everyone i love is safe.
i am fed and warm.
i am not digging infants out from under rubble.
as long as this stands
in stark contrast to the experiences of others
this is not something to be grateful for.
from a position of power
gratefulness for the absence of suffering
yields to a sense of inevitability
that distances one from the discomfort of responsibility.
i want to reinvest my gratefulness
into emotions that generate action
against forces that perpetuate suffering.
i am not joining you
in the future you are hurtling towards
in the name of progress
as you leave too much behind.
you find your peace
in pastures of your own creation.
they are not grown to sustain us
their yield is prohibitively small.
it will not last
even for you.
you leave things behind.
you forget who you are.
you don’t know why you do anything.
what you offer to the world
will not be remembered as a benefit.
if we find the luck to survive
long enough for you to become history
your offerings will not be remembered fondly
nor seen as anything greater than folly.
and everything in their orbit
are not invention.
they are not ingenuity.
you celebrate death.
not in reverence or remembrance.
you mistake it for life.
a crude and misplaced revelry.
you are here for yourself.
not us. not them.
not bigger. not smaller.
not noble. not courageous.
not surprising. not pleasent.
enjoy your future.
and all that comes with it.
i get excited about things
that do not excite others.
i want to show and share and build together.
everyone is beat down
tired of ideas
trying to survive
i want to be excited
to make things better than they are
new ways to connect
improved ways to use technology.
and i want people to be on board.
what good is any of it
if people are not on board.
and who is to blame
for this lack of inspiration.
the internet is more than a transaction
granting access to information.
i give you everything about me
so that you might figure out ways
i can give you more
without knowing it.
you make me feel important
so that i might
for a moment
about a reality
you have created.
there is a world
that is possible
where information is truly free
and connection does not come with cost.
this is a world
that we want
that you disguise
and hide from us.
that you prevent
what is gained
when a program turns a paragraph into a page
that is turned back into a paragraph
so that it can be consumed?
and what is lost?
we don’t have the energy
to consume more than an overview
more than the minimum.
there simply isn’t enough time to take it all in.
our capacity is non-renewable.
information grows exponentially.
hurtling towards infinity
if it has not yet arrived there already.
is the function of language to be concise?
to optimize towards maximum efficiency?
how much human character is overlooked in summary?
is it a mark of imperfection?
a smudge in a fingerprint?
a barrier to communication?
what is the objective of computer-assisted communication?
on what scale is this progress measured?
it enables me to be louder than ever before
and to make quiet others that have too much to say.
do i have too much to say?
it amplifies our voice
allowing us to make our thoughts more perfect
closer to what we intend.
and then it reduces all of what is said
to “what really matters”
so that others can tune out the noise.
to separate us from what we are saying.
what is the point of that dance
if not for a moment to make us feel better
about how little our words matter
in a world that is only observant of what is most efficient.
i don’t want to leave
but i don’t want to be here.
i want everything to be ok
i want people to be ok
i want to be held
i want each step to be meaningful
not in the name of progress
but in presence.
present even when it’s uncomfortable
because it is always uncomfortable.
we look away
from the discomfort that is everywhere
as we seek our own comfort.
how is that not irresponsible
if you have the ability to go where you wish.
i want to be close to nature
but i don’t want to ignore everything else
because everything else
for better or worse
and how too is it not also natural
if worse is our creation.
oppression is given room to breathe
when individuals with power seek comfort.
a foot should be on its neck.
i don’t want to be here
but i don’t want to be anywhere else
because of what i’d leave behind.
how could anyone
take a step
in any direction.
so much of my enthusiasm for life
is wrapped up in change.
acknowledging new information
to keep myself in check
to iterate on this idea of self
and validate the selves of others
by responding proportionately.
you want to bring people along
the ones you care about
to feel what you feel
especially when it takes effort
and feels genuine.
you tell your story
by way of the stories of others.
you want to share the feelings
other experiences elicit in you.
feelings felt in isolation feel incomplete.
you don’t want to be observed.
you want your feelings to be felt.
you spend years of your life
attempting to share what fits for you.
you sing and speak and write.
you find your voice in it all.
and there’s just enough camaraderie
to see the potential fit with others.
over time those hopes
founded on the potential of shared experience
begin to break apart.
you observe the people you are most close to
and realize you’ve been looking at the same thing
from a different direction.
that you couldn’t be more different
when observed at a finer fidelity
that only comes with time.
and occasionally this improves your perspective
as new information.
but so often it does not.
comfort never came with the same premise.
what you wanted to share
you’ll learn in retrospect was not shared
because of foundational discrepancies
that take time to set.
relationships are vague promises
and you fill in the blanks with hope
that your perception of another
is as aligned as you want it to be.
in overlaps of time and space
you taste test your relationships
are you still who i thought you were?
the answer is eventually a bitter no.
people are themselves.
we all want it to be uniquely so.
and yet we want to find sameness
to validate our place in all of it.
we strive to find self
and yearn for authenticity in our existence.
while this aim is necessary to pursue identity
it guarantees a degree of isolation.
i find myself on what feels like an island
no one is interested in more than visiting.
my journey, to those i share it with, is at best interesting
and interesting does not feel shared.
you lose faith in people
not that they are unwilling to meet you where you are at
but that they cannot join you in the same pursuit
because they are not you.
the hope that people can share your posture
share whatever perspective you find most meaningful.
be aligned in purpose.
i find that hope to be a constant let down
not because i am right and they are wrong
but because i am me, and they are not.
they are each of themself.
i am myself.
that is a glorious and terrifying thing.
my excitement for new technology
is dwindling at best.
it may be due to the counterweight
of a world on fire
but it doesn’t feel like progress
in the way it used to.
i do not have a vision for presence.
i purge things from my life
things i do not want to keep around.
i am finding that doing so
leaves little behind.
i do not know what to bring in.
i want to replace letting go
with reaching out.
but for the life of me
i do not know what that would be for.
nothing good lasts
you gotta hop on to the next
before you’re stuck
the energy of everything
propelling us to more advanced
and less equitable outcomes
the energy of everything
leading to exponential loss
losing sight of what makes something good
behind what makes something profitable
no longer shocked
it is all quite predictable
it depends on our willingness
to believe it can change
or to take advantage of it going unchanged
i used to be a child
that couldn’t sit still.
a kid that was afraid
to show how they felt.
that if the world would see me laugh hysterically,
then they might point and laugh themselves.
this little child.
stifling every hint of energy.
just wanting to make people happy.
hoping they don’t stare.
learning to disappear.
i still can’t sit still.
and with that comes other pains.
but i’m no longer that scared to be seen.
though i do have to beat back shame when i am.
my eyes are getting worse.
my body is taking a beating from this life
and i’m attuned to its decay.
forced to watch it be spent in the service of capitalism.
what a waste.
how much of my vitality is wrapped up in this endeavor
the furthering of an idea
that isn’t working.
an idea that causes harm.
sucking it out of our eye sockets.
we are staring at its sun.
the instant we look away
self-interest creeps in
convincing us for a moment that we are eternal.
so we nod our heads back
and open our eyelids.
that’s all it needs us to do
to stay alive.
if only that was all it took
for me to do the same.
my vibrancy has become more observable as i have gotten older.
i feel that i have become less vibrant.
it takes time to learn to love yourself.
to see yourself.
as i have become more fond of who i am
i fear the parts i am finally growing fond of
my problem solving
i fear that these things are on their way out.
that the time to utilize them is becoming more scarce.
that at some point there wont be enough of it left to feel good about
or to show people
or to have them partake in.
my beauty is a resource that is nonrenewable.
am i sharing it while i still can
is it being used
or is it going to waste.
as i am beginning to recognize the things that most make me feel beautiful
that beauty is only a reminder of a more beautiful past.
had i only loved myself more then
appreciated myself more fully then.
might i have made different decisions
that led to more happiness
or translated to less pain
that led to others’ happiness
or prevented their pain.
as i find my beauty
i am made more aware of my own decay.
and i want it to be consumed
while it still can be.
i want to share this feeling.
i want to be puzzled by the same things.
hold breath in the same air.
i want to have the same challenge.
the same wonder.
the same fear.
the same same.
what i am feeling is not a bad thing.
i am accessing feelings in new ways.
i am recognizing pain instead of missing it.
i am vocalizing what hurts and where it hurts.
i am putting words to things that are hard to explain.
yes there is a lot of sadness in it.
but it isn’t bad.
or a downer.
or something to be disappointed about.
it is good.
i am worried that the older i get
the less desirable i will become.
the less valuable i will be.
unless i have a family
who loves me for who i am.
there is no guarantee
that i can have that
for an entire life.
and that potential
of not having people who love me for who i am
for a period of time
and what’s more
i can feel like the people who love me for who i am
don’t know me completely.
that there are pieces of who i am
spread across relationships in my life.
and i must assemble that picture of myself.
in order to sum all of the visibility
in order to feel wholly adequate.
so even when i feel loved for who i am
i still don’t feel wholly seen.
i want to find self reflection.
so that i might see myself as complete
and in that total picture
i want to fully exist.
and sometimes that feels very difficult to do
when i feel alone.
i watch my father’s collarbone get older.
i see my parents mature into their age.
and it makes me sad.
watching them become more themselves
as our time together becomes less.
why doesn’t everything last forever?
it’s such a shame that anything ends.
i just want time to keep going
without our time waning.
oh everything good should exist forever.
growth should be enough to keep us alive.
but it’s not.
we grow until we die.
nothing about that feels right.
we should grow and live long enough to experience perfection.
to experience the end of growth.
there’s so much in life that needs to heal.
and yet our lifespan cuts that healing short.
the healing is cut short
and we are deprived of the joy that comes from wholeness.
we are presented with imperfection
and forced to find beauty in that.
we are given the idea of progress as a replacement for completeness.
we are given the idea of something greater
the idea of something transcendent.
so that we might track meaning into eternity
because it goes where we cannot.
and wherever it goes
is where we most want to be.
