Gardens

I’m writing close to the end of the workday this Sunday. We went and looked at a studio near our place in the small, little town in nature that we’re moving to. All morning I felt peace, unlike anything I’ve experienced before. We sat underneath a magnolia tree in a garden, just talking, and we will have our own space to build something new. I hope we get the place. Two weeks from now we’ll have moved from the city, where we’ve lived for so long. I think this is a real chance at renewal, a moment to really step into a new world.

We’re starting over, I hope you are too. Everything we’ve done here, all the joy, all the happiness, all the pain, all the sorrow, for all the mistakes I hope you’ll accept an apology, and know that there are other things here about me you don’t know, anyone who reads this. It’s been a hard year. In my writing I’ve done all I can, to offer something that could help change the world, and if it did, I’ll never know, but I know it changed me. I’m a different person from before the pandemic.

I see things, both eyes open and eyes closed, in my dreaming and realities. And as the dharma suggests, we can all grow, and all change. I’ve tried to grow a garden here, yet seeing the small plot of land we will have to make our own actual garden, one not of dreams but of nature, which itself, is it a dream? This is a new moment. I can literally feel it.

Pause and Peace

The Reluctant blogger is going on hiatus while my partner and I move to our new home. I will write more once we’re settled in. Until then, I hope this work can be a guide for anyone who wants to get to know me, as much as I can say. The writings, sharing of culture, and all of our experiences will never end, but for now, I ask that you treat us with peace, in all the understanding I have presented in the last few months. There’s a lot to see. In this blog you will find stories, journals, and poetry, and even a novel, all available at any time. I have very little to say right now. We’re at the beginning of a beginning. A beginning of an end, and the beginnings of a rebirth. I hope you feel the same way. Here’s to the promise of something new. We’re stepping into this new world a little tonight, and it’s not easy. We’ll be working hard for the next few months. We just finished packing up the library. I’m staying up to date on all the information, everything everyone is writing, and if needed, I will return here, but for now, peace to all, and have a good weekend.

Strange Topographies

In this land, what arrows fly, in a way to define by the cirumference. What maps are made? Strange topographies, projections that are, in their own, projections. No one knows me, I remind myself. What arrows fly, strange topographies. As they speak to me, so many distances remain. No one knows me, I am reminded, not even me, I find myself thinking. There may be a record here, and that may be how I will know. But no one knows me, not even my own consciousness. Will I look forever, art become science, cartographies? In the images and words, even in my own conciousness, under the spell of so many, yet no one knows me.

Silences

I sat mostly in silence for two days, as I felt the heavy toll of what seems like could have been a war. I’ll never know for certain, because there is so much I don’t know. I may always be in some kind of silence, yet I can’t allow other voices to speak all the time. It always, especially now, feels as if I’m being erased. I know the hollowness of this feeling. Denied your identity, and in your vow of silence, other voices crowd within. But I’ll always know and remember the last two days. So many messages sent, so many I had to turn away from. I would have crushed in the weight of all these words, which have moved from a slow, manageble trickle, into a torrent of rain. The rain is good, it’s cleansing, but finally moving inside, the rain disappeared, But what happened in those moments? I talked to myself, in my mind, in a question and answer session. I asked myself the most pressing questions, and in the silence, the answers came quickly. It’s something I may always do.

So what did I realize? I’ll never be alone. Not even within my darkest moments. Because there’s always a voice with me in these moments, so much dearer to me now, powerful, and mysterious. I’ll never understand it. I don’t need to. It may be my consciousness, it may be something else, it doesn’t matter. Because all things, in a way, are both many and one. The silence was beautiful. I desire it as much as friendship, because I know that even when no one is on your side, you always have something mysterious, something beyond, that speaks in these silences, in both true silence, and engagements with the mind.

I hope to write more soon, as this is something I’m just discovering, but that’s enough for now. There is so much to do. I need to pack, and step away from the internet for awhile. Things change, and no greater change happened for me than feeling the hollow of the silent morning, all throughout the day. but there is nothing truly absent, nothing is truly gone, and when the voices come again, for now, I return to music, where I have built a reference point, for where I’ll always need to go.

Who are we?

