Saturday, July 26, 2008

Say Goodbye

I wanna say it was about 2 years ago now that I found out someone that was very important in my life was dead. Death is not an exciting topic and is devestating for all involved. I met my friend when I was in treatment for my addictions. He was like a brother to me but because he was older he was more of a father figure, up to that point I never really related to my father. My friend was a big strong imposing figure with tattoos and piercing but was also one of the kindest "teddy bear" a type a person you could ever meet. Dealing with lifelong addiction problems together a deep bond was formed. After he and I left the treatment center we stayed in touch for several years. His wife and son had a place in the adirondacks that was a great escape for me to go up and hike, swim and shoot the breeze with my good friend. As addictions and other diseases do, the using began again.
I relapsed sometime in 2002 and after a few months of using heavily my friend suggested to me that I come up there, get away, clear my head and my body for a few days and because I valued what he said so much, I did take the up north trip. That weekend was a blur of withdrawls, but I do remember, till this day, the words he spoke to me when I was beating myself up. He said " you could have cancer, get it treated, be a-okay, then it comes back for no reason. This is like treat it again" It was a very Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) solution to my huge problems, but for me it had some use. I began treating my problem but was very unaware that my friend had big problems of his own.
A year or so later when I was picking up the pieces again, I found out my friend was using heroin and not for fun. People in his life had no idea and it had came so far as his wife was pregnant with his first child. He called and talked and visited and talked and I do believe tried and talked some more. Eventually his only child was born, a beautiful baby girl. Nobody really knows what happened then. Even after seeing him a couple more times, he never wanted to talk about his wife leaving with his child because he couldnt stop using, but when he did he understood, all the while his new friends who didnt know the truth about him because he couldnt stop using and he never talked about the war that was going on inside for his soul.  He knew the reality of the situation but was more comfortable running from it.
I moved to North Carolina in August of 2004, seeing him a week before I left. In the Spring of 2005 he called and asked if I would let him live with me down here to get clean. We had a plane ticket and a plan. I never heard from him again. I didnt know where his wife lived and noone to tell me where or why or what happened. I feared the worst. A year later I found out that he died from a drug induced cardiac arrest at the age of 36. I found out from an old friend. The whole ordeal was incredibly sad. This was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known and will always have a profound influence on my life and at 36 he died. Noone to call out to, no real friends, family left him, this is not that way to go.   He could have chose something different.  I have never been at peace with this because it was hard to grieve almost a year after someone died and with drugs its hard to know what to feel because so many decisions are made that would not happen if the person was in their right mind.  Sometimes the pain is too much and there is a reason in everything.  I do think about him, I have reminders in my tattoos, and in my lifestyle. I will not go out like that and I hope others dont either. So I am saying goodbye to my friend Sean, may you rest in peace the war is over we love you.........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bob Dylan

My favorite musician of all time has to be Bob Dylan. The man has written some of the best songs over the past century and continues to be an inspiring force in music today. He is truely the greatest songwriter of our time. He has been recognized countless times with over 15 grammy awards through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the new milenium as well as a recent Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for songwriter and poet. At 69 years of age the man still tours doing over 50 shows a year. Recently Martin Scorcese produced a documentary on him and the movie "I'm not there" portrayed the many different lifestyles of a true artist. His music has survived time and inspired many as his words from the 60s are coming full circle again with this generation.

Some of my Favorite lyrics:

"In a many dark hour I've been thinkin' about this That Jesus Christ Was betrayed by a kiss But I can't think for you You'll have to decide Whether Judas Iscariot Had God on his side.So now as I'm leavin' I'm weary as Hell The confusion I'm feelin 'Ain't no tongue can tell The words fill my head And fall to the floor If God's on our side He'll stop the next war."

"Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent When I paint my masterpiece."

"So now I'm goin' back again, I got to get to her somehow. All the people we used to know They're an illusion to me now. Some are mathematicians Some are carpenter's wives. Don't know how it all got started, I don't know what they're doin' with their lives. But me, I'm still on the road Headin' for another joint We always did feel the same, We just saw it from a different point of view, Tangled up in blue."

"Now the rainman gave me two cures, Then he said, "Jump right in." The one was Texas medicine, The other was just railroad gin. An' like a fool I mixed them An' it strangled up my mind, An' now people just get uglier An' I have no sense of time. Oh, Mama, can this really be the end, To be stuck inside of Mobile With the Memphis blues again."

"I been wond'rin' all about me Ever since I seen you there. On the cliffs of your wildcat charms I'm riding, I know I'm 'round you but I don't know where. You have slayed me, you have made me, I got to laugh halfways off my heels. I got to know, babe, will I be touching you So I can tell if I'm really real."

"Stake my future on a hell of a past Looks like tomorrow is coming on fast Ain't complaining 'bout what I got Seen better times, but who has not?"

"You say you lost your faith But that's not where it's at You had no faith to lose And you know it"

"A South politician preaches to the poor white man,"You got more than the blacks, don't complain. You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain. And the Negro's name Is used it is plain For the politician's gain As he rises to fame And the poor white remains On the caboose of the train But it ain't him to blame He's only a pawn in their game."

"I was born here and I'll die here against my will I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."

"Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind, Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves, The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow. Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, Let me forget about today until tomorrow."

"Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul"

"My love she speaks like silence, Without ideals or violence, She doesn't have to say she's faithful, Yet she's true, like ice, like fire. People carry roses, Make promises by the hours, My love she laughs like the flowers, Valentines can't buy her."

"How does it feel How does it feel To be on your own With no direction home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone?"

"They say ev'rything can be replaced, Yet ev'ry distance is not near. So I remember ev'ry face Of ev'ry man who put me here. I see my light come shining From the west unto the east. Any day now, any day now, I shall be released."

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You're gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody."

"How many years can a mountain exist Before it's washed to the sea? Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free? Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head, Pretending he just doesn't see? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind."

"Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son? Oh, what did you see, my darling young one? I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it, I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin', I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin', I saw a white ladder all covered with water, I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken, I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall."