On Cycles

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I firmly believe patterns exist in every part of life and for that matter death. Consensual reality has brought on the theory of death in threes, and for that matter life in threes too. Last year we dealt with several public deaths, too long a list to name here. The question is, how many lives are we announcing this year? For that matter how many lives are we celebrating?

Each life has several recognizable patterns within the overall life. This could be something as small as when a person wakes up, eats dinner, or goes to bed. It could also be that the person in question moves like the waves on a beach, experiencing difficult days when the tide goes out, and all the joys of what life can offer when the tides come in. Managing those cycles is easier for some than others, myself included. I tend to keep my “tide out” moments as brief as possible, as over the years I’ve come to the understanding that feeling down doesn’t help me get where I want to be. I could go on for pages about how hard it is to write about certain things, or that my writing career isn’t going on the rocket ship ride I’d always dreamed it would, but who – especially in this age of social media – wants to listen to anyone drone on about how bad things are?

I prefer to give my readers as much of my “tide in” moments as I can. This includes the process of writing and when I see them at events. That’s hard. Being an entertainer isn’t simple or easy. It doesn’t get easier, but it can become more rewarding, and that’s what I’m after. I’ve also learned that you can’t be someone else’s tide in while always taking their tide out moments.

Happiness is a mix of both, but it has to go both ways.

I’ve cast aside friends, relationships, and jobs, all in the self interest of not serving as the vessel for negative emotions. There are people in this world who are black holes, sad as it is to say. All they want is to suck up your energy and destroy you down to their level, so you can exist with them in the vacuum of bitterness and scorn. None of these choices I made without regret, because when I make a connection with someone I tend to value that person. Yet looking back on each I realize it was the best decision for me. You have one life on this planet, make it your mission to spend it in the happiest mindset possible.

Cycles play a big part of the current novel I’m working on. The lives of people come and go, and we get to see them at different times in their lives, which I believe will serve as an important tool in understanding who they are. If I only show you a snapshot of a person, you have a very small amount of text to get a sense of them. The same thing is true about the people we walk among. If you only know a very small bit about them, it’s hard to make a determination on who they really are. If you want to know someone, honestly, you’re going to have to experience both tide in and tide out moments.

This week the music community lost Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave. As a kid growing up in the 90s, I listened to a lot of music coming out of Seattle, most notably Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Soundgarden. Chris’ voice was on another level than any of the other bands in that scene. He had a power and strength the others lacked. I wore out my first copy of Badmotorfinger, and I can’t tell you how many times I listened to Superunknown. The music spoke to me on such a deep level, it felt like the perfect music for the place people my age were, even more so than a band like Nirvana. I connected with their music and his voice was easy to pick out as soon as it came on the radio.

But I didn’t know Chris Cornell.

No matter how big entertainers get, no matter how closely we decide to follow what they do, people have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that they don’t really know someone. I know that should be easy to understand, but people don’t. We know the face they choose to show to public, not the internal workings going on inside their head.

Which is why writing is so interesting. I’m going to give you the inside scoop. That look behind the curtain you never get in real life. You’re going to get to know these characters almost as good as I do already. Now I can’t give up all my secrets, but one thing I do is this – you’re going to enjoy this next ride quite a bit.

 
Addendum: America is a beautiful country. I’ve had the opportunity to see more of it in the past few years that I ever did in the previous decade. Each pocket community and big city I’ve seen has a flair all their own. The people are both vastly different and carry the same thread inside them as Americans. I hope in the years to come we don’t lose sight of who are and who we desire to be as a country. It’s what makes us great, but it could also be our downfall, and as such, it must be safeguarded from becoming common. America is not common, and it should never be treated in that way.