1: Hesitate to walk away from a toxic working or personal relationship. Even when it is expensive.
(just lost $34,000, and I don’t care. the amount of therapy and vacation I would need just working with this guy would be at least triple that. think about it)
2: Eat any chocolate from Russia (you have been duly warned)
3: Allow anger, or guilt, to keep me away from, or make me go to, a social function or visit with a family member or friend.
3: Use UBER (douchebag sexist assholes, allocating money in corporate budget for spying on citizens who critique them.)
4: Trust that anyone understands what I am saying without asking them if they do.
5: Make any agreements I cannot break if I feel the need to (see 1)
6: Buy knockoff Sri Racha sauce from Trader Joe’s (sneaky fuckers) It is NOT the same.
7: Let anyone tell me what I can’t do. I mean not even let them finish the sentence.
8: Tolerate any rude behavior from hipster/ tech/elites moving into Oakland.
9: Put up with any bullshit from phony leftist wannabes, who have hijacked the entire left and turned it into a self-centered, hyper dramatic, very right wing flavored theatrical McCarthy type hunt for anyone not adhering to the language they chose for all of us to use. Real Leftists have real problems. And bills. And kids. and we are not here on our parent’s dime. And we handled most of this shit decades before you decided to move here as a political fashion statement.
You are not leftist. you are left over and left behind.
10: Allow any of my friends of any race, gender or creed to engage in “me first” morally isolatory language or behavior in my presence without calling them on it.
So I could feel it all, I elected for the past few years to be alone when I thought it was a good idea.
With no distraction, and no obligations, I would never sleepwalk, I told myself. I would maintain the purity of my solo being, and solitary nature. One would think this would simplify things in a person’s life, but for me, it was the opening of a complex kaleidoscopic vision of myself and all the me’s I had ever been.
It was much needed, and now I hold in my heart, that aloneless is a form of magic.
An utterly powerful reckoning with the most powerful person in your life. Occasionally I would allow someone to get close, or even a little attached, but each passing was marked with the frustration and futility of my unfinished self.
So, I would eventually, always strike out on my own again, and I liked it that way. Free. Healing started happening.
I stopped feeling lonely. I started to regard my place in the universe in a much clearer way.
My fate was my own, and complete. Eventually , the air opened up around my heart that had been choked so long, and tormented with a loneliness that I created, by not allowing myself to be along, for so long, I couldn’t even hear myself anymore, really hear myself think and feel.
Now I hear myself clearly, and it’s beautiful. The message is positive. I ordained myself, and vested myself with better powers, and associated with higher order energy, all while always staying grounded in the pillars of the earth, and the darkness of a fire where I was born.
I think in the past few years, as I came close to a very few women I loved, my passing through their life, left part of my inside behind, like pollen brushing off on a passing bird or someone accidentally brushing against wet paint, part of me remained there, like a person who occasionally calls or writes, to tell me, how the me I once was, is doing back then.
I have embraced the death and life around me and in doing so, become more human than ever, questioning everything, withdrawing from combat, and the din of the party and crowd, and I found a me, I never knew. Scholarly, given to long silences, forgiving, even retreating. And so much love.
The recent rains have reminded me of who I am really, and the quiet time in the middle of the night, like now, is the open space where I travel emotionally, not really seeking anything any more. It simply comes.
Maybe I will find a nice lady to share some of this with, or maybe I will continue to pass through the lives of many women, But I do not believe I have met her yet. Now the entire subject is as light as a dry leaf on my hand in a hot summer wind, and either fate will not hurt me. Each will improve me. I let go, and watch it do what it will.
I tell you these things because it is my special testimony, the songs I was sent here to share, the story I was meant to remember, the tale I was elected to explain, and to remind you that you are so much more alone, than you could ever imagine, and that your aloneness is beautiful and that you should never fear it. It will always be a great companion if you let it, protecting you, cleansing you and teaching you.
I feel like I have been given a new heart, and am not afraid any more. I feel all my dead around me, and what I think is Oya watching over me all my days.
To thank you, would be inappropriate, or perhaps inaccurate.
I would ask you to thank yourself instead, and ask for you to know, that you have been a heavenly body, whose gravity shaped my orbit, and whose presence alone, without you even trying, was a beacon in the dark for me all this time.
I found myself on the map because of you, you are my north, and the sound I follow, or run from. you are the beautiful expression of chance, and the bringer of sacred chaos. You are both teacher and student, both hero and villain, and you, make this entire story worthwhile and give it character, like the oil from a persons hands that stains the corners of the pages of old books, and the crooked outlines of the shoreline of my emotional self, changing with every tide.
