You find yourself on a boat in the middle of a calm lake. The bright sun reflects off your face. Beads of sweat form and drip freely. It feels good to be alive.
It feels good to have this experience, this instant in time that endlessly repeats and builds on itsself.
You smell her in your clothes from last night. Its a great smell. A smell that adds to this sensation of being alive in this moment.
You feel a slight tug on your line. A fish has taken interest in your bait. You take no interest in the fish and let it swim away freely.
Your gaze lazily drifts from the water to the distant shore. The shore, a hazy distant dream. Something promised, but not here yet.
Its silent save the gentle lapping of the water against the sides of the boat.
With an indifferent stare you raise your beer to your mouth and sip. It tastes great. All the subtle textures and sensations combine. You can almost break them apart with your tongue.
Everything is perfect. The boat lazily rocks from side to side.
So you find yourself in the familiar golden city.
The perfect woman reappears. This time you approach her without hesitation. You let all of the strong emotions she makes you feel escape freely as you talk to her. It feels good, a great release. The outcome doesn't matter, only the experience of this moment as you remove all restrictions on your words with wreckless abandon.
The golden city fades away and its just you and her. A feeling of great connectedness emerges. You begin to lose yourself, this person across from you feels like a lost part of yourself.
This short interation with her makes time expand endlessly. Life isn't so heavy anymore. You float freely now.
So you find yourself in a place you traveled to once before. It contains the same feelings that this particular place produced, but everything looks very different.
The walls shine golden around you. Confusing dark hallways lead back to the place you started. And then you see her.
She is the perfect woman. With just a brief glance you know that she has everything you need. Your breathing increases and your mind slips into a dreamy haze as you are overcome by her beauty. But, you catch yourself. This strong feeling goes against the actions that are required to get her attention. If you give in to them you will find yourself like any of the other thousands of men that have approached her and been dismissed.
You suck in a deep breath and stifle the powerful emotions that are brewing inside you. You walk up and say something casual and neutral, she responds, but then she walks off and dissapears from your life forever.
You find yourself left with the after-effects of those strong emotions; the once positive emotions turn into feelings of bitterness and dispair, tearing at your mind. Destroying that which you have spent the better part of your life building.
You continue walking through the golden city. Strange elevators trap you and throw you through the air at tremendous speeds. You become sick, tired, depressed; all these at once. But then she appears again. You suck in a deep breath and stifle all the negative emotions. When she speaks to you, you don't lean in, but you dismissively lean back. She leans in, she is embracing you now. Everything is warm sunshine and happiness again.
You find yourself with her at the top of this golden city. A cramped space. You aren't able to move about freely anymore. You feel warm feelings with her, but you have lost the feeling of freedom and wrecklessness. Its like being drugged in a comfortable coffin. You are aware that you are confined, but it feels too good to escape.
This good feeling lasts for eons, but in one certain moment it is over. The morning sun shines in your eyes. Memories of the warm feeling echo in your head. Yes, you need this feeling again, off to the world to seek it.
Ah, so the on-call train starts up one more time. It feels like I've been working for an eternity without a day off. But just 3 more weeks and I'll be walking around Bicentennial park in Miami, a few beers down, the sun is setting; perfect trance bounces off the water. Ah, its going to be sweet.
Ah. My mind is in that certain special place.
Monday night. No more on-call for a month. My mind is no longer something that can be so easily penetrated. Knowing that I never backed down, even in the most difficult moments, this gives me the bliss I have now.
The anchor on my soul is released and I sail out into an infinite ocean.
Life continues on freely without restraint. Living each moment of each day, this is what is important. In this limited lifetime we are given, it is the only true path.
Silently conveying stillness. An empty gaze consumes everything.
The world keeps moving, but within the empty gaze it is of no consequence.
Gathering enjoyment not based on the outcome. Living the action, this is life.
Ah, a few beers later, a little trance. It feels like love is everywhere, everything is good. After being in a desert for so long, this feeling is a refreshing oasis.
This truely is the meaning of life. Feeling the deepest sense of emptyness and then feeling the greatist sense of fullness. Without that contrast, without that conflict, each, by themselves has no meaning.
Another trip on the horizon, about 2 weeks to go. This time we go to the Los Angeles sports arena for Monster Massive, halloween night. It is going to be fucking sick.
I remember last year, going to a festival in L.A.; there is definately a different vibe there than Dallas, Miami or Europe for that matter.
L.A. is more welcoming to trance. Thats why Armin Van Buuren is the main attraction. He is going to rock that shit out. L.A. has the greatist proportion of true ravers. The highest number of people on drugs, something which I believe contaminates the true spirit of the scene; but L.A. also has the greatist number of people who really get into it(outside of Europe). Glowsticks, lasers.
Nothing else. Only that experience:
Waiting for a beam
To break through here
A chain way vision
All bright and clear
And they talk
And they dance
I was expecting something pure
With a golden hair
Arms full of bracelets
And smoke in the air
And they talk
And they dance
Here comes darkness
Waiting for a sign
If I survive I'll worship the moon
This must be it
Long for bliss
First it was so quiet
Now I know I'm not alone in here
(And they talked,
And they danced)
Two omens collide in my open hand
Making me a viewer
I am what I have seen
And they talk
And they dance
Your hand on my hips
Speak friendly to me
I've been studying for years
Is this as far as you can take me?
This must be it
Long for bliss
First it was so quiet
Now I know I'm not alone in here
(And they talked,
And they danced)
Yes, for today a glimmer of sunshine.
The weekend is almost upon us. With any luck, 3rd admin will come back and take on-call. Without any luck, things won't be too bad. Everything falls into the distance as if I'm in a speedboat watching the shore.
I'm going to leave it all behind in my mind. What's so important that I have to hang on to? Right, nothing......the ever fleeting moment.
