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

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

ZENINTHECAR STORE NOW OPEN

zenopenHey all you Zenners; like anything that rapidly evolves, we have sprung up with a new little appendage; the ZENINTHECAR.COM STORE. This is something we have actually wanted to do for some time but have had it on the back burner simmering until we could see it bubbling up with goodness. Now the aroma of what was in the pot has wafted its way to our nostrils and we just couldn’t resist making it available to you. So open up and get you a taste by clicking any of the ZENINTHECAR.COM STORE links (like the one you just saw right back there) in this article, or at the top and sidebar of any page on our site.
Digital Hourglass has been busy making sure that what goes into the store is akin to the spirit of what we are all about here at ZENINTHECAR.COM as well as politically and spiritually relevant. Obviously since we are just opening up the store, we have only been able to make a handful of items available to you, but rest assured new products that will make you the hippest person in any room will be added on a regular basis. And if you happen to have any suggestions for items you would like to see in the future please feel free to share them with us with a quick email to ZENINTHECAR@GMAIL.COM and we would be more than happy to try and oblige.
So, we hope you enjoy the ZENINTHECAR.COM STORE and of course we hope you help the writers, contributors and activists here by snagging some stuff for yourself, a friend and your mother in law…not because you like her but because you just like screwing with her head. Cheers!

 

ZENINTHECAR.COM STORE (this is one of those nifty links we were talking about. Click it and get yo’self some goodness.)

DERRICK GRAYSON: DRIVE TIME ZEN

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D.L. Crumpton and Derrick Grayson

LAST EPISODE: CHRIS HILL AND HIRAM L. MADGE, SONS OF THUNDER

I can remember during the last couple of presidential election cycles feeling very much like an island at times in my support of Ron Paul. Now keep in mind, no one that supported Ron Paul really supported the man, rather what the man stood for; Freedom, Liberty and the Constitution. In a world where people focus on the technicalities of what a document says rather than the soul of what is written, it was rare to find others that had such concepts burning in their bones. It was rare to find someone who didn’t approach the Constitution like a legal document rather like a Holy document. While others were supporting politicians, we were supporting a statesman. We were supporting a man who was open, honest, and not offering to butter our bread more than he was offering us the opportunity to butter our own damn bread.

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Derrick Grayson with Jason Patrick

During that time there were few media voices willing to shout from the rooftops and echo this message of Freedom and Liberty, so we as supporters had to become the media. Derrick Grayson (TMOT) was one of the loudest and clearest advocates for the concepts we all embrace here at ZENINTHECAR.COM. I can’t tell you how many days I raced home to catch his “Drive Time” rants on YouTube and sat on the edge of my seat with the feeling that finally I was not alone. Finally there was someone else that understood this type of thing without having to walk them around the pond. He doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t dodge questions, and he doesn’t water down the words of our Founding Fathers. When we released the project statement I AM THE COG, a comprehensive plan to take back our Republic, Derrick Grayson was one of the first to throw his support behind it, and since that time we knew he was as Stan Lee would say, a True Believer. So it tickled us to no avail to find out that he was running for the House of Representatives for our fine state. Team Zen scrambled to find out how we could contribute to his voice getting louder and his campaign becoming a success. And after all that scrambling we decided just to do what we do best. Cover him as we would any other politician and let his own words either uplift or condemn him.

We find it ironic that Derrick Grayson is known for “Drive Time” where most of his ideas probably come to him while stuck in a car, and we here attained Enlightenment in ours while stuck in traffic. It appears a hybrid baby of ZEN and DRIVE TIME was inevitable with all that hindsight being 20\20 and all. So we hope you enjoy a little Drive Time Zen.

DRIVE TIME ZEN

ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. SEASON TWO: ZENINTHECAR BATTLE CRY

Once again we welcome you back to year three of ZENINTHECAR.COM, and year two of ZEN IN THE CAR T.V.. We appreciate all of your urges for us to come back but as we said, everything happens exactly when it’s supposed to and though we have taken a considerable amount of time to evolve, it seems that now it is appropriate for us to return and it couldn’t have been one second sooner. So with little fanfare and little prose to reintroduce you to who we are, we present the first episode of this new and exciting season. Thank you for liking, sharing helping us grow and of course if you agree with what we here at ZENINTHECAR.COM are doing don’t hesitate to donate so the cause can spread further and further. Enjoy, ZEN IN THE CAR T.V..

