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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in temet nosce's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, March 25th, 2017
10:22 am
paradise lost.
No one fucking listens to me. If I didn't have other pressing responsibilities (you know, kids), I would take a vow of silence until I had figured out how to get people to listen to me, if that ever happened. I am not a victim of circumstance; I take full responsibility for it, but now it's time to move past that and figure it out.

It is all a charade. People say they want violence to end, but then they vote for violence with every forkfull of flesh they put in their mouths. We are the most vile, unredeemable beasts, and yet somehow we've convinced ourselves that we are none of the sort. Unkemptness is revolting because it reminds us of what we really are: just a bunch of animals. Why attempt to exact change on the world when you are just going to get eaten alive by the hive mind? I forever denounce the hive mind, but perhaps it's time I embrace my inner animal.

From this point forward, I will be off of social media until some major change happens in my life. I will get on only for research purposes for whatever I'm working on at the time, not for "social" purposes. Fuck Fakebook, fuck Youtube, fuck the ignorance, fuck the charade. I'm going to finish my album, one way or another, and we'll go from there.
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
12:00 am
I'm having trouble focusing on getting the lyrics done for "Don't Go Home". I don't know if it's the consistent sleep deficits or lack of exercise or just a writer's hangover from finishing "In Celebrity" (still fucking happy I finally finished that SOB). But I'm anxious about getting to the next step after finishing the lyrics to this album, though I'm really not sure what that step will be, but I'd like to hit some open mics and contact Tom Eure about recording it, although he tends to be more experience with traditional folk, and I foresee some experimental stuff going on on this album, albeit a very modest amount.

I feel like I'm close to finishing the Christmas song I started working on last Nov/Dec. Let's see:

"Ballad of Joseph"

The winter arrived
With you at my side
In the city we'll find a room tonight
Room tonight...

We have what we need
It's just you and me and we'll be at home
Wherever we rest our feet tonight
We'll be all right

Mary, shepherds have come, they're singing:
"Mary, we are the ones who have seen the light;
you are the one that will bring new life"
bring new life....

Mary, don't cry, your baby's arrived
Mary, don't cry, your baby's arrived

You came along
You were singing a song to me, and I swore
You were the link to my soul and mind,
soul and mind -- so sing it

Mary, shepherds have come, they're singing:
"Mary, we are the ones who have seen the light;
you are the one that will bring new life"
It will be tonight....

Mary, don't cry, your baby's arrived
Mary, it's time to open your eyes

(so sing it)
Mary, shepherds have come, they're singing:
"Mary, we are the ones who have seen the light;
you are the one that will bring new life"
bring new life -- let's sing it

Mary, the stars are alive, they're singing:
"Mary, the moon and the sun, they will reunite
you are the one that will bring new life...
bring new life..."

Mary, don't cry, your baby's arrived
Mary, it's time to open your eyes
--

It's funny to me to share that, since I'm not into Jesus worship like so many Christians, and can't stand such worship songs, but at the time I wanted to challenge myself to writing a Christmas song and as it came about I realized I needed to make something I could enjoy, so the song instead becomes glorifying Mary and the sacred feminine and doesn't even mention the name Jesus, and hints at the cults of the time that worshiped Mary (an iteration of the Goddess, like Isis) as well as the astrology-based worship going on back then.

I also have a Christian song I wrote a few years ago (when I first started playing songs with Steve Kerekes in church, I thought it might be fun to challenge myself to write one), and I'm also quite proud of how it turned out, at least musically, and I still appreciate the lyrics for what they are, which is Jesus's crucifixion from the point of view of a disciple taking in context of a historical Jesus (sin all demigod qualities), even though now I do not believe there was a Jesus, but I do imagine that some of the stories of his life may have been inspired by real-life events (I love to think that the turning over of the moneychanger tables in Jerusalem happened; it's my favorite Jesus story!).

"Don't Go Home" I'm still not sure what it's about. I like the opening verse I came up with:

sundays rise
into a sea of anarchists and christs
but i’ll be here to play any game you want

It may be too abstract, although the music itself is abstract, but certainly reflects my current understanding of natural law. We should not worship Jesus as "the" Christ but rather be seeking to attaining a Christ consciousness in ourselves, and once you do (or are on the path to) you understand that the only reasonable government is self-sovereignty, i.e. individual government over oneself and no one else -- thus anarchists and christs are the same, just looked at at different angles. The last line is about keeping your feet on the ground, in the material, playing by the rules of those still in lower consciousness in order to infiltrate and rattle them from their somnambulistic sleep.

Another line I like, which would be the last before the chorus, is:

and through it all we’ll sail from the safety net off course

Take risks through faith -- get out of your comfort zone -- to seek the experience you desire and discover more of yourself.
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
11:07 pm
I'm feeling the need to write in this journal, although at this moment I may have missed the major impetus waves, but let's do it anyway.

Sleep deprived lately. More on my plate now obviously with K & C in the household, and C getting up once almost every night for a bottle, and Grace lately with some cold or stomach flu that her throw up on the floor on two separate nights recently, and then the occasional accident. But mostly I'm in a rut and staying up too late. Kitchen takes a good half hour plus now to clean up, but as soon the kids are down, I want to take a break before I get into it, and that break expands until it's almost 11:00 or so and then I'm just like, fuck it, tonight's blown, not going to kill myself to get this done in a hurry.

I find myself lately watching old Nirvana footage on Youtube. I owe Nirvana pretty much everything (which at this point isn't anything because I haven't shared hardly any of my music, but I hope to change that) when it comes to music, finding a creative outlet there, and discovering it as a catalyst for rising consciousness. I've been curious about the claims that Cobain was murdered, particularly with the conspiracy stuff I've been looking at. It wouldn't surprise me if was considered a terrorist by the US government as MLK Jr. and John Lennon were.... Nah, this is a rabbit hole I don't need to go down right now.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
11:30 pm
Despite my last post or two, I've still been hung up on the lyrics for "In Celebrity", but I'm confident in saying that I've tweaked them for the last time. Every line now holds weight with me.

"Don't Go Home" (previously called "The Call of Satan"), which I am calling that because that is the ending repeated refrain and only set lyrics I have for the song, I'm having trouble getting started. I think like with most songs I have trouble getting lyrics down for right away, I don't really know what the song is ultimately going to be about until it's finished. My conceptions of it are always changing. You have to try ideas and get lyrics on paper, see what you like. And that's it really: your intuition is your ultimate guide, telling you what you like and what you can make better; it's just a matter of throwing words into the filter.

Wish me luck. "In Celebrity" took me approximately a month to finish, and that was just the verses; I already had the pre-chorus and chorus. This song is really just all the verses strung together, then a prechorus riff with some moaning (no actual lyrics there), then the repeated refrain of "don't go home". Hopefully the more consistent I am with working on lyrics, the faster they will come.

I find it kind of interesting; traditionally verse and choruses are woven together, but this song is sort of de-woven and separated, which perhaps is foreshadowed by the "split myself in two" line in "In Celebrity". "Half-Belief" (song #6 on the album, lyrics completed, midpoint of the album and also where the album title gets its name as there is a line in there about burning a hymnal) is also like that.

There was an older song I remembered today looking at some old lyric attempts in my notebook, the oldest song I can ever remember writing that I consider good, and I feel like I should finish that one at some point. I remember performing it during college at the open mic at the local pub in Fredericksburg, and specifically recall the guy who always ran the open mic applauding and cheering after I played it. It was the only time he did that, at least that enthusiastically, and I played there quite a lot. Anyway, I would need to knock out the verses and the choruses (two of each, and each chorus will probably be unique), but I've had the outro lyrics finished for a while:

as my wings fall to the sand
the flies scatter on command
and the maggots feast on the grains.
in the flesh, i place the blame.
Monday, February 27th, 2017
12:09 am
Feeling good after finishing "In Celebrity" (though still in draft mode, even made a tweak today to fourth verse and edited that last entry to do so). I started looking at the next song on the album, which for the longest time I titled "The Call of Satan", but will reexamine that title once the lyrics are done.

