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am writing

Tag: esoteric

Past, Present, Future of Rai.

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Arguably, the most prolific time I had as a songwriter was in 2008 when I moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. I’d gone there to escape from Los Angeles, I’d gone there to discover myself, I’d gone there to work on a vocal/techno project. That project became a battle of the wits, split by creative differences and divergent temperaments. The experience threw me back inside myself. Desperately needing an outlet for my emotions, my Scottish born musical partner made a handful of phone calls to find me a borrowed, broken guitar. It was on that guitar, and in those moments after techno, and wandering the streets of Aberdeen, that I wrote most of the songs that appear on youtube.

 

I often wonder if it was the energy in Aberdeen or the combination of circumstances that led to such a creative outburst. Nevertheless, none of the songs were ever recorded in any other way. I can remember how to play only a few.

As far back as 2004 I was at odds with the songwriter in me, convincing myself that I wasn’t talented, torturing myself through every spell of writer’s block and then, like the clouds parting, every few years would bring a prolific fit of writing after which I’d be standing at the crossroads wondering why I did it, if it was any good, and if it meant I was truly meant to pursue a career in music.

There’s not many who understand the violence of creation – the overflowing love felt while writing and sharing, followed by the dark, deep depletion after the process is through.  The curious part, and most perplexing, is that only in acoustic songwriting did the violence turn to self-destruction.

 

I would argue that I pour just as much of my soul into my long-hand writing, but never have I ventured to masochism after posting a short story, poem, or blog post.

It’s said, music is the soul of the divine. The expression of which taps into god energy, is akin to a religious experience. Acoustic songwriting brought me to that cathartic state, taught me how to get closer to my emotions, to be more comfortable expressing my truths – truths that I continue to explore.

Songwriting seems, for me, to have been a means to an end, and end which I’ve journeyed to fill with spirituality and mysticism in all its forms- the bottom of a purpose I may never find, if not to have found the digging was all I was ever meant to do.

Picking up my guitar and playing for myself or for others still carries that purifying sensation, a highly medicated healing energy even when the song is sad. That’s the part about it I love. The part I hate is that it’s also a quick way to self-loathing and destructive behavior.

Songwriting provokes the dark sides of my nature. Trying to live in the light while giving breathe to darkness is uncomfortable, to say the least.

Maybe it’s that I’ve never reached a place where the songs stopped helping me. Maybe I’m still a novice in the world of helper and healer and need much, much more personal work before I can use these tools to help other people. Maybe I’ve never been great at nurturing the extroverted version of myself. Whatever the case, I’ll listen to the lot of you who care tell me that I shouldn’t stop, that my songs mean much to you.

I guess what I’d say to you is, I’m looking for ways to help and heal that don’t take so much out of me.

All I ever wanted was to understand the inner workings of the world enough to make some sense of the human ecology. With that knowledge, I endeavor to help, heal, and spread love.

So, what do I wish the reader to understand from this post? Allow me to shuffle the cards…

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Three cards: past, present, future.

The Moon can represent a lot of things but here it’s strongly showing the past. The uncertainty of the past is leaving. In the present, the Three of Wands, of which also represents the past, present, and future symbolized by the fact that there are 3 wands. The progression of the vine on the wands helps show this. The figures’ hand is on the newest staff- the future- and he’s got a firm grip on it, a clear sight of what he wants. Those ships in the distance? That’s the goal, and to get there he will use the wisdom embedded in these three staffs, these experiences. The figure isn’t merely waiting, he’s been preparing for this.

In the future comes the careful, meticulous, firm, earthly, dependable, Knight of Coins – one of my favorite Knights because while he may be slow, he’s practical and what he brings is usually something lasting. Like a matured idea, a new business adventure, a turn in career maybe, even someone trustworthy who will help on the journey. Could even mean a venture back to school to further studies in a certain area… whatever the case, the Knight of Coins brings a good, useful, well earned opportunity.

So to the future, I’ve got ideas in my head. Debating if I’m ready to start doing tarot readings or something. There’s a healer in my heart. I’m working on letting her speak.

Talk soon.

 

 

On writing: Using sadness to your benefit

http://www.fountaintarot.com/

I’ve been away in mind, waiting for the shift in the season, the shift in the cosmos to give me back a little energy; revive me or destroy me, but floating here feels like swords to the soul.

Truth be told, I avoided a post last week thinking I might be in a better state of mind this week, a better place with my book, a better mood for sharing. Whether or not I am isn’t an excuse to remain at a stalemate. If the outward aspects of my life aren’t planning on moving forward anytime soon at least I can attempt to push my mind past this place of numbness.

Over the weekend, I was able to dedicate one whole day to the writing/editing process. In that day, I worked on one chapter. One chapter, and it’s not like I even changed that much. I read it, edited and edited again and again. One word here, cut and paste there. Delete, delete, edit undo. Two new words. Two steps forward, three steps back. That is how it went.

It was a process that rolled on for hours, about 6, until the sun went down and I realized I hadn’t eaten. And while the work on that chapter felt like torture, in the end, it was better than it had been.

It’s with this state of being that I share this card, drawn digitally because I’m not at home by my own deck.

The Three of Swords is a card that tends to strike sadness in the heart of those who receive it. Three knives piercing a heart. It’s a painful present, but with sword energy at least we can rest assured it won’t last. Maybe a painful situation is coming, maybe it’s already here, all the same, there’s lessons to learn in the Three of Swords and as horrible as it may feel, as frustrated and as stuck, it’s still energy that can be utilized.

Writing in this state of mind rather than using it as an excuse not to write can be a moving experience.

The Three of Swords is where I’m at in my heart, it’s where I’m at in my life, it’s where I’m at in my memoir. Heartbreaking moments abound, but I’m using this instead of succumbing to it. And so far, it’s working out well. Hasn’t been fun, but it’s working out.

The image I used is from a deck called The Fountain Tarot. What I love about it is that it’s one of the more hopeful renditions of the Three of Swords that I’ve seen. Notice the rainbow reflected in the heart? There’s a silver lining to everything, a positive way to flip even the darkest emotions. A reminder that hope is right around the corner. Everything is transitory. These painful emotions need to happen just like the feel-good ones. That’s just life.

So, there you have it- a short blog, but it’s about all the heart space I can spare right now.

This may seem like random advice, but I feel compelled to share it: don’t be afraid to cut away what is no longer serving you, whether you want to apply that to your book or your personal life, start making some clean cuts. In light of the Three of Swords, cut away three things that are confusing your plot. Cut away three paragraphs, three sub-characters, three words. And if you feel you are cutting too much, do not fear. In life we need to completely separate from the old to make way for the new. Cut away all those things that have been holding you back. Burn them, trash them, block them and never look back.

That said, once you do and you’re feeling a little like you miss it, them, those– capture that feeling and fucking use it. 

Cry over your words, pour your soul out on that paper, over those keys; get deep, allow your heart to break fully and completely. At the end of that, there you will find the rainbow.

Be well, love often and enjoy!

 

 

 

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