Oct 22 2009

They go from kindergarten to killing sprees, They go from heartache to inner peace

Some of the most common arrivals to my website come from people who are searching for answers to unanswerable questions. A small cursory view through the statistics for this site, and I can see the hundreds of users who have arrived by loading up google, typing a depressing and equally relevant query such as “Why does god hate me?” or “Why must I take a beating?”, and they send their question our into the ether that is the Internet.

And my site is what comes back.

For those that come seeking greater truths, I’m not entirely sure what to tell you on those ideological and lifelong thoughts. I don’t know why life is so hard and, most importantly, I don’t know why it seems to get even harder when it doesn’t seem possible. It just happens.

Einstein had a wonderful and somewhat charismatic view about God and the universe. He didn’t believe in the idea of an intergalactic super nanny that lived in the sky looking down on us. He saw that the universe was a place of chaos and disorder, and that the only thing that seemingly held it all together were the laws that explained the beautiful and miraculous way in which it all seemed to stay together, as if by magic.

Many people find solace and comfort in knowing that someone, somewhere, is watching over them. I take solace in knowing that there isn’t someone out there that isn’t paying any attention to me. Religion of almost all denomination and belief tell us that we should be kind to one another because we are cosmically significant. I believe that we should learn to hold on to each other, to be kind to each other, not because we’re significant, but precisely because we are the only allies we will ever know. There is no one coming to save us from ourselves.

And for those looking for answers to the meaning of life, to the idea of God, or our purpose, I am sorry to say that I have more questions than answers. All I can tell you is that for now, the people around you are all you will ever have. The beauty in the world, the universe, and the complex dance of every moon and star are simply notes played to a song we cannot hear.

I remain inconsolable and unmoved by texts and superstitions and spells from thousands of years ago. Instead I will remember that life, for all of its imperfections and difficulties, is all I have.

I believe in myself and those I love, and I have no problem waiting for god to believe in me. It’ll be then that him and I will have something to talk about.

Sep 28 2009

From the swinging of the axe to swaying of the hips

“Sorry man, we’re all just poor musicians.” Sean-Michael said, gesturing to the other band members standing around him.

“Oh, is that right?” The homeless man asked, glancing down at the clothes that we were wearing. He wasn’t upset; he’d just heard excuses a thousand different times from a thousand different people. We were no different, even though I wanted to be.

“Well, have a good night.” He said as he stood there. His skin was blistered from exposure, sunburned and cracked from his forehead all the way down to his neck. On his back was a familiar sight: a duffel bag stuffed with miscellaneous clothes, trinkets, and the tiny little items that most people would have thrown away without a second thought; but not him. To him, these were not trinkets. They were memories of a life long gone, but never forgotten. They were lifelines to sanity.

He gave a last look at the six of us, and wandered aimlessly back in to the heat and shelter of his small camp beneath the freeway overpass.

We continued gathering up photo equipment, all of us wearing suits that easily cost several hundred dollars a piece. In my wallet I had a couple of bucks that I could have handed the man; he said that all he wanted was a meal, but I didn’t believe him. None of us did. And more than likely, nobody else that he would run in to that night was going to believe him either.

If he really was hungry, he was going to stay that way.

We began walking toward the location that we’d chosen for our band photo shoot, but I was no longer trudging along listening to the inane banter between my band mates. I was reliving a moment in time, five years previous, when I was homeless and living beneath a bridge. I remembered the hunger and the pain of sleeping on hard concrete, and the way I gasped in horror each time I looked in the mirror.

There was never a time in my life that prepared me better for human nature, adversity, and the ugliness of the human condition than when I was homeless. I remember the lies people would tell me, or the way they looked down on me as if I wasn’t quite human. People would spit on me, kick me in my sleep, or beat me up for no other reason than nobody would care what happened to a homeless guy.

I glanced back to see that the man had laid back down in the shade of the overpass. I felt for him. I felt guilty for denying him the possibility of a little bit of comfort before lying down for the night. But in the back of my mind, there always lies that suspicion that whatever money I give him will go to something that I had not intended: drugs or alcohol.

