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Got tired of writing…

…so I’m writing this instead. Straight from the hip, cut to the chase. I am going to be asking for a big favour soon and I feel good about that. I think I have a good shot of it being granted and I think I am wise enough to express myself truly and without artifice. As far as goal-setting goes, I said something today: I want to work so hard and so smartly and so successfully that when this favour is granted it will be irrelevant. HIgher things will have availed themselves to me. That’s a tall order but its puts this favour in proper context as one step in a staircase. The better a stairclimber I am, the less relevant one missing step is going to be in my progression upward.

Its gonna take time and attention; the two spiritual commodities. I can work and apply myself so hard and so diligently in the direction of mastery in one domain that proximal domains become lower rungs, helpful, but not necessary.

I can do this. I am as good as I have ever been. I can do anything. Mine is the drill that will pierce the heavens. #prettycorpseblues I gotta say it more because its my life. Its what I do. It’s who I am. Its the delicate balance of submitting to the universe but keeping a rebellious spark in my open, watchful eyes. If I keep my gaze trained on reality, it will eventually blink and then all bets are off.

But until it blinks, I watch it and outwardly submit to it. Learn its rules, play its game, biding my time like Nat Turner.

Reality is like a rude bitch; she wants to be taken by a man who knows when and how to strike and cow her. To fuck her?….forcefully? Maybe…

Hatefully? Definitely!

Reality wants you to put her in her place.

*Read this in Patrice O”Neal’s voice*

“Listen you, you…goofy bitch. I know what you’re tryina do. You tryna pimp me -And I AM gon’ LET you. You wanna come out at me callin’ me limp dick this or pathetic failure that? That’s cool, baby! I ain’t gon’ in’errupt you. But pretty soon you gonna run out of dumb shit to say, and plates to throw at me, and you just gonna stand there looking retarded….looking at everything YOU DESTROYED…and I. Am. Going. To. Simply smile. And hug you and you will feel like the idiot dum-dum you are and can’t help being and you will. Want. To. Fuck. Me. Then. And your dumbass is gonna feel guilty for your performance earlier and you will beg me to punish you. And because I am a man and I love I will. And then when we are done and you walkin’ stupid like a chicken, you are going to go into the kitchen and get me something to eat.”

Patrice didn’t say that, but I feel its a fairly faithful recreation os something he might say if he was talking to a woman…or reality.

Sleep now.
-Dre

RIP Patrice O’Neal

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Pyramid of Truth

Friends,

When it comes to human perception and comprehension, I think absolute truth is mostly unknowable. We tend to float around the truth with approximations of it shaded by our own biases, perspective and rigor in pursuing knowledge on that tack. If there is a fixed, universal truth, we may as well consider it an unreachable, imperceptible ideal which we strive toward in what is essentially an act of faith. We simply don’t have the faculties to perceive/comprehend it, though we can get closer and infinitely closer approximations of it.

Honestly though, we could almost consider this inability to reach/perceive/comprehend truth a mercy, for imagine how much difficulty we would have if, grasping the complete truth we tried to communicate it to our fellows. Rare is the individual who can communicate the truth of something without bias and rarer still the one who can listen and hear without objection.

Instead, I think that human perceptions of truth in any realm are like looking up at the top of a pyramid -where you stand around the base might give you a view of the north, south, east and west-facing aspects of the top (and that might be considered your politics/religion/school of thought/prejudices on that issue). But the higher you advance upward from that position at the base, in that linear mindset? Your view of the truth/tip stays the same (though maybe the fine details get clearer)

Think about it; the only way to gain a more complete view of the tip is to walk around the base. To carry the analogy further, this is akin to holding, and perhaps even arguing, different positions to experientially understand their truth. A simple example, might be a lifelong Marxist vs. an someone who became Marxist after spending most of their life as a Rational Choice Individualist: in this scenario, who might be said to have a more complete view of the truth? I would say the latter. It matters little how you move from position and stance throughout your life, what matters instead is how much work and effort you put into understanding each position as you adhere to it.

If you think about each position, you walk around the base.

If you talk about each position, you walk around the mid-portion of the pyramid.

If you do/live/act each position, you traipse about the upper portion with a closer view of each side of the tip.

And whether circling the pyramid at the bottom, middle or top, what happens when you see the pinnacle, the ideal, the tip from all directions? Well, if you can remember accurately how it looked from each perspective you can put together in your mind’s eye a composite image of the entire tip -something that can only be seen in real-time from above as if you were aloft above the pyramid looking down at it. And knowing what the entire tip/truth looks like is at least as good as, if not better than, seeing it.

Isn’t this a transcendence of that particular issue/question/pyramid/hierarchy?

I would say yes.

What I said earlier about the absolute truth being unknowable notwithstanding, there are many microcosmic domains whose pyramids of truth we have ascended and transcended in our individual lives. These are the domains where we might be said to have achieved mastery, or at least something functionally close to it. And even if the idea of inequality implied by ascending the pyramid troubles you due to a commitment to social justice, you can’t deny that as we build up our skills and aptitudes and knowledge, it certainly feels like we are ascending above others.

***********************************************

The pyramid never ceases to amaze me and enlighten me as a a conceptual tool for understanding the world and complex ideas. If only ancient people had erected pyramids everywhere on the planet to signify how key they were to understanding universal truth.

Best,
-Dre

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The Look of Love

Friends,

Staying with my uncle these past couple weeks out on Lake Huron and spending my days helping out at his restaurant. Yesterday evening I came down from the staff room, having shed my sweater and rocking a sleeveless tank, ready to don an apron and begin helping out with dishes.

There were two attractive girls at the bar in the mid 30s age range and the blond one, let’s call her ‘Holly’, was like, “Wow, you have big muscles!” I looked at Holly, and from my peripherals I could tell the guy sitting behind her was narrowing his eyes at me.

“Thank-you,” I responded.

“You wanna arm wrestle?” the guy blurted out?

“No thanks, they’re just for show.” I responded with a smile.

“I bet!” he shot back.

I looked at him, widening my smile, “ and responded quickly, “None taken!” -a clever little retort for forms of aggression passive and veiled that I picked up from the Brits. Even he had to break eye contact and chuckle.

In a mild state of disbelief and amusement about how low this guy went right from the hop, I turned my attention back to Holly.

“Who are you?” she asked.

Smiling good-naturedly, I gave her my best George Costanza: “I’m the opposite of every man you ever met.”

I guess I must have reached my left hand up to my face as I sad this, because as he quickly interjected, “I doubt it!”, she exclaimed, “I would love to love you!” -the script tattooed on my left forearm.

She quickly turned to her husband to explain she was just reading my tattoo.

Sure 🙄

Him again: “You wanna come by our hot tub tonight?”

I said, “sure” not really expecting anything to materialize from it. I was right in assuming it was a desperate effort to regain face.

There was quiet for a second and I said, “Actually I’m gonna go hot tub my hands in the dish-pit. Nice meeting you guys.”

I turned to put on an apron and the girls came behind the bar and began invading the kitchen to have a look; they’re friends of my uncle and cousins who own the place so I just let it happen. After the girls passed me I was still tying up my apron still and the guy came behind the bar.

“What’s your name, brother?” I asked.

“D’Arcy” he responded.

He broke eye contact first and mumbled something about nothing, continuing on into the kitchen and through to the adjacent store where the girls were talking to the staff and having a look around.

I followed to collect dishes and overhead him saying some more comments about my unwillingness to arm wrestle.

“Fuck it!” I thought, “Why not?”

I noticed he had the name of a construction firm on his hat so I assumed that was his profession.

“Hey D’Arcy!”

He looked at me and they walked over.

“You work in construction, right?”

“Yeah…”

“I work on my computer; I have no business arm-wrestling you.” I’m not sure if his wife got the sub-text, but he did: “I’m as fit as you and probably smarter than you.”

They left soon after. I’ve gotten a lot better at holding gaze and speaking slow and truthfully. In the past I would have gotten tripped up by such overt flirtation and aggression, but I really took this instance in stride, kept my composure and even gave a little back.

Best,

-Dre

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Humility is a Game of Limbo

Friends,

If you have been keeping up with my writing as of late, you may recall that I am doing some soul-searching about what the right path forward is in life. One thing which has come up a lot over the last couple of years is going back to school, and the field of discipline that keeps coming up is massage therapy. The hands are sacred; they are our interface with the world, and the more I learn the more I come to think/agree that our ability to think clearly and logically has a lot to do with our proficiency with our hands.

There are many things we can do with our hands; many ways we can make them skilled. Just over a year ago I started playing guitar and its made my hands a lot less…’stupid’. If the above assertion about the hand/brain connection holds true, then my brain is a lot less stupid also. If I can train my hands in even more sophisticated ways, what might it be possible for me to do with them, and by association, with my brain?

I like healing people. I like massage for that purpose. It’s a pure form of healing. Massage is to medicine what stand-up comedy is to entertainment. No team, no no complicated scheduling, no chemicals, no expensive apparatus. Just a motherfucker, a microphone/jar of coconut oil, and an audience.

I’m good at it. I have an aptitude, and even rudimentary skills. But its an important enough skill to learn more and have a better foundation in.

Taking a cursory look at RMT degree programs, I noticed right away that there are pre-requisites I don’t possess. Chiefly high-school biology. So, if I decide to go this route I will have to go way back and brush up on high-school courses for admittance. That is irksome, but I can imagine it being fun and, as per the title, humbling.

