Nothing’s Gonna’ Get Me Down

“I don’t think too much about what the future holds
I know I want to spend my time with you.”

The greatest proof that I have of my spiritual and mental growth spurt is my new ability to remain silent. As a naturally vocal person with a love for words, I once believed that those words were my greatest weapon. But I began to learn that silence is sometimes even greater and I was able to really put that to the test on Friday night.

Seeing your face was so strange and bittersweet. I was so nervous. So much has happened since we last saw each other face to face and the roller coaster ride continues. What I would have done, though, if all those people weren’t standing right there. What I would have said…I just wanted to throw my arms around your neck and hold you so tightly, but it’s not time for that yet. So, instead, we had an awkward, hesitant, two-second hug and barely even looked at each other. In due time…

I went home that night feeling emotional, yet triumphant. Through all the years, all the tests, every public encounter we have had in the last decade, I have come out of every single battle feeling beaten down and defeated. But on Friday night, I finally won! The war isn’t over, of course, but I can definitely see now that I have the upper hand. What other reason was there for me to be attacked like that?

She doesn’t want me to think that the songs are about me. That’s what she told me. Well, they’re not about me, they’re about us and I don’t think; I know. I don’t need the opinions or approval of all these outsiders who don’t understand. I never have. But I just think it’s funny that after all this time, this is finally coming up as an issue. What’s even funnier is that I’m supposed to feel threatened and intimidated. I’m being mocked by people who don’t even know me, who think that I’m delusional.

That’s quite all right with me, though, because I know the truth. Certain other people, however, are in obtuse denial about the reality of the situation, which has been pretty obvious for quite some time now. Stop clinging so desperately to this hopeless situation that you’re in, and stop embarrassing yourself. That’s what I wanted to say, anyway. But instead, I stared back at her, silently expressionless. I then said a few kind words to her in response to whatever else she had to say, then cut the conversation short by turning and walking away. I rejoined my friend, whom I was so rudely and physically shoved away from and we joyously danced the rest of the night away.

Meanwhile, she returned to her obnoxious singing (screaming) and thrashing around, visibly frustrated and pissed off by my response, or lack thereof. Her ugly friend whom I’ve never even seen before tried to spoil my night by throwing her beverage into the air to splash on me and my friend. I was hardly offended at all. Make it rain, bitches! Victory is all mine!

Of course, that wasn’t the only reason I was feeling good. I got to stand in that room and watch you play. Some of the songs you chose for that night were for me. The only time you ever really even looked up while you played was to look at me.

Addicted…oh, that song. The first time I ever heard it, I was nineteen years old, sitting in my bedroom at my parents’ house, messing around on Myspace. I saw that the new songs were up, clicked on the title, listened to the intro chords, then heard your voice (I thought at first that it might be a song of Jim’s.) By the end of the first chorus, tears were streaming down my face. Never before has a piece of music evoked that kind of emotion from me. To hear you play it on stage the other night, after all these years, and to gaze into your eyes as you sang to me sent that same wave of emotion rushing right back over me.

To hear your newer songs of the pain that you have felt more recently was a confirmation that the deep anguish I went through after our falling out was never once felt alone. The entire time you stood before me, I felt that old, familiar, aching tug on my heart, as the tears pooled in my eyes and all I wanted to do was reach out and touch you. But I can’t do that yet.

Still, despite all of the yearning and the pain of still having to hide, I felt connected to you, because after all, I always am. I ignored the ridiculous, drug-fueled, drunken antics of all the fools around me, and all of the misguided hatred toward me. I felt nothing but love in my heart and I walked out of that place with a smile on my face and my head held high. I got to see your face one more time upon my exit, and again, it was awkward on the outside, but it didn’t at all bother me. I know that I’ll be seeing you again real soon.

But next time…I want a real hug.

