Midnight Muse

Mother’s Day

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Dear Mom,

For life’s ebb and flow, the sway would rock us to sleep.

The only way to refuse that sweet lullaby,

That comfortable caress, that false sense of idle,

Is the strong, solid, mortar, of that which can only be given.

Because of this gift we are able to form our own destiny.

Push forward when life’s cradle smothers with nonsense.

We can see the world beyond restriction,

And strive to conquer the words beyond.

 

No fear. No weakness. Just immovable strength.

From day one we were taught to love unconditionally,

Walk with purpose – with calloused passion and intent,

To give back what love has granted us and

Gift everything carefully placed in our toolbox.

 

Love…from day one, from a mother

Who saw no hate, no restraints, only massive potential

The moment our eyes met,

Proof that the stars are not only in the heavens above,

But passed through a generation with eyes as windows.

From day one, we knew no expiration of such devotion

And even past day’s end, we will continue on as tangible evidence

That our hearts radiate our mother

Like heat from a fire. The moment YOU held us,

Is the moment we knew we could hold an entire universe.

 

Your Son,

Josh

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Midnight Muse

Impulsivity ~ Unlimited Opportunity

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‘Viscaya Museum and Gardens’ Miama, FL

If ever there was

Whatever I could be,

The illusion of choice

to wrap and comfort me.

 

Whatever I choose

the consequences – each unique

Casting shadows

Only to mimic what I seek.

 

I tear and gnaw

groping for opportunity

Vainly reaching for purchase,

Trembling to fail and be made a mockery.

 

Then I fade to mute,

Into a languid state

Frozen staring without intent

shackled by my choice, a limping gait.

 

Will I ever be free?

When can I just be me?

To live, breathe, exist just naturally?

 

I tuck myself into a disenchanted slumber

Believing another will never arrive

To awake and rub my eyes in disbelief,

Another shadow ready and alive.

 

The illusion is broken,

Choice no longer a hall of mirrors

The day will always cast another

There IS room for endless errors.

 

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Adventure Time

Portland, OR

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Portland, OR

The subtle invitation from a warm and bright environment stakes its claim in a community that transcends the vulgarities society dictates. If you wish to truly feel at peace with who you are, embrace the beat of Portland.

Humidity as thick as milk, nature invokes its authority immediately after de-planing. Redolent of orchids, freshly cut grass, perspiration from dancing trees and sun soaked bushes distend their welcoming arms with perverse intent. An immediate longing for hiking becomes carved into your nervous system and every step vibrates life and energy back like echolocation.

Solo travel brings an enormous opportunity to discover acquaintances that might as well have been long lost friendships as the tempo and culture are never a half-step behind your own.

However, even travelling with a group of friends allows the same energy to be amplified. The courage of a group often trumps the bravery of a single man creating a drooling appetite of wanderlust. With its eco-friendly mind set, travelling within Portland is as easy as a taking a few steps and grabbing a bike, train, or bus and isolation can be taken from or taken to.

The day life equals the nightlife. You will never die from thirst as every major street is overrun by bars and happy hours. Seeking a more specific taste in play styles, Portland even offers party themed cruises that take you into the night only to relinquish your leftovers when the heart throbs with intoxication. Even then, the night can blur into morning if you seek everlasting glory coercing time to mingle.

Through and through, most places I have been offer a single element of entertainment that highlights the heart of the place. However, even after decanting the night life and toasting mimosas in the morning, there is no better escape than a favorite book found in a labyrinth of knowledge known as Powell’s Books. With its several floors ranging from cook books, to Ghandi, to sci-fi, and to even a cordoned off section specifically reserved for more expensive tastes; you will find what you seek if you are willing to swim through the nooks and crannies of bookshelf after bookshelf…

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In retrospect, the mere freedom of being somewhere completely unknown births curiosity paired with imagination. On the destination of discovery, ever step becomes a memory and every decision thereafter becomes the reward of a lifetime. Soon I will be back – VooDoo Doughnuts and your infamous maple bacon doughnut, you will be mine again.

