There is No Dark Future! Part 2: A poem & photo series.

A poem continued. An offering of hope. Like so many of you I have been on a spiritual journey the past year and a half. New Wisdom has been given to me. Words of truth our souls are aching to know. Thank you so much for reading these frail words which are spoken through me. May you be uplifted. I love you all!

Lightbringers, grow not you weary! 

Break Powers of Impotence! 

Deny Inequities of Intolerance!

Free your Vibration!

Go to places your Soul Sparks!

Emerald Lake, Colorado w/ Violet.

We are here to ask

the questions

no one else is asking!

There is no Judgment!

There is no Dark Future!

There is only LIGHT

and gradients of its absence!

Emerald Lake, Colorado August 2021.

Revolutionaries,

Ascend

the Cosmic pathways!

Transcend

past the

old Revelations.

Rino Arts District, Denver, Colorado. August 2021.

Your love upends

Egoic Ambitions

Your soul

speaks through 

Religious Cacophonies.

We Burn Walls

built by men and

Systemic Oppression!

Rino Arts District- Denver, Colorado.

Demolishing the Walls

We’ve Built

inside and

surrounding Ourselves!

Rino Arts, Denver, Colorado. August 2021.

Denver, Co- Santa Fe Arts District. August 2021.

In each breaking;

Parallel Promises 

Abound in your

Bright Future!

Mount Adams, Washington. August 2021.

Painter, You are broad strokes. 

You are the hero 

of your own life

You have every right 

to be on this planet.

You are the soul of Earth 

in human form.

Now Crack Your Acrylic Open!

The Future is Female, Violet, & Dara in Denver

Cheetah Power! Rino Arts District. Denver, Colorado.

Lana in an art gallery. August 2021. Denver, CO.

Seeker, come forward

walk out from your solitude!

This has been the year of 

Sirens Singing us 

the Subtle Signs.

Synchronicities are

Silent Directions

Guiding you through to

Your Higher Dimensions!

Me at Mount Adams, Washington. July 2021.

Humming, “Om mani padme hum,

shravanam;

amen” and-then

’round again.

Violet meditating at Rocky Mountain N.P.

There is no Judgment!

There is no Dark Future!

We are all just Stars,

Just Colors breathing.

Just Gradients between 

Momentary Absences 

of Light;

Going back ’round 

and to god Again.

Lana, me, Violet, and Dara. Denver, Colorado.

Shoshone Falls, Idaho; June 2021.

All things are

merging together 

into greater

Perfection!

Humming, “Om mani

padme hum
Kwakwhay,

Tao te

and amen”

The whole world’s

Going back ‘rou

D

Jut

Rino Arts District, Denver, August 2021.

Dara and I at Underground Music Festival Denver, CO. August 2021.

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Me and Emily, Denver, Colorado’s

Dara and I, Underground Music festival. Denver, Colorado.


Mural, Santa Fe Arts District

Thank you for reading!! Have a great day!!!

There is No Dark Future! 1

3 year bloggerversary! “There is No Dark Future!” We are brighter than ever! It’s kismet to be back in Colorado as several writing projects are rapidly spinning into fruition. Here again the journey wraps itself into ever-expanding circles of eccentric concentricity.

You see 4 years ago I heard a calling from my Higher self. Spirit bade me forward to my future. I listened. I followed it. I unexpectedly began writing the first chapter of “Break the Violent Fetters” while journaling in a Rocky Mountain stream.

I learned that the breakdowns were part of the break through. There were incredibly tough lessons and rich zeniths experienced since that time. And now I can say that I am better than I have ever been!

Nymph Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Focus on where your expansion will take you. Never worry about the bends. We are one spirit sparkling in momentary bodies of stars, rivers, & friends.

I offer this poem for all seekers of hope and enlightenment. I can’t wait to share more of this wormhole summer wisdom with you!

East of Tibet, Boulder, Colorado

There is no Dark Future!

The Light has long since outshined!

For I have been made witness

to things we call “divine.”

UFO inside of Lenticular cloud, August 2021

My spirit was briefly spat out

beyond these earthly confines.

Past lives came back

to sing me the signs.

