FOUR YEARS GONE: DEALING WITH THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE

zeninthecarphone 136As I write this on February the 15th of 2015, I am in quite the reflective mood. Today is the four year anniversary of my Father’s passing or crossing over if you prefer. This little piece may be inspired by him but it is my intention to write to anyone who has had to endure the death of a loved one so that you know you are not alone in your struggle.
My Father passed unexpectedly (which I have always believed to be a poor term, losing someone should never really be expected) in 2011 while in my arms. The Native Americans have a story about a father’s last words to his son, the details escape me at the moment, however I can say that for me I certainly experienced something spiritual as I tried to no avail to revive him doing CPR. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. His last breath was trapped in his body and when I opened his mouth every bit of it flooded into my lungs and filled me up like a balloon. The moment it did I heard his voice in my heart and mind, though not the voice I had grown up hearing, rather the voice of a young man but without a doubt my Fathers. He said “Don’t panic son, everything is going to be okay.” At that moment I felt a peace that I had never known before and though I continued to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived my heart was content with what was happening. My Father had been allowed by the powers that be to pierce the veil between this world and the next to offer me comfort when I needed it most. This experience taught me that when a loved one crosses over it isn’t so much that they go away, rather they go everywhere. I knew first hand that those on the other side can still see us, hear us, touch us and especially communicate with us. Perhaps they cannot hug you with the flesh they once did, but they can hug you in other ways. One simply has to be open to receiving such communication from the other side.
In the four years since my Father’s passing my life has gone down many unexpected roads and to this day I don’t know if that has been a result of the event or if it was always a foregone conclusion. I often wonder why my Father chose (and yes I do believe people choose their time of passing in some form or another) to leave before some of the most important moments of my life, moments where I truly needed him in the flesh. Looking back now I believe the reason was because he knew there were going to be moments in my life when I needed to stand up alone and without anyone else’s helping hand to lift me up. I believe he wanted me to realize my own strength and to realize that within me is all I would ever need to overcome the obstacles of life. I cannot say it was easy performing such a feat, but nevertheless and thus so far I have done just that. I really haven’t had that much of a choice, and if you have lost a loved one you haven’t either.
When they first leave you look around and wonder why the world hasn’t stopped, why everyone else is still going about business as usual. It confuses you, it angers you, and it saddens you. You are then surrounded by family and friends for a time that constantly want to know how you are doing through emails, messages and phone calls and eventually that comes to a halt. You eventually don’t hear from anyone anymore and you realize you are alone in your mourning. Sure, others may mourn, but not the way you mourn. Truth be told you never really get to mourn until all those family and friends fade back into their own little worlds, with their own little lives. It is only when you are sitting at the table with a cup of coffee alone, staring out the window when the mourning is actually done. You think of your lost loved one and wonder what the two of you would be doing today had they not left. You think of all the things you didn’t get to say or didn’t get to ask and kick yourself for having taken so many days for granted. On occasion you accidently try to call them or remember that you need to tell them something before the realization that they are no longer here comes back to mind. That’s when the tears flow pumped by the heaves of the gut.

Over time the sharpness of the pain does become dull and you reorganize your life in a manner that no longer involves the lost loved one. It takes a while to get there but eventually you do. That’s when songs come on the radio or books come across your path that reminds you of them and rather than being sad, you begin to smile at all the fond memories the two of you made together. This is when you begin to appreciate the fragility of time and how precious each individual in your life truly is. This is when you begin to behave in a manner in which you treat each and every person you meet as if they are the one you lost. It doesn’t matter if you know them for one minute or one million years; you see and appreciate their value in simply existing. After some time of doing this you finally see that you yourself should be treated the same…especially by you yourself. You begin to recognize your own value in the life of others, the example you set for those around you. When this realization comes you begin to behave differently, you begin to interact with this world differently. You see the beauty in each passing moment, the miracle in each exchanged word. Before long you are a completely different person able to grasp the beauty and wonder of this thing we call life. Rather than waking up day after day and trudging through, you see each moment as the miracle that it is.
With new eyes and a new heart you begin to live life again in a fresh and unexpected way. You begin to live life with angels on your shoulder and the Spirit of God in your heart. Then it occurs to you that none of that would have been possible if you had not lost that loved one. Once that hits you begin to see that they left when they left for this sole purpose, they left to elevate you in your awareness in this world. Like any plant or flower, it must first be buried in darkness so that it may push upwards against the soil in order to reach the Light of the Sun. It must struggle against the odds before it can blossom into what it is meant to be. Yes there is pain, yes there is loss, yes there are lonely nights of tear filled pillows; but when all that is done there is contentment. There is peace.

I can say that four years since my Father crossed over I have ran through the gambit of emotions in regards to losing a loved one and if there is anything I can say regarding the experience it would be from the old Christian hymn, All is well with my Soul. I am not going to sit here and tell you of one religious faith or another because religion is something I am whole heartedly against, however I can tell you that there isn’t one faith that does not speak of the reunion between the living and the dead. I think this universal truth is precious and should be examined in all our lives. There will be a time when the lines between worlds is blurred and those perceived as lost will be found. My suggestion to all of you is to stop waiting for that day and experience it now. Our loved ones can indeed hear us, they can indeed see us. And though it may seem a little mystical, they are no farther from us than a prayer or a thought. All one needs to do is simply believe; when one does that the Universe will move to prove that as Einstein said, energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and our loved ones are exactly that…energy. Therefore, they are all around us. Watching us, guiding us, loving us. Our five sense limitation may often times fool us into thinking otherwise but we must remember that the five senses are just as I said, a limitation. It takes that other thing, that unexplainable thing to tap into the realm of the ethereal. Much to the disappointment of skeptics, it is indeed possible.
So if you have lost a loved one, or seemingly lost a loved one, I would encourage you to skip a few steps and jump straight to the part with the joy. There is beauty in death, believe it or not. It isn’t an end of a relationship; it is merely the evolution of a relationship. Evolve with it. Because after all that was the point. It took me some time to learn that but I hope that in my education you are somehow enlightened and expedited to this fact. Life never really ends, it only evolves. From my Father to me, and from me to you. Be well.

YESTERDAY

NAKED AND AFRAID: I GIVE YOU SABRINA, THE WITCH

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”
– Frederich Nietzsche

BREEINTHEMOONLike the unforgettable lyrics of the song that demands replay, finding light in a void of darkness is a cycle of the records spinning on your record player. For many of us, the thought of overplay demands we change the song, while for others the sweet serenade is a comforting and a familiar awareness of what has been, what is, and what’s to come.

Though some will succumb to embracing the cycle with open arms, like a bad relationship they can neither seem to love or walk away from; others are capable of recognizing the repetition as nothing more than the self-torture it is. After all, the conquest of the cycle is often seen as more of a challenge to the weak minded then undergoing the torture itself; especially when we can rely on the knowledge that all things will come to pass, and our cycle will eventually start anew. Though the opportunity to break the cycle is ever present, there are those who require a more obvious chance— typically accountable to the fact that it’s recognizable and therefore easier to pursue. Can you recall your such opportunity? Did you seize it, or let the moment escape you?

YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND

Just over a year ago, the opportunity presented itself to yours truly, and I eagerly jumped all over it. Fearlessly, I rode a tidal wave of lesson upon lesson of self-reliance, personal responsibility, faith, fear, love, survival, and most of all, happiness. Though to the known world (at least those with cable access), my lessons would be—like me—naked and exposed in the bare truth for all to see. (Which was fine, as I feel it was the greatest test of transparency I could offer.) Yes, I was naked, starving in a jungle for 20 days. Yes, there were highs, lows, successes, epic failures, tears, laughter, confusion, and above all else, understanding—the understanding of achieving happiness amidst the turbulence of what some would call chaos; but one in which I only knew as paradise on earth.

I recall then knowing the temporariness of my discovery if I failed to replay the record of my lessons. Unfortunately, to be able to do so I wrote off as an impossibility due to the greater challenges awaiting me at home—other people, and the influence of the world. However, I walked the path as best I could despite its obstacles. Little did I suspect I would once again be my own obstacle, but that is indeed the familiar parable—face yourself.

At the opening of the year (2014) I took an oath to use my powers for good (not that I have used them for bad, but more that I really was not using them at all) and spread a message influencing others to do the same. As an activist in the mission of righting our country, I charged the new year with one goal: unity through love. I now know it set off a beacon that has been targeted by demons, of which many I defeated. Some were more hard lessons. In particular, having to step away from my team on account of a message I eventually found to be flawed. It begged of me to embrace division—in its most diabolical form—as action against those we’re supposed to believe in: law enforcement.

After partaking in events against police, organizing pages that showed others how to become a thorn in the side of law enforcement, and training with groups for an eminent attack; I was re-introduced to my mission of unity, and attacking (not physically) LEOs was not inspiring that. So, I put a distance in my associations with the team. Once again, only this time without a team of support, I came under fire for my newfound respect for law enforcement. Though much of the criticism was more skepticism by those who allowed themselves to be plagued by the images of such pages as The Free Thought Project and Cop Block; I persisted in playing devil’s advocate, but in a respectable manner (for I saw a greater mission at risk of being sabotaged). Unfortunately, I’d be lying if I said the virus of such thinking didn’t still linger in my mind that an uprising of police would be our undoing, but I vowed it to keep it in quarantine. That’s when the virus took an even darker turn, and the focus shifted to radical Muslim terrorists. Spoiler alert: this one did (and still does) plague me.

For as long as one could, I refuted the evil of an entire population (which surprisingly—my team was in absolute agreement too). But I’m a mother of three young children, who (despite my being a witch) attend Christian churches for pre-K and Sunday service. The amount of images running through my mind of a lone wolf radical, or even a group of barbaric mercenaries, exacting the sort of evil I saw portrayed in the news stories was like a fog contaminating the message of love for all and unity.

