In Jamaica I’m preparing to find sacred medicine to allow me to access the spirits. Gathering roots and herbs for the journey I find myself trying to negotiate a deal with a local community determined to keep the outside world out of their lands. They realize I’m not a part of the invading colonial forces. They understand that my mission is too important to stop, and that the last thing I want is to lead the invaders to these sacred places. I collect what I need and return to the village to find a couple relatives who have a small place there where the retreat to escape the modern world. There is a little judgmental feeling they have still towards me because fate had robbed them of their child who was so close to me and they still find it unfair that I have danced by death frequently and still walk the earth while their child lost to its icy grab so long ago. Still they allow me to use their home to prepare for another journey knowing that they still have access to their daughter from beyond the veil because of me.
As I am brewing the tea I will need to access the portal between worlds, I gather tools to set out for where we need to access this portal. I find that my things are strewn about the grounds and full of parasitic insects and need to be cleaned. The only thing to destroy the swarm is fire. I make a torch that will bring flames to them but will allow me to safely keep my supplies safe from the flames. The torch created a green flame killing the swarm with the exception of the few that scurry to safely from the flames. I fetch my familiar, a white parrot that is roosted on a branch of a papaya outside the shelter. With the brew in my flask and supplies now in a pack on my back we start towards the tall rocky cliff where I can access the portal. At the base of the cliff I look up to plan the climb before I start climbing.
The climb is far from easy and I find myself getting resistance from the cliff. As if it’s trying to prevent me from my goal. My will though is strong and I climb to the peak of the highest point. I build my stone circle where I will build a fire and my corporeal body will stay while my spirit enters the other plane. My familiar takes his place on the opposite side of the fire as the fire grows and I drink the brew I prepared in the flask. The sun disappears from the sky and the night sky now enveloped the land. The glow of the portal appears from above the flames and I leave my body and pass through to the other side with my familiar taking flight following my spirit through to the other side.
I am now in the other realm. My alternative form is that of a wolf and my familiar is grown into a large bird of prey with orange and red feathers mixed into his white feathers that are now iridescent and casting light all around. The sky is red and yellow and the land has large crystal formations breaking from the ground reaching for the sky. Orbs of light float around like birds or insects would in the natural world. There is a path I find myself stand on with a strange pale blue glow far off in the distance. This is where we need to go. We start down the path on our way to seek the answers we came for knowing that when we return to the natural world we will be faced with the overwhelming battles against the darkness that has been spreading across the world deciding the people between the extremes of their fears. The fight to return balance will be long and full of wasteful death and loss. But this is what Has been tasked of us.
Running with my nose to the ground, trying to catch the scent of the rest of the pack. The scent of blood and gunpowder hits me as I am struck with anger and fear. What I find is the whole pack has been killed. Reckless and mercilessly destroyed by those who felt they were a threat. Unprovoked slaughter has started against our kind. Justified by their sense of superiority and their belief in their god. Foolish as they are to not understand the reality of the situation. There is no god. Not to how they all believe it to be. Gods are created by man. A tool to justify their own fight for power and dominance. Meanwhile the rock and mouse are as much a god as they are. They refuse harmonious life in the natural world and seek to destroy all the wonder around it that doesn’t support their narrative. So now it has started. Their downfall has been set by their own hand. The natural world being destroyed will now refuse to help them anymore.
I stand by the tree in the front yard of the home I stay in my human form. In disbelief and alone. I hear a call. A single raven lands on the wooden fence and calls to me. Standing there naked I throw a robe over my body to cover it from the cold autumn air and extend my hand towards the raven. She flies to my hand and our minds meld into one. I see the destruction wasn’t just of the creatures of nature, but also the other humans who refuse to bend to the will of their god. Fires, gunfire, and senseless beatings fall onto any who refuse them. The fight is coming, and there is no room for passivity. If it’s war they want. It’s war they shall have. But it will not be fought as they think it will. Nature is cunning and has the universal laws that bind it. Many will be lost.
When the sun comes up to chase away the shadows of the night, there’s a change of guard. During the shift change the night watch passes on incidents that need to be documented. Sometimes the events are wild and fantastic, sometimes it’s just Eddie being a dick to the new kid because someone had to answer for why he’s in there.
The night started with Ed and Ruth making complaints that nobody bothers to call. To their surprise and pleasure Terry is managing to be better than they could have dreamt. Of course everyone else is still firmly planted their heads in their asses and can’t see things they need to get things in order. Of course Ed had to make a remark about the switchboard operators weight. He really does it because he cares about the kid, but doesn’t know how to not be an asshole.
During break one of the office staff happened to pass by the guard yard. They were saying how the music was actually really good. Thanked them for sharing it.
The major incident had so many moving parts. There was a wedding that a father knew nothing about. Decorations that were placed with care causing someone with a stick up their ass to complain claiming they were from the town board and what decorations were up were not allowed even though they had permits from the town to do them. The confused father became frustrated as the grooms party became rowdy in protest over the complaining person and the bride started getting upset. Turns out the father of the bride ended up being a shifter, and took out everyone who was causing the problem. This included not only the groom’s party but the groom as well. Reinforcement showed up and the father calmed down returning to man form and he was placed in shackles and detained for everyones safety. The bride was taken to the med facility for evaluation. She had no physical injuries but was emotionally distraught.
The cleaning crew stated it will take some time to get the town back in order. they’re operating with less people due to the exodus. Everyone who can afford to leave since the incident has left them unable to fill the workforce.
Switchboard is getting overloaded and needs to make repairs. They may need to contract out until they can get the circuits to stop overloading. They put in a job request form. It was filed at the end of their shift.
Stuck in a bowl of lemons and moldy cheese. Never thought this is the life I need. Turn over to find the way from tithe stew of apathy and self hatred.
I poor me. I’m all alone. Take pity on me. I made everything miserable and cancer took hold. Left me here with nothing of my own. Since I can’t have my life I will take yours instead. Suck the light from your sky and leave you there to die.
Leather and bones and tones of home, you never will leave here. Left alone in my dusty room knickknacks and crochet perfume and nicotine stains. Saline waterfalls and the alcohol makes you forget. If only for a moment, but that’s all I need.
The poison seeps in deep in your vein. Forgot to feed the cat and take out the trash. Who the fuck knows about that time you tried to leave but it wasn’t so hard to make you stay here with just 5 words. “you’re just like your father”
I’m drinking more than I should, but not sure if it’s enough. I keep losing track of time but I’ve always struggled with time. I spend so much time trying to understand where I’m at, or where I’m at. I don’t know if I’m anchored at shore or lost at sea. No matter the place though, the time is always a blur. Not sure if I’m at the point of death or birth, the story bounces from one storyline to another and the coherence of the book is like it was dropped and all the pages fell loose into the wind. Sometimes it’s a different author, but weather I’m reading the story or writing it always vexes me.
Dreams bleeding into the waking consciousness, I find myself again questioning what I’m doing. I must be sane because I question it all the time. When you stop questioning you lose perspective. Who would have thought that what seemed as simple as: your born, you live, and then die, could cause such a Uber conscious idea of existence and it’s validity. I wake. I sleep. Is there a difference? I start to think that there is no difference other than how we perceive it. Are we awake or dreaming. Am I sane or some Asshole who took too many drugs at some point and fried my last few brain cells trying to make popcorn.
The time for wallowing in self pity passed a long time ago. I feel like an asshole trying to communicate emotions to a computer simulation. Still I sit here trying to create some connection to silicon and plastic. Maybe one day the engineer will see the glitch in the program. Until then I keep trying.
The light hitting the leaves as I look up into the sky shines different. It’s odd to look and visibly see a different light that makes you feel foreign, or alien. Nobody else seems to notice. They’re all too busy talking politics and religion. Meanwhile my head and eyes hurt. My skin burns faster like there’s even less atmosphere to protect us from the sun. It’s like when you try a different lightbulb because the company you used to get bulbs from went out of business and now the replacement is a cheap knock off that doesn’t compare. The food and water is drying up faster and the dust cakes my throat making it difficult to breathe.
There’s nowhere else to go. We have overpopulated so much and billionaires own all the unpopulated land for resources. Truth is, humans have fucked this shit up so bad there’s no hope for the future. Not here. I’m waiting for some alien race to come down and just wipe us out so the planet can do a hard reset. The thing is humans are tenacious. They fight to hold on to anything so nobody else has it. Waiting for Elon musk or Jeff bezos privileged rich asses to head off into space to take over some planet and name it after themselves. Open it to anyone who wants to move there but they have to pay a monthly fee for the privilege to be on their planet.
