Tag Archives: childhood

Practicing Failure

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My Subconscious is Getting Me Down

One son describes his younger brother:  “He’s stopped playing music because he’s afraid to fail.”

I knew that. He never finishes a song. His frustrated band mate complains that his  amazing music never leaves the room.  It’s never good enough, never done and he won’t perform it. He trashes what seems irrelevant after a tussle and seems bored by the process. He drives me nuts: probably because he’s just like me.

I tell him that most art could be perceived as failure but we have to finish it out and we have to go on to the next thing.  I tell him it doesn’t matter if it’s crap. Everyone produces crap. It takes a lot of crap making to make something you like. Who am I kidding? It’s like my yoga dharma. It’s mostly directed at me.

Some of us perceived before grade school that life was overwhelming and that we might not measure up to the job. Our consciousness is a blank page as we enter the world. What do we know of the world’s rules or ourselves in that?  We first take in messages from a hypnotic state.  We unwittingly form a program.  Much of it is not by design but there it remains.

 Some of it has to be erased.

 I’m working on erasing mine. It’s not enough to write crap and toss it in the trash. There’s no courage in that. The failure comes from putting my name on it; to look judgment in the eye and say, who gives a shit.

 I’ve got to help my kid get past this and I don’t know quite how to do that myself. But I’m going to be an example, even if he doesn’t care or doesn’t see it.  I’m going to start writing again. I’m going to paint again too. I’m going to practice being alright with failure.

It’s liable to be a real dung heap.

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Total Recall

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In the worst of winter you recall a child;

 

A simple creature who did not rush

But digested the life; one thought with one action.

Not parsing time or pausing to weigh the worth of a task

But wholly absorbed as only one who has nothing to answer to can be absorbed.

 

Who asked for what was wanted without assuming the answer

Who ate only when hungry and drank from thirst not habit

In the times before moral outrage

The short window of innocence

When you constructed your dreams from nightmares;

Manifested desires in fantasy that went unchecked.

 

Before you were restless,

And burn -out became numbness.

 

Remembering what you turn to others to teach you now            

Before you ran to textbooks and spiritual guides

Before you quoted others to make your point

And distractions replaced your memory with advice that crowded out the cells that knew before.

 

When stacking stones was holier than parent’s handclapping at your grammar school play

No one told you consciousness creates matter

But you expected that.

In the days before the whirring machine blocked the flow of your thoughts;

Your fancy created the world

Just hand from pen to paper.

 

You were fertile

But not yet fertilized.

 

Child hood ripostes were correct but you were not so clever yet.

Protected by the castle walls, you could not yet comprehend the battlefield

While chanting songs to ease the smart of other’s glances:

I Know You Are But What Am I

I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks back on you.

It takes one to know one.

You had the words but no comprehension to back them up.

The knowledge you had, had no words to describe.

You made no choices but time chose for you. It would not stop. 

Inner guides met outer guides and plotted to keep you and those did collide at the first reckoning

But age made you sober;

For better where collusion carved awareness

 And worse when you forgot yourself.

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