It had felt like I had everything in my life was dialed in. I was living a peaceful, happy existence. I was exploring the things that make life worth living. I was really finding a niche and banging it out. It felt damn blissful. But now it feels like everything is falling apart. I've totally lost zen for the time being. Lets make a list:
1) Drank too much last weekend, puked, lost control
2) Cloudy outside, can't ride my bike and find peace
3) Muddled thoughts, no sunshine
4) Co-worker out for a week on vacation (I take over his work)
5) Director out due to "personal issues" (More stress, the director is my umbrella from politics)
6) 3rd admin out due to "family issues" (I take over on-call, I'm the only admin now, more stress)
7) Conflicts with friends, stress, drama (like a fucking soap opera)
8) Panic attacks returned due to "experiencing death" by watching someone die on TV
Its not like one of these issues by themselves would be too much to handle. But, all combined I find myself full of stress and without a mechanism to release it. I want to meditate, but its too much; even after all these years of practice, the combination of these events leaves my mind in a state of perpetual turmoil (one thought leads to another, leads to another, leads to another and then it all recycles).
For moments at a time I can stop the painful movies that play in my head, but they just come back. I'm not in a good place now......
But I am feeling better. Typing all this stuff out gives me a place to work from. Without organizing it like this, its just an endless bombardment of negativity. Putting it here allows me to step back and look at it all. I can form a plan now and work with it.
So that is what I will do. I will form a plan and move forward. A battle worn soldier trudging through the deep snow in the middle of nowhere; I have to keep moving no matter how heavy my mind and body are.
Finally, football season again. I love the energy of the game. The way the the game can change at any point.
You map out a plan and then execute. Energy builds up until it is released.
Sometimes your plan doesn't go exactly the way it was drawn. There are so many factors outside of your control. You build your energy and then cast yourself in the direction of your plan. Its all you can do.
There is such a feeling of freedom in knowing that all you can do is cast yourself in the direction of your goals. The actual events and consequences are unimportant. The important thing is this powerful feeling of directing your energy in a focused manner.
Our world today is made out to look so complicated and confusing. There are so many ways to get lost. To loose that important feeling inside you. People roam meaningless paths, they make it hard for themselves. They grasp at things outside of their control. They need to submit to the uncontrollable state of everything outside themselves. Just feel the energy inside you, mold it, shape it and direct it. This is your life, don't ignore it.
Feel the energy inside. Call the play, hike the ball, and keep the chains moving.
The action of typing is the same as that of excercising. The payoff comes about indirectly. Its not like eating, watching TV or sex, where pleasure naturally occurs while participating in the action.
Thats not true: I can have sex, watch TV or eat and not feel any pleasure. However, my mind has attached a feeling of goodness to those things, so I do them more often vs. other things which my mind hasn't so strongly associated with pleasure.
This is turning into more of an intellectual activity than originally intended. I had to edit those two short paragraphs many times until I felt they conveyed the exact sensation I'm feeling right now. Which is, flat, restrained. I don't feel my characteristic sense of being. I'm up in my head, so to speak.
When people start using phrases such as "so to speak" it becomes very obvious that they are up in their head. This place here, now. I'm analyzing my own thoughts as an outsider. There is a direct transmission of information as it rises into my consciousness and then some other voice analyzes it and comments on it.
This isn't it. This isn't the bliss people search after. But, it feels like it. Oh, so thats what it is. I'm just relieving internal pressure by opening up and letting out the things that remain trapped inside me.
This is just a giant belch, releasing internal pressure in a way that feels good, but probably isn't too interesting to other people.
Its important because its my belch, I own it, and it makes me feel good. It has to be in this medium because I choose it. The reasons behind that are unimportant.
Its getting hard to separate part A from part B, so lets make it easier.
A: Dancing in the moonlight, waiting for the sunrise.
B: Yes, that's a track in the mix I'm listening to now.
Damn, I got sucked into the music and lost B. So now its just A again. Less confusing, but more serious. I need to bring some humor into this, it feels good to laugh.
I can't think of anything funny now. Its Sunday night, the weekend is winding down. Sunday nights always feel like this. Like its the end of the world. So stern, serious. Heavyness in the atmosphere.
Maybe this is just a side-effect of all those years of school. Sunday leading into 5 fresh new days of monotonous boredom. Five days of being restrained in my action. "You have to be at this place at this time and have to do these certain things or face punishment". School was really a nightmare.
I have freedom now. There is no-one grading how I live my life. There won't be some test I have to face, "Well you did this and this and this so you can't progress further". No, I can move in any direction I want. The judge, jury and executioner all live inside me and I'm friends with them. We have a mature relationship, the scales are balanced and we find pleasure together.
TiŽsto and Sneaky Sound System - I Will Be Here
The travel high fades but its not gone forever, you just have to find it again.
Alex M.O.R.P.H - Sunset Boulevard
Electric Pulse - White Noise
Mayday - Red Clouds(Straight Ahead Remix)
Dan Stone, Mark Eteson - Midas Touch
Bobina - Invisible Touch (Ferry Corsten's Touch Mix)
Tiesto - Elements of Life (Airbase Remix)
Lady Gaga - Just Dance (Hccrs Bembossa Edit)
Dub Pistols - Back to Daylight (Access Denied Remix)
Headflux - Music is My Weapon (Headflux remix)
Bodyrockers - Round & Round (Bimbo Jones Remix)
My mind is begining to go back to normal. All the great experiences I had crawl into the recesses of my mind and I am faced with the task of creating new ones. In other words, my travel high is wearing off.
There's a certain momentum I get when traveling. Its like a bike in a high gear, hard to get started, but once it gets moving it wants to stay moving. Its such an addictive feeling. Leaving everything behind; carving a new life in whatever place you find yourself.
The terror as the plane lifts off and the feeling of absolute relief as it safely lands. The feeling of being lost. The feeling that everything around you is moving so fast, there's no time to think, so just keep moving forward. Not having to worry about anything. The secure feeling that everything you need is in a single bag. Not being tied down to a location. Not knowing anybody. Being able to go anywhere at a moments notice because the place your currently at has no real meaning. Its the feeling of exchanging one thing for another thing of equal value. A for A, instead of A for B. Transcending the limitations of my personality.
I want to keep that feeling going. But here, in my routine. My job, my house, my car; all these possessions tie me down. This comfortable lifestyle ties me down. Here, there is no momentum. I'm in the highest gear trying to start from a dead stop. Its so hard to do. I climb on the bike and excert all my effort into getting the pedal to travel only a few inches and hardly move.