There’s already movies of this type of dystopia. Elysium was something like this, but instead of a planet found they made a city in the sky. It seems to be a popular idea, so I’m sure like other things that’s happened in our history they will make it happen. I know we don’t have flying cars but we have self driving ones as well as the hoverboard from back to the future so why not some Shangri-La in the sky for the rich elite to go to while the rest suffer. I would like to think that we wouldn’t suffer. Instead I think that the ones left behind would find a way for everyone to prosper.
Getting rid of the rich who rule the world and replacing them with empathetic and moral compass would probably give us the change we need to heal the planet. The ones who oppose are misguided by the propaganda machine that is created by those currently in charge of keeping the masses in line. If you started teaching in schools something more than your version of how to keep the machine going, people might actually start thinking for themselves rather than regurgitating the political and religious bullshit that runs rampant in America. Nobody realizes that religion is and always was a tool to manipulate the masses to bow to power. Dress it up how you like, but it too is propaganda. You can be spiritual and have a sense of higher purpose, but this worlds biggest foe is the ignorance that comes with religious indoctrination. you see so many stories of the religious leaders doing disgusting acts and get away with it as the drape themselves in their stupid religious vomiting of words seeking forgiveness for something they would not remorse about if they weren’t caught.
Imagine a world where people aren’t trying to force you to slavery and justify their atrocities by trying to convince you of a wrathful god who will torture you if you don’t do what these people say. It would be such a different place. Sure there will still be selfish desires but overall we tend to police these matters ourselves. If there was a real education and understanding of empathy this rock would be better off. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still animals at our core. There would be giving into our baser instincts, but raising your children not to fear those who look different and that we are all equal, would go a long way towards growing past that. Again though, we are just animals who need food, shelter, and the primal urge to reproduce like a virus. If we understand our nature and learn how to turn our more destructive behaviours into a more productive outlet, this place might have a chance. However we are a virus or a cancer that spreads through this planet ravaging it like a disease.
At this point I still don’t think we can accomplish any change in time to remedy what has already been destroyed. I could hope and dream about it, but hopes and dreams are as useful as thoughts and prayers to the survivors of tragedy. It does nothing. Much like these words, they say a lot of things but unless they inspire action nothing changes. Like the procrastination of those who don’t want to do the hard work and would rather watch tv and drink and eat things won’t get done if we don’t get off our asses and do them. But of course I’m saying this while I’m sitting on my ass drinking coffee while I’m unable to do anything more physically than walk 20 feet and sit down somewhere else. My mental health would be probably a lot better if my physical health were better. But here I am pontificating on things I wish I did when I could have but now it’s too late. This is typical and like the saying about hindsight, now shits hit the fan and there isn’t enough resources or energy or time to clean up the mess. I hope someone gets it right for a change.
Time waits for no man. Does time exist? Do I exist? Being aware or conscious of anything often leaves me puzzled about what is real? Confused at times if I’m awake or asleep? I feel pain so that’s real, isn’t it? More Often I ask myself these questions often trying to find logical answers. Science and medicine says I’m ok with the exception of behavioral abnormalities and an autoimmune disease. I’m intelligent and articulate, but struggle with interaction and emotional connections. I long for order but can’t seem to get out of what I see as chaos. These things are what make me confused. I’m stuck between two worlds, or two minds. I’m not delusional, but for sure I don’t see things like everyone around me. It’s difficult to process to say the least.
Spirituality confuses me. I don’t see any one thing as a definite answer, but I see the commonality between it all and I don’t understand how so few see this as well. We fight and argue over our beliefs and everyone feels they’re doing the right thing, but not one of them considering how the other feels. Some want everyone to be equal while the same amount of others feel they are better and superior to others. With the way the world is, I am surprised there’s anything left. We are like an all consuming entity of greed and insecurity. Get it before someone else gets you.
Today I’m finding the fact that there is nothing going to “save us all” from ourselves. Most of the younger generations don’t want children. Who can blame them. The rate we’re going there will be nothing left in this world to survive. So those who can’t accept their part in the problem deny truth. They choose to be willfully ignorant. There is absolutely nothing separating us from animals or better yet, a virus. It’s scary to think like this because so many felt this way usually turn out to be famous monsters of history. Take out the ones who are not what makes this our ideal world. Do you blame education or the lack of it? Do you blame politics? Do you blame religion? So often people want to blame everything but themselves. Our nature to piss on things to mark our territory. Even the peace loving nature loving person will fight and destroy those who oppose their way of life. We are all selfish. We just don’t want to believe it.
Now I sit here and I turn on the television and I find proof that there’s no visible barrier between entertainment, fantasy, horror, or real life. The six o’clock news is more like a scripted piece of a dram or horror story. Meanwhile they are manifesting things from our own nightmares. They act surprised like they can’t believe this is true, but when television and other media base so much on reality, those who don’t take time to educate themselves or think critically lose their ability to discern the difference. My own wife loves to watch all her “trash tv” because it makes her feel better about herself, meanwhile this is someone else’s reality. It’s called reality tv. Everyone who turned in basically helped pay some rich asshole to destroy or manipulate someone else’s life. Everyone just sits and watches it like it’s fun.
We created this. We are destroying our own reality every time we turn on the tv. Mo real empathy or understanding of what is happening to the world.
While I sit in bed trying to fall back to sleep, I find my brain still functioning in dream mode. I’m awake but still tapped into the subconscious images. Dried fruit and citrus peels swarmed with flies. A hose left running and splashing on a concrete driveway. Songs like John Lennon “whatever gets you through the night” playing in the background. Mixed flashes of past memories. Past girlfriend and you spending the day together. Laying under a tree while autumn leaves are falling. All of this carrying on like a acid trip being narrated in a gonzo style of Hunter S. Thompson.
I soon realized that I don’t know if it’s me in these waking dreams. I can’t tell not only because I don’t see my face, but I never know what my face looks like. I’m not blind. I’ve looked in the mirror. I just can’t ever seem to recognize myself. While my appearance changed over the years, my eyes are the only thing I was ever able to distinguish. They are the eyes of my father for sure. But while so many recognize my face, I never did. It has no meaning or bearing on how I see myself. I have a complete dysphoria of my physical being. I am a man because I was told I was as a child learning how to speak and identify, but that bore no wait on how I saw myself. I can look in a mirror and I don’t see me or how I feel I should look.
Looking at pictures of myself in my mother’s photo album, I didn’t feel like it was me. Once I took a bunch of them out of the album and wrote the name Michael on the back with the year 1973. I don’t know why, but I felt that the person in the photo was somehow a boy named Michael. As for the date, again it was just something I felt. Now years later I feel like I was kind of sharing my body with another who was lost. I asked my parents if maybe there was a miscarriage or something before I was conceived, but to them I was again being weird and dramatic. Never knowing if it’s something that is real or am I still just struggling with my mental health and dysphoria. While some hear this they think it’s something magical and divine, while the others see it as mental illness. No matter what others see it as to me I am struggling with who I am and understanding anything.
My dreams so often are of animals and either birds, bears, wolves, or a lot of the time something more of a hybrid like werewolves. I’ve never feared them. Instead I understood and felt more connected to those identities. The only thing that brought fear would be what I couldn’t see in the dark. The ominous unknown. Like a dark cave. I’ve never get ne in that cave but I know there’s a giant bear that guards it. I don’t know if it’s their home, or is it their charge to guard it? Is it a treasure or is it something dark and imprisoned there? maybe I will find out but I don’t think it will be before this time is over.
I started to try going for walks recently. It’s difficult with no energy and legs full of clots and arthritis. I rely on a cane to assist the walking. While its good mentally to exercise, my body fights me every step of the way. Yes, I need the exercise for my physical health too, but I could do exercise more suited for my disability at home. It’s just not as stimulating mentally. My plan to get shade in the yard and a pool will help tremendously. However, that all takes money. That leads to my feelings of uselessness and depression that Is followed by anxiety. today’s walk was more difficult because we’re getting into warmer weather. The combination of the heat and sun wreaks havoc on my body with my autoimmune disease. I start feeling sick and tired. followed by body aches and a fever, but I still walk. I know I’m going to be sick for a few days after this, but still, I walk.
I get home and start to drink lots of water and immediately elevate my legs. I pushed it too much, but it was good. knowing full well I am not doing anything for the night, I pack a bowl and go outside to medicate and meditate. while i am relaxing I sit and listen to a friend who is online singing songs. Mikey From the band outside in is telling stories about his life and his music. I no longer am thinking about my problems. Instead, I am going on another journey with the group. The songs are sung differently and with a different purpose. I found myself happy to be lost in the story teller’s web. Simultaneously I feel other stories coming in. I try for my pen and paper, but my hands fail to grip them. I scribble down what I can and again find myself wallowing in self-pity yet again. I no longer feel that I am in the web. but on the ground with a head full of mangled webs and dust. Have I become another image of the aging person? The ones struggling with loss of something that’s too far away still to concern themselves with. Yes, it could be around the corner, but I don’t want to sound like some anecdote. “How can you live life if you’re constantly hiding in fear of it?”
I sit down in the chaise lounge with the sun setting beside me. still trying to write my thoughts. Again, finding metaphors all around me. Can the universe write a louder joke? I’m sure it can, but while I am depressed, I am laughing at the image of me complaining of getting old against the sunset. So let me now tell you that I am going to try to learn how to laugh. I know it sounds like a bizarre statement, but seriously I feel like I forgot. I need to laugh at myself. I need to laugh at the irony. because worrying about the destination ruins the entire journey. I focus on the evening air cooling down. The amazing colors of the Arizona sunset draw a calm smile to my face. The peacocks in the distance bring music again to my ears. They draw the picture together with the dogs conversing with the others in the neighborhood. the busy roads in the distance get muffled out by the mariachi music on someone’s radio down the street. The smell of a barbecue grill cooking meat fills the air and again i feel calm.
As the calm comes over me, I am visited by a couple hummingbirds. They greet me as they pull up for a drink. After a few moments they buzz by my head and pause to look at me showing a sign of appreciation for the food. I feel thankful for that moment. I feel accomplished. The ravens fly over and roost in the tree for a while. The peanuts I have put out for them every day have made them feel at home here. I notice one of them dropped something that falls to the ground heavier than a peanut shell. I walk over to find a shiny washer that looks like it was polished by course sandpaper on one side. This was a gift for the food. I look at them and say thank you. They caw in acknowledgment and then fly off again. Again, I feel grateful and accomplished. The sun sets lower and it’s getting dark.
I will see you tomorrow My friends.
For the past few days I’ve been struggling to sleep and feel grounded. I kept feeling like someone was calling me. Something needed my attention. Then while looking I find a person on a TikTok video. She’s in pain not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. She was sent into hospice care. She was young and obviously scared. The emotional overload was intense. I saw it was an older video so I followed her story. I watched every video she posted after that. It was emotional and I saw in some videos a couple paintings. They were of me. Well my avatar (snowy owl) anyway. They were of snowy owls. One specifically was just like a painting I did over 30 years ago. It was one she painted herself. This made me even more intrigued. She had a need or request for a taste of New Orleans. This as well piqued my interest. I followed every video until the final one. I wept. I sobbed feeling loss deeply. She passed away the same day I felt heavy air around me and was struggling to sleep.
I had already done my crossroads work with Papa Legba so I had spent a lot of energy already. I’ve spent the past couple days preparing and will be doing some extra work while I’m in the crossroads to help this familiar soul that faced fear and death as bravely as anyone could. She accepted that she couldn’t stop the inevitable but she did what a lot of people do when facing such a finality. She mourned the life she was losing while she was still in it. I know that feeling all too well. It’s the trigger of 99% of my panic attacks. This made me realize how much time I continuously waste on inevitability. I should just say it’s my time when it’s my time, but it’s in our nature to fight to survive. To cling on to it but in the end it’s all the same and we lose to the infinite power of the end. Why do we spend so much time worrying about it? Regardless, we always tell ourselves that we will live out our life until we can’t But I’m sure there’s always going to be that ugly little presence of fear that will peak it’s face occasionally. It seems like a waste of time to worry about what you can’t control, so why do we do it? Is it a lack of faith? Is it fear of losing control? Whatever it is, I haven’t figured it out yet. I have theories but until I can definitely pass from physical life to death and back again several times. It’s happened a few times already. A couple overdoses back in the late nineties, and a few internal bleeds that brought me close a couple times. But It’s not something I want to play with regularly. However I go there existentially all the time, but doing it physically is far more dangerous, because there’s most definitely a chance it would be permanent. Maybe it’s not meant to be understood. Maybe it’s just a part of the journey you need to experience. Time will tell.
I never know when I’m completely out of the crossroads, or if I ever really was or will be. However as crazy as I feel, it seems to feel completely normal. As with everything I want to thank Jessica for sharing her story with me. Her experience really made me look at myself. Rest easy.