It’s not every day you get told you have the heart of a viper.
I considered it.
Then I thought, You know what? She’s right. I am a viper. A Kundalini snake. A being that believes in transformation and energy rising. A healer, even if it hurts. That distinction, between medicine and poison, how subtle it is, how potent.
We had gone out that night, me and my 25 year-old self. Went to a party at the Funkhaus.
It makes me smile to see that me and my 25 year-old self both like to do laundry. We also like burning things. Do the dishes every few days. Consistency is comforting sometimes. But you gotta clean that energy, if you choose to expose yourself. Make your tea and drink it, before the party, at the party, the morning after. Keep the system rolling.
Ginger, lemon, lots of honey.
Of course, she really isn’t my younger self. She isn’t MY anything. She is her own person. Which is, I suppose, what got us here to begin with. That feeling of proprietary right. MY person. That’s MY HERO, not yours.
Truthfully I have many heroes. Some of them I admire, some of them I love. Some of them I’ve never met before. But they inspire me. Make me breathe in deeper and approach life in a new way with every encounter. Artists, poets, people who do things. People who maintain a commitment to life. Good or bad. Til death do us part.
What would it be like to be a 17-year-old named Finn from West Berlin, working the front door, playing his DJ set from 12-2am? This is your Heimat, your skin, this asphalt, these sirens.
Letting the domination dissolve.
Bleed the way.
One day we go calm, when we all go go calm.
Kunst und Lust und Poker.
She was well represented.
Your servant. Your Highness.
The light this morning makes the landscape look like an oil painting. Muted hues of ocre and burnt sienna. A green that is a mixture of all things. New England is an old place, and I am glad to leave.
NYC, 8th Avenue. A city room.
Blood on blood, Mt Vernon, the wedding party.
It is not lost on me that we are flying over Oklahoma City right now, supposedly the most dangerous city in the nation. All things considered. We pass over this place and extend out into the pan handle. It is not lost on me that this whole experience is designed for one to lose oneself, not look out the window, and become absorbed in entertainment on a screen. It makes me restless and anxious. We are not supposed to think about the velocity of this flying vehicle, the gasoline it uses, the countless bags of trash filled with disposable food containers and cutlery and countless short plastic cups. We are not supposed to think.
We are not supposed to be aware of the costs of our movement; in fact, we are meant to find joy in it. Human movement over the earth in unprecedented quantity and ever-deteriorating quality. Perhaps it used to be different, more special. Less. Now it feels like getting onto a crowded bus at rush hour, and I would much rather just walk.
Time creates reflection. Changes us.
There are countless crop circles up here. We just keep on taking from the earth. No consideration of what comes first.
Over New Mexico the mountains begin to rise up out of the earth, absorbing the faint brown squares of cropped earth. Later, we see the Grand Canyon, if you look. Then finally, the expansive desert. We are almost at the coast.
And then we are there, fire on the coast. It shouldn’t be beautiful, but it is, that crazy red sun hanging over the ocean in a marine layer of smoke. Refugio State Park. Our refuge is burning.
For some reason I stop to consider whether I will answer the phone if my estranged brother calls me on my birthday. I am not sure if this is premonition or manifestation or the negation of both by declaration. Either way I wonder. Would I answer the call? Would I decide not to? For some reason the as-of-yet unmade decision feels more true than anything else.
My new bags arrive in LA beaten up beyond my expectations. It seems both evidence of the journey, but also the care (or lack thereof) given to material things, moving like cattle in the worst sense through a zombie world where apathy takes over everything.
In full view of everything that evening, the drought sticker on the bathroom mirror included, I drew myself a bath. Because my mother gave me bath salts. Because I flew across the world and back and survived a mild natural disaster after teleporting cross-country. After a family wedding. Sleeping in the same bed as said mum. Pretending we don’t have fights at midnight about other family members. Waking up in the morning and starting over. Without talking about it. Because maybe it’s not necessary right now. Perhaps there are other things that are more important.
In less than a week I passed through Berlin, Reykjavik, New York, Providence, Boston, Washington DC, and LA, then drove through a fire to get to San Luis Obispo. Taking the temperature of the nation; of a part of the world, that may after all represent the whole.
It is not a question of good or bad, ill or well. It is much more complex than that. Challenging our negative capabilities. How much truth can we hold; or discard?
Namaste y’all. I am the other you.