Here, it feels cumbersome, but I have to be real. Its an un-avoidable aspect of my personality. I wouldn't be able to travel if I didn't have the support of a cumbersome routine.
Its all food. The routine represents the vegetables and travel represents the dessert. I can do little things here: I can DJ, I can go to bars, go to clubs, relax, all those things. They provide a brief "dessert". But not as intense and as long lasting as travel.
Suppose I'm lucky to be able to feel those kinds of feelings at all. I bet there are people who have never experienced such bliss. But maybe they are content in their routines. Tasting this great bliss creates a scale of happiness to which everything else is compared. But it also creates passion, it creates desire; it creates a goal, a reason to keep living.
So now the unrestrained infinite smile fades a little, but I can keep moving forward without it. The feelings won't be as intense, the happiness and bliss won't be as long lasting. In spite of that, I will plow forward and find it again.
Trance and Plane Trips
Flying 37,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. A nice trance mix plays in my ears. I look outside the window and see a strange orange light. I put my glasses on, its the moon reflecting against the distant ocean waves. I'm on an alien world.
Amsterdam Day 1
First impressions: Run down looking. Lots of non-Dutch(Spanish, German, English). The strong smell of weed erupts from various bars. Efficient rail system. Customer service industry better than America's.
I wake up and walk across the street to Amsterdam Centraal Station. Wonder around a find a yellow ticket machine, purchase a ticket for Sloterdijk station. Once at Sloterdijk I begin to see 'rave friendly' looking people. I follow them out to the busses.
The bus travels through 30 minutes of rural Holland. Farms, grass, trees. We arrive at a shipping container lined parking lot. The containers are formed such that it creates a pathway. I follow the pathway, thumping bass in the background. I can see cottonwood seeds floating in the air, reflecting off the morning sunlight. Beautiful.
So I buy some tokens, trade them for a beer and proceed to enjoy the festival.
This was the best dance music event I've ever been to. The setting is a giant park 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam, full of lush, green wilderness.
Beer flows freely, even at 11AM almost everyone had a cup of beer. Around 4 the place turns into an all out party, everyone having a good time. Its easy to walk up to a group of people and have friendly conversation. Almost everyone speaks broken English.
The DJs play harder and longer than in the US. They know the European crowd demands nothing but the best. Everyone in the crowd is dancing and into the music. There is a more intense vibe of 'goodness' here than any other dance event I've been to. The bar has been raised a few notches.
Also, its socially acceptable to take a piss in the bushes, even along main roads...liberating.
Amsterdam Day 2
Unmotivated to write. No inspiration. Possibly due to the overstimulation of Dance Valley yesterday. Thoughts drift through my mind while exploring the city, but nothing endearing.
Amsterdam is too diluted by foreigners. It doesn't really have its own identity. Sure, it has historic landmarks/buildings and food; but the people are really what makes it what it is. This city is full of pleasure seeking tourists, it seems like they outnumber the locals.
Its hard to get a feel for what the Dutch are really like. I don't really get a specific emotion or trend from this city. It seems like everything goes, everything is lumped together. Its as if someone took a large variety of food, drinks,pot and sex and threw them into a giant blender. It turns into a big grey lump.
If you want weed, its here. If you want prostitutes, they're here. This is a place to gather random sensations that other cities have deemed illegal. And its full of people who come here for that specific reason.
For all the relaxed laws and liberal nature of the city everyone I've encountered outside of Dance Valley seems somewhat depressed. Its a strange paradox, one would think more freedom = more happiness. Everything is allowed, so nothing is sacred. How can we rebel if there is nothing to rebel against? Where is the the conflict that creates inspiration? It doesn't seem to exist here.
I hope England will be different than this place.
Hoek Van Holland to Harwich
Leaving Amsterdam by train was like leaving a thunderstorm. The "dankness" of the city was quickly replaced by small towns and countryside.
Green grass, trees, sunshine, fresh air, temperature a cool 70 degrees F.
Now I understand why people would want to live in Holland.
While traveling to Hoek Van Holland a large group of kids invaded the train. They started talking to me in Dutch, I had no idea what they were saying. I said "Engels" a few times hoping they would understand that I only understand English. But they kept talking to me and pointing to their green colored wristbands. It sounded like they were trying to ask me questions. I just kept smiling and nodding.......hope I didn't cause any permanent damage.
Its like they were on a class trip: "OK kids, now we're going to explore the trains of our beautiful country; be sure to talk to random strangers to see how nice they are". And they get the guy that just smiles and nods.
Currently, I'm sitting on a boat in Hoek Van Holland Haven, waiting for it to depart for England. I have a pretty nice cabin, I can look out and see out the front of the ship. An un-obscured view of the outside.
London First Impressions
After the 7 hour boat ride I arrived at a rustic train station at the port of Harwich, England. Waited about 45 minutes, and finally the train came.
People spoke English again. It was nice to hear that.
About 2 hours later, the sun had long since set, I found myself in the London Underground(subway system). Thank god I exchanged my euros for pounds before leaving the ship. The Underground system ticket machines only took pounds.
I punched in Leicester Square and navigated the system until arrival there. Near midnight, the streets were still bustling with people. Bars overflowing into the streets.
I navigated a few alleyways and found the street my hotel was on. But I couldn't find it. I walked up and down the street a few times. Even stood exactly where it was indicated on the map. Finally, I asked someone, it turned out I had asked the concierge of the hotel. There were no signs in front of the hotel, only a glowing front. Its hard to precisely describe the glow. Lets see, it was like a neon light behind creamy white opaque glass....I should have taken a picture. Rest assured it did not look like a hotel enterance. More like a large glowing wall in an art gallery.
This place is really avant-guarde. The fucking tiles and the main desk glow green. Actually, everything glows. Great columns of books go up to the ceilings.
Ambient music plays everywhere. My room has colored lighting I can adjust. This place is a work of art. I want to take it home.
Anyways back to London. Reminds me of Tokyo, everyone darting around, trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. I have to constantly dodge people in the Underground and on the streets. The left side of the street thing applies to stairs and streets as well, I have to remind myself to stay to the left.
