Monday, February 12, 2018

Know Thyself To Be Love

This will be one of the most personal blogs I've ever written. I'm not writing it to be an exhibitionist, or to receive pity, or to gut myself in front of all the world as a testament to my "strength."
I've weighed the reasons of why I NEED to write this and they are pure. Those reasons being one simple objective:

Maybe, just maybe these words will find someone who is struggling to understand their place in the world and can feel like they aren't alone, aren't a freak, and are loved fully by someone they may not even know... like me. That's right. I love you. Whomever you are reading this, whatever your reasons for reading this, guess what... I love you. I do. I really do.

We are taught from the earliest of age that we should be careful about who we love. We are told to reserve saying "I love you," for only a select few people in our lives. We are scolded, shamed, and reprimanded by small minded people filled with fears that we had nothing to do with, all because we loved someone or something that they couldn't understand.

And that's okay.

We love them too. That's right. We love those small minded fear filled people because we allow what they say to affect us. We allow them to drive the needles into our heart. We allow them to penetrate our flesh with words. We let them have an outlet for their fear to take up arms with us. We do this because we are giants in this world of theirs.

We are huge, one hundred story tall giants with hearts the size of Texas. "What's a couple of knives in the heart to a giant," we say as we pluck them out one by one.

We have this gift they have forgotten they once had. The gift of self-healing, of being made of teflon, and of understanding how they may have come to the determination that our love of life bothers them.

They try different stabbing methods, different blades, different strategies to launch their assault on our giant hearts. We know this. On a very deep unsaid level we know this. If we could only yell at the top of our lungs to the whole world, "Be still! I love you," we think we might be able to shatter their small mirrored prisons of fear.

Yet we know that those three words could destroy more than their prison- faceted with their own reflection. We know that those three words are so powerful that they could crumble to their knees in a death blow of humility and remorse. We do not wish this death on them because we know what it feels like. We carry bags of guilt around our shoulders. We wear it without need of praise, or without a want for the encouraging acceptance of our like-minded tribe.

We are only doing our duty afterall.

I've found that in my most vulnerable states when I've wished to unload those bags of burden, I have met more vulchers than I have pack mules. I've met more wolves than eagles, more scorpions than I have butterflies. I've run through the valley of the shadow of my ego's death and I HAVE feared evil and no rod, nor shepherd's staff has comforted me. Yet I know the verse in its correct form and have faith in it's truth.

I have been lifted on the wings of earthly vices more than on the wings of angels. Yet I know where they fly and know they fly alongside me. When I have been in the middle of the ocean of doubt and said "be still, " the waves have crashed harder and more violently they have stolen my breath. Yet when I breathe, I know I will live for one more gulp of air until the storm subsides... leaving me wrecked with salt burning my eyes. Then the rain comes. Clearing the salt, gentler, leaving me enough room to breathe without gasping.

I have also read the sign, "Beware, Danger Ahead," and crossed without incident. I've studied the rules of law and broken them without repercussion.
How do we navigate such unpredictable terrain in life?
How do we know that the sea will be still, the scorpion won't sting, the valley can be crossed?

We use our love as a compass. We have met all forms of disaster, derelicts, deranged and malformed human personalities or entire systems and yet we press on. We still smile when we see innocence. We lighten our load with laughter. We speak for those who cannot speak. We help those who cannot be helped. Do we do all of this from weakness?

Do we do continue because we have failed? Are we lost because we cannot be found or because we are finding those who have been misplaced? Do we lack intelligence for doing these things? Do we need books, classes, or therapists to tell us that we are broken because we have chosen to love instead of fear?

Do we serve no higher purpose because we have allowed our hearts to be injured by our world that cannot be cured by anything other than our love? Does this make us weak? Does this make us lost? Does this make us disgusting and dysfunctional?

I have known many who wear the skins of snakes and their venomous bites have no antidote other than the eventual immunity to them. Yet I have met more who wear the garment of angels and were nothing more than a toxic parasite underneath their robes of light. And I prefer the snakes over these false helpers bathed in their artificial light- Powered by someone else's, "batteries."

