Toward The Light

photo by: Lauren Tierno

photo by: Lauren Tierno

There isn't always a way to say everything. You change, things change, life changes, the planets rotate, the crops wilt, the air becomes frigid, things go from green to yellow to black. People put up their guard, hiding in their homes where the TV is loud and blasting some virtual reality I can't begin to understand, though everyday it becomes more like reality than reality itself.

I haven't felt home in a long time. So I wander. Here and there. Searching for new people to learn from, new experiences, new growth, new grounding. I almost never talk to the people I seem to leave behind, though they remain in my heart, in my music, in my thoughts. To me, no one is left behind.

I'm headed south soon. Some part of me thinks that's the right place to be right now. My friend Jeff says Texas is always the next right place to go. Many of my inspirations have made their way in the Lonestar State, finding solace amongst the faces of well-worn workers, patchy foam filled beards, and conversations with bartenders who give an extra drink on the house for the travelers who bring their guitars to the table.

My heart is in New England––somewhere in a suburb outside of Boston blossoming in the winter chill, waiting for spring to blow me back up north again. The fates act in mysterious ways and guide us away from those we love in an attempt to show us how much we truly love them. A sick kind of joke usually reserved for clichés in love songs that never seem to help as much as whiskey. Alcohol is always the most seducing of demons.

The internet makes it easy to stay connected and yet so easy to remain distant. Disagreement sparks distrust, disloyalty, destroyed friendships. After years of building, we tear down anyone whose views differ, as if ours are any more qualified, as if we figured it all out. It takes no courage to scream through a screen, whereas, in real life, one's voice is muted by fear and alienation.

Staying in one place has never treated me well. I spent a year or two seeing different people everyday. No one knew who I was or where I was going and I was among them in not knowing. But you can drift healthily if you drift with purpose. It's keeping sight of the purpose that becomes the hard part with everything else tossed in like a Life Salad.

Conflict and anger arise in my heart and soul when I think of my brothers and sisters at Standing Rock who've been betrayed over and over by the ones I've been told my whole life to trust. The injustices of the political system and its exploitative corrupt practices drip their way through the vents and halls and meeting rooms of the buildings that keep this universal mentality of fear in tact. And we go along with it when it doesn't affect us, because we are conditioned to be numb to pain, to act like everything's okay. 'Business as usual,' as some call it.

With suffering all around and privilege so prevalent in our every thought, we collapse and drown ourselves in the danger that dwells in the darkness, sheltering ourselves behind talking boxes and prescriptions we're told will 'make you feel better.' Most work jobs they hate to pay debts they might never recoup. Grow up, go to school, get a job, get a place, get married, have kids, die. Like clockwork.

But they say beauty is found amidst chaos. After all, chaos created the earth, a blip, a bang, and all of a sudden: life. To remember what it's like to be alive, amongst the natural world, in a tent, on the ground, in a tree, in a lake, floating...there's a world beyond all of this. If we open our collective third eye, inhaling deeply and feeling the cool air entering our lungs and bodies and directing it toward the shining sun, the light above, we will return, again, to the most high.