The shift in my thinking turned to despair and lost hope. Patriots appeared shrinking back, accepting of whatever was to come with the defeated nonchalance. It was literally overnight that my power of influence took a turn for the worse and I was acting no better than my Christian brothers and sisters demanding to see justice enacted upon an entire civilization of people amounting to 0.8% of our known population— regardless of their hand in violence. Not that I don’t have love for the Christians, either! My disappointment is not in their Christ, but in their churches and followers who do not act Christ-like. But that’s an entirely different title altogether and we digress. Perhaps having spent too much time in these churches, I began to adopt their system of thinking that we must rid the world of the Muslims before they have the chance to come for us. To me, it seemed sensible—the radicals were killing in the name of their god, and in my mind, I altered the same train of thought into: “I’m just protecting my family’s beliefs.”

Like so many others, I made these ideas public, and in so doing generated much support from my mostly Christian followers. It was the boldness of only two of my five thousands followers that reminded me that I took an oath to “harm none” when I sought upon being a witch some 20 years ago. Though I stood by my convictions, I listened to the only two people who saw the truth and light in me getting dimmer. I witnessed the verbal attack on them who called me out—reminding me that only a day earlier I pled for unity, love, and light. That’s when it dawned on me—the fog had become so thick, I was no longer able to see my own light—that my message ought to have been written in the sand on the shore at low tide only to be washed away when the once gentle wind turned virulent and kicked up the waves.

Darkness is a place I have walked in 100 times in my life, thus easily it can be found comforting. It was a hole I—like so many of you reading this—have fallen down before. Farther and farther we fall away from the source of light until it is almost nonexistent or too small to fathom trying to stop the fall. The reality is, as challenging as it may be, all one must do is put their hands out to brace themselves from falling further. And as difficult as the climb may appear to be, use what strength you have left to climb back towards the speck of light that remains. And if you can imagine the amount of strength it can take to lift yourself up this hole towards a glow that might as well be miles away; then you know it won’t be an easy feat. But it can be done. And if you focus on just the light, you’ll see it get larger and closer within reach with each effort you make.

As someone who’s been to the bottom of this dark place more times than I care to admit, I promise you can get back to the light, too. More importantly, you must. I say this because, as I knew then when I first discovered it and I know it still now, that the frequency and vibration of love is much stronger than the fear that drives us to think these things and act in the vile manner we do. That is why I am a witch—naked and no longer afraid of the darkness and being alone—my power is for good, and yours can be, too. But you must first recognize the darkness that has consumed you and make massive strides in conquering it. Fear is what keeps you in a swirling vortex of hatred and chaos and believing that the only solution is one that calls for the slaughter of millions.

Above all our labels, we are Americans. United we stand. And in the darkness, only a beacon of light can draw so many to have faith and hope. I hope to be one more light to guide you home. Light and love, brothers and sisters, and blessed be.

EPIPHANIES AND VISIONS: YEAR FOUR BEGINS

zenseason4picInsomnia is very much like being asleep in many respects. Or rather I should say it’s like being stuck in a waking dream where nothing is solid and most things are completely lucid. One day bleeds into the next and that one into another one and your eyelids grow heavier and heavier yet your mind refuses to shut down. Kinda fun when you get used to it. Sleep deprivation; it can become a legal drug that no po-po can test for when you know the proper amount of dosage.
In the wee hours of the morning I was going over footage Digital Hourglass had for me to review regarding ZEN IN THE CAR T.V.’S upcoming documentary, Western Independence: The Cliven Bundy Incident, featuring a notable Jason Patrick. I stepped out for a moment to the patio to massage my eyelids and began contemplating the crew of ZENINTHECAR.COM coming back in 2015. It is no secret to any of our subscribers that 2014 proved to be quite a challenging year for your favorite activist/philosophers and the unusually long break we have had was well needed and well deserved. But now it was time for us to stretch our rested laurels and get back into the swing of things; however this time with the experience and lessons of the last few months under our belt.
What would this year be about? I pondered. What would be the goals that we collectively had aside from the fact of bringing news and enlightenment to the keen eyes of our subscribers? Last year there was no doubt that we went above and beyond in showing the corruption in the system; local government, state government and of course national government. Great, so now we are all well aware of the problems we face from interactions with local police to the dealings down at city hall or state capitols, now what?
The way I figured it, I would have to do as I did at the beginning of last year and have an audience with the Divine in order to attain some sort of guidance as to where I should plot a course for the good ship Zenterprise. Of course last year that required a fatal car accident documented in Zen In The Car Crash: Welcome to Year Three, and I wasn’t too eager to repeat such an incident. So this time I opted for a much easier transition to the afterlife through silent meditation. A few incense sticks, candles and silent mantras later and I found myself once again in the throne room of the All Mighty.
“You’re in my chair.” God said.
I opened my eyes only to see that I was in fact sitting in God’s throne.
“My bad. I was just keeping it warm for you.” I said.
“This makes, like five times already.” God replied
“Well what can I say…” I shrugged, “…it is a rather comfy chair.”
God squinted at me with the expression of naughtiness on his brow. It didn’t take him long to waltz over to the nearby coffee bar where his hands began working magic.
“Caramel Macchiato?” God offers.
“Too sweet for me, howsabout a cappuccino?” I retort.
God gives me a wink and starts to whip of the tasty beverages of our choice. As He does I wiggle about on his throne looking for the sweet spot.
“So, I hear it’s time for you and the guys to get back to work.” He says over the hisses of the ornate java machine.
“Yeah, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” I answered.
As the aroma of caffeine filled the throne room I watched God reach behind the counter and withdraw a bag of wasabi Funyuns.
“Are you serious?” I exclaimed, “I thought those bad boys had been discontinued?!”
God popped one in His mouth and the sound of the crunch was…most Divine.
“They are. But let’s just say I know a guy who knows a guy.” God answered.
“Well don’t be a douche about it, fork some over man. I haven’t had wasabi Funyuns in a few years.” I demanded.
“Get out of my chair.” God insisted.
I cock my head to the right with a contorted and confused look on my face. Decisions, decisions. Give up the throne for a handful of wasabi Funyuns or not? Well at the time it seemed worth it. So I popped out and made my way to the mini bar in order to receive a handful of that Asian goodness. The caffeinated goodness was served alongside of a basket of the yellow rings I so desired and after a few munchy crunches, God was back to business.
“So you guys are about to come back for 2015 I hear.” God said.
“Uh huh, and it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if you gave me some advice on exactly what we are supposed to be doing this time around.” I replied.
“Well I don’t know, I mean last year you guys seemed to be trying to set some sort of record on how many times you could get arrested over frivolous, victimless crimes, and you managed to catch the attention of every po-po officer with a badge in your town and state so I guess I would like to know how that’s working out for you?” God asked.
I lick the wasabi from my fingertips and think for a moment. I wash it down with creamy froth from my cappuccino and smirk.
“Well getting arrested is always balls, you know how it is; Pontius Pilate and all.”
“Yeah, that guy was a yes man if ever there was one.” God snickers.
“So you tell me, what are we supposed to do this year?”
God takes a moment to think then eyes me curiously.
“Well let me ask you this; what have you guys learned during your break? What have all of you been doing?”
That was a good question. It took me a moment to sort it out. When I did I honestly didn’t know how to relate it to the All Mighty.
“Well Jason Patrick has been on walk-about. He left the state to do some self-exploration, to re-examine his purpose I suppose. He spent most of last year laying himself out there as a martyr and a leader and it took a toll on him. So I suppose he has been spending his time reinventing himself and re-evaluating how this Revolution needs to be fought.” I answered.
“Uh huh, and how about Bree?” God asks.
“She’s been busy with Divine America. I also believe she has been busy trying to understand how the Light overcomes the Darkness even though the Darkness most times feels so strong and so triumphant. She knows we win in the end, I just don’t think she knows how just yet.”
“What about Jason Turner?”
“Turner? Oh that’s an easy one. Aside from throwing himself head first into the Derrick Grayson campaign anyway.” I reply.
“Ah, I hear that’s going to be interesting.” God interjects.
I grin from ear to ear.
“Oh that’s going to be quite the roller coaster ride. If there is one thing the establishment doesn’t want it’s a candidate that is willing to name names and speak it as it is. So having Grayson run again, especially with Team Zen behind him…this will get rather interesting.”
“But on a personal level?” God asks.
“On a personal level I think Turner has been learning how to be more thankful in his own life, to see that one must take care of one’s own self before taking on the well-being of others. How can we be any good to others if we are not good to ourselves?” I answer.
God takes a sip of His caramel macchiato, palms a few Funyuns, and then continues.
“I hear you have some new blood as well?”
“A little bit, yeah. We have David “Preacher” Ballangee joining us this year. He’s a vet as well as an old school friend of mine. Highly intelligent, highly opinionated. I don’t necessarily agree with all his spiritual views….”
“You don’t necessarily agree with all of mine.” God interrupts.
I shake it off.
“…however his opinion is highly valued.” I finish.
God comes out from behind the bar and takes his place on the throne. A smile comes across His face because it indeed has been kept warm. He fumbles for His PlayStation 5 controller and logs on. I can tell God is nearly done with this conversation.
“And this Monica Maze you have recruited?” He asks.
“Pure spiritualist. In touch with the feminine Divine and no stranger to police corruption. She should prove very effective in the coming year, as well as the other poets and authors I have found. I trust we all have your blessing?” I ask.
As the Sony logo appears on God’s hi-def T.V., I prepare my departure.
“It seems you already have everything you need young Crumpton. What more do you need from me?” God asks.
I have to think for a moment. I have finished my tasty beverage and ran through the gauntlet of those I have chosen to be my partners for the next year; what more is there?
“I suppose I would like to know what we are supposed to do. I assembled the team but I don’t know exactly what you expect from us.” I ask.
God smiles as He logs into His online account.
“Let me ask you this; what have you yourself learned while on break?”
I wasn’t ready for that question. So I had to go deep inside on the fly to find an answer for the All Mighty. It had been a while since I actually thought about myself or my own path and this question forced me to face that. It took me a moment before I could muster up an answer.
“I think what I have learned is that I am fine all by myself. I think I have learned that my identity is mine and mine alone. It isn’t dependent on anyone else. I am who I am and no one, or no thing can alter that without my consent. I think I have learned that above all else, to mine own self I should be true.” I answered.
God smiles. He wipes His mouth and types in His password.
“Then get back down there and show them how a peaceful Revolution is done. You have all the answers you need.” God answers.
There is always that moment in between transitioning dimensions where you have a moment or two to evaluate what transpired. I suppose with this particular transition I had the epiphany that last year we here at ZENINTHECAR.COM were highly effective in demonstrating what the problems in our current state are, and now something new must be tried. Rather than demonstrate the problems, I had the overwhelming feeling that it was now our duty to bring about solutions to the problems. The police are running rampant over our Rights; the politicians are scheming with personal interest in mind and public opinion out of mind to the detriment of our Constitutional Republic. We all know the cancer; perhaps it’s time for a shot of vitamin B-17 to cure it.
For too long our generation has been at the mercy of the state; the mercy of the old guard which have dictated to us the way things ought to be or perhaps the way they wanted things to be. Sure, no one here believes that all police are bad, or all politicians are crooked; that’s a generalization we are not ready to make. We believe there are still some good seeds out there, though isolated they have been. For the next year it is our goal to reach out to those souls within the system that still believe in the ideal of America that was handed to us by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution they entrusted us with. We know that it must be done in a peaceful and informative way and we hope that with Divine Guidance we shall be successful. This country and this world cannot afford another violent Revolution, and so much as it is within our power we all will ensure such a thing never comes. Through education, enlightenment, and common sense solutions we will turn this ship around; you can bet your wasabi Funyuns on it.
So I do as I am told and descend back into the flesh body I have known for oh so long. Here I am, back on my patio. My eyes are more relaxed and my mind even more transfixed. Another year before us, one in which we aim to offer solutions rather than the problems. Now that we have the blessings from the Divine, who knows what will become of us? To you and yours, Namaste.

