Those who have ever known me, know me for my passion. Or what was sold as passion, but is more than likely something like intensity. A flickering flame, dying and coming. Protesting a darkness. I have burst in and out of my interests with a fury, and then, again, a cooling lull. Transitory, I have chosen my new desires by night and beat them in my blood well into the quaking mornings' light, sleeping well into noon to avoid the sun as it reached up and tickled me, laughing at my new path. In whichever horizon that I set myself towards, it came at my bright, glinting with the brilliance of a thousand bronze statues. Blindly is one way to describe it, but then again, I have always been known for my love of sunglasses.
Hilarity and embarrassment. I met with friends so often, new friends, old friends, so often, and yet met with them on a regular occasion so little, that one is required to begin each marriage with a recapitulation on what we have been up to, where is life taking us. And of course there must be a direction implied with the end of the sentence, a sort of leading the indicates neither promise nor demise, just a point further from where you stand, perhaps if only to promise another meeting. It is to be expected that the stories change as the speaker does, but mine were usually met with wide eyes and startles. Did I enjoy taking others by surprise? It got old.
Orange scarves, with bead work and spangles, wrapped around a carelessly done-up bun. A bracelet that means something. The transition from stilettos (in high school) to flat pieces of leather wrapped over toes (in a period that can only be described as a break). Messenger bags. Oil paintings. Modeling jobs and fleeting meetings with agencies and auditions. The dream of Los Angeles. The dream of marriage. The dream of travels, the comfort of a sea form wall. These were all part of the plan. Quite crucial in themselves, each standing important and tall between the varied and various categories of interest. Here, I suppose, were the stagnant pieces of my life. Things that I had not yet obtained, but worked towards. In such funny ways, I was motivated to a better life.
And so I found myself, cracking my toes on the dank wood floor as the wind howled outside and whistled at the falling snow. Incense burnt somewhere beyond the circle of people I was included in, and the room sang softly of the chanting music from a turned off stereo. When the crowd turned to me, I regaled them with my hopes of using yoga to move forward, forward, forward, and as I lent my head down, I felt the words trickle out. Too low for anyone else to hear but the Swami in lotus next to me, I ended with a new passionate word, or a new motivator, I can't be sure; "happy".
It scared even me. Usually I plan out my words before speaking. Usually three good lines will form in my mind and I rush to the keyboard to furiously fill in the blanks of the poem. Usually even my most creative moments come from a small degree of sensation. This just came, and settled down next to me, smoothing hands over the tops of my feet as I cracked my toes. Mmm.
I wanted to lay out on that wood forever. There was something soft on that paneling, and perhaps it was in the embers burning in the corner or the traces of essential oil rubbed into my temples by the yogi...more than likely, the dream wasn't as wonderful as it seemed, and I was under some hyped up spell called mood lighting or aromatherapy. But it was worth it, if anything, no matter how plastic, to feel this good and unexpected.
Could I continue to revert back to my past and mourn with flowered words, oh woe, how do I tragically arise from pain? I think there is much to be flown on that bird. Whatever key strokes met my fingers, I realize now, were no different than any others. Though I mumbled back my words between tears, and often stopped to gather my breathing, these stories had meaning. A great depth of meaning. I was not searching in them for it; I knew it was there, and that was enough. But more so than anything, I wanted to chart past the descent, and pull out pieces of the sweetest and tartest memories that I to date own. I was a child, moving in and out of intense fits with every grace of an adult, fumbling with glory, my cheeks shining red as I ran, ran, out to the field and clutching another dream to my chest.
There are no mistakes in life. We move towards the pitfalls on a steady course, and when lemons chuck themselves at our brains, we duck and perhaps strike one or two, but you cannot trip over what you see coming. You cannot. And yet we grapple with the idea. My younger self would call upon other laments of the heart as if they were mistakes, marred pieces of the past that were better erased then edited. Foolishly, I tried to erase, again and again. I replaced what I had done and seen and been with a new passion, a new escape, a new tear. I bought new shoes. I acquired a coffee addiction, and stayed up to see the sun rise, and smoked up so I could see the world glow. Up, up, up. I called myself an artist, knowing not how right I was.
It was so; I learned to spend the days creating. But I didn't have to forget. Forgive was never a question, but I didn't have to do it if it were. Here I was, and everything was a foundation. Words better spent than I have ever created, I turned my ear to the world and listened. New sounds; more like clear repeats of sounds already heard, so they became new. I flew into books again, and remembered how they were always there for me. I used to hear my old tragedies, deadpan lovers, make comments such as "not much of a reader, I'm afraid", and realized everyone was either a reader or not. Here, and I was. What a wonderful feeling to be something for a change. Oh, to be; like a master of that fate, that small, small part of a fate but oh. It is.
Kerouac reminded me to burn, like Gibran had once fed to me three years prior. It flew up in my brain, set a torch there to something. Perhaps it was still glamorous, to live life beat and smoke when it pleased you, and if it rained? Eating and sleeping became an annoyance that broke the otherwise steady flow of thoughts. Not every one was written down or forced out. But I felt the beat, I felt it in the rhythms exploding all around me in songs I didn't like or songs I loved, I felt it in words, I felt it in pulsing yoga moves, I felt it in the trains and the skyways and the adventures I had won and would someday conquer, I felt what it felt to be awake and stimulated, I felt inebriated. I felt that beat, and understood it not as something that beat you down so you had to suffer to write and eat to cry, but as something that beat into your core so badly it hung itself there and you shouted and shook and rattled it about inside you whenever you had the chance. It beat you down with its life, it overtook you, it sang in your blood because by that point your ear drums were shot and all you could do was feel, man. This is what it meant to be beat.
This is what it meant to be passionate. It was easy enough to say that love was all I needed when there was everything to love and nothing to lose; but I missed and overshot the painful and exhilarating, the lovely and driving. The dream was there. But I didn't need to backtrack or move forward, "no!" the beat burned to me. Only sing, in every way that this so-called life gave you, and if it isn't enough, burn, Kerouac said, burn, burn, burn. If anything, it comes out a madness, and that's more than most anyone can say.