Lost and Searching

Music

Music Will Not Turn Me Away

It’s a bit fucked up how excited I get when my favorite bands have new albums out and I get to listen to them. Right now, I’m listening to How I learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence by MSI and it’s better than the first time I had sex. I’m pretty sure this is what love feels like. My pulse is racing, my face is flush, there’s a grin on my face that won’t leave, and I want nothing more than to spend all of my time with it. I am excited about all of the twists and turns that the music will provide in its playing. And it will change every time I listen to it. It will grow and I will love it more, even if it doesn’t excite me as much as it used to. Eventually, it will be comfortable and I will listen to it until I know everything about it, but I will always find new things in it. Even if I move onto other things, I will always be able to return to it and enjoy it and love it again.

I suppose none of that is fucked up. What’s fucked up is that I have had more meaningful relationships with albums than I have ever had with a woman. Music has never hurt me the way that they have. It has never told me it just wanted to be friends, that I was too weird, that it just wasn’t interested. Music has provided me more emotional support as well. It has helped me through every heartache and painful moment. Music has never left me either.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Alternatively: Why can’t I find someone that won’t hurt me?


Music: My Constant Lover

Music isn’t just an important part of my life, it is intrinsically intertwined within it. I cannot live without music no more than I could live without air. I listen to music most of my waking hours. It is a place for me to escape and it is a place for me to embrace. It is an outlet for emotions I have always had difficulty expressing or understanding. And it has been my closest companion, sharing things that I cannot share with others.

It is also a defining part in what I look for in love. I want someone that cares for music the way I care for music. I don’t want Her to share my exact tastes in music, I want her tastes to complement mine. I want to be able to share my loves with her and have her share her loves with me. Music was my first love, and I’d like to share that with someone I would love for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, I have only ever met one woman that had a passion for music that could rival mine, but things with her couldn’t last.

One of the things that hurt the most when we had to part was that I no longer had a companion in music. It had ended long before we parted ways, but its loss was still felt. We had talked in music, sending each other songs all day, every day, for almost 3 months. It was our first connection. And it was beautiful. It was what I had always wanted, to share my greatest passion with someone that could appreciate it and was willing to share her passion with me.

But it wasn’t enough. We had amazing connection through music, but there were too many other factors that wouldn’t have worked; I see that now.

So I go back to my music, my constant lover, and I journey through the sounds and find myself again. It will never leave me, even if I stray away from time to time.

Music will always be there for me to find and explore intimately. I have spent much of my life doing just that, amassing a modest (in my opinion) collection of physical media that I wish to expand. If given the chance, I would build an entire room designed for nothing but music consumption. I dream of a room painted white, with a soft carpet, a comfy chair, an immaculate stereo system, and filled floor to ceiling with music of all varieties. It would be there, waiting for me, and it would envelop me in sonic caress.


Welcome Home – Part 1 of ‘The Ongoing Story of Him’

Welcome Home

 

This was the 4th drawing I made one night and the first in what would be an ongoing series dedicated to my own life. When I drew it, I had just switched from Holywood to Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. Until now, I hadn’t ever given much thought to how perfect that album title was for the situation. In truth, it was chosen because it is a favorite album of mine and it soothes me. I draw much inspiration from it, having heard it hundreds, if not thousands, of times since I found it. It is one of the most important albums in my life, and it seemed only fitting that I would listen to it this night.

The original plan for the drawing session had been to listen to all 3 of Marilyn Manson’s albums about his fallen god in order, but after I finished Holywood, I started to think about the woman I was kinda-sorta involved with at the time and how that relationship actually existed. Being in the state I was in, actually seeing that I was not special to her in the ways I needed to be special was threatening to collapse my psyche and throw me into a downward spiral. So, I hastily changed albums and settled on something that I knew would bring me back from the brink and put me back into a safer place. It was my safey-safe. And there began my journey in art and self-exploration.

The upper right – ‘I almost lost you’ – came about from nearly spiraling when the album changed from Holywood to Mechanical Animals. When it was averted, I simply wrote the line on the page. At the time, it felt like a note to her, but looking back, I think it was just as much a note to myself. I nearly lost my mind delving into a situation I really wasn’t prepared to deal with that night (it took me nearly 8 months from that date to finally confront it and I’m still dealing with it today).

The words are ‘*MROW*, ‘My Dear’, and ‘Whore in Sheeps Clothing’, which come from “Keeping the Blade”, “Always & Never”, and “Welcome Home”, respectively. At the time, they were written to my first. They were evocative of our childishness (the *mrow*’), my unrequited love (‘my dear’ crossed out), and my eventually pain and lashing out (‘whore in sheep’s clothing’). They are floating in the scribbles, buried in them and written upon them. They were always on my mind, as the scribbles represent. But they were also shrouded in chaos.