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Random and Infinite Like the Chimp

Alchemy

Ensenada, Mexico

Beakers, pipettes, test tubes, millilitres of this, a couple of drops of that, creation never understood limitation and is best friends with imagination. The goal is right over the horizon but to traverse the space in between, things like patience and motivation are the basic essentials.

At higher ground, you can view the many options that lie on the surface but inevitably, looking at eye level, exploring with explicit detail, is where you make ‘the great strides‘. You need see where you are headed but true effort exists in the exacting measurements and micro adjustments.

You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Trial and effort become a marriage proposal and ‘even through sickness and health‘ is the only response. However, just like every learning experience it is not enough to just try. You must exhaust every possibility, explore passionately, annotate feverishly, BUT apply accordingly. No good ever came out of impulsive repetition except the illusion of a world concocted from insanity. Trust your gut and dispel insecurity.

In order to be where you have never been, you must do something you have never done

Sure, it can become overwhelming. Yes, your soul will submit to the grinding stone. But just like stagnant water, nothing will thrive without some form of locomotion. Reserve static for the television you should never sit down on the couch for.

Fear gives off a pungent waft inciting the nose signals to fire off parts of the brain to run and avoid. However, if it is fear that is keeping you away, it is exactly the reason you should directly challenge it. You could take the easy lit path, but by doing so you have already imposed limitations. You want something different? Look somewhere else, trail your own path. Quit being insane and brave like a madman.

Once you have made your choice, once you have flipped the coin, the important part is to keep moving forward. Get as far away as possible from where you started. It will burn every fiber of your being but eventually the ashes will birth something beautiful from its soil.

Always keep in mind you are unlimited energy. Therefore, the untapped strength you seek can only be retrieved from within.

So the question isn’t ‘will I make it’. The answer has already transcended such infant inquiries.

The question then becomes – what do I fear most?

Then trade implausibility with a chemistry set and invent the cure.

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Adventure Time, Random and Infinite Like the Chimp

Alacrity

[First Creek Canyon Trail] Las Vegas, NV

They said it couldn’t be done.

They said it wasn’t possible.

They all said to toe the line,

To march a rhythm like everyone else.

Never stand out, never leave your mark.

That you will fail, flounder, and fidget, between thumb and forefinger, if you do not blend.

…Not only did I derail the track, I took off further than the imagination can stretch

Not only do they look like fools, they’ve become beggars behind sad and hungry puppy dog eyes.

Not only did I prove them wrong, I found a better truth.

None will be left behind.

Take my hand, I will pull you out too.

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Midnight Muse

Pay the Toll

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[Wynwood Walls] Miami, FL

If you query the night’s resolve, it is darkness in absolution

None more quiet or still than the immobilizing isolation witnessed by a thousand flickers

The hustle of the day punctuated by the night in hushed bicker

Muting or even pausing calloused hands for a moment of contrition

 

“The deeds carried by my spirit are of selfish nature,

I carry on catering to the ultimate needs of my own being,

I may suffer and pander eternal, but I bare my teeth with clear seeing,

That I would rather burn by candlelight than shackle the day indentured”

 

As the night progresses still, I have surpassed and claimed master

Still against the spotlights, immovable to my own account

Burning desire holds me steadfast, patient to an unlimited amount

Trudging slowly throughout the day as my dreams at night replay faster and faster…

 

I am not afraid, I shall fear none

Not even in the absence of light shall steal the pain of discipline

Slave to my own ambition, never to give in

For my vessel is my own, not a duplicate, but one.

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Adventure Time

Zion, UT

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Base camp – By the South Entrance

A journey alone takes its time to reveal something of great importance. It can be self-discovery or it can be a truth that needed to be realized. An expedition with friends forces multiple perspectives and allows you to recognize the disposition you favor to exude. Some cling on to poisonous habits and reflect those insecurities into the undeserving world and create chaos.

They thrive, they suffer, they nourish pain as if it were a newborn – but they are in a deep laceration of hurt and fractured hope. Adversity is all they know and therefore IS the only way they know how to carry themselves. All it takes is a little isolation with a bit of support also known as: the wonderful outdoors.

As a stark contrast to a suburban lifestyle, it is quite easy to fall victim to its rust of routine and drain for energy. We often forget to disconnect and realign our “chi” to recharge and rejuvenate. A new personal favorite: Zion, Utah. With its interminable cloudy skies bruised with blue, the desire to expand and inflate with this vital energy quickly becomes intoxicating. The dense forest, dimpled geography, and soft earth, the word home attracts new definition..

‘Your home is wherever you choose it to be, but your brick and mortar are whoever you bring along’

Without the sound pollution, without the constant drone of cars, traffic lights, and basic conveniences of technology, you find yourself someplace ethereal and becomes something ephemeral in retrospect. Your soul requires maintenance and in the sudden downbeat of Zion, the off button remains depressed.

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“The Narrows”

Nights by the campfire with a painted backdrop of twinkles, streaking lines, and the soft under glow from the sky nightlight. Time becomes everlasting. The past, present and future dissolve into that piece of candy you want to savor for as long as you can, leaving you to grab another moment as the tiny morsel passes and is consumed.

During the day, a different kind of suit is donned, with only a bottle of water equipped. No schedule to keep, no emails to check, and no suitcase to worry about or content. Just you and the will to conquer the challenges offered by nature. Whether it be wading through water or imprinting your sole into every opportunity of hard and soft earth, your soul will appreciate every ounce of effort. And when the day is through, you retire once again, to the tiny bites granted by the pure and opportunistic darkness.

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“The Narrows”

“Sacrifice your soles for your soul, wandering is only just the beginning”

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Midnight Muse

The 6-String Symphony

20181031 [Tribute to a brother beyond blood]

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The gauge of life often starts with song; parted by measures.

Every sheet to begin with a treble clef, however,

The instrument of choice, a reflection of its composer.

Now the tempo of life is unique to each user.

 

We often despair in defeat when a pluck is behind beat,

Or a tone towed by apprehension,

But the flow – always forward.

Sometimes we must repeat measures for effort and

Agonize through the same crescendos and decrescendos,

Teasing the climax only to suffer myopic tendencies.

 

Ceaseless triplets, 8-counts, 4-counts, eighth notes, and half steps,

All to condition and steel against what comes next.

All of those notes plucked, all of those measures rested,

And you have finally played through the repeat.

All that is left is to flip the page, only to discover a blank music sheet –

Free to fill because, never forget, YOU are its composer.

 

Life’s music will never be muted despite the blunt staccatos.

Your fingers may bleed and your hands will callous,

But courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather in spite of it.

As long as you continue to play the next fret,

The end will never have to come.

 

May this instrument help serve you to shred through

Any darkness or doubt because like any composer;

He is NEVER without his orchestra.

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Random and Infinite Like the Chimp

“Writer’s Block”

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Venice Beach, CA

Everyone on earth is a unique entity. There will never be two of the same ‘you’ occurring at the same exact place and moment. You are one of a kind and the last there shall ever be. So even when life sometimes classifies you as a broken cog, a loose piece, a tremor in stability, always remember that it was never your position to belong but rather own your individuality. However, lets take a step back and iron out this point of view. Some tend to believe that the moment we are born the possibilities are endless with insurmountable opportunity to mold into whatever you wish – that is one perspective. The alternative, there is a predestined course laid out at it is your life’s purpose to find it and bless the world with your unique talent, acting as a conduit through which all you need to do is listen and create.

As plainly stated by Steven Pressfield in ‘The War of Art’, “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

At times we can feel stuck, immobilized, or even a little lost. It is because we stray yet further from our path that was not meant for us. We become monotonous, languid, falling victim to the rusts of routine only because what we are doing yields a net loss leaving our souls malnourished, underfed.

Why do we subject to such masochism? Because we are afraid. Afraid we are powerful beyond measure. Afraid of success beyond our wildest dreams. Afraid of what we discover directly discredits everything we know and understand – but there is power in fear. Pressfield coins this fear as ‘resistance‘ and the power lie in ability of using it as a compass against itself. Fear not, resistance CAN be obliterated.

How?

The more you fear something the more you should set course for that direction because there is no growth without adversity. Challenge then becomes the opportunity to exercise those muscles required to flex as a tool to dominate the short time we are on this planet. The most important thing being to sit down everyday and try.

You will reach impasses and you will reach obstacles higher and more dense than you think you can overcome but there is no cure for determination, will, and grit. It is like a disease so malignant that given any amount of time, anything that stands in the way will eventually crumble. The bigger the object, the greater the return on investment. NEVER GIVE UP.

Whatever your niche may be, never bend to the hierarchical orientation and condescend to your audience. Create what moves you, what drives you, what stirs your soul and fires your heart. You are an individual set on this earth as a conduit because you alone possess the talent required to fulfill your destiny – you owe the world that much.

The difference between amateur and professional is the mere aptitude and resolve to take criticism as a guideline to hone in on your abilities. The amateur stones in defense and reacts emotionally playing victim, as if mere existence privileges you a free handout. The professional massages their technique combating every blow with a parry. Everyone will play the critic, every will play devils advocate, but as long as you stay true to yourself, there isn’t a battle that cannot be won. It is your territory therefore it itself is its own feedback loop you need only reference to. No matter the trials and tribulations never negotiate your muse because it is only your ear that can make sense of its blessings granted to ONLY you.

“Tomorrow morning the critic will be gone, just the writer will still be there facing the blank page.” (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art)

The ultimate litmus test being, if you were the last person on earth, would you still do it?

Steel yourself against rejection and remember that ‘resistance’ is always out there trying to distract you.

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Actively engaging yourself is like rent, and it is due every single day.

If you find yourself at a block, there is no need to take my word for it. Take a moment for yourself and pick up this quick read that can be used to identify, combat, and minimize life’s resistance: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – Highly recommended when you need a little bit of boost.

Never compromise. Create like you mean it. Let fear fill and guide you.

Drink – Ink – Think

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Midnight Muse

What is LOVE?

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Austin, TX

Some say love is compassion, some say love is forgiving, love is kind and love is infinite. Others claim it brutality in the sense of sacrificing ones own values, integrity, conscience, and invaluable self-esteem – For no other reason than an action of unwarranted and undeserving gifting.

To the cold, love is an incalculable emotion that parts oceans in defiance to logic. A shade that blends rather than highlights. To the warm, love is the untapped strength capable of moving mountains. The superlative link between rhyme and reason, beyond the wrong or right.

But what is LOVE?

Love is without limitations. It is never idle, it never sits, it only understands. Never demanding a definite structure but yet seen as the tallest edifice, because it pains the inverse ephemeral, like the sun sacrificing night and the moon sacrificing the day. It is vast only because it must endure, it must reconcile that or this.

Any act of contrition would be redundant, an insult to its true cause. Rather, love is the decanted effervescence meant to be imbibed. It is the calloused passion beyond blistered fingers, beyond the overtaxed faculty of thought, transcending the need to be convinced – impervious against mutilation, and incapable of being bribed.

Love may slump in withered agony, but it never takes a knee or gives up. It is mother to nurture every idiosyncrasy, accepting nothing but its own existence as recompense. It is the father behind every handshake, every labor, every sweat, and every tear. Love may cut, bleed, and swear, but it is the pinnacle of acts corrupting dollars and cents.

Still yet, WHAT IS LOVE?

Love can be simple yet beyond visceral cognition. A subdued canvas poised to submit to delicate brush strokes or even a simple embrace that dissolves everything intangible and physical. It feeds without having to be fed, materializes without being convoked.

A silhouette of unwavering obstinate, breaching barren wastelands. A beacon permanently stamped on heavy clouds or a secret note on the breath of condensation. Enshrining bravery, honesty, commitment. It is a litmus test for the devoid and a barometer used against barons of precipitation.

Love can be…

The poetry we breathe. The music we see. The colors we inject. The textures we hear. Love is in everything we do.

So what is love?

Love is… you.

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