Soothing the Soul

The single most pivotal\profound experience in my life happened in a dream.

It left me feeling like there was something within me that I needed to share with the world. A feeling so strong that it drove me to separate from everyone and everything in my life and change directions.

At the time I was working construction and generally just being a bum. I was partying constantly, was usually on some sort of drug and spent my hours writing or dancing.

The morning after this dream, everything inside me changed. The lack of motivation I had always felt was gone. The need to communicate something was so strong, so fierce that it was the only thing that mattered any more. I HAD to find a way to let whatever that was out.

So I started going to school, community college to get my head back in the mode of studying and I started to separate myself from the crowd I was hanging around. That was the hardest thing, as I think about it now I have a pain in my heart, I still feel like I abandoned them.

These weren’t just my friends, they were my family. I spent every second with them, but it was the only way I knew how to get away from what I saw as a black hole. A life path that held nothing for me, I could see where it was going and it was no where good.

From there, I tried to just follow my passions. I had no idea what I needed to do and for the most part I had no idea what I was doing. I had no plan, just what was immediately in front of me.

Get the pre-reqs done at community college, go to another college… get degree… then what? A job? Then what? Family?

I ended up going to and art school, fitting now that I think about it, but at the time I was paralyzed with the decision between that and an engineering school.

Paralyzed because I knew I would do fine on either path, but I had no idea which one was the right one, which one was the one that would get this out of me.

Animation and game design ended up being my focus. I have always had a strong inclination toward movement. I could always FEEL movement, I could experience it through dancing and felt I could tap in to something beyond myself when I did.

My specialty ended up becoming, hilariously, optimizing and enhancing artists workflows.

12 years later, I have had three jobs in the gaming industry. One could say I have found success, but to me it still feels like just a beginning.

Like those twelve years were just to prepare me for what lies deep within me, the need, the drive, the command to help.

To communicate something, to help people succeed, to help people find themselves.

I feel I am closer now to this than ever.

Like whatever it is, is on the tip of my brain.

Whatever it is, a part of it is my my journal from 10 years ago which I randomly open up last night.

A writing that I pleaded myself to get out in to the world, but have yet to do.

It is perhaps the closest thing I have to the writing I used to do.

There was a journal I had in my early twenties that I would write in all hours of the night, stories about finding true meaning, about exploring the soul, about tapping in to the eternal knowledge within us and getting out of our own ways to live through it.

I lost that journal in Paris France. I left it on a train that I had rushed off trying to make my stop.

Years of writing and self exploration lost.

To this day, that is the single most profound loss I have ever had. But when I search deep for an answer to why I let that happen, the answer is always:

“You weren’t ready.”

Am I now? I have no idea.

But, for some reason or another I opened my replacement journal directly up to that page last night and I read it.

It floored me. The entry was so clear to me despite remembering writing it and feeling like it was completely unintelligible.

It touched me to the core, validated my journey and gave me a jolt of passion to help try to push me through this next wall of fear and self doubt.

As I search for a reason I happened to open my journal to the ONE spot, the only answer I get is, “It’s Time”.

So, whatever that means, I guess it’s my answer.

HolyFirepanel1

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jkelsey440
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 08:52:47

    You have always moved forward. We worried about you. I remember waiting for the sound of your car coming down the driveway too late at night. You were on your path even then. I know it’s been hard. You could have continued as you were, many do. About your journal: it’s out in the world. Somebody picked it up and has probably treasured it for years. It may have influenced them to go to art school or engineering school or to begin writing about the journal they found on a train in Paris.

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  2. Malcolm Dean
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 09:50:05

    Nothing is ever truly lost. It always comes around again, but in a new form:

    IN BAGHDAD, DREAMING OF CAIRO:
    IN CAIRO, DREAMING OF BAGHDAD

    No more muffled drums!
    Uncover the drumheads!

    Plant your flag in an open field!
    No more timid peeking around.

    Either you see the beloved,
    or you lose your head!

    If your throat’s not ready for that wine, cut it!
    If your eyes don’t want the fullness of union,
    let them turn white with disease.

    Either this deep desire of mine
    will be found on this journey,
    or when I get back home!

    It may be that the satisfaction I need
    depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone
    and come back, I’ll find it at home.

    I will search for the Friend with all my passion
    and all my energy, until I learn
    that I don’t need to search.

    The real truth of existence is sealed,
    until after many twists and turns of the road.

    As in the algebraical method of “the two errors,”
    the correct answer comes only after two substitutions,
    after two mistakes. Then the seeker says,

    “If I had known the real way it was,
    I would have stopped all the looking around.”

    But that knowing depends
    on the time spent looking!

    Just as the sheikh’s debt could not be paid
    until the boy’s weeping, the story we told in Book II.

    You fear losing a certain eminent position.
    You hope to gain something from that, but it comes
    from elsewhere. Existence does this switching trick,
    giving you hope from one source, then
    satisfaction from another.
    It keeps you bewildered
    and wondering, and lets your trust in the unseen grow.

    You think to make your living from tailoring,
    but then somehow money comes in
    through goldsmithing,
    which had never entered your mind.

    I don’t know whether the union I want will come
    through my effort, or my giving up effort,
    or from something completely separate
    from anything I do or don’t do.

