Friday, 4 November 2016

Why I am Single: An Exposé

I have debated for a long time as to whether I should take a shot at writing about this particular subject or whether I should afford it to linger and stew for even longer within me.  This is probably, in all my life, the thing that I have been struggling with the most and, honestly, it is the reason why my blog has the title that it has.  Bear with me and pray for strength for me as I try to lay bare my biggest struggle for all the world to see.  I hope that what I write actually makes it on to the internet and doesn’t lay dormant in a file deep within my computer, never to see the light of day.  A final disclaimer before we jump right into my greatest apprehension: I write not this for pity, for attention or for someone to necessarily save me.  I write this to empathise with others who struggle (you are not alone) and to humanize myself.  One of my greatest objections of social media is that it seems to spur us on to only ever show the very best of ourselves to the quiet, onlooking world.  We tell others of our achievements, our strengths, our beauty, our intellect, our happy disposition, but never do we tell the world of that which bothers us, our insecurities, our fears and the pains we carry in our ostensibly smiling dispositions.  I hope through this writing to give myself less reason to fear and more reason to have the courage to do what I really want to do – to get to know the hearts of the hundreds of faces that pass me by every day whether it be to abate my singleness or whether it be for His Kingdom.
As some of you may know, I have been single all my life.  It’s a topic stirs up a mixed reaction within me.  I feel proud that I have avoided relationships that could have hurt me and removed my naivety about people.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and see the good in others, probably because no one has ever really hurt me to an unforgiving degree.  Had I been grievously hurt, God knows how negative I may have been about people.  On the other hand though, I feel a deep sense of longing that I have never truly taken the chance of getting to know someone beyond “How are you?” “What is your favourite band?” and “Who are you voting for?”.  That said, I am drawn to deep conversation and really getting to know people’s stories, but I must admit that this has been primarily limited to males.  I cannot say that I have ever had a female best friend; friends, yes, but best friend, no.  I think this to be quite tragic, actually.  How can I go about this life and experience it in its entirety if I never get to know half of the human race?  Believe me, women are fascinating to me.  I spend a disproportionate of my time considering their nature and trying to learn about them through vicarious means.  As much as I have come to know about the fairer sex through alternative mediums, the second-hand knowledge just doesn’t seem to hit the spot.  I desire for more.  I desire to touch, to feel, to see, to smell these majestic creatures, to use way too dramatic and poetic terms.  But I fear!  I am crippled by inaction!  I state that I desire to know more, but my actions show avoidance rather than action or even curiosity.  I berate myself so, so often for that.  My head can be a violent place sometimes – primarily towards myself.  I can be quite the perfectionist and thus I oftentimes have little mercy for myself.  I can be quite understanding and gracious towards others, but for myself, I set cripplingly high standards which make me feel like a failure so often.  I can probably rattle off a long list of all the failures I have had (relative to my own standards), when, in reality, I have much to be proud of.
One of the most crippling, heart-wrenching things that I hear about myself (and this happens every now and then) is if someone says they want to get to talk to me, but are too intimidated.  This actually happened only minutes before I started writing this post.  I was told by an admirable fellow at the lunch table that some of his female friends want to talk to me, but are too intimidated to me.  My first reaction to this is to sink into a hell-hole of grief and misery because I know (and I told the admirable fellow this) that there may never be communication between myself and his friends because I am probably more scared of them than they are of me.  Just writing that sentence is like feeling a fiery dart sear through my soul, but it is quite true – at least if one considers my actions.  I think a well-adjusted guy would have reacted to the statement by the admirable fellow with something to this accord, “So, do you think you could introduce me?” As much as it is my desire to ask the selfsame question, my immediate reaction is one of lamentation rather than action.  Maybe the key for me is to simply stop these negative cognitive distortions and rather let instinct take over.  The instinct knows what to do, but the heart is heavy.
