I know the feeling.
Before we get into anything, (besides an ample and luxurious man-pelt), I have something I’d like get off my chest.
All day last Tuesday I was walking on a cloud for no reason other than it felt good to be alive. I smiled, and said hello to people on the street more than usual. I waved to folks working in neighborhood shops, and I felt like I genuinely exuded a brighter disposition than usual.
It was nice.
Then Wednesday came along and the very first thing I saw when engaging in my usual routine was a television reporter and her cameraman get executed on live television, and my heart sank quicker than I could control. The clouds moved in and it was all I could do to go on with my day.
I’ve learned recently that I am what is commonly referred to as an empath. I guess that means that I tend to internalize the world’s ills, and in some bizarre effort to alleviate them, will stew on them until I’m nearly paralyzed with grief. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, and have only learned to control it with a thick callous of sarcasm, and denial.
Some days it’s easier to deal with than others, but either way, it remains a constant struggle. Coupled with the fact that I’m unable to escape in any physical capacity, I’ve taken to practicing a bastardized and ham-fisted form of meditation. There is so much sadness and grief in the world, that it becomes nearly habitual to focus on it, and that light, and the celebration of all which is good takes second stage.
The practice to try to do right by people around me- My friends and my family, and almost more importantly, people I don’t know, is ever evolving, and one of increasing value. Focusing on the aforementioned light and goodness isn’t a thing that comes naturally to me, but it’s with all of my might that I try. My mom say there are equal parts of good and bad in the world. It’s just that the bad is so much louder.
I don’t want to talk shit, and to contribute in any way to the negative vibrations that the world seems to be sinking into, but I’m human, which means I stumble with some frequency. I desperately want to be the best person I can be, and I want to contribute even in some small way to making the world a happier place, and every day it’s a challenge.
Just the same, albeit in incremental, and sometimes almost unrecognizable steps, I hope that it’s one I’m up to. With this site as a vehicle, and the perhaps seemingly insignificant exchanges that occur through it, I have to believe we’re making a difference, and I sincerely thank you for both joining and supporting me in taking part in that.
I don’t know about you, but already I feel a little bit better maybe.
Now then- We have other items in which to engage which aren’t nearly as important, but need to be addressed anyway.
The other day I pitched the idea of a contest. The concept is simple. Take this image of a hotdog, (or any others that you prefer), and Photoshop it into an image like so;
-then email it to me (stevil(at)allhailtheblackmarket(dot)com) by tomorrow (Tuesday the 1st), and get into the running for a wildly exciting AHTBM prize pack of gifts and goods galore.
I was going to announce the winners this past Friday, but I forgot about those ‘End Of The Month Cop-Out’ shenanigans. I have such an amazing array of submissions, that I’ve decided to post all of them on Wednesday, and then let the readership help me decide.
Anyway- Why would we do such a thing you ask?
No reason, and sometimes no reason is a good enough reason for me.
In other news of a feel good sort- I recently came across the following piece that might be of interest to Bay Area residents;
I lived down there on 7th and Peralta in an abandoned bar for a couple years back in the mid-90s, and it was the wild west. I ended up squatting in my space for the final year I occupied it, because apparently the owner didn’t care about the $100 a months I was paying him previously.I shared the space with a gigantic rat who ended up dying in the downstairs bathroom, which wasn’t much of a surprise. It was super gross. My neighbors were a junkie couple I never saw, but heard fighting constantly, and the only time I ever got a visitor was when the Meals On Wheels guy knocked on my door because he couldn’t find his intended address.
I love West Oakland. I love its history, I love the people who really care about it, and I love that there are people like those depicted in the clip who’ve taken on a role of stewardship.
It’s my hope that (like in the Mission), long time residents don’t get kicked out to make room for tech dorks with full bank accounts.
Lastly in closing, I’ve misread a frequently used hashtag. What I thought said ‘#CrossIsChumming’, in fact said #CrossIsComing. I guess based on this Saturday’s event;
-even though it’s August, it seems #CrossIsAlreadyHere.
Or perhaps, #ItNeverLeft.
I don’t know anymore.
Frankly, I’ve been too busy falling down those proverbial stairs to pay attention.
I read something once that said that our current society overall is extremely bad for a person’s mental health, (anxiety and depression specifically), and that the people who *don’t* need drugs or psychiatric help are the ones with the real problems, including a shortage of empathy and a myopic world view.
I often fall into the crap trap too, and I think it’s a lot more common than anybody realizes. There’s just so much crap out there that it’s hard to shut it all out, and inevitably some always comes through. Here’s hoping you heal fast so you can meditate on two wheels again.
I tend to not need drugs and alcohol, but I tend to spend a LOT of time away from people and in the woods. I don’t read the news, etc. etc. But coming from the woods to the city this week makes me nervous and overwhelmed and I feel like yeah, it really does seem like we’re reaching critical mass of shitty shit, and… maybe I’ll start drinking beer at 9:33am.
Sometimes it’s two steps backward/one step forward and sometimes it’s the reverse, but we keep stepping…….that’s called hope………
I have a tendency to “borrow other peoples sorrow” as well. As a result I made some pretty significant changes in how I get news and entertainment. I get my news from Flipboard app, TV – Roku (Netflix, HULU), Radio – Streaming music service. And I read a lot. Filtering the noise has helped greatly.
This post is the second time over the past week that somebody has described some mental (malady? affliction?) circumstance that I completely identify with and address in the same way. Bikes, beer, sarcasm, and Fucked Up have gotten me through the last couple of months. You’d think that I’d quit being surprised that I’m not the only one dealing with these things. But then maybe I’d fear that I’m no longer a special person in this world.
I wonder what that’s called.
Wait – is that a picture of Ron Jeremy, head shaved, and wearing a tee-shirt of himself?! TWO BEERS AT 9:33am.
Mama knevil sounds like an awesome lady. I think you’ll be alright. I’m not sure if bad is louder or just easier to hear. Cheers!
RE: good vs. evil, couldn’t have said it better. brohugs.
meditation good. fucking crazy world bad.
100, estevil × <3
I like what you said about the empath thing. I relate to that. I spent a huge portion of my 38 years trying to not feel – at all costs. It was a never ending quest for divine apathy. So dumb. And then I’d carry on about wanting a lobotomy because then I’d not care and ignorance is bliss and blah blah blah. These days – almost 5 years actually- I split my time between work/commute/wife/kids/school/bikesbikesbikes. I can’t escape the blitzkrieg of current events though, no matter how busy I am. I’m a pretty tough guy- convict, addict, ex-homeless punk rock vomit scum- but it’s not uncommon for me to shed some tears in the car or quietly at my desk when I hear/read some of this stuff. Anyways- dunno why I shared all that. Kindred spirit vibes maybe. Like you, the best I can do is try to be as nice as possible and also helpful where I can and even be as tolerant and unbiased as possible. It is a perpetual work-in-progress. All hail!!