Words are cheap! We hear it all the time. Hell, words are free for that matter. But isn't it true that words contain whatever value we instill or assign to them, or that they inspire in us?
The one great thing about writing is that unlike other artistic mediums, there is virtually no expense when it comes to materials. The words are free, the artiste simple needs to pluck them from their mind and assemble them. Now, the consequences of that assemblage can be extremely profound, it can be helpful, it can even do damage. My intent as a writer/artist is not to provoke people, but to provoke thought, to encourage myself and others to think.
So, I have decided to supplement my writing with a day to day journal. Self-indulgent? Absolutely, there's no denying it. But, hopefully I will touch upon aspects of my own experience that will provoke me to further explore more creative ideas.
Just teasing, I'm not going to get all biblical with you here. Though I'm on a quest for change in all areas of my life, and while that would include the dimension of Spirit, I'm hardly here to preach. While I generally refer to myself as an atheist in regards to the fact that I don't believe in God, I do firmly believe that we all have the choice of living in darkness or living in the light. That is the dialogue that I wish to explore here. Now, this is admittedly a dialogue that I am having with myself, but you are certainly welcome to join me.
Note: From my own personal perspective; being an atheist does not mean that one dislikes God. It would be self-contradictory for me to claim that I had emotional feelings either positive or negative for an entity that I don't believe in.
I'll be totally honest with you. Even if you were to present me with concrete evidence of God's existence, I fear that I'm way too self-centered to want to accept it as my own truth. I'm far too ready and content to accept both total blame and total credit for this glorious mess that I embrace as being my life.
I do practice the philosophy of Nicherin Buddhism, and I am not at all offended if others choose to refer to it as a religion. My reason for choosing this particular philosophy and practice is that it supports my belief in total responsibility for one's life condition. There is nothing outside to either blame or thank. Certainly gratitude exists, but it is paid to the practice itself and the role the practice plays in my life.
Now, I'm not looking for any debate or argument regarding age here, all that bullshit about it being "just a number" or "you're only as old as you feel." The fact is that I'm 57 years old, and that is not middle age by any commonly accepted standards. In fact, it's safe to say that I'm two/thirds of the way to reaching my final destination. If you add in the fact that I was a pretty heavy smoker from the ages of 10 to 53, and continue to live on a low fiber, high fat and lard based diet, then it may be prudent to estimate that I'm three/quarters of the way to my final stop and would be wise to update my eta thusly, not that I'm expecting a welcoming committee to greet me.
So, when am I gonna "get it?" When am I going to put to practice all of this knowledge and advice that I've both willingly and unwittingly come to learn over the past 57 years? Do I just continue to procrastinate and attempt to throw together something the night before the assignment is due? And just when is the due date? Or, do I maybe want to realize that today is the day, that the assignment is actually an ongoing work in progress?
I've certainly read all the books, made a passing stab at all the religions and philosophies. There has of course been an homage given to crystals, sweat lodges, mirror work and loving myself with old Louise Haye, rebirthing, breath work, fasting, cleansing and detoxing, high-colonics, ear candling, macrobiotics, sexual abstinence, (OK, I cheated on that one) Not to mention plenty of therapy, both group and one on one, and of course let's not forget the Twelve Step meetings. If there's an ism or addiction, I've certainly done my best to adopt it. Oh, did I forget to mention Oprah? Of course, at this stage my idea of an "aha moment" is generally the result of having the urge to urinate and actually producing a steady stream of piss in the process.
So, I have all the required information. It's simply a matter of assembling it, disseminating it, and putting it into action. Herein lies my quest. My desire to live consciously, to be more aware, to be more prudent of the thoughts I think and the words I choose. To create a dialogue with myself and the world around me that is more positive, more nurturing, more productive.
I really want to use my remaining time in this incarnation to make sense and find meaning in what has been my journey. I want to tell my story in a manner that acknowledges and honors the people, places and things that have provided the context and texture of my experience, the landscape and scenery of the road I've traveled. I personally am only a small part of the overall experience, but in the process I have become one with experience, part and parcel, vehicle, driver and highway.
So, the dialogue begins. I really hope you'll join me, I could use the support.