The people themselves seem very respectful. If I move out of the way for someone they say thank you. Generally, there are a lot of thank you's and pardon me's.
The city itsself has a certain ancient feel to it. The streets, the brick, the layout of the city. Its all very old. Strange to be in such a modern age surrounded by things so old.
I like London and its people.
I decided to visit a beach. Brighton beach, about an hour outside of London by train. England is a lot like Japan in terms of its rail system. Its nice to not have to drive everywhere, just sit back and relax. A few minutes on the rails and everything turns into green countryside. Perfect.
I arrive in Brighton and wonder down through the bustling city to the beach. First thing that seems odd is the use of rocks as a beach. For me, beach = sand. It seems like this was perhaps a grassy shore at sometime, the some entrepreneur comes along and makes it into a beach. Rocks are probably cheaper than sand.
Its nice out here. A boardwalk type area, similiar to the restaurants along Santa Monica beach, but slightly more rustic.
I stop off at a nice little bar. Get a wasabi hamburger, This thing was badass. Wasabi + teriaki marainated burger = badass. Also tried some European beer, it was heavenly, I need to look the name up and see if they have it in the states. It was very smooth and crisp, but I couldn't catch the name of it.
Today was a nice relaxing day at the beach.
Woke up today. They say I'm related by blood to Catherine Howard, that gives me reason enough to justify the cost of a trip to Yorkshire to visit Castle Howard.
I was just about to buy the tickets when I realized it cost around 100 pounds for a round trip. I go to the ATM, but can't withdraw anything so I go to the phone, but I dont have enough money to keep the phone working long enough to get through those damn menus. I go back to the ATM and it lets me withdraw, maybe a mistake on my part. Its strange to think that if I run out of money here, I'm going to have to find a way to scrape by. I decide to get more conservative with my spending.
Anyways, I board the train to York. This train is more like a city to city flight in the US. The trip is about 2 hours through countryside.
I finally get to York station and then switch to the smaller train to Malton. Malton station consists of a single ticket stand, a small diner and a taxi office.
The taxi rank is empty, so I wonder around the city a little. Lots of stores selling agricultural products, not much else here. It seems pretty deserted.
I wonder back to the taxi rank, still empty. So I wonder into the taxi office and am met by the friendly dispatcher. Chit-chat a bit, people out here in the country seem more laid back than in London. Much like in a rural Texas town. After some time the taxi arrives. Fifteen minutes through back roads and rural routes to the castle.
Its amazing. Its absolutely ancient. Everything about it seems perfect. I wish I could prove my ancestry somehow so I could live there. Although, there are probably 1000s of Howard's more closely related to the family than I am.
The most amazing thing about the castle and the grounds is the wide range of experiences it offers. Lush forests, basins at the top of hills, mysterious walkways, large art galleries, a chapel, bedrooms, hallways, gardens. Almost like a self reliant city. I wonder what living here would be like?
These experiences are great. Its hard to believe its almost over. Tomorrow I journey back to Amsterdam via train. Maybe I will see Amsterdam in a different light after seeing England.
London to Amsterdam via Eurostar train
So, I'm on the Eurostar now, somewhere under the English Channel. The occasional light passes by the window, other than that, darkness outside. I hear an old english couple chatting nearby. Other than that, its silent. The seats around me are empty. This is almost a sensory deprivation experience.
I don't get to do this often enough, just sit somewhere, nothing in particular to do. Its very therapeudic. My mind gets a chance to rest.
Being around the English accent so frequently, it starts to loose its edge. It sounds normal to me now. I struggle to remember what an American accent sounds like.
About 2 hours to go before Brussels Midi, Belgium; then change trains for Amsterdam Centraal.
Amsterdam Take 3
So, Amsterdam isn't that bad after-all. I had a relaxing night drinking and chilling on the many outdoor estabilishments....observing the wildlife.
You have to approach Amsterdam without any expectations. Forget all the travel shows, guides, all that. Just walk in and be yourself, they accept you here. You will see some different things, like people walking their dogs through the international airport, sanitation trunks randomly driving up on the sidewalk to clean the streets with a powerwasher, old men on bicycles with neon crowns yelling at people.
Come here with an open mind. Hold nothing back. Just be free. Just exist. The Dutch people have few limitations and the foreigners don't take away from that. They are just different spices.
America Take 1
Another way of life. Thats for sure. I'm safely back in my home now. I'm drinking a beer, but it tastes flat compared to European beer.
So I guess this means things start going back to normal. But, wait, no, fuck that. I'm taking a piece of Holland and England with me. It will stay in my heart, all the good things.
The respect, the easygoing nature, dedication to work. All that, I will keep with me in my heart. I will integrate those things into my daily life.
Life moves forward.....
I've spent the last 5 hours or so sitting in this chair.
I am nervously anticipating my trip to Amsterdam next week. The flight over is what gives me the most "anticipation".
It feels so uneasy to relenquish all your control. When things are under my control I feel a sense of peace. I trust fully in my abilities. Riding my motorcycle, driving my car, working; I trust myself to do these things fully. I may still feel a bit of fear, but never above a 2 on the 1-10 scale.
Flying, I have no physical control. Everything is in the hands of the pilot, the plane and the environment. On a scale of 1-10, 8. Every bump in the air, 9. Bad weather, steep altitude changes, vertigo: 10, 10, 10!!!!!
At least thats how it was in the past. Now, I'm working on my fear. I seem to think that because my hands aren't at the controls that I have no control. In the past I had been looking totally outward, but through training I have discovered that I am in 100% control of my own mind 100% of the time.
The fear is just an outdated alarm system. It says, "You better do something now!". But I can control this, I can hear the warning, ,acknowledge it and keep things copasetic.
Fear is not the same as dying... The little mental fantasies make the fear grow great. In fact I can bring myself to an 8, just sitting here, imagining the possibilities. But its not real, its just my mind going on autopilot, playing movies. By consciously interrupting the movies, or better yet, interjecting good feelings into the bad movies I can control my internal reactions.
I'm on the plane. I can feel my hands grip the armrests so tightly, they go numb. I can feel beads of sweat rolling down my face. I look out the window and see darkness punctuated by the occasional flash of lightning. I feel my stomach leap up into my throat as gravity leaves for a few seconds.