Tarot reading in Rino Arts, Denver, Colorado

“Free your vibration. 

Let your Free-quencies climb.

Ascend the stardust ladders

past your temporary minds. 

You exist beyond

the bounds mortality defines.”

Rocky Mountain National Park, August 2021

Life’s veiled secrets are spillin’

out for all whom wish to find.

Pour the grapes of truth

from the ageless fount of wines.

We are not lone beings

strung on a planetary vine.

And on my soul’s sabbatical

I didn’t expect to find.

“Unconditional love must be radical.”

Beyond things like space and time.

Words are keys to portals

We are the eternal Rhyme.

Dara and I at Rino Arts District Denver

Violet and I at Rocky Mountain National Park!

I am excited to continue sharing of knowledge, unlocking of mysteries and the writing I’ve been working on during this summer! Trust that while on your dark or wayward paths- you are brought one step closer to your brighter futures.

Violet and Dara

Lana at Santa Fe Arts District Denver

Emily at Rino Art District, Denver, Colorado

Lana, Violet, Dara, & me in Denver Art District

Rino Arts District, Denver

Boulder, Colorado

The Delicate Arches

We hiked in a 108 degree Utah sun. The journey itself a sort of tribute to 2 sandstone sentinels of the desert. But what is heat to 65 million years of stratified rock? To Earthen towers whittled into brittled brilliance by erosion, by wind & rain?

Quick Blog Entry! We hiked in a 108 degree Utah sun. The journey itself a sort of tribute to 2 sandstone sentinels of the desert. But what is heat to 65 million years of stratified rock? To Earthen towers whittled into brittled brilliance by erosion, by wind & rain?

You have to be patient with this part of the continent. In silence, in arches, the desert secrets reveal themselves to you.

Arches National Park, Utah

Nature revels in taking various physical forms. Earth bares her soul through expanses of sand and scrub trees.

The significance of duality hidden in her barren places. The moral of rom-coms and confidence- the edifice of true beauty will always remain.

In turn we also bare ourselves before her. Why else would we come if not to offer a salute, an homage, to honor two sienna colored outcroppings?

Do we see ourselves, our collective future, mirrored in these lone survivors of an evaporated sea?

I am coming to know the desert as a subtle teacher. She left us Earthen statues as reminders of our temporal existence. The stubborn ingenuity of land which is shaped by elements, tools on a planetary workbench.

We are also clay upon the potter’s wheel. We are being guided to new revelations of understanding of how humans fit into the convoluted Cosmos.

Check out the hieroglyphs!

Earth isn’t dying, but the ecological effects on the planet are a result of humankind’s selfish and disconnected behaviors.

Were we to raise our collective vibrations we would change our behaviors on a global scale. The Earth would no longer need to force homeostasis upon us. Once we bring ourselves into submission the natural order will return as well.

Dust be dust but we are towers rising from ochre ashes. Monuments hedging their bets; living on edges of the human spirit. Steadfast warriors guarding the vast sand-baked sinews of our souls.

This is just one interpretation extrapolated from a Universe, a planet, a human race arching out in constant fluxes of creation.

We exist beyond gutters and starlight. And I’m aching to know it all.

Beyond Thunderdome 2

Get out of your thunderdome! You get to create the rules and tools to get you to the next part of your life. Beyond the ideas we’ve been programmed to believe. Past our personal and societal impositions.

Belief in your future before it has happened is the most powerful instrument in your toolbox of creation. When you continue to walk in the direction of what you want and what you are being called to the way presents itself to you. You are always walking on your path.

I’m coming to learn the detours just means you are in the process of creating what you really want, and hopefully finding the fun of it all along your way forward.

So I began to settle into the beauty of the desert. Letting go of the fears of possible outcomes I cannot control. Realizing my brief fear of camping in the desert was also symptomatic of unconscious fears of my upcoming future.

Much of our anxiety comes from previous trauma or unprocessed past events. Once you are able to pinpoint the source of uncertainty you can be guided to a solution.

I am leaving my career soon. Moving from Portland at the end of June. Taking a break before moving to San Francisco. Again the next steps of my journey unclear. Ready for this record of unsure futures to be taken off of repeat.