i look at my parents in their imperfection
and i yearn for wholeness.
because in them i see a reminder of progress
and my hope for something to be complete.
and in that i am grateful
that feels perfect.
but i am mourning the time that won’t ever exist.
lately i’ve been compulsively scrolling.
opening up this device and moving my thumb.
distraction is the new silence.
why is it so hard to just sit?
what is so wrong about reflecting that i’d rather not?
that i would choose to avoid it.
silence and solace should be a good thing.
something that makes me feel good.
instead, i need a flash in front of me.
to make my heart skip a beat.
to make my brain go on.
i need something other to tell me what to feel.
i want to be excited to make myself feel things.
i want to perpetuate my own joy.
i want to validate myself.
and yet i use my phone until my hand hurts.
until my eyes hurt.
until i stop thinking.
until i look up dissatisfied.
everything must be recorded.
everything must be preserved.
everything must be displayed.
so that it might be validated
because i’m incapable of validating it myself.
or maybe i just don’t want to.
it’s hard for me to observe joy.
specifically the joy that i see people that look like me having.
it feels like a joy that i’m supposed to have.
but isn’t a joy that i feel like i want.
i look at families with parents that are my age.
with kids that i could have had.
deep in the world of family building.
and it feels like something i’ve always wanted to have.
but never could.
not because i’m incapable.
not because i haven’t found the right situation.
it feels like it was never something for me.
it feels like something a different me could only experience.
that it’s not the life that i have been given
that something would have to change so deeply in me
for that to even be something that’s mine.
i look at families and i want to cry.
not because i feel like i missed out.
but because i feel like i’m on the outside.
my understanding of the world
and people’s understanding of me
feel like a barrier to the joy.
there was a time.
when i thought that my life
would be having kids that play in the street
on an early summer day.
in a town
distant from everything else.
a life full
of family things
of bruises and scrapes.
of hurt feelings
and water balloons thrown too hard.
that feels like an eternity away.
a place that i don’t fit.
and it’s palpable
when i’m there as a guest.
everyone is enthusiastic about having me around
but i feel like i’m on the other side of a wall
and that people know it.
and that i don’t fit there.
and that makes me sad
because i don’t know what joy looks like if it doesn’t look like that.
i feel like i’d like to experience the joy.
and that it would be disingenuous.
it would be something that i would be pretending to be.
i represent in so many ways
what others feel is missing from their life.
and there’s something exciting about that for them
and so they enjoy spending time with me.
and i sit on the other side.
i’m sitting here thinking about how friends leave.
you build relationships with people and you are a person for that time
and then time passes and you do different things
and you grow apart without realizing it.
because what’s happening in front of you is always most important.
most top of mind.
and then one day you miss being somewhere that you’re not
and you look around you
and you see things that remind you of the way things used to be
you grow fond of the time where less time had passed.
where everything was more fresh and more real.
and you miss it.
and then you check in
with those friends.
and you realize how far you’ve grown apart.
and there’s still love
because there are still memories of the past.
but it’s not the same.
and there’s disappointment in that.
it reminds you of how much life you’ve lived.
which is ultimately a reminder of less life remaining
and that can be some thing that you don’t want to think about.
i am too tired
i a m too tire d
i yam two tye red
i have nothing creative in me right now
i am trying
trying to be creative
and this this this right here is
it iti t.
perhaps this is interesting
perhaps it is very much not
we will see
i am just going to talk right now
i put my head back
and closed my eyes and cannot see what i am typing
i just looked down to see if i messed up.
i didnt. nice.
my eyes are closed again and i am kinda typing faster.
whjp lows where the time goes.
i am so tired.
its like my capacity is ...
i dont know.
this whole time i wasnt looking
im back though because my fingers got misplaced.
i forgot about the small bumps on f an j keys.
i guess im here in the dark
typing on my favorite website
hoping that this give me something back
there is a dim warm yellow light next to me. it is night.
the screen on my laptop is lit here too
maybe i shall turn the brightness down
ok i will.
hello friends. this is nice.
i worked with students today
and did some adult work too for my job
i am very lucky.
it is a thursday
but it feels like a no-day.
the kind of day where nothing is known
you just whiz through it
in full on response mode
no time to contemplate
except the drive back from englewood
reflecting on the time you spent building relationships
with kids who have so much more ahead of them
then you ever felt you had.
though you did indeed have it ahead of you.
the time i spend teaching
is time i spend thriving
im sure it wouldnt be easy if i did it full time
but it sure feels like a good fit.
that time is spent in bliss
nothing else matters
everything feels like the right expenditure of energy
not questioning decisions,
or weighing them tactically for the sake of a career move.
just being present.
who want someone to be present with them.
who want to make someone laugh
or learn from them
or someone to hug or giggle about.
someone to see them.
i like to see people.
i like them to know they got it.
that what they are doing is valid.
that they are valuable
even if they dont know what they want.
if they dont make anything.
student j made me a website tribute today in fifteen minutes
did it to make me laugh.
was proud to show me.
it was really funny.
j is the quiet one.
that i nudge and say hey
while they pretend to ignore me.