Ocean Calls (poetry)

The ocean calls my name –
It shouts for my existence.
So, I appear before the water’s edge
And walk forward into it.

Likewise, the heavens declare the glory
Of the king above the earth,
And all of mankind knows
The Master rules with love.

Though kingdoms rise and fall,
Capitulation will not bring forth
A resolution of timed response
Against forces that persist and prevail.

Times will seek the heavens’ reach
And draw unto the world,
When kingdoms fall – the all-in-all –
Yet end will never come.

“Shine forth the heavens,” glory speaks,
“And give unto the end.”
We will see the endless round
And start it once again.

Time will pace itself throughout
The rounding of the sun
And all throughout heaven’s hold
Hate will be undone.

Capture not the rising light
But follow where it may
And in its brief beauty short,
“Glory on this day.”

The range of rage will rise and fall
It casts about to grab,
Yet when it finds its wanted catch
It will forever mourn.

Be still, bestow, allow the love
Speak and tell the truth.
When all is told in midday’s breath,
The world will be subdued.

Ancient words do greet us now,
And resting on their souls
Are utterances deeply drawn
From lands that’re ne’er foretold.

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Dancing Among (poetry)

Riding a wave and dancing among stars,
We glide across the celestial floor,
Making our way from center to side,
Back to front, there and across.

Our toes touch down,
Then break away,
Lifting into the sky
Scents of vanilla on paradise.

Music jumps and shines
Hour upon hour
And then slows.
Beats go down,
And bring with them a ventured look.

To the side,
Morning breaks and carries forth its light.
Day enters our minds
Awakens our senses
And leads us on to the next
Opening ridge.

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Stillness (poetry)

Stillness of the moment
Is a welcomed friend.
Lives are calm,
People at peace,
Roads not traveled,
Solitude amplified
Across time and space
To include sounds and feelings.
If you listen carefully,
You can hear the dust falling
From the mantle to the bricks below,
From a window to the floor.
The quiet is gentle on the ears,
A welcomed friend
In the midst of constant strangers.

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Gift of Synesthesia

Synesthesia - picture - final

A few months ago, I learned that a mental process of mine had a long Greek name associated with it.  I set out to discover what this mental process was, who else had it, how it helped or hindered us, and how best to take advantage of what I have come to call the “Gift of Synesthesia”.

Earlier this year while walking into work, a field of rye grass and the leaves on a row of eucalyptus trees were going back and forth in rhythm with the blowing wind.  I stopped and stared because I realized that the rye heads and eucalyptus leaves weren’t just moving – I sensed vibrations coming off of them (stronger than normal), perceived lines and waves in my mind, and heard the whole as a symphony in my mind.  It was profound.

At first, I thought I was imagining things and then realized I had joined their symphony by the simplicity of my standing there.  I was swept along in the movements, riding the waves of motion.  Later that day, I checked again – yep, same sensations.  Then, I started thinking about how I used to see and sense similar things when I was a kid, a teenager, in my 20s, 30s, etc.  I realized it was the same.

In trying to figure this thing out, I researched “sensing vibrations from things you see”.  Came across some articles, which led me to others, which led me to “synesthesia”, which led me to youtube, which led me to an interview with some synesthetes.  One of them closely expressed what I was feeling.  I was so excited that I started crying.  Finally, this thing wasn’t weird!  It had a name!

Synesthesia is basically a blending of the senses.  Some people perceive colored numbers, taste colors, see the entire number line, or see a calendar that rotates in their minds.  For a more complete definition with links and references, check out: wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia.

So, then came the questions, “Why didn’t I understand this thing 40 years ago?!  20 years ago?  10 years ago?”  When those frustrations re-occur, my wife reminds me, “Well, you didn’t, and the past is the past.  But, now you do – so use it to move forward.”

Okay.  Now what?  How do I best use this for the next 50 years?  I’ve been asking around, learning more, and looking into some possibilities.

From what I understand at this point, my synesthesia manifests itself in multiple modalities.  There are lots of different reactions in my head to the various inputs.  Each sense evokes a unique response at times, while some senses constantly blend together multiple things.  Wednesdays are muted-green; Mondays are blue; etc.  Recently, when I was looking through a collection of pictures from a friend, I saw a pink flamingo and “Tuesday!” came to mind.  I know – it might sound weird – but there you have it.

I believe that’s where part of my intense creativity comes from.  I haven’t always known what to do with the artistic words, images, paintings, pictures, poetry, music, and lyrics that have appeared in and flooded my mind over the past four decades.  I’ve expressed some through books, songs, and teaching.  But I’ve filed away many others in my brain, waiting for the right time.  Maybe that time has finally come.

Another example that comes to mind is a car I bought from a friend who was moving out of town.  Carnell smoked a lot and used a particular gel air freshener to cover the smokiness in the red Lincoln.  Every time I got in that car, I told him that it smelled “purple”.  We laughed about it.  But he finally understood what I meant when I discovered that one of his air freshener gel cans had slipped down inside behind the glove box next to the heater core.  So, that thing was just pumping out a deep cherry-purple smell every day!  I finally got rid of the odor in the car, but every time I smell it in the aisle in a store or in an office somewhere, it immediately takes me back to Carnell’s red Lincoln…purple.

Also, if I tilt my head a certain way while looking at the computer screen, some of the letters turn green or purple.  Other words pick up a reddish or yellowish hue around them.  Now, that might just be the lighting of the screen, but either way it’s pretty darn cool.  I tell myself that the letters are all just plain black, and they won’t distract me.

Sounds are especially a hot topic for me – always have been.  So, I’ve carried earplugs with me for the past 20 years.  At parties and sports events, I wear them to take the edge off, yet can still hear conversations just fine.

I tried to talk about this “thing” with others when I was 5 or 6 years old, trying to understand it.   We were out on the playground at school, and the trees and grass across the road were blowing in the wind.  I asked one of the teachers, “Why do the leaves do that?”  “Do what?” she asked.  “That,” pointing at them moving.  She looked at me a little confused and replied, “Well, the wind’s blowing.”  I looked back at her and said, “No, I got that part.  I know that.  But what makes the vibrations come off of them?”  She grinned slightly and said, “You have a very creative imagination.”

After a couple of years of mentioning it or asking people about it when was young, they implied that I was making things up, that I was nuts, or was just being weird.  So, I kept it to myself.  But, it’s still been there every day – just didn’t know what it was.  Now I do.

Since realizing what “this” is, I’ve decided to let it run.  It’s been a very fun couple of months!  I feel like I’m finally me, again.

If you think you may have synesthesia or know someone else who does, I would love to hear about your/their experiences.  You can also find out more by answering some questions at www.synesthete.org .  The site is run by a research lab at Baylor University in Houston, TX.

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Today’s Perspective (poetry)

Perspective sits back
A little farther than normal, today.
Today at the table
It’s about two and a half feet away,
But it looks like it’s miles.
Actually, I know it’s only a little bit –
Instead of far –
But the whole perspective thing,
It adds flavor to the moment.

Sometimes the moment just disappears
Into the oblivion of the past,
But this moment –
It holds my attention longer and stronger,
Because it presents itself as different.

If I wanted to, I could allow it
To change into a perspective
Of Alice In Wonderland:
Shrinking tiny
Or growing giant beyond control.
But instead, I allow it to come and go,
Maintaining a fortuitous hold on its power.
It won’t run wild unless I let it,
And in this case…no, it’s not the time.

Perhaps in the future at some point
It will be to let it go full bore
And take over for a while…
To enjoy the ride it will bring.
But not yet.
Controlled perspective for now.
I know it’s there,
And I can see it across the table
Winking at me.
Yet, it keeps its distance.
We have a healthy respect for one another.
It works well this way.

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Moving Numbers (poetry)

Chased by cascading numbers
Destined to pursue the rotating prefixes
Pasted upon revolving orbs
In ecliptic planes.
To catch a falling knife
By its handle,
Not blade?
No, but to simply pick it up
Once it has stopped
And made its mark.
Those are the patterns I see,
The fixed points I sense,
And the moving lines I feel.
Patterns rise and fall
And sing a song
Through the heavens.
Even though our ears do not hear them –
Since their perception limits
Do not permit certain inaudibles
To be captured –
Though this is as much,
It does not negate the existence
Of such.
Years ago, many others were scorned
For claiming the moon ruled the waters;
Yet now, even surfers thank La Luna
For the tides.
What else will be recognized
In coming years?
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to enjoy
Watching the numbers flow.

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Feeling the Movements He Saw – synesthesia

Aviazje could feel motion, not just see it, but feel it.  Whenever the trees moved around him, he would stand and sway with them, feeling the wind blow through, taking him along for the ride.  These were special moments when he could stand alone in the woods and let the trees and wind do their thing.

To Aviazje, the fields around his house weren’t just fields, they were a symphony.  When the wind blew the rye grass or the wheat, he watched as the orchestra of blades and stalks play their opus, rounding out the set with crescendos and then softer, softer.

He thought the whole world saw what he saw, felt what he felt, and sensed what he sensed.  But apparently, they didn’t.  His friends at school laughed and made fun of him when he swayed to the music in class, or bounced in tune to the happy beats he heard in his head – sometimes they came from the records or tapes that the teacher played, and sometimes they came from all of the recordings he had stored in his mind.

He couldn’t control his automatic reactions to the music or to the sights.  But, after his classmates laughed at him over and over, he learned ways to ignore the impulses to move with the music and to block out the motions he saw and felt.

When he was in public, he would walk around with his hands in his pockets and his head down, trying not to sense anything around him.  But it didn’t work for long.  Looking down, he started seeing patterns in the sidewalk cracks, and motion flowed through his body from that.

Not understanding what was going on, he eventually wished he would go blind, deaf, or numb.  Maybe being dead would solve his problem, he thought to himself on occasion.  But then, he would look out across the fields, run into the woods, and let himself be swept up in the glory that surrounded him from every side.

When storms came and thunder rolled, he could feel the heartbeat of heaven.  When it rained, he could feel the tears of blessing fall upon the ground.  Then, as he walked across his yard, he would sense the earth’s heart beating along with his – a different rhythm, distinctly its own – but a heartbeat, coming from below his feet.  And what a pounding it gave off.  What a thunderous roar it would lurch forward with and remind him it was good to be alive – to feel the motions he saw.

After that day, whether he was inside his house or at school in class, he would simply touch the walls, the floor, or his desk and feel the vibrations tell him of the song that had been sung throughout time.

Then, he would lay in the yard looking up toward the sky with palms stretched downward, and touch the ground.  He let the orchestra of grass, dirt, and air play their melodies and pulsate their rhythms through his little body.  In moments like that he was in tune with his core.  No one could ever take that away.

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