In general though, I can say that I have a hard time in giving compliments to people.  The main reason for this is because authenticity is important to me.  I do not want to compliment something about someone unless I am sure that I really do like that aspect of them.  Considering this in a male-female interaction paradigm, I think many conversations are started by men towards women because they might compliment the woman on something.  I most certainly see many beautiful women in my meanderings in this life, but I don’t know if I have ever told an acquaintance or a stranger that I thought she was beautiful.  My rationalization for this is because I don’t want my very first interaction with someone to indicate that what I value about her is her appearance.  I mean, yes, the beauty is what drew me to look at you and is most likely what spurs the desire within me to bridge the gap between us, but I try so very hard to treat people in a Deontological way.  I mean by this that I treat everyone I come across not as a means to an end, but an end.  In other words, even if nothing else comes from our brief or lengthy moment of contact I had you for a moment and that is all that should matter.  If something extra such as a hug, a friendship, a relationship comes forth from it, then that is absolutely a bonus.  I will admit that the deontological approach to treating people is extremely hard.  I so often want more than just the person from an interaction.  I am someone that really likes to be touched.  I might not always show this (probably because of being untouched for so long), but almost every time I am touched by a female I am in a dream-like state for a little while.  How can I keep to this philosophy then if I so desire a something as simple as touch?  God knows how this virgin would react to an embrace, a kiss or sex!  I would like to know too, believe me.  All shall be revealed in its good and intended time.
To bring this point to a close, it’s hard not to compliment someone on appearance if that is by far and away the most salient characteristic about that person.  The end result is that I say nothing due to this moral-neurotic holding pattern (when I could have remarked something about her shoes, for example) and the person walks on, out of my life forever and I did not have the guts to communicate a simple gesture which would have afforded that moment of eye contact to proceed onwards to who knows how long. 
The tragedy and triumph about being a man in the society and times we live in is that your limit is your courage do and to act (relationally speaking).  This is great when you have the courage and take appropriate action, but absolutely tragic when you don’t.  No matter how successful, attractive, distinguished, good, rich, etc. you become, if you don’t have the courage to face rejection and talk to a woman, you almost certainly will never have one in your life.  God did say that it is not good for man to be alone and I know that life is better together than alone; therefore I need and want more female influence in my life.  It will never happen unless I develop the courage to change that. 
I know within my heart of hearts that I have much life, joy, growth and wisdom to bring to any person that comes across my way on this good earth, but even more so to a woman with whom I get to share intimacy with.  A tragic life is one without intimacy.  In spite of all the academic and sporting strivings I have made, my life lacks intimacy and therefore I am incomplete.  Corinthians 13:1-3 sums it up so, so well: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Just reading this passage is a tear-jerker for me.  I do understand that it doesn’t necessarily specifically refers to romantic love, but I think we can all agree that romantic love is certainly a part of love.  I am missing that aspect of love and I will never be complete therewithout regardless of moving mountains, fathoming all mysteries and giving everything to the poor – therewithout I lack.
You have my utmost gratitude for making it this far.  I will probably end with this paragraph.  I think I still have so much more to say on this topic – I wrote much, but didn’t say much at all though my period of lamentation has passed and my ideas and feelings have past as well. However, this is the first step in me being more honest of what I lack.  I have never publicly admitted to what I admitted to in this post, so, regardless of what this day further brings, I can have some pride as to the small step taken by the post, but the giant leap that is hopefully in progress. 

I feel somewhat embarrassed that I have made such a big deal out of something that is actually easily fixable.  There are people with significantly worse struggles than my own who cope with it just fine.  However, this struggle is mine and it affects me and therefore I do have the right to feel duly affected by it.
We march

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Not too Dysfunctional: Gratitude and a Sense of Purpose

I am taking Abnormal Psychology this semester.  The class has stimulated a great deal of enlightenment within me, as my eyes have been further opened to suffering in this world – suffering of others and suffering of myself.  I would like to believe that the first step in defeating an enemy is to get to know them.  I have gotten to know very many enemies this semester!  In the most recent chapter personality disorders were discussed.  Schizoid personality disorder (extreme social isolation, but no desire to change it) and Avoidant personality disorder (extreme social isolation and a strong desire to change this, but inability to do so) stood out to me.  We were required to make a forum post (Prompt was: Which disorder was most surprising to you?) about the contents of the chapter and this was my response:

“The Schizoid and Avoidant personality disorders were personality disorders that were not necessarily surprising to me, but types which, whilst reading, awakened a sense of sorrowful remembrance, but also gratitude and a sense of purpose within me.

I saw a psychologist (thanks to gentle nudging therewards by my family) back in 2013 with the hopes of getting some clarity on various issues I had in my life mostly centring around social anxiety.  After a few sessions with the therapist, she stated that I had a mild form of social anxiety.  I certainly had the desire to approach, talk and enjoy other people (unlike the schizoid type), but had a good deal of fear and numerous terrible, non-self-serving cognitions (like the avoidant personality type) that held me back from living my life more fully and completely.  Since the diagnosis I have taken up the sword and the shield to defeat the demons of my past and I have fought this fight publicly - I have created a blog that mostly deals with social anxiety and fears that I struggle with.  I certainly have not completely vanquished the enemy, but I have come a long way in living a life more closely to what I am truly capable of living. 

Reading about the avoidant personality type was especially heart-wrenching because I identify with so many of the characteristics that outline diagnosis for avoidant personality.  I actually wondered why I was not diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder, however, the text discussed how many researchers consider avoidant personality disorder to be a more severe form of social anxiety rather than a diagnostic category in and of itself.  This discussion made me realize that even though I certainly had social anxiety, my condition was a far cry from avoidant personality disorder.  I had it good, so to speak.  I had an acutely strong appreciation for my parents and family for letting me grow up in the wonderful way that I did so that I developed sufficient resilience to not devolve into a more severe form of anxiety.  I wondered how different I could have been had I grown up in a broken, dysfunctional home in a war-torn, impoverished area where hope is something that you only see in the movies - not a daily reality. 

I can only thank God that I was lucky enough to grow up in a loving family who probably (in no way do I think is this an overstatement) saved me.  I can only hope that one day I may help improve dysfunctional families/communities and contribute to overcoming fear that resides in others, much like Marsha Linehan did to take up the fight with borderline personality disorder which she was afflicted by for so many years.  I think we all deserve the opportunity to have a shot at self-actualisation which is the very top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and I feel that I have a responsibility to get others to the point of seeing that promised land.  What someone does with their shot at self-actualization is, however, up to them.”


Friday, 14 October 2016


For those that wonder about USA’s Homecoming Elections, I can tell you that I have lost.  Plain and simple – defeated.

As is the tendency of a soul such as my own, there is a tumultuous conundrum of feelings, thoughts and fears mulling through my soul at this time.  So, do take what I am to say with a good dash of salt. 


There are a number of negative things that are bubbling at the surface of my heart to tell you of this campaign – oh, many!  Things that happened that hurt me dearly, things that happened that I wish never did, but I will not use this public platform to announce my short-sighted emotionality to all.  However, I will remain honest and I will express my largest concern with the campaign.  I think that the majority was not right.  There, I said it.  Now that I have that off my chest I will say that I spite of my personal opinion that the majority was wrong, I will say that I am a believer in the system of democracy.  I respect it – dearly.  Therefore, the result I shall not contest – instead, it has my blessing and I wish the winners all the very best for a joyous period for them.  I am truly happy for the chance they will have to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  May they go in peace and success in all their ways.


Here I am though, another blot added to the once white flag.  The common observer might contest that this formerly white flag of my life could never have been the clean white that I suppose it to have been.  It is dastardly, devilishly, tattered, torn, broken, dirty, vile, unloved, devoid of light.  From such no good can proceed.

On the surface, they are not incorrect.  My life story has been, shall we say, inundated with grandiose, lofty goals that in virtually every circumstance failed to come to fruition.  This campaign loss will hardly make a dent on the flag.  Indeed, it joins but a sea of loss and sorrow.  I seem to always set myself goals that are just beyond the Pale, just beyond the cusp of reality, just above the stars, just out of reach. 

The shadow of melancholy that naturally descends upon the loser after his/her discomfiture is a common guest to my house.  I suppose one could say I know failure on a first name basis.  Yet, I will have you know that, in spite of our familiarity, failure is not a pleasant fellow at all.  Failure barges into one’s house at the worst of times.  Failure is inappropriate in its control of tongue and heart to be sore and hurt.  Failure knocks out the columns of the sturdy structure of self-esteem – only to reveal how fragile it actually was.  Failure swoops one down to lowest ring of hell for to make one think that such is normal and real and one’s destiny.  Failure blots out the light of hope that has learned to rekindle itself after his every visitation. 

I despise failure.  I wish for it to depart from me for it feels terrible.


But the shadow, the cloud it passes.  The dark and lamentable obstruction of hope has never caused the night to drag on endlessly.  The morning, the sun will come again one day.  The tragedy of it all is that we know not when the light will break through the dense and hefty clouds.  It may be in the morning or may we may not live to see that day. 

Yet, my heart is fixed – trusting in the Lord, my God.  I trust this pervasive, yet hardly easily reachable Being with more than just the now.  His concept of time and perspective I can never match.  If only we could, maybe today’s horrors would be more intelligible.  But we look upon a murky, veiled glass of the future – one which no man can decipher.  Yet, the Lord calls us upon the waters.  He calls us into the deep.  He calls us beyond our boundaries – beyond the Pale.  For in his foresight He knows where this bosom, the wandering, meandering minstrel must lay his head to rest one day.  For there where the head doth find his rest – there the world shall be made to know a soul, a story that has never been told before.  A story that, in spite of its own shortcomings and dark endings, will establish light, hope for all of mankind.  One day that day will come and today’s suffering will enlighten the murky glass which no man can see to open our eyes more completely, more fully to the magnificent vision that the Creator of all has for us. 

Today is not that day though.  This hour is an hour of wolves, of shattered shields, of breaking of fellowships, of loss, of sorrow and of tragedy.  This shadow will pass, but it must run its full course.  For if it does not run its intended course, no lesson, no growth may be procured from its lamentable presence.  So, I say to failure, to this shadow, stay but for a season.  Teach me your lessons.  Prune me so that tomorrow when you are gone I may serve as a beacon for my fellow beings who are lost as well that we may know that we are not as lost as we may think we are.  Let your darkness actually be the spark to set the kindling of our souls alight so that this all-consuming fire may be ensample for the world of overcoming, of rebounding, of rising again.  Let us not descend into the un-innocent, elegant, unmagnificent lives of the lost.  Bring us to that promised land that flows with milk and honey.  Teach us the skills needed to get there, so that today’s loss may one day be seen for what it truly is – a stepping stone to things greater than anything we can imagine.


I thank the thousands of people who voted for me. I thank the opposition who run a hell of a challenging campaign that gave me growth like nothing else.  I thank the numerous that helped my campaign.  I thank my God for bringing me to this challenge and I trust in Him to bring me to that promised land.  The shadow will teach me more than the cup of victory ever can.

And so to this shadow, I will say, teach me, grow me, build me, strengthen me and enlighten me as only you can.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

On Understanding Trauma

A post I made today for an online abnormal psychology class regarding trauma:

Undoubtedly the reason for traumatic research being such a controversial topic is because it involves the extremes of the human experience. The lowest dales of life are encapsulated by the word trauma. It has the power to bring kings to their knees, cause empires to fall and, on a more personal level, for love to flee and to be replaced by hate and fear. Whenever one deals with such extremes in the human experience it is no easy task to find calm, reasonable, well-thought out thoughts about the events that have occurred. Traumatized humans seem to regress to more base levels of functioning, if you will, to more reptilian brain cognitions. Not that reptilian brain functions are bad, in fact, without them life, as we know it, would be impossible. However, the reptilian brain has the tendency to not view life for all that it is. This brain has a manner of viewing life in a boxed, narrow and restricted manner. Therefore we need calmness, patience and inquiry into all facets of experience to behold the picture in its exorbitant, contradicting beauty more fully. In the heat of trauma or in its destructive wake, such multifaceted inquiry can be one of the hardest things imaginable to do as it may very well involve facing up to realities which are not easy to accept, but which need to be entertained in due time for true healing and growth to occur - which is what, in the end, we all seek and which is the best we can hope for after the whole world seemed to have collapsed one fell swoop.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Rise With the Welterweights

Today is a really special day in the 53 year long story of my university.  Our football team managed to pull of the biggest upsets in all of college football in the last 5 years according to an ESPN FPI poll. 
The moment our victory was secured, I, along with my track teammates who were following the game, were in raptures.  It was one of the best experiences I have had at my almost four years at the University of South Alabama. 

The massive upstaging had me thinking (as most things seem to) about a choice that seems to come upon most of us at one point or another in our time here on Earth.  The choice between joining something that is already renowned, already successful and already making big changes in the world or going there where there is not a beaten path, there where there is no long road yet taken.
This is a decision I, like many of you all, faced back in 2012 when I was in high school deciding which university I want to be my future Alma Mater.  There were prestigious, world-famous names on my shortlist of possible universities.  Yet, among the best and brightest, there was a name I had never heard before I was contacted by the selfsame name - South Alabama.  Chances are that if you don't have any vested interest in the university you may never have heard about it. 
Those who know my story know that I picked South through directive of God.  However, after being there for almost 4 years, I would make the same choice were it to redo it.

There is something to said for falling in line with the elite, but I would like to think there is something even more to be said for joining the welterweights.  You see, a big institution does not need you as it has an everlong list of distinguished persons and there is always someone willing to sign on.  A smaller institution that is one the rise has more imperative to want you.  I would say that there is more glory in helping something rise to greatness than merely keeping something in the same state it has always been.
Seeing South Alabama grow from 2013 to 2016 has been an incredible experience thusfar.  To think, we have people still involved with the university who were here at its creation.  Imagine that, you saw something go from a thought in your head or a few words on a scrap of paper to an institution that enriches the lives of tens of thousands.  That, I think, is a sense of accomplishment that is not easily matched.

I, for one, believe that the best place to achieve this feeling of accomplishment is among the less renowned.  Take something and make it great.  Climb the long ladder of success.  Be a pioneer.  You may not see the fruits of your labour now, or even in your lifetime, but the thousands and the millions that will follow, most certainly will relish the fruit of your labour. 

Do it for them.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Eluding Love's Long Ladder

It has a manner of casting us to and fro in the winds
A feeling of hope from newborn novelty.
The excitement of the uncertainty of the pursuit.
Blinded to being cognizant of its rapacious ephemeral nature
The pursuit presses onwards
Only towards the doom of gloom which so often befalls the pursuers

The lovelorn are left looking for more unrequited love
The coast of companionship is so far beyond common sight
Time is poured into diverse facets of life
Yet the frothing pot stews in the background of all life
Love’s long ladder eludes the desirous again
To be left only more disillusioned and void of hope

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Within the Cathedral of the Lowly Aged

Mid the din of youth’s cascading exuberance
Strong and beautiful and smooth to the right and left
Bright faces shining in directions many
The rhythm of the drum shakes the floor, the soul
The menagerie of bodies uplifts the spirit

Within the lively cathedral of the lowly aged
Where hope abounds outwardly and esteem collapses inward
Your story is no different
A wallflower of sorts – eyes upon the lively figures, the ears attend to every syllable
The skin to excitement and the heart racing to and fro’

An outward appearance of connection and enjoyment
Covering the inner turmoil of being within yet without
The stark impetus of time rolling relentlessly onwards
To make fear home in the heart
To sense your mortality waning

Feet rooted to the spot
The brief sensational nirvana rears an ugly visage
Regret of not pushing the bounds
Hurt of not reaching across the chasm
Inner death for lack of bodily fluidity

You slip away
The wallflower, now the flower on the river
Flowing away from the life
Streaming to the space of desolate solitude
For the contemplations and thoughts to consume the last light within


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Oom Johan se Gebed

Ons kom hier te stane voor U, Here, met die wete dat U almagtig, sowerein en unstuitbaar is
U neem weg en U gee - na gelang van U eie willkeur
Niks vind plaas daarsonder nie.


Vandag het ons lening van oom Johan verstryk by U
Sy tyd het gekom om weer terug te keer na die werklike land van melk en heuning
Al die vrae wat ons nog ooit gehad het, al die wonders wat ons gewonder het,
Al die gedagtes wat ons gedink het – hy weet dit nou
Hy ken dit nou
Nes U alomteenwoordig is, is hy ook nou
Hy het ons vermaak met sy sieninge en uitsprake oor die lewe vanuit beperkde kennis
Ons kan onsself net indink al die wonderlike sieninge wat hy nou het oor die heelal met onbeperkde kennis!
Ek hoop rerig U neem dit vir ons op video sodat ons ook eendag daarin kan verheug
Ek weet U sal – U is daai tipe God


Die wonderlike ding van die dood is dat dit inderwerklikheid vrede bring vir die afgestorwene
Kan ‘n mens dan iets beters vra as om alwetend, alomteenwoordig en woonagtig in ‘n stad van goud te wees?
Nee wat, ek dink hy geniet nou sy gate uit in die Paradys!
Die tragedie van die dood is egter by ons sterflike skepsels steeds hier op aarde.
Jitte Here, dis darem ‘n hartseer besigheid!
Ons kan hom nie meer sien nie!
Nie meer na sy stories luister nie!
Nie meer die plaas aan hom ruik nie!
Nie meer sy hande in ons hande voel nie!
Geen wonder ons sit met soveel pyn nie.
As daar ooit ‘n tyd in hul lewens was, is dit nou om by hierdie sterflikes te wees.
Kinders Johannes en Anneke, broers Gert en Pieter, suster Gesina, vriende, neefs, niggies, vriende, geliefdes, kollegas, student – Here, dié mense roep uit na U vir antwoorde, genade en verlossing
Ek bid dat U by hulle mag wees.
Laat die angel van die dood hulle nie te veel laat ly nie.


Inteendeel, Here, laat ons wat nog op Aarde gespaar is, liefs verder gaan as begrafnis hou, treur en tob
Here, laat ons sy nalatenskap op Aarde voortvat en ter ere van hom leef
Laat sy lewe, wat nou slegs te vinde is ons harte, onsselwe aanspoor om die wereld ‘n beter plek te maak.
Laat ons nie sy nalatenskap onaangeraak laat nie – laat dit tot die uithoeke van die wereld gaan om sy tydjie hier op Aarde ietwat te verleng; al is dit slegs deur aksie


Ons kom hier te stane voor U, Here, met die wete dat U almagtig, sowerein en unstuitbaar is
U neem weg en U gee - na gelang van U eie willkeur
Niks vind plaas daarsonder nie.

In U Almagtige Naam Alleen bid ons dit

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Another Year

Rollerbags, moms and dads, boxes, pickup trucks, caps and gowns, the trees in forest green, the nights abrupt, the days everlong, the heat a-searing
The end must be near
Another year
Another year committed to history
Friends a-fleeting
Off to summer's promise of sun, sea and for some, work

The streets that were once lined with cars and filled with the hubbub of daily life
Now lay empty in the wake of the exodus
Chairs filled with smiling, crying, angry and sleepy youths
Now are open for the winds to erode
The days are at peace, the nights void of the usual music and campus drama
The familiar distant faces that passed by on the way
Here to be found, they are not

The empty buildings echo between each other
To tell the tales of another year
The extravagant, the conventional, the sinner, the saint
All have left
Only the brave remain to endure the sticky and empty days

Another annum
They came with hope and nerves
They left with wisdom and fatigue
Some to never return
And here I am
Seeing all that has been lost

Monday, 29 February 2016

The Nelipot

Today is a special day.  Leap day!  All are required to jump over a person or object at least once today to celebrate the wonder of human legs and the ability to jump.  Yes, you must be thankful for jumping because elephants, for example, cannot jump and they certainly are majestic and wonderful creatures, just like you, I assume.

I thought it fitting to touch another special breed of people on this fine day - nelipots.  It is a neologism, that is correct.  It refers to people who go about life without shoes.  If you have seen me around the fair estate of South Alabama, you might have spotted me therewithout on the chill of a freezing morning or the melt of summer's noon. It is said that when I am seen with shoes you can make a wish.  It is also about as rare a sight as Halley's comet.

