The silence of tragedy and tangible emptiness

When I look at comments on social media I sometimes get the idea that tragedy has become a commodity.
How the headline is phrased and the angle from which the story is presented can serve as a divisive tool rather than a notification of the actual tragedy itself.
Obituaries have become battlegrounds.
Interest groups who scream the loudest sometimes wish to convince us that the sincerity of their outrage is equal to the noise they can generate.
So many times this noise descends into a cesspool of vulgarity and banal interjections.
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Happy unbirthday wishes to all!

Earlier this week I observed an Instagram celebrity’s birthday.
Because this lady is also an influencer with thousands of followers it was quite an event.
It made me think about my 23rd ride around the sun.

Condensed milk… A tin from the ration pack was a special treat on my 23rd birthday.
From myself to myself.
“(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams was in the top 5.

Late that afternoon I received an envelope from the battalion’s admin office.
“From the Colonel Commanding and the Unit. Your commitment and service are recognized on your birthday.”
It was something to that effect.
I finished the tin of super sweet decadence and wished I had another.
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Pursue happiness with diligence.

In the center of a heavy metal song beats a human heart.

Mastodon’s “The Sparrow” serves as a eulogy for the wife of the band’s accountant who passed away due to stomach cancer.
There’s a single repeating lyric within the song.
“Pursue happiness with diligence.”
This phrase was her motto.
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Emma embraced her Weird.

Late at night, when the lights are low,
When the kids have been put to bed,
That’s when Emma wakes…
When Emma embraces her Weird…

They talk, they dance … They travel to France
They stroll down the Champs-Élysées,
wearing yesterday’s summer clothes.

There’s wine and water with pretentious names
and lovers that flirt while the day still burns.

And ere the night is over she hugs her Weird… and remembers…
The piercings
The tattoos
The music
The living and the loving
And all and everything…
And nothing, and something.

And here in suburbia is a picket fence.
Freshly painted.
White and bright.
Coated in Weatherproof Deluxe Stellar White.
Here is where Emma gets to walk,
and work
and eat
and sleep
and look at her Normal
whenever he lingers
and smiles…


I wrote this a long time ago.
I might as well dedicate it to everyone who defiantly refused to conform to the illusion of conformity.

Waiting for the Muse between the escalator and the far end of the railway platform…

I’m like that, I tell myself I need to wait for some or other divine inspiration.
Once I receive that inspiration I will create miraculous works of art.
The exact opposite is actually true, once I simply start doing things, creating things…
That is when I find inspiration.
Once I start creating art, I find it easier to continue creating art!

This was my project for today’s commute…
This drawing has the inspiring name of “artflow_201907042005-1.png”
That’s as good as any other name I suppose?

The drawing took shape between stations and manifested into the “final version” after dinner.
Tomorrow I’ll do something else, if only to maintain momentum.

Turn right for Rodney’s bridge of despair. Turn left to go home.

A few years ago I hit rock bottom with regards to my career.
I was stuck in a dead-end job with a sadist for a boss.
On top of all that the systems we worked on were so dodgy that they required constant maintenance.

I was miserable each day.
On weekends we pulled constant overtime shifts to do standby.
The pay was good!
However…
If ever someone tells you that money covers a multitude of sins, I can testify it doesn’t!
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The Dictator and the DJ. Thoughts about power!

My childhood synonym for “power” was “Superman.”
The red tights and cape didn’t really inspire me as much as the ability to lift a mountain with
one hand while holding Lois Lane with the other.
At least Superman wasn’t only a muscle-bound knucklehead.
Many of the stories pertinently emphasized his superior alien logic.

I often think that society teaches us that power lies within the ability to generate explosive force.
Movies and stories about powerful beings feature lots of action and pyrotechnics.
That is definitely one interpretation of “power.”
Power can be subtle.
Occasionally we tend to forget that power only becomes apparent after centuries.
The river can carve up a mountain although it takes centuries for a valley to form.
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Dragged By Angels.

She told me I needed to be rescued.
When I couldn’t be lifted up, or carried,
I would be dragged.

I held on as long as I could,
and managed to save an angel.

Dragged By Angels

I doodled this in 2018, it still feels relevant.
Not all who drag us down are demons, not all who gift us with wings are angels.