I reminded myself that are many subtle signs from the Universe I am going in the right direction even if I can’t perceive it all right now. The unsure are new steps to pathways I haven’t crossed yet.

This is true for all of us. The more we learn how to communicate with the Universe and are open to guidance- it will be revealed to you. Our finite understanding says more about us than it does of Universal limitations.

I sat present in a Utah desert canyon. Watching with the land as sunlight fades. Being present & mindful wherever you are guides you to finding beauty in places you would not have dared to go.

I did some grounding work. Deep breaths and opening of the root chakra. Opening of the mind and heart. I was reminded we are part of this planet and we each have a right to here. The anxiety began to fade as I watched the sunset slip beneath the horizon.

Out here you see the Earth for who she is without a facade. Rugged, unyielding, resilient. Life goes to incredible extremes to exist. Without the assurance of trees, water, and trappings of civilization you also see yourself for who you really are in that moment.

The desert teaches anyone who takes time to be present with her. You find love that transcends the physical and material world. A love that one must take time to observe, to appreciate, desire and allow.

The more purposeful you become in your expansion- you can attain most anything you desire or put time into creating. For I found that there were trees, and scrub bushes, and small animals- rabbits, lizards, even deer living out here.

If the smallest of creatures can find a way to survive- how much more prepared for survival we humans must be? There is much brilliance in this world of which we are also a reflection.

The challenges you face may be larger than a desert or more long term and discouraging. Systemic injustice is so prevalent and larger than anyone of us alone. How can we achieve our goals and societal transformation with so much outward oppression?

There is no simple solution or answer to our ceaseless quandaries. But we must know that we are always part of the Earth even if it seems she has forgotten us.

When we feel this way it just means we need to take a breath, let go of the fears, use the tools we have to get us to the next moment, remember our true power, rinse, and repeat as necessary.

When you surrender into the acceptance of your present reality- that’s when true freedom comes. Releasing the resistant thoughts and feelings about your own life and about others will free you in ways you didn’t even know were holding you back.

The journey to our freedoms have all been individually tarried and carried often alone. Those of you who are on difficult journeys remember your light. Be encouraged that life exist everywhere.

The edifice of true beauty will always remain even after the surface is washed away. It is in the crucible, the mortar pestle, you find who you really are. Isn’t that a great place to be?

Once I let go- camping in the desert ended up being my favorite part of this roadtrip from Portland to Texas. A reminder that your whole life is out there waiting to be lived and great possible futures ready to expand into reality.

Fast Slow Disco

To leave everything and start over is part of the excited human collective dream to succeed and evolve. Coming from Texas the Pacific Northwest is continually unimaginably magical.

A place where borders were created by volcanic mountains and glacier fed river instead of flat gerrymandered land, county lines blurred by bureaucratic inequality. Flashes of false beauty can be eroded in an instant. This Earth is only valued because people sanctioned off pieces and said it was their own. Things which last forever have no appraisal value.

I’ve been fortunate & reckless to see great cities & monuments around this amazing world. Now all I want is to feel at home with good people inside the green heart of Nature. It’s the closest thing to god, to a Oneness, to a peace we all are bound.

Up here Forests stand sentry to staggered waterfalls spread out to the Pacific Ocean- the last true great unknown voyage. Portland is the closest thing to my personal heaven. anchored to a treasure of pedestrian friendly volcanic land filled with liberal values and artisinal beers & cheese. And it ain’t perfect- like everything there are drawbacks and sunny day sacrifices.

If only I could transport my friends and family it would be absolute Nirvana. Kurt Cobain biases represented- besmirched but not required.

Palpable fears litter our minds and overcrowd our politics. We won’t be one with ourselves until we reconcile the shadow side, our fears, to accept truth of our greatest virtues & failings.

When does life start becoming your Life once you’ve started over again? After change has been your greatest constant, trauma your most persistent mistress, bibles and bigotry your hated foes. After learning Life promises only impermanence, you kind of get used to living hand in hand with chaos. I’m loosening her grasp from mine & trying to accept love openly without complaint.