The question oftentimes arises as to why I do not cover my feet with some protection or, as my one teammate aptly described them, foot prisons (shoes) and foot jails (sandals).  Here is a reply that I quote from a message I once sent:

"Yes, I do have shoes. I actually had a pair of shoes in backpack and I had the sandals with me as well. I am blessed beyond measure because I have numerous pairs of shoes in my room. I just choose not to wear them frequently. One of the main reasons is that I want to feel more connected with Earth and because I want to feel more. By having shoes and lots of clothes on, it is easy to be numbed from the beauty of experience that is around us all day. It's almost like I can dip my toes into understanding how our distant forefathers must have felt when life was much harder than it is now. Luckily for me, I can open up my backpack, put shoes on and be relieved of pain, but they could not, so really they are far greater than I am. Another reason why I do it so publicly is because I want people to think twice about why they do what they do, think what they think and wear what they wear. If I can walk around barefoot in January are shoes really that necessary? We are programmed by society to think that we need certain things, when really we are brainwashed to desire a bunch of stuff that are not really important. My hope is not per se that other people would go barefoot, but more along the line that people should be less materialistic. I also understand that it is not something I will be able to do forever and there are places that I have to wear shoes, so it's not like I am being obnoxious about my desire to not wear shoes."

To reiterate, I think that sensory experiences and emotions are wonderful aspects of life.  We really do overvalue emotion in the West because we constantly enquire about others emotions when really emotions we can easily dissociate ourselves from our emotions and still do great things.  I know that in Eastern cultures emotion is not as big of a deal as it is in the West.  However, to me, emotion makes life more worth it.  Would you really work as hard if you could never feel satisfaction from achieving your goals?  Would you go to concerts, play video games, watch movies, listen to music if you could not experience happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, etc.?  Yes, many of us would still do those things, but they certainly will be far less worth it.  A good, full life, I assert, is one where you get to go through the full range of human emotion at their appropriate times.  This does mean that you can be too happy, just as you can be too sad.  So, really it all comes down to balancing the tensions of opposites of human experiences.  Sometimes we must temporarily unbalance the system, especially if you have massive ambitions, but eventually all must return to equilibrium lest ye die.

I leave y'all/youse guys with the following story I read in "Thirsty, Swimming in the Lake" which is a book about Eastern therapy.
I man had a surgery of his mouth and his mouth will be in pain for the next five days.  His girlfriend, who he has not seen for many months, will come and visit him, but only for the next 5 days and will leave again for many months.  He has to chose, will he take the pain relief medication, but not feel her affection and kisses at all or will he not take pain relief medications and feel pain, but also feel the full extent of her kisses.  
The choice is yours.
As a nelipot, I chose option two.  I try not to relieve myself from every pain that is in this life and rather feel the full spectrum of high, low and middle that life offers us.  I believe that I will feel life more fully even if that means feeling pain more fully.

Not everyone will value emotion and sensory experience as much as I do.  That is understandable, because they can be distracting from actually doing things.  I might be so caught up in feeling that I never do.  The opposite of my problem would be someone who always does, but never feels.

Once again, the middle is best and know that free men and women still walk this earth!
TheLonelyman (who is also TheNelipotman)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Happy Alone?

It was not as though I have not, for I have a multitude
Yet, alone I stand, the many being silent
The present - a similitude
Of days, of nights, of pain, like a struck flint
On old wounds – ablaze
Be all you can be
It is of him, the slogan spoke
The man that stands proud like the forest tree
He makes of his enemies a joke
The knight in tempered armour
The blazing wound cast the present alike to the past
Have you even moved beyond yesterday?
Look, you sit staring at those passed
No more closer are they
Ever distant. Ever beyond. Forever out of reach?
When he strode 
The men, the women, the children were aghast
Such strength!  Such power! Out of him it flowed.
On the hearts of them, his net he cast
The adoration of all, the hope of all
In this intense introversion I am reminded
Merely the presence of my multitude is not enough
Many a valley, many a mind, still lay unchartered
It is not meet for me to pull myself a bluff
Yet, the fear of crossing boundaries, is my master
Fears?  He has, doubtless
Enemies? He has, certainly
Valour he uses to strike fear to the less
His enemies look upon him jealously
For they know, he is their true ruler
If only the boundaries could be easily crossed
The seemingly high mountains easily scaled
But suddenly, to my eyes hers traversed
Will I be he who failed
Or rise to claim her stare, ever longer?

Nay, I go into the smelter
It is not for him to be he who failed
For my armour I shall temper
He opens his mouth, her stare to be hailed

This he is me - all I could ever be