Had I not been alone, had I not decided to wander by myself, I would have never found you.
But I did. So I could feel it all. And I do.
©Piero Amadeo Infante 2014
Painting by Dan Austin
I haven’t sleep a lot in the past few months. So much going on in the world, and in my life that it is probably a sign of sanity that I feel crazy. Change is coming. I can feel it. Remembering that I have nothing to do early in the morning tomorrow, I decided to take a walk, in the downpour, at 4 AM.
Finally. After all this time, like a long awaited visit from a lover, with a great heave and sigh, the rains came, like the answer to all my internal questions, making a sound on my roof like a billion fingers on a million Tablas, and with a soft roar that drowned out that sad critical voice that haunts me of late.
With a mother infirm who is not expect to last long, who I have never been really close with, a sister seemingly always in trouble, and from a family where brothers feud uselessly for decades, I have for most of my life been a rather solitary person in my down time. Not letting people close. Guarding.
I used to have such a great relationship with with night and the rain and the wind, before I became domesticated, and tried on some of the relationships, and lifestyles some of my peers had. They were all in the end, like that dish you order out of curiosity at a restaurant, and say to yourself “Hm. Interesting” but never order again.
I would go out in the night and just walk and walk and walk all over Oakland and Berkeley. Especially in the rains. How I have missed that. So very content in my element, and so protected by sheet after sheet of wind and torrent. I want that back now.
I have become too domestic. Still, after all this time, I know I am not meant for some of these things that bring others comfort. They hurt me, and trap me, and confuse me, and I really don’t know how to swim in family, or attached relationships, and so I slowly drown.
I used to think that was the bad thing. The drowning. Now I know that was just me waking up underwater in a place I didn’t want to be because I slept emotionally for far too long and far too deeply.
The sleep. That was the bad thing. The blind walking, with no regard for my spiritual and emotional freedom. I simply don’t want what a lot of others want. I don’t want to live that way. I want to live alone. I want to live free. This is the open way, the open path for me, and now in the rain it all makes sense again who and what I am and where I am headed.
Maybe one day I will actually partner, maybe not, but I know what I want now. A nice place with wood floors and large open windows, somewhere in North, in a forest or near the coast, where it is windy and rains, and in a place where I can actually relax. I think it has been years since I have actually relaxed. Too Long
I am going to leave the window directly over my bed open, and let drops of rain hit my head occasionally, because I can, and let it rock me to sleep, and let it heal me a little. This is where I belong. This is where I have always belonged. In the rain.
Piero Amadeo Infante, 2014
My thoughts for the day:
Needed: a new nomenclature (naming system) to properly address new/old political and social ideologies, that is more concise, goes beyond party or cultural boundaries, and addresses some of the more recent occurrences in global politics, and sociology.
While some of these behaviors are nearly ancient, and many believe biology-driven, their derivatives and offshoots express themselves in new ways, and have potentially unknown effects, and therefore require a new terminology that is better suited and more accurate for a media-driven, internet connected, and meme-based world.
(This first section will deal with the existence and function of said theory in practice. Later chapters will expand on it’s effects)
Selective Political Theory,
Isolatory Moralism Theory.
Otherwise known as the “Us first” Theory
The idea that the aims and functions of your group’s political agenda, and the legitimacy of your groups ideals, are inherently more logical, more beneficial, and less subject to question, than the values or ideas of another group, political, social, or cultural, without qualification. (Sans debate)
Isolatory moralism goes beyond scientific theory, or social theory, and is the philosophy of self endowing groups and individuals that practice and promote moral, social, or even evolutionary superiority or “correctness” and who claim domain on morality and sometimes what is called ethical natural law.
The popular use of this theory is particularly strong and uniform, within political. racial, class, or religious groups, with an expansion/survival agenda, as well as countries, financial institutions and military entities.
Isolatory moralism, is the idea, that an idea, or philosophy must have a moral basis, as opposed to logical, or logical as opposed to moral, and that a group must adhere to one or the other, or a chosen combination of both, as an identification as a superior method of social control or governance.
It is the politics of self entitlement, and self authorization, widely practiced in all quarters of the world, as a social and political control and expansion device.
– From “Smashing the lens: Observations on political and social manipulation”, ©Piero Amadeo Infante 2014
If you ever get tired, as I often do, of feeble journalistic attempts at conveying the East Bay experience, usually written (and underwritten, with agendas) by astonishingly un-diverse, late-coming, hipster carpetbaggers attempting to capitalize on our city at the expense of actual relevant and entertaining news, and the arts, check out the real thing, written by Oakland lifers, with an eye on what real Oakland culture is all about!
Your ALL-LOCAL news source! Accept no substitutes!
In my cup, I see dead people. I see live people. I see people not yet born.
It’s funny for travelers like myself, who have committed to a life without marriage, and who have a tendency to avoid committed relationships. Now the phrase “so many people. So Little time” makes sense. The sheer emotional math of it of is overwhelming sometimes, and I have to walk by myself at midnight up the hill to the top of strawberry canyon and stand in the wind for an hour just to make sense of it at all. I am told this is processing. Processing the picture that took a lifetime to expose. I am here, like a detective at the scene of my own crime, engaging in the emotional forensic investigation of the century.
How did I become what I am?
I admire people with stable lives and orbits, and enjoy seeing many of my friends provide that for their children and pets. (and also to those whose children are their pets, and whose pets are their children)
They might have a better idea of how they became what they are, when they look back on a life marked by regular things. Birthdays, marriages, graduations, houses they lived in and all the warm pleasantries of regularity.
I remember visiting with a lot of them as a child, and music like “our house” by Crosby stills and Nash, and “stoned soul picnic” by the Fifth dimension would pour out of these happy places, while stoned adults, would drink wine, and raise their kids in a (for the most part) soft and loving manner. There was always food. there was always warmth.
This was their fate. I appreciated it. even then I knew it was not mine.
I don’t think these regular happy things will make them any happier or sadder at what they became per say, just easier to decipher how they got there. For others like me, and we are legion in my neighborhood, we are like an army that has always been on the move since birth, kept no records, and made no ties that would slow our movement. Then on occasion I see a fellow soldier commit, make a change, marry, have kids, settle down, and some of them look incredibly happy doing it. Still, not for me. I guess I am a holdout.
Some people in my life, go whizzing by like shooting stars, and are usually gone before I get to know them, leaving only a faint streak and trail, that slowly fades like their memories, and I still remember their brilliance and how it briefly illuminated my life with a blinding glow, and warm heat. Then, time, space, and age take give their cues. “poof” they are gone. I can still navigate with the brevity of these celestial encounters.
Many women have been like that for me. I sometimes wonder at my memory, and wonder if I ever really even saw who they were, what they were about, or what they were really trying to say to me in passing.
I know for a fact now, that some were only ghosts of their selves, and that at times, I was only hearing and experiencing echoes of who they thought they were at the time, faint traces of a soul, fluttering by, not really meant for me to keep or hold, but definitely meant for me to experience and enjoy while they were there. Or to experience the shattering impact of total heartbreak, deception, and madness.
Others, like reoccurring meteors or comets seem to have a regular orbit, even if I cannot understand it, and come back into my lifer periodically, sometimes for months or years. these 7-to-10 year cycles are the only noticeable pattern I can detect, and I am still a wanderer.
In as much as I trust myself, and do my best not to create damage with others, I consider myself quite mad.
Sanity has never been high on my list of noble virtues, and some of the very meanest, vile, and despicable people I have ever met, were incredibly sane. Perhaps sanity is a requirement for evil or malice, but that is another conversation.
Also I am not blind to the fact that I attract mad women. This brings with it a whole world of joys and sadnesses, exciting nights, funny moments, strange interludes, hot encounters, confusing misunderstandings, tears, sighs, and laughs. mostly at myself.
Nothing really seems to move me like a woman, her softness, her hardness, her complexity, secrets, intrigues, virtues, selfish desires, and generosity, and most especially, her touch.
I never got enough touch as a baby, and it is perhaps one of my greatest character weaknesses, that has led me to close encounters sometimes with totally inappropriate women, and other times, my daring to touch, has led me to exactly where I was supposed to be. Either way, it always starts with a kiss, and ends with riding the dragon. Some times, I awaken years later to realize I was in a fugue of romance and love with that person, and other times it was so short, and so fast, it could hardly been said to have happened at all. And yet other times, I discovered I was deluding myself all the while about who, and where I was.
I hear her sometimes though. She is the girl inside of all the women I have ever loved. her voice and face soft and fuzzy in my memory like an old movie, and I often see her in the faces of passing women, my sisters, my mothers, and platonic female friends. This animated spirit of femininity appears to take kindly to me in general, probably sensing my deep desire to know her, and to show loyalty to her.I have been drinking, and drunk off stars. The pure light, the warmth, the intensity, fills me like a glowing molten luminescence, and where Wine can make one clumsy, this drink makes me more graceful. I speak more clearly. I move with more deliberation and grace under its effects.
For all the things that I have not had, I get this. it is a fair trade, in a temporal world, where things change before you even know they had come to pass in the first place, some of us, are alighted on the ocean of time and need no port. We need no crew, no map, no compass,and no captain.