These are the ones who take all that is precious, all that is sacred, all that is revealed in your most transparent moments and syphon off your vital essence to built a weapon designed to pierce your least guarded areas.

You may read the sign "Beware, Danger Ahead," regarding the wolves, spiders, snakes, mudslides, or icy turns and you may take a risk and tread there.

There is no warning sign with the ones draped in artificial light, wearing angel wings and speaking to you with empty understanding and words that tether you to the edge of a cliff.  "You must have faith dear one. Leap from here. You can fly like I can. See my beautiful wings. I got them from this light I carry. See this light? You could have this light too if you would only take a leap of faith in me and leave what you know in the shadows. You think you can help them? You can only help yourself dear one. You will never know how to get this light, these wings, if you carry on loving those who cannot carry themselves. Jump. Jump. Fly!"  

When you hang on the edge of this cliff by their words of smooth satin, you can only doubt the fall, or doubt the climb, you have not seen their wings in flight. You have not seen what their light is made of. You would hope for it to be true, real, and magnificent, yet you have no comparison.

Perhaps you could leap off the cliff by the words they tethered you to, the ideals they have claimed their expertise in knowing? You have said to the wind "be still," you have told the water to "stop raging," and you have gone to places that were forbidden and found diamonds sitting in mud.

Where was the winged light bearer then? Why were her words not found when you sat in darkness holding on to the light within? If her wings can fly, then why would I need to leap from the razors edge just to be saved by the very thing that saved me in the craggy narrow slivers of the deepest of caves?

No. I will climb back up to the edge of this cliff. I will stand and look at this person in her form, with my feet planted firmly on the ground.  I will see where her light was built, where her wings were formed. I will see with the same eyes that guided me through the terrifying places where fear creates monsters and shackles the hands of the ordinary.

When I see, I will see. When I look, I will see. When I listen, I will know. I will understand that there is no light brighter than the one hidden within. There are no wings capable of saving me from this fall other than the ones I have never had to use in vain. I stand on the razors edge. The arrival here on this cliff's edge did not require wings. I have found this place with the shifting steps, the eroded paths, and the light within which picked up many others who were lost, many who knew a better way, and some who had finished their journey too soon.

All that you were given, all that is guaranteed in this life is that you were made by the fabric of all of creation. Love. Do not be afraid of what you are. You are love. We are love. There is nothing more, nothing less, nothing hidden, nothing found, nothing that you need to know more to guide your way than love.

Love is the only tether that binds us all. It is the only truth that cannot be covered by lies. It is only lessened by the fear of expressing it fully. It IS who you are.

When all is in ruin, all has turned to ash, all has been forgotten, grown old and tired, lost its material form, there is only one energy that remains to rebuild and restore.
Love.

So.... if this finds you in these typed words, or in the smile of a stranger, or the laugh of a baby, or the wagging tail of a puppy, or a random act of compassion...it is love that caused these things to be. How can you be broken if you have offered or received even one of these moments created by love?
If you have recognized it in the shadows, seen it in the darkest of hours, then you have seen the wings of angels in flight next to you.

Know thyself. Know thyself to BE thyself and yet one with all of creation which was formed by love.
 -Edgar Cayce

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Having a Comedian Brain- it's All Downhill From Here.

I decided I'd write a funny article this time. After all, my serious rants on truth seeking topics aren't hitting the popular stream of thumbs up that I'd like to see. It scares people.

The Comedian brain scares people. The comedy brain is the same as the truth teller brain. One in the same. I think the reason for this is because the filter of how comedians see the world is the same as the truth teller.

One is washed in a hilarious tragic realism, imagination, and a twisted attention to detail. That's the comedian brain.

The Truth Teller brain is washed in only tragic realism, a bit of imagination, and a straightforward attention to detail.

Every comedian, if they are good, are genius in their awareness. People go to buddhist camps where they don't talk and pay a lot of attention to how they eat their rice, drink their tea, tie their shoes, for the thing that comes at birth to the comedian: Awareness, Mindfulness.

I don't need to go to Plum Village and be taught by Thich Nhat Hanh for a year in order to live in the present moment. The present moment is the most present thing in my mind.

Most comedian brains view other people as being absurd, petty, and completely alien to themselves. There are a few funny people in my life that I know I can call up out of nowhere and discuss ANYTHING that most people would view as controversial or politically incorrect, and there would be uproarious laughter the angrier I became.

When this anger or (let's be honest) Hilarious rage crops up in my day to day life, it horrifies people.

At one of my jobs, which ironically enough is in entertainment, and I was originally hired to be a character for kids on a tv show. That has now branched out into other programs but the tv station is sponsored by a NON-Entertainment organization. So... I have to play by the same rules as people who work there that do real things that took a college degree in order to know how to do. This doesn't  mix well for me. CAN I abide by the rules of engagement, yes, but do I WANT to.... Hell no.
My point...

When I express myself or see the absurdity in something, I get told things like this.... (and this actually is a real example and one that I'd be fired for writing about if anyone actually read this... )

"There are some classes offered that will help you know how to work with other personality types, and they will offer you a test.. it's called a Meyers Briggs test.... "

To which I said, "Yeah, Meyers Briggs test, I know. I took that test years ago to figure out why I feel like a f****ing alien from another planet. I know how to get along with everyone, but you guys don't know how to get along with me."

But actually... I didn't say that because if I did, I'd be carted away in a white van and straight jacket. A comedian would think that was hilarious and it wouldn't affect them. We'd get into a sported debate and it would be over... then we'd go to lunch or laugh about how stupid we are.

No... I replied with, "Yeah, I know. I have taken the test but whatever, I'll go. Sure."

And a little bit of my soul slid off into the bucket of normalcy that is chipping away at my inner light.
Then the character assassination begins in my mind. I start playing out scenarios that are pretty much unhealthy to visualize but they ARE funny.

Regular people love to chip away at the comedian brain. They love you when you are funny, they loathe you when you are serious. But even in your serious moments, you have a levity that should come across. Usually it does. Except when in the presence of really stupid people. Stupid people aren't what most people think of as stupid. "Stupid" to me is someone who hasn't bothered thinking of anything outside of what they've been told is expected for their race, sex, religion, occupation... They took the "description card" out of the box of life and just checked all the boxes that fit the superficial profile and BOOM, they are done.

These people are never fired from their jobs. Ever. They are the foundation of most things terrible or uninteresting. When they are challenged by anything that adds another "check mark" to their box of identity, they go into a full blown fear response.

I don't know where these people are bred, but I am pretty sure they've been "sent back" to earth lives about a thousand times. Their guardian angels are like,
"nope, they still don't get it. Maybe this time? Hey Gabriel, can you send in that Melodee person in their lives around the time they are feeling pretty confident? Yeah, maybe that'll mix it up a bit. Tell Melodee I'm sorry for doing that to her, but she signed up to help out here so.... that's on her. Besides, she'll kind of think it's funny." 

You know what makes me laugh the hardest about really average people? Their defense of things they like as though it's a core element to their body being able to function. If you don't like something they like, or mistakenly say, "I just can't stand that movie..." They look at you as though you said their kid was ugly and has a misshapen head. Meaning... their reaction is as if they made the movie themselves!  You didn't make the movie. Some Jewish guy in the Bronx made that movie, a production crew the size of Rhode Island edited it and the story came from a book written 50 years ago! So even the guy who made the movie didn't really create the movie... you know? Why are you acting like you birthed it from your own normal average nothing loins?

Ugh. These people hate to argue and I have a theory as to why. They have never thought about the possibility that someone could disagree with them about something they've just taken into their life hook, line, and sinker.  The comedian brain loves to be challenged by an argument. 

"Oh you don't like Battlestar Galactica? Why? I'm just curious," says the comedian brain. 
"I just hate space stuff, it's stupid and not real," says normal stupid person brain.

(they aren't normal stupid brain because they don't like Battlestar Galactica by the way... they are stupid and a waste of air because they have no idea why they don't and can't explain it any other way than saying... it's just space things and not real.) 

Then the comedian brain will say, "Did you like the show Friends?" 
They will say, "Omg I love that show." 
Then the comedian will say,  "well that's not real? Do you have 6 friends that you accept altruistically and allow to come into your apartment uninvited and be weird on your couch for a weekend..bring their weird date of the week over and eat up your food, cause chaos in your life, mess up your furniture? You have seen that in your life?" 

"No. Whatever. You know what I mean," says normal stupid brain person. 

"I do know what you mean, but I'm saying that you don't know what you mean," says comedian. 

My biggest peeve is being called, "clever." If someone calls you "clever," it is a slam. Period. What they are really saying is, "You think you are really f**ing smart don't you?"  
Smart? Yes. Yes I do. Smart is not clever. Smart is just being knowledgeable about things, having common sense, and using all your senses to navigate through life. 

Clever implies that you are looking for traps and loopholes to ensnare people so you can APPEAR smart... which isn't smart. I don't want to appear smart, I want to BE smart. If I am rationalizing some ridiculous thing someone says and making them think about how ludicrous their logic is, that's not me being clever. That is me trying to understand and wanting you to "play ball" and hit me with your best explanation of something so that maybe I'll learn something I don't already know. 

In other words... SELL it to me. I want to buy what you are offering, which is you, but you aren't selling it to me. You are making me extremely uninterested in "getting to know you further." Why would I want a friendship with anyone who has no idea why they feel the way they do about things? 

Would you buy a car that you know you'll have for at least 10 years if the salesman can't tell you why it's better than the car sitting next to it?  Then you'll ask, "why is this car 1000 dollars more than the one sitting next to it?" And the salesman will say, "well, it's got a really high maintenance oil filter, computer navigation system is run via satellite, and the engine is extremely sensitive to cold or extreme heat."  Um... why is that a selling point? "well, it's consistent, it gets good gas mileage, and we can offer it to you for 5% APR," says the salesman. 

So you think about it... Okay wise guy, tell me about the other one that is cheaper and it's in the color I like.... and the salesman says, "I don't know really? I just don't like it, and you shouldn't either. This one is better." 

Well... now I don't want a car. Now I'm buying a motorcycle because it has good gas mileage, it's cheaper and I"ll look really f-ing cool.  Sure, I may die in an epic Michael Bay style death on I-35, but at least I won't have to talk to people like you again. 

Does that sound negative? It's not. Its funny. You know what I think Jesus is probably the most pissed off about regarding how his life was remembered? Nobody got his jokes. There's this document that a Roman guard wrote down who was ordered to "keep tabs on this Jesus guy," and in this document which you can find for yourself, it reads like someone's personal investigative diary... 
"The Nazarene they call Jeshua, is seen laughing a lot with the men who follow him. Upon him gazing at me or my consorts, his face turns harsh and severe. I have noted this handsome man laughing in the face of adversity." 

So imagine Jesus cracking up with Peter, John, and the crew and they say, "Jesus, man, that guard is over there writing stuff down about you. Seriously, turn around look... he's watching you...." 

Jesus spins around in mid laugh and then goes straight mad face at the guard... holds it for a few seconds... spins back around and starts laughing again. That is a comedian brain. 

Where does comedy come from if not from a divine birds-eye view of the world? If you can't laugh at the most unlucky set of situations and think of how absurd it is that all those terrible things happen to coincide on the same day, then you are far too attached to your body. Sure you'll be angry or sad at times, that's normal, that's healthy. 
But if you don't have the little voice in your head that says, 

"look at you. You are so flippin' angry over running over a nail. A tiny piece of metal is your arch nemesis?" Then you might(if you have a comedy brain) think about some wild fictitious scenario like Iron Man having to face off in the 4th movie with a 7 story tall rusty nail and it almost defeats him because he didn't get a tetanus vaccine at the urging of Pepper Pots who is all granola-ee about western medicine... then Iron man rethinks his relationship with Pepper and says "maybe I missed the mark with that one," but only after seeing NYC destroyed by a sentient rusty nail. " 

All of this could be a creative coping mechanism that you have in order to get some distance on yourself when you are having a bad day. It eases the tension of the series of unfortunate events so that you can sleep that night and not believe that the minutia of the world is out to destroy you. 