This morning I woke up around 2 am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I took some medication, that lasted only 2 more hours. Something wanted me to be up, to be here, so I set about my day. I began by listening to music, making stories for playlists, but honestly, they were only for me. I can’t get through the pandemic without music. As the day progressed I had many low and high moments throughout the day, but that was because I was changing, throughout the day, and that led me to some conclusions.

I recently came out online about being asexual and non binary, but what I found in these moments, was that we’re all on a spectrum, not definable, but these terms, and these words, have their ability to organize and collectively build friendships, and reach out to each other. We need language for this, even though the terms may seem not quite right. We absolutely need these identifications, but no one can define who we are, that’s always changing. Who are we? Do we know? These terms are helpful, but we are all individual, we are all ourselves. But there’s a mystery in that statement. Who are we? Aren’t we all mirrors? Reflecting each other in each moment?

Coming Out

I really was afraid to say this for so long, but I’m queer, and asexual. What does that mean? When I first realized this a few years ago, it was so unknown, not even part of the common phrase LGBTQ. The A, or ace, as we identify, was left out for so long, but it’s starting to get the attention it deserves. I don’t want to speak publicly about my private experiences. That is my privacy, which I steadfastly believe I have the right to have. Here’s some links to learn more about this identification, and please read and take us all into your hearts. Gassho.

Hate and Violence

I woke up early this morning to check the news, prepare for the day, and found instead a litany of events, like an avalanche, that flowed out from the middle east. I try to stay was far away from world politics as possible, but this was unique. Violence after violence, hate after hate, and in the midst, on twitter, I heard a young girls helplessness, and impassioned voice, who I wanted to spread as widely as possible. This is not about politics, this was an echo of a voice that has forever had her life changed, not sure what to do, in all the desperation of this moment. You can find it on my twitter page. Almost the minute I posted it, I began to received veiled attacks, which only deepened my resilience. I know what this girl was going through, and today, it was almost as I was seeing it happen for myself, yet there’s a difference. Tonight I will have peace in our apartment, the choices that now seem so rare, as we have a few moments to share food with one another, my partner and I. I did all I could today, and if intention is any guide to follow, I did my best. I won’t go hungry tonight. I have a place to live, I am not displaced, but do voices like these?

We must stop the hate and violence in this world, and we can begin at any time. But at what cost will this be to future generations? I may be able to forget these events as the days pass, but this is becoming senseless and dangerous. We must, at all cost, stop the hate and violence happening in the world, from our city, from our home, for our country, and the world. I never thought I would ever be called upon to stand up like this. It’s not in my nature. But I had to speak tonight. I hope all people find peace, however they can. I wish I could offer a final gesture of hope tonight, but right now my only hope is for tomorrow, and a chance for all sides to come together and find peace. Let’s begin again tomorrow, all of us, to find the hope to carry forward, and be the last generations who ever have to experience this again.

Monet and the Rain

Monet walked into the room, head down. I asked him, what’s wrong Monet? Monet said, “I can’t paint today” So I asked him “Why?” “The fields are empty, they have been paved with gray. My voice is in impressions, the direct experience.” “What?” I asked. “What is more direct than the mind?” “What?”, Monet said. “Yes,” I said. And then I looked around the room, listening to the rain. “I’ll paint that then,” Monet said. “What?” I asked, “Can you read my mind?” “No, I am your mind,” Monet said. “Whatever,” I said to Monet. “Exactly,” Monet replied “Do you hear the rain?” I thought for a minute and listened closely. I heard nothing. “And now.” “What?” I asked Monet. Monet looked up. “Never mind.” he said. “OK,” I said, “Never mind.”

Today

Today was one of the first days I really felt like things were getting back to normal, or whatever form normal is to me, obviously, a difficult term. But to me that meant that I made my best painting of the pandemic, reaching deep into my consciousness, and just saying, OK, Mitch, you’ve got this. Even in all the struggles, well documented here, I was able to be back to being an artist. The person I truly am. It wasn’t easy. From the first rush of creation, I met my fear in full force, and pushed through to make something I really hope you will enjoy. I have so much art and poetry in me, I almost never want to stop. But I’m taking my time, because I still feel a little broken from all the stress. But art won the day inside of me again. I hope with all my heart that I can slowly get back to just being, not trapped by fear, but able to create again. I hope everyone’s doing well.