June 20, 2011

Vibrating Through, or Happy Birthday To Me

It’s late. I should be getting to sleep. A tender guitar plucks and strums in my earphones and a voice quivers, building up to a song, a shout, a plea. In fifty-five minutes, the summer solstice will skip across the face of our oh so fragile planet, and I will be one summer older.

My lovely wife is entwined in the sheets, eyes shut and soft of breath. I feel the voice vibrating through my fingers tip as these words flow fast. Yeah, I know quickly is the correct word, but who am I to teach the voice semantics? My mind lately has been shackled with notions of honesty and authenticity again. They say we only present our likeable selves on the interwebs, as we sculpt identities from lumps of shared humanity, but what do I know about what you will like? Who you want me to be?

I can only shed light on the secrets and gifts I have found in the dark corners after thirty-seven summer’s eves. I can only tell tales from the one journey I have chosen to undertake. I wasted so many years lost taking wrong turns and following deadends, so much time lost beneath the rubble of poorly constructed walls keeping me in. Keeping you out. Now that I appear to have found a well-lit and agreeable path, free from the shadows of useless ramifications, what choice do I have but to sing?

image by RyanBSchultz
Earlier tonight, I sat by a shivering pool, beneath the consoling darkness of an oblivious sky letting out a string of thoughts as I watched my kite disappear into the endless celestial ceiling.  Too much? Too flowerily? Like a New Orleans chief, I feel the need to be pretty tonight. To strut my stuff and dance in defiance of all that is pale and cynical. The sun will shine tomorrow and damn it if I will not sing her praises.

They argue that these thoughts, these dreams, these songs, these words, these stories, these posts, these tweets, these status updates are nothing more than superficial expressions of vanity. That we are insignificant.  However, irrelevant my song, I have no choice but to sing. This path I walk is too simple not to share. Too full of love and peace to ignore. The contrast to what I have known too stark.

They complain when we complain. They complain when we praise. They complain. But I will no longer listen to them, only to the voice that sings me to sleep. The one who is stirring your heart as you read. Lives are only immaterial if we hold them inside.

Perhaps I would be more germane in the pages of a book. Maybe on a stage or the grooves of a record? Staring back at myself from a flickering television dressed in fictitious dramas or grotesque commercials. For better or for worse, I have chosen this space to etch my narrative. Coming to you pixel by pixel- images, text and words. But you know all this. There is nothing new in what I say. You have heard the voice your whole life as well.

People paint success by different shades. Some color it by the car they drive or the house they occupy. Some measure the brush strokes by the numbers in bank accounts. Tomorrow is my birthday. I am in Thailand. Outside my room is a small bean shaped pool in which I will spend the day with three of the most amazing people in the world. I will feel the sun on my body and help my littlest feel comfortable in the water. I will hold her tight, until she is ready to let go and float on her own. I will most likely argue with my wife, as we get lost in the frustration and hard work of raising a family. But we will laugh about it later that night as we enjoy the comfort of sleeping children.

When I was twenty-three I joked that I saw no point in living past thirty seven. But tonight, knocking at the gates of this ripe old age, I see the folly and insolence of youth. Too bad we are so often blinded by rage and defiance early in life, when we can be so much better served basking in the comfort and peace of wisdom.

What do I choose to share? Why do I feel the need to share any of it? I just write down what I hear in my heart in hopes that next time you hear it too, you will not feel so all alone. Happy Birthday to me.

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