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Insight To Chaos

Adventures Through La La Land…

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Sep '11

The Writing On The Wall.

The night before my 30th birthday, I was…sad.  Well, no…not sad exactly, but in the late hours of the evening I found myself feeling more and more overcome by a sense of melancholy.  A feeling perhaps made worse by the apparent return of strep throat, which I had just gotten over.  But I was fighting it, more determined to have a great birthday and a great vacation.

So there I was camping with 20 of my closest friends, amidst the desert blaze and city ruckus that temporarily populated the middle of nowhere.  In the last few hours of the evening, I found myself alone, wandering toward the second most prominent structure at Burning Man – its Temple.  The trek was longer than I had expected.  I felt my stamina weakening from the gradual return of the strep, but I kept on, unlit and treading over the dark and uneven playa, with art cars and bicycles parading past in every direction.  Burning Man’s Temple, from what I had heard, was infamous for being a place where people went to remember, to meditate, to let go.  Much like the Man itself, the Temple’s large wooden structure gets burned to the ground at the end of the week. Only where the Man burns amongst fireworks and celebration, the Temple burns the next day in silence and reverie.  It seemed the perfect placed to leave my twenties behind.

The Temple’s design changes every year along the theme of the event and this year it was built as a vast cavern that, from the outside appeared to simply be a pile of wood simmering atop of burning embers of a fire.  As I approached the structure, the wild chaos of the city’s sounds faded away.  I turned the corner to go inside the structure’s main entry and I was struck in awe.  It was as though I entered a church of every denomination whose members milled about in silent respect, communicating their deepest emotions on the surrounding walls.  I walked slowly through it, reading messages of love, of remembrance of those gone too soon, messages of hope.

Already awash with my own emotion, I began absorbing everything that surrounded me too.  The melancholy was transforming.  Feeling more and more overwhelmed by the intensity of the experience, I sat down on the nearest bench and finally let the tears I had been holding back all evening begin to fall away.  I asked myself what I had come to this place to let go of.  What part of me should I leave behind for the impending burn?  I turned around in my seat and in the nearest empty space, I wrote:  “I let go of who I am to become what I might be.”  That was it.  I was there to let go of me.

I sat there for a few more minutes, letting the tears run silently down my face, feeling…uncertain and surprisingly clear.  As I sat there in the shadows of candlelight, lamenting over the amazement of my surroundings and its influential catharsis, an older man with a white beard and a blue jumpsuit sat down next to me and asked me if I was okay.  Until that moment, I had been completely unaware of my own presence; I suddenly felt very…visible, observed.  I told him yes, I was okay or at least that I would be, then I asked if he was all right.  He said he was and then, as though picking up from the middle of a conversation, he told me about how there were so many things in his life that he had come to regret, that there was so much to let go of.  I asked him how, I said, “How do you do it then?  How do you let it all go?  Where do you even start?”  Without hesitation he answered me, “you do it one piece at a time and you keep trying.”  I nodded, looking around once more and taking in everything around me.  Every message seemed to bear the same wisdom this old man had just shared with me.  When I turned back to him though, he was gone – disappearing in the same manner that he had appeared.  I took a deep breath and repeated his message to myself before finally leaving.

I spent the long walk back to camp ruminating over all that had just transpired, considering the great adventure of a life that had brought me to that place.  The melancholy had transformed into bittersweet resolve.  I arrived back to camp to find it completely dark and deserted – everybody was still out celebrating the night.  Finding myself alone still, I got ready for bed.  As I closed my eyes to fall asleep I thought to myself:  That’s it then…we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

We’ll see indeed…


Aug '11


Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.

~ Bob Marley

And to have felt this even just once is to consider yourself among the luckiest of souls.  Love long. Prosper.

May '11


…made some really great points.

Apr '11

Serious Scientific Research Proves It!


Mar '11

Just to name a few…

The start to a very long list.

Uncontrollable laughter.
Watching the sun rise.

Jan '11

Thought Bubbles…

What has provoked my mind to wander?

A friend’s recount of the 8 steps of genocide.  More specifically, the notion that the leader of a revolution requires the intent and ability to dissent both the oppressors and the oppressed; to cast off the false safety of complacency.

A sober addict’s perspective on responsibility for oneself.  The paradox of the human condition at its extreme and acceptance all it entails.

The concept of disposable people.  Rather, a look at the various perspectives people have on friendships and their corresponding methods of impermanence.  Moving past the feeling of expendability and exploring context.

Messages from the Universe.  Apparently, there are signs everywhere.  All you have to do is see them.

Dec '10

A Marathon Of Baby Steps.

As another year ends, I find myself appreciative. 2010 has been…enlightening. A year full of adventure and contemplation, of joyful togetherness and of longing. I look back on this year in all of its ups and downs and, just as every year before it, I am grateful for the entire experience.

I am resolved. May 2011 be revolutionary and magnanimous …and most of all Audacious!

Dec '10


So there I was, driving home after a truly lovely evening. Turning onto my street, Mom and I were in the midst of one of our notorious reflective conversations. I look up ahead and I can almost make out a dark figure crossing the street in front of me. I slow down to give him plenty of time to pass. He slows down then stops, and then starts his saunter again. As I pass him going 20mph, my headlight catches the discordant look on his face and then his middle finger. He yells at me to “slow the fuck down.”

I snapped.

I started to move on, then I slammed on the breaks. I had sudden and competing urges to let it go and walk away as well as put my car in park and confront him. I wanted to get out of the car, but my better judgment compromised by rolling down the window and yelling back. I told him I was only going 20 miles an hour, perhaps he should light himself up better if he’s going to stop in the middle of a dark street like that. He yelled back that I should watch where I’m going and slow the fuck down. Before driving off, I wished him a Merry Christmas, though more in a tone suggesting that he fuck himself with sprigs of mistletoe.

I wanted to get out of the car. I wanted to stand right in front of him and ask him to look me in the eye and tell me exactly how I had offended him so dearly. If for nothing else than to remind him that I am just as human as he is, and neither of us deserve such negativity. The only reason there are so many assholes on the road is that we all treat each other like we’re all assholes. Acknowledging the behavior only enforces it. Instead, I sat in my car and yelled back. I didn’t get out of the car, but I didn’t move on either. I made two jerks out of the situation.

Driving home, I felt like a coward and a hypocrite.

I should not have done that, I thought. I should have kept driving and let it go. I didn’t deserve his attitude, but that didn’t matter. Whether it was warranted or not, I had a choice to accept or reject his negative attitude and I chose poorly. I wish I could say I rejected it. My ego and my conscience reacted simultaneously and my ego won out.

Where is the line between standing up for yourself and accommodating bad behavior by responding in kind? For what reasons should I be so prideful that there might even be a need to stand up for myself? Am I so self-important that I should require defense even for issues that are not about me?

Sometimes, I become so quickly overwhelmed with feeling that, although my rational mind is reminding me of the bigger picture, I am already bursting with short-sided reaction. And I scare myself.

I am not my ego. I have no need for self-centered pride. I am one among many. This is water.

Nov '10

Don’t Worry…

Oct '10

What’s On My Mind.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Here’s to never forgetting….