A Blogger In Chains

I know that there are chains. I can feel them and here them and at times I can taste them. There seems not another living soul but me who can notice these chains- but I will not allow their limited perception to make me mad. I know that the chains are there and not a single soul can change my mind. No spiritual guru or psychotherapist can convince me that there is no shackle wrapped around my ankles and no chains dragging behind my feet. They are there and this is an unarguable fact- but what can be done about this “condition” is certainly up for discussion.

I only confess this “condition” of mine because I have notice that I share it with my fellow human kind. Every place I go and upon every one I know I can see these shackles and chains dangling from wrists, ankles and sometimes neck. The individual who is wrapped in chains seems seldom to realize that they are walking around with a great weight. Rather they stay distracted by preoccupations that seems to anesthetize any feeling of physical bondage. Is not this the role of modern technological gadgets (television, ipods, computers, cars and on and on), to make us numb? I am uncertain what is to be done, because when I talk about my chains with colleagues over coffee- I receive nothing but a blank stare that seems to suggest that I may be crazy. The more time I spend at work or thinking about the world- the more I can feel the weight of my chains.

I am not the first to mention this “condition.” The French religious philosopher Pascal did so as well. He wrote “we live between the weight of shackles, seldom aware that they restrict not only our physical bodies but also our spiritual aspirations.” I have visited with many spiritual counselors and healers in regards to my “condition.” I have been counseled by the best and the answer is always the same. “Yes, we live in chains- but it is the physical body which is contained. We can choose to be free in our thought by not getting attached to anything, by remaining free from thought.” How can I not think? This is the question that I always ask. I love thinking and trying to understand the nature of existence is what I do for a living (unpaid). I have worked hard to develop the quality of thoughts that I have- even if they often cause me a great deal of suffering. I have refined my thoughts by reading and writing religiously. Thought is the one great enjoyment that I indulge in every day. How I am supposed to live without thoughts when thought is the one thing that makes me feel civilized?

“Do not attach to your thoughts. Do not identify with your thoughts- just let them pass away into the universe. Everything is impermanent…even your shackles and chains,” one spiritual guru told me when I went out to his farm for an hour session. I spent over a hundred dollars to be counselled in how to break free from my thoughts. “It is your thought that creates the chains and it is your thoughts that can set you free,” were his final words to me. Granted, when I left the farm I felt lighter- less inconvenienced by my chains. I was out of the city, in nature and for the first time in a while I felt as if I could breathe. I was confused by what I was told by the spiritual guru- but I ascertained a glimmer of hope that I could be free. The moment I walked through the front door of my home and saw a credit card bill, phone bill, and insurance bill awaiting me upon my table- the great weight returned. I felt the chains slowly wrapping themselves around my wrists and ankles like a serpent. They worked their way up towards my neck and threatened to cut off my oxygen. As I walked towards the bathroom I kept on telling myself “do not think about it, do not think!!”- but my attempts were futile because the loud sound of the chains dragging along on the hardwood hallway floor convinced me that they are real.

The Birthday From Hell.

I’ll be honest- my birthday sucked. It was not anything in particular that took place but rather an over all mood. Their was languor or torpor in the air- the kind of feeling that you get when you are in the room with a group of people that you would rather not be around. Even though my entire family gathered together, I felt under appreciated, un- loved, uncomfortable and annoyed. My family is a group of people who suffer deeply. My 97 year old grandfather drank a good amount of red wine and kept telling me that no matter how “crummy” my father was- he loved me. My father tried to smile as he stuck expensive pasta in his mouth but I could see through that smile as if I was staring through glass. He does not like me, nor does he care for my wife- but he gave me $500.00 for my birthday. It is as if he is saying “go buy your self something nice so that I don’t have to feel bad.” He buys off most things in his life- including his son.

All through dinner I felt tense and suffered from chest pain. I dropped my pizza in my lap and drank much to much red wine. My mother kept making sure that my wife was going to take me home and put me to bed. I swore that I was not drunk and that I would go home and do meditation to recover from my birthday, which was filled with a pain so deep that I feel like I could scream. My mother and my wife did the best they can to smile and look appeased but no body talked to me about my life but rather it seemed as if we were all pretending that we live in a pretty world where appearance counts for every thing.

