Monday, January 4, 2016


"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

Rest in peace, Ellie (2000-2016).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Ties That Bind

I, in solitude of thought remarked
A change in course to once I harked
It swiftly bade me to embark
In search of ties that bind

This faded house I'd built alone
Fortified inside the stone
I could not suffice to call a home
In search of ties that bind

I gazed upon the open door
To take a deepened breath before
A house I'd never see once more
In search of ties that bind

Trekking between trees of jade
Until the sun's course had made
To place me in their azure shade
In search of ties that bind

The mountain laid me bare to test
Its fissures' peaks against my best
And still I plowed unto its crest
In search of ties that bind

Then rock gave way to desert sand
The sirocco through barren lands
Searing heat; though still I'd stand
In search of ties that bind

Driven into fall of night
A thought so loud it bore with fright
Had I forever lost my light?
In search of ties that bind

The life I'd known was not enough
To even trace the kind of love
That pulled me by the stars above
In search of ties that bind

Upon the beach, I'd rest my head
To wash away amongst the dead
Why had I been so strangely led
In search of ties that bind?

And then the softest voice in kind
Pulled me towards as if through time
To meet that death with fierce decline
In search of ties that bind

From that very journey's start,
before the house from once embarked
Lied a still and beating heart
In search of ties that bind

Though all that time I'd felt alone
In that house I'd built of stone
A lasting friendship I'd be shown
In search of ties that bind

Weary-eyed, I'd never knew
Through every battle she held true
For she was fighting with me too
In search of ties that bind

Darkness fleeing morning's light
Visage of the day so bright
Forever banished fear of night
In search of ties that bind

The path upon the light once shown
Revealed to me in celestial tone
Seeds already long-been sewn
In search of ties that bind

In its time, and in its place
A collision in both time and space
In uncontested states of grace
I'd found the ties that bind.

Never would I fear once more
The darkness that once swept the shore
For light of love I'd now implore
Upon the ties that bind.

(For my dear, wonderful, beautiful friend who has been more important to me than she will ever realize. You've forever changed my life, and I don't know what I'd do without you.)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Birth of the Iconoclast

Of what are the greatest of those among us made? What allows us to express our truest nature; to reach into our greatest potential. Nietzsche says that what makes man great is that he is a bridge - that he is always a way to something. Pointed. Moving. Longing. Man is a process of becoming; of molding and transcending the self. The greatest of men stretch themselves across the great abyss of life, and become lovers of their fate.

But, to do this requires a great sacrifice. To become something new, we must always leave something behind - for that is just what it means to become something new. To become great, we must make the greatest sacrifice. We must dare to tear down all we are, and all we believe ourselves to be, to build a path to our better selves.

"You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you arise anew if you have not first become ashes?" - Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

No one and no thing is beyond reproach in this way. Rebirth is a baptism of fire, and all that cannot withstand its flames must burn and crumble. Great men are brothers in the flame. Survivors. The greatest thinkers, warriors, artists - they've all endured this flame. They've taken it upon themselves to destroy something once held sacred, and gave birth to something new in its place.

This is the bridge. To create is to destroy. If we wish to be more than we are; if we wish to be truly fulfilled - we must be prepared to engage in this kind of undertaking. We must confront our darkest fears, question our most sacred truths, and meet our trepidations headlong.

When we fail to do so, we commit the gravest of sins. Without movement, without rebirth, we stagnate. We die long before our bodies give way to our earthly mortality. We slip the bonds of a truly engaged life, in exchange for comfort. And, worse, we all know too well, upon the most superficial of reflections, exactly how empty that comfort is. We feel the striving for something more deep within our souls. And, yet, every day most of us fail to heed its call.

Why do we do this to ourselves; live these vacant, self-lacerating lives? We all feel its emptiness. We all know we want so much more. But, still, most of us, instead, slip into a slow convergence with complacence. We lose the curiosity and vitae of our childhood. Our dreams slowly lose their luster, and become buried beneath the sands of time. We settle, like bones in a coffin.