Moving alone is an extremely intense event. The loneliness has almost been unbearable at times but at least being alone is safe. Though hurricane Khatena comes out to play I’m not as much life of the party anymore. Experiencing multiple traumas & a bipolar diagnosis prior to uprooting has forever changed me.

It has made me question everything about my life, my past relationships, career choices, and future decisions. We think life is permanent and stable. You pull a few strings and the positive momentum begins to unravel.

Returning from trauma returns you as a ghost to your former life. How long is it going to take to feel normal again? There are glimpses of it. Each week there are days I feel this is totally where I’m supposed to be.

Yet, it would be a lie to say that doubts don’t plague me at times. I wish Suicide still wasn’t a struggle, a temptation, a way to soften the resistance, the difficulty of getting out of bed some mornings, or putting my life back together once more. I’m trying to not let that be the ace in my back pocket.

Through the healing process You begin to breathe. You accept the fact that some things in your life will never change. You cannot take back what happened especially things that never should have occurred and heartbreaks never meant to be inflicted.

Still your life doesn’t feel real in some ways. The one who came before you feels like a foreigner. You feel like the other shoe going to drop. You become hesitant to trust others even at times to trust life even though you know that it’s always worked out in the past and it’s cyclical.

I’ve gotten through the hardest parts of this past year by pretending it wasn’t me living through states of disgrace.

I’ve been partially ready to run my whole life. But now I fucking get why foster kids I work with do exactly that.

Because what if this person does love you and this part of your life works out only for it to all go away again? People will always come in and out of our lives. We must get rooted in ourselves.

Which is easier for people who have the means to root themselves- mentally, physically, interpersonally, financially. It seems some people have had perfect lives and don’t understand what it’s like to lose, be awkward, to be dealing w/ secret burdens and shame. It’s not our job to sort out the perceived versions of other people for none of us really even know our own selves fully.

The real version of ourselves we continually in but it seems like some have it figured it out from day one.

All one can do is take it day by day and offer grace instead of self-condemnation and bad self talk.

I don’t know what it’s like to wake up next to same person every day and have children but I’m starting to like myself when I wake up. You are not being selfish by not settling.

Sometimes you go on journeys where there is literally not one other person who could have traveled that path home but yourself and by yourself. Trust me, it won’t be like that forever. Above all the wandering soul can not betray their call to adventure for long. The wild hope of wanderlust always beats beneath our flesh.

All one can do is take it day by day and offer grace instead of self-condemnation and bad self talk.

Sometimes you go on journeys where there is literally not one other person who could have traveled that path home but yourself and by yourself. Trust me, it won’t be like that forever.

When you experience a lot of life-changing things it takes a while for it to settle down, to feel real. It feels like everything is just going to drop again. You kind of get used to living in chaos. When things settle down it’s almost like you become accustomed to difficult situations.

As a social worker I’ve been trained to sit with someone else’s trauma while they’re in it. I know how trauma affects you more so than ever because I’m still wading through my own. In some ways I feel totally free and authentic, yet I have also become a stranger to myself.

Is that part of the change? Is it normal to always feel in flux? Don’t people eventually settle down? Will that ever happen for me one day?

Closing yourself to love is like closing the windows of a room on a vibrant spring day like quelling wind from the mountain side. Stealing life and draining it away until you become hollow; a carbon copy of the human you used to be.

At times I do wonder if this move was worth it all. Yet I would have also betrayed myself for not following the call which changed my life.

Above all the wandering soul can not betray their call to adventure for long. The wild hope of wanderlust always beats beneath our flesh.

So many of our explorers, young mothers, pioneers and queers, activists, refugees, and kids in foster care must have asked the same. How many forded the river in spite of doubts and armed with hope they brought for a better life?.

Life comes back in unlikely conversations on mountain passes, across barroom booths, with people you didn’t know you were praying for; people who didn’t know were seeking you too.

Sometimes you must sway in place waiting for the slow disco to move you or within you.

Starting again for the first travelers was unbelievably difficult. People literally died on the Oregon Trail and they still kept coming. People keep risking fate for a new future. As scary as it is to take the leap it would have killed me not to take it. Either way we all will die Might as well do it on our way to something new.

