Title from Fistula, “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails”, from the album Vermin Prolificus
Manic as fuck. This has been building. It’s a frantic race to nowhere. A deranged rat on a hamster wheel. The sedatives aren’t working (“I think I can handle my sedatives, bro…” -Charlie). Cyclical thought experiments. Running through my past transgressions. Recall, revisit, rewrite, restore. This is why the lines get blurred.
Suddenly, focus. Something intense, white hot, piercing, and its all that there is. It envelopes from the inside out, wraps tentacles, consuming. It is all that there is.
It is gone. And there is nothing. Less than nothing.
Fractured psyche, rearranged. The protective cover of scar tissue. Healing. Growth. Change…
Nothing but fucking nothing helps soothe the gaping, largely self-inflicted wounds of loathing and scornful suffering like this split LP, from two of underground metal’s most leaden and caustic purveyors of DOOM.
Denver’s PRIMITIVE MAN serve up three blistering, misanthropic tracks of seething, tumultuous rage, while St. Louis’ Fister fill in the flip-side with two suffocating, polar quakes of acidic, cynical torment.
This is the essential soundtrack to my descent into madness, and often it is the only thing that brings me back to the surface. I do not say this lightly — this album has kept me from slitting my own fucking throat on more than one occasion.
It occurs to me — over and over again, because I never learn, and usually at the least opportune moments, but I digress — that the primary reason I procrastinate and stall and make excuses and put off trying or fucking doing anything (besides being rooted, as all things are, in Fear) is that I get caught up in the percieved or apparent enormity/entirety of a thing, I overwhelm myself with obsessive monolithic dissection, I let loose the mental patients in my head, and we fucking bathe in the feces encrusted misery of our own paranoid compulsive immersion. The thing becomes an uncontrollable beast in the china shop of my perception before I even have a chance to move.
Take the act of meditation, for example. On a logical level, I understand and have even experientially witnessed the spiritually, emotionally, and physically healing properties of meditation. I know that practicing zazen would be the first best thing for me to be doing in this time of psychological disquiet and uncertainty. But, I am automatically consumed by the entire Universal scope of the idea of Enlightenment and peace and unity and understanding and nirvana and sublimely perfect cosmic alignment. And so I can’t see the forest for the trees. I am too caught up in obsessiving anxiously over the details of neurotic insignificance and distractifying minutia, and I am blinded to the simple, obvious beauty and wonderfully flawed delicate perfection of each magical moment.
So, today, an experiment. An exercise in detached observational experience and willful, conscious presence. I read something that, as with all of the most profound truths, seems so obvious now. Meditation doesn’t have to be the ritualistic, solemn, esoteric act of spiritual perfection that I sometimes picture it to be in my muddled mind. The simple act of observing and experiencing one’s thoughts without reaction to them is an act of meditative contemplation. My intention for today is to attempt to allow my thoughts and emotions to flow freely through me, but rather than react to them and allow them to direct my behavior and feelings, I will practice at simply observing these thoughts and emotions, analyzing and attempting to understand them, and in this way perhaps I can arrive at a deeper understanding of myself and my place in these moments.
And when I inevitably step off and engage and allow myself to become consumed with some neurotically poisonous snowballing wreckage, I must simply acknowledge, reset, and try again! This all seems so simple on paper…or LCD screen, as the case may be.