I ordered my high-school transcripts today so that I can present them to the adult learning center if I need to. I’m on the fence right now about whether to go forth into the world and travel once again and I hope that the next few days make the decision clearer, but even if I do leave again, I can hopefully do these courses remotely and get them done.

I should have gotten them done in high school, but a stupid teacher made an untrue comment about the nature of studying biology and I was completely disenchanted by the whole subject. Now however, it feels like it might be time to go back and make up for what was mistakenly neglected.

On the Billy Madison tip!

Best,
-Dre

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Sometimes I Sound Like a 15 Year Old Girl

Friends,

I am restless. I am back in Canada. I want to be on the road again. I will stay until Canada Day at least. I have an obligation that I mustn’t miss. That’s just over a month. Not enough time to put down roots. Not enough to really even rekindle friendships that have been stretched by distance and time apart.

I’m scared. Everyone is getting older. I’m not all I could be. I want to be around for them but it doesn’t seem worth it. Not while there is still so much doing and improving to be undertaken. People I have fallen out of touch with, even the people whom I love most in the world, have just sort of faded into the background of my life. Into a grey. They, and their problems, and their stories.

I’ve learned I can live without some people. I’ve learned I have to live apart from others. The ‘people’ I can’t live without? I haven’t met that person yet. But I’m open to it.

I’m alone, but…

I’m hopeful. I have faith in the righteousness of my path. I have faith in the example I am/can be for others. I have faith because I have broken faith before and tried to fit in a life that wasn’t mine, and I know where tat road leads. I have faith in heaven because I have experienced hell.

It was comfortable. It was safe. It was perfect. It wasn’t for me.

I’m faced with that choice again: The choice to stay in the warm suffocating embrace and accept, what is to me, mediocrity, or to double down and keep this momentum going.

I have to keep it going. To stake my life on it and make the ultimate commitment to….

I don’t have a word for it, yet. But every day, the picture gets a little clearer.

God bless,
-Dre

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Crossing ‘a’ Rubicon

Friends,

I’ve always had some hang-ups about sex. I’m now seeking to break those hang-ups and become a fully realized sexual being.

For years, whether single, in a relationship, or other, I would look through craigslist’s now defunct personals section and fantasize about all manner of sleazy, dirty, “shameful’ encounters I could have with strangers. I never had the gumption to pull the trigger on such encounters though and fantasies they remained.

I have been mistrustful of women in my time (thanks, Mom) and have gravitated to long-term relationships where there was a power/experience/maturity differential in my favour. I wasn’t a bad boyfriend per se, but I certainly wasn’t all that I could be because I wasn’t being challenged. I stayed with women who, though lovely, were too afraid to lose me to really take me to task. (Except one, and I fucked that one up big time XD).

I’ve been reading a lot more since getting an Audible subscription a few months back and the books I have been reading have been giving me greater perspective into my own challenges and the ways in which I might transcend my current plateaus. I’m not just talking about sex here either -but of course it connects to everything and I am of the view that no malady, limitation, or impingement exists in isolation:

Reading Blanton’s “Radical Honesty” I saw clearly how my own self-repression and moralizing was crippling my spirit. Reading Sarno’s “Understanding Back Pain”, I saw that the limitation in my shoulder and associated soreness might have less to do with anything mechanical, but rather be a means by which my psyche distracts me from emotional trauma and memories that are unpleasant. I recently finished Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” and it inspired me to be more bold and unafraid about asking for the things I want and committing to the life I have chosen for myself.

However, it was yesterday, having just started reading Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” that I crossed the eponymous “Rubicon” of this post’s title: About two weeks ago, having returned to Canada I set up a profile on a singles website and in the last few days I have approached by someone trying to ‘orchestrate’ a threesome. Long story short, we exchanged nude photos.

Sending full-frontal naked photos of myself is an unprecedented first for me. I was really reluctant because I still am in the process of accepting who I am and what I’m about, and irrational fears about someone using such photos against me in the future abound in my brain. But reading (listening) to Manson’s book as I mulled the question over in my brain spurred me to say, “fuck it!” I know who I am and what I’m about and this could be an amazing opportunity to explore my sexuality -or at the very least grow my courage. The people I admire most have no compunctions about their naked bodies and I should endeavour to be one of the people I admire most.

24 hours later. Still no blackmail.

I have built a life as something of a professional traveler. I have gotten by on the kindness of strangers and trusted people to come through for me.

Why should things be any different in my sex life?

God bless!
-Dre

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Intervention on My 10-Year Old Self

Friends,

I applied for a job yesterday. At the end of the application submission I was notified that my application would be fast-tracked if I undertook four additional questions. They turned out to be essay questions and I took about two hours providing the answers. One in particular struck a chord with me: What would you tell your 10 year-old seff? Why would you tell him this? What would you be hoping to accomplish?”

I really took this seriously, and dug deep into my soul, memory, heart, and brain in order to come up with an answer. I must have done something right because they got back to me 8 hours later requesting an interview.

Here’s what I wrote:

I would say:

“You have a few tough years ahead of you, but never doubt your vision for your life. If you get knocked off your path -which you will- gently and lovingly correct yourself without being too hard on yourself, without getting discouraged or thinking you’ve fallen behind. No matter what, a clear, unwavering commitment to that vision is the only thing which will bring you salvation, meaning and happiness. Also, you must work harder than you think in pursuit of it, and when you start something don’t get placated and satisfied with beginner’s luck. On a similar tack, persevere when things become tough. You have great taste and great ideas which deserve to be followed through on and worked at, so trust that, and trust that if you pursue these things, and walk this righteous path, everything that is lower order will fall into place.

Don’t fret over those who don’t like you and forgive those who wrong you -you don’t know what their level of suffering is and there could be myriad things bothering them which have nothing to do with you. When people hurt you, it’s usually not because they want to hurt you but because they want to help themselves and they re unsophisticated and careless in the manner in which they do so.

Always stand up for yourself, and if someone stands up to you, take them seriously. Don’t get defensive. They are being courageous and you should reinforce and reward that courage with respect and a fair hearing.

Don’t let social pressure compel you into speaking anything less than the truth. If you don’t know what the truth is, you are allowed to say nothing. Don’t be pressed into giving an answer you aren’t ready to give. Look at people in the eye when you talk to them and smile because it is good for your posture and your relations with other people.

Give compliments as soon as they occur to you -don’t worry if it sounds corny. Trust your instincts.

The right girl will come along if you move righteously in your path, but if she does come along, you must be smart enough to recognize her and brave and secure enough in who you are to commit. Still, be discerning and never settle.

Say yes to things that sound cool even if you haven’t strictly budgeted money for them -you can always make more money. Take bigger risks when you’re younger because you have so much time to recover and start again.

Cut ties with people who hold you back or who contribute to your bad behaviour. Even if you care abut these people. Sometimes you can love people best from a distance.

Forgive your parents for their stupidity and mistakes. They were but children themselves when they had you and they are still figuring things out. More than anything, be grateful to them for all of the tools they furnished you with. They may have trapped themselves in their own invisible prisons, but from their self-imposed captivity, their spirits call out to you to run and be free and shape this world in the manner you see fit.

Honour your step-father. He has a lot of wisdom to teach you and he is trying to shield you from the bad influences in your life which unknowingly seek to atrophy your spirit. He is not your father but don’t hold that against him.Over time, he will become your greatest ally and advocate.

You and your dad got separated early on. It will never be like you hope it will be with him, Like it should have been. Sometimes two spirits which sprung from the same place get separated and kept apart for a time or for a lifetime. That’s ok: If they’re meant to be together, there’s always the next life or the one after.

This goes for women as well… one in particular…you’ll see 😉

Never take your siblings for granted; they are the only ones who will understand exactly where you came from and until you have a wife and kids they are the only other people you can love as much or more than yourself. That’s good, because you can practice true generosity and reciprocity with them by seeing them as extensions of yourself.

Don’t focus on the abstract or the macro to distract from the immediate problems in front of you. If you think about it for a moment there is always something right in front of you that you are competent enough and able to take care of (without screwing up too much) which will make your particular space in the world a little better. Let your ideals set your general direction and the work you put in be the steps in that direction.

Balance your masculine and feminine energies and celebrate them both because they are beautiful aspects of you which need expression and which act as a brake on the excesses of the other.

Your life is a call to adventure. Start today. There’s no time to waste, but if you feel like you have “wasted” time already, trust that that ‘wasted’ time was necessary to bring you to the level of unprecedented wisdom you are currently at and then act on that wisdom.

Say no more than is necessary. Always make the joke. Don’t multi-task while eating. Breathe while you chew. Do your push-ups every day. Avoid breads and pastas. Eat meat. Write every day. Be a man. Sing out loud. Stand up straight. Always observe. Find what you love, what sets you on fire and develop tunnel vision. If you want something, ask. Always make more food than you intend to eat and then tell the people around you that you’re full and they can have the rest. Have no expectations in relationships beyond that which is explicitly agreed to and measurable. Bring water with you everywhere you go.

Don’t be afraid of death even when it seems like certainty. We die like we live and so if you live honourably, you will leave this world in the same way.

And always remember: You have been called for such a time as this. The world needs you and your gifts. You are not condemned by your yesterday if you can grab hold of your now and move in your destiny.

Move. Change. Be. Now!”

I would say this to my younger self because it is what I have learned and by passing it on and having him hear it from a credible source, hopefully I could get to my current level of understanding a little sooner (there are only so many years in life after all).

Maybe someone else will get something from this also. Wish me luck on the interview 🙂

Best,

-Andre Guantanamo

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