Avalanche Gardener or The Slow Migration of Change

The slow migration of change sometimes begin within waves which look like endings. Or in this case snow tracks on a northern slope that suddenly descend into hardy dirt paths- overlooked & abhorred for their non-eloquence.

But sometimes the dirt is where you find yourself standing. There’s nothing particularly pretty about soil on its own. Wonder if the first gardener decided to plant flowers and shrubbery because they got tired of seeing a bunch of brown earth and manure everywhere.

Sometimes the dirt and the shit is the only way to intentionally plant blackberries, ferns, a life that will give back and grow.

I got tired of putting up with other people’s collective shit so I left them and left a state that I had never really felt home in. Yet in the barrenness I found piles of my own bullshit and self-serving actions.

One good thing about breaking down in private is that left alone for long enough you start to really see your own toxic behaviors and ways of thinking that led you to act in ways you didn’t think you could. Sometimes you find the reason for your behaviors are linked to a specific abuse or unaddressed mental and emotional health issues. No matter how you got there your issues and setbacks, your faults and your traumas are your responsibility.

You find out who you really are when you finally accept exactly where you’re at. Real change comes when you accept the shit heap garbage person you can be without hating yourself for it. You must love yourself enough to fight for the good parts about your self and life.

It’s even easier still to track the cessation of a habit with apps that count the seconds, weeks, and years since that last sip, smoke, or snack. What about the last beating, the last puff, who measures the distance between god and the last time you stepped in church? The last time you saw your parent, your lover, your ex best friend?

I was the most stable I’d ever been at the onset of last summer- or so it seemed. You can travel the ends of the Earth and still not know wholly who you are until you’re too broken to keep running. Until you finally ask for help. Maybe that’s what this amazing fucked-up year; all these breakdowns and breakthroughs were about.

The heart and mind are each our greatest evolutionary inheritances. Without which we would be relegated to live like our first ancestors in tightly bound clans around caves and bands of forested rivers. But there is a wild peace in the barrenness. You learn who you really are when stripped from luxuries, designer brands, designer boyfriends, and endless cars & credit. I never really employed any of those for my own.

Travel and the search for authentic people, the wild experiences, raw expanses of landscape and personal truths are what set me & my finances constantly forward then back. Hopefully I’m richer for the wear rather than the other way around.

Your people are your modern-day tribe. Instagram stories are postmodern oral histories passing through 24 hours of dedicated finite screen time. We used to spend those days together. Why do our callings and wanderings leave us spread out so far apart from the people we most want to be with?

The college nights raged with best friends in glorious abandon? Those nights out on southern sun scorched patios filled with drunken laughter and chain smoked conversations? We often don’t realize how lucky we were when our best friends, our family, our lives were nearby.

The constant irony is that we’re hardly ever present for our lives as they’re being lived until the friendship, the love affair, until the blissful time is over. We lament because it feels like things will never be right again. So easy to forget when you’re living it that the Earth is supposed to go dormant in winter.

“A soil, exhausted by the long culture of Pagan empires, was to lie fallow for a still longer period.”

The fallow period of the soul lasts not forever. This ending is just a different knot inside beginnings.

Feet stomped through snow lead closer to new lands with every aching step. It felt like I’d never be happy again. I am almost back to my usual self, trimmed up and a bit more quiet around the edges.

Queer and Bloating in Wyoming- “Bipolar’s Coming at you like a dark horse”

Don’t you kind of hate it when people say something happens for a reason? It’s a pretty great rationalization technique for a crisis after the fact. A “god in the gaps” defense to explain that this particular suffering has a purpose and to quell grumblers and complainers mulling around physical deserts or the ones we erect to explain our own undoing.

The Undoing will come one way or another, but how this process comes depends on the right amount of variables clicking into place. Bipolar’s Coming at you like a Dark Horse. (See: Pegasus; Katy Perry)

There were so many clues and inconsistencies within my life that went detected, criticized, shamed but the root cause was never identified. If I drove you crazy at times, how do you think I felt not being able to explain a certain action when I didn’t know either?