"Oh shit, the plane is crashing, I'm going to die and I can't do anything about it!". "My god, I've made so much progress in my life and now its going to end!"."Should I pray, should I hold my breath and try to pass out"."I can't control my breathing anymore, shit, it feels like I'm dying right now, I'm FUCKING FREAKING OUT!!!" Wait....my god, that stewardess is a major hottie, I'm going to mac on her using my skills. "Excuse me..... mam... we're about to die...so if its not to much trouble, how about some sky head.....no? okok maybe I'm asking for too much. How about a simple handjob before we go crashing to our deaths?". Oh I can't get that either. "Wait, let me use some skills I read in a book." "
I can control 100% of whats happening inside me and 0% of what happens outside. The past is dead. Lets go for it! I'm ready!
I just sat down in front of the keyboard. I am typing this with no prior thought. There is no preconcieved motivation to type in this journal.
So, its blank now. A long white sheet is in front of me. It can be as big as it needs to be. It can encapsulate anything. Great authors started with this same blank sheet. Everyone starts with this same blank sheet. The blank sheet exists whether or not I exist. Whether or not I am aware of it being there, the blank sheet is always waiting in the void.
So, what goes on this particular blank sheet? It can't be forced, it just has to naturally emerge. Its the output of something very deep and important inside myself.
Traveling deep, into a blank state, impassible terrain is penetrated. Touching consciousness looking inward on its-self. Realizing that its not just a single point. Arms extend outward. Hands get submerged into frigid water and through terrible pain I wake up. It was just a dream.
When you ask, "is it real?" It dissapears. You have to unconditionally believe. You have to feel it totally and not let temptations move you from its course. There is only one way. One road.
Curiosity and a desire for exploration naturally leads one to the strip club.
So, the second time around was like riding a motorcycle after a few thousand miles of knowledge. But then there are surprises; rocks in the road, cats that jump out at you from nowhere - and then, realizing that if you do something a certain way you find yourself in a new place. A new trick, a new maneuver.
Even knowing it was fake, it felt real. I kept telling myself, this is fake, its a fantasy land. But the strippers know how to make it real. They know how to make you feel very intimate with them after only a few moments. When you talk to them they have a certain way of mirroring your personality and responding so gracefully to any question. They instantly turn into whatever your fantasy is.
You want a Phillipino girl that is somewhat shy so you can bring her out of her shell. Done. You want a Lebanese woman that can keep up with a conversation about war and socio-political ideals. Done. You want a woman that takes great interest in whatever drunken nonsense comes out of your mouth. Done.
Approximate actual conversation:
Me: Whats your favorite color?
Her: Purple, tee hee-hee. Oh man, you've turned me on, so let me grind on you for the next 10 minutes.
So easy, fake, yet they make it seem so real. You probably think, wow, that sounds so cheezy. But when she's in your lap, whispering in your ear. Her eyes sparkling like a dog that wants some food. It feels so real.
So this new trick I learned. It didn't work. Constantly telling myself that this is just fake entertainment. It didn't work. Their realness broke through. I get the strippers that don't exist beyond there role, their role is "For the next 10 minutes, I unconditionally love this person". I get the Kate Beckinsale and Meryl Streep of the stripper world.
It feels good. But I fear its tainting my real life progress. I think those strippers took away the dating progress I've made over the last few weeks. They Replaced real with a fake that feels real. They put my ass in the Matrix and now I have to figure out if I'm just 1s and 0s(well mostly 2s and 0s) or if I'm real.
The rebuilding process begins again. Life continues. Everything is where it should be, all is good.
No cumbersome thoughts. Shed the weight!
Castlevania Dracula X - Demo Scene 3
Steve Allen - Lemon Drizzle
Crystal - Numb
Anemoshere - Veratrix
Solarstone - Speak in Sympathy
Reproject - Drifting
Iris Dee Jay - A Better World (feat. Wavescape, remix by DJ Deraven & Dgate)
Temple 1 - Eternal Light
John O'Callaghan - Find Yourself
Oen Bearen - Ajoyable
Obi - Disturbing Dreams
Pendulum - Slam
The Qemists - On the Run (VIP)
Riddimskattah - Man
DJ Fresh - The Immortal
Reproject - Drifting
Manvel Ter-Pogosyan - Fallen In Too Deep feat. Jenni Perez - Amurai Remix
You Never Said - Blake Jarrell Extended Remix
Romi - Soothsayer feat. Tiff Lacey
2Trance - In my Dreams [M.O.R.P.H. vs. Van Eyden Remix]
Sound Players - Moonlight Theory
Markus Schulz & Andy Moor - Daydream (Lemon & Einar K Uplifting Remix)
Cara Dillon, 2Devine - Black Is The Colour - Above & Beyond's Devine Intervention Remix
Fa Kin Su Pah - Big Chief's Herbs, Remix By Maarten Hercules
DJ Shah - Who Will Find Me, Featuring Adrina Thorpe (Main Mix)
Ayumi Hamasaki - Appears (Armin Van Buuren's Rising Star Mix)
Benirras - Peace(Outro)
Ah, good times. AvB episode 400 inspired me to travel to Amsterdam for Dance Valley 2009. I want to see what the Trance/House scene is like over there. Is it the same vibe over there as it is here? How has (mostly)legalized weed effected their society? Will I die on the plane trip? Amsterdam is my new mission.
I'm gonna be an asshole for a minute: There's a part of me that wants to close this journal off to the outside world. Why should I want people reading my personal details anyways? I know when I started this thing, back in 2000, it was to gain a sense of validation. A feeling that somehow I was connecting with society even though I was very much disconnected from it. Now, I'm much more connected. I'm connected to the point that if I find the urge to gain validation I can gain it on the outside. So, I really don't have a reason to keep this journal public anymore.
On the other hand. I don't really care if people read my mental excrement. I could really care less. And maybe, just maybe, there is one person out there who derives some type of pleasure from reading this. Maybe somehow I help people with this journal. Maybe its a past-time for them, or maybe there is some stuff in here that helps them get through some moment in their life. In addition to that, I fancy myself some sort of renegade writer that doesn't follow the normal rules of the English language....it feels good to be a renegade.
I should go back to the roots. Standing Zen, the act of experiencing zen away from meditation. This place was an offshoot of that part of my personality. Ten or so years later, that feeling has deepened. Its gone from a feeling of connectedness to disconnect followed by months and months of meditation in pursuit of that feeling again back to connectedness. Its an endless cycle, but each time I find that feeling again it gets stronger and stronger. Now, I feel the bliss of not being aware that the feeling of connectedness is there; but at the same time not feeling a strong desire to attain it.
I had a terrible dream last night. Of course it was in relation to this upcoming trip to Amsterdam. The plane was flown by Japanese people, I was in the cockpit, disoriented, I think the sky was orange, just as the sunsets. That familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach as the plane falls out of the sky. Somehow we ended up on the ground and the propellers sheared into the cockpit. Not in a quick action type of way, but slowly, as if some machine was tourturing the airplane. I closed my eyes in my dream just as the propellers were about to dig into me; and then it was quiet. They stopped, the plane was a wreck, people were dead, but I was alive. Somehow that transitioned into a sexual experience where I had a badass orgasm that lasted 5 minutes only to wake up and realize it wasn't entirely a dream. I'm talking standing on that peak and not immediately jumping off. I'm talking posting up on that mofo and looking around, maybe sipping some tea or some coffee, watching the sunrise; then saying, yea, its time and then jumping off and floating down on a couch of clouds.
Anyways, very strange dream. Like a double feature at a movie theatre: "The End of All Things" followed by "The Carebears Christmas". Well I guess the second half should be porn. But no, I like carebears christmas. I can't stop laughing thinking about that double feature.
What are you doing here? Join the 72 hour worldwide trance event (4/16-4/18):
Back to normal now. I hardly even remember my vacation. Normal life has creeped back in like an ex-girlfriend.
Nothing to add, nothing to contribute here.....Its wednesday.
I'm always fighting this idea that I'm owned by someone. That I will never really be free. But through music, I can find freedom, if only for a brief moment.
The 'high' from UMF/Miami is fading away like a fleeting dream. I find myself crashing back to earth on my last day of vacation. Its pretty rough: all those nights of staying up late, traveling and relaxing are catching up to me. I slept a hard sleep for several hours this afternoon and when I awoke, I knew it was over.
Despite my best efforts I cannot retain the 'vacation feeling'. All those experiences with different people, adventure, spontaneity, the party/EDM atmosphere of Ultra; living on the edge of life. I want to somehow encapsulate it and carry it with me everywhere. I want to be able to go into work tomorrow and have that same feeling.
I suppose its foolish to want such things. After all, work is work. Its not an EDM event in Miami with 70,000 people, 100s of DJs and new smells/sensations. I must have been drunk when I first had the notion of capturing that energy and carrying it around with me. The fact is, I have to let it go. I can carry some parts of it with me, but I have to leave that particular vibe behind. Of course in the future I will find it again through music or people or DJing. But it can't exist in my normal working life with the same potency in which it was originally experienced.
Haha, queue violins right? Sure, those can play for a little while; but its time to let it go. Its time to realize again that the most important thing is what I have now. My current reality. On top of that, the future is a myriad of possibilities.
Yea so UMF inspired me. I contained that magical energy. Please watch and feel it. Feeel it!!!
Sitting on the beach in Pensacola now. Mind is pretty blank.
I did have a bunch of stuff to type out. Good stuff, stuff that comes to the surface after long periods of time without worrying about bills, work or anything else. However, its been erased. The pressure inside that gives me motivation to write has left through the sun, birds and wind.
I'm just going to sit here now for a few hours and see if anything comes to the surface.
Usually, at the beach, it feels like I have to be doing something. Its hard to get in the state where just sitting is ok. Where existing somewhere 'eternally' feels natural.
My mind is usually assaulted with the idea that 'now' isn't good enough. That I should always be seeking something with substance in order to achieve happiness. 'Now' by its-self is never enough.
But at this very moment, 'now' is good enough.
Just sitting here on this beach, typing this, occasionally glancing up at the waves or the sky. This moment right now is all I need.
This state probably comes so naturally because the last few days have been so packed with exploration and entertainment. Sixteen hours in Miami for Ultra, it was amazing. It was a spritual experience. The vibe of the people, the endless music. The food.
This is why vacations are so important. They remind you there is a reason your alive; the reason is not your job, its not to end up in some routine day after day. No, the reason is to simply exist. There is nothing other than that. After you put your mind in the right state, After you scrape off all the stress, all the weight you carry from your situation, you experience this feeling that you exist; and with it the feeling that there is nothing else you need. This very moment right now is all I need. This is the meaning of life.
Thinking back to all the experiences I've had on this trip. I'm going to experiment a little and convey a few of them in story mode:
You find yourself walking down Biscayne street in Miami. To your left you see tall condos that rival some of the tallest buildings in Dallas. To your right is Biscayne bay. Lush palm trees and water. You pass several parks. This is what postcards look like.
Your friend has discovered an open mall/pier and leads you to it.
You walk on the boardwalk passing many bars and restaurants. Looking out into the bay you can view many yachts. The sun begins to set.
You hear some 80s punk rock on the radio of one of the bars. Its a small bar, but looking behind the counter you see a row of taps that separates this place from the rest. Exotic beers: Boddingtons, Sam Adams White ale, Bass, Harp, Guiness, Blue Moon, and countless others. Beers you would not normally see on tap. Yes, this is beer heaven.
You take a seat right on the edge of the water. A Cuban goddess with dark skin, blue eyes, brown hair comes to you and asks which beer you would like....Boddingtons....moments later your beer arrives. It is perfect: heady, fresh, cold, crisp and full of flavor.
You chat with your friend for what seems like a golden eternity.
The sun sets. The distant highway over the water is illuminated in a calming blue glow. You hear salsa music. Its not heavy or bassy, its light, like a gas station radio.
The music and beer take your mind to a very relaxed place. Beer after beer comes, served to you by this goddess. A light breeze off the ocean. You wouldn't rather be anywhere else, doing anything else; this is exactly where you want to be and this is exactly what you want to be doing. Life is good.