I do not know what I am going to do. If I could explain with words the feelings that I have within me I would have mastered the art of writing. But I am no master. On the outside the birthday was beautiful. Wine and cheese at my house with the family before dinner. My grandparents, parents, sister and wife all present. Then off to the restaurant for a six o’clock reservation where I met friends who would join us for a beautiful feast. We are alive and this is what matters most- I kept telling myself- but deep down I felt like I was stuck in the birthday from hell. Like I was on a ride that no body wanted to be on. I stuffed my face to take away my sorrow but I tried my hardest to smile, say cheers with every sip of wine and make sure the entire gathering was enjoying their time. Now I am home where I will now take a shower in my tears.

If You Build It They Will Come (i hope)

I am glad to see that 43 living human being visited my blog today. Even though the biggest blogs have hundreds of thousands of visitors a day I am content in knowing that a few, a select few are reading what some consider to be the writings of a mad man. It is not often that I am told this but it is less often that I am told I am sane. It is my belief that I oscillate between sanity and insanity. My faith is entirely constructed upon the meanings which can be extracted from this strange nether world in which I reside. I have faith that over time, maybe many many years- others will come to my blog in search of a space that is beyond common sense or rationality. My convictions tell me that I am no fool, no ordinary mortal- and that what I have to say may change the minds of more than a select conservative few. Maybe I am intoxicated by too strong a belief in the words (rhetoric) that I write, but I know that some day I may be seen by the many as one of the sanest, more frequently read and studied bloggers on planet earth (i hope).

The Sex Life Of A Blogger

Since I have been blogging for the past six months I have noticed that something very strange has happened to my sex life. It has vanished. Prior to blogging I was certainly not blessed with a prolific sex life- but it was alive. I was able to recall what sex felt like and I never went more than a week without some kind of sexual encounter. I was interested in sex and sought it out almost on a daily basis. I thought about it and imagined various pornographic scenarios in the back stages of my mind. It would be fair to say that I was a rather normal guy who suffered the same affliction as most other men- I was obsessed with sex. But since I began blogging, something has happened. My lust has dissipated like mist in the early afternoon. My sex life has vanished and there is no trace of it to be found.

I have done some research on this ailment that I have been suffering from and what I have found has not been encouraging. Spending long hours blogging can induce what is referred to as Mortotonia, which is a depletion of the sexual hormones in the brain. Also another interesting bit of information that I have run up against time and time again is that blogging can make an individual anti-social and introverted, which has a tendency to depress ones over all sexual drive. All of this makes sense to me but I still can’t understand why I have absolutely no interest in sex. I used to love pornography and now I am repulsed by it. Semen which never bothered me before is now as disgusting to me as  chronic eczema. I am so uninterested in women that my wife is beginning to wonder if I may be gay.


I have spent the past few weeks trying to tell my wife that my lack of interest in sex is nothing personal against her. Her concern about the possibility that I am gay is as ridiculous as her feeling that I am no longer attracted to her. “You are a beautiful woman, whom I am terribly in love with,” I tell her over and over but the minute I reject her attempts to make love to me she bursts out in tears and lamentations. How is it that I am to explain that the reason for my lack of sex drive is because of my habitual blogging habits? Blogging has destroyed my sexual appetites but she would never believe this, she would only think that I have lost what little sense I have left. But the truth is that blogging has destroyed my sexual interests. It has reduced my sensual experience down to the feeling of the key board against my finger tips. The only way I seem to feel aroused any more is when I receive comments for the posts that I have written or when my blog stats display that more than a hundred people have viewed my writings that day. My whole life in fact has been reshaped by my need to blog. Various friendships I once had have diminished and I am no longer interested in the social engagements that were once such fun for me. Sometimes I wonder if my wife was not far from the truth when she yelled at me the other day that “I have become as lifeless as a blog.” I have been thinking about this lately and I wonder if it could be true?

What Is The Sound Of One Hand Clapping?