These words were just the ones that came through as I was drawing, but the entirety of the lyrics of the three songs represented here capture the emotion conveyed within. They speak of the pain of loving and having nothing returned. Of wanting and not being needed. In “Always & Never” the Writer says ‘I’m still waiting here, my dear/For one kiss from you’. While this, to me, speaks of loving and wanting, there is also a literal interpretation in my own life: I had just one kiss with my first love, a very chaste peck on the lips, and I have been waiting for the next one for the past ten years. Not from her, but from anyone. With ‘a whore in sheep’s clothing’, I am not wanting to call her a whore. More accurately, it is about her being something other than what I saw and my inability to cope or be with what she truly was. I loved what I thought I saw, but the reality was far different from what I wanted and needed.

While I had my first in mind when I drew this, it turns out that it was quite apropos to the situation I was dealing with at the time. So much of that played out as an accelerated replaying of my first kinda-sorta relationship. It’s eerie. Even the names were similar. I cared deeply for both of them and they both came about during very chaotic times in my life. Looking back, it seems that the last one was there to close out the first. Through it, I found closure. I was finally able to put her to rest and move on from her. And while I am still working on moving past the latest, I was not crippled the way I was with the first. This time, I am hurt but I am not giving up and running from it all. I have chosen to stick around and deal with it, even if I can no longer do it directly with her.

 

This series, taken from a single night of drawing, was drawn with my future in mind. When I did it, I thought it dealt with who I was talking to at the time. I wasn’t wrong, exactly, I just wasn’t right about what it meant. She was there, but not as I saw her. She was a ghost reborn and she exited far sooner than thought. I think that going over all of this and finally posting it all and talking about it will be my way to say goodbye. As I lay it bare to the world and analyze it in the written word, I am seeing it in a new light. I am finding things within it that I hid from myself before. It was far deeper than I ever expected.

I showed all of this to her, but it didn’t go as planned. I had hoped to share it with her, but I ended up just showing it to her. I think that was part of why I decided to leave. It was then that I realized that things were not as I had seen; that I had blinded myself to her because I was in need of closeness, which she could not really give. I had imposed things upon her subconsciously that she could never have lived up to. For that, I am sorry. For the rest, I am hurt.


A Week of Drawings, Day 1

Sometimes you try to put pen to paper (or tablet, in this case) and nothing really wants to happen. Other times it flows like Niagra. I don’t know which this will be today. I haven’t started yet, but I have felt conflicted on what I wish to do. However, my unspoken goal has been to make one drawing per day. I haven’t been perfect, but I have tried. I am going to see if I can do that for this entire week, from 10/14 to 10/21. I’ll post them all here be they good or be they shit. It is what it is and nothing more.

 

For today the music of choice is Babel by Mumford & Sons. Maybe not. Got a few songs in and for some reason, the audio quality is choppy. It keeps going in and out. So, Florence + The Machine it is.

 

I need to stop doing this right before I pass out so I can actually write something coherent here.

 

Honestly, this one did make me feel as greatly as the last few have. I am happy with it though. Originally, I had thought of using ‘Surrogate lover’ as the opening text. I think it would still work, but I think the imagery for that phrasing was too strong and not quite what I was going for.

 


Inspiration: DIY and the Punk Ethos

I watched American Hardcore last night. It is a documentary about the rise and downfall of the Hardcore Punk scene across America. It was very inspiring. Watching Ian MacKaye talk about pulling apart the sleeve for a 7″ so they could figure out how to make them themselves and then gluing together 1000+ of them for their first singles was incredible. Seeing everyone talk about their role in the scene and the passion they still hold was inspiring.

They didn’t do it for fame or for money, they did it because they wanted to make music and that was the only way they could.

After watching it though, I have to wonder to myself: What music from today would get this kind of documentary 20 years after it died? I can’t really think of any. Yes, we have a few bands that will probably stand the test of time, but I don’t see anymore Black Flags, SSDs, Minor Threats, or Bad Brains. I’m not holed up in the past either; I am always out there searching for new bands. I see greatness out there, but I do not see any bands that are starting a scene they way these guys did. It’s a shame. We could use that nowadays.

 

Part of why this is inspiring to me is that even though I bitch about my personal life and certain things I am lacking, I am trying to apply the DIY ethos to my life. I am attempting to create a business out of nothing. If I want to get paid to make art, I have to be the one to put my stuff out there. Nobody is going to just magically hand me money for it. If I want this to amount to anything, I am going to have to get out there and do it. I have been trying to do this. I have drawn at least one piece everyday since I got my tablet. I have even managed to find my own personal style, though I will also find more as I play with the tablet.

