Inner Peace

[Post #544 | The Morning Muse #13]

There’s no outer peace on this side of death.
I’ma use these next 5 days of vacay to try to achieve a modicum of inner peace.

That was my opening post on Facebook today as today is the first day of a rather impromptu and haphazardly planned/not-quite-planned pre-back-to-school/off-to-college family vacation of sorts. It’s complicated.

But nevertheless, while any sense of external peace in this life is nigh-impossible prior to dying, I hope to maybe find a bit of the internal stuff during our little getaway. Of course I don’t kid myself into think it’s very likely, especially given how The Plans aren’t going quite as planned, yet I concede it may be infinitesimally possible that eschewing many mundane daily responsibilities for a brief spell will somehow reward a body and — more importantly —  a mind the reprieve it so desperately needs.

Here’s a picture I shot in Niagara Falls, NY from our 2016 vacay.

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Retreat

~ The Morning Muse #12 ~

Note: This was supposed to be posted a few months ago (mid-October to be exact), but for some unknown reason I let it sit longer than intended. And come to think of it, yesterday’s Resolution: Regain and Retain Attention is a great companion piece to this one, actually.


As life and the world become increasingly disappointing, an increasingly cynical fella who once was brimming with optimism for the future now wants to retreat and self-indulge even more than he normally does into books and writing and music — Read|Write|Rock. The key word is retreat, though, not escape. It’s more like a strategic mental regrouping of oneself amid the unending battle in the war that is, arguably, the social (and political) decline. As I immerse myself in books, my goal is to attain a better perspective on human psychology, the ever-perplexing human condition and the ways of the world. As I engage in writing, the goal is to not only to unleash the never-ending flow of ideas and stories that percolate regularly, and not only to discover my place in the world, but also to impose in some small way my view of what is and what could be — or even should be — via the inner psyche or my characters’ voices, as well as the subtext within. And finally, as I jam to the music I love, explore and discover new music, and write original music alone or with my band, I imbue my soul and overall human consciousness with a transformative magic that does wonders for the ongoing interior monologue with myself. That’s the general idea, at least.

-BLR

* I shot the featured photo in October 2017 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.


Words and Concepts for the Year

The Morning Muse #11 ~

HEALTHIER

39af999789653d574af1992d879db104Some things have to change for a better state of living for me, personally, as well as for my family. That can best be achieved starting with nutrition and diet. I need a low-carb diet (and really, lowered calories as well). It’s very hard to stay on this course when the people you live with–these enablers!–refuse to either get with the program or stick with it when we embrace it.  I may have to simply lone-wolf it myself. That’s so much easier said than done, of course. Hey, I’ve jogged a couple times in the last few weeks. And I didn’t die.

CONSOLIDATE

That concept has been on my mind quite a bit this past week. Given how scattered I tend to be mentally/creatively/productively, I think that has to be a condition of great concern and goal. Also:

EFFICIENCY

Yeah, that’s really important and goes along well with consolidation. You could probably add PRODUCTIVITY to that, but that’s a given (can’t achieve efficiency if you’re not even productive). And naturally, those two should lead to:

FOCUS

focus-on-your-dreamsYeah, that’s a biggie and the hardest to obtain, which is probably why it’s next to last on this list. Creatively I have the attention span of a squirrel on speed on a grassy knoll full of acorns. My mind never stops generating new ideas, usually ideas that have little to do with the current project on which I’m focused at a given moment. It’s madness.

Also, I tend to be a bit of a seasonal kind of person. I’m usually most creative in Spring and Autumn, so perhaps as Summer wanes into the Fall (and the kids have gone back to school and the days become cold and dark) I’ll be at point where I’ll be able to focus more on whatever the Spring and Summer months have undoubtedly inspired in me creatively.

ACHIEVEMENT

This relies on and becomes the sum total of the four preceding it. Inherent in this word is the concept of SUCCESS. If I can manage to be successful with any or all of the above, then achievement is the ribbon, the trophy, the medal.

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HEALTHIER | CONSOLIDATE | EFFICIENCY | FOCUS | ACHIEVEMENT

Just five words. Just five goals. Sounds easy enough.

The Morning Muse 10 | All the Things

If you’re into astrology, casually or seriously (I’m somewhere in the middle, heh), then you may have observed that those born under the Libra sun sign are often described as indecisive, likely due to a constant imbalance/balancing of their scales, so to speak. It’s true, we do tend to take our time to think things through thoroughly (how’s that for alliteration?), and being inherent intellectuals we are loathe to progress toward a conclusion without weighing as many of the facts as possible. But for me it’s not so much about indecision as it is about being a victim of the macro view of things. I see the forest among a single tree. And I view each and every tree in that forest as unique and worthy of inclusion.

So to be clear, my dilemma in what I want to do as a creative human being endowed with certain talents is not one of indecision. It’s simply that I want to DO ALL THE THINGS! At the same time, even, which is impossible.

The rub is, I am merely human—one human. And I have responsibilities and a family, friends, etc. I can’t be the untethered, wayward, free spirit obsessed with producing all the art that I want and be the multifaceted artist that I want to be. I can’t focus on writing and playing music when I should be focused on writing stories, for instance. So if there’s one great inner turmoil that keeps me up late at night, it’s acknowledging this fact and coping with it.

Of course, the other part of being human is being stubborn and trying to be what you cannot actually be, regardless. Trying to do the impossible. Crazy stuff like developing a dozen projects in a short period of time.

The Morning Muse 9 | Lost the Plot

I think I lost the plot a while back. Problem is it seems no one bothered to inform me that the movie was over, that the end credits had already rolled and the screen gone forever black.

– Written the morning of April 6, 2016

The Morning Muse 8 | Madness

I’m convinced that the madness of the artist is a real and true thing, indeed.  It’s probably nothing short of an affliction, a psychosis kind of disease that’s devoid of a cure.  The symptoms of said disease are not overtly noticeable.  They are internal, within the mind.  An artist suffering from it can smile perfectly and laugh while in the company of others, but inside tells another story.  What are the symptoms?  I’ll tell you mine.  One moment I can be high as a kite on how I feel about my writing or music making.  The next moment I’m awash with negative thoughts of being a fraud with no right to call myself a writer or musician.

The psychosis and plight of the writer is: he most wants to write during times when he is most not able to do so, say like while at work or on the road traveling from destination to destination.

It’s madness. And it’s a madness.

The Morning Muse 7 | Love/Hate/Love

For the sake of consistency, if nothing else, I need to fall in and stay in love with my own words and simply endure the fact that, with little-to-no outside validation, I’ll largely be the only one loving those words most of time. Otherwise this on again/off again, touch n’ go, stop n’ go, either/or aspect of my authorship is going to continue and I will not progress. Period. End of story. Pun very pointedly intended.