I finally figured out the answer to the question, “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” I have been told that this question stems from an ancient Zen Koan and has been contemplated for centuries. No one as of yet has discovered the appropriate answer and this includes millions of monks who have been sitting in meditation for hours a day doing nothing but trying to imagine what the sound could be. This question has been researched, studied and investigated until all possible answers have been exhausted. And I, an ordinary mortal who is stuck in between the heavy suitcases of an ordinary existence has happened upon the answer. Like a disorganized deck of cards- fate has a funny way of orchestrating itself into a steady rhythm. Why things are the way they are- I am the last to be able to give a logical explanation. All that I know is that I am a tired man who is still searching for his dreams in a rented apartment which is cold and filled with half read underlined books. Answers seldom come my way but when they do I want to share them with the world. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” a homeless man said to me today hoping to seduce coins from my shallow pockets. “Who cares,” I said as I cynically made my way past him with a stare of blank disregard. “Who cares,” “who cares?” I repeated to myself as if I had just discovered an ancient riddle. I stopped in my tracks  and turned with a smile of discovery upon my face to listen to the homeless man who was shouting over and over…” you got the answer, you got the mother fucking answer!!!”

The Storyteller

The difficult thing about being a Storyteller is finding the time to write. In our post industrial technocratic society man, woman and child are subjected to a fate similar to the wrath of God against Adam and Eve. We must work by the sweat of our brow, labor away all of our vital energy so that we can afford to maintain a semblance of dignity and pride. It is an unusual condition to be wedged between because most have become so habituated to this way of being (working) that they see no alternative. They have learned to love the hand that enslaves them and decry a life without hard work ( a classic case of conditioning). After all we know that the majority of hard workers are working hard only so that they do not have to be left with the time to take a deep look into themselves. They find their identity within their work because what is deep within them is devoid of substance. This is a catch 22 situation. You work hard and you loose your self but without hard work you loose your house. This is the great modern modern dilema- how to find the time to live your life.


Since, I have been working full time as a Teacher I have found little time to write. I long for the days when I posted upon my blog every day and read with great anticipation the comments that followed in return. I was telling my stories and people around the world were responding to what was told. As a Storyteller who has been burdened with the naging desire to write, tell stories and be heard (psychologists tell me this is because my parents did not listen or pay attention to me)- the outlet of a blog has been heaven sent. But now because of the curse of “working by the sweat of our brow”, I have had to labor away all of the hours of my day and night educating young minds about how to avoid getting stuck in this consuming rat race. We talk about ways to make a fortune before the age of twenty so that they can buy an island and live far away from this synthetic life-denying culture that us humanoids have created. We find critical solutions for problems of “work-addiction” and plan strategies for ways that I can escape from this society and join a race of people who live more in harmony with life rather than the preoccupation of working.


You may wonder how this has anything to do with being a Storyteller, and I would respond that it has everything to do with being a Storyteller. In societies that are consumed with progress and work the first species to become exiled our expendable are the Storytellers. The workers or citizens of these corporate republics do not want to be reminded of their servitude, their complete dependency upon forces outside of themselves. This is why Plato exiled poets from his Republic. “The poets will allow the people to see the many ways that the established government must manipulate the citizens into the cave and away from the light of humanity,” he said. This is what the Storyteller does- he/she makes people more human.


But I no longer have the time to write or spin stories in my head. I have been drinking more and sleeping less. All of my usual creative outlets have been plugged up by work. Time seems to have shortened. By the time I am ready to read and write my eyes refuse to remain open and willing to follow the words which exhaustion has caused me to read and write backwards. This is the world that I have found myself within, and yes it is the very dynamic that seeks to exile the Storyteller from the very body it resides within. Sometimes late at night when I am lying in bed, I can feel my body shaking and becoming tense. I grow restless and have difficulty staying still. It takes me hours to fall asleep and I know that these systemic sensations are the result of my inner Storyteller trying to escape from my body so that it can go some place else where it will have the peace, light and time to tell its many tales.


The End.

The Prophet

I have been down so long that it looks like up for me. In fact, I have decided only to look up from here on out. I am in no way deciding to become an optimist but I am making the choice to focus upon the salmon rather than the bones. After all- looking down only cultivates a feeling of impending doom that will nag at your bones until they are broken.

The myth about looking up is that all things become filled with sun and shine. This is untrue. The sun and shine are there but so is the universe and the darkness beyond. You see, this is the job of the prophet- to see beyond the sun and sky and into the depths of eternity. This is not an easy undertaking for a man such as myself who is easily blinded by the sun and preoccupied with a fear of the dark. But it is within this darkness, which sits just beyond the sun, that I look into every day with a full commitment towards revealing a truth that most ordinary mortals are to blind to see.

You may not need a prophet to inform you that these are troubling times in which we now exist. So troubling in fact that Therapists and Psychiatrists are being trained on how to deal with a very new form of anxiety called “eco-anxiety.” This is a form of anxiety that has become more chronic in the past few years with the rising information about global warming, toxins in food, toxins in the home and toxins in the air. I admit that I to may be suffering from this avant-garde form of anxiety. My life has been made more nervous by all the daily decisions that I have had to make in order to remain healthy. Even though I am a prophet I still have to be careful that my meat does not contain antibiotics and hormones, that the water I drink has been filtered, that I eat only organic food so as to reduce my exposure to pesticides and that the environment in which I live does not contain toxic materials. Granted, I am rarely able to do these things consistently so I end up with chronic anxiety because I know that the world in which I am living is making myself and everyone else sick.

Maybe this is the most difficult aspect of being a prophet- “the knowing.” Knowing so much that you always have to be on-guard about what you eat, drink, wear and breathe. In prophet circles this is referred to the as the curse of “knowing too much.” Many wonderfully gifted prophets that I have associated with have lost their mystical/metaphysical talents because they have “known to much” and as a result developed panic attacks. In order to cope with the oppressive burden of panic disorder they have elected to go onto medication and I believe it is common knowledge that all modern day psycho pharmaceutical drugs destroy the prophet’s ability to prophesize. The prophecy is enough to burden any ordinary prophet and the immense amount of personal spiritual work that I have to do in order to bare the weight of prophecy swallows up most of my time.

There was a time when I was a social creature. I spent a lot of time hanging out in bars and spending my entire days sitting in cafes. I had several girlfriends at a time and I enjoyed several sexual rendezvous a day. Now that I am older and a little less confused I rarely leave the house during the evening and during the day I am preoccupied with the work of prophecy. I have very few friends, because when I get around them I only feel aggravated by their inability to “see past the sun.” Or maybe it would be more correct to say that I am jealous of them, envious because they have no idea what is going on. They just don’t know.

I, on the other hand, know all to well. I connect the dots between earthquakes in China, floods in Burma, tsunamis in Indonesia, floods in New Orleans, rising food, living and gas prices, widening gaps between rich and poor, toxic air and food, wars, genocides and chronic battles for domination and power all happening in different parts of the world at the same time. This knowledge makes me wonder if I may not be a prime candidate to be diagnosed as suffering from “eco-anxiety.” After all I do wear a respirator when I ride my bike (to protect against gas fumes), I take two-dozen supplements a day and drink green algae drinks all through out the afternoon so as to stimulate detoxification of my vessel (body). Some think that I am over reacting and some call me paranoid- but because I am a prophet I know that they think this because “they just don’t know.” Some day soon I think I will let the whole world know what I see when I look up. Then we will all be able to be anxious together and I wont have to feel so alone.

Lost: The Pervert In Room #8

Oh, the pervert in room #8. How I miss him. Where did he go? It seems that he has wondered off and can not be found. The last that I saw of the perverted deviant he was hiding under mattresses and watching prostitutes work their magic with their clients. He would lye there with his pants down while unknowingly above him men paid women to manifest their wildest fantasies in the privacy of a transient motel room. He was without fear and would put him self in the position of greatest risk to fulfill his own personal perversions. I have been looking for the pervert in room #8 for weeks but have not been able to find him. I so admire his tenacity, courage and acumen with regards to finding that which he desires most. I think that we can all agree that most of us repress our most powerful desires- but the pervert in room #8 was one of the only men that I have ever met who actually sets sail in search of lust. I admire him for this, and it is from him that I have learned some of the greatest lessons about life, living and hiding under mattresses while hookers are hard at work (to learn more please see the story “The Pervert In Room #8). Please let me know if you know where to find him.