True story: 
I had this employer once who was very affluent. I was getting paid a ridiculous amount of money to produce his audio book. He was so elite, had been his entire life, that he had lost all connection to the reality of most people's day to day mishaps. So... there was this one time when I had to be at the airport to meet him because we were going to interview someone who would be marketing the audio book. I drove a 1992 Cadillac Eldorado. It was a sweet car. So sweet that people routinely tried to steal it. Not people, but gang members. I lived in downtown Dallas in a loft that was in a "rad" part of town but not an area that you'd want to be walking around in after 1:00am.

 I got up to head out to the airport. I wasn't going to fly anywhere. I was going to have a meeting in the Grand Hyatt lounge with some other douchebag rich guy who had a layover at DFW) The previous time we had a meeting at this lounge, my car had been broken into and all the tires slashed. True story, true fact. Okay... so I will continue. 

In the parking garage at my place was a huge vending machine supply truck that was blocking ONLY my car. Where are the vending machines at? I'll find this guy and get him to move. Hey, at least nobody can steal my car this time.  Thirty minutes later and I'm fuming with rage at the audacity of my crummy luck, the guy comes out and is drinking a smoothie, laughing hard on his cell phone with someone who was on speakerphone. This guy had one of those slow deliberate walks that only white trash people have. The only thing missing was a half smoked cigarette hanging from his top lip or he would've fit the white trash clone stamp. He knew I was waiting to leave because he gave me the side eye acknowledgment and then says to his phone mate, "anyways... h'yeah, I hear y'ah man. I do. I rhhhhealllly do. (insert white trash red neck forced laugh) " 

This dude BURNED ME UP. I knew if I confronted him, it would only stall him from leaving, so I patiently swallowed my own stomach acid and he backed out.   Boom, I'm off like a shot. Driving hard n' fast. Trying to text this asshole who I worked for and said, "yeah, I'm on my way. Vending machine truck blocked my car for 30 minutes. I didn't even know we had vending machines. ha ha" 

Driving like a swarm of pissed off hornets, I get on the highway that goes straight to the airport. Traffic comes to a complete stop. "What the hell, it's a Saturday? Where are all these people going?"

Another hour goes by and I'm sweating from rage. I realize that it's "not about me" and that everyone else is in the same stupid boat right now, but this all started with vending machine guy. Finally traffic is moving... I turn on the radio to hear if they do a Chopper 5 alert or whatever BS it is they call it... 

"This is your traffic report on the 8's... 635 westbound is experiencing a major delay due to an overturned 18 wheeler. Accident crews are on the scene now and... Breaking news... there is a hostage situation with the 18 wheeler driver and a passenger... we are trying to get details but it looks like they are shutting down all lanes of 635...."   

At this point I thought, "well, at least it's out of my control now. Clearly I'm in a situation where I can do nothing more to arrive at the airport for this stupid meeting." 

 I texted my employer and said, "Okay... so I'm on 635 westbound. If you haven't heard, they shut down the highway due to the 18 wheeler overturned and some type of hostage situation with his passenger... I don't know, that's just what the radio just said." 

This out of touch elite douchebag didn't bother to give me the benefit of the doubt and look up the traffic report himself. After all, he's sitting in a hotel lounge area with a million televisions on probably reporting about the accident and "stand off on Dallas highway." Nope. Not this guy. He's just sitting there unaware of the world going on around him.  The text streams begin to pop up on my phone... 

"Mel. If you didn't want to have the meeting, then just say so." (said douchebag) 

To which I replied with a picture taken from inside the car, looking out of the windshield at thousands of parked cars on 635. I sent a GPS pinged map of my location. Proof right? Wrong. 

"Don't don't do that Mel. You are only making it worse." (said douchebag employer) 

To which I replied, "because I'm texting and driving? Or... " 

"Ah yes, very clever Mel. Very clever. No... you know what you're doing." (said douchebag employer)

**At this point my brain has committed mutiny. A full scale assault on my logic processor is being waged and I have no way of understanding his perspective. I really can't explain how much this kind of situation happens in my life, but I can tell you that it has been at least 100 times that I've come across a situation that has no end that would result in "oh that's what you meant. Okay... whew!" Nope. I don't get the sweet relief of "look at what a crazy misunderstanding that was.. laugh laugh... oh man... you really had me goin'...." Nope. Doesn't happen. ** 

When I finally had the ability to exit the highway, I just drove back home. What was the point? I surrender to the shitty day. "Y'got me shitty day! You got me." 

I get back to my place and guess who is waiting for me? That's right. My employer. Tapping his foot at the front door of the building and reading the Washington Post. His face was beat red and he had a look in his eyes that was full blown crazy. 

"Where were you?! I've been sitting here for over 20 minutes. How did you know I was coming over here! I have half a mind to fire you from this deal and that is sad Mel because you will lose a lot of money and you are quite good and I just don't know why you go to such great lengths to lie to me. Do you need help Mel? Do you need actual mental help?" 


(guys... I'm not exaggerating any of this. You haven't missed anything if you are confused. In fact, you've understood my own confusion that I had at the time... just add 5 hours of bullshit to that confusion and a smattering of rage.... boom you've got it) 

So how did I react?  

Luckily for me, my discomfort (putting mildly) forced my comedy brain to grab the wheel at this point. I just went out of body for a moment. I saw the ridiculous petty insanity of all sides of the day, and I saw this multi-millionaire throwing a 2 year old style tantrum whilst holding the business section of the Washington Post, a styrofoam cup of horribly cheap coffee which he had spilled on himself, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the parking attendant(retired cop) leaving him a ticket on his windshield because he was illegally parked in a handicapped space. The parking lot attendant was drinking a smoothie. (remember vending machine guy?) My employer didn't notice this ticket thing was happening AT ALL. 

So what did I do? I started laughing. Uncontrollably. Karma right? My day was kicked off by a lazy smoothie drinking jerk off and now my douchebag employer is being bricked out by a lazy retired cop drinking a smoothie. 

I just laughed and said, "here's the thing, (laughing harder with each word) You are so out of touch with reality that you really believe I would go to such great lengths to fake driving to the airport, photoshopping a pic of me sitting in traffic, and give you a million details that you could've cross checked and confirmed but your brain created a full blown hollywood epic to understand why someone didn't make it to a meeting. You know what? There's hope for your book. 
That was some great plot twists that you just came up with and I don't know why you haven't put those skills to use in your shitty boring book that nobody is going to want to listen to or buy. Why don't you spend the night on the sidewalk and check out the bullshit that happens to everyday people, everyday. Observe and report. Welcome to the life of the regular person trying to scratch his way through any given day."  

I fobbed myself in and later I received a very long apology. Why? Not because he understood or even believed my story about the very reported-on traffic situation, but because he goes to leave and saw he had a ticket on his car and got into an full scale verbal battle with the parking lot cop who probably put him in his place pretty hard. (The parking lot cop was a retired Dallas Police officer, black dude, about 6.5 feet tall, hilarious, and gave NO cares about anyone's anything. He was getting a pay check for an easy job that supplemented his retirement plan) 

Listen to me... most people I know that are these normal stupid people brained individuals, would have ONLY this one story and it would be "the worst day of their lives."

They would be crushed by a day like the one I detailed above. CRUSHED. There would be no humor in it. They would need to cry and go back to college or some shit... it would be a pivotal moment of reckoning. "I must not be a good creative consultant or editor... if this could happen (they say crying) then I guess I'm just not cut out for that kind of life."   You're right. You're not. Bye bye.  Guess what? That kind of thing happens to me at least twice a month. I don't expect it, but I know it's the way of things sometimes and it doesn't upset my balance to the point where I lose faith in my abilities.... and I would NEVER go back to college to "find another path." EVER.  

I'd just figure out a way to make people laugh about it along with me.