But something that’s easy to forget is that part of being human, part of giving, and part of helping out your fellow man, is giving him the benefit of the doubt regardless of what the outcome is. If I were to hand that gentleman $5, it is not my responsibility if he buys a bottle of vodka with it. My intentions, regardless of the outcome, were good. My intentions were to help, and that should be what’s most important.

Or if I put it in a different way, what if a homeless person wandered by and I refused to give him money. Because of that, he’s unable to buy a $5 bottle of vodka and he suffers horribly from hallucinations and DT’s because of his ongoing alcohol addiction. In the midst of his crash, he becomes violently delusional and ends up killing a 12 year old child.

It could be just as equally argued that he will go buy his vodka, become violently drunk, and hurt someone as well. But no matter how you spin it, the better outcome, the better chances, the more possibilities for a happy ending all come from doing good and giving.

What’s sad is, for the most part, any person that has ever said, “No” to a homeless person has never been told “No” in the same situation. I have been on both sides of that coin. It’s difficult regardless of which side you’re on.

Sep 14 2009

He’s bolting doors and getting stoned, locked and loaded and losing hope

In response to the blog entry that I wrote below, I wanted to share my absolute favorite piece of writing ever done by Carl Sagan. It’s pretty well known, but this video does it a decent amount of justice.

Here’s the transcript, minus a part of the introduction:

That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Sep 14 2009

And I’ve been made a pet, chain one mile long, bleed me every hour, keep me from growing strong

Growing up, I had two heroes that helped to shape who I was and who I wanted to be when I got older: Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan.

Geeks, to the highest order of magnitude to be sure, but they were also philosophers and poets and writers and men of peace and constructive thought.

My step-dad bought me a book about Albert Einstein when I turned twelve, and on the inside cover of the six hundred page book (that I read several times within a few months), he wrote, “Einstein was not only smart, he was a man of principles and a man that searched for balance in all things. Don’t forget to strive for that, Andrew.”

When I was twelve, the idea of balance in all things was mildly lost on me. I knew what he was trying to tell me, but at twelve, there was no need for balance. That’s what parents were for: to help me find my own equilibrium and eventually stand on my own. Or so I thought.

I poured myself in to intellectual endeavors when I was young. I spent my spare time wandering through hospitals talking to doctors and nurses, lab technicians, and visiting technicians in energy departments, nuclear physics labs, and just about any other place I could get in to. Legally or not.

I wanted to change the world. I wanted to be intelligent and discover something about the reality around us that nobody else had ever known.

I had a reputation for a lot of years in middle school and high school as one of “the smartest dumb kids” in class. By that, it was meant that I had awful scores in just about every class, but I could provide a meaningful response on just about any question that was given to me about any number of subjects.

I never did well in school. I couldn’t handle the structure, the meaningless exercises, and the slow speed at which class was always paced. I hated it. The only classes I tended to do well in was Math and Science, and only when I had teachers that allowed me to move ahead of the class.

By the time I was a Freshmen in high school, I was taking calculus at the community college and an additional class for statistics and probabilities.

I had two other classes that year that I did extremely well in: Programming and Electronics, and again, it was because both teachers allowed me to move ahead of the class and work on more advanced concepts. By the end of that year, I was programming servos and robots to perform complicated tasks and, eventually, to battle.

I failed every other class. Every. Single. One.

It could be argued that, because I spent 90% of my time completely stoned or drugged out of my mind, that I could have done better in other ways. I guess I will never know, but I doubt it. The thing is, I never failed a test in any of my classes. None. I just couldn’t stand to do the work and plod along at a snails pace. So I never did.

And really, that’s the way I’ve been ever since then. I hate waiting. I hate taking the slow and tried course, and I’ve always been the one in the car pointing off the paved road and saying, “Hey, what if we take that one instead?”

Sure, it’s bumpier, it’s crazier, and we might lose a few passengers along the way, but damn it, it’ll be more efficient once a few people go along and smooth it out.

