I Shall Be Released

Posted in Dream, Life, Love, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by Patrick Roe

I have a hard time believing that all of the events I’m about to describe happened in one night. I feel ten years older today.

It’s been a couple hours since waking now, so the dream is becoming fuzzier. The first thing I remember is driving near some railroad tracks at night. After passing a bridge, I saw a dark structure with a courtyard. In the dream I remember thinking that I needed money so I went down into the courtyard, and low and behold they had items of extreme value, the likes of which I can’t describe without sounding ridiculous. When I attempted to take some of these items, I just remember that the building lit up with alarms that broke the silence of the night, the red lights illuminated the courtyard, and in the words of Hunter S. Thompson, I knew I was fucked.

I remember being hauled off to the prison, in the back of the police car, feeling the weight of lost freedom. They booked me and threw me in a cell. It was a two person cell, but there was no other person. Just me, and my thoughts. And it stayed that way. I don’t remember going to meals, except just once. I don’t remember the exact blueprint of the prison, I just remember laying on my back. Realizing that I couldn’t talk to anybody when I wanted to, I couldn’t go outside when I wanted to, I couldn’t do anything except lay on my back and think. And that’s what I did, and it felt like weeks within the dream.

Then I got out, but it was only for my court date. I saw my mom for the first time. She was so happy to see me, and so sad about my situation, but for some reason I got the feeling that she understood why I had done what I did. I remember the car ride to the courthouse, I remember having a feeling that it wasn’t real and I’d have my freedom back quickly. However the dream was so real, I knew that wasn’t the case. I don’t even remember the day in court, I just remember that since they had caught me red handed there was no real need for a long trial. I was going to prison, plain and simple.

Then I went back to my cell, and there was somebody else there, but we didn’t talk. I remember going through the motions, figuring out the routine, and always spending time laying on my back staring up at nothing in particular. Thinking. Through the magic of the dream, I endured years of this. Until finally the day came, and I was free once again.

For those of you who have read my previous posts, you will know that my grandfather recently passed away and it’s had a gigantic impact on my life. Well last night he appeared in my dream, picking me up from prison. As we drove, I noticed the roads began to look more European. Past readers of mine will also remember that I have a girlfriend, who lives in France while I live in L.A. for now. Well last night, Papa drove me from prison to my house and there she was. I was so happy she was still there for me, so happy to have my freedom back, and through the roof excited about the life that lay in store for me.

I share this dream with you, reader, because it was beautiful and eye opening in a way that mere words could never convey. I’m still working out the symbolism and meaning, but for now one fact is clear: I feel like I’m in a prison, and Papa showed me there’s a way out.

The Heart Doctor

Posted in Love, Poetry, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Me:

Doctor if you could help me

That would be great

I’m running late

Leaving soon to France

Look at the date!

I’m putting things in order

There’s things to mend

But my heart, it isn’t right

It’s hard to pretend

It’s riddled with holes

It feels like swiss cheese

I didn’t ask for love

But when it came I said, “More please!”

I keep right on taking

To fuel the addiction

I drink as prescribed

To fight the affliction

But there’s nothing to take

To dull the pain

No articles to read

No friends to explain

What happens to the heart

When you experience trauma?

It’s hard, it’s real

I’m not causing drama

I’m flat lining doc

Should I call my mama?

I can feel it now

The beats are spaced further

Please doc, run some tests

Is it a heart murmur?

The Doctor:

We’ve found the trouble

Let me show you the scans

You should have come sooner

Please sit, don’t stand

This is your heart

And this is your heart on love

See the discoloration

The inflammation above

Take a pill for the swelling

This one for the cravings

Inject this to numb

Snort this til’ you’re dumb

If it should stop

Use these for electric pop

We’ll keep your heart racing

But never tip top

You may stumble, don’t worry

We won’t let you drop

We’ll keep the ticker beating

Even after you’re dead

Using stilts and rigs

We’ll prop up your head

The trouble with the heart

It wants to feel

We can put a stop to that

It’s no big deal

You think you have problems

Soon it won’t feel real

Check out these charts

And our prices, they’re a steal!

Peace, Love, & Bulls#*!

Posted in Happiness, Life, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by Patrick Roe

“Peace, love, and happiness” are three words that get slapped onto bumper stickers, tank tops, coffee mugs, and beautiful JPEG images of natural landscapes. People plop these three empty words on everything, hoping that they are sending some profound message to the people around them that they believe in these abstract, one-word ideals. That somehow by pledging their allegiance to “Peace, love, and happiness” it will magically come true, and the world will stand up and rejoice.