We’re here, and then we are gone. And that is the way of it, and the universe meant not to insult nor compliment us in this fate, it’s just what we do. I think somewhere, somehow, we chose it. We chose it all. We were not hapless humans, who unwittingly jumped and startled at the mechanizations of fate, and the lightning bolts thrown down by our various fortunes, We were the designers, and architects of our destinies before we were even born.
Like the stars, I drink in this realization, and pour a little out for my dearly departed who I will one day join, be it two minutes from now, or 20 years. Right now, I have a full bottle, even if it only lasts an instant.
My cup is full today, and it is full of stars.
©Piero Amadeo Infante. 2014
Some thoughts from my notebook circa, 1999.
I had just returned from touring, on the WARPED Latin tour, feeling politically charged up, and looking for groups or parties to involve myself with, where I could make a small difference. I was newly sober, and my experiences on the road, had me craving understanding like never before. These notes are from that era. I remember after touring nationally several times, and getting my heart broken, discovering that “Latino Unity” had been replaced by ultra nationalist elitism, that Latinos from around the world were profoundly UN-unified, and practically in a state of war with one another in some places. This affected me particularly hard in the 1990’s as I realized that many of my political values from my upbringing, needed major overhauls. Or were myths to begin with.
I came back home after one of these tours, eyes open, and heart hungry to contribute and engage, only to discover a “Left” at war with itself, privileged, entitled, hateful, confused, superstitious, and who would attack anyone who dared question their fashionable stances, that no one really knew the origins of. I beheld a “right” that was firmly a product of the worst excesses, fears and myths used to justify slavery, intent on promoting their Armageddon version of religions.
And there was no unity. Gone was the coalition of my youth, as I saw a Black, Brown, White, Yellow, and Red, that were now market share, target demographic, neutralized, more separated than ever, and all firmly under the control of images, and words intent on keeping them there, and with no light at the end of the tunnel, save for the occasional Saint, “madman” or “madwoman”, who was actually crazy or courageous enough to speak freely with all, and historically they are usually assassinated.
While touring, I discovered, That there are places in this country where all the hatred, venom and fear, misgivings, hurts, injustices and toxin, still exist, and you can see it in the faces of the people, who more and more, isolate into their own group, their own family, and their own thought, mistrustful of outsiders, or those who don’t speak their language, each one claiming they, and they alone are the heroes, or victims, or founders, or failures, until no one is really talking to anyone anymore, so much as they are talking to themselves.
I discovered, that it is a profoundly discomforting act, to actually seek the truth in a situation, or to research, or to seriously engage everyone in a real discussion, because so many people in the country are not really looking for “solutions” at all, but rather support for what they already believe.
Actual searches for truth do not carry with them the promise of any kind of feel good endings, or warm fuzzy sensations, quite the contrary. searches for truth often lead to horrifically ugly discoveries, about yourself and others. They can also lead to a sense of profound beauty, but none of these are promised. The path to the truth leads to the truth, and the truth is sometimes ugly.
This cuts across all classes and colors, ages, and religions, or lack of beliefs, and today all these things make me wonder who the hell I really am, and how we wound up here, and what it means for the next 2 generations of my family, all mixed, all moderate, all smart and funny, and lovable, and worthy of support, and who come in all colors, and who all are the future. They’re going to inherit, all this? Makes me sad. Beyond words.
So I talk, and look, and write, and travel, and search, and question, and ask, and unsettle practically everyone who is desperately clinging to ideologies that are little more than corpses, and more than anyone else, I unsettle myself, because the corpse of my dead ideologies is more offensive to me, than it could ever be to another.
Some are vastly offended, some act delighted. I have had warnings about speaking my mind, offers of support, been flirted with, shunned, celebrated, spied on, attacked, shot at, threatened, given protection, fed, invited to speak, heroized, demonized, and told to be quiet under threat of death. And I am not even a politician.
It makes me wonder sometimes, about original thought. Have I ever had one? Have you?” Can we actually even risk having an original thought these days? Or have we by default just gone along with the people around us, seeking to make them happy, and to be thought of as an acceptable person in our group?
Feel free to test this idea, by questioning the sacred cows, or the party line of your own people or political persuasion. You’ll soon find out how “loyal” they are.
Looking back at a lifetime in discussion, I am still wondering who we all are really, because humanity is comic. Tragic.
And I see more than anything else, at this time, the beauty, and massive dysfunction that appear to be the most consistent, and present human traits.
This is my romantic colliding head on with my scientist. I think both shall die in the exchange, and someone entirely new will come forth out of me. I hope so.