some things just fall apart//have heart

Hard bark on the family tree
October leaves on Massachusetts’ trees.

A sight so fleetingly free

Just how October leaves
Just how October leaves
Just how October leaves
Me

On fire with the maple trees,
On my knees with these leaves on these Boston streets,
Praying to a god a godforsaken summer night stole
one night, one fight, one family swallowed whole.

Some things just fall apart
Some families stand like November trees: barren and stark.
Some things just fall apart
Some memories continue breaking this cold heart

And some sons have a hard time
Looking at things the same
Looking in their father’s eyes
When both their heads hang in shame

Highways home become oceans
That I just can’t swim
And the rusty gates of Eden lock
To never let me in.

Let me in

Oceans of emotions we’ve got to swim

Well I open my eyes
I can’t see that family
I can’t see that home

So I’ll just keep them closed

Outside the door with these open arms,
With the warmth of the maple tree.

If these trees can’t replaces these scars
Then let their leaves just bury me

Let their leaves just bury me.

if anyone else is feeling overwhelmed this holiday season…

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

 

…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Sometimes love asks you to change. This is a tiny example, certainly, but life is full of opportunities to love someone well by loving their thing, not just your thing, by stretching across your preferences and opinions and comforts.

It’s so easy to love people who like all the same things you do—who never listen to music that makes you cringe, or who believe all the same things you believe. But love sometimes asks you to lay down your preferences, and dive into someone else’s world for a little while.

Sometimes that world is full of spiders and spooky lights. Sometimes it’s the ballet or country music or Russian novels. Sometimes it’s staying quiet when you want to talk, sometimes it’s giving space when you want to rush in. Love asks what’s best for the person you love, not what’s best or most convenient to you.

(excerpt from a storyline post)

 

Every Day Mind Mastery

Being separated from your loved ones, extreme weather and monotonous work routines can put quite the damper on your spirit some times. After a few days ravashing in my own pity party, I decided to turn my mentality around a bit, be more proactive in my lifetyle and positive in my thinking. I read a book once called The Happiness Project, and one of the authors main points were that most people are happiest when they are growing. I know this for a fact to be true to myself (read: years of aimless wonder through foreign countires, 7 years in community college). There’s been an uprising of Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs, which are taught my Stanford, Harvard and Berkeley professors, offered online for free. Seeing as though I haven’t been mentally stimulated for some time and need a little pick me up of personal/academic growth , I decided to give one a try.

The course I am taking is called Every Day Mind Mastery. It describes this 13X4 algorithm of how to master your thought and action, that is- do the things that you know you want to do. It’s based off of an old idea of Benjamin Franklin, of focusing on 13 virtues or qualities that you want to master or grow in. You focus on one quality a week for 13 weeks, then repeat the cycle 4 times (adding up to a whole year). Unlike many programs or diets, absolute completion is not the goal. It’s about your continuous journey, about directing your attention towards areas of your life and raising your personal growth bar.

Some people accuse me of being self centered and only caring about myself. While this breaks my heart and bruises my ego, its a fair criticism. And honestly, it’s one I am willing to defend. One of the professors in this lecture said a great quote today about this topic, he said “I am as great as the greatest but no better than anyone else” He says ” I am a god among gods”.

and i think that is so honest and beautiful and true.

Ayn Rand wrote extensively about the idea of ethical egoism and this concept that if everyone did what was best for themselves, that society as a whole would be better because of it. And while I ashamedly admit I never did finish Atlas Shrugged ( I maxed out 3/4 of the way in) I surprisingly aligned myself with this virtue. The lecturer touches on her concept, relating it to a sausage machine. That life, like a sausage machine, gives you whatever you put into it. You put in pork, you get pork. You put in success, you get success. So in reality, it’s not as much about the tangible qualities, but the mental script we read ourselves (or is read to us through culture). When we start looking at what we are putting in (weather its our diets and bodies or relationships and attitudes) we are able to see the truth behind such an idea. And as much as society, Obama (JOKING), and others in your life will have you believe that it is not so,

at the end of the day it is all about you.

It’s about your focus, your story, your attitude and actions. It’s about the law of attraction and quantum physics, how we attract whatever it is that we put out. The lecturer describes the science behind this, the  reticular activating system. A function of our brains that looks for whatever you tell it to. The RAS is like a filmmaker and we are the directors. You tell your brain what to look for, and it will recognize it with sensory measures. Think about when you buy a new car, say a toaster looking Scion. And only after you buy the Scion, do you start to notice them everywhere! It’s like you have a new, special Scion seeking antenna that you did not possess before. That’s the RAS. It’s about awareness, noticing your thoughts and choosing what your focus is. And its a powerful ability because we are able to focus on those areas of our lives that matter most. When we use our RAS to visualize and achieve a goal, it can be life changing.

my friend

the other night I had one of the most amazing dreams of my life. I was on a wildlife tour with my roommate and at the very end, we slipped into a large body of water. As we treaded water and leaned against a railing/enclosure of some sort, we held a very large map/laminated tour guide and via the reflection in this large map I saw an even larger, very large, oversized sea otter of some sort. He was about the size of a killer whale but had the face and arms of a sea otter minus whiskers. I turned around to meet his eyes. He smiled at me and reached out his arms as I smiled and exclaimed, “I LOVE HIM”. My oversized sea otter friend hugged me and kissed my face and I was so happy I might have cried. Anyway, I woke up and was so stoked off this dream for the following days. Kyle and I tried to find my dreamlike creature at the Natural History Museum…this is the most accurate pictorial representation I could muster up.

the expression on his face and firm grasp of me is key.

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I like taking melatonin before 10, passing out on Saturday nights, and waking up before 9 on Sundays. It’s my thing. I like making coffee in the morning, nerding out over a new art project, reading a book or re-organizing the piles of paper on my desk. It’s that quiet, peaceful, up before anyone else kind of calmness that I cherish. Enables the best kind of mental clarity and retrospect. I think the world would be a better place if everyone had an hour or so to think about life on a frequent basis. Some times we get so caught up in the monotony, chaos and daily shuffle, that we forget to tend to our most basic necessity, ourselves.

Kyle came to visit and we had an amazing trip to New York, and an extended stay in DC courtesy of Hurricane Sandy. New York is one of those cities that you have to experience for yourself. No amount of movies or poetry will ever fully justify the overwhelming array of color and aroma that covers the street. Characters, taxis and gyros stands synch themselves with the pace of the day, the metro and the ever present sense that this is life. its all happening right now.

I’ll share stories and clips after its all settled. I took a thousand pictures, trying desperately to commit it all to memory.