CRAZY TRAIN

TEAM ZEN WISHES YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

zenfriends - CopyGreetings all you Zenners. We all here know that this year the crew of ZENINTHECAR.COM have taken an unusually long season break, we apologize for this but also want you to know that it has been well earned, and well deserved. All of us here at ZENINTHECAR.COM have been taking a serious amount of time in re-examination and rediscovery as a result of last year’s tumultuous events. This has been both individually as well as collectively. Having the foresight to see the push forward we want you to know that we are using our time wisely in the area of growth and enlightenment, in our own unique ways, and that come 2015 we will be back before your glorious eyes in more ways than one to demonstrate how to bring about Revolution through various forms of Evolution.
In the meantime, as you are enjoying your Holiday season with loved ones and …ahem…in laws; we wanted to send you this little message to let you know we are all thinking about you all in the best possible way. We hope that you have a very Merry Christmas, a most monumental New Year, and we look forward to bringing you a whole new style of goodness in 2015. See ya around.

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TEAM ZEN

EVERY NOW AND AGAIN

D. L. CRUMPTON

D. L. CRUMPTON

Every now and again you have to stop life. Sometimes it gets too heavy, sometimes it gets too tough. Sometimes you take so many punches you have to sit a few rounds out and heal. It isn’t that you are throwing in the towel, or that you are giving up, it just means that sometimes you need to take time out and work on yourself rather than everyone else. You know that some will think you are being selfish, you know that some will think you are weak, but at the end of the day, what good are you to anyone if you’re not good to yourself? How can you possibly be an aide and comfort to all those who call upon you if you yourself are not well?
A ship adrift in the sea can only take so many blows to its hull before it must find comfort in the docks. While there it will be repaired and found seaworthy again. Is this not like each and every one of us? Don’t we all go through trials and tribulations that seem to beat us down to the core? And don’t we always seek shelter in the times of such storms? Does that make us weak? Does that make us less than the person those around us would imagine? I would hope not. I know that in my life I have had more than my share of bumps and bruises, slashes and scars; however I don’t want that to define me. I don’t want to be remembered for the heartaches and the hard times. I want to be remembered for what I overcame. I want to be remembered for the smile on my face and the spring in my step. I think this is a common thing with each and every one of us.
We wallow in tragedy, we sulk in failure, we relive past mistakes over and over again. We brutalize ourselves to no end on the things we could’ve done, should’ve done, or would’ve done. And for what? To realize we can’t change the past? Or that we really have no control over the future? Do we do it to understand that at the end of the day we are merely human after all? I don’t think I know the answer to that. I don’t think any of us do. What I do know is that all of us are hurt. All of us have broken wings. All of us have this sob story hovering behind us. What we have to do is brush it off. I know that sounds simple and nonchalant, but it’s the truth. Because if we don’t, then what will become of us?
We are not the victims of our scars, we are not the patient waiting to be treated. We are titans standing tall, we are heroes rising from the ashes, we are who we have hoped for, believed in, and waited desperately for to rescue us from our nightmares. When we rise and look at ourselves in the mirror, we do not see defeat, worry or depression. We make the choice to see victory. We make the choice to look into our own eyes and see someone, with warts and all, that has overcome. This is a choice we make every day. So this goes out to all of you who with wings needing to be mended, to all of you with bones that need to be set. You are not alone, and you never will be

NOW WE ARE FREE

WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE

quill-1

photo from marketingforhippies.com

As a writer, I am never one to try and waste a witty tale or clever little story. If anything I know that in order to be a truly prolific writer, the pen must be fueled by experience. While on hiatus I have come across a strange little of obsession of mine as of late; triggered by a trip to the attic on a cool and rainy day. After shuffling some boxes around I came across something I hadn’t really paid much attention to for the past decade, give or take some change. It was a steel lockbox, an old safe my dad use to keep his stacks of rolled pocket change in after collecting for a few months. I suppose this too was a little obsession I picked up from him-emptying the change from your spent cash from the day into a jar or a container; saving up for something special you will feel you have earned. Perhaps even the occasional guilty pleasure. Nevertheless, over time he grew weary of that particular safe and it passed down to me to who would use it for an altogether different purpose.

I was a very young man at the time, going through all the “life changes” most, if not all of you were going through and keeping in mind this was before the advent of social media. There were no private message boxes to drown your sorrows in, there were no little green dots giving you options of who you would vent to, or allow to vent with you. This was beeper age. This was the age when notes passed in class looked like a prehistoric Facebook thread. This was the age before the blog where the only outlet a teenager trying to figure out what the hell this thing is all about was a diary (typically for chicks, guys don’t keep diaries, it just doesn’t sound right) or a journal (see, doesn’t journal sound much more masculine and serious? I know, right?).

Now, for those of us who kept these little logs of our life, we can attest that these black and white speckled, composition books or bound diaries secured with a lock quickly became our closest companions. They were the keepers of our deepest, darkest feelings in a time of insecurity. They were our mother and father confessors while the winds of change were roaring in our ears and the sand beneath our feet was fleeting like water. While in them, we knew we would receive no judgment, no condemnation, and no argumentation. We would only find a silent friend letting us bleed on the page. Some of you merely piddled with the idea and kept one or two, thought they were silly and tucked them and the idea of it away. This was not the case with me. I am a writer; I was born weaving looms of tales pulled from the ether. So needless to say, my journals would be perceived with much more dramatic intensity than the journals of most youths of different callings.

In the age before the internet had started to put on its big boy pants, a writer had to make whatever they could into a magnum opus and reach any audience, by any means necessary. My own personal journals would be intended for an audience. But I wondered at thirteen years of age; how to solve the logical dilemma. How could I keep a journal with my deepest, darkest, most intimate thoughts and feelings about myself, about the people around me, about my family; and yet still write for an audience? There had to be a loophole, and I thought about finding it. After some thought it was shown to me in a glimpse of the Divine that the simplest answer to the problem was to write for an audience that was removed from the players of my life by either space or time. This is kind of like a writer’s “Prime Directive”; maintain the third wall between writer and reader. Blur the lines of the written words from the events that inspired them, but leave enough breadcrumbs to let the audience know those words were indeed inspired by truth. This is the safest way to throw hints to the characters that they are just playing a part, but not smash them in the face with a frying pan of this notion. The only thing left was to figure out what audience would fit within those parameters.

I suppose at that age when the world began waking up in new ways, I sorta felt it in my bones that whatever my life was going to be, it was going to be interesting and I had every rebellious, teenage cell in my body screaming I was deep, down determined to screw up…a whole lot, along the way. But hey, it’s not all bad. Just as convinced of that I was equally convinced that I would get a lot of stuff right. That I would have victories after defeats, resurrections after deaths, rises from the ashes. I would have foe and friend, battles and retreats, the truest and deepest loves as well as the most cruel and bitter of hatreds. Yet that notion of a writer’s pen needing to be fueled by experience pops its head up again. “You signed up to be a writer, kiddo,” I would say to myself, “it’s gonna come with the territory.”

The logical conclusion after this internal, intellectual rolling over of an idea was that I would write my journals for my children. It was my intention to pen my life and create a road map for my future progeny, should I be so fortunate to be blessed with them. I would keep them safe and ensure that when my children reached the age I had been when I first started journaling, I would be able to let them read of all my mistakes, zigs and zags, so just maybe….just maybe they would mike wiser choices than I. It was my hopes to have them thumb through the pages of their father’s life and KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing wrong with them and they are most certainly never alone. But who the hell wants to read their parents old journals right? This was going to be tricky, I remember thinking. After pushing through all the details I finally ended up just sitting down with some good music, maybe some tea or some coffee in a small bedroom lit with a few candles. I would be as close to the flickering lights as I could get as I curled over and penned them to the tune of symphonic Led Zeppelin, or an early Radiohead album. All of them with title pages, introductions, prologues, chapters and blank pages in the back intended for an altogether different purpose. After every writing session I would wrap them in a red clothe, place them in the steel safe and ensure they were secured from prying eyes.

20141002_081218Over time, the pages written filled so many composition books that the steel safe my father had given to me would no longer serve the purpose I had first assigned it. Another form of holding my journals came along, but being so attached to the box out of sentimentality I gave it a new purpose. From then on I would keep letters, notes, pictures and mementos, all from the times my journal was chronicled. And while in the attic and seeing this steel box for the first time in years, all these thoughts had come back to me in a flash. The moment I saw the scribbling on top, secured by some of my dad’s black, electric tape which read “The Lives of Daniel Louis” on top with hourglasses and Egyptian looking eyes etched on either side to boot, over a decade of memories exploded in my face. Yeah, I always had a flare for the dramatic.
As outside the pattering of rain on the roof and the streaks on the windows accompanied a darkly lit afternoon; inside a comfortably cool den, my dog Hannibal and I curled up and began thumbing through the contents of the steel lock box. In no particular order we looked at Polaroid’s from my youth with the ever changing face of yours truly mixed in amongst years of the ever changing faces of the cast of characters in my life. After so many pictures and so many old letters I was provoked to go digging for the journals themselves. I pulled out some rather weighty milk crates (the final resting place of the pages of my life after several moves and new “life changes”) which contained stacks of composition books with my handwriting, as well as others, within the pages. Some dull, some a little blurry, some fine, thin and distinct…and of course the occasional illegible. At first I flipped through them at random and read an entry here or an entry there. Hannibal simply gave a huff as he watched my expressions change with each little read. Sometimes I was embarrassed at what I read, sometimes I was sad, some I was laughing, some I was simply holding a sinister smile, some were making me melt with heartache and fondness; but the ones Hannibal didn’t huff at were the ones that profoundly moved me and caused me pause. A kernel of wisdom from the mouth of a babe, some quote or poem from my younger self that reached in and moved my present self.

When those lines would come across my eyes, I would stop reading and look up and to the right, Hannibal would not huff rather he would raise an eyebrow, or tilt his head as well as if to say ‘Ah, there you are’ in the fashionable wise and caring composure of the companions that we all know dogs truly are. After taking a break from the random thumbing I decided to put the journals back in chronological order and begin reading them in the fashion they were intended to be read. Like a story, with chapters and sometimes illustrations, all pacing the rate of my life and my growth; the experience I was obtaining as I walked my path. After so many pages or so many composition books I would take a break to refresh my coffee or tea and put the pictures in the order of the story, to file the notes and letters with the appropriate time frame. Then it was back to reading, locked up memories being liberated from the catacombs of my mind. As I laid the written word along-side the pictures and little treasures from the past side by side, and took a few steps back I realized what I was building. Eerily enough, a few feet away my desktop started blaring, via Pandora, Pink, Floyd’s “Another brick in the wall.” I made a mental note to watch “The Butterfly Effect” on Netflix that night then got back to the pile of memories.

There are only so many hours in a day, therefore my reading continued for the next few days. Occasionally I would check the internet for new messages or notifications, maybe send an instant message to a friend or two about some of the things I was reading in them, perhaps get some philosophical or spiritual conversations going to better help me understand why going back over my life had become such a strong obsession in those few days. Some of them were of the opinion, or so strongly inclined to lean towards the idea that I was living in the past. Though they were gentle and kind, there was the obvious undertone of “the best thing for you to do, buddy is take all of that out back, throw it in the fire pit and light a fire!” Yet then again there were some friends of the opposite opinion. They would say that knowing me on a more personal basis than others, and knowing how I think; it was perfectly healthy for me to be perusing my past. Those friends would insist that it was therapeutic to see where you have come from so you will know where you are going. A few of them were strongly convinced with the theory that I had actually died and had found my higher self within the akashic records in the only form I could conceive of at this evolution. Therefore I had to “re-member” who I was before I died so I could reincarnate and get it right this time. I gotta tell you; those are my favorite friends to chat with at about 3:33 A.M. when I haven’t slept in a few days.

2851683772_2c7afb72d1-470When I managed to break away from the keyboard and the tiny pings chiming from my phone, I would take my walk and meditate on all of this. In between that I posted old pictures or a line from my journal or a quote to my wall. Sometimes I would just put a random song or video that reminded me of my younger self up, with no other intent than to see how it would affect my psychology and self-image having looked across the ocean of a decade or more. How would this refreshed recollection of my footprints in the sands of history, however deep they may be, change me? How would it set me on a new course? As I scurried through them I began to notice that there were indeed blatant cycles within my life. Most too astounding to be a coincidence, not that I believe in those tedious little things to begin with. There were definite patterns in the years that separated imaginary dates on calendars stuffed in a drawer and marked with special dates and occasions. Many were reemerging in my life in the present or the very recent past. I was seeing the signs and the mile markers that would allow me to change or break cycles I no longer wished to experience to those more pleasant to live out. I was navigating from sadness to happiness, drifting from heartbreak to a more supernal love, skating from anger and rage to peace and calm. The road maps I had intended for my children were, at this time, a road map for me.

I found it funny how people in your life that seem so permanent one moment, can be gone in the blink of an eye in the very next. Friends and family through the years can be compassionate and a support some years, and the most vicious of adversaries the next few. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, relocations and incarcerations. All of these things serve as little hiccups in the stream of life. After diving into this indulgence of self-rediscovery and having my eyes opened to a great many things about who I was before I nearly tasted the shot at a family and lost it, I wondered what had compelled me to cease from the habit of writing a personal journal. Was it because I thought that soon my daughter or son would come and there was no longer a need to continue because if they don’t figure life out by that time, they ain’t never gonna get it? Was it because my life had become more stabilized at the time I quit and there was no longer anything interesting to write about? Was it because my journals stopped when I met who I thought would be the love of my life and I no longer needed them as an outlet because I believed I would always have her? Well, who the hell knows, right? I just chalked it up to, one day they began and one day they came to an end and that’s that, and that’s all.

Of course, the question was nagging the back of my mind for the next few days, though I did my best to shoo it away. As one does, one morning I find myself waking up in a hotel a little before 4:15 A.M., having to remember if I was in Birmingham Alabama, Nashville Tennessee or Panama City Florida. As usual, I did the morning routine of waking up; coffee, shower and then jump into some clothes before heading downstairs to the lobby. A fellow traveler was already turning in the keys and signing us out as I came down the stairs, there was a short whisper from the hotel clerk, and then a glance back to me as I passed by and outside to board my transportation for the day. Later in the day when my travelling companion had the chance he gave a smile with a nod and said “You should have heard what that clerk said this morning.”
“Oh yeah, what was that?” I asked.
“He saw you coming down the stairs and paused for a second and then he said ‘Man,…I bet that guy has seen some shit’.” My friend replied.

The two of us shared a chuckle not really trying to pinpoint the meaning of the comment, but finding it ironic nonetheless. And yet, though this was a witty little exchange (and those of you who know me personally will surely get the wit of it) it still strung a reflective chord within me. As the events of my past were fresh in my mind, I could certainly agree with the hotel clerk on his assessment. This reminded me of a quote I had written in one of those old journals. It was “In my opinion, Life is good. Not because of good fortune, but because of good experience. And sometimes that includes tragedy. –Daniel Louis Crumpton-1998.”

At around lunch time these things were on my mind as I waltzed through a local deli looking for a bit of sushi to sustain me for the day. Having never met a stranger, I struck up a conversation with an employee stocking the freshly made goods in the coolers and it naturally lead to me being a writer from out of state and doing a bit of travelling from time to time. He expressed how that sounded like a lot of fun and then inquired if I had a family or not. I have to admit, that question felt like a sucker punch to the gut. The instant image of “family” appeared to me as a woman holding my hand while we stood outside of a little pink house complete with white picket fence, grappling with 2.5 kids. My path had not brought me to such a conclusion and I was forced to answer the question in my mind with a definite “No”…but before it hit my tongue another path of thought came to me.

zenfriends - Copy

Crew of ZEN IN THE CAR T.V.

No, my current location in this Universe did not lead me to a wife and 2.5 kids to pass my years of experience to, but that did not mean I did not have a family. One has to ask the question as to what a family is. Can people who have no blood connection be family? Is it possible that people who have come into your life by what appears to be a random series of events, yet affect you greatly, be family? Is it necessary to have grown up with them and have all the same views, or are disagreements, distrusts and shared triumphs through weakness just as likely with those you have only known in the current stage of your life and if so isn’t this what a family is? People who apparently with no control of their own end up walking similar paths with similar heartaches and lessons from the so called hard knocks and lift you up just when you need it, knowing you will do the same for them if God be willing. Is this not the very epitome of what family is? The faces of those around me now, in my personal and professional life are here because they are exactly the ones I need to help me on the long road home. So without further hesitation I looked the employee in the eyes and gave him a firm “Yes. I do have a family as a matter of fact.”

Many miles and hours later in the wee bits of the morning I crept into my office and put down my bags, lit a few candles, turned on some shuffled music low enough for me to drift back into the dance of it, sat down and began scribbling for the first time in a long time, “How to Rise from Ashes” on the second or third page of a fresh, clean, brand new composition book. As they say, a life worth living is a life worth chronicling.

