Random Late Night Musing Fueled by Mania and Caffeine

Eyeball drawing

After a good thirty-two days (and a handful of hours, but who’s counting) of being in one of the more onerous and detrimental depressive episodes I’ve yet experienced, I have emerged frantically from the ashes tonight and taken gloriously spastic flight in wide-eyed, feral mania! I keep having to think back through my activities today to make sure I haven’t imbibed any elicit substances to trigger this euphoric sunburst of sublime neural bliss (I haven’t). Just like the lows, though, the highs are both a blessing and a curse. The inevitable, eventual fall will be that much more vicious, more perilous. *cue dramatic orchestra*

I say “thirty-two plus days,” but as I obsessively and compulsively back-track to inform that number, I recall the several-month period leading up to the “Big Plunge” thirty-two days and so many hours ago. It was tumultuous at best. Like wading slowly, deliberately into the oppressive, weighty embrace of the ocean. A gradual decline before the sudden and steep drop. (I just sent myself into anxious, fearful shivers picturing that metaphor…)

It’s easy easier to identify and somewhat objectively analyze one’s own behavior patterns when looking back. When I was in the midst of it, though, I didn’t feel — or didn’t recognize — that I was marching trudging absent-mindedly staggering towards an endlessly bleak Grind-Pit of DOOM. On the one hand, the goal of someone attempting to live along the Eightfold Path is to try and live in the moment, not to live outside the moment in obsessive thought. On the other hand, it is beneficial for someone struggling with mental illness to be able to recognize patterns of ill behavior with the intent of learning and improving from them, which of course requires analysis. Contradiction? Or opportunity to bring pieces of oneself together? The Middle Way presents itself in all things…

TL/DR — In a nutshell, I am still trying to learn about, and constantly strive to learn from, my own mind-fuck neurotic head-case psychotic anxiety-ridden fearful manic depressive obsessive compulsive openly defiant over-thinking anarchistic anti-everything (but always with love) mental health issues. I used to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol before I even knew that was what I was doing, and certainly before I had any idea of why I was doing it. These adventures in Crazytown have only come to the surface within the last few years. And I’m still trying to feel comfortable in my banana pants.

Anyways, not to piss Alaskan gasoline on a perfectly good Whistle Stop barbeque, as a fella says! Fellas say that, right? Well…one does! This guy. What I’m getting at, perhaps, is that I would encourage all of us to just enjoy this ride while we’re on it, and try not to get too banged up in the process, eh?!

Still from Jordan Belson's film "World"

Still from Jordan Belson’s film “World”

In that spirit, here’s a fun bit of The Ryan trivia that is also an example of how schizophrenic my delights in life can sometimes be. On this day, this Dawn of a New and Young Mania, my listening habits throughout the day have been as follows (Music is Life):

Early Morning — DOOM and sludge, along the lines of the Melvins, PRIMITIVE MAN, Yob, The Body, Eagle Twin, Indian, Crowbar, EYEHATEGOD…slow, filthy, and burdensome. Don’t look so glum, that’s a compliment in this world!

Mid-Day — Mellow-vibing desert rock through stoner pop, a la Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, The Doors, Shrinebuilder, OM, Dirty Heads, Pepper, 311, Slightly Stoopid, Sublime, Father Marley

Afternoon/Evening — This is where this current particular and vital manic episode really began to blossom, to take form, and it did so with a touch of help from so-called shoe-gazingly discontent grunge, of all places! Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots (none of that Chester Bennington bullshit), Boris, the Melvins, the PixiesThe Afghan Whigs (Do I love them? Do I hate them? I don’t know!), Alice In ChainsJane’s Addiction (SPOILER: It was heroin), Dinosaur Jr., Blind Melon, Soul Asylum

Night/Late Night/Now — One of the playlists on my phone slash music repository is entitled “Ethereal Chill.” It is made up of artists like Lana del Rey, Lorde, Flatbush ZOMBiES, Purity Ring, fka twigs, (select) Incubus, Childish Gambino, Puscifer, Tricky, Portishead, Florence + The Machine, A Perfect Circle…I am often inexplicably compulsed to add The Mars Volta to this playlist, but then I remember that, of the many things that band does quite well, being “chill” is not one of them. Not even on Octahedron.

It is just about 0100 hours as I finish writing this. By the time I edit, add media that none of you utilize, obsessively re-read, tweek, re-organize, unorganize, disorganize, and re-re-organize the fuckin’ thing, it will likely be after 0200 (it’s 0215). Maybe I will go to sleep then now.