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The Fear

It’s but a grand illusion
All that you see here
None of it is real
So don’t give into the fear

Carry any doubts
To the beings in the air
Feel the peace within yourself
See what you find there

You’ve been knocked down
Once or twice before
But then you stood up
And you asked for more

You know it’s just a game
And you wanted to play
So just focus yourself
Embrace another day

The fear, it gets inside your head
Don’t fear, what you want is up ahead
The fear, it can eat you alive
Don’t fear, fight and you’ll survive

You’re looking all around
For answers you can’t find
When deep down you know
Just try to quiet your mind

You’re racking your brain
Until you’re not really here
It’s all just fake
So don’t you listen to the fear

Your worries, they’ll fade
Once they’re out of sight
Just look at what’s in front of you
It’ll get you through the night

You know it’s just a game
And you wanted to play
So just focus yourself
Embrace another day

The fear, it gets inside your head
Don’t fear, what you want is up ahead
The fear, it can eat you alive
Don’t fear, fight and you’ll survive

The fear, the fear, the fear
It gets inside your head
The fear, the fear, the fear
It’s not a path you want to tread

Watch Me Fly

I still feel this uncertainty gripping me
Keeping me from being all I can be
Why do I doubt the truth that I know in my heart?
When I’m so close to reaching this brand new start

No one else can take me home, I’ve got to do this on my own
And when I arrive, there you’ll stand with open arms
Now I’m following the beat, it’s no longer haunting me
We were born to do great things, I’ll make this mine

I’ve heard the call and I will be strong
I must free my soul, which means that I must carry on
No more feeling sorry, no more confusion
Now is the time to finally get this right

No one else can take me home, I’ve got to do this on my own
And when I arrive, yes you’ll be there with open arms
You pushed me off the ledge ’cause you believed in me
Now I must believe in myself and then I’ll fly

Always ten steps ahead, you never doubted me
I’ll clear this all away, then watch me fly

Blood Moon

“And so today, my world it smiles”

I can’t believe I haven’t even written about it yet. It’s been five days but I still feel its enchanting effects and I don’t think I’m the only one with that feeling. I’ve been seeing it everywhere, a lot of positive changes and a lot of upbeat people. I woke up this morning feeling exhausted, yet I was revved up all day long at work, like somebody took a pair of jumper cables and charged up my battery. I couldn’t stop smiling, laughing at silly things and just being happy. I had so much energy! Change is in the air and things are going to get better for us all. And the best part is that these effects will be present for quite a while.

***

I sat on a thin bed sheet on the chilly sand, listening to the crash of the waves. I had just decided it was a good idea to test out the water temperature with my feet and that did not go so well. Not two minutes on the beach and the bottoms of my jeans were soaked and sandy, my bare feet and ankles layered with fine sand. Leave it to me to be the only person trying to wade in the ocean in damp, fifty degree weather, in the dark. I didn’t care, I wasn’t ready to give up the summer. I never am. Sure, the air was a little cold, but not winter cold. No big deal.

It had already been on the rise for a while, so there it rested, high and mighty, in all its grandeur. The whole beach was illuminated by its magnificent white beams. I watched as a few planes flew in from above the mighty ocean and I wondered what it looked like from up there, seeing the light bouncing off the water like that. Glancing around, I could see the silhouettes of the other audience members. Most sat huddled together, some with their friends, some with their lovers. I must have been the only solo viewer on the whole beach. In the silvery night sky, a few stray stars could be seen, dotted here and there, so far removed from one another, in a lonely sort of way. But my, what a beautiful night.

There was only one thing missing. I held my phone in my hand and stared at it, thinking how easy it might be to set up a meeting. I rarely even get time at home to myself, let alone time to go out on my own. It would be so nice to just sit in silence and think. But I also wanted to make the most out of this experience, which I knew would be extraordinary. Just to have you seated in the sand next to me, talking about life, would be enough for me. I tossed the idea around in my head, thinking of the potential consequences, of how I would wind up feeling when it was time to go home. It all seemed like such a lovely idea, the perfect night, but in the end, I would see the flaws. In the end, I would want more, I would feel guilty and I would hurt. No matter how much I’d grown, it would still end up the same as last time and all the other times before that. It was just not time yet, and I knew that. All that mattered was that I was there.

As I sat with my thoughts, the lights slowly began to dim. I noticed that the brilliant halo was no longer there and instead, a dark sliver of shadow began to mask the great face, as if it was about to perform a magic trick. Another young couple passed in front of me, the guy trudging through the sand with his girl on his back, her arms over his shoulders and fastened at the hands. They made me smile, as I felt their love absorb into me. It was then that I truly realized how alone I wasn’t. In that moment, I felt connected to every stranger on that beach.

