Emotional Karate, and the word “no”

shaolin-temple-of-zen-3

(Taken from my “other” blog, a password protected secret blog that I will say no more about here)

 

 

Confessional time.

I don’t care if it makes me look less cool to be more human.

About three years ago my best kinky friend returned back to SoCal, after an extended visit, and we quickly missed one another.
I was informed by a friend that while I may be a Dom physically and emotionally, that I have a streak of masochist running down the middle of my black little heart when it comes to spiritual matters at times.

Her and I always questioned why we don’t just let ourselves fall in love, and be together, since it is something we both want badly.
I wonder too.

Then I did the emotional math.

1: She is nearly half my age, and though she is genius, beautiful, successful, and loyal like the mafia, I have no intention of permanently partnering with a woman who will be 45, when I am 70 or thereabouts, especially as I have no plans whatsoever to stay around that long.

2: We flirt and kiss and play and dom other girls together, and are like the perfect pack hunting animals when hanging out, which could all change with the addition of any hint of possessive emotion, which we have both worked scrupulously to avoid, and make no mistake, