“It is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.”
— Jorge Luis Borges
To be consumed by my own nature
and to design my own fête
A complicated game
made more complex
by inner fire burning
and the hues therein
Still I play on
making my moves with abandon
I work towards the endgame
while forgetting it exists
A king will be tipped
and the movement waylaid
but who’s hand shall do the tipping?
Still there is grace
while the queen is in play
I study my changing reflection
and it is now my move.
— G A Rosenberg
“Ideals are mortal, so one should prepare oneself for their end: at the same time it probably costs you your neck. For do you not see that it was you who gave meaning, value, and effective force to your ideal? If you have become a sacrifice to the ideal, then the ideal cracks open, plays carnival with you, and goes to Hell on Ash Wednesday. The ideal is also a tool that once can put aside anytime, a torch on dark paths. But whoever runs around with a torch by day is a fool.”
— Carl Jung
I served a harsh master, the freedom to explore eternity without getting caught in the moment. I would move from instant to instant with time and space as my bitch. No idea would hold me long nor anyone’s heart a chain in my hand. I revelled in the understanding that the next adventure was always around the corner and I would embark as soon as the present one soured. The Fates laughed and started putting mousetraps and flypaper hoping to keep me in the moment yet I would fly free. Yet some traps cannot be escaped and soon even I found a life desirable. So my Master was forsaken and I stand here with those I love.
“You are not any of the stories you believed about yourself. What you are is actually the absence of story. That’s why the Buddha said, “There is no self.“”
To live in a story
is to live in a moment
that is not now
for tales imply an ending
a past already wrote
but the present is ever written
gone when word hits page
Once upon a time..
a time not now
in a place
the now may be spoken of some day
when it has become then
but our moment our now
is happening so no tale
in the unfolding..
— G A Rosenberg
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
― Cormac McCarthy
On my shoulder there is a mark
A statue broken against it
It drew blood
as the feelings of jealousy washed over me.
My foot, I cut that as a child
playing games of innocence and laughter
Some scars make you smile.
That line under my lip
I ran into a fence hitchhiking
long roads and many songs brought back
The gash through my heart tho
that came from you
and a hopeless dream of being marked again.
— G A Rosenberg
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Waiting For Alice or Someone Like Her by G A Rosenberg
“Nobody can save you but yourself—and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won, but if anything is worth winning—this is it.”
— Charles Bukowski
We all have unique ideas and perspectives. Some of us hide them even from ourselves and so live half a life always trying to make ourselves into either an amorphous society’s view of what a ‘normal’ person should be or they fixate on one path and try to force themselves into someone else’s mold. In either case they become somewhat akin to a zombie living half a life at most.
There are others who find it impossible to fit in. Their perspective is so unique and their ability to masque some of the more aberrant parts of themselves so limited that they are seen as at best odd and at worst insane. Life can be hellish for those who live in a society that increasingly focuses on hammering down the nail that stands out.
There is a third way tho. It involves holding onto one’s madness and what makes them unique yet learn and follow enough of the mores of the people surrounding them that they can mimic it when they have to. To the person who can do this well, all doors are open. At any given point they can discern how much of their true selves to show and how much of a masque to wear. This discernment can be learned by anyone who is both bold enough to do it and perceptive enough to see the value in it. For those who lack the courage choose the Zombie path while those who lack the motivation or discernment are stuck forever outside looking in.
“Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you, it will only burn what you are not.”
Taking myself through the flame of being
Burn away my fears that I cannot be successful
Burn away my self-doubt
and my judgement of others
burn away my feelings of self-righteousness
and that I know better than others
what is right for them.
Burn away my laziness and distractibility
and reveal the love
reveal the joy
Reveal the being
— G A Rosenberg
What would you like to burn away from what you show to reveal who you are?
“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick
I find that it is getting more and more difficult for me to judge madness in another. Not that I believe that I could or should do so.I have become of so many people who’s beliefs are way off the beaten track from anyone else’s and yet they live totally functional lives. There are so few people who follow what the media and society tells us is conventional thought that I find that the very concept of a sane human being to be as mythological as that of a unicorn, perhaps more so. Yet no matter how mad most people I know may be they have the discernment to not share their mad sparks with the world at large (well with the exception of the artists and writers but then we are given more leeway than most to be eccentric). Perhaps that is the whole reason for social consensus. To give people a baseline for discernment of their public faces.
If only more of us were open to each other’s brand of madness, not to mention our own, social consensus would not be as bizarre as it is…