By R. Cary
My shape, my definitions of experience. My space and time lay against this landscape of life. How I appear, what I bring into existence. My aesthetic expression upon this world. Myself into reality.
When I was born, I saw the light, shining inception upon me. To this day, this feeling of warmth grazes into my sight. I don’t remember seeing my mom, but I do remember her seeing me. Maybe it was her, that feeling of warmth, what shone upon me. This feeling of existence made me strong. I wanted to touch, sense, smell, perceive everything. In this moment I am tangible. I knew who I was to be, to become. I accepted my arrival. I accepted this life. They say, before you were born, you chose your path in life. This time, I asked for mountains to be my path, my landscape of definition. How my shape will come to appear.
My first recognition of self-occurred when I was 6 years of age. I was sleeping on the floor in my parents’ home when the nightmares came. When darkness entered my dreams. The darkness of falling arrived when the stars touched the sky. An actionable event. I could feel it, weightless. Without attachment. My response was anger. A flurry of emotion. A pounding of the floor with my fist. Each time I woke I grit my teeth; my jaw only exists to compress. My soul focused, narrowed. Fearless. ‘I am not scared,’ I tell myself. ‘I can do this’; I recite to myself until the stars meet the night’s end. I don’t know how many times I tried to let myself fall. I later heard the myth that if you ‘fall in your dream into the nothingness you die.’ I said bull shit. 6 years old. No fear. That is my goal. Purpose?
I challenged this fear of falling in my sleep. I would leap off a building and fall to my death. Again, and again until this fall to death became my comfort. Attacked in my dreams, my nightmares of pursuit, keep fighting until you win. Being attacked relentlessly is no fun. Exhausting, but ‘never quit’ equals ‘never die.’ I will never die. I learned, in time I could control my dreams, effortlessly, without intention. With practice I knew I was stronger, more resilient, fearless. I saw my shape just a little bit more.
Face your hardships. Challenge your will. Only uphill will you ever go. If your path becomes stagnant, flat, easy, don’t let up. Lift your eyes and take one step. One step, the first step is the hardest. A step of faith and your mountains will appear. Uphill is the only thing you will ever know.
Running. I ran. Midway through elementary school, a little older than 6 now. I simply ran. 5, 6 miles per day. I would see everyone chase each other, childish boys’ and girls’ games of ‘tag’ across the playground. I heard the school’s gossip as I ran by everyone on the track. A friend say’s, ‘let’s go to the playground.’ I felt the pull, the desire to quit. But I would not break. I just kept running. Everyday. If I got sick and couldn’t go to school, I yelled and screamed. I wanted to run. Square. The track was square. Dirty, dusty, but steady and sturdy. Discipline, purpose, the playground was my landscape, I was the reference point. The stability. This is when I began to learn about phenomenology, I just had no way to describe it. The experience of self, a flow of consciousness across space and time. In a square, a shape, I would learn to follow myself, my purpose. 500 children on the playground. I am the runner, and I will not stop. I will always leap. Nothing will take me off my track. Nothing. One step at a time, turnover after turnover, I will lay each step of my shape. My biggest lesson learned. If I ran, others would follow.
Groups, friends, I always had them. I loved the feeling of friendship. Laughter, belonging, getting lost in an experience. There was something significant in this. Possibly a truth. But my shape, I never understood how my shape fits with other people. I sensed confusion of self since a young age. This quelled over the years. Balance. It is about balance. Time for myself, my shape to exist in its own unique space, space that took time and care to rest in.
Around 16 my definitions, my boundaries of existence really started to be felt by me and seen by others. This really mattered to me. To be myself. To be liked, more so accepted as I exist. Groups. Friends. Stay within your boundaries and you will live a full life. Balance will always need heading.
I played soccer. The perfect balance of my compulsion for self, my shape’s need of its own space combined with the human need to feel good. I found a group, what we call a team. A Soccer team. They were good. I was going to make my shape fit into this team, with this team. Stay within your boundaries. Know your shape. Know how you fit. What is that? We all fit together. We are held together. We flow together, as one collective unit. What is that? This is not just about my shape in space and time, this is about all of us, my team, a collective consciousness. A much larger shape than my own.
