the great american stylite of the road

the [road] journey returns – part three/c
daydream belieb’n – (pictures of pictures)

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maybe one day i’ll reach the end of the what-it-means-to-be-america side-quest. all knowledge of being of this great nation will flow through me like the wind of the earth. and i’ll build a tall and powerful pillar off a meaningful road like route 66. there i’ll sit, so high and beaming the satisfaction which only comes from the completion of a job well done. travelers and seekers will come to ask me questions and look onto me, the great american stylite of the road. All will enjoy free-parking and a short film. the modest admission will be less than or equal to a shrimp cocktail (depending on season and demand)

my pillar will be modest yet garner attention with sweet neon. the gift shop will be clean and the ice cream, handmade. road trip pilgrims will leave donations in honor of the living prophets they’ve met at the various hostels they’ve stayed. like dr. pepper and rold gold pretzels to the vending machine prophet who let me know everything’s cool

listening to bryan ferry’s boys and girls (1985)

vmp at the hostel

the [road] journey returns – part three/b
cleveland- (pictures of pictures)

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we sit in the kitchen and he tells me the story of why he’s here. he first experienced synchronicity at the end of 2012. six months later he started a journey: he’ll have a dream of a place and if he receives manifestation of that place through coincidence or sign, he’ll go. he’s let go of all material and travels with only the clothes on his back and an old flip-phone that he’s ready to lose

he believes his purpose is to prophetically share his testimony with others experiencing synchronicity and let them know, “they’re not alone and have no reason to feel fear.” his ah-ha moment came at a time of particular darkness immersed in what he calls a world of meth and internet porn. i want to believe him

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listening to eddie money’s baby hold on (1977)

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the heart of it all printed and marked

the [road] journey returns – part three/a
ohio continued – (pictures of pictures)

once upon a time the state motto of ohio was imperium in imperio (latin for “empire within an empire”). this ended in 1867 because it was considered poor taste post-civil war

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listening to julianna barwick’s prizewinning (2011)

 

the [road] journey returns (part two)

the [road] journey returns – part two
through indiana and into ohio

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i rev and zip two-lane country roads: farm-to-market roads, county-line roads with the windows down and the sunroof open. their farm is lit between the clouds on an unassuming pasture a couple hundred yards up off the county road.

leaving city-life, the two nestled out a piece of the family plot. leaving city-life for the country is exactly what i’m joining my friends from part one to do. maybe it’s what we all want to do. he’s wearing a buckeyes shirt. hers is d.a.r.e. the five-leaf clover is real.

listening to tony allen & afrika 70’s progress (1977)

pulled over with the saints

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at target. they’re climbing on everything. i’m buying a lamp, seems like a good idea: more light. we see each other, “you’re awesomeeee”– they pull the headphones out for a listen: Spaceman 3 and they approve. the saints: olivia, jackie, and gg. a cosmic collision for the few days gg and jackie set olivia up for school in saint louis.

that evening they’re at drinks. jackie’s texting how hungry she is, i haven’t eaten all day: though i bought a lamp. it’s 1:44a and we walk into to one of the diner institutions on the south side but it’s cold (physically and metaphorically) and there’s not enough room for us, who seem to need it all.

a bumper sticker on the institution warns: eat rite or don’t eat at all – we have 15 minutes before my favorite spot closes, “or don’t eat at all?” challenge accepted. i drive as fast as i can to get there in time. but when olivia asks about speeding cameras and i brag that this stretch of road’s not patrolled – then we get pulled over. clock’s ticking.

photo by jackie (a few days later)

the phoenix thing

the phoenix thingthis was difficult to write about, especially at the time
it’s backdated with the gift of hindsight. thanks hindsight

one foot in front of the other. i start with 10 minutes of exercise. im out of shape and constantly checking my pulse. i got fat. not super-fat but fat enough – fat enough that in my ultramarathon of over-thinking my beating heart means “heart attack”. i haven’t moved like this in years, outside of a dance floor anyway. i stick with it and grow with it. a daily routine. my blood flows; i exit stasis

i need more and find meditation impossible with the whole over-thinking ultramarathon thing, i start my yoga practice. my first classes suck: the misery of being lost in a matted sea of others with no idea where we’re at or what we’re doing and i can’t stop thinking: how much longer is this class. this person next to me… wtf. wtf. wahhh my ego. then class is over and i feel satisfaction in its completion. the next day i show back up for the same fight. and the next day and the next and the next and the next. i start understanding the physical: the flows. the poses. the breath. i stretch a little further than before and for brief moments it’s as if time stops and i think of nothing – which is everything

the second month of my practice my studio holds a month-long challenge: do yoga everyday. i stop counting classes after sixty – im figuring out the breath and feeling the connection of the mind and the body; what yoga’s really about. my mood lifts and life is becoming better / more magical: serendipitous, synchronicitous, calml

before the first footing i was an ultramarathon of over-thinking. depressed. near the bottom – in the darkness. some time ago i soared the skies of possibility. i was up: a glimpse of love, purpose, spirit but now nothing. it was a year since up and my ego wouldn’t surrender; the only part of me staying in a fight: a useless fight over tough decisions i know were already decided. finally, i let go. the walls, which were keeping me from starting over, crumble. at last in pieces. i build again. first one foot

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.25.33 PMeverything [this site, this journey] has led me to this point – i understand that what i was doing took me to this rebirth. i had a vision of what’s possible when i was up, but have to do the work to get there. infinite paths infinite times would still lead to this: life’s boot camp and it takes as long as it takes. yada yada yada im a phoenix

not everyone knows what it’s like to soar the sky. to travel. to be. to feel. heights so high there are no higher. to see all. to feel all. to be all. and thankfully not everyone knows how deep the depths can get. where light is blocked by the walls of the abyss. where the abyss becomes everything. where everything is nothing.

the highs make the depths ever deeper and the depths make the highs ever sweeter. especially when looking at light after so long in darkness. the short-term key is to stay self-aware; to not travel from one extreme to the other too quickly, too swiftly – doing so will always lead to anxiety, paranoia, fear…one must find balance. the long-term goal is to keep soaring without looking down, growing ever higher with each lesson learned…until it’s real

IMG_4239this phoenix thing only works if one works to stay a phoenix. if not, it’s back to the ashes. back to the abyss…until that one foot. at the time of this writing, im a phoenix and im working hard to stay a phoenix, but this is life and one day in this life i may run this emotional saṃsāra again – but with a set of tools more powerful than any i’ve had before

Makin’ Lemonade in Michigan

western edge
lower peninsula, michgian

who brakes for tropical storms? well, i do, or at least i did. the organic blossoming of a road trip into ozark country and crystal bridges museum of american art, a serendipitous year in the making, was canceled at last minute due to flooding and torrential rainfall from tropical storm bill. and so a journey north into michigan seemed a more serene and less-personally-traveled option for myself and this trip’s attorney. this is a simple reminder for how to make lemonade.

the ad campaigns and after party ramblings of the unparalleled beauty of michigan’s coast was always a bit forgettable. lots of places have beauty, how’smichigan any different? well, damn.

we traveled on whim and chatted with everyone- an ever growing game of happenstance all while avoiding the interstate: despite an early blowout and a mid-trip scrap with harmless’ angels

pure michigan.

listening to marika hackman’s before i sleep (2015)