Exit 160

We awoke today.

We drove away.
We smiled ear to ear.
And then we felt fear.
Our minds unclear.

Our false security now gone.
Only the road ahead.
Will it lead us to the sublime?
Will it lead us to crime?

Hungry dogs sniffing for food.
Claws scratching for you.
How many rest stops along the way?
Sleeping while sitting up today.

Resting in the van.
One eye open, the other in another land.
Babies crying to find a home.
No camp found, we roam.

We sleep tonight.

Road Warriors

I’m out of here. That’s it. I put in my notice today. Today I am no longer a web designer. I am a human. And my wife supports my decision. We are going on a trip. A long trip together as a family. Broke and poor. We are hitting the road.

I was just sitting there today thinking, is this it? Am I to live like this? As the time ticks away the seconds of my life. The days and weeks fly by as I prepare to die. And I have a timeline. It has been explained and stretched out before me on paper. Dotted. Signed. Re-signed. This paper has a pie chart and a bar graph showing where my median age for death will be. I have five years they say but when did the clock start? Nobody knows. Will I beat brain cancer? No one seems to beat it? There are few who outlive the median age and they are still wondering when their tumors will start growing again because nobody beats it. They just make it off the chart.

I live with this every day. This, what am I going to do with my life anxiety?  This, why was I put here anxiety? How will I make my mark? What is my calling? And could I pursue it, if I really knew what the answers were? So today I reclaim my life or what is left of it.

My wife, the kids and I are hitting the road. Where it will take us nobody knows. First things first, we are keeping our stuff in storage here in Melbourne, Florida. That stuff could burn to the ground for all I care. I’ve never been more free without it. I have slept on an air mattress for the past five months in the living room. I welcome it. If I could sleep standing up I would, just as long as I’m alive. As far as web design goes, I think I’ll try something different this time around. Something where I use my body. Work with my hands. Maybe even learn how to grow my own food.

Tonight we are packing because tomorrow morning the road awaits. I hope to gun it up to New York first, while the weather is nice. Maybe stay up long enough to see the leaves change, then possibly head over to Colorado. We are taking only what we need. Just a handful of clothes each. Just enough of everything to make it easy. We will teach our children to make do with little and to learn to find happiness in nature. No more television. No more Tivo. No more. More. More. More.

Dead Man Walkin

I’m thirty five going on eighty.
Looking at life I find it shady.
No sun when I needed it.
Gray skies most days.

I find myself wanting
To get on my knees and pray.
To be thankful
And forget the rest today.

I am no Larry Page.
I will never be on stage.
I am no Bill Gates.
I can assure you mate.

My ideas are small.
My actions are smaller.
No changing myself.
No changing what’s left.

Poets are prophets
Only when dead.
Life is fruitful
For those who are led.

For those not seeking
A life worth living.
For those not searching
Life is not looking.

No money in the bank.
I am a grown man being frank.
Maybe a hero to my best.
Maybe a zero to the rest.

Big changes come small.
No sense in fighting the fall.
Big ideas have evolved.
I am another man with no legacy.

Nothing significant to give or save.
Another man taking more than he gave.
Nothing new created or solved.
Time to let the rest dissolve.

Little Pills

Little pills in my brain,
Little pills made of chemicals,
Little pills in my brain,
Little pills all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made of chemicals
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All go to their doctors,
Where they are given pills
And they all come out the same,
And there’s teachers and policemen,
And nuclear physicists,
And they all need their chemicals
And we all feel just the same.

And they all watch the game on Saturday
And drink and eat their beers and wings.

And they all have screwed up children
And the children go to school,
And the children play video games
And then to the university,
Where they are given pills
And they come out all the same.

And the boys and the girls can’t find jobs
And they marry and divorce
While taking pills made of chemicals
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made of chemicals
And we all feel just the same.

Internet Sheep

Baa, baa, internet sheep,
Can you stream TiVo?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
The bandwidth is full.

One for the adults,
One for the kids,
And one for the neighbor,
Who steals Wi-Fi down the road.

Baa, baa, internet sheep,
Have you any life?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three hours of reality TV full.

Meditation on Legacy

i am writing for you.
twenty years from this view.
your mind not ready to receive.
the words i wish to retrieve.

from the recesses of our memories.
will the data dump be achieved.
as you thumb through coloring books.
as you play princess dress up.

your daddy thinks of legacy.
of what you will remember of me.
will you try to forget and be free.
is there a reason to believe.

in a legacy built for you.
in a legacy built for me.
all these words and photos recorded.
so you might have wisdom afforded

by the life of another.

Ramakrishna was a teacher of popular appeal, speaking in rustic Bengali, freely using stories and parables. He emphasised God-realisation as the supreme goal of all living beings. According to Ramakrishna, the idea of sex and the idea of money were the two main delusions that prevent people from realizing God, and that god-realization can be achieved by renouncing Kama-Kanchana (lust and gold). Ramakrishna looked upon the world as Maya and he explained that avidya maya represents dark forces of creation (e.g. sensual desire, evil passions, greed, lust and cruelty), which keep people on lower planes of consciousness. These forces are responsible for human entrapment in the cycle of birth and death, and they must be fought and vanquished. Vidya maya, on the other hand, represents higher forces of creation (e.g. spiritual virtues, enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, and devotion), which elevate human beings to the higher planes of consciousness.

Ramakrishna practised several religions, including Islam and Christianity, and recognized that in spite of the differences, all religions are valid and true and they lead to the same ultimate goal—God. Ramakrishna’s proclaimed that jatra jiv tatra Shiv (wherever there is a living being, there is Shiva) which stemmed from his Advaitic perception of Reality. His teaching, “Jive daya noy, Shiv gyane jiv seba” (not kindness to living beings, but serving the living being as Shiva Himself) is considered as the inspiration for the philanthropic work carried out by his chief disciple Vivekananda.