Past is past is past is farce – 25th November 2020

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

– attributed to Buddha

In the end (what end?) none of this matters, but I played along anyway.

How much you loved.

Sometimes I loved too much, other times, not enough. I have loved different people but shown it in different ways. Does that mean the love was different? I have become more careful and selective with my love, perhaps to the point that I don’t love anyone or anything deeply anymore. This is a countermeasure against loss. The extreme loves of youth are more tempered now. I don’t feel like this was a conscious decision but a naturally evolving one. It has come with stronger self-confidence and self-esteem but also at a loss of close connections with people.

I grew up with a strong independent single mother who was already tired of dealing with other people and their bullshit. I have become like her. We are loners but not lonely and not lone wolfs. We are just happy by ourselves or, in my case, with one very special person around. All my acquaintances I still call friends, I just don’t interact with them so much. This sometimes gives me a false sense of understanding as, in my mind, they are the same person as the last time I met them and nothing should be different. I still have this feeling after what could be years without speaking. Obviously, that’s unrealistic.

I could dream about meeting an old girlfriend as if it was just a current continuation of that relationship from that time. Never mind, we would be twenty years older, married with kids since. Those feelings are still in my memories but reality is much cooler.

I’m surprised sometimes that I know I won’t have those butterfly feelings again. Experience and understanding (and time) has calmed them. I am no longer crazed and tempestuous but I am still alive and capable. It’s a double-edged sword. Those feelings were special and wild, extreme highs, but dampened by such extreme lows. Perhaps some of my father’s manic depression got passed on.

Now that I have balance I guess I’m somewhat boring.

How much I have loved? I loved myself selfishly 100%. I loved others occasionally, but 100%.

How gently you lived.

My memories of youth don’t seem particularly gentle but the deeper I go, under the piss and vinegar, there is a big softy. I was a teenage asshole, sometimes even to my best friends. I was less an early 20s asshole but still could be a mean son-of-a-bitch. Having now lived in other countries around the world I believe I was very well suited to the typical British contrarian and sarcastic humour. I can fall back into it instantly I meet an ex-pat, sometimes so obviously I kick myself for it. It does, however, still make me laugh.

So whether with the simple act of aging or with growth and understanding, I am living much more gently these days. I gave up eating meat when I was 14, something that I believe inspires a gentler life. I was quite aggressive about it at the beginning but don’t even think about it anymore and thankfully it’s so acceptable these days that it’s barely a topic for discussion. There was always a tension about it before, having to constantly provide justification for what was perceived as different.

I was mostly thoughtful on the inside but could let my emotions get out of control. I’m still envious of more balanced people I grew up with, especially some who had to deal with me. I know we’re all a little fucked up in some way but I do often wish I knew then what I know now (and was able to act on it). It’s ironic that folks said that I was mature for my age. I must have been a very good deceiver.

When I was 30 and getting divorced I went to the psychiatrist and got diagnosed with mild depression and started to take a low dose of medication that stabilised a lot of my out of control emotions. When I revealed this to my mother, she then revealed to me that my father had suffered from manic depression (now known as bipolar disorder). I guess things started falling into place.

It still took me another 10 years or so of growth to get to a point where I was mostly and consistently happy and this reflected in my attitudes and behaviors. Of course, by this time a lot of small unique habits had developed which often have me reflecting how much like my mother I have become. It’s neither good nor bad, it just is.

I saw an online post about how we spend our second 40 years dealing with our first 40 years. I certainly spend a lot of time reflecting on those first 40 years. I also feel that, despite being 13 past the mark, my first 40 years haven’t been completed yet.

Looking back over these words I wonder if I even know what living gently means in the context of my life. Living gently feels like I should be a monk who is careful not to step on an ant, something I was reminded of this morning when I crunched a snail under foot in my driveway – those damn snails are everywhere.

How gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days already. Letting go was always difficult when I was younger though something I seem to have improved at. However, when I think deeply about this the only ‘things’ I consider in my life (in connection to this subject) are people. After having moved across the world a couple of times already, things such as books, albums, videos, comics, furniture, clothes etc are all replaceable. Sometimes the fun in having (and losing) those things is more about the search and discovery of them again.

The ‘things’ I feel more attached too have personal meaning, such as old letters or photos but in consideration, I haven’t looked at my old letters since I left England in 1994. They are in the pile of things that I do want to go through again and perhaps document before I shuffle off.

So, that leaves people, particularly friends and girlfriends. With that I can only say that I have gotten better at it over time. Teenage/early 20s are typically messy and I was not mature and confident enough in myself to deal with letting go. Possibly this relates to a subconscious search for a mother figure to replace my mom and not having a father around to learn from.

Letting go also sometimes meant pushing away, and that is not graceful at all. I tried my best at the time.

I’m finding it hard to write more about this without going into painful detail. Perhaps considering things that I don’t wish to share about other people as much as about myself. I have few, if any, regrets but also can be nostalgic for certain times and places with certain people.

Finally, we cannot hold onto anything, nothing is actually meant for us, it is just our internal impression of it.