When I was 17, I went to England. I saw Manchester United vs. Inter Milan. I was hypnotized. Their play was existing outside of the boundaries of existence. In this game, I saw the human condition broken. Within this rectangle, this field, this shape the ball flowed without gravity controlling it. I saw one play move effortlessly across the field to the next. The players, the ball hovering just above the earth. Reality is broken. ‘This is truth’ I say. This is why we exist. We exist for each other; this is our purpose. Then I heard it. We’ll never die, We’ll never die, We’ll never die, We’ll never die, We’ll keep the red flag flying high cos Man United will never die. What the hell is that! Defying the boundaries of existence in a game and daring this world to bring them down to earth. The audacity. I want in. But how, how do they do this? I need the how. The Manager, Alex Ferguson, I heard in an interview. He called it the ‘iron gate.’ We will never fail. You will never fail. And if you do, we will pick you up. That is the iron gate. Refusal to let myself fail, anyone around me to fail and acceptance of those around me to never let me fail became my shape. And my shape will never die.
Once returning to England I learned generosity. My parents ask, ‘Can Aunt Mildred come live with us?’ Of course. ‘Can Aunt Mildred have your bedroom?’ Of course. I knew no other words but ‘of course’. I had done this once before when I was younger. My Great Aunt Pauline. 2 years she was with us. I had no bedroom. No space of my own. I never thought about it then. I wasn’t going to think about it now. I am a senior in high school now. Still, only ‘of course’ is my response. I immediately began organizing my room for Aunt Mildred, making some space in the closet, making me space in the living room to sleep. Space, did I need it? My own? Or can I make my space wherever I am? That is a skill. How do I fit my shape to wherever I am? To be comfortable wherever I am, in my shape, in my own space. I furthered my thoughts. Can I build myself; can I build comfort anywhere in the world? Alone. Isolated? With nothing to my name, no space? That is a challenge.
I had my first relationship when we were in college. When she told me she was pregnant my mind froze, ‘wrong fucking woman.’ I then looked into her eyes, giving her my resilience. Embracing her, security is what she felt. I was a Clydesdale. Strong. Stable. Moral. Purposeful. Kind. Generous, as I learned along the way. And, most of all, resilient. But under my breath, what I left out of that embrace, ‘wrong fucking woman.’ In time, my belief, stated under my breath, proved truthful. A matter of years, a second child, my first relationship ended. What I never told anyone, till now, was with her, I couldn’t see my mountains. With her the mountains never appeared. My journey lost to a life I could no longer sense, my challenges in life never to appear. Ever since, I won’t let anyone into my life that doesn’t help me accomplish my goals, doesn’t help my mountains appear. If you don’t help me see my mountains, my challenges, my purpose, then you will not exist in my life. Inspire me. Give me faith in my journey. I am all yours.
I know kindness and care, love, and compassion, but these two humans brought into the world were my biggest challenge yet. I witnessed quickly, as a parent, the learning is not one way. We learn from our children just as much as they learn from us. Lesson after lesson, I began to see my shape mold, be defined in a new way, seeing my lessons of the past as now stagnant, stuck, lacking, I accept my new impressions. Generosity is now giving, giving of yourself. How can I give myself to the world, not just with these two, my daughters. My shape, my shape matters but how my shape fits into others’ lives matters more. My daughters taught me to give my full self, my shape; the world deserves my shape, what I define, the space I take up. I also learned, through this is the cost of resiliency. Never die. It comes at a cost. My daughters live with their mom. That is all I know. You ask yourself, ‘if you just quit, you can have a normal life.’ But my shape, my purpose is strong. It doesn’t break. This not breaking as I said, it comes at a cost.
There are consequences to resiliency. What will you choose? Wanting, desire, commitment, discipline, pride, love, care, duty, purpose; no one has broken me yet. Fractures, splintering of self, delusions, exhaustion, the fight, hour by hour, night by night, time transcends into fatigued despair, mountains unending; I leap, I crawl, I fall, I get up, the struggle, developed, developing, it never ends. The horizon only gets further, the mountains only pointing higher. Uphill, why did I choose such a hard path? 5 years, I don’t remember taking a breath. 10 years before that. 15 years? October 2021 was my 15 year anniversary. Here is what I have to say:
Dying, dead, death, no hope, not living, where can I find my faith?
My head bowed, this boulder submitting me to my knees, down, beaten
Failed, I must stand up, atlas, atlas shrugged, you can do it, only you
Can enlighten determination to arise, within, strength, courage, faith
One step after another, just one step, it is always the hardest, one knee
At a time, this world on your shoulders, one step and faith arrives
Life will beat at you. Life will die for you. Life never gives up. You will never give up. Across the mirage of failures, beneath the fires of your choices, this burning will be your creed. Igniting pursuits no one else can imagine, giving to this world as you never imagined. Belief, faith, actionable, reliable, just follow them and you will prevail. Trust, your enemy of self, will become your guiding mountain. In others you will learn conviction. In yourself you will see what others see. Blind faith, you just keep running and others will follow. Morality, the one thing that is black and white in this world. Your moral boundaries will bend, maybe break, but you will be forgiven. Truth, what you have always sought will become the only thing you see. Being human, your arch enemy, you will begin to accept. It is not your fault. You were born just as you are. Just as each of us are.
I have been the same as when I was 6 years old. I see, experience, judge the world just as I did then. How my body processes emotions, embodiment, my soul, myself, my mind, all an organic whole, but each has its own purpose. Witness, I witness the world, a perceiver, I perceive, I perceive myself. As I see myself, I will always ask, how can I help? I see you; love is what you need. How do I show you I care, people care? You are loved. I feel you. My senses always heightened; my intuition never stops seeking. Since I was 6 years old, my emotional shape is and has always been, to end humanity’s problems. With this world on my shoulders. I will stand to rise:
Pick your eyes up, pick your feet up, this is your duty, humanity
Matters, carrying this burden, these burdens are yours by design;
Intention, focus, narrow your thoughts, hear the beat of all of us
Your soul crossing into existence lifting you as you stand, up
Once again, lifting this boulder, this world high, above, arrived;
Atlas shrugged, in our small ways, every day, we lift this world of ours
Choice. You must choose to accept. Settle your soul. Leave divergence behind. Consciousness, the demands, my mind under duress, goals are mutual, met, but my eyes only see the isolation, my body only feels confinement, acceptance is lacking, I only want out. The sun, the moon, they rise, and they fall, every day is the same. Change. I need change in my life. The sun and moon are not enough. How I exist, the space, the time, I am like the sun and the moon, the same ellipses singular in moment, so far away I feel, the circularity is a pinpoint. Life occurring in a pinpoint. If you look close enough you might see me. 4 corners, 4 walls, it is all I know, from this pinpoint of experience. I need change. Desolation, desolate, alone, needs, wants un-experienced, un-present, gone, biology not relevant to my breaths. My heart beating but without my will, losing control, temperance, pleasure, what is that? I need change. Acceptance? It is hard, the hardest thing you know. Remember your values. Your purpose. This is your mountain. It is said, before you were born you choose your challenges in life. Remember where you came from. This is your journey and yours to self-define. You have been here before, but this time, this mountain, this mountain is yours.
The world is passing by. I see the world as a movie I am watching, witnessing. No presence. Remember, you are the object of others, their focal point, what they measure their days with. Acceptance. Giving, you give. You know generosity, kindness, resiliency. Every day you rise, as the sun for others. The moon to give them solace of self, comfort, belief. Your sun is the ‘after,’ when you are done, but they need you. You are needed. More importantly you are cared for. For now, acceptance is your challenge. Resiliency may be an unresolved equation, but that is for another day. For now, it is very simple. Strap your boots on and get to work. It matters.
My shape, it is brutal, existential in function. I am a philosophical hedonist; pleasure is just a bit different for me. Competitive, to compete, I always win even when you think you did. Conquer, my personal goal is to conquer the human condition. I want to break reality, summon it to my will. If you want the moon, I will bring it to you. I know no other way. What is more real? That Dracula existed or the idea of Dracula? I only know the latter. Forms, we all still know who Plato is. I want the world to know who I am. Arrogant, audacious, I learned it along the way. Sociopathic and narcissistic, both served me well. Have served the world well. Ego, it is not how it seems. You see, the story of this journey has been, I am always learning. I will continue to learn, to grow, to nurture what it is we call our soul or our eternal selves. My life’s purpose, discovery of my eternal self. An unknown truth. But I, I as me, the perceiver that exists beyond this human condition, I know him, and he knows me. Together we have expanded our reach, together we have journeyed. My eternal self has needed a brutal lesson. This is what humanity has taught me. We are all the same. Love and kindness are the only truths that exist, another idea of forms. A metaphysical statement. It is up to me to discover what the heart means. My eternal self-needed a lesson and in this brutality, my existence, it is not mine. It is ours.