Maybe. But probably not. 🙂

Eyeball


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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shrouded

Artwork courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy

Artwork courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy

there’s a crack in my head
where all the weakness leaks out

my fear.
my anger.
my longing.
my rage.

my paranoia
and loathing.

confusion and insecurities
all bleed from this rift
at the base of my skull

and it gets
EVERYWHERE.

sometimes i think
only i can see
their stains

they reverberate in the sunlight
and their glare consumes all

i wrap my head in bandages stitched
from the shredded and tattered
loose pieces of myself

in here
under shroud
the silence is deafening.

Artwork Courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy (click for more)

Artwork Courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy (click for more)


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

the spaces

Image by Anatoly Beloshchin

Image by Anatoly Beloshchin

i am afraid
of all unspoken things
that exist in the spaces

between                 you         and          i

i speak about them
in the places i go
alone
with just We


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How The Ryan Writes, Part II: The Dark Crow Man (Harbinger of DOOM)

Dark Crow

“The Dark Crow Man sits
And stares into Oblivion…
Into Cold… Into Nothingness…
It’s snowing in His mind.
He’s created Himself in
His own Image…”
Lamb of GodThe Subtle Arts of Murder and Persuasion

Artwork by Four Star Tattoo, Santa Fe, NM

Artwork by Four Star Tattoo, Santa Fe, NM

The part of The Ryan most in need of a creative outlet is the part that finds it most difficult to express constructively. The Dark Crow Man is everything that is wretched and despairing within Us, amplified to abhorrence. The Dark Crow Man wants only to destroy. It wants to rip flesh from bone, it wants to wrench reality apart at the seams, it wants to butcher and devour all of existence in its rage and gloom. It knows nothing of cathartic expression, of transformative release. It is scorn and brooding and the bleak space of void made form, and its vacuity is interminable.

The Dark Crow Man is, like all parts of We, ever present, if not pervasive. But, also like all parts of We, there are times it is suffuse across the whole; it permeates Us, and it is all that We are. We have been consumed by the Dark Crow Man for the past several weeks, to a degree We’ve not before experienced. To be in that place, where the Dark Crow Man resides, is exhausting. It overwhelms and suppresses. In that void made form are eternities of moments through which We did not believe We would emerge.

In that space, We struggle to have voice. The sounds We hear, and those We make, are shrill and piercing, leaden and oppressive. They are savage grunts and primal concrete resonance. We buckle under their weight and the oppression of Our selfsame chosen hell. We are consumed by Our fear even as We embrace it. And so We sit silent ponderous and reflectively reflexive, a volatile, broiling chamber of scorn, loathing, judgment, despair, confusion, and ponderous brooding without vent.

We struggle to have voice. But We are obstinant, and so We do not relent. We are unabating. We embrace the struggle, the process. We fail, but We persist. We will be better, stronger, more enduring in the future.

The Dark Crow Man is Us. But it is not that Darkness which will define Us.

Crow Sunrise


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Conversation With The Ryan

alone in the doom

where have you been?

i was…away.

we’ve looked everywhere.

i wasn’t hiding. i needed time.

we were all lost without you. he was here.

who?

the dark crow man.

he is always here. he’s one of us.

but he was the one, with you away. he was the I.

sometimes we need to go to the places only he can take us. and i needed to be away.

were you afraid?

i am always afraid. aren’t you? that’s what makes us brave. we can be afraid and it doesn’t ruin us.

but you ran away. you left us.

i didn’t run away. i ran towards. i needed to face it.

couldn’t you face it here?

i needed time alone, with just i and the fear. i couldn’t bring us all. it wasn’t safe.

it didn’t feel safe here. there are too many shadows when the dark crow man is the one.

there are always shadows. some of us are shadows. some of us don’t like to admit these truths. that’s part of the fear.

we are all so silent when he is the I.

this is also part of the fear. we all must learn to speak, even through the gloaming silence. if we can only speak when we are comfortable, we will only ever speak of comfortable things. some songs of utmost beauty are pieced together with the most dolorous of notes, sung in a chorus of melancholy voices.

i am glad you are back.

i was never away.

Schizophrenic Self Portrait, 18 May 1991, by Bryan Charnley

Schizophrenic Self Portrait, 18 May 1991, by Bryan Charnley


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.