I am not excusing behavior or thoughts or patterns of living because of misdiagnosed mental health. It’s not a get out of jail free card. But it is bail money. It’s enough to get me back in the right direction and away from the very litigious self-castigation team working in my own thoughtsicles.

I kept coming back to and searching myself for answers. I had a whole fucking house, thousands of dollars in furniture, paintings, books, clothing in storage. How did I miss paying my storage bill? The payments were on autopay, so how could I have missed it? I literally lost everything because I couldn’t even see past the filter mania had involuntary unleashed upon my own mind and emotions. And I couldn’t forgive myself for it.

My debit card got eaten by an ATM in Colorado 1.5 weeks into my road trip. I used my credit card for all expenses and paid the balance off every day. By the time I got a new debit card, and another check for $10,000- I had already been suicidal and my sister had to come rescue me in Seattle. I just figured it would work itself out and my bank would know to pay them. I didn’t look at my bank account for about two months. I was going to get a book deal and recording contract and or win the lottery and would just buy all new things.

It was months later that I found out my father had also flown to Seattle in secret. My mouth dropped open when my sister told me this on MLK Jr. Day. “He came because he wanted to be close by in case you needed him.” But I didn’t once ask for him. I was completely floored and started sobbing. What a selfish prick I am.

He flew to Seattle and rented a car and followed my sister and I down to Portland, and then to Crater Lake, and finally in San Francisco. My sister had told me, “Josh, dad is willing to come meet you and you guys can finish the trip together.” I thought about it and decided to ask him to come meet me at the Grand Canyon. The symbolism was not lost on me. The great chasm between my father and I would be summited in the desert of Arizona. I told her that this sounded really cool and that I would ask him when I got closer to Arizona.

“Why didn’t y’all tell me he was there?” Jess replied to me in her direct but tender way, “you weren’t ready to see him and we thought it might set you off.” She’s probably right of course, but I don’t think I would have stayed so mad for so long if I had been able to reconcile with my dad at that time.

I wish I would have dropped everything and called my dad and asked him to meet me right then. It was never to be though because mania resurfaced the day after I dropped my sister off in San Francisco.

And it didn’t end until months later when I was in Mexico feeling like the world was collapsing around me. It is my biggest regret I didn’t reach out to my father or to anyone. It’s hard to break past your own blockade of isolationist policy of breaking down in solitude.

I was still paying over $1,400 a month in bills during my travels. Then my car got towed in San Francisco- a $555 fine for parking one foot away from a curb. I went on Instagram live that night and decried the ills of Western greed and the lack based mentality we’ve been conditioned into believing. That fine only proved my point but it was also the last great warning that I needed to reassess my actions before things got even more out of hand. That was the first week of October.

I ticked off nearly every symptom of the mania checklist but was still sure I was just experiencing a break because of ptsd, cessation of medications, and a whole score of other situations I’ve already discussed. I would have resisted and refused a bipolar diagnosis had it just been the mania.

But after my wallet was stolen, and my book didn’t take off as I thought, when my belongings were auctioned off and then my phone was stolen- My spirit was nearly broken. I couldn’t understand how I had said so many harsh and hurtful things and was acting completely out of character. I couldn’t figure out how I let myself down by blowing through my savings.

I was wrenched with hopelessness and suicidal almost every day for two months. Racked with guilt and so confused by my actions. How did I get so out of control? It was the crushing depression that led me to seek out more answers and professional help.

There were three more months of exhilarating highs and 3 of the hardest lessons I’ve ever experienced to occur before any reflection occurred.

If this sounds like a twisted morality tale of unfortunate circumstances- it’s not because I got the wrong fairy godmother. When I realized there was a mental health connection so many of the loose marbles started to find their place again. Having a general answer gave me strength to confront myself.

To be continued….