The darkness gradually took over and I eventually began to notice the red hue that I’d heard so much about. The excitement really began to set in. It set a very emotional tone, as I began to feel across the whole spectrum. From grief and sorrow for all the people I knew — and didn’t know — who were suffering, to joy and satisfaction in all the wonders of life, I felt it all. I thought about criticisms that have been made against me, from others and from myself. I took in their meaning and why they existed, and I owned them. They were mine and they were all true. I felt my eyes well up, as the pain came from deep within, making its way to the surface. Like photons of light in the sun, it was hidden in my core for what seemed like an eternity, then took its time rising up. Now it was finally about to be released. I acknowledged this pain for what it was, nothing more and nothing less. I let it sting me one more time, then I let it go.

Now the full face of the magician in the sky, the ruler of our shadows, was a smouldering red, a color I’d never seen it wear before. It was always a force to be reckoned with, and it now had us all at its mercy, hypnotized, as we stared. The sky around it was now completely dark and I saw more stars than ever before. I gazed into the Milky Way’s infinite, cosmic beauty and it dazzled me in a deeper way than I ever knew possible. Its enormous power completely enveloped me; swallowed me right up into it and I realized that I was that power.

I submitted to this divine force, let myself drift right off into it and I knew that you, too were suspended in it and watching with me, right by my side.

Your Song

Last night while drifting off
I was awakened by a sound
I heard a guitar strumming
Felt like someone was coming
I know it was you

I heard you singing your song
Your beautiful voice
That I’ve been longing to hear
Crept up into my ears
I heard you singing your heart

Tried my best to remember
What it was that you said
Rehearsed it once or twice
It made me feel so nice
But then I fell asleep

Now I can’t remember what you sang to me
But the echo of your voice for a moment set me free
I long to hear it again tonight
Turn my darkness into light
I long to hear you sing your song

Where Has the Music Gone?

[Written August 2014]

I used to feel it all around me
And on the inside
That thing that made me feel alive
Now it’s gone
Where did it go?
When did it leave me?

Did you lose it too?
I haven’t heard a song from you
Since that last day we heard the music

It was like angels hovering above us
And everything around us
Felt like we were coming home
But then I looked around
To find I’m still on the ground
And I’m still on my own
Where has the music gone?

It began to fade away
Long before that day
But I kept a listening ear
And I could still hear
But what did you say?
What did you tell me?

Why did you stop listening
And tell me it was all just in my head?
Now I fear the music’s dead

It was like angels hovering above us
But now they’re not among us
Since you told me those lies
And now I look around
Seems like I’m halfway underground
And I haven’t heard a song
Where has the music gone?

It was the only lifeline
The thing that told me I was fine
But now it’s nowhere to be heard
Now the life inside of me
Isn’t as it used to be
Not since that last day
How am I supposed to live this way?

Bottom Line

[Written Winter 2009]

The sun sets at 4PM
There’s an aching in my chest
A feeling I can’t suppress
Could it again be loneliness?
The songs he used to sing
In my mind they do still ring
While the minutes pass to hours
The clock turns hours into days
And yet the feeling stays
And he still hasn’t changed his ways

Untitled

[Written 6/12/08]

And all I want to know is why I can’t reach up to the top
And all I want to know is why I can’t just have what I’ve got
And all I’m saying is there’s just got to be more than this
And all you’re giving it’s just not enough and you know this so

Why do you keep tearing it down?
You know we’ll come right back up and yet we’re here again
Does it really have to be this hard?
You want me and I want you so let’s just get it back

When you look at me I see it in your eyes that you care
And when you touch me I can feel it too I know that it’s there
But when you speak to me sometimes you act just like it’s nothing
And when I think of you like that I want to run far away

So why do you keep tearing it down?
You know we’ll come right back up and yet we’re here again
Does it really have to be this hard?
You want me and I want you so let’s just get it back

Floating Away

[Written 7/22/15]

Summer daydreaming
I’m floating away
In a raft on a river
Beneath the canopy

Summer daydreaming
My feet walk a path
No sounds but the birds
No scents but the earth

Summer daydreaming
I’m riding the waves
Light as a feather
As I paddle along

Summer daydreaming
I’m taking a drive
With the wind in my hair
The smell of salt in the air

Summer daydreaming
I’m floating away
I’m floating away
I’m floating away

I’m floating away with you