“I” does not exist; only us, we, together, bonds, each other, the caring act of purpose, is always the person next to you. My shape, boundaries of existence is the definition of others. I will always make the person next to me better. I will always serve. My dignity rests in only this action, my agency of self only has one horizon, to serve. This mountain is quelling now. As I sit here, decompressing, pressures once mounting easing. Dignity, retain your dignity. Anger is never the solution. Acceptance with grace, your newfound statement of faith. I trust, it becomes embodied, now you see this mountain subsiding, losing its shadow over your journey. Your vision is arriving again. Self-recognition once lost into perceptions easing into your sight. Inward, you always look inward. Yourself, presence, your shape, defined, you exist for others. See yourself in others. There is no “I”, just the beauty of us. What humanity has taught me. The beauty of us.
I am a condition of others. My shape, my aesthetic experience of self. How I appear to the world. I have come into existence from others. I exist only in perception of others. This world is my landscape, I only exist in its definitions. In choices, actions, I am defined. Opportunities given to me to further define my shape, to be impressed upon and to impress on those around me. We all fit together. Each of us unique, each of us with our own purpose of shape. We must choose, when our mountains arrive to accept; choice, it is our greatest gift. Morality, laid out for us, black and white; a choice, decision, a consciousness of self, our relationship to others arrive in pinpoints. Moments, opportunities to decide, always better, across our landscape. Resilient, moments are resilient, never ending. The choice is always yours.
If you run, when no one else is, others will follow you. The world is constantly moving, changing, life interrupts. But you, you will always keep running. Do you know what made Manchester United so good, what captured my imagination? It was each player making each pass better than the last. It was each player making the other look good, giving those around them the best opportunity for success. Focused, a giving of self, selflessly, the ‘us’ weighted upon their own selves, they simply refused to fail each other. They just kept running.
Leadership. When your shape is tested. When your conviction is under assault. When you feel like you are losing, faith arrives in many forms. Trusting yourself, your shape, accepting this knowledge as your first metaphysics, these are your mountains. The logic, how you know, faith, is following your logic. Acceptance. Acceptance of purpose, your shape existing, others existing as they are, choices, you must decide, faith in your logic and you will never die. And always remember, if you do fail, we will all pick you up. We are the iron gate.
The world is a landscape. It is our landscape. It is how we define our existence. Experiences, postmodernism, enlightenment, capitalism, freedom, liberty, values, morals, ideas, academics, work, love, hate, pain, all of life, it is all the same. Opportunities to decide. Our landscape, where our opportunities come into existence. A theory, a belief, an ascension to and acceptance of these are all moral decisions. Put consciousness into. Bring into existence. We mold our landscape, give it meaning. Define its intention upon us. Value based judgments; the only way creation happens. We create, endlessly, giving us choice, we decide what exists in this landscape. Consciousness, a moral phenomenon. Existence requires our creation to sustain itself. We give the earth purpose. An outcome. We exist in our own creation. A choice or not choosing is creation. Existence, our first perceptions when we enter the light. From the eternal womb we came. In the eternal womb we die. What we create, how we define ourselves, the space we enter, the space we leave, the space we define ourselves of and into, are our creations. Goodness, we can fill our space with goodness. Choices, choices create space. How do you want to fill your space? With goodness or evil, evil as a metaphor for what is not goodness. It requires space. With your shape, define the space. This landscape is ours and ours to give to each other. To give meaning to each other. Others are how we perceive ourselves. What we see in others is what we see in ourselves or how we want our shape to be. A self-definition as a necessary condition. Each other, how we perceive our boundaries of existence. Against this landscape, our shapes, what we choose comes into perception. Perceived, to be perceived is existence. I am perceived therefore I exist. I choose; therefore, I am defined. My shape, our shapes, how we walk upon this world, within ourselves, our best selves as gifts to our landscape. This is your purpose. On being or being better. Be better. Every day is a moment to be better. Honor yourself as part of this landscape of life. What you choose is who you are. Your identity, defined by your shape. In action you are given destiny, your mountains giving to you action. Agency it is known. Will. Will is determination or grit. You will never give up. You will always seek goodness. You will always seek to be better. Just lift your eyes and your mountains will arrive. Just lift your eyes and choice will become your shape to define.
By R. Cary