Though I have mostly used my blog to expel my demons, it is also a place for me to put my art out there and eventually promote it. All that I am doing now is the precursor. My blog is a stepping stone. It is a toe in the water of running my own website. I spent about 3 hours last night researching websites and figuring out what I need to do to get one up and running. I learned HTML coding many years ago, I have a basic knowledge of CSS, and I have been designing images that I would love to use as backgrounds for years. I look forward to putting all of this into a website someday soon. Probably far sooner than I even realize just yet.


Revisions and Upgrades

Please bear with me. Over the next couple days I am going to try and redesign the entire blog. I’ve got a background created already, I’m just having issues getting it to work. I need to find a theme that will allow me to work with it better. My current theme is too pic heavy and means a lot of messy coding and fiddling to get it right. I’ll go more into it once I wake up tomorrow. It’s my day off, I’ve got 2 days to fuck with it and make it right before I start my new schedule.

I plan to brighten things up a bit, but I need to work with it and make sure it is easy to deal with. I don’t want to hurt eyes. haha

 

 

In the meantime, enjoy the new Mumford & Sons album (requires Spotify, which is a badass music program if you don’t already have it).


Searching for the Line on the Horizon

I’m still adrift. I think I can see something on the horizon, but I don’t know if it is an island, a ship, mainland, or a figment of my imagination borne of desperation. I’m leaning towards it being real. I should be desperate, I’ve been here for years, but I don’t feel desperate. I’ve just never actually tried to get anywhere before, so I have no idea what I’m doing here. I’m making it all up as I go along. I don’t really have any tools for all of this. This is all virgin territory for me.

For the majority of the day, I have been getting wisps of thoughts that come up. They’re mostly unclear, just the idea of a concept, but when they surface I find that I am struggling to hold back tears.

Comfort. That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t actually now what it is. To be honest, I almost looked it up in the dictionary before I started writing this bit. That is how foreign the word is to me. I have nothing I can look back on and think ‘Yeah, that’s what comfort feels like’. I’m sure there are things, but they were long enough ago that I can’t remember them. I think comfort is happiness, but more than that. It is prolonged happiness coupled with contentedness and so much more.

Really though, that’s just a guess. I can’t actually tell you what it is. I’ve sought it everywhere, but have never found it. The bottom of the bottle didn’t have it. Nor did the peak of an acid trip. That last bite of amazing food didn’t give it to me either. There’s only one avenue left that I am aware of that I haven’t ever really had the chance to try, but there’s a good possibility that will be as hollow as food, drugs, or drink. If I don’t find it in the arms of another, I’m out of ideas and don’t know what to do from there. If I have to find it within myself, I think I’m fucked. I’ve never found a whole lot in there. It’s mostly just survival stuff. I don’t know how to thrive and prosper, just eek by.

I’m not really certain though. Most days I would say I’m neutral. Not bad, but not good. There are still more bad days than good, but there are more neutral days than the others combined.

Today, however, has been more towards the bad side. I’ve been off since I woke up from a very vivid dream in which I died. I remember feeling the top of my head and my hand ripped off by shrapnel from a crashing plane (there was much, much more but I’ll not go into it). I remember being conscious afterwards in the dream, and as I faded I woke up, startled. My hand and forehead were numb from an awkward sleeping position. Ever since then, I’ve been struggling with this day. I was cooking breakfast this afternoon and as I was walking back to my room to eat I got the most overwhelming need to cry and I have no idea why. The whole day I have felt down with no real explanation of why.

I’ve been trying to use music to drown it all out. It isn’t really working, but at least the music is good. I’ve spent the day listening to the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel, on repeat. It is soothing, in a way, but it’s not what I need. It is only doing so much. I’m still struggling to find what it is I need.

I did stumble upon something though. I was running around the ‘net, searching for stuff that makes me laugh. I came back to youtube to see what my favorite channels had posted since last I’d been there and I came across a video by the ever amazing Hannah Hart. In it, she talks about stuff I have been dealing with for a while now. She talks about fearing to put effort into things and fail at them. Putting effort in can be very difficult, and the thought of caring enough to do it only to fail can be paralyzing. I don’t try for much anymore because of it… because I have failed at things before. You can’t get what you want if you don’t try though, and I have rarely ever gotten what I want. All I ever seem to get is what is willing to be given to me.

I just don’t know how to take that first step and just do it. It all looms so large in front of me. The possibility of greatness is there, but there is also the chance that it will all fall apart. I’m coming to a tipping point though, I think. Some day soon, I’m going to have to decide that the thought of living as I am now forever is worse than what I fear might, maybe, possibly, probably not happen. I know better, I really do, it’s just difficult. I know that once I do it I’ll look back and wonder why I waited so long, but that first step is the hardest. Everything hangs on the first step. If you don’t take it, you can’t fail. You also cannot succeed though.


Burned Out

I think that after this post I may go dark until this Sunday. I’ve had a furious pace since I got back from my trip. I’ve written a lot here and covered a lot of ground. Now, I still feel the need to write but there is nothing specific that wants to be discussed. I can’t force this. If I force it, I run the risk of burning out on it and writing just to write, which will do me no good. I have to remember that this is here to help me heal, not for those that read it. I do hope that those that read this get something out of it though, but I cannot worry about that yet. In the future I will write for readers, but for now, I write for myself and my health.

 

I feel like with all that I’ve written about and processed since I came back, I need to go out and let myself go for a bit. just get away from it all and have a night free from it. I’m kind of burned out. I haven’t had a day off since last Thursday. I’ve worked 8 hours a day every day since then and my work hasn’t been easy this week. I’m getting slammed with menial busy work on top of the normal work that I do each day. I’ve also written 10 or so blogs in that same time frame. I’m just really fucking tired in spite of sleeping well for 8-ish hours each night.

 

My mind has been working over time for about a week and a half now and it needs a break. Unfortunately, I can’t just turn it off. I typically need some help with that. To that end, I’m gonna go out Saturday, watch the Duck game, watch Jon “Bones” Jones beat the shit out of Vitor Belfort, and drink. Should really help me relax and recover.

 

All I can think now is ‘My mind is fried’ and not in the good way like when you drop acid. I feel like it is full, but at the same time, I feel like there is nothing in there. It’s all airy chaos. All of this time in overdrive has it burning out. it needs to rest if I am to continue on.

 

I’ve been listening to more music these past 4 days than I have in a while. I think I’m trying to dig deep into it and find inspiration. I feel like it should be inspiring me to do more than I am, but I think what it is actually doing is giving me the motivation to finish what I need to do to make it through until I have days off. I’m trying to find a visceral experience in it that will drive me to create and move me. I haven’t turned this far into music in a very long time. it is nice to know it is still there if I need it.

 

I don’t remember the last time I was this weary. Because of that, I know this entry is scattered and fractured. It’s difficult to be clear when you have trouble just focusing on work and trying to get through it to go to sleep.

 

So, with that. I’m going to post this and sign out for a bit. I’ll be back though. I don’t think I could actually turn my back on this even if I wanted to.


The Downward Spiral, played in reverse

I had to listen to the Downward Spiral tonight. I haven’t listened to it in a long time. No, I listened to it a couple months ago. I haven’t listened to it when upset in a long time. It will always be one of my favorite albums. I can’t help it. It was… my fucked up salvation in a way. It was the death I couldn’t give myself. I’m thankful for it. I’m still here because of it.

I heard it in a different way this time though. I was… removed from it. It wasn’t me as I am now. I heard the story for something else. As I have with other albums lately, I really, truly, heard the story it was telling. With the change that came upon me some months back, I gained a new ability with the music. I hear it in a way I never heard before. It is no longer mimicking or dictating my emotions. I am not living through it. I am experiencing it. I am aware.

I’ve heard the album, literally, several hundred times. I know the story, I know it is about a man’s battle with insanity, drug addiction, disillusion, and suicide. I always heard the story as him dealing with a relationship that drove him to these things. Tonight though, I saw it differently. Tonight, I saw that the relationship was with himself. He was the cause of it all. He delves further into all of his pain and his suffering, pushing it all away until he has only one choice left.

In truth, I played this album out. I can see it in how I acted and felt at my darkest time. I lost my love, I lost my religion, I lost my mind, and I lost myself. I came to the same conclusions as he had. I found a different outcome though, clearly. In the end, a small part of me knew there was something worth living for. I couldn’t really see it then, but it stayed my hand. It has been growing since that day, though I took several months away from everything before I first saw it.

I’ve come a long way since then though. I had to go away to get better. After I was able to cope with myself, I started working on the world around me. Now that I am finally comfortable in that, I can work again on myself and being comfortable with me. I am no longer surviving, though there are tough days such as I had today. I will no longer let them hold me down though. Even as I write this and look back on today, there are no happy thoughts, but at least I can move forward and look forward to tomorrow instead of dwelling ceaselessly on yesterday.

Though I turned to old habits in the face of it, I no longer see them as I used to. I have changed, I no longer need them. I see them for what they are and how destructive they were. That said, I did not rely solely on those things this time. I actually talked about what was happening instead of holding it all in. It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagine and my will threatened to give at any moment and cease the talk, but I kept on and it was good. It helped and I hope that I will remember that the next time it happens, for it will happen.

….

….

….

As an odd ending, there is one final aspect of the listening I want to talk about. It has nothing to do with the meaning nor the revelations I had. This is truly a vanity ending and can be skipped if you so choose. I listened to the album tonight for the first time with my newest headphones. I heard things in the album I had never heard before. In Hurt, the music is far more broken than it sounds on lesser headphones. The whole album has a slightly different feel when you can hear it with clarity. There is far more atmosphere in the album than I ever thought. You can also hear the bridge on Closer in ways that are hard to hear with lesser headphones.