While the first and last songs will be sort of autobiographical bookends, the first song somewhat chronicling my year between high school and college when I spent a lot of time in my mom's laundry room, and the last song being something of a post-graduate ode to college, the songs in between have an allegorical story arc somewhat paralleling my own spiritual maturity during that time, with "In Celebrity" being the opening portrait of the protagonist. The next song ends with the repeated chorus of "don't go home"; I see it as an exploration of the urge to break free from the parental home and spread your wings, so to speak, to start your own journey with your intuition as your compass. Which will lead into the next song nicely, which is basically the parental figure's response.
Friday, February 24th, 2017
2:25 pm
I finally have a working draft for "In Celebrity"; I may tweak them over time, but for now I'm going to let them marinate and move on to the next song.

born the forlorn son of man
a child strung out from the womb
and the scorn of a fool

deliver me from my kind
and from the innocence that falls
as a veil on us all

as time rolls on
i feel my life pass me by

you were a friend i admit
that i could not reciprocate
when you gave love, i’d notate

through every room, every house
and every despot i endure
with the cure in my hands

as time rolls on
i feel my life pass me by
spinning words round me
in celebrity in which i now sigh
and now you see me i’ve grown pacified
by own sins
and this world akin

deliver me from my kind
before i split myself in two
to make room for an alibi

as time rolls on
i feel my life pass me by
spinning words round me
in celebrity in which i now sigh
and now you see me i’ve grown pacified
by own sins
and this world akin
Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
1:54 pm
Money itself is just a symbol. It's the belief we put behind that symbol and how we act on that belief that is real.

I believe we should move to a more resource-based economy similar to those suggested by the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project, something more tribal-minded, where all basic necessities are provided free for all and no one need act out of fear, and so everyone would be free to pursue their passions (so long as they do not include violence against others) and their journey toward self discovery.

...

What would I substitute for money? I would substitute good will for my fellow man. We don't need an economy. We overproduce because we feel the need to have a steady flow of money coming in for fear of one day being without it, homeless and starving. We can just be: enjoy each other, enjoy exploring the world, new foods, new experiences, enjoy giving back to the world that gives us so much through our imagination. There's plenty to go around. It's time to let go.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
11:05 pm
I feel like I'm close with this song, just want to go through it again before bed. Drawing inspiration from Psalm 39:

Born the forlorn son of man, a child shaking from the womb
and the scorn of a fool.
Deliver me from my kind and the emptiness that falls
like a fog/rain on us all.

As time rolls on, I feel my life pass me by.

You were a friend, I admit that I did not reciprocate;
while you make love, I notate.

(4th verse needs work)
Through every room, every house, every sprawling neighborhood
I have written myself mute.

...

Remember me as I come before I split myself in two
to make room for an/my/our alibi.
Friday, February 17th, 2017
1:49 am
celebrity struggles.
Since finishing "A Stellar Man" my next task has been to finish lyrics to the song which I've tentatively called "In Celebrity", which I am planning to be song #2 on the album and see as something of a sister song to "A Stellar Man". I came up with the music for the song in fall of '97, and the lyrics for the pre-chorus and chorus manifested themselves then, but I could never work out lyrics for the six verse lines. I feel like this song is the last major hurdle and the rest of the songs will come a little more easily, but I could be wrong. Once I have this song figured out, I will deal with the remaining three songs for the album simultaneously instead of the one-song-at-a-time approach I've been doing.

The song I feel deals with feeling empathy and seeing truth amid a species that acts not ready for it or perhaps subconsciously chooses the comfort of ignorance; struggling with wanting to make a difference, but finding your words falling on deaf ears and realizing that your efforts are not enough and require deeper sacrifice and introspection. Coming to terms with your own ego and realizing you are subject to the same mistakes regardless of how smart you think you are.

(some verses I like)
Born the forlorn son of man, a child shaking from the womb
and the scorn of a fool
Deliver me from my kind and from the shallows of my heart
to impart my last stand
Remember me as I came before I split myself in two
to make room for our alibis

(prechorus/chorus)
as time rolls on
I feel my life pass me by
spinning words 'round me
in celebrity
in which I now sigh
but now you see me I've grown pacified
by my own sins
and this world akin
Monday, February 6th, 2017
11:12 pm
consistency.
I haven't felt compelled to need to journal lately. I may have already mentioned this and gone into more detail. I've been sick the last few days; haven't been exercising, and two nights in a row (Wed & Thurs night I stayed up past midnight; past 1am one night), and the following day my throat felt a little weird. Saturday and Sunday had a headache resulting from head pressure. Today it seems to have localized in my sinuses. I'm hoping it's the allergy I seem to get every February. Last year it only lasted a week, but it usually manifests later in the month. C & K arrived with perhaps the same cold, and I may have picked it up from them, which would suck because it would mean I still need to deal with the annual allergy.

Consistency. If you want to get better at something, to improve your life, you have to work at it a little each day, and this is where I have dropped the ball most of my life. With C & K now, it's going to be hard to find the time to correct this. I feel like the past couple of years I've been doing well at simplifying my life, but all that extra time per day I've accumulated is spent on taking care of C & K. Not that I was managing my extra time wisely beforehand, just searching for new addictions.

I want to get in shape, grow some muscle, and that requires a little exercise a day. I want to finish songs and get a little music "career" going, and that requires a little writing and/or recording each day. It would help me so much if I could quit my job, but I don't see that happening for several years.
Saturday, January 28th, 2017
12:14 am
a stellar man.
I don't think it's very fruitful to be journaling when it's already well past my bedtime, but here goes.

I finished writing a song about a week ago that I have had tabled since 1999 and wasn't able to write verse lyrics to that I was happy with until now. Today I recorded a video performance of it and posted it; I'll copy the back story I posted with that video below here.

In writing the back story I realize that I am still immature in some ways, and I'm not sure if I've really matured, at least completely, since the events my freshman year in college. I've lived a very safe life, which has been to a detriment, I think. I need to finish writing lyrics to the four songs that need completed for the album I've been planning to recorded for ten years are so, tentatively called Hymnal.

I finished reading The Stellar Man today. It's hard to know how seriously to take it, or more specifically how literal to take it. It speaks to me in many ways; I feel like it describes me. And yet sometimes I wonder if everyone is at a higher consciousness already and this life is just a big exercise in order to get me there. Silly to think. The book gives me solace. It talks about only helping those that merit it, that by helping those that do not merit it, you absorb their karma and it hurts you, Jesus being the extreme example. But I'm not in a position to help anyone yet.

Back story to "A Stellar Man", formerly "We'll See The End":

This is a song that originated back in the fall of 1999. It was my first semester in college (now the University of Mary Washington, back then Mary Washington College). My friend Tim had shown me the chord progression that backs the verse, which he says was passed to him by his friend Clay. I specifically remember working out the rest (chorus progression, intro, and outro) of the song while staying overnight at the house of a drummer with whom I was in a band at the time, after everyone had gone to bed. That band only lasted that semester, because I was a self-absorbed asshole and still very immature (hell, I still may be as I haven't been in a band since).

The chorus lyrics manifested themselves as I wrote the music, but I had trouble making sense of them. I'm not 100% certain, but the very first line ("...the worst creation...") may have manifested itself then too, because I've had that for as long as I can remember. I tried off and on to finish the verses over the years but was never happy with what I came up with, so the song was shelved for a very long time.

As part of my current journey toward self-love and self-discovery, I've decided to finish the songs of my past that I've felt deserve a chance to be listened to by others, to give back what I feel music has given to me, that I've left collecting dust on the shelves of my mind -- and ultimately to finish the album I've had planned out for over a decade. (This song was not one I planned to have on the album, but I owed it to Tim and myself to finish it.)

All that said I'm happy to say I've finally written lyrics to this song that I am content with, and can finally put it to bed, as they say. The verses were inspired my recent studies of hermetic philosophy. I see the song as an initiate's plea, and the Goddess's invitation.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
12:09 am
why you won't go vegan.
People are animals. Through their limited set of biologically-determined perception mechanisms and unique experiences, every individual develops an interface for engaging reality specific to them. We can call this their program, or worldview, or operating system. I see the same look in a human as I do other animals, this desperate wanting to understand reality, but there's something in the way. As the individual reaches physical maturity, so the program matures and becomes rigid, making it resistant to change -- the program after all assisted the individual in reaching maturity. But upon maturity the program becomes an appendage and an obstacle for fully understanding reality and accepting new truths.

This is why children are impressionable and adults are not. In order to change the program, the individual must have an experience that causes them to doubt the program's integrity. For many it is a serious illness, their own or a loved one's. Documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings, and recorded speeches such as Gary Yourofsky's can bring about this experience, but the individual must be in a receptive state of mind. The program cannot assimilate new information without an open mind. If the experience is paradigm-shattering enough, the adult individual may temporarily return to an impressionable state.

People who are "intelligent" and have achieved success as defined by society are the most self-assured and thus least likely to have an open mind. True intelligence comes in knowing yourself, just how wrong you are capable of being, as the only way to improve yourself is in being prepared to admit when you are wrong. Are you prepared, or do you have it all figured out?

The real question is, how do we convey an experience to others that injects self-doubt into their program?
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
11:59 pm
manifest.
If I've learned anything in my time here in this body, it is this: We are all alone. Nothing is forever. The connections you make today may be broke or warped before you awake tomorrow. Everything is just perception, and the mental construct we develop from those perceptions. Everyone sees the world in their own way. This is why inner peace is so important, because it is the only real peace you can have. People will try to affect change outside themselves, to bring peace to others, but only because they want to raise the vibration without so that it is not sucking the vibration down within. Seeing peace beyond is the only want to fulfill peace within. As above, so below; as within, so without. If there is conflict without, it does not compute with the peace felt within.

I love you more than you love yourself. I've been doing this for over two years, consistent in my resolve, yet you still deny, still refuse to look into it yourself. I understand why, why most people will shut their minds off to it, I just hoped you were beyond that, understood the nature of truth. I've resigned myself to watch your health slowly decay, your body to slowly fall apart, your never having realized your true form. And I deserve this, by something(s) I did or failed to do. We manifest our own reality, and I take responsibility. This is mine.

I'm watching a 1999 Sunny Day Real Estate concert while I write this. I can never reach such heights, such mastery of music. I like to criticize them, lyrics specifically, but what have I accomplished? I'm just a critic, and critics are just manifestations of jealousy, people who lacked the courage to climb the mountain. Yet I still want to give music a good shot. Been struggling for weeks now to complete lyrics to a song I started back in 1998, fall. It's funny, I specifically remember working on it, the one night I slept over at the drummer's house of the one band I was in for a brief period the fall of my freshman year in college. Tim had shown me the chord progression that would become the verse, and that night before bed I tinkered with it, came up with a chorus, intro and outro D riffs, maybe the chorus lyrics that I've never been able to shake.

So much is in flux right now, it wouldn't surprise me if I woke up tomorrow and it was all taken away. Am I giving up? I don't know where I'm going, what my motivation is. I'm full of false starts these days. Part of me wants to stay up as late as it takes to come up with working lyrics to this song. I get this song done, I can jump on the four songs that still need lyrics for the album I've been wanting to put together for 10+ years. Once I have lyrics to all those songs, I can start playing at open mics, figure out recording. Is this some shit pipedream? Maybe. But I have to give it a shot, a shot it deserves. I owe it to an artform that has given me so much. Without music, I may not have ever learned the nature of truth, learned of the vast universes that exist in each of us. Music is a catalyst to higher consciousness.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
7:34 pm
reminder to myself.
Songwriting is your passion. This is a reminder, because you felt it strongly today. You know what to do, so you just need to get to work and realize your purpose. Finish your lyrics, record and share them online; maybe you'll find people and start a band, and get it right this time. Who knows, but you can just let that journey unfold. Just focus on what you need to do. The rest will follow as it is meant to.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
9:27 pm
I will probably be slowing down on journal entries, and placing more focus on getting shit done. This is not to say that I won't be posting at all are go back to not posting for months at a time, I'm just not going to hold myself up to the standard of journaling every day. I'm feeling that what I can learn about myself by sitting in front of the computer without preconceived thoughts and journaling has exhausted itself, at least for now.

I really want to concentrate on song lyrics. I need to put some songs to bed, and I'm a little scared that could take a whole year. I'm finding the longer I let a song go the harder it is to set lyrics to it. It is best to pound them out right away. I find through songwriting, especially the lyrics, I learn more about myself.
Monday, January 9th, 2017
10:36 pm
Hard to believe I skipped three whole days without journaling. Almost skipped today, too.

I haven't gotten much done the last few days, although I've felt somewhat busy. I would have journaled Saturday night but the church wifi was out, and I only had my phone with me. I wanted to finish unSpun before the book club meeting last night, so I plowed through it. I was at church Saturday night because there was an emergency "Room At The Inn" stay for some homeless men due to the snow and ice and cold weather, and they needed two men to stay the night, so I agreed to help.

Book club meeting was OK, but it was hard to get a word in most of the time, and I just feel like I'm in a different place. All the other guys, so they say, are bracing for the disaster of a Trump presidency whereas I'm kind of looking forward to it, especially to see how he handles Syria and pro-militarism in general. But at this point I'm an anti-capitalist anarchist; it's the only sensible stance to take. The monetary system is a silly game we play with each other, with real consequences. All basic necessities are in abundances and should be available to everyone at no charge. We should not fear technology replacing a human's job; we should applaud it. Current society is so ass-backwards, with it's head up said ass. We are divided and in conflict when we should be striving for global tribal unity.

It's after 10. I feel like if I go to be after 10 I'm guaranteed to sleep in until at least 8. I don't understand. Or maybe not exercising at all for an extended period of time is more taxing on the body than is understood and wears the body out in certain ways because it's not getting certain base mechanisms activated. Or something.

I need:
1. in bed by 10
2. exercise 1 hour, cardio (HIIT at least every other day) & calisthenics
3. 15 min w/ Beth
4. 15-30 min reading
5. 15-30 min journaling
6. whole plant foods

Can I make it happen?

Tomorrow:
- Have Grace type up science project
- Finish taking down Christmas decorations
- Make cookies

It's hard to set a schedule with so much variability.
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
11:08 pm
Well, I got everything done today that I had on my list, and also knocked out the couple of things from yesterday I did not get to. Didn't leave me any time to exercise or read, and I'm barely fitting this journal entry in.

Boone turns 6 tomorrow. I'm going to get my work in as soon as I drop the kids off at school and pick him up for a 12:45 movie (seeing Sing). It's supposed to get real cold this weekend and snow. Besides the movie and pizza for dinner, not much else planned, so I am hoping to get some reading in tomorrow evening. Saturday will be quiet too except that we need to knock out Grace's science project, which should only take a few hours. It will be nice for things to slow down finally. Don't think I've experienced it since early December.

Shit, I need to get cat food tomorrow. I'll have to grab it after work or the movie.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
10:37 pm
Everything went OK today. Ended up spending $150 total at the vet's. The cats had lost some weight, Roxy just a little, but Chaz is down to 6 lbs. It's amazing that he was at 18 lbs. at one point. Don't think food doesn't have a huge impact on health? He didn't start losing weight until I changed their food to a higher quality brand back in 2010. They recommended doing bloodwork since they are older and considering the weight loss might have a thyroid issue. I asked what happens if they found something, and they said that essentially they would be on medication for the rest of their life. Sounds fun. The cats don't need any more trauma in their lives, I've decided. They still act fine and youthful, so why fuck it up? The meds could have side effects and shorten their lives. I do want to try making them some special "treat" food--well Chaz anyway since Roxy doesn't ever seem to want to try anything new--and maybe that will get him a little more weight. Sometimes I think they are just tired of eating the same shit everyday. I would love to get Roxy on a more plant-based diet because I really think her life-long snot issues are food-allergy related.