All in the name of comfort.

When we abandon our quest for that comfort, that is when we begin to awake from the dream that is the life of complacency. We must pull ourselves from the lull of cold comfort and easy resignation. If we want to truly live, we must do it deeply. Our lives must become overwhelming, and uncompromising. We must breathe in the world, and no longer ignore the cries in our hearts shouting, "More!".

Life, if it is to be worth anything at all, must be fought for at every turn. To become who we truly are, to be truly and deeply fulfilled, we must destroy the barriers to life. Some of these barriers have been erected by others, and many we have created within our own minds and hearts. But they must come down all the same. To destroy is to change. To change is to create. To create is to live. So stop, at once, the denial of the will to live. Instead, destroy what you once were, and become who you are.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Fatalist and the Master

Any and all action begins with this - "What is the way through?"

For the fatalist, there is no "through." What is, is only what is. And our part in what is, is simply what was. The now is bound to the past. And the future is bound to the now, which is bound to the past. The fatalist surrenders both the now and the future to the past; regret and scorn are the coins of his realm. His life becomes a grand ritualistic indulgence; a sacrifice of all that could be on the altar of all that could have been. There is no light here, save the perpetually dimming silhouette of his own.

He is at once a slave to the world and dead to it. He can no longer see with eyes of his own. For him, all possibility is forfeit. A troubadour of his own trappings, he has joined the ranks of the greatest death-cult. Happiness has been stripped from the seeds of his own existence. Only a husk of a man is left - trying desperately to hold itself together. His sign is that of the martyr.

"Why?" asks the master. "What you've inflicted upon yourself, you've inflicted upon all those around you. What you offer is a disease - denial and sorrow. We want no part in that world, as you clearly have wanted no part in ours. There is death in all that you worship. And so, you are fated."

"Through" pervades the world of the master. His world is unbounded. It is open. What was is what was. He no longer has a part in that. The future is bound to the now, and we are creatures of the now. We live. We breathe. We are embodied intellect. The extent to which the master surrenders is simply the extent to which the world is out of his control...he offers nothing more. Life is the envy of the dead. And death deserves our scorn.

His sigil is the sword. He has made his life into a blade - cutting through death at every turn. All that is banal in his world is the choice that diminishes life. It's on display in every decision he makes. The path of his life is a trek from shadow to light. He embraces life in spite his misfortunes. In spite of his mistakes. In spite of the moment he refuses to let pass by. He drinks from its chalice, and does not let regret, anger, or self-pity bend his destiny.

Strength. Love. Reason. These are the virtues of the master. And they are the source of his antipathy towards the fatalist. What are these things to one who chooses to reject life? The fatalist has no use for virtue, just as the master has no use for the fatalist. The master loves the world because he loves his own life. He wants to learn. He wants to love. He wants to grow. The fatalist hates the world because he hates his own life. He learns nothing. He loves nothing. He prays to death.

There is no reconciliation between these men and their positions. They share no goals, no loves, no bond. They are tethered only by their mutual perplexity of one another. The master extends his hand, hoping to pull those around him from the clutches of fatalism, and onto the path of life. The fatalist reciprocates; either to pull himself up as a master, or to pull those that would help him into the dirt. Regretfully, it is almost always the latter; a fait accompli.

Life is full of beauty, wonder, and tragedy. We choose what we make of each piece. We choose, namely, between strength and resignation. And what good reason could there be for us to ever choose resignation? Perhaps, for some, there is comfort or self-pity in taking that path. But, here, the master must part ways with the fatalist. The master sees no value in such things if they have not been earned - if they aren't the rewards of his own tireless efforts. When death comes for the master, he'll have no need for self-pity. And comfort will come from his knowing that he was in love with life, and did not let it go to waste. This is what it is to "live and let live", to master your own life, and to reject death. The way through is, always, to become who you are. Learn, love, and grow. Become the master.