But do we even understand these words, really?

Let’s start with the first word: Peace. It’s often associated with utopian societies, monks meditating in a monastery, and a bunch of long haired hippies tripping on acid in San Francisco during the mid to late 60′s. The most absurd notion is one that the U.S. armed forces will always get behind, that “Peace is worth fighting for.” A quote I like to reference is “Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.” What do we really want when we say we want peace? Inner peace? Peace on Earth? A time machine to the 60′s?

If we achieved a peace on Earth, would we even know it? Suppose we abolished war, weapons, and hatred in 99.8% of the world. Then one of those pesky .2%’ers goes and strangles their neighbor with a shoe lace and the only thing on international news for 3 straight days is how any one of your neighbors could be a crazed killer. Is there no longer peace on Earth? Did the shoe-lace-strangler ruin it for everybody? What about inner peace? Suppose you meditate for 43 years straight and achieve it, and monks everywhere hail you as the second coming of Buddha. Then you’re having a really bad day, and you throw you’re MacBook Air out of the monastery window. Because you had a sudden emotional, human reaction has your enlightenment been shattered? Do you have to be as tranquil as a lake on a breezeless day for the rest of your life? How boring is that?!

On to the next word, Love. It could be the most powerful word in the English language, but it’s not. People will say “They love their wife” and then follow it up with “I love Ramen noodles” in the same breath. All of us who can’t think of a better word, or can’t handle just “liking” something, have literally sucked all of the lifeblood out of the word “Love”. So when you see some Subaru with a “Peace, Love, Happiness” bumper sticker, which kind of love are they referring to? That they love vegan food, love Obama, love that new gluten free pasta? If they divorce their husband do they put a big Sharpie X through the word Love and just strive for Peace and Happiness instead?

And happiness, oh yes happiness. We can see how happy everyone is in line for Starbucks at 6am. Everyone spends their life on the “pursuit of happiness”, so then why do so many people look unhappy? I guess that $5 bumper sticker, $15 coffee mug, and $20 tank top didn’t cut it.

I could go on and on, but I’ll expedite that process by saying three things:

Peace is not a destination, it’s an infinite journey.

Love only has meaning if you give it meaning.

Happiness can only be found if you actively work towards it every day.

When Night Falls

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Thoughts, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2013 by Patrick Roe

“It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway said it best. The Daylight is a warm blanket filled with distractions that keep your mind occupied. Then the sun sets, the world sleeps, and you’re alone with your thoughts. Sleep doesn’t always come easy.

Tonight my thoughts are falling gracefully, which is a surprise given their immense weight. They have a clarity that allows me to have some handle on them. This isn’t always the case. Tonight is a lucky night, but sleep still won’t come easily.

I’m thinking a lot about the future, about the changes going on in my life right now, and about the path laid before me. I’m starting to realize what life is truly about. I’m excited to meet the people, see the places, and experience the things that will move and inspire me. I don’t want to lose sight of the miraculous in the mundane. Too many people get consumed in the mundane. I want to be a person worth meeting, to shake things up, and never get too comfortable with the way things are. I don’t mean to get heavy with the quotes, but Bob Dylan said this one best: “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Truth is easily shrouded with emotion. Eyes are easily fooled by what they want to see. Our minds are often too bogged down to process the miracles we witness on a daily basis. To see the world for what it is is not a gift, it’s something you have to work hard towards if you want to get it right. To get the most out of life is more than just living it, you have to be aware of it.

The thinking and feeling of thoughts is where the true magic lies, so I won’t try to encapsulate them further and run the risk of cheapening them.

Tonight my eyes are open, and life is knocking at my door.

Perceive Those Things Which Cannot Be Seen

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by Patrick Roe

If someone asks you to think back 10 years ago, chances are you don’t remember a random day. You probably don’t even remember one day in its entirety. A more likely reaction is that a barrage of little memories from 10 years ago will begin to project across the personal theater section of your brain. The first time you met a good friend, a great restaurant, a sexual encounter, a moment of realization, or a moment you’d rather forget. Much like movies, our lives are a series of highlighted moments and we are the editors. We live for so long, but in the end it feels so fleeting because we only remember those fractions of time where we felt truly alive. The less you felt alive, the more fleeting it must feel.

