach in dealing with it is different today, so maybe there’s the blessing.

Or the lesson.

Or (insert to be determined here).

The world is ripe with anger, sadness, fear, and all sorts of powerfully crippling emotions. There are ‘good’ reasons why people are feeling such heavy feelings.  And it makes sense why it’s hard to wake up bright and chipper each day.

But we have to.

Whether it’s raining outside, we have to find a way to see the beauty in the rain, how it nourishes all aspects of our life.  If it’s sunny, we need to enjoy that for what it is, cherish how long it lasts, and recognize how without balance in the experience, there is no life, at all.

The human experience is an ever-changing experiment, as is each individual life.  Getting caught in arguments of ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ is the worst thing we can do because of that ever-changing flow and unique unfolding each takes.  While there are days where that voice that once ‘hated’ me preaches darker tones in times of low energy, I shall continue to march, perhaps more fearlessly into the unknown because through all of this, I wake more and more until the day I no longer do so.

That’s all we can do.  Keep moving forward until we no longer can.