You wonder through the downtown area, back to your hotel. Your friend discovers two good DJs spinning at a club called Cameo. Too drunk to drive you hail a cab and proceed to the location.
The driver is an old guy, crazed hair, almost like a homeless person. He speaks very fast, but is a good person, he has a good sense of life about him and is probably on cocaine, judging by his mannerisims.
You get to the club. Awesome sound system, all the bartenders are on point, friendly and conversational. Both DJs spin the best sets. A little trance blended with a solid dance beat.
Looking back, the people in Miami are some of the nicest I've met. From the street hot dog vendor, to the greek couple selling food at the festival to the random stranger in the elevator. It felt like a foreign country.
This place has good energy and I want some of it. Its my mission to bring at least some part of this back with me.
But its strange how your environment shapes you, beach cities filled with people from tropical islands are going to be more laid back than mid-continental cities filled with people from other states, or ranches.
Cowboys, outlaws, criminals, soldiers. This is the heritage of Texas; and the mentalities of those types of people has seeped into our modern consciousness. The general vibe of Dallas is that you have to keep to yourself and arm yourself to protect what is yours.
Fortunately, there are pockets of people that are just like the people of Miami. I need to move to a place like this.
Life is a beach. I'm going to bring the good stuff back home with me instead of allowing myself to be carried away by my environment. I'm going to take a chunk of the good stuff in life with me wherever I go.
I'm back in my hotel room now. Pretty badly sunburned, its going to hurt tomorrow. The sun is about to set. Time to head off to the bar, enjoy some fresh seafood and enjoy one last night away from home.
My mind is free. I'm just floating around now. An ambiguous lifeform that could change into anything at any given moment.
No stress, no external pressure molding me into something. I'm free.
It feels so good to live like this. I'm pure, almost animalistic. Not due to drugs, alcohol or women. No, this freedom only comes from the road.
Belly full of good food and beer. It wasn't just thrown at me, or consumed as a routine event. No, I searched for this food in a strange town. Before coming here I had no idea where I would go, where I would eat. But exploration has shown me the way, pick a direction and drive. Thats how I found my food tonight.
This is the re-imagination of when we, as humans, had to hunt. Back then there were no google maps, no glowing neon signs, no charts. The technology of the past was to smell prey, track prey by footprint, notice subtle changes in your environment which would lead you to prey.
No thoughts clouding your mind. No worries. No bills, no job, no taxes. All that existed was instinct driving you towards prey. And once you found it, the instant of action. The action of you percieving prey and a perfectly thrown spear.
Skinning your prey, preparing it for cooking, or maybe just eating it raw. The extacy of sustaining your life for another night.
Of course, in this new city, necessarily surrounded our modern technology, I can only make a guess as to how it was. But I feel I know it intimately, I can feel it in my soul.
So, I've been intoduced to the fine establishment known as the 'gentlemen's club'.
At first I had a pretty negative view of it. Some trashy place, black lights everywhere. Trashy women with messed up teeth and fake bodies shaking their breasts, trying to get dollar bills. Fake conversation leading up to an uninspired lap dance. Her body moves in an endlessly repeated robotic routine while she stares over your shoulder in search of her next client.
Trashy, dirty, pointless. Those were the words I had associated with strip bars....until last night.
So my friends drag me out to this place. Its shockingly similar to your typical bar. Plasma screens on the walls, ESPN, ESPN2, decent bottled beer, cigars, top 40s blasting out of a very nice sound system. The women are almost an afterthought.
I enjoy the beer and the sports. But notice every so often a breathtakingly attractive topless female walking by. Thats how it works. They just walk by every so often and you pick who you want. Very laid back, not pushy at all.
My friends of course had to drag one of these women over and force a lap dance on me. She takes me by the hand to this other room. Its very strange. About 40 or so expensive chairs crammed into the middle of this room. No space between the chairs. They're filled with other people getting lap dances. I plop down to an empty chair and she starts dancing on me, rubbing on me. I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. But it seemed empty.
I started talking with her. I wanted to know how she got to this place. How does she live. What does she do. Turns out she's a 32 year old(although she looked about 25) single mom majoring in psychology. She also owns a hypnotherapy clinic and is a licensed hypnotherapist. She actually seemed like a decent human being. She was very well spoken, intelligent. She had things going on in her life other than this and on top of that shes one of the most attractive women I've seen in a while.
The lap dance is finished. She said something along the lines of do you want me to keep going. I told her I had to get back to my friends. Ah, so that was fun. I chalked it up as another foray into a random aspect of life.
I sit down and drink more beer, about 15min passes. The same girl walks by again and stares at me. Somehow I can't control myself, shes so beautiful and doesn't just seem like an object; shes a real person, someone I know. I motion for her to come over, she immediately sits in my lap. Banters with me for a minute or two, it feels totally natural. I let her lead me back up to the lap dance room, my arm around her waist as if to say "This one is mine".
Basically, I end up letting her dance on me until the place closes. At the end she enters her number into my phone and I leave her a HUGE tip.
I've been breaking the events down in my head for a while now. Its so strange, everything felt so real. My body doesn't know the difference between someone interacting with me naturally, or doing so because their paid to.
I figure strippers are experts in human nature. Night after night they practice the perfect things to say. The perfect strategies to be entertaining to certain types of men. Their social abilities are so finely calibrated that they can create a feeling of desire after only a few minutes of interaction. Not only that, but they do so in a way that feels totally natual and comfortable. They know how to make you forget that you are paying them for a service.
This made me realize something. The best way to improve my social skills is to put myself in a position where I have to constantly interact with people. I have to be in a place where interaction isn't optional. Possibly as a bartender or some form of entertainer.
I also realized that I should never go back to strip clubs. My emotions are too easily manipulated. It feels too good, its too addictive and its too easy. Its a fantasy land. I need to find the equivilent of a strip club in nature. I need to find a good woman.
I digress. Tomorrow my 2 week vacation starts. I'm going to Miami again for Ultra Music Festival. After going last year its impossible for me to not go. There are just so many good DJs there. Good weather, good vibes from the people, good food.
This time I've broken the trip into longer legs each day as opposed to the short legs I took on my way to LA. Driving for long periods of time gives you plenty of time to think.