As for the truck, the check engine light turned out to be misfiring and was cleared up with a tune up. $309. Could have been worse. Funny that I ended up spending more today than I thought but I feel better tonight than last. I guess the certainty of knowing what the cost is brings comfort and allows me to prepare. Just no more shit breaking down for a few months, OK? I got my exercise today in by jogging home and back to the shop. Feeling a little fatigued, physically and mentally, probably from the jogging and short-night's sleep last night.

Tomorrow's going to be busy, grocery shopping, work, and getting everything done for Boone's birthday tomorrow. Somehow I'll need to find time to read the remaining 120 pages of UnSpun before the book club meeting on Sunday. Hopefully we can get Grace's science project done on Saturday so that I can focus on reading Sunday afternoon. I'm too tired to read tonight. I need to get to bed.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
11:04 pm
I'm unhappy. I'm pissed. Didn't journal yesterday and barely getting it in today, at the cost of sleep time. I just don't get it. I don't know what I can do better. I used to think of the lyrics from Velvet Underground's "I'm Beginning To See The Light" that say "Some people work very hard, but still they never get it right" with a bit of a smirk, but now I understand that I'm one of those people.

The A/C-heating unit for the upstairs has been acting funny the past couple of weeks, starting up then stalling after several seconds, then starting back up and stalling again. Finally had someone come out today, he said it was low on freon, which he said was unusual for newer units and to have them come out in the spring before it gets hot to check levels. If it's low then they'll need to do more extensive diagnostics to understand where it's going. Total charge today was $293. Freon for A/C is much more expensive than antifreeze, although he said he use to be much more expensive than it is now.

On top of that, I'm taking the cats in tomorrow for updated vaccinations, which I wouldn't waste my time doing because they're indoor cats and Roxy's running-away days are behind her. Not sure how much that will run but probably in $50-$100 range. And best yet, the check engine light turned on on the truck, so I get to find out what that's going to run. It's so convenient having a truck, but at this point I don't know if it will be worth it after we get a minivan, which is looking to be a certainty over the next month.

I'm beginning to think I'm never going to figure it out. I keep falling back into old routines and ruts. No exercise or reading today, no journaling yesterday. Even as I write this, I know I should not be focusing on the negative, but here I go. Life is hell, and there is no escape. I'm tired of wasting my time at a job that has no purpose, no meaning, for what? Some number of arbitrary units that I can exchange for the necessities of food and shelter and the things we do to escape this reality for a time.

(lyrics draft:
how have i become the worst creation i can own?
a dead intelligence the depths of which i can't be sure
and if i ever see myself as i am, will it show?
but if you have learned my name
we shall be one in the same
but if we should meet again
we'll see the end
an honest man begins his search for what is obvious
to many others, but to him there is no sign, no road
to twist himself down so he spends this sentry time alone)
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
12:10 pm
re: John Lennon's "Imagine"
In response to a friend's post on Facebook who felt the song was asking him to give up religion completely:

This is funny to me because a couple of weeks ago I heard his "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" song, and it resonated with me this year more than any other, so much that I have since been listening to several interviews of his from the 1970s. It's funny to me because "Imagine" is as brutally honest a song about peace on earth, and what it will take to achieve peace on earth, as there is.

True peace is SCARY because it requires a person to take a hard look at himself and realize that he is part of the problem. To many, it makes more sense to kill the messenger of peace than to kill oneself (not physically but in a figurative sense) in order to obtain an internal peace, which would subsequently resonate beyond himself to those he affects. Heaven and hell do not exist as separate, posthumous locations but rather states of mind; heaven on earth is achievable if we want it and are willing to put the hard work in.

"Imagine" suggests shedding ourselves of all the things that divide us from one another and lead to wars: nationalities, possessions (i.e. the notion of personal ownership), and religions. The core teachings from which all religions originate are essentially the same (e.g. the Golden Rule), but as most people are not willing to do the hard work on themselves, they get trapped in the institutionalized doctrine that eventually builds up around and clouds these core teachings, which doctrine is of course unique to each religion and leads people to argue and fight about whose religion is "right". Our focus naturally gravitates to what separates us, not what unifies us. The word "religion" implies division, because everyone believes something unique, but Truth is universal.
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