And the thing is, it could be said that I was relatively smart back then, but now I’m little more than a hack that tries to scrape by with what I’ve got. I was never smart enought to go to college, and if I did, I doubt I would be very successful.

This morning I was thinking about what my step-dad had written in that book, and I realized all the things that he was trying to tell me, and I realized all the ways that I’ve failed.

I’m not a very balanced person. Having concentrated so strictly on the intellectual pursuits when I was young, I neglected to expand any other part of me.

Now I’m so wedged in to this little slice of life, I seriously doubt there’s any way to change who I am or who I’ve become.

I’m a parody of myself. It’s disheartening, but at the same time, it’s a relief to know that I’ll never really be much more than I am now. This is it. I’m not sure if it’s okay, but some day, it will have to be.

Sep 11 2009

If you throw it all away, you’ll spend tomorrow in bed all day. What I’d give to feel so young…

Sometimes it’s good to speak, to say the things that we’ve held close to our hearts, to the things that we’ve never shared or would never dare share even in our most inebriated or vulnerable states.

And just as equally, there are times when those same secrets, those same bits of information, those things that have helped define us or helped to hurt us, are damaging when they finally come spilling forward in an avalanche of last minute confessions.

I don’t have much else to say. It seems the more I speak these days, the more I feel like becoming a mute.

The problem with loving someone, whether it’s a spouse, significant other, family member, sibling, or parent; they’re really the only people that can inflict harm. And harm comes in incidental, unintentional ways.

Not everyone is graced with the eloquence to know exactly what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. We all stumble along blindly, we do the best that we can, and we try to cling to the good things we perceive, even though they eventually fall in to the background.

And what remains but the slings and arrows we’ve managed to accumulate, collect, and display in our heart of hearts. That’s where they remain, and will almost always remain in some form or another.

It is human nature to discard the good and endear the bad. We all do it. I just wish I knew why.

Sep 10 2009

Breaking in to private places, blacking out so time erases

Notable philosophers over the centuries have believed that the soul was not something that you were born with– it was something you earned, something tangible that was gifted to you through trials and tribulations and suffering.

I told a friend of mine that I don’t believe in the soul, and that if there is a hell, that I’m okay with going there for my disbelief. I’ve already been to hell, or very near it. It’s livable, manageable, so long as you realize that you don’t have any choice in whether you live in the dark or in the light.

And really, it doesn’t matter which.

A great poet once told me that there is very little difference between falling in the light and falling in the dark. Everything that is there in the light, will still hurt you in the dark.

The only difference is the fear.

And that’s how I’m feeling today. I feel like I’m groping around in the dark, waiting for another great fall. I’ve hit rock bottom in the center of my soul somewhere, and I’m scratching and clawing my way back up, just so I can fall down again.

I only wish I knew where it all came from, or how it finally got to me. It seems these days I’m picking up the pieces more than putting them back together.

I’ve talked to those who are nice enough to lend an ear, or a hand, and I’ve written my soul out in poetry and prose or worse. I’ve tried everything besides voodoo and witchcraft, and I still feel like I’m just barely hanging on like the red and yellow leaves.

So it goes.

Sep 3 2009

And in every woman’s man is a little boy that died

I managed to cram in a whopping hour or two of sleep tonight. I’m so far beyond exhausted that I’m having trouble holding my head up. I’m at that level of exhaustion that makes you feel like puking. And yet, my eyes refuse to stay shut.

It usually starts to become unbearable at right around midnight or one o’clock. The voices in my head start swirling and talking faster. I can’t seem to hold a thought, and at the same time, I’m trying to hold a hundred different ones.

I’m not sure why I’m having so much trouble tonight. Probably because I’m feeling vulnerable, and in turn, my self-destructive side thinks that I welcome the distraction from my problems. I don’t.

I just hate it when people point out my faults, insecurities, and when they make it blatantly obvious in the ways that I’m failing them.

And really, it’s my fault for failing them. It is. But there are ways of communicating that, and there are ways not to.

So tonight I’m sitting on the couch, watching bad B movies and waiting for sunrise to come rescue me from myself. The wait is always long and the night always drags on endlessly.

There was a time when I was sure of everything. Sure of where I stood, who I was, and who I could depend on. Sure of who loved me, who hated me, and who didn’t give a flying fuck if I was still alive.

The sad thing is, I can’t depend on my own impressions, whether they are bad or good. I’m human and I’m fallable and the ways that I perceive things is going to be different for anybody else.

I’ll give you an example.

I had a friend, not too long ago, ask me about a situation he ran in to. My advice was to give the benefit of the doubt, but I’m finding that the older I get, the less patience I have for people.

He came home to find his wife chatting with an ex online. Which was okay. He knew that they were talking from time to time. When he came and sat next to her, she said she had to go in the chat session and then immediately signed off without waiting for a reply.

Then she got up and left the room, and sent a text message to the ex. Then she lied about texting him, even though my friend clearly saw it when she pressed send.

Now, my advice was to give her the benefit of the doubt. But these days, I’m having a harder and harder time seeing the coincidence in that situation.

What was she hiding, and what was so important to go text to him immediately after? It just seemed wonky the more I thought about it.

I got an e-mail from my friend a couple of weeks ago. She was cheating on him. I guess my second guess was the right one.

What happens if I stop seeing good intentions in anyone? Does that mean I can just check out of the human race completely?
Sigh. I’m betting this post doesn’t make a whole lot of sense this late at night.

Aug 24 2009

I flew so high my wings turned to smoke; I’m a natural disaster.

It always surprises me the times that I’m listening to music and the lyrics fit my mood and the words that are swirling in my head. I have a tendency to throw them in to the subject line of my blog posts (see above), and this one is no different.

I’ve been writing a decent amount of poetry the last week or so. Most of it is in my head, and I can’t tell if any of it is good or if it’s just rubbish. I imagine it’s mainly the latter, as I don’t feel like I’ve produced anything with much merit in the last several years. Sad, but true.

My Uncle, who has been my writing mentor for many years, has always told me that as long as my writing means something to me, and I quote, “Fuck the rest of them.”

I love his advice and have always tried to follow it. There have been many times when I’ve stopped to consider what others would think of something that I’ve written, and I try to remind myself that it doesn’t matter. I should write for myself and nobody else, and if someone happens to like then, well, great. If not, fuck ‘em.

In that respect, here’s some new writing. I’ve intermingled it with some old stuff that I found in some old archives. Comments are always welcome.

Beyond Bell Jars

Finding in between,
you taste just like
poetic comparisons
make it easy to be faithless
or hopeless
and easier to ignore

For words, once masked
can fail the heart
and this, too, should be good
to open the glass
breathe into believing
beyond bell jars, poetry
and love


Intellectual Intercourse

I want to engage in intellectual intercourse
To drink deeply of experience
Sip slowly from the cup of wisdom
I want to meditate on the rain slapping the windowpane
Speak quietly to one another
At three a.m. in the soft glow of your green eyes
I want to discuss the meaning of all that exists
To gaze at the moon that sails by
Contemplate the equations of life
I want to toy with the fingers of the soul that drives you
Taste of a passion we both possess
Share a common spirituality
I want to engage in intellectual intercourse

Advice for a Poet

if you graphed out the relationship
a history of women
in my life
would precisely match
the volume of my poetic output

note the first poem
or more precisely
the please-take-me poem
which convinces her
that out of all the men
who admire her breasts
and her body
I alone come with rose in hand

then, periodically,
apologies, notes
pained verses, odes
and lists of reasons
to leave

then the high point on the graph
when, having discovered my faults or themselves
they leave me to write
flat on my back, ceiling for a page
full of take-me-back poems
I-hate-you poems
and poems about reasons
to go hitchhiking

peaks valley and all things decline
I learn to sleep less
think less, shave every three days
until the new checkout girl
gives me a reason to buy a razor

as for the long term prospect
if you had graphed it out
all things, they come to endings

Aug 21 2009

The Grind: Confessions of a bass player, Part 1

The logo on the front of the kick drum stares back at me, blankly. It says “Gretsch”, but I can’t be bothered to think about the 100 or so years of history behind the brand name. Instead, I’m in a dark basement that smells like cat urine and stale beer. There are black lights illuminating most everything, revealing the various stains and blotches on the carpet and walls that I don’t really care to see.

My band is practicing and I, reluctantly, am playing bass in this disaster of a practice space. It’s hot outside, almost 100 degrees, and it’s even hotter downstairs where we’re playing. The humidity makes it difficult to breathe, and somehow makes the putrid detritus and animal leavings even more unbearable.

We’ve finished about half of our songs, and we’re considering taking a break soon. I’m anxious to get out of the room. I’m sweating like a white republican during a government investigation, and I swear that I’m beginning to see things. I must be hallucinating from the heat. Jesus Christ it’s hot down here.

My fingers are slipping along the strings of my bass and I’m having trouble keeping them within the correct frets. It’s like trying to play notes on a Slip’n'Slide. I keep reading the brand name on the drum set, “GretschGretschGretschGretsch”. It has become a mantra. A distraction. Anything to keep my mind off of the smell and the heat and the pain in my wrists and hands.

It seems like we’ve been playing forever. Eternity. I begin to wonder if maybe I’ve died and gone to hell. I could imagine hell being a lot like this. Maybe with a little less cat pee, but otherwise, the correlation is spot on.

We’re getting close to the end of one of our songs and I can tell that everyone is already wiped out. Barely half way through our practice and everyone is looking around with the same expression on their face: Do we really want to finish?

Of course we want to finish. We have gigs coming up, and this is the last practice we’ll be able to fit in until after two weeks of shows. We can’t afford not to practice.

The last note rings out from our song, “Part 1″, and I feel a small sense of elation knowing that I’ll be heading outside for a few minutes. I know that this is what it takes; these are the sacrifices it takes to become a successful band. But at the moment, I don’t care. I just want out of this god forsaken room.

I can feel sweat trickling down in to my eyes, and now they’re burning. I’m done. I’m getting out of here.

Before starting the next song, I tell the rest of the band that I’m going outside. I set down my bass and walk out before they have a chance to respond. I don’t care. I feel like I’m dying and my self-preservation mode has kicked in.

It’s only a little bit cooler outside, but a decent breeze and lack of olfactory assault goes a long way. I’m feeling a mild sense of relief to be standing out on the sidewalk away from the thrum of guitars, keyboards, and drum sets.

The other four members of the band file out one by one, as if they’re on their way to their own execution. As each person makes their way to the sidewalk in front of the house, they stand next to me and take out their cigarettes and tobacco pouches.

Every person in the band smokes except for me, and they all light up as soon as they’re situated. I’ve gone from a cat pee laden room, to tobacco smoke “fresh air”.

Oh well. I’m not that attached to my lungs.

We talk about nothing in particular: girl trouble, money problems, upcoming shows, cover song ideas, song changes, album sales, in-laws, death, and the requisite jokes about each others sexuality. Nothing overly official, but band ideas are almost always discussed during our breaks.

As we begin to contemplate the walk back to the basement, we’re all exchanging glances again. Do we really want to go back down there?

We can’t play outside. It’d be too noisy and we’d have the cops bringing the noise ordinance smackdown in no time. But the misery involved in finishing out the rest of our songs is insurmountable.

We have another twenty songs to practice and then we’ll be able to pack up and leave for the night. Even though it’s starting to get late, we decide that we might as well head back down to the basement, suck it up, and try to enjoy the music as much as possible.

Standing off to one side in the tiny basement room and I’m staring down at the drum set logo once again. I can hear it now each time our drummer hits the kick drum.


I can hear it pounding in the center of my brain, exacerbating an already profound headache that I’ve had since early this morning. I’m ready to die. I don’t see how hell could compare to this any longer.

I glance around at the other band members as we’re playing, and realize that they’re all smiling. No reason. Just smiling.

We’re all standing in just about the smallest room you can fit five people in to, surrounded by hot amps, hot lights, and no fans in 100 degree weather, and we’re all smiling like psychos.

To an outside person, I’m sure we all look nuts. I’m sure we look like the cheese had finally fallen off of our collective crackers.

And then it happens.

It starts out as a small giggle from one of the band members. Subtle. Barely even noticeable over the roar of the guitars and distortion, but it slowly climaxes in to a crescendo of laughter from not one but all members of the band.

We’re damn near delirious at this point, I’m having trouble standing, and we’re still trying to play through the song. The laughing becomes uncontrollable and we’re all missing notes like a seventh grade school band.

The lead singer can’t yell in to the microphone any longer. He’s too busy, hunched over, trying his hardest just to play the correct notes on the guitar. He’s laughing so hard that his sides hurt.

How ridiculous. How utterly absurd was our entire situation, that we were all laughing about it at the same time? We want to be a successful band so badly that we are willing to stand in an insanely hot room and exert ourselves for hours on end, just to play the exact same music a few nights later in front of a group of strangers.

We stop the song. We can’t keep playing any longer. The laughter is too much. In the absurdity and insanity of it all, there is a silver lining in the cat pee stained room: us.

Aug 13 2009

Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend, we were all equal in the end

For over a week I’ve had nothing useful to say and to be honest, that’s probably a good thing. When I write, it’s generally when things are going wrong or things are bad or I’m just needing a place to rant and rave about the stupidity of others.

In that sense, it has been a pretty decent nine or so days.

So let’s talk about fear. And not just regular fear, but irrational fear. You know what that is. Everyone does and has some kind of fear that controls them. A fear that consumes them in some manner. A fear that would eat you alive if you hadn’t learned of some way (healthy or not) to deal with it.

We tend to calls these types of fears “phobias”, even though a lot of fears wouldn’t normally be associated with a phobia.

Merriam-webster describes a phobia as such:

an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.

Now think about that for a second. Have you ever been afraid of something and known, abstractly at least, that it was an irrational fear? Of course you have, and that qualifies as a phobia.

Afraid of spiders even though you know they can’t hurt you? Phobia. Afraid of heights even though you know you’d have to actually fall to get hurt? Phobia.

Have you ever had a panic attack? I have. It is one of the single most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life. I’ve had a lot of close calls; I’ve almost died countless times, but none of those experiences parallel with having a panic attack. None.

And the thing about a panic attack is, the rational side of your brain is saying, “Okay, calm down. You feel weird, but it’ll pass. Just calm down.”

But then there’s the irrational part, the one that screams the loudest, and it’s saying, “HOLY FUCK! YOU’RE GONNA DIE! YOU’RE GONNA DIE! JESUS CHRIST! YOU BETTER FIND GOD QUICK!”

So obviously, which one are you going to listen to?

Not exactly a pleasant experience, but I managed to get through it.

I’m currently struggling with a fear. A phobia. It’s irrational and I know it is, but having been taken by surprise by this fear a few times, I find myself thinking about it more often than I should. And I know I shouldn’t be. I should ignore that small voice that slowly rises in to a stadium filled roar, but like all irrational fears, I’m somehow unable to do so.

I had a grief counselor give me a helpful piece of advice, and it has stuck with me over the past ten years. In fact, it was the only helpful thing she did for me, but that’s besides the point.

She said, “There are certain things that you know make you angry, that make you sad, and that make you fearful. Only you can choose not to think about those things. Knowing yourself and being confident is about knowing when to stop thinking about the things you’re afraid of.”

Of course, it’s much easier said than done, but there are times when that still small voice comes looking for a fight and I’m able to drown it out and let it know that it’s not wanted. It’s just like a bull fight; I plant my feet just so, see the coming charge, and I’m able to wave the bull past at just the right moment.

As I age, and as I gain a tiny increment of wisdom with each run, I’ll soon be able to conquer those fears without an effort. And who knows what is possible beyond that.