Jackson MS, Tallahasse FL, Miami and then back to Pensacola for 2 days at a beachfront hotel. Ah, its going to be so nice. It feels so good to release everything and depend on myself in unfamiliar environments.
Staying in one city for so long you forget how big the world is. How many different ways of living there are. Vacationing like this lets you live several different lives. The life of a truck driver, trance/music addict, beer connesiour, explorer, drifter and anything else you get swept up in. This is what it is to truely be alive.
I'm a very analytical person. I natually pick things apart until they turn into several basic essences from which some sort of "truth" or "action plan" arises. Depending on context, this method of living is very useful and also very dangerous.
My career depends on me being constantly analytical. Constantly evaluating the effects a decision will have on the specific issue I'm facing, as well as the overall objectives of the hospital and any political implications. Constantly evaluating the technical details of a problem or solution in terms of reliability, legality and timeliness. Without my powerful analytical skills I would not be at this comfortable and safe place in my life.
By the same token, without my analytical habits I would most likely be enjoying life more. Being analytical means taking a step back, it means viewing life in terms of problems and choices. It means weighing the possible good against the possible harm. Something as simple as taking a walk outside involves weighing enjoyment against safety and comfort. Does the enjoyment of a walk justify the thousands of potential risks that arise?
Pure analytical thought always leans on the side of safety and comfort. Being a hermit, sheltering yourself, numbing yourself always wins over risk taking and pleasure seeking.
I have come to realize that logic is a double edged sword. Analytical thought definately has its place, but applying it to everything causes more harm than good. Until the recent past I lived my life purely through analysis. I've taken a step back and reviewed all possiblities before stepping forward in every aspect of my life.
I am a biological creature living in the midst of other biological creatures. As advanced as we have become technologically, we are still animals who are designed to take steps forward and never step back. If I reject my humanity, then I will never be able to find true happiness.
I am allowing myself the freedom to not analyze everything. There are times when I will need to rely on analysis, but there are also times where I need to trust my instinct and walk blindly forward. This is nature.
Time to digress a little. Its strange analyzing analysis. Well, I take that back, it sounds strange on paper...analyzing analysis. But its really not strange at all. Its not an endless loop, it doesn't cause anything to cave in. I'm analyzing something, and it just so happens that the thing I'm analyzing is analysis itsself.
Anyway, enough about analysis or to be more precise: Enough about analyzing the analysis of analysis. I better be careful or this could indeed turn into an endless loop (analyzing the analysis of analysis of analysis of analysis.....etc)
Ironically, this is exactly what I'm trying to get away from. So enough analysis, you just have to cut the thread and move onto something else. The expression of abstract concepts is only an entertaining mental exercise. The good stuff, the stuff that is actually about my life, the stuff that could improve my personal experience of life is the stuff above the ------.
At this point I'm a little drunk, so its rambling time. Everything inside goes out somewhere.
I say that, but when I really look inside myself theres nothing there. And thats not a bad revelation. Its so beautiful that there is nothing inside because that means I can focus my attention entirely on the outside again. Not in the sense of analyzing the outside, but in the sense of experiencing everything without being muddled my the concept of my ego.
In other words, in this state I exist entirely for the experience of thoughts running through my head and fingers pushing keys. My consciousness is poured out here.
Damn, I'm getting too analytical again. This is nature also.
Time to cut the thread. (DJ time!!)
I haven't thought like this in a while....
I've come to a realization. I dull too many elements of my life out. Right now, I'm taking the easy comfortable road rather than the hard exciting one.
I use beer to dull pain and responsibility. I get drunk and just sit around at home instead of going out and living my life.
I get lost inside music to the point of non-existance. Instead of actively experiencing it.
At work I don't push myself anymore, I just do enough to get by.
I've substituted a deep understanding of who I am with this "Zen Lite" crap. I'm not really living my life. I'm just floating by on autopilot.
I need to get out there. I need to take risks. I need to push myself. I need to live again.
Instead of retreating from challenges I need to stand up and face them head on. Else life will just pass by.
FUCK THIS SHIT, IM MAKING A CHANGE, STARTING NOW!
Lethargic energy, runners high. This is the exploration of finding a sense of purpose and energy at the point of total exhaustion.
Can you find it too?
Steve Forte Rio - A New Dawn
Sonar System - Played a Live(Tiestosteron Edit)
Steve May - Sublimate(Breaks Mix)
Slavic Force - Ginger
Stu Allen vs. Barley - Sensation (Audioscape Vocal Remix)
Ronski Speed - The Face we are
Leon Bolier Presents Inner Stories - Beyond
So, life is different now. I've made a conscious decision to change the way I live life. My main goal now has shifted from attaining carreer goals to finding a mate.
I need to break free from the mental bonds that restrain my action. I need to be more outgoing. I need to learn to approach women and talk to them. To aid with this I have started a course in how to become a pick-up artist. I've studied for many weeks now and believe I know all that can be learned from a textbook. The next step is to put these skills to use. To go out and not be afraid to do it badly.
I expect it will take many weeks to calibrate my social skills with humanity. I've spent so long avoiding it, I hardly have any skills to speak of.
Through focused work, my social skills will approve.
I have a feeling I will always be somewhere near the hermit/recluse end of the social spectrum, but that shouldn't stop me from improving and eventually finding a mate.
This will be the year that I evolve into a more social animal. (and grow my sense of humor)
That aside, what else is going on?.... My work life has gotten much better. We recently got a new director and she kicks ass. We are the perfect combination: She takes care of all the political stuff which lets my focus on the purely technical side. This is exactly where I want to be in my career. It feels strange to be at the same job for so long, but I can't leave, its too good; its all candy.
Other than that?.....I've stopped with formal meditation and adopted an attitude of "Zen Light". I find zen through my daily activities rather than through meditation. The zen isn't as deep as with meditation; but I still can find "the void".
I'm trying to not be so much in my head all the time. Its natural for me to be in my head, but I'm trying to stay more in the moment...with people especially.
It was about 80 degrees Friday. It was so nice, a preview of summer. God I hate this cold Texas weather.
Fake summer Friday inspired mix: