Don’t Just Do Something…

Every month I like to throw a new quote on the header for this site. The quote for this month reads, “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

5-1-2013-Dont-just-do-something

We live in a world where people and events push us to react emotionally, or overreact, all the time. Whether it’s in personal relationships or in the mass media, we constantly find ourselves in situations where we are being pushed to react as quickly as possible – don’t just stand there, DO SOMETHING!!!

We’ve seen this repeatedly over the last year – immediately after a horrific event, emotionally traumatized people, fueled by the media, clamoring for those in authority to do something, do anything, to create an illusion of security against this same kind of trauma happening again.

If you’re in a true emergency, and are a first responder, it might be necessary to do whatever is needed in the moment, but not after the initial trauma is dealt with – not in the aftermath.

We saw this reaction after the tragedies of the Aurora Theater shooting, after the Sandy Hook school shooting, and after the Boston Marathon bombing. We will see it again next time a horrific event happens.

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A Conscious Change

This is the follow-up post to Driving Towards The End Of The World – After The End Of The World, Part One, a look back on 2012 and my own personal adventure during that year riding the bipolarcoaster, creating art and watching the wheels go round and round as each day we moved closer to the end of the world…

In this post we go down a rabbit hole of books – into fear and loathing, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, near-death experiences and finally into the NOW as I write about my reading journey to the fringes of the world of ideas in pursuit of my subject, consciousness – while looking for better descriptions of the human experience.

After The End Of The World, Part Two

Book-pile

Change is an unpredictable process. Every day you’re constantly in the process of changing, but once in a great while a quantum leap kind-of-change can come along and really speed up the process.

It arrives suddenly, quickly, in a moment, but it’s usually the result of a number of changes over a period of time which have built on each other like a kind of pressure. When there’s a new vibration, frequency or idea which pushes the pressure past the tipping point a quantum leap change can happen – and then suddenly everything becomes different.

After the year I’d had in 2012, and the devastation which depression was wrecking upon my psyche, I desperately needed a change. Not an external change but one inside me… and not a little change but the quantum leap size change. I just had no idea what it could be that would do this, or how to get there… Continue reading

Driving Towards The End Of The World

Introduction  – The Ongoing Documentation Of Life

For over 30 years I’ve been consciously saving little souvenirs of my journey through life – stuff to help document the adventure. I don’t know why this is so important to me, but it is, and it affects much of the way I approach life.

Writing has played a huge part of the documentation process – years and years of filling up journals, writing and editing stories posted on the internet and numerous short essays that I’ve never published. Millions of words just trying to capture the experience of one human being during this pilgrimage here on planet Earth.

Here is the latest installment in the story reflecting on the year I had in 2012 – it’s called “Driving Towards The End Of The World”. I choose that title because, you know, the world was supposed to end last year, which it didn’t 🙂

So before I jump into writing about some really nice changes that have happened since the end of the world I thought I should post something to document 2012 from this one human being’s perspective…

After The End Of The World, Part One

jon-2012December 21, 2012 – a.k.a. “the end of the world” – was quite a good day for me. Probably one of the best days I’d had in weeks, and definitely one of my top ten best days of 2012.

Maybe I was just glad we had reached that date we had all been speculating about for years, or maybe the day really did have some special cosmic alignment I was feeling. Maybe it was because my wife and best friend, Tania, had the day off and it was a wonderful happy morning around the homestead… whatever the cause, it was a day where the burdens of the world slipped from my shoulders for a moment, and the depression, which this year had been the worst it has ever been for me, was pushed back for a moment.

Now that the end of the world was behind us I could feel like something else might happen. Like we had passed a giant border sign while driving through a long desert, “Welcome to the State of Now”. At first nothing seems different, but when you stop for gas at the first town across the border you realize you truly are in a different state, and all that entails…

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Today’s Image – An Ongoing Series


Last Friday I started the long process of moving my “Today’s Image” from my Facebook page to this onehumanbeing.com website.

So far I’ve posted pages from Today’s Images #262 back to #177 (March 14th’s Today’s Image) – and that’s 85 pages, many with extra information added which is not provided on my Facebook page. (But that still means I have 176 pages to go – good times!)

Of course, it’s taking so much longer than I expected. But hey – when does that not happen?

I’m just guessing here, but I think I spent well over 40 hours between Friday and Wednesday working on these updates…

What is Today’s Image?

Back in September of 2011 I decided to see if I could form a new habit – posting a single image a day from my (rather large) portfolio of work from the last 20-something years on my onehumanbeing Facebook page.

These objects of art include paintings, drawings, collages, word collages, sound collage. constructions, sculptures, buttons, photos and many other formats and mediums.

One of the problems with my rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is that I have trouble sustaining interest in a project for more than three or four days. And since this kind of thinking has gone on for so long, I was starting to get a bit neurotic about it, and not starting any project that couldn’t be completed quickly.

This, of course, is not going to work for the long-term. I have earth-work projects that will require months of sustained focus in my plans for the next couple of decades.

So this was the beginning of the process of building new pathways in my brain telling me I can work on projects over the long term. Basic cognitive therapy.

And it’s working – my self-image as an artist is different – I know I’m getting ready for those projects coming up in the near future. As a matter of fact – everything is falling slowly into place for these kinds of works 5 to 7 years down the road. (More on this later.)

This Is What’s Happening Here Through The End Of June – So Enjoy The Process

Visit Today’s Image under The Various Threads menu and follow the journey while I add the rest of the pages going back to September (while simultaneously continuing to add a new image each day) – there are so many interesting images that have already been posted to see… paintings, collages, sound collages, drawings, photos and more.

Even if you saw them when they were first posted you might want to check them out again in their new home. Art always gets better (on the personal level) the more time you spend with it…

Currently, we are nearing the end of a series called Sunday Final which started in late May, and follows one complete hand-made word collage book all the way through from beginning to end – with poetic translation – 31 pages in all.

In a way, slowly but surely, all the various threads of my creative life are being revealed. And to that I say – Enjoy!

Sleep, Wake, Sleep, Wake, Repeat…

Tonight the moon is full, Orion is rising large in the east, Jupiter is straight overhead and Venus is shining brightly as the Evening Star – it’s a beautiful night on planet Earth…

The Secret Waits For Eyes Unclouded

“Can a Buddhist also be Taoist?” one of us had asked.

It was late last night, during a great conversation with Tania, and the question made me reach into the book* we were discussing and rip out a random page – it was just the mood of the conversation…

I looked at the words on the page:

“The secret waits for eyes unclouded by longing”
– Tao Ti Ching: The Way And It’s Power

Wow, that was pretty surreal, answers at my fingertips.

“Tao Buddha Baby” I thought.

As we kept talking I started to draw on the page, in that distracted way, like doodling, which tends to bring the subconscious to the surface and give it a voice.

While the conversation drifted through a number of subjects, mostly we talked about the depression I was going through and writing about…

Sleep, Wake, Sleep…

For the last week, since Tuesday, I’ve been caught in the undertow of depression – just part of the regular cycle of things. This routine is so familiar, yet it’s also a dark cloud of mystery every time it settles in on me.

This time it came in like a fog. My inner vision changed to opaque, shades of grey and black. My body took on all the effects of having something like the flu – chills, exhaustion and fatigue, uncomfortableness throughout my body, heavy sadness and repeating loops of negative thoughts…

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the repeating loops of really stupid Jon-hating crap mounted their full assault. I made my counter-move and went to sleep.

Sometimes that’s all you can do. Sleep, wake and try to sleep again. It makes for a very long week.

By Friday I felt bruised and battered from the assault and it was hard to remember any of the good stuff that happened before Tuesday. That seemed so long ago, weeks ago, so many times of sleeping, waking, sleeping and waking had blurred all sense of time…

Because depression really likes to kick you when you’re down, on Friday and Saturday endless streams of false guilt and recriminating thoughts rained down on me.

Meanwhile my inner vision remained darkly opaque – my inner vision that I rely on constantly for my creative work.

Without Vision The People PerishProverbs 29:18

The full quote of that verse is “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (King James Version)

To me this says – when faith is lost, people lose their way, but the one who keeps his faith against the odds will find their way and survive.

Faith is the thing that keeps my feet from stumbling even when my inner vision is opaque as cataracts and horribly dark in it’s shadowed thinking.

Faith is something which has been built during my lucid moments and during the day-in-day-out reality, something that’s proven itself over and over, something more solid than stone and larger than my imagination.

Sometime faith is like a talisman I hold onto, because it’s something so familiar it anchors me to this reality through the strongest storms of depression.

Familiar Routine

Because, quite frankly, this storm will pass, but another one will hit again in a week or two, and then again, and again. Sometimes in new and creative ways to drive me towards despair, and other times in relentlessly familiar ways.

During that time I might get an upswing – a period of extra energy that will eventually run out, often when I’m in mid-stride on an idea.

It’s like my system shoots me up with some amazing drug and then one day decides to make me quit cold-turkey, with days of withdrawal-like symptoms, until one day the drug returns, and then withdrawal, over and over.

This has been happening to me my whole life, and unless some miracle happens, will continue through the rest of my days.

Ever since I was diagnosed in 1998** I’ve been watched this repeating cycle happen over and over – I’ve been studying it like a cellmate, I know it’s moves, but it’s been a very puzzling experience.

Clouds Hunger For Your Very Puzzling Experience, For Example.

Do randomly selected words on a page mean anything? Can seemingly chance events be telling anything? Is it possible to reach your hand into a book and rip the answer from it?

Some things you would never choose for yourself, or anyone else. Bi-polar spectrum disorder is one of those things, but this is the path I find myself on, the story I’ve been given in this life. It’s kind of random but I’m looking to find meaning in it.

The secret waits for eyes unclouded.

So, tonight I’ll sleep under the full moon, as Orion watches over us and Jupiter hangs majestically in the heavens.

Tomorrow Venus will again shine brightly as the Evening Star and it’ll be another beautiful night on planet Earth.

Notes:

*The book we were discussing was called Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das which Tania read this last year.

**Currently, the name they use for my situation is “Bi-polar Spectrum Disorder.” It’s still a mystery to the doctors and drug-makers.

Happy New Year 2012

Above: The 2012 Mayan Apocalypse A-Go-Go Calender

I hope everyone made it safely out of 2011.

That was one heck of a year; Tsunami in Japan, a Rapture that wasn’t, bad government corrupted by 1% Banks too big to fail, Asteroid near misses and an apocalyptic comet that disintegrated into nothing but dust, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Davis, Tear Gas, Police Brutality, and to complete the dystopian slide – Obama signs the NDAA on Dec 31, 2011…

I started reading a few “conspiracy theory” kinda websites this last year. Just the thing to do when you’re in a blistering depression – read about a world as fuzzy, strange, disoriented, and bleak as the depression. I don’t know if this is really a good reading plan, but that’s how I spent some of my evenings during the late summer and the fall.

Seemed like a new “end of the world” was just around the corner, sometime in the middle of next week… and it never came. The end never came.

But this is the year for the big one, right? The 2012 Mayan Apocalypse A-Go-Go or something like that.

You might have noticed that my calender graphic at the top of this page only goes through December 21st – aren’t we going to have fun with that one this year?!?

Goodby 2011, Hello 1984

To remember this day in which President Obama signed into the NDAA into law I want to use the following quotes from my friend Sé Reed from Facebook today (used with permission) about the NDAA  signing:

“Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation.”

– Obama’s ndaa 2011 signing statement

oh yay! but now I’D like to clarify that he specifically said HIS administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. i mean, the law says he can authorize that very thing, of course, but he will refrain from doing so. ISN’T THAT JUST PRECIOUS??

  • Dana: So looking forward to November
  • Julie: what is NDAA?
  • Apryl: ?:(
  • SĂ© Reed: ?Dana why? what good will november do??
  • SĂ© Reed: ?Julie DEFINITELY READ THIS.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-set-to-become-law-the-terror-is-nearer-than-ever-2011-12
    NDAA Set To Become Law: The Terror Is Nearer Than Ever

    www.businessinsider.com
    It’s all over. NDAA is here.
  • Owen:And here comes war with Iran.
  • SĂ© Reed: ?Owen yeah that’s so happening. 🙁 it’s so beyond horrible. this one’s not gonna leave us unscathed. Iran is not a third world country, despite our best efforts to make it so.
  • SĂ© Reed: and not that signing it on new year’s eve was sneaky or anything. everyone’s totally paying attention to politics today, right? no one has anything else going on.
  • Owen: But my comment wasn’t about this strait of Hormuz bullshit, it was a reference to the provision in this same act to crash Iran’s central bank. Imagine if China’s plan was to crash the federal reserve. How would we react?
  • SĂ© Reed: Oh. Right. That. i can only get worked up about one issue per civil-liberty-dissolving, world-war-invoking, totalitarian-military-police-state-starting bill at a time.
  • SĂ© Reed: but yeah. the part about us destroying Iran is pretty fucking shitty. suddenly i feel like swearing a lot. happy fucking new year.
  • Jon Christopher: rant on!
  • Dana: ?SĂ©, good point…wonder how poetry slams will go over in FEMA camps?
  • SĂ© Reed: that’s an awesome thing to wonder, even though it’s awful it would need to be wondered.
  • Jon Christopher: SĂ© – I’m feeling the need to put a post together marking this disastrous occasion – can I quote you in my post?
  • SĂ© Reed: please do, by name and welcome.

What does this new law mean? I’m not sure, but we’ll be looking at it closer in the days ahead… We do know it’s a landmark moment in our nations history.

Welcome to 2012 – we have quite a journey ahead…

Rainy Days With Whirlpools

For today I’ll just re-post the three songs about the weather, both inside and out, which I posted on Facebook this afternoon…

First Posting

Depression comes in like a storm with my thoughts washing down a gutter of whirlpools – The first day is always the worst…

Here’s a Verve song I listen to on days like this…

LINK HERE | The Verve | The Drugs Don’t Work – link to YouTube page…

Second Posting

Medicating with Music: Another Verve song from the Urban Hymns album… “One Day” – link is to the song – no video

Favorite line – “Just tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end…”

Third (and last) Posting

And here’s one for the rainy day…

Post Script…

Hoping for better weather tomorrow…

The Turning – Helter Skelter

the-turning-helter-skelte

The Dream of the Two-Headed Dragon

I remember the comfort… spread out like a blanket in the quiet dreams, and rest, and wisdom, and communion, everywhere, nowhere – the only existence.

I remember when I was the universe, before the journey that crossed your path – when all of time was one instant, one symphony.

It was you that woke me, it was your story that called me across the ages. You were my gravity. You were my reason to wake…

Your story came to me on a wave, on a memory, on the resonating notes of a string pluck so long ago… A string that resonated and hummed to life sending out ripples and waves, that sent out a song that woke all the strings within me that had gone quiet… and they started to hum with your song.

I had told you long ago we would never be apart, and at the edge of never, your song, your gravity called me back...

The Building Blocks of Life

There are many people that can tell you how the world is seen and known, but this story is about the unseen and the unknown and the pieces that have come together to form the small symphony of waves, sounds, connections, systems, worlds and galaxies that move around with me.

What is a human being? I wonder if we even know…

Biologically, I’m a union of billions of individual cells that form a manifestation of personal intelligence which creates what you see as my body.