A Lost Angel

( I am drunk) Do you know what it is like to be riddle with anxiety- stuck in a darkened room? You can see outwards but within it is blurry and riddled with fear. Smoke lingers between the palpitating curtains and there are sounds of restricted breathing and muted yells. Flowers glow in the corners; windowns are covered with exhaust and I am neither here nor there wondering how and when I am going to get out. On the outside I look calm and ready to suggest a walk or a drink, but on the inside I am clamoring, stricken with a constricted terror. The reality of the situation is as difficult to perceive as truth or energy- but it is as tactile as salt and water. I fall away into a blue state where the room becomes dull- unequal to any other experience. What do things like reputation and money matter when you are upon the edge of panic? Superficiality is stripped away like rust when confronted with your mortality. I smoke a cigarette and contemplate driving down the freeway or stopping off in a lonely topless bar. Until then, I am stuck here and trying to figure out what to do with all this madness.

An Invitation To A Beheading.

I used to love sitting alone in a chair and reading a good book. Nothing brought me greater pleasure. I would read a novel a day while enjoying the background sounds of birds chirping and cats meowing. Nothing was as effective in diminishing my stress and anxiety as a good book. No matter how bad the conditions of the world or my life- the printed words on a page could lift me out from my psychological squalor and re-plant me in a space of wonderment. I look back upon these times with utter envy. I even become emotionally enraged towards the man I was in my twenties. I am not only jealous of the large chunks of time that he had to drift of into the pursuit of knowledge but I am furious that it has all gone away.

Now I cannot read a book without having to get up and do something after twenty minutes. I become aggravated, nervous and I am distracted by these demons that seem to be hovering over me and disrupting my concentration. My thoughts begin to race and I struggle to stay focused upon what ever story or non-fiction work I have chosen to read. But no sooner than I can get past a few pages is there the loud voices of little demons that whisper scary things into my ears and poke sharp objects into my chest making me fearful what might happen next. I try to tune them out and push them away with positive visualizations or a smile- but they are ferocious and do not easily relent.

I know nothing good lasts forever, but there are still so many books left that I want to read. I want to return to that time when I could read peacefully for hours, day upon day- without the little brats whispering in my ear: “is your heart beating irregularly?” or “shouldn’t you be doing something more constructive.” Some times these little demons keep shouting things at me like “watch out, watch out- your head might explode!!” or “run, run, run for your life…death is coming, ha ha!!” My own inner monologue is not loud enough to silence these intruding voices and rather than continuing to read I give up and go do something else.

I have not been able to read a book from front to back for months. These little intrusive demons are getting the best of me. They also sneak into my head when I go for walks and drive my car. If I am not constantly reciting a mantra in my mind or singing a song- they will sneak into my silence and cause me great anxiety and grief. The little demons are wearing me down, forcing me to drink more wine and taking me away from the one thing that has always been of great importance to me- my intellectual life.

Without my practice of diligent daily reading my intellectual acumen has become as watered down as a cheap cocktail. I have not been able to think or write upon the great themes of philosophical dialectics or cultural theory like I had once planned upon doing. I have not been able to write great novels that compare with the best of works by Tolstoy, Kafka or Bernhard. I have not been able to go into my career as an honorable college professor who specializes in Ontology and Samuel Beckett. Rather- to defend myself against these little demons and attempt to save my own life I have had to go towards the New Age. I have had to practice meditation, do Yoga, recite mantras and start wearing beads and stones to defend myself against negative energy. I have had to seek out healers and been told by many that I must get out of my mind and start to become more grounded in my body. The very thing that I put so much work into cultivating has become my demise. My intellect has become the very portal from which these demons can access my nervous brain causing me such scary afflictions as to make me consider taking medication. These voices and disruptions get louder and louder every day- if it continues I may send out invitations to my own beheading.

photograph by Keith Purdy.