There is a seed of a thought growing in my mind. Forever I have bought into the idea that life, this series of highlighted moments, was the be-all and end-all. Now I feel like life might be the smallest piece, and heaven might be something else entirely. Life is so contradictory, and carries so many individual, intertwined meanings. I just read a news article about a 16 year old girl who died trying to save her 6 year old brother from an icy river in South Dakota. Yes it is tragic, but to say that their young lives were lived only to bring tragedy is an injustice to their souls. They didn’t get 80, 60, or even 40 years; they only had 24 years of combined life but somehow that was enough for them, it had to be enough because it’s all they got. They were hardly old enough to even have lives to look back on.  What did life mean for them? What does life mean now to those who have lost them? Life and death are shared only because we must all experience them, but none of us will experience them the same way.

I didn’t intend for this post to take such a morbid turn, but for most people someone they know passing on is the only time until their own death that they feel face to face with eternity. Its one of those few moments where we all must ask ourselves the most basic cosmic questions and decide how we will attempt to answer them (or not answer them).

People don’t die to make us sad, and they don’t die too soon. Everyone lives and dies for their own purposes. Its all so secular that this life must be only a single step on a staircase to so much more.

“Perceive those things which cannot be seen.”

 

Papa

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Loss, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Dear Papa,

Is that you in the back of my head? Are you still here? I keep looking for signs, maybe I’m looking too hard. It doesn’t seem real that you are gone. I’m writing this in hopes that it reaches you somehow, wherever you are now. I hope it’s an amazing place that delivers you from everything cold and hard in this world.

Your laugh fills my memories, and still brings me joy. I know the years of suffering made you more somber as of late, but you never lost that sense of humor. That beautiful sense of humor. But what I’ll miss most and what I really feel like I’m losing is your energy. So healing, soothing, peaceful, and serene. I don’t think I ever told you, but you had an amazing presence and it never failed to inspire me. I’m not sure if I decided to pursue art because of you, but you certainly made me want to stick to it. The last time I saw you, you told me if you could do it all over again you would have committed more time to art, so the way I see it I’m creating for both of us. I’m so happy that you lived long enough to see me pursuing a life of writing, I know it makes you proud.

MePapa1 MePapa2

MePapa3 MePapa4

Having you in my life so much as a child shaped me, and helped me to become the person that I am today. Thank you. I do wish you could have stayed just a little bit longer, but I guess we always feel that way about the ones we love. You suffered later in life, but I never lost hope that you would overcome the pain and finally get back to being that person I’ve known for most of my life. My spring break is coming up soon, I didn’t know what to do and I was really thinking about coming to see you. It’s selfish of me to think that you should have waited that long to see me again, but I still wish it could have been that way. I would have loved to see you one more time before you left. I would have loved to say goodbye.

We share a depth, and a darkness. I know I got this from you. I often think of you in my blackest hours, when I think nobody else would understand my mind there’s always that thought “Papa would understand.” I hope part of your spirit will stick around, and help to shepherd me through inevitable dark times to come. I can’t be sure, but something tells me you will.

There is a tattoo on my chest of a raven. I had no idea you were inches away from leaving us when I got it, and luckily you didn’t. You told my mom that if you were to ever die you would come back as an animal, and when my mom asked what kind of animal you said a raven. When I reminded you of that story and what it meant to me, you took the picture below. In my mind that raven is you, resurrected on my chest and above my heart forever. Right where you belong.

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Photo by Joe Polaschek

Forever Your Grandson and Greatest Admirer,

Patrick Joseph Roe

Simplicity is Key

Posted in Inspiration, Life, New Year, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Patrick Roe

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We reward simplicity. When a musician makes a catchy song with three chords, it’s arguably more popular than a concierto full of half and quarter notes. When a novelist like Hemingway or “children’s” writer like Dr. Seuss convey the deepest ideas with the simplest of words, we hold on to them tighter. When Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, it was so simple and powerful it could be summed up in one word: equality.

This concept can seem almost contradictory, since we are encouraged as individuals to lead complex lives. It’s even evident in the language we use. How often do you hear the phrases “there’s more to it than that” or “it’s not that simple” or “I don’t even know where to start”? We strive for something we have been conditioned to avoid, even if we only avoid it subconsciously.  Society in it’s nature is a contradictory and unnecessarily complex thing, an uphill battle to attach tradition & meaning to an otherwise primal existence. Throughout human history we’ve made every effort to complicate our world because the act of living in the simplest sense is too much for us to wrap our minds around.

Complexity is also not synonymous with depth. Part of the reason for this is that it often takes twice as much work to convey something in brevity versus complexity (think about the countless chalkboards of equations it took Einstein to reach E=Mc2).

I’ll stay in line with the theme and keep this post short. If you’ve found this post even slightly thought provoking I challenge you to start thinking of all the ways you could streamline your life, the things you do and the way you think.

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” – Bruce Lee

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