Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Flying over the Clouds

I struggled for a while with the verbal attack from my sister. I almost let it rob me of a growing sense of freedom, a freedom that I have not felt since the day I received a letter that I was accepted at Stanford University. I was walking on air that day. No, I did not go there and that has always been a topic of much speculation. the what if's.

It is funny. Just the other day, I had the feeling that if I keep doing what I am doing and growing the way I am growing, I will be able to go back to school anywhere or do anything that I wish.

Even if I wanted to wallow in misery, because I was so used to it in the past with drugs and stagnation, something inside would not let me. Something inside has worked hard to feel the bliss and breeziness of an easy going day. I have fought to long to not have to get a pay check and rush to see the dope man.

Yes, do a big deal on the westside and rush to corporate headquarters, downtown ,
to walk the processing through the appropriate procedures because I needed the money. I needed to cover checks that were written to keep my credit cards. I needed to clear the slate with my drug suppliers so I could rebuild my little stash of their goods. Consume them quickly and have to repurchase some more.

Now, for the first time my head is not burried in the sand. It is not covered by jungle vines of confusion that keep the soil snagged and stalled in one place. I worked so hard at it over the years that now things are falling into place. I can go purchase enough shaving cream for a few months so I do not have to keep going back to the store.

I want to have enough toiletries for a year. That has always been my plan. For the first time in my adult life, I am approaching that level of preparedness and efficiency.

I am able to look at jobs on the internet and plan my bid for them with creative resumes, video or print. Be Bold. Be secure and confidant.

I have looked for a television station in the desert for a long time and I finally found it today. Why? because I was ready. Perhaps I put in the right keywords.

I do not know. I saw what I wanted to see, took note of things and knew that it would be there when I was ready.

I saw other things in other places on the internet and know that whatever it is, they are not far away. For instance, there was a position overseas, in Brazil with a development company. Years ago, they never would consider hiring an American for that type of position. Now they are. And voila, I have real estate experience and I was a foreign exchange student in Brazil. The first student from Harvard School to participate in the American Field Service program.

My point is that years of hard work and enduring patience is beginning to show results. Sure, I would like to have that same type of success with my sister but it is not to be. I will no longer let her baggage fill me with pain. I will not let her problems keep me in prison.

Each day, I experience freedom, I see how people, in Skid Row, are deep in a prison-a prison so deep and vast that no one knows where the bars are. They keep appearing in so many different ways.

The same bars that exist in the individual lives of people are the bars that we experience as a society. The problems are different but they characteristics of the problems are the same. They never get solved. We can never move beyond.

This is what I am experiencing, a moving beyond. I wanted to move beyond something thirty years ago. Skid Row had nothing to do with it. I was living in Skid Row every day for thirty years even when I was on Fifth Ave, or Malibu or London.

I was in the snarled jungles of confusion and fog.

I feel good about where I am. I am like a kid. What new can I feel today? How else can I feel this new freedom?

I know this much. I am saying goodbye to those things that hold me back. I must think Jamie Lee Curtis for helping me understand that, a fellow Harvard Westlake alum. She was interviewed in AARP magazine. I stumbled acrossed it last night at work.

In the interview, she talked about becoming free of unnecessary layers.

I worked years to become free. The drugs were just a symptom of what lay inside.
I had break the mode that I built in order to get to the freshness, the new.

I hope that everyone finds the key to unlock their own prisons. It is not more comfortable to stay inside of the walls that inhibit you than to work and experience something new.

ON Skid Row, I walk the streets. But anyone who is in the same phase that I am, is experiencing the same feeling. We are traveling. We are traveling inside of ourselves. We are feeling things we longed to have felt but never have. We are seeing new possibilities. We are seeing the chance to create new things because we are experiencing a new reality.

We may be walking the streets of Skid Row but we are traveling to places unknown and are beautiful. It is hard to explain. I feel that it will sooner or later reflect itself in my writings.

For now, I am satisfied that I know it is there. I know it is growing and I can see it in others as we walk in our own beautiful garden within this ugly stretch of concrete where urine and defecation sit not only in the streets but it floats in the atmosphere. One can feel it but where I am now you are not flying in the clouds, you are floating over it. It is a beautiful feeling. I wish more people on Skid Row can feel it.

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