NEXT EPISODE: SONS OF THUNDER

ZEN IN THE CAR CRASH: WELCOME TO YEAR THREE

zeavenIt is often said that to truly enjoy life you must die every now and then. Okay it isn’t often said; I just made it up. Nonetheless, truth is truth and you can’t hide from the truth because the truth is all there is. Thank you Handsome Boy Modeling School for bringing us that wonderful revelation. That being said, before you go dying just to check out if what I say is true, just make sure you know how to come back before you make the trip to the other side because that place can get a little crazy. Speaking of deaths and rebirths I don’t think I need to tell all of our subscribers that we here at ZENINTHECAR.COM have undergone a sort of death and resurrection like the Phoenix rising from the ashes of the old and unfurling into the glory of the new. Shortly after I announced last year that we here were going on a hiatus to recharge and reflect some of you may have noticed that the site actually crashed for some time. Knowing there are no such things as coincidence, at first I thought this was the internet getting all mad at us for taking time off and having a hissy fit by knocking us off our server. “That’ll show them not to take away my Zen goodness!” Hindsight always being 20\20, I of all people should have known that it was a premonition or Divine warning of what was to come.

 

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Team Zen At 2nd Amendment Rally

Now, while we have not been with you these past few months do not think us slack. It’s not like we were all just sitting around, resting on our laurels from the past year completely task less in this endeavor to save a Republic. Oh no, while all the contributors here have been going through…”life changes”…we have also managed to partake on your behalf in activism and ultimately reformation of the current system of things. Granted, we have done it on a wing and a prayer but for some reason or another it seems that our path has been guided by Divine Providence; the kind spoken of by the Founding Fathers of this great America. We have been able to go places and meet people that are just as passionate about saving this country as we here at ZENINTHECAR.COM. Much of our adventures will be shared with you through the crew of ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. in posts yet to come, however I can tell you as someone with his boots on the ground-things are looking up. There is a peaceful Revolution taking place. It cannot be stopped, it cannot be compromised, and it cannot be perverted. A Revolution of ideas and information is indeed happening. A Revolution of information and our interaction with that information is in fact transpiring. It is as agent Smith would say; inevitable. As our generation awakens to the fact that the way of things they were born into are completely voluntary, they are beginning to understand that a peaceful Revolution requires little more than no longer volunteering. They are beginning to see that the only thing really needed to change the current system of things is to no longer go along with it. However this can be a scary notion when one has no vision of an alternative or no examples in how to defy the current system of things. Enter the ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. crew. We are here because each of us are the type of activists that not only note the problem, but seek out the solution and then implement it in our own lives. This implementation can cost a great deal; this we will warn you. However at the end of the day you will have true Freedom; and true Freedom is waking up and deciding what you want to do with your day rather than someone else doing it for you.

 

PISSONFED

But tell us how you really feel…

So how do we start this year, this phase, and this chapter of ZENINTHECAR.COM? Well we begin it with an adventure of course. I had been at my local Books-A-Million the entire day. Where else would you expect to find me? At this point in my life this place is my church, it is my fortress of solitude. It appears that whenever I go through a major “life change”, the Universe always seems to place me near books. Lots of books, a plethora of books in fact. Be it libraries or bookstores, I am always placed in a position of assigning my soul to the art of books. I take this as an omen, a sign from the Universe that regardless of my situation I am on the right path. So there I was; at my local book store while outside the storm clouds merged. The whole day I had a bad feeling but kept shirking it off like the dark cloud I didn’t want to feel. I knew something was going to happen. I could feel it in my bones. Shortly before the assigned time of our trip Jason Patrick entered the store. It was strange at first to see one aspect of my life merge with another, but after a moment it started to make sense. I started to understand the interconnectivity of it all…but that should be saved for a different story.