The Doorman

I am obsessed with doors. I have walked for miles upon many miles and spent years upon years- staring at nothing but doors. The way doors are crafted and the permission that they grant the viewer to imagine what may lay behind, give me an animated sense of being alive. I love the way doors swing and hang. When I am watching a door swing or sway upon its hinges it is as if I am watching a beautiful women seductively pull back articles of clothing that slightly reveal glimpses of forbidden flesh. A potential is revealed and then hidden.

I am a man who is drawn to doors like sailors can be drawn to sea. I am in love with the concept of a door. The way doors separate realities and tempt the mind into a certain curiosity. Doors alter moods, depending upon whether they are opened or closed. They hold the key to the riddle of the universe- all we have to do to is walk on through to the other side.

My obsession with doors grew out of a brief relationship with a woman whose father was a door maker. He specialized in making doors from Southern Spain. The doors had a Moorish quality to them and were always carved with seven sided stars and Arabic writings. The doors were large enough to allow elephants to walk into or out of a room. Aliza’s father was also a man obsessed with doors and after he was long asleep (his wife and he slept on a mattress which was set upon two 18th century doors that he brought back from Barcelona) we would sneak into his door studio and make love on the various kinds of metal door carving equipment. I remember the cold of the equipment against my bare butt as I lifted her upon my legs and made love to her in the dark. Aliza taught me all that she new about doors. We would spend days doing nothing but walking around the tree lined neighborhood in which she lived examining the various kinds of doors that separated families, friends and strangers from “experiences, perceptions and realities.” When Aliza left me for another woman the last words she said to me upon slamming a door in my face was “my doors are shut.”

I managed to steal an antiquated book about doors from Aliza’s father before leaving the door studio for the final time. My heart was in pieces and I had tears in my eyes as I ran off with the book under my jacket. I read the book at least a dozen times and got over my broken heart by traveling around America on a bike and examining, studying and documenting various forms of doors. I took photographs and documented over 10,000 doors in sixteen journals that I tugged around with me in a heavy suitcase. I stayed in Philadelphia for months amazed by the various kinds of colonial doors that seemed to exist in excess. I worked in a strip club during the evenings and documented doors during the day. In one form or another I have been doing this same thing for the past fifteen years. I have over two hundred door documentation journals. I hope that one day not to soon my obituary mentions that I am one of the most important Doormen of my generation.

A Doorman is not the standard and accepted definition of a man who opens doors for you. Rather the term Doorman goes back at least 2100 years to antiquity where a minor Greek Historian by the name of Herodumus wrote the first collection of writings on the theme of doors. He defined a Doorman as the connoisseur of the study of doors whose fascination with the transcendental architecture of doors burn like a fever in his soul. He spoke of the Doorman as one who searches with unrelenting fervor to find the secret or “alternate reality” that can only be revealed by passing through a door. This is the alternate reality that Aldous Huxley wrote about in The Doors Of Perception– another book that has deeply inspired my search. Huxley spoke of doors as a living form of matter that have the absolute power of separating and joining one reality to another. It was Jim Morrison who was the twentieth century’s greatest devotees of Herodumus’s manifesto of the Doorman. He took Huxley’s challenge to break on through and started a band that was dedicated to investigating the mystical apparatus that we refer to as a door. Morrison made doors spiritual and sexual. The textures and structure of doors became more detailed in American society (1969) after The Doors became on of Americas greatest rock bands. It is to Jim Morrison that I will dedicate the great twenty first century book that I plan to write about doors. It will be called The Doors.

For now I am swamped with perpetual thoughts of doors. I see them when I sleep and I am always trying to find ways that I can sneak behind them. No matter if it is a Cabbala door, a Mulligan door, a Moorish door, a Rotunda door, a Franklin Colonial door or a simple 4 by 4 American Suburban door- I am always wanting to break on through to the other side. I am like a Scientist who wants to prove the existence of God by finding the one door that reveals all of his/her or its equations. Like the Door maker whose daughter I long ago copulated with- I am convinced that all the riddles that confuse and confound the human species can be immediately unlocked by the transcendental power of a door.