Pleasure’s real or is it fantasy? – 21st July 2020

Dark and rainy but I’m happy. Five-minute exercise with a few squats and foot exercises – can I fix my feet? Dream – I know I didn’t want to wake up because I wanted to know what happened but now I don’t remember what it was about. Earlier I dreamt about giving Matthew Sherlock a blow job – he had a skinny dick. What’s the meaning? I’ve been thinking recently about how over time everyone will be more open to each other about any sexuality so that we will all experiment with everything. A few generations away. Have a good day Shaun – happy.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that is easy for me to listen to podcasts in the car and I’m enjoying listening to this one about all the SST releases. Very interesting.

We got that attitude! – 16th July 2020

Another crazy dream. Lex was getting punished by slapping but it turned into Kim Chi – I didn’t want anyone to be punished.

I heard dreams are a process of brain rearrangement during the night. Moving storage on a hard drive.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the sunny morning and my sunny outlook today. I feel good and confident and look forward to a happy day.

We got that attitude! – 15th July 2020

Weird dreams – girl on bus wanted sex. I was taking care of a package but don’t know why. Ended up meeting old friends. I lost my bike – went to a record store that was also a bar. Az worked there – he got hit by a payphone that fell off the wall – I felt like it was my fault. He let me into a weird place with lots of people who wanted to dose me with drugs and kill me. I got this from reading the beginning of the Hendrix book.

Up early today – at school by eight, in new room. Tired but happy. Cats came to visit my room. Tigger wanted to spray. Maybe he did.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that I don’t have any lessons today so I can plan for my next video.

I’ve got to get some pretty pictures in my mind – 29th May 2020

Count on the insane to save the souls of the suckers.

Nuclear nightmares last night at Chatswood apartment – safe but the outside world changed – coronavirus allegory? Kimchee trapped in an escalator – she turned up in the morning safe and sound. Why those dreams?

Eat more, exercise more – no energy, weight is okay but need to toughen up my body. Thinking, I think too much and haven’t turned thoughts into actions. Stay positive – look at everything positive – listen better – compliment, help others. Life is easy so take time for others. You can do it.

What else you got in your head this morning? Creaky little froggy under the fan, foot aching old man. Take what you want from others’ speech. They may be right, they may be wrong. Do you need to say the words? If not then don’t say them. This is your life now so do the best with it – it’s easy.

Pink, the colour – not the person. I really don’t know modern popular music – I think it’s funny. Is it calming your mind? I freeze my thoughts writing this but if I sit to meditate, thoughts come on back. Today, yesterday. Seeking clarity. Couldn’t do long meditation yesterday – got too itchy and antsy. Keep going. Keep trying. The benefits are what I’m looking for – fat sticky stomach. Breathe. Big yawn – fun day ahead and weekend after that. Gratitude and project good wishes.

Okay, rest your weakened wrists now. Got coffee cups to hold.

Gratitude Journal

I am happy and grateful for my newly found patience with things at the school. Things can be so dynamic here that they can change with every person you meet. I have been able to deal with this well so far this semester.

Oh no, it’s starting again and time will bend – 28th May 2020

image: making videos for students working from home

Sat at my desk in amongst the clutter to make it easier on my back and wrists. Reminds me of an old online friend who had a blog called ‘atmydesk’ – I think her name was Sara – some connection with Nomeansno – was thinking about my tattoo this morning for some reason or was it a dream “of a 6-foot woman”– listening to Heavy Vegetable and things on the weekend but now I wake up with the songs in my head. I’m bad at writing quickly these days and arm is sore from pen holding. Sweating on the clutter just a fan today no Aircon temp is perfect just sweat when moving. Neck is creaking after the very short workout – just warmup really but got my body out of slumber neck is really bad these days “6-foot woman” is stuck now. Amy rearranged plants around the house Tigger rolling around in the grass last night – all the cats seem really chilled these days – makes me so happy. Is my mind already empty? Just replaced with Rob Crow’s music. Don’t remember any dream – slept well – want to sleep more but energised now after warmup workout – don’t push it doesn’t matter – don’t stress about George telling you the best way to do something – it’s just his advice on his experience – it’s not a judgement on you and you can do it the way that you want. Going to offer more help to teachers today. Do they like me? Are they scared of me? Am I not approachable? If I’m thinking about it then – even if I am not these things I can still do something to be more those things right? Put thinking cap on today for video. Gonna be another good day today – just you see.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the cooler weather this morning. I felt more relaxed and happy.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #18 – 28th December 2019

Music from Sebadoh, Hilarity Ensues, Primitive Calculators, Bastro, UK Subs, Mofungo, Paper Mice, Univers Zero, Self Evident, The Bevis Frond, Snakefinger, Tar Babies, Alright the Captain, Matt Black and the Doodlebugs, Khaddash, David Bowie, The Clash, Small Faces, Bad Religion, Big Block 454 and Unstoppable Sweeties Show.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for our beautiful house. I love living here with Amy. When asked if we have any more dreams for our life we don’t have any especially. Things we would like to do but not necessarily dreams to achieve. George said we are living our dream and that’s a nice way to look at it.

Got to have my origin in this house of suffering – 3rd October 2019

Poisonous people are a lesson waiting to be learned. It’s a tough test and it feels like suffering. Must remain calm and clear.

In my dream, many friends appeared. They were not ones I readily recognise but I knew they were my friends.

In Sydney I felt like everyone I knew or was acquainted with in the music scene was someone I could trust. Quite naive but the feeling was real. Our scene is built on mutual respect and understanding.