 

Jason the First

Jason the First

Jason Patrick purchased a few of my recommendations; mostly books by Ron Paul, then made his exit to the bridge of the starship Zenterprise to await my arrival. I was of course, as always, fashionably late. This tardiness forced us to pile into Curtis Sirman’s car and push the speed limit to the limit we could push. This was especially difficult in the rain, and even more so difficult being a tad clairvoyant and knowing what was to come. We were headed for a car crash. Nothing was going to stop it, and no one could prevent it. It was going to happen and I knew it before we got in the car. Cruising up I-75 to the state’s capitol, the whole time I had this feeling that it was due at any moment. Curtis was on GPS and eerily enough the entire time saying “Its ten miles to our FINAL DESTINATION, its five miles to our FINAL DESTINATION, it three miles to our FINAL DESTINATION…” and the only thing I wanted to tell him was to please stop saying that.
As we entered downtown Atlanta and headed for Decatur we ended up on one of those twisted streets that change traffic flow lanes depending on the time of day, six lanes or so, with the lights overhead to let you know which way you are supposed to be driving. Curtis and I were both at a loss for how Patrick was able to tell what lane we were supposed to be in due to all of them having broken lines, but trusted that somehow or another Patrick wouldn’t allow us to shuffle off this mortal coil…today anyway. As the drivers in front of Patrick all tapped the breaks our good friend shouted an expletive or two and said:
“That’s what I can’t stand about Georgia drivers; they all think you have to slow down in the rain. You don’t have to slow down in the rain. I’m from Seattle; if there’s one thing I know how to do its drive.”

 

RainyHighway-MontgomeryCoMD-108AM-01Aug2010The moment those words came out of his mouth I reached behind me and pulled the seatbelt down, snapping it into its safe and snug home. Death…here we go again. As Jason Patrick drove, looking for the address to the event we were going to (a Copblock.org course on asserting your Rights with the police) his attention was drawn off of oncoming traffic. The bottom of the rain clouds dropped and a billion buckets of God’s tears came crashing down on us. While the rain fell, Patrick failed to see that our lane had suddenly decided to be a lane for the other side of oncoming traffic. Oops. The moment Patrick, Sirmans and myself realized this was when we spotted a green Volkswagen beetle heading straight for us with a trajectory that said “Head on collision? Yes, I’d like that very much.”
Fortunately Jason Patrick’s puma like reflexes allowed him to take note just before the crash and the wheel was jerked hard left. Curtis Sirman’s car flew through about three lanes of oncoming traffic and met its lesson of physics as it slammed into a light post, a transformer box, did a sort of 180 spin and stopped short at a fence on the side of the road. Then there was silence. In the backseat I first cringed, then had to smile, knowing full well that your heroes of Freedom and Liberty would one way or another come out spotless.
Once the car was stationary we all checked to make sure no one had lost a limb or a head or what have you and limped the car to the side street to make sure our potential head on collision wasn’t hurt. Once we knew that we had miraculously dodged every fender that had been provided for us, the three of us stood outside in the rain and thanked the Universe, or God, or Goddess or what have you for not allowing us to shift over on this day and continued on to the event we had come to cover. Of course, there is an alternative version of this tale that only I could tell.
Unbeknownst to Jason Patrick and Curtis Sirmans, we in fact did get slammed by oncoming traffic. Not only did we get slammed but we got slammed in such a way that our bodies were laid out on the street, lifeless beneath the cold Atlanta rain. There were ambulances, there were fire trucks, and there were body bags. As I said in the beginning, to enjoy life you must die every now and again.

 

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photo from emergingyouth.com

“Where is this place?” Jason asked.
Of course Curtis just stared on with enthused amazement as I dusted myself off and stretched my back.
“This is the afterlife. We died and now we get a report card before we go back.” I quipped.
Curtis stood to his feet and looked around for a moment, then to me.
“Are you serious? I mean I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in any of this. I was just supposed to go blank or something.”
I put my hand on his shoulder and smiled.
“This kind of thing doesn’t care if you’re an atheist or not. It kind of has its own rules. Just roll with it man, it’s actually kind of fun when you do it a few times.”
Once the three of us were good and comfortable a messenger arrived to escort us through the gates and into the throne room of the Almighty. I found it amusing to watch Jason and Curtis transfixed with the architecture of Heaven all around them. But I mean seriously, after you’ve seen it once or twice you kind of get used to it. But hey, whenever friends and family cross over and I get the chance to be with them it’s always a groovy experience.