My body is really borrowed organic material that will someday return to the stream of earth life, while life, the person I know as myself, will grow and evolve into… what?

The organic material that feeds my little personal galaxy was created from the death of stars, the death of plants, the death of billions of organic creatures that came before me. I was formed in the womb of death and destruction and it has given birth to life and creation.

But this story of life is not about the natural cycle of organic life and death, but about the life which is something more, something much bigger.

Life is not something you can own – it’s a story that has been given to you, it is your sparking moment to be born, your moment in eternity to come alive, to form as a soul, to become a flame that burns on and on.

From the moment of my birth the chains of civilization were wrapped around me. I was stamped with the mark. With punishments and rewards I learned to ignore the nourishment of my soul and to cage it in a box of fears and anxieties. Unless I wore the mark and conformed to the civilization I was born into, I could not earn my daily bread and water needed to continue my organic life.

Everyone of us is born a slave into the world system, and none can escape it unless their spark becomes a flame, unless they become a soul that is alive, unless they sacrifice their organic life for that something “other” – that other kind of life.

How Did I Get Here?

Do you wonder if your time here is a accident of the great cosmic comedy?

Did you know it took years of genetic work, generations actually, to create you?

Has anyone told you that your time was appointed; as were your talents, skills, hungers, desires, strengths and weaknesses, so that you could accomplish the dream inside you?

Has anyone told you that the dream you keep burying inside yourself is your spark and the voice of the story that has been given you, and what’s going on around you is mostly illusions and distractions?

Helter Skelter  – or  – Riding The Bipolar Coaster

2008-12-5-helter-skelter.jpg

When I was very young I used to dream of being able to ride endlessly on a roller coaster. I loved roller coasters, the ups and downs and all the funny ways it made my body feel. I felt alive on a roller coaster.

I would imagine in my dream that I had won some kind of prize that allowed me to ride the roller coaster over and over again, just waved on through each time the ride came to an end and back out onto the track, around and around, up and down, up and down.

Now, at age 45, and after 10 years of battling the symptoms of bipolar disorder with endless pharmaceutical drugs, I wonder if the dream I had as a child was a glimpse into my future, the place I am now. Now I ride a bipolar coaster, like I’m strapped in and I can’t get off of this ride – it never stops – I just go round and round again.

At age five it was a dream that has become twisted over the last forty years into an illness… a mental illness. Is it a prize and a dream or is it a mental illness? Have I been missing out on something amazing about myself or am I really just broken machinery?

End of Helter Skelter – Part One

To be continued…

Click Here For More Information about The Turning – A Serial


Faith

a-ladder-to-the-stars

This is a drawing I made back in May of 1998… when I made this drawing I was in the midst of my first big depression, laid off from work, injured, and on Workman’s Comp.

If you would like to get a framed print, sticker, note card, journal or greeting cards of this drawing, you can visit my Cafe Press shop here

faith-framed_print

UPDATE: Later in the day, August 13th…

streamsEveryday Tania and I have a few devotionals that we read and have been for a long time. One of those devotionals is “Streams In The Desert – 366 Daily Devotional Readings” by L.B. Cowman, revised, 1997 edition.

For today the reading included this:

“If the clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth” – Ecclesiastes 11:3

“…How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will, for they are the dark chariots of God’s bright and glorious grace.”

There was much more in the devotional that seemed to go with the drawing… funny how things work out like that.

Tracking The Storm on Facebook

I had a pretty bad depression storm move in this last week, and I’ve been tracking it by making daily posts on Facebook. Tonight I thought I’d try to elaborate a little on those postings…

Day 1 – Wednesday

This storm started on Wednesday morning, the 22nd – I could feel the storm coming and I tried to hang on to the positive mindset I woke up with, only to have it slip away as the morning wore on… that night on Facebook I wrote:

Facebook Posting: Wednesday, July 22nd 10:56pm

Heavy and dark depression today – tired of the mantras of stupidity and failure endlessly repeating themselves in my head, for hours, all day long…

Mantras or looping tapes – don’t know what to really call them – just the endless repeating of crap – STUPID STUPID STUPID SHITHEAD FAILURE… (that and worse) over and over all day long… it really does gets a little tiring and if you had to live through it (and many people do) you’d quickly understand why people turn to alcohol and drugs to numb their poor, tortured soul.

Day 2 – Thursday

I was hoping this storm would just be a quick, little, one day event, but no, it continued on into Thursday – and I woke up to those same crappy tapes playing in my head  – the same as when I went to bed – damn. Just relentless from the word go…

Later on, I ended up watching an interesting documentary on the Catholic Channel on TV (who knew we had a Catholic Channel?!?) about a priest named Father Solanus Casey. I’ll write more on Father Solanus in a future post.

Facebook Posting: Thursday, July 23rd 10:47 am

Another heavy and dark day – Slowly posting a retrospective of my paintings – So far – Line Abstracts from the mid 1990’s – http://onehumanbeing.com/blog/resources/art-works-a-retropective/line-abstracts/

I’ll let people know when more work is posted…

I thought I’d do my best to work through the storm, but I didn’t get very far and spent most of the rest of the Thursday sleeping.

Day 3 – Friday

Facebook Posting: Friday, July 24th 4:41 pm

Depression – Day Three – Yet one more time down this road… Today the depression moved on to the physical part – like having the flu – sort of. Hopefully that means this storm will move out in a day or so. I’ve been here many times before…

In my opinion, depression is a physical illness that affects your thinking and thought processes. As a bout of depression runs it course, I have days where it’s mostly a physical experience – tired, nauseous, achy, irritable and uncomfortable in my own skin – very much like how the flu feels.

This phase can mean this bout is nearly over, or it’s just warming up for round two… I just have to wait and see.

There’s a line in a song by The Verve that runs through my head on these days “Just tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end…” It helps keep me alive.

On Friday evening I went with Tania to Friday Night Happy Hour, a weekly tradition with our friends, which I’ve been skipping out on lately because of depression-related issues, and did my best to be present. Our friends and the co-founders of our little Happy Hour group are leaving this next week on amazing new adventures – and I couldn’t miss their last Happy Hour with us.

Day 4 – Saturday

Facebook Posting: Saturday, July 25th 1:14 pm

Depression Day Four – 15% better – Took photos at AAC this morning of Pure Kush, The Purps and Razzle Berry – beautiful herbs! Will be posted on the AAC menu later today (this is my volunteer work that keeps me going) http://aacollective.com/inside/menu/

On Saturday morning I was determined to start turning this around – wake up – go take photos – come home and spend the afternoon processing photos – go, go, go and out-run the tape loops… on sugar and fake energy, anxiety and frustration – doesn’t work for long and I end up just drained before the day is nearly half over.

Day 5 – Sunday

Sunday – is it Sunday? No, just Fogday in my head and I can’t shake it… sometimes the clouds seem like they’re going to clear, but no, just a false hope and more gray fog thickly and slowly oozing through my day and into the evening…

Facebook Posting: Sunday, July 26th 11:04 pm

Depression Day 5 – gray fog and heavy clouds – now it’s just settled in, thick with slow motion… an endless day with tiny, quickly evaporating breaks in the mental weather.

Tough storm so far, but you never know… tomorrow could be the day I wake and the sun will be shining on my eyelids and whispering appreciations and hopes that blow away the looping tapes and make this just a memory and a story.

The Monster Pill, Part 2 – Jelly Paws and Black Hole Suitcases…

Continued from The Monster Pill – July 19, 2009…

jellypaws_drawing_websized

Last summer, and during August in particular, I went through a really bad depression – I mean – really bad. As you can see from the drawing to the left that I made of my brain in my sketchbook during that time it was not good.

On the same page I made this drawing I wrote the following – I call it…

Jelly Paws

We’re just soft tissue
with sharp claws
hidden in our jelly paws
with anxiety triggers
and stress-blinded attack plans…

Lazy, selfish,
lulled by isolation
into fearful creatures
launching preemptive strikes
shock and awe with sharp claws
and we roll on and on…

A few pages after this entry I made my drawings of The Monster Pill, which I posted yesterday, inspired by the ongoing and eternal prescription medication hassles…

Seriously people, in my opinion, nothing helps Bi-Polar II more than good medical marijuana (and good diet, exercise, sunlight… which I should do more of…) – but I faithfully go through the never-ending (over ten years now) search for a really effective prescription medication.

While I’m covering drawings and writings from last August, here’s my Black Hole Suitcases

fly_paper_mind_1_websized

Black Hole Suitcases

Everything I’ve left undone
has stuck to my flypaper mind.
They struggle and die in the place where I hide
them away
and come back as suitcases filled with black holes.

Take my suitcases and give them wings
give them life, and flight, and a place to go.
I’m just going to lie down here because it’s all become too heavy for me…

This was just a few pages after The Monster Pill drawings and was one of a several attempts I made to document the depression while it was happening… I continued to struggled with this particular bout of depression through late October, 2008, when I finally got a month or so of good energy while we switched my medications, again.


Long Depressions and a Life of Cycles

It may seem like I’ve disappeared, but I’m still here… weathering a long storm of depression.

This storm started back in late April, and has come and gone in waves, in cycles within cycles.

I should be use to this by now, but I never get used to it, always hoping that the blue sky days will last, but knowing there’s always another storm coming.

The spring storms are very unpredictable.

Some years it’s like a rushing, fresh breeze of creativity and new activities. Other years it comes like a cruel north wind, and I find myself tied to the mast just to make it to the early summer break when my next big shift comes.

I’ll be 45 in two weeks, on the 18th.

I’ve had depressions and manias since I was a child (something I’ve come to understand over the last few years), and actively dealing with my mood-swings for the last eleven years.

After all this time I’ve become somewhat familiar with the cycles and seasons of my inner landscape, and the strange weather patterns of storms that ravage and shape that landscape.

But that doesn’t make it any more pleasant at Depression Ground Zero, or help my daily attempt at making something out of the dreams and visions in my head.

So for days I hide out on the sofa, watching shows on the History Channel about UFOs and Ancient Civilizations, reading news stories on my laptop from the Huffington Post, and sleeping, lots of sleeping…

When I have energy I volunteer at a Medical Marijuana collective here in Long Beach called AAC – Apothecary’s Assistants Collective and take photos for a project of mine called The MMJ Project (MMJ is short for Medical Marijuana).

I’m glad for my project and volunteer work because it gets me out of the apartment, and around people.

Of course, there’s more to it than that… but left to my own devices to avoid the pain of depression I will disappear into a world of deep thoughts, MMJ, meditations and TV and ignore the rest of the world.

So, getting me outside of myself is a good thing – especially during these storms.

There’s my update from this last month or so…

Hopefully I’ll reach more peaceful weather soon and be able to write about some interesting visions I’ve had during these storms (the visions are the only rewards sometimes for traveling through these storms) and the stories that have been weaving their way through my daily existence.

Until later, best of health,
Jon, onehumanbeing

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow Detail - Click to see full Image of the Moment

Please note: I am publishing this post about a week [2-25-2009] after I first wrote it. See the note at the end of the post for more details…

Ripples After The Splash

The last 36 hours have been very difficult. (the story gets better, really…)

I’ve experienced this before, the relapse after a big depression, just as you’re heading out of the whirlpool. It’s like ripples from a big splash in a pond.

Peeved

That’s the word I settled on to describe how I feel today. I’m angry, bothered and vexed – but mostly it’s wrestling with God, trying to get through my confusion of the moment…

So today, I’m not the best to be around – I have a short temper, and I feel like I have an agenda in every conversation… most of which have been with Tania who had the day off today and got to enjoy my dark windstorms and blowing clouds…

I don’t get this way very often, and haven’t in a long time, so it’s really throwing me around this time, and tripping up my footing.

I believe in a God of big promises, and today I need to see some of those show up… like I said – I have been peeved today. Maybe it’s something I ate, my various medications – I don’t know…

A note to those who don’t understand the work of faith: faith is not blind, it’s a force that strips away all your illusions and makes you face the real problems, like food on the table and clothes to wear. To learn about faith that works you have to ask questions, it’s fear and doubt that keeps you one quiet.

I found out from Tania as I was muttering about in my peeved ramblings this morning, that she was dealing with the same kind of thoughts, and she had been praying about the same things that were bothering me.

Praying – a much better response. That’s how we’ve moved from questions to answers in the past – we prayed – and it has worked every time so far…

We both agreed that we needed to see some of those promises, and now was a really good time, really… and we prayed.

Rainbows

Later this afternoon I drove over to A Soothing Remedy Collective, and saw my new friend Dr. Shillstein (that’s his weedtracker username), the guy who runs the place.

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I usually enjoy visiting the Dr. but today I was just a dark cloud coming to visit. I had gone there just to drop off some MMJ (Medical Marijuana) Week buttons for them to give away,  but I also picked up a gram of Mango OG Kush (the Dr. recommended it for my situation – a very good choice) and left…

After I got home and had some of my new herb (still feeling peeved, but in a nice, kush-induced, fuzzy kind-of-way) I glanced out the front window and saw the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen (and no, the rainbow wasn’t because of the herb).

I called Tania over to see, and we both ran downstairs to try and get a photo of this amazing sight.

I’m very serious when I say I’ve never seen such a brilliant, complete, colorful double rainbow. The composite photo above does not do it justice.

Now I realize that there are “rainbows” and there are “Rainbows: The Amazing Version” – This was the latter…

I have never seen one such as this, but I imagine that the one Noah saw must have been like this, because you look up it and go, “Wow…” – you just have to.

You might or might not know that the rainbow Noah saw was a sign to him from God that represented God’s promises to him, God’s covenant with Noah, and all mankind after him. I feel like today, God answered my storms with a rainbow…

An after note: 11:30 pm – I’m still feeling a bit peeved – I hope this feeling goes away when this current depression ripple passes because I do not like feeling this way…

Note from about a week later – Feb 25, 2009

I didn’t publish this post on the day I wrote it because in it’s draft form it was such an incomplete picture of what was going on in our life, the much bigger picture where this is just one footstep of faith leading to the next – but for those that don’t walk this way it could cause confusion.

My life is about fanning the spark of faith in the people I meet, and I don’t want to do anything to blow out that spark…

This double rainbow was followed up by a show the next day on the Science Channel about Uncertainty and Quantum Physics. When I need spiritual clarity, I turn to Quantum Physics – it gives me great perspective.

All the peeved feelings melted away after that night, and my questions have started to return to me as answers that help me see the world with more love, hope and purpose…

And I have a new material for my work now – Uncertainty. More about that coming up soon…

So now, over a week later, I’m starting to understand in an even-more-amazed-way the beauty of that rainbow, on that particular day, and that moment. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. My faith is now stronger and has a larger vision…

Psalm 37:5 – Illuminations and Meditations

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This is a drawing I did this last weekend, one of several I’ve did based on Psalm 37, verse 3-6.

These verses are ones I’ve been meditating on for 5 years, cycling through different verses as seasons of life change.

Currently I’m on verse 5 and have been for quite awhile… It’s a very slow paced digestion of the word, but these 4 verses written thousands of years ago have helped reshape my life from who I was when I first read them during a crashing depression.

Enjoy the drawing… lot’s of little things in there from my current reading material about Mayan culture, serpents shedding their skin (note: there is a deep Advent season focus of John the Baptist’s call to repentance and renewal going on through all these drawings)

More stuff later.