20141002_084310I know that ZENINTHECAR.COM is on its break and the crew of ZEN IN THECAR T.V. are all off finding their own voice and passion in their own way, as I am doing myself; but I suppose some of the recent private conversations I have had with many of my friends compelled me to take out the time to put these thoughts on the page regardless of the timing. I know many of you out there are at points in your life where great change is all about. They could be good, they could be bad, and they could be ones you never thought would happen or that you always knew in your soul indeed would. They may be times of loss and weariness of soul or the exhilarating days of a new start. No matter the circumstance or your current lot in life; take my advice and never be tempted by anyone or anything to put down the pen of your own life.

With all that being said; here’s a little ditty (and a taste of what’s to come next season) I would like to send out to all my family and friends. It was put together with all of you in mind. Enjoy.

WE’RE ON OUR WAY

THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART THREE: RISING FROM THE ASHES

danielrising

D.L. CRUMPTON

LAST: THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART TWO:LIFE AFTER DIVORCE

 

After publishing “The Solitude of Suffering Part Two: Life After Divorce”, I have to admit there was a little bit of nervousness there in laying myself out to all of my readers. Once it went live I made the decision to step away from the computer and contemplate if I have been sharing too much of my personal life with all of you or that perhaps it was inappropriate for me to do so. As I rolled all of it around my head while trying to rest on my pillow, the thought to simply delete the last two articles had indeed occurred to me. My ex wife often told me that readers don’t really care about a writer’s personal life and I should shy away from such a thing. Of course as a writer I know that everything a writer puts to paper or on the screen is in fact his or her personal life. Writing is the exorcising of demons for an author. It’s the bleeding out on the page. Finally, after debating it within myself I decided I would see what the feedback would be and go from there.

Thankfully the morning after “Life After Divorce” was published; my private message box was filled with thanks and praises for being brave enough to share such experiences with the audience here at ZENINTHECAR.COM. Most people appreciated the fact that I laid it all out there, many others were glad there was someone else that could relate to experiences they have been through that was similar, and others simply said the emotional nature of the article brought them to tears. So needless to say, all my nervous anxiety was relieved when I had the pleasure of receiving your feedback. Thank you for that. One of the things I don’t wish to do with my readers is create a false or fake persona. I want what is on the screen to be who I truly am when I am writing in such a nature so that if and when we meet you know exactly who I really am and all the pleasantries can be bypassed. No layers of plastic onions to peel away here, what you read is what you get. Just shake my hand, hug me, or give me a fist bump (for all you folks out there with OCD) and say “Hi Daniel, nice to see you again” even if it is the first time we have met in the flesh.
The inspiration from the last two articles, and knowing that ZENINTHECAR.COM is about to go on its annual sabbatical, forced me to do something out of the ordinary. I knew that a cycle was taking place, and so I felt that it would not be prudent for me to write the third part of this article until I could make my way back to the mountains of Tennessee, which is where I am writing from to you now. I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture the emotion of what I want to relate unless I was back in the place where I first experienced the Divine at its most potent.
It was shortly before my divorce, and shortly before my novel was to be released. The ex wife and I went on a holiday to the mountains of Tennessee, and while here I experienced several moments within God. I was in a total place of peace before the presidential elections and this environment only helped me to further push into peace. I was reading the Hindu scriptures at the time and entertaining reincarnation in light of my already installed spiritual beliefs. Such a revelation will change your world if you have not entertained the notion. Of course family and friends will scoff at you, but that is to be expected.

I remember after unpacking in the cabin on the side of a mountain, a storm moved in. The winds were horrific, the rain was pounding, and the lightening lit up the sky from one horizon to the other. My ex wife was frightened. She didn’t know what we would do if that tree or this tree would fall down on top of us. It was a magnificent display of destructive power hovering over the mountains and I have to admit to be under such a storm was a humbling experience. I looked at her and believe, from the best of my memory, that I said “It’s God, sweetheart. It’s gonna do what it’s gonna do”. At that moment it occurred to me that God is this force that can sweep over those mountains and consume you if It so chose to and there wasn’t a thing I or you could do to stop it. So why not enjoy the display of Its power. Which is what I did. I sat on that porch and let the rain hit me in the face like needles in between the explosions of lightening in the sky. If this power wanted to smite me out, so be it. I was small and couldn’t wiggle my ears or wink my eye to make it not so. So what would be would be. It just so happened, thankfully, that God did not choose to smite me that day, only show me what It was made of. Sort of like a peacock spreading its tail.
The next day I remember my ex wife and I climbing the mountain together, careful not to feed the bears. When we had reached the summit we viewed the waterfall everyone was clamoring to see. I remember taking a few steps back after snapping some pics of the Ex wife, and taking note to the scenery. At the waterfall I could see Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Mennonites, atheists and spiritualists; all united underneath the waters falling from the mountain. I had to sit away from the crowd for a little while and soak it in. There was this amazing amount of diversity in amazing amounts of titles, yet in God’s nature…no one was fighting. There was no holy war, there was no persecution, and there were no matches and pyres for heretics. All I could see was smiles, all I could hear was laughter, and all I could feel was peace in unity. It was on top of that mountain that I realized that God, however God is understood is within each and every one of us, not one person excluded. Some may show it more than others, but nevertheless, we all are vessels for the Light of God.

DONT FADE AWAY

I suppose this influx of tranquility was to prepare me for the next few years of my life dealing with the solitude of suffering. No matter what I would go through, no matter the pain I would experience, I would always be able to travel back to that mountain in meditation and remember that in the storms of life there is always a place of peace for me to hide in. That experience has served me well, I have to say. There have been days that were unbearable, but I have always been able to close my eyes and see those laughing and shining faces in the reflection of the waterfall. They are a reminder to me that God is not only in those that I saw there, but God is within me as well. That fact alone relieved me many a night from the notion that I was alone. I am not alone, and neither are you.
You may believe this or you may not, but we choose the path we will walk before we walk it. Before we got here, on this planet to experience the things we have, we agreed to a contract of the soul and though sometimes it feels as if nothing is going right, and the whole Universe is against us, nothing could be further from the truth. Everything is happening exactly as it should, and that includes the part about suffering. Some of us experience more than others, but make no doubt, the amount is proportionate to what we can handle. If you, like I, have suffered a great amount it is only because you knew you could endure it before you got here, and in enduring it a greater good would come about. Sometimes it is so you can empathize with others, other times it is to strengthen you for a greater purpose, a greater goal. Do yourself a favor and embrace it. However I would add, that if you embrace the suffering, please take note that the suffering is merely the thorns of the rose we call life. Suffering is not life, sorry Buddha, you got that crap wrong. Life is beauty, life is joy, and life is a wonderful experience we are all blessed to have for a short amount of time. Suffering is merely the intermission intended to remind us to take life as the gift that it is. Suffering is the emotion that has been made to remind us to look to the good, to the happiness of our lives. It is merely an interruption or a mile marker so we can shift our focus to the things we truly cherish. I remember after the divorce papers were made out I did something I rarely do; ask for advice. I went to someone very dear to me with the papers in my hand and tears forming in my eyes, I remember holding them up and asking her to look them over before I signed them. Her response summed up suffering in the most poignant of ways. She rolled her shoulders back, inhaled deeply, looked me in my eyes and said “You can do this Daniel. Just keep breathing.” Having already been through the experience before me, she knew what I was facing and in that moment empathized with me in a way no one else could, saying exactly what I needed to hear, saying exactly what got me through the ordeal. Surviving all suffering is that simple; just keep breathing.
Suffering is a lot like that storm on the mountain; it is a force that you cannot stop with any wink of the eye or wiggle of the ear. The only way to deal with it is to open your arms and allow it to engulf you. Trust me, it’s gonna suck for a minute, but when it passes through you, a cleansing will take place. You cannot change other people or the decisions they make, you cannot change the circumstances that hit you like a storm, and you must simply endure them like a sailor strapped to the sails of a ship at sea. So in your darkest hour, in your deepest depth, remember what I said. You may have to deal with suffering in solitude; however when you have dealt with it, you will be able to take the fruits of your labor to others by the multitude. You will be able to offer advice, you will be able to give an ear or a shoulder, and you will be able to be there for someone else that might not be as thick skinned as you. Your suffering has made you an angel to others. You have been through the fire and now you know what to say to those who need to hear what you have to say. So be the angel to others that you so long for, for yourself. Take the lessons of your suffering and the process of your healing to those going through their trial by fire.
The solitude of suffering is a lot like looking at that storm over the mountains. You can’t stop it and worrying about it will do you no good. The best thing to do is close your eyes, open your arms, and wait for it to engulf you. Let it purge you of all the old ways you had been accustomed to. Let it strip away your ego; let it break you to your knees. Let it destroy everything you know, and when it is done, dust yourself off and rise from the ashes of what it has created. You will suffer as long as you need to, but when you are done, when you make the decision to stop, you will find that all around you is a wonderful well spring of life and love. You just weren’t paying attention. So pay attention from here on out. Rising from ashes isn’t all that hard. It just requires a decision on your part to do so. You have to reach that point where you have had enough of the pain and decide it is not going to be this way for the rest of your life. This moment comes to you, it has no choice. When it does you can feel all the years of suffering burn away and for the first time in a long time, you feel born again. It is true that there is a suffering in solitude, but it is equally true that there is a multitude in mending. Now enjoy some great jams from the Melanesian Choir while you meditate on this.

MELANSIAN CHOIR

THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART TWO: LIFE AFTER DIVORCE

www.uncommonhelp.me

www.uncommonhelp.me

LAST: THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART ONE: A MAN OF SORROWS

 

It wasn’t long after this spiritual journey that my greatest trial would begin, and perhaps now, looking back, I understand why it happened in the order in which it happened. Had I not went through the maze of organized religion and grounded myself in the fact that true happiness only comes from within I would not have been able to endure the dread which is divorce. And believe me when I say that it is a dread. Of all the moments where I have been forced to endure suffering there has been none greater than breaking away from a person that has been your whole life for a majority of your life. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that she was a horrible person and it was all her fault why it didn’t work out. People who do that are typically just deflecting. I myself have my flaws and I am well aware of them and openly wear them on my sleeve. No one can say they are a perfect spouse and certainly I wasn’t. However the important thing is that I tried. Every single day I tried. This shoe fits the other foot as well. She was not the perfect spouse, yet she did indeed try every single day. So I suppose there comes a day when the two of you or at least one of you makes the decision that you can only patch up a pair of jeans so many times before you have to accept they have no more mileage on them, thus throwing them to the dustbin. This has always been a difficult concept for me because I am the most sentimental of folk. In my view, that pair of jeans you have worn out should simply be put in a drawer where you can pull it out some time and sink back into the memories while for others they have no problem simply tossing the rags to the trash. I suppose in the former that’s me and in the latter that is my Ex-wife. I could get into the details but for one, you wouldn’t believe them they are so strange, and two I’m probably saving it for future posts, but nevertheless the same emotions creeped into my marriage that creeps into all marriages that end in divorce; anger, blame, drama, suspicion, jealousy, and notions of infidelity.

Now for the record, I was never unfaithful to my wife. As a matter of fact, in the years we were married I had never even been unfaithful to my wife even with my imagination or the shady locking of eyes with another female at the risk of something like that developing. As far as I was concerned there was only one woman on the face of the Earth and I had put a ring on her finger, making vows before God that I would hold her, love her and all that good stuff through the good and through the bad. A vow I took very seriously. A vow not easy to shake off when the enactment of its fulfillment has been taken from you and you are deprived from performing it. And it was. After my spiritual awakening, which probably was meant to ground me, my marriage took a nose dive straight into the cliffs over a series of insane events. As all of you know writers write what they know, they have no choice but to dip the pen in the well of the ink they have been provided with. So in a way “Merits Cure “ is a telling of the story with the details re arranged accordingly and names changed to protect the innocent …as they say. But again, writers write what they know don’t they? This is probably why I have not touched the tale in a while, the scars of the wounds haven’t quite healed yet, which will soon be changed.

photo from www.plogsteinlaw.com

photo from www.plogsteinlaw.com

So the legal documents are produced, you take fifteen seconds to find five thousand loopholes, and then you sign them. This is especially key when your Ex-wife asks how much money she will get from your recently published novel.  The separation happens and you have taken care of all the legal aspects but there is still the emotional aspects scattered at your feet. You have to deal with the fact that you are not with her anymore and when you try to work it out you wonder why she can’t look you in the eyes when you talk. You toss, you turn, you turmoil and fret as you continuously try to work it out, the whole time that whole eye avoidance is really bothering you. And then one day when you are trying to patch things up and she continues to avoid eye contact, the inevitable dawns on you. It was something you never thought, something you never let enter your conscious mind but finally it sinks in. She can’t look you in the eyes because there is another fox in the hen house. She accused you of it for years while it was the farthest thing from your mind, but now you see as plain as day that the reason she kept bringing it up was because it was constantly on her mind. At this point you take three steps back, see reality for what it is, and make the decision that from here on out you might never trust a woman again.

I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy that has been burnt in such a way that he turns into a self-fulfilling prick. I don’t want to be the guy that determines all his future relationships on his last. I don’t want to check cell phones; I don’t want to see text messages. I just want to trust. It is difficult in my position because I am a public figure and a published author, so I have to be careful with whom I associate with. When you are in that position you have to play this game of “Am I worth six dollars, or six million?” like fairy tales of old. The prince must play the pauper. It is easy to love someone when they are succeeding but it is only true love when they are in a ditch and unlovable. For myself, I want the person that will pull me out of the ditch and if she does I will provide her with the castle she can house me in. For the one looking for a check…not so much. I would use the old school term of “gold digger” but at least those digging for gold are willing to put in a little effort. No, for me, it has to be someone that looks at you and says “Through thick and thin kiddo” and means it from blood to bone with no small, fine print filled with loopholes or extenuating prerequisites.

This is a rare thing. If you meet someone that is flying these lines you are lucky. Take it by the handles and run with it. Here is the thing, when you endure suffering for so long there will come a point where it becomes moot. Sickness sucks, death is worse and divorce is the worst of all. I have endured them all and I can tell you that divorce is nothing fun. It is agony sandwiched between pain and terror. It is a lunch of the unimaginable. Both of you see how cold you can be and the temperature drops to the most uncomfortable levels. At some point when you realize that she has ran off with some Facebook connection and that guy is making her smile more than you could, no matter how much of a douchebag he probably is for having wooed a married woman, you are left with the only options of being alone or seeking companionship. A year, maybe two of being single goes by and you finally accept she is gone, gone, gone so perhaps the best thing for you to do is take the advice of Led-Zeppelin and ramble on yourself with the knowledge deep down inside, that like the previously mentioned band says, “Your Time is Gonna Come.”

 

LED-ZEPPELIN “YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME”

So you break down and try Facebook friends like she did but you quickly realize that unless you have panties you aren’t getting anywhere in that arena. Typically people on Facebook are paranoid and shifty when it comes to relationships and if they aren’t constantly checking your status and friends list they are looking up ex boyfriends from fifteen years ago. As a wise woman coming from a house fire once said; ” Ain’t nobody got time fo dat”. Next you break down and give dating sites a try and quickly you realize how ridiculous that is and how it will not work for you. You have been single for a little over two years and she has already hooked up with some dude in New York, or some place or another and you reckon it isn’t fair for you to be holding out while she is on the hunt. So at the time these options seem rational to you. You spend countless hours at the computer hoping to make a connection with someone that can identify with your suffering. At some point you walk away from the computer with all this hurt, all this knowledge and into the kitchen to grab a glass of water. It is about two A.M. in the morning and you expect to be all alone. All of a sudden your mom comes into the kitchen and wraps her arms around you and puts a kiss on your forehead. “What was that for?” I ask, and of course she looks at me with a glow in her face and says “I just want you to be okay”. Now it has once been said to me by a bitter and unhappy person that the relationship I have with my mom is quote …”unhealthy” and of course I would have to disagree with that person. That person has a lot of self-issues they need to deal with because when a son in pain can automatically call upon his mother for comfort, who arrives, and does exactly what he needs her to do at exactly the right time that is the healthiest of relationships of all. Thank God. After her hug and her embrace I had no choice but to let it go. I went into the bathroom away from her and just exploded. I grabbed the tile and just let it out. All the sadness, all the grief, all the pain and the suffering. It came out in tears and agonizing sweat, but it came out. Divorce is a hard thing to let out, but it does come out. It is this death you have to deal with that is not a death. The other person has refused to obey the vows which they swore on an altar of God, and you are still chained to them. Yet somehow you are made free. When you finally decide to let it go, when you finally decide that you have lived up to your vows even if the other person has not, and you know that you have run the race as far as you can, and then you are free.

Daniel Louis Crumpton

Daniel Louis Crumpton

You will suffer in solitude. You will suffer alone. Yet in that moment you will realize that you always have. Regardless of marriage or none, you will finally understand that you have been doing this thing alone since you started. Some may stand by your side; some will stray at the sign of trouble. You will realize that you are a man of sorrows, whose stripes cannot be counted. You will feel like the old and New Testament messiah as you emerge from conflict having been abandoned and denied. But you will continue to speak your truth no matter the cost. In time, those that left you, those that bashed you, those who turned their back on you, will see that you indeed spoke truth. In time you will be justified.

So it is true that suffering must be done within the self. It must be done in a way that forces you to do it alone. Buddha did say that life is suffering, but he added that suffering is caused by desire, and desire is caused by the self, or the ego. His last truth was that there was no self. This may be the most difficult of all to grasp, but it is the truest. We suffer often with our names and our identities but the truth is no such thing actually exists. We are observers taking on a persona. We are the ghost in the machine; we are the God within the flesh vehicle watching this game play out. It doesn’t matter if it is the death of a loved one, the potential death of a loved one, or the imagined death of a loved one; we are simply watching. You have no ability to alter the actions of others and if you did you wouldn’t use it anyway, so therefore you simply observe. When you do, what will you observe? Will it be the negative, the actions which harm and hurt you, or will you choose to look past that and see that people do what they do because they too are looking for a way to bypass suffering in solitude? If you have been through it then you know full well that they are entitled to that rat race. So let them run. At the very least you can sit back and know that they are only postponing the inevitable. In order for all of us to evolve we must go through the beating of the sword in flames with hammer in hand. That is the only way we can become sharp instruments of use. When you look back at your suffering, don’t do it with a frown and worried brow. Do it with a smile and a confident eye. You survived it, and you survived it because you have a higher calling. Accept that and know that all of it was meant to make you a weapon. When you come to this conclusion you then have to choose what fight you were forged for. That, however, is a subject saved for later. Just know that your suffering was not in vain. It happened to make you who you are, and who you are is what is needed. Namaste.

 

TO BE CONCLUDED IN “THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART THREE: RISING FROM ASHES”

THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART ONE: A MAN OF SORROWS

D. L. CRUMPTON

D. L. CRUMPTON

Buddha said that life is suffering. That kinda sucks. But the guy has a pretty big following so there must be something to the observation. I know I have had my share of it and no doubt you have as well so we have that in common, got to build rapport where we can. When you are in a state of suffering it is much akin to drowning or having a very large anvil pressing down on your chest. It’s difficult to think, a burden to eat, and exhausting simply being conscious while something is eating away at you. Others may empathize with you due to having gone through similar situations, but far and few between are those rare souls that can actually soothe your wounds. One typically must suffer in solitude and believe me, it aint no walk in the park when you have to go it alone. We all have our trial by fire, be it the loss of a loved one, illness, financial crisis, divorce or the absence of someone dear to us either by miles or emotions and when we endure such trials, at the time, it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Suffering-Servant-MessiahAs for me, nearly the last decade of my life has seemingly been one instance of suffering in solitude followed shortly after by another instance. In my twenties my mom developed stage four cancer and was given six months to occupy the planet. This was her second bout with cancer and the odds were extremely slim considering the aggressive nature of the disease. She had endured radiation and chemo the first time, and it was not something she was eager to try again. More likely than not you too have had your life affected by cancer and know full well how much of a nightmare it is. It is particularly worse when it is someone extremely close to you like your mother. You have to endure the sickness, the weakness, the fear, the hopelessness and you have to watch someone you love with all your heart deteriorating before your eyes. You don’t want to show the person that has cancer how much pain you are in as well because of morale, so you endure the suffering of the experience within. You keep it bottled up and buried deep and the truth of the matter is that you might as well have cancer too. That suffering eats at you from within. You cry out to God for answers and demand to know why It has allowed this to happen to someone you love, someone that doesn’t deserve it. You wait for the heavens to open and the All-mighty to give you a direct answer but all you hear is crickets. It is easy to get mad at God on those lonely nights.

Losing my mom to cancer was something I refused to accept and God was giving me nothing, so I resolved to figure something out on my own. As it would happen I stumbled upon a book called A World without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B-17 by G. Edward Griffin which makes the case that mere vitamin supplementation can cure this horrid disease. After doing my own research I remember going to my mom one night while she laid on the couch in pain and putting my hand in hers. I explained it all to her and asked her to give it a shot. She looked at me and said “I wish I had as much faith as you do”, to which I responded “Mama, I have enough for the both of us”. I needed a miracle and if fabricating faith within myself brought it about then so be it. So I bought a pound of apricot seeds (the highest concentration of vitamin B-17 is in apricot seeds) and began grinding 14 a day and mixing it with her protein shakes. Less than three months later my mom was cancer free and she has occupied the planet for another ten years and going since we administered the vitamins. It was only after the fact that I realized God doesn’t open up the heavens to answer you, It answers with that small, still voice within. That internal voice that refuses to accept defeat and drives you to find a solution on your own.

photo from www.attorneynegotiationcenter.com

photo from www.attorneynegotiationcenter.com

At the time I was a newlywed and obviously this period took an emotional toll on my marriage right out of the gates. It isn’t easy delegating your time, emotion and attention to a sick mother and a brand new blushing bride. You are stuck in the unwinnable situation of both giving one too much and the other too little. Imagine walking on a tightrope between the now non-existent twin towers because that’s exactly what it feels like. Thankfully though, when my mom was cured I was able to shift my focus to the woman that wed me and a period of happiness emerged when the two of us bought our first home. For a time it was good. Nine to five jobs, I started writing again after years of not a single drop of ink, had a dog, a cat and a routine of dinner on the table by seven if she was cooking and eleven if I was cooking (the trick to being a good cook is to take a long time so those eating are good and hungry. You see that way even if you screw the recipe up they are so hungry they don’t care) and life was like that John Cougar Mellencamp song Pink Houses. Of course creeping in the back of my head was the notion that life could not be this good for this long without interruption. I always say that for love, sleep and riches to be enjoyed they must be interrupted. Now that is not my quote, but it is still true.

It was February 15th of 2011 when I came back into town from work. My normal routine was to stop and check on my parents then go home and begin cleaning, cooking and jumping on the treadmill while I watched some long documentary on something bizarre I had found on YouTube. That day I broke my routine though. Normally I would always go into my parent’s home and see if they needed anything, but since the night before was my ex-wife’s birthday, and we had had a disagreement, I felt I needed to just drive by and see if the lights were on then go home to prepare for apologizing for something I didn’t do or another. That’s marriage for you. If you want it to have any shelf life you have to be willing to plead guilty when you are anything but. I know it sounds spineless, but trust me, it is easier to say “Honey I am sorry for your perceived violations and promise to never, ever do it again” than listening to her go on and on for hours on end about it. Trust me, if you are going to do the marriage thing you better be ready to apologize for anything and everything because if you don’t she will ensure that your life is a living and eternal hell. As the Bible says “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” While I was picking up the house with an Anthony Hopkins film playing in the background, I got a call from my mom. She was screaming and I already knew in my gut what was happening. She said my dad was asleep and couldn’t wake up. I told her I would be there shortly and hung up. I flew over in no time at all and in the meantime called 911 to have ambulances meet me there.

photo from thebookofatom.blogspot.com

photo from thebookofatom.blogspot.com

Once I arrived I flew up the stairs and turned to the right, I could see my mom standing over my dad who was lying on the bed. I ran into the room and grabbed her first. I took her to the living room and sat her down and told her to sit and pray. Afterwards I went into the bedroom while I had 911 on the phone, picked my father up and laid him on the floor. I lifted his neck back and began CPR. The moment I began all the air locked in his lungs flooded into mine and filled me like a balloon. At that moment I heard the voice of a young man say “Don’t worry son, everything is going to be okay”. The experience was one of the most profound I have ever had. I worked on him for about fifteen minutes as the police on the scene simply watched before EMT arrived and once they did I consoled my mother. As I collected his medication for the hospital the police thought it appropriate to disarm me of my firearm and run the serial number while my father was in the next room with tubes in him. Protectin’ and servin’ and all that jazz. Deep in my heart I knew my father was gone. He had been in a lot of pain his last few months and I knew he was ready to cross over. When they got him to the hospital they tried for almost an hour to bring him back but my dad was always stubborn and wouldn’t let them. He had crossed over and that’s all there was to it. Now I had to deal with it as well as the toll it would take on my family.

After preaching my father’s eulogy, I didn’t want my mom and brother in the house where he died so they lived with me for a stint until I could find them a place to stay. Their presence in my home again put an emotional toll on my marriage. My ex-wife was not too pleased with this. She was ready to start a family and feared we never would if I kept tending to the needs of others. Now keep in mind, she had lost some loved ones and in those times she went to the darkest pits you could possibly imagine years before my ordeals began, and afterward I stuck by her side to see her through it. However three months after my father’s passing I was presented with divorce papers. Again we see the solitude of suffering. I remember falling to my knees and begging her not to do this to me, that I needed her, but I suppose when someone has something in their head you can only postpone it before they pull the trigger. It lasted another year or so before the trigger was finally pulled. In the meantime I was tapped by the Divine to suffer from one of the most horrible afflictions that I can imagine.

 

MAROON 5 MAPS

 

It started the day my father crossed over. I remember lying down on the floor in attempt to get some sleep and just before I blinked out, my entire body exploded with what felt like an electric jolt, and all of a sudden I was reliving the event with my father. It only took this to happen two or three times before I realized “Oh my God, I have post-traumatic stress disorder”. This revelation was absolutely horrific for me knowing that my father had suffered from it after Vietnam and having heard the stories of what a toll it had taken on him. When you have a high powered mind, and that mind suddenly turns against you, believe me it is no picnic. PTSD is literally like living in hell and breathing fire and brimstone every waking moment with no hints of relief. You never know when you may suffer from a panic attack, a muscle spasm or convulsion throughout your whole body or a severe flashback where you are forced to relive the trigger moment. One of the main reasons I am so passionate about the troops is because I can personally relate to the solitude of suffering in having to endure traumatic events because if there is anything that is true it’s this; unless you have endured PTSD you cannot understand the torment of it. Now, being deeply spiritual, I had to believe that there was some way beyond the orthodox methods, that there was a way out of this maze of the eternal and perpetual hell I was enduring in complete solitude. There were no words (and that is quite a statement from a writer) that can describe what it is like to be locked in that prison. I could see the wear and tear it was taking on me, on my family and my extending loved ones and I was determined to find a way out of it. So, once again I did as I was accustomed to doing, and in desperation cried out to that entity we all call by some name or another, which at the time I called God, for help. Again …nothing but crickets. No shaft of light. No heavens opening up. No nothing. Crickets and me alone in some secluded area of my yard or the wilderness; that was all I got. This disorder was tearing me and my family apart and I was doing all that I was told was the right thing to do and praying in all the ways I was taught to do it and that big bearded guy in the sky was handing me nothing but peanuts…and in all actuality I bought the peanuts from a seven eleven with a Hindu cashier. So again that self-determination kicked in and I began racing through books on how to repair the mind of trauma. Fortune would bring me one called Depression Free Naturally by Joan Mathews Larson which taught a homeopathic approach for mental ailments rather than the big pharma approach. In it she outlined patients are literally starving themselves because our food doesn’t provide the body with vitamins and nutrients (thanks Monsanto). She recommended supplements like DMAE, L-Tryptophan, high doses of vitamin C, B, and fish oil. So I got myself a pill kit and loaded up on supplements. Like a miracle, within a matter of days all the symptoms of PTSD were completely gone and I was experiencing more peace than I had had in a very long time. The high powered mind that had turned against me was now back in my hands and sharper than ever. Through simply taking vitamins and meditation.

This is the point in my life when I began to examine the things I believe, and of course I would encourage you to do the same without the inconvenience of doing it through suffering, and began studying other faiths. Over time I began to see from a different perspective. One not taught in any particular school of thought. All schools of thought teach you to seek the differences between one faith and another. We are trained to look for what separates a Christian from a Muslim. We are conditioned into looking for what separates a Buddhist from a Hindu. Jehovah’s Witness are pitted against Mormons and Catholics against the Jew. We all take pride in the title we have become adept in and will fight, sometimes violently, against the opposing titles. You have the materialistists that tend to be masculine God worshippers and the spiritualists who tend to be feminine Goddess worshippers and the two cascades continually clash against one another in conflict and have done so throughout the ages. It is only now that select groups are beginning to see the chaos of the two and the havoc it has caused in the realization that what we are dealing with is a cosmic, dysfunctional marriage of the two. Male and Female, God and Goddess are one and the same. Our understanding of God has been dictated to us and we have been told that it is a gender, an iconography. A man with a beard on a throne with a sack of lightning bolts ready to smack you in the head if you believe something other than what comes from the pulpit.

photo from politicalfun.blogspot.com

photo from politicalfun.blogspot.com

Listen, let me take a weight off your shoulders right about now. All that stuff was mechanisms of control. You don’t have to believe any of it if you don’t want to. Now if you want to, more power to you. Just understand that you were handed that mess of dogmatism and you didn’t arrive at it on your own. Some chap behind a pulpit or some guy wearing a dress outlined it for you. Now you can smite me right now for being the messenger…but at the end of the day you will know I am right, and that is the thing you will not be able to escape. Unless you have experienced the Divine yourself, unless you have had that moment of absolute clarity where what you conceive as God intervened in your life and you were enlightened to the notion that there is no other way to touch that Divinity than through the self, then you cannot understand. I could care less what label you slap on yourself. When one touches Source, they know titles are burnt away. In that moment they can only say that they know. They have no choice but to say, “I Know”! They don’t need belief, they don’t need faith. They simply know. They need no religion, they need no title, and they need not restrict themselves to one particular scripture because they have touched that which no human hand can touch. They have touched the Divine with the eye of the mind.

Those who endure the solitude of suffering are forced to their knees time and time again awaiting that answer that never comes in a shaft of light, but in the still small voice. Over time they realize this is by design. The Creator, the Architect, has a pre written plan. They have seen this before, they have lived this before, and they have acted this out before. There is a cycle, there is a circle. The first reaction is denial. You don’t want to accept that you have done this before because that is an admission of guilt. Will you please dismiss that because you have and you don’t want to be a douchebag this time too now do you?
This epiphany in my spiritual life was a landmark. The moment I stopped looking for the differences of all the faiths and began looking for the similarities is exactly when I started to find them. Once all the walls of dogmatism fell down my spiritual growth took a quantum leap and of course the natural course of evolution in this process is that those closest to you begin to believe you are insane. One of the natural courses of my evolution was to take a thirty day vow of silence, (which for anyone who knows me, you understand how extremely difficult this is) while I built a Zen Garden in the back yard.

Taking a vow of silence is extremely relaxing because once you take it and commit to it you become free from the notion of having to respond. You can simply stay in your own head and observe. Of course while you suppress that flow of output it will surely pop up in another area of creativity. For me, it did so in the form of my Zen garden. I had never been one to build anything with my own hands and had never been trained to do so, yet the more I suppressed the chi of my words the more this physical thing began to manifest itself. Of course all of my in laws, and sometimes including my Ex-wife, began to believe I was going insane but what they failed to see is that I was finally finding a peace that thus far had been unattainable. Buddhism and the path of Dharma aren’t as complicated or as sophisticated as some may make out; it is simply finding God in the little things all around you. It is exactly as Yeshua would describe his Father, as a wind that no one can see where it comes from or where it goes, only the effect of its presence.

There once was a story, and I will paraphrase, that says a woman went to a guru one day and told him that she feared she did not love God. The guru responded with “Who do you love most in this world?” to which the young woman replied, “My child here. I love my child more than anything in the world.” The Guru smiled and grabbed her cheeks saying, “When you look at your child you are looking at God”. That is the end of the parable but what I gleaned from it is that anything you look at with pure unconditional love is God, because God is unconditional love. This is, for some, a difficult thing to do. Especially when they have yet to be through the trials of suffering. They may make God out to be some distant being but when you have suffered and decided you want no more you find God is all around you, all about you, within you and within all those that you love. As my friend Jesse Herriott would say, there is no spot where God is not.

Now you have this epiphany in your head and a place of inner tranquility happens…then you get a divorce and all that stuff flies out the window..

 

TO BE CONTINUED IN “THE SOLITUDE OF SUFFERING PART TWO: LIFE AFTER DIVORCE”

DAMNED IF YOU DO AND DAMNED IF YOU DONT: PART TWO

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D.L. Crumpton

It only took a few hours after I published my article Damned if you Do and Damned if you don’t” before I realized that perhaps I had not exhausted the topic to the extent in which I could have. I really felt deep down within myself that something was missing from the article and it didn’t take long before my good friend Jason Patrick rang me up to pin point exactly what it was I had missed. I was winding down for the night with a tall cool one and my dog, Hannibal, by my side when the phone rang and once I answered I could tell that Jason the First was well into his night cap as well. These are the moments when the two of us are brutally honest enough to make criticism constructive. The walls are down, the shields are powered off and there is nothing but truth, grit, and more bone crunching truth. Some call these “come to Jesus meetings”, but when he and I do it no one winds up crucified on a stick and no one is condemned to a fiery pit of the imaginary.

The conversation started off with a query as to what my plans were in the next year with ZENINTHECAR.COM and all of that was hashed out. My intentions to take a few steps back behind the curtain were explained; in order to work on my second novel as well as market the first. The details of business between two independent media journalists was discussed in order to put to rest any fear that I am indeed retiring from the arena (not so, simply changing hats in this game for a time) and then it was on to the content of the last article. This is where it got juicy. You see, as you know, ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. was born from Patrick and I forming a unique bond over a little less than two years ago through the mutual crossing of paths in what we call …”life changes”. That typically means your world has turned upside down and a whole lot of crazy is happening to you. But it just seems so much nicer and more professional to call it …”life changes”. It is also important to always put three dots in front of it so that the reader has to make a dramatic pause before they read it. See, we know what we are doing here. So it is no secret that Patrick and I have been in ditches you cannot measure the depth whereof, and waded through swamps to which the length you could not measure thereof. Needless to say, the two of us have a relationship that might seem as odd couple-ish as you could possibly imagine, but somehow or another it has worked thus far and as far as I am concerned when any relationship is working no matter how chaotic it seems on the surface…I don’t intend to look under the hood. As long as that bad boy has gas in the tank and I can turn the key and hear the engine crank, I don’t want to know why the check engine light is on. Those things are just there to make you paranoid anyway.

D.L. Crumpton and Jason Patrick

D.L. Crumpton and Jason Patrick

The main bone of Patrick’s contention was that my previous article completely dismissed the other side of the coin and after hearing his case I have to admit I agree with him. In “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t” I made the case that in life you will sometimes be forced to make decisions that no one else will understand, and when you make them often times you will be ostracized for making them and cast out like a leper. Now while this is true, there is another aspect of making seemingly insane decisions which is also true. I have always phrased it this way; “Anything that can be said can be contradicted, including this statement”, which in all actuality is a complete nose bleed to comprehend. Trust me, re read the quote and roll it around your noodle a few times until it sets in that I actually found a loophole in all logic within the Universe. Not only is the statement true, it also disproves itself therefore making itself true. Absolute genius and you are most welcome for me having a four point I.Q. to come up with it. So in spirit of that statement I will now contradict myself in regards to the formal article and say that sometimes you are only damned if you do and damned if you don’t when you fail to see that there are others around you who may still not understand your decisions, but in the long run, trust them.
When life throws those situations at you when there is no choice but to do things most around you will view as insane or out of the ordinary and those people turn their backs on you, don’t fret. It only means that there are other people either in your life or coming into your life that will understand and be of the opinion that you did exactly the right thing. It’s all a matter of perspective. Some have it, some don’t want it. When you hit that cross road in your life you have to be willing to embrace those who get it and let go of those who don’t. There is nothing like having the satisfaction of being true to thyself, but when you can be true to others as well it is a special type of blessing. One day you make the decision that makes you crazy to one person and the next day you find someone that nods in agreement and says “I wouldn’t have done it any other way myself”, and those are the moments where you feel content in your resolve.

So even when you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t, remember that you are also forgiven by the opposite spectrum. It took Jason Patrick to make me realize that after our conversation on the phone. He wailed and wailed about all the hours the two of us have spent together discussing pains and crisis in our lives free from judgment and condemnation and it made me realize that he was absolutely correct. A man may be an island, but it is always short lived before other islands appear. All of us are aware of his shortcomings as well as mine, but the fact of the matter is he has been a good friend to many of you and most certainly to me in the time I have known him. So when he expressed disappointment with the last article I had to redress. He is correct when he says that when insane decisions must be made someone will always understand, and he would know from personal experience. If there is anything I can say about that fact it is this; in the moments when I have had to do the most erratic things to achieve a goal, Jason Patrick perhaps didn’t fully understand the how, but he completely trusted the why. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew I was crossing the line between sane and insane, but still buried deep beneath, he trusted that I knew exactly what I was doing even if he didn’t at the time. And of course so far he has been correct. He has watched me do things irregular in order to flick dominos (as I call it) in the direction in which I need them to knock over others to get what we want or need.

Having that type of friendship and understanding with another person is vital. The reason why is because in those moments when you feel as if the decisions you have to make are damnable, and you do feel alone, you will only feel it for a brief period of time before the phone rings and you are corrected. There is always someone who will trust you no matter what condition you are in, no matter what emotion you are in, and no matter what state of mind you are in. There will always be people who will stand by your side and never walk away from the oath of “I Believe in You”. It may not be the people you expected, but does that really matter? In the end you may be damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but somehow or another you will be redeemed by those just as crazy as you. Peace be with you and all your insane decisions.