    I wait and fidget and flop about
    as a decapitated chicken does, knowing that
    the vital spirit has to escape this body
    eventually, somehow!

    This desire will find an opening.

    There was once a man
    who inherited a lot of money and land.

    But he squandered it all too quickly. Those who inherit
    wealth don’t know what work it took to get it.

    In the same way, we don’t know the value of our souls,
    which were given to us for nothing!

    So the man was left alone without provisions,
    an owl in the desert.
    The prophet has said
    that the true seeker must be completely empty like a lute
    to make the sweet music of Lord, Lord.

    When the emptiness starts to get filled with something,
    the one who plays the lute puts it down
    and picks up another.

    There is nothing more subtle and delightful
    than to make that music.
    Stay empty and held
    between those fingers, where where
    gets drunk with nowhere.
    This man was empty,
    and the tears came. His habitual stubbornness
    dissolved. This is the way with many seekers.

    They moan in prayer, and the perfumed smoke of that
    floats into heaven, and the angels say, “Answer
    this prayer. This worshiper has only you
    and nothing else to depend on. Why do you go first
    to the prayers of those less devoted?”
    God says,
    “By deferring my generosity I am helping him.
    His need dragged him by the hair into my presence.
    If I satisfy that, he’ll go back to being absorbed
    in some idle amusement. Listen how passionate he is!
    That torn-open cry is the way he should live.”

    Nightingales are put in cages
    because their songs give pleasure.
    Whoever heard of keeping a crow?

    When two people, one decrepit and the other young
    and handsome, come into a bakery where the baker
    is an admirer of young men, and both of them
    ask for bread, the baker will immediately
    give what he has on hand to the old man.

    But to the other he will say, “Sit down and wait awhile.
    There’s fresh bread baking in the house. Almost ready!”

    And when the hot bread is brought, the baker will say,
    “Don’t leave. The halvah is coming!”

    So he finds ways of detaining the young man with,
    “Ah, there’s something important I want to tell you about.
    Stay. I’ll be back in a moment. Something very important!”

    This is how it is when true devotees
    suffer disappointment
    in the good they want to do,
    or the bad they want to avoid.

    So this man with nothing, who had inherited everything
    and squandered it, kept weeping, Lord, Lord!

    Finally in a dream he heard a voice, “Your wealth
    is in Cairo. Go there to such and such a spot
    and dig, and you’ll find what you need.”

    So he left on the long journey,
    and when he saw the towers of Cairo,
    he felt his back grow warm with new courage.

    But Cairo is a large city,
    and before he could find the spot,
    he had to wander about.

    He had no money, of course, so he begged
    among the townspeople, but he felt ashamed doing that.
    He decided, “I will go out at night
    and call like the night-mendicants that people
    throw coins into the street for.”
    Shame and dignity and hunger
    were pushing him forward and backward and sideways!

    Suddenly, he was seized by the night patrol.
    It so happened that many had been robbed recently
    in Cairo at night, and the caliph had told the police
    to assume that anyone out roaming after dark
    was a thief.
    It’s best not to let offenders go unpunished.
    Then they poison the whole body of society. Cut off
    the snakebitten finger! Don’t be sympathetic
    with thieves. Consider instead
    the public suffering. in those days
    robbers were expert, and numerous!

    So the night patrol grabbed the man.
    “Wait!
    I can explain!”
    “Tell me.”
    “I am not a criminal.
    I am new to Cairo. I live in Baghdad.” He told the story
    of his dream and the buried treasure,
    and he was so believable in the telling that
    the night patrolman began to cry. Always,
    the fragrance of truth has that effect.
    Passion
    can restore healing power, and prune the weary boughs
    to new life. The energy of passion is everything!

    There are fake satisfactions that simulate passion.
    They taste cold and delicious,
    but they just distract you and prevent you
    from the search. They say,
    “I will relieve your passion.
    Take me. Take me!”
    Run from false remedies
    that dilute your energy. Keep it rich and musky.

    The night patrol said, “I know you’re not a thief.
    You’re a good man, but you’re kind of a fool.
    I’ve had that dream before.
    I was told, in my dream,
    that there was a treasure for me in Baghdad,
    buried in a certain quarter of the city
    on such and such street.”
    The name of the street
    that he said was where this man lived!
    “And the dream-
    voice told me, ‘It’s in So-and-so’s house.
    Go there and get it!'”
    Without knowing,
    he had described the exact house,
    and mentioned this man’s name!
    “But I didn’t do
    what the dream said to do, and look at you,
    who did, wandering the world, fatigued,
    and begging in the streets!”
    So it came quietly
    to the seeker, though he didn’t say it out loud,
    “What I’m longing for lived in my house in Baghdad!”

    He filled with joy. He breathed continuous praise.
    Finally he said,
    “The water of life is here.
    I’m drinking it. But I had to come
    this long way to know it!”

    — Rumi

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  3. trupointacu
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 10:18:04

    This is so powerful, so connected. As we become more connected to our own sense of power, connection, and source that we become our own inspiration but also pass on the inspiration to others without even having to try! I am amazed by your journey everyday and it brings forth inspiration of those around you and adds to their journey! Thank you for sharing you with yourself as well as everyone around you!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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