Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
- Community Blog
Passing Trains of Thought
The trains don't bother me so much anymore, I'm actually relieved they still exist. I’m getting used to the freight shaking my trailer late at night and during the in-between hours of my day as I stare blankly at my computer screen, wondering if this neighborhood is really my home.
It's people's minds that startle me. They are reminders that I live in a Hell disguised as a Park in Paradise. I say this due to the unawareness in those living all around me, the actions I see played out over and over and the trains of thought I can hear in the form of endless chattering voices. This is not to say I don’t experience glimpses of Paradise from time to time, rather, it is to say that the human unconsciousness of my surroundings is astounding. It has forced me into becoming an observer. An observer of people in a place.
I see them sleepwalking through their days, only to be revved up again by waiting in a long line anxious to order their vanilla lattes that may or may not be chugged down and possibly followed by a jot to the beach with their beach cruiser baby strollers. I'm not claiming that my Ego is not often in full swing with the rest of them, I'm just saying, "Where is the Truth people? What do you really want to do today?" If it weren't for the ocean and our ability to get in it everyday, I'd say a mental facility would soon be under construction in this quaint little beach community.
I see them in their bi-polarism: showering in their parent's backyard with the garden hose, homeless, breaking and entering their childhood homes to grab some grub from dear ol' Ma and Pa's fridge while they are at work. I see the repercussions after they throw themselves in front of trains or swallow too many pills. I see them trying not to hurt inside.
If only they'd take the time to learn how to communicate within each and every one of their relationships, including their relationship with themselves. If only they'd look inside themselves and see the beauty they possess. I know chemicals can get in the way, but what I want to know is why? Is it because we've lost our connection to Nature?
I have names for several of the unaware, and I sincerely long to have conversations with most of them. However, there are those I'd like to send off to a different zip code along with those I'd like to teach how to actually purchase a Coaster ticket.
I don't like seeing the one who flips my friend and I off as we pull into my driveway at night, that one scares me. She is the one that thought she recognized my neighbor as she proclaimed, "Hey you! You look like my friend Martha from the methadone clinic." No, not that one.
I see them walking across the tracks, riding their bicycles in colorful outfits, eating delicious carrot cake, drinking their beverages and getting tattoos- some angels, some demons. They visit me from time to time at the gallery or while buying used CDs, apologizing about their constant coughing- due to a lapse in creativity. I smile, thinking, "It's the broken record in your head I'm worried about. Ever try silencing that thing?"
I see them experimenting with fancy hallucinogens they somehow obtained from the Amazonian jungle. I see them no longer experimenting, but instead believing they are not addicted to anything- not even their own reflection in the mirror, not even shopping for jewelry, not even that $4 latte.
I see them at their yoga classes, practicing pranayama and complicated asanas as one of their weekly workouts. At night, I see the same ones loudly socializing, smoking cigarettes and drinking martinis as one of their weekly rituals.
This is normal to me, I don't bat an eye. I only get twitchy when they say to me, "Where have you been?" or, "I haven't seen you around here before." It is puzzling to me because I've been right here for the past four years, observing them.
One of the good things is, I have the ability to forget them easily. I can do so by releasing my reminders of Hell to the passing trains, and all I have to do is breathe. Those obnoxious screeches can have all my past experiences, memories and lies. They can carry my Hell far, far away from me. And as the trains spool up dust around my trailer home, I sweep away everything that I don't want to keep. It is so easy to let them go and let God do what God will do.
I'm not just passing through Leucadia anymore. I like this funky stretch along the 101. I think I've found my Heaven in a physical place. I'm now meeting all my conscious neighbors- one by one, and beginning to realize how many amazing people live between Heaven and Hell.