After the Goldrush/Lost inside the Forest

True to nature I chose the complicated hike that found me lost and turned every which way around. Stuck for hours somewhere in a long wilderness loop in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado keeps calling me back, an unintended disciple. The lessons becoming easier to learn as I let myself be broken to the teaching. It’s like we’re always on the cusp of knowing, like that point in your day drinking a coffee and laughing with your best friend, or on that cerebral scatterfying acid trip when you figured out the universe, or close to climaxing- the constant verge of almost knowing. Then all is ephemeral again. Wisps of genius flowing back into the void. The curse of peering into secret ethers is forgetting all we weren’t supposed to learn.

The Tioga trail is nestled a couple miles westward of the Continental Divide. There was only one other car in the trailhead’s parking lot. It was height of summer and temperate beauty. Tourists and amateur hikers flocked to the best morning trails. Mosquito swarms had followed suit. Being alone in nature is the truest of all holy rituals. A sojourn I wanted to walk through alone, unencumbered, spirited away from fellow hikers or any pair of probing human eyes.

The solo wanderer’s mantle is one I needed to carry that day. One that has followed me since.

This solitude has served me well. How is it in the subtle pursuits of adjacent tasks, we often get exactly what we asked for?

The path started down by a picturesque lake, two distinct mountain peaks rising in the distance past a winding two lane road.

I gathered my belongings, boots double-tied, my heart loosening its notches.

Quickly the hike turned steep. The path was made zigzagged to lessen the sudden intensity of the arduous climb and to sidestep giant trunks felled by beavers, others downed by the National Forestry’s army of rangers.

My breathing found the rhythm of the mountain, and I let my cares go. A week-and-a-half away from the unexpected turmoil my leaving of Texas had created.

A few miles in, I found a clearing overlooking an adjacent mountain. Flowers and green swept across the one hillside. I walked in a little further and sat to breathe in beauty- this wide open serenity I was lone witness to. The tinkling of an unseen stream could be heard cascading seasonal life throughout this ecosystem.

I felt free, calm, inspired. I took my Canon Rebel out and snapped frames of the wild chill-tinged air. Then I put on my camera’s timer, leaping in ecstasy and in a blue dream and mountain haze. I took a photo that would later become the cover to my first book. I meditated and mindfully sat in joy, soaking in a sunlit gratitude, enjoying the call of blue jays and cardinals singing, the bees and butterflies breezing beside my yogic form.

And in the joy, as we often do in states of bliss, I felt the time was now and to move forward.

I sat up and gathered myself, deciding to take a separate path. One led down the mountain I had just traversed, but instead desiring the path suddenly unfamiliar. True to nature I chose the complicated hike that found me lost and turned every which way around. Stuck for hours somewhere in a long wilderness loop in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Colorado keeps calling me back, an unintended disciple. The lessons becoming easier to learn as I let myself be broken by each teaching.

Cell service had not worked for days. The trail map in hand made no sense. Summer rain began falling and the sky grew darker. Two hours of daylight were left. I sought refuge within a clearing and canopy of Pine and grove of Aspen trees.

Aspens are connected by an underground root system. They are able to communicate via this bio-psychic link. “Aspens, god, Steve Jobs- can you please lead me out of here?” It’s funny the ones we cry out to when we need saving.

There may be no atheists in the foxholes, but I’ve come to believe that everything is connected. A pantheist in panic is either delusional or onto something. I’m still out to find that answer.

It’s like we’re always on the cusp of knowing, like that point in your day drinking a coffee and laughing with your best friend, or on that cerebral scatterfying acid trip when you figured out the universe, or close to the vital orgasmic climaxing- the constant verge of almost knowing. Then all flows ephemeral again. Wisps of genius coursing back into the void. The curse of peering into secret ethers is forgetting it all. Truths we weren’t supposed to learn.

The winds picked up and they began swaying together in a primal dance. A pattern choreographed by an ancient unconscious evolution. The years that have brought these trees, this breeze, this wind blown self to now.

The path out of that forest was not straight. The signs had fallen into disrepair and disuse. They were eroded by the sheer artifact of time. A path alone indeed. Perhaps this was part of the path, or at best a brief panacea- a way to come to peace with a journey that seems so unsure and unguided. I got what I wanted. I sat and ate a sandwich I had packed before my hike.

At least I have food and water, an emergency poncho, a hatchet, flashlight, journal, an iPhone, and a joint. My own bewitching self-determined survival guide.

I tell myself “this loss and lostness is temporary. I have learned that from all the times I’ve lost my way before.” Still I wanted to give up. Not so unlike where I feel my life has now brought me to today. Back into America. A book I am proud of but brought me to a near penniless state and no direction nearer to where I want to build a home, yet again.

We must lean into the thoughts and feelings that align, that are contributing to our desires. The greatest predictor of survival in the wilderness is your mindset. If you let yourself get tangled in the mire, in the fear of not surviving your chances of making it out plummet to 50%.

There were lessons in the losing of my way. But I thought I had already been through all that. Maybe finding yourself is never finished. I’m still searching until the day I’m not.

This setting forward, breathing the pristine mountain air, thick with pine. I was breathing in life in pure thin oxygen. Exhilaration pulsing in each expanded artery increasing with each mile in my trek. The sinews of the rooted forest trees were formed steps in an upward direction due to the sheer genius of seeds grown along the natural incline of earth.

So I waited and breathed, and smoked a joint. I looked for signs of flattened straw, quiet openings in the brush.

I retraced the steps and boulders I had climbed until I came to a misshapen sign post pointing in two directions.

One leading me back through the wilderness camping I had already surmised was a dead end to my purposes this evening.

The other pointing downwards- the white painted markings had peeled away offering no specific guidance.

The infernal teasing of being human.

Life offers us half-shapen sign posts when we are searching for a billboard to scream to us the way. But would we even listen?

We, the frequent rebels, to ourselves. Arguing, blaming away our greatest joys. We don’t set out with it all completed for us already. Figuring life out is the most human-being thing humans beings do. And we can only do it by trying.

Within our nature lies a tendency to err. In that same body rises a desire to rectify and put right to wrong. Even on a cellular level all things are breaking down and fixing. We don’t guilt our cells into cells of their own when they fail us.

You have to forgive yourself when you lose the way. Seldom do you fail yourself on purpose.

We live in sullen tyrannies constructed by our societies, but we individually bar our own windows. There will be no freedom until we tire of unloading and reloading the restraints we put upon our backs w/ distorted self-talk.

I gathered my belongings, boots double-tied, my heart loosening its notches. In that moment the sign post was all I needed. I had already trenched the arduous climb in the wrong direction. I just needed to see that there was something up ahead without the faulty guidance of unreliable self-narration.

Hope upon the horizon is enough to light through seas of trees. Shreds still bleed through even After the Goldrush is long over.

Why must I always choose the hardest of these journeys. My stubborn tenacity has mellowed out. I’m seeking the path of clarity, the easiest way to get to where I am going. The complicated adventures, I leave those for another time.

I seek simplicity and grace and the things inside of me that make those around me know that they are loved. To reflect this love to others’ and shine back their brightest light to you.

Bridal Veil Falls- Revisited

Orbits swirl through swans’ long nests
their ivory planets clothed in down.
Tens of talents left ungathered
pearl yolks- the taste of gold.
Revelations ripe abandoned
Miracles unhatched,
and fucking undersold.

Bridal Veil Falls- Revisited

Lost within an alpine forest

hours spent outside of sound.

Dawn breaks the night worm’s seeking

Life propelling ceaseless rounds.

Orbits swirl through swans’ long nests

their ivory planets clothed in down.

Tens of talents left ungathered

pearl yolks- the taste of gold.

Revelations ripe abandoned

Miracles unhatched,

and fucking undersold.

Was this all a fruitless offering?

Letters plucked a century too old?

Nets sliced opened to free a people

who recoil from every verb & noun.

Worms are born already banded

Why then, was my neck so also bound?

What becomes of unwed wearers

Of Hope broken from her shells?

Plumbed the farthest depths,

and I have braved the highest sails.

Who then weaves for free-born spirits,

Brides who never don their veils?

50,000 miles traveled

There is no where left around

30,000 dollars earned

All was spent to every pound.

20,000 worldwide-people met.

No one is bothered to be found.

I saw one red rose reaching through the snow.

Life always finds a way to rise above,

to thrive,

to astound.