As usual, God was sitting on His throne with a PlayStation 5 controller in His hands. He was screaming at this kid from Buffalo New York as he got shot for the seventh time online. God is pretty good with “Call of Duty” when it’s just the game, but that kid from Buffalo New York owns him every time when he logs on. The three of us stood there for a minute until He realized he needed to pause the game and do some Universe saving type stuff.
“Sorry about that fellas. That little creep gets me every time. I swear to myself if I don’t own him on the next round I am so sending him to Hell.” God said.
I did this sort of inner laugh as I thought it over. Sirmans and Patrick were too busy kneeling before the Glory of the Almighty to help me out as I rolled it over. I thought about it for a second and then the answer came to me.
“Why don’t you just put in the God code?” I asked.
“Do what?” God responded.
“Dude, just put in the God code. I mean you are the supreme being of the Universe, just put in the God code and that little squirt from Buffalo New York won’t be able to get within twenty miles of you online.” I replied.
God looked over his shoulder a few times to make sure the Cheribums weren’t around.
“Hey, if I put that code in you aren’t going to tell anyone are you? I mean I don’t want to cheat but this little shit from New York really has me razzled.” God inquired.
I looked over at my friends, still reeling from being dead.
“Can we take care of this first, please?”
“Oh yeah, sure. No problem, what’s up?”

godshand

…And on the eighth day…

“Well me and my friends just died in a car crash but we weren’t quite done saving America. It’s kind of something important to us and we really wanted to pull that off, so do you think you could just send us back where we left off so we can get on that?” I asked.
God put the controller on the side of his throne and stepped over to his coffee bar and made a caramel macchiato. As always, I waited for him to finish off the cream on top. God loves the cream on top of a good caramel macchiato.
“I guess, man. I mean if I send you back again do you think you can pull it off this time?”
“I think so. These are good guys, I think we can manage.”
“Alright then, but look, if you guys die again in between me kicking this kids ass from Buffalo New York, do you think you can just go to customer service and have your re-ups done there? I mean I like it when you stop in but it’s really cutting into my video game time. And you know they aren’t going to remember any of this, right?” God said.
I shake my head in agreement. God smiles and waves his hand. The next thing I know is that I’m beside the road with Jason Patrick and Curtis Sirmans…and we are not dead. Well perhaps we are, but those two have no idea it happened. It takes moment to reestablish where I am at but once I do I have to smile.

 

D.L. Crumpton

D.L. Crumpton

At some point in your life you have to pick a death where you leave it all behind. You have to choose that moment when you are done going over past mistakes and past tribulations and say to yourself “This is the moment I move forward. This is the moment I am born again.” The moment I stepped out of that car and my feet touched concrete, I myself decided this was that moment for me. Everything I was before was gone, everything I had was up in a puff of smoke. As Radiohead would say; “In the next world war, a jack knifed juggernaut; I am born again.” And so I was, born again so to speak. Without a test pattern existence of routine in waking up, going to work, paying my taxes hanging over me I felt as if something new was about to happen. I felt like a brand new man. Though that brand new man would have neck and back problems for a while, it was still worth it just to put the past behind me.
“You guys want to file a report?” Jason Patrick asks.
I look over at Sirmans who could give one less of a crap than me.
“Nah, let’s keeping going.”

So there you go. The crew of Zen In The Car T.V. crashed right after the website. Read into that what you will. Did we have a meeting with God? Well that I leave to you. You can either believe it or not. If we didn’t, then we are all collectively ingenious. If we did then we are all collectively touched by the Divine. Either way, we hope that this next year you enjoy ZENINTHECAR.COM, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two so you can help us to revolve this Revolution. The next phase is sure to have many a thrills, chills, and near death experiences but for some reason or another we feel it will all be worth it. With new contributors coming to the site in both the written word as well as video, surely 2014 will be a year to remember. Of course before we begin this mutual journey we have to let you in on a little piece of advice; the best time to stop a car crash is right before it happens and if you are destined for a head on collision then its best you trust in your last line of defense and pray that airbag saves your life. Namaste.

AIRBAG

SABRINA BLACK: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE 2ND AMENDMENT

SABRINA BLACK

SABRINA BLACK

ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. had the opportunity to meet a young woman by the name of Sabrina Merganthaler Black in our travels of activism and couldn’t help but persuade her to be a regular contributor. We found her insights as a mother, a wife, and an activist to be quite enlightening as well as her optimistic spirit in regards to the state of our country and the state of our world. In a time when it seems more trendy to follow what Paris Hilton is wearing or what she isn’t its very refreshing to hear from strong female voices that are more attuned with what is actually going on in the world. In this second American Revolution there is no doubt that women need to have a voice in regards to the direction our country is being taken in and we are proud to welcome Sabrina Black as a voice for others who are still slugging about in ignorance. We hope you enjoy.

SABRINA BLACK ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT

SYRIA, GOVERNMENT PARANOIA, AND DRAGON CON

Once again the federal government is using the same tactic it always uses to distract the masses from the fact that they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and that’s by doing what they always try to do; kicking off another war. This time it’s Syria, and for most Americans if you can say those guys are Muslims-it usually works. However thankfully this time a great more resistance has been thrown up by the war weary citizens of the country which was once free and once brave to the striking of yet another country that poses no threat to us.
With the recent cluster intercourse over the Syria issue, protests were planned all across the land to just stop this stupidity and bring the boys back home as Roger Waters advised us two or three decades ago. When the guys here at ZENINTHECAR.COM heard an Atlanta rally was in the works, the gas was in the Millennium Falcon and the giga-whatever was emptied in the cameras so that we could make our way to the capitol of Georgia to hold signs and scream at sleeping sheep.

Worked out great for me because sneaking in the back of my mind was the fact that Dragon Con was happening, as it does every year on my birthday, and I can’t deny I did want to be a part of that vibrational energy yet another year. Obviously it was a strange coincidence (for those of you unbelievers that believe in mere coincidence) for us to discover that the cornerstone had been set by the Freemasons on September the 2nd way back when. You could say I’m reading into too much to which I would respond; learn how to read.
So the boys here at ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. managed to kill a few birds with one Rosetta stone and compile political activism, my birthday, super-hero geekness, and saving the Republic with one single stroke. Yes; we are that organized and cool. And while exhibiting that organizational coolness we actually had the chance to do a good thing; which is raise awareness to the recent debacle of the federal government of not only being paranoid of its own citizens, but being obsessive compulsive about sucking us dry to fund their endeavors in ruling the world. The following is a compilation of our protests mixed with the exposure of American citizens being monitored for the mere expression of free speech. Our presence was met with some obvious, idiotic friction; but for the most part we all received pats on the backs, high fives, and hand- shakes of appreciations from far more people at the end of the day. What happened at Dragon Con when we were done trying to save the country is classified…because what happens at Dragon Con, stays at Dragon Con. So enjoy the activism and in the words of Jason the First, begin to choose who you are.
Ron Paul always said, if you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right. So if you are going to join us in this fight of saving the Republic; if you are going to subscribe, like, and share….as we know you are-then make it a point to show up to the next thing whatever it may be. If you can make it to a protest, a march, a city council meeting though it only be once a month put that time aside. Because not only is activism essential, it’s actually quite fun.
Oppose the policing of the world, and oppose the policing of your own city, and especially oppose the policing of your own lives. Enjoy Zen In The Car T.V.
ATLANTA PROTEST PART ONE: MARCH ON DRAGON CON

ATLANTA PROTEST PART TWO: JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE PARANOID…

Jason McBride and Cognitive Dissonance

Crew of the Zenterprise

Crew of the Zenterprise

Recently the crew of ZEN IN THE CAR T.V. had the chance to meet with the Constitutional Security Force, a Georgia militia group, and cover some of the activity and ideology of what makes up the minds of a militia man. We didn’t do as the Department of Homeland Security would suggest, and find a bunch of domestic terrorists, rather we found Patriots like you and I. We found warrior poets and philosophers much like ourselves. We found men that not only guard the ideology of the mind, but do so with really big and loud guns. We felt right at home. Many discussions were had and much film was captured, however we here at ZENINTHECAR.COM felt that Jason Doberman’s dialogue on cognitive dissonance was quite significant.
In a sane world everyone in this country would understand that things aren’t right. In a sane world everyone in this country would be on the doorsteps of the White House beating down a redress of grievance. However, that isn’t the case is it? Most are content to twitter, like, message, and call others in a pool of insignificance while the rest of us rise to the call of defending a Republic. In a sane world all of us together would join hands and sing against the nonsense coming from the halls of government…but we don’t live in a sane world do we?

No, we live in a world of left brain versus right brain. A world where logic and art don’t always get along. A world in which words and vows are tossed around, but at the end of the day, are always bound to be broken. So without further monologue we present to you the wisdom of a patriot very much a kin to our own heart. Enjoy, Zen in the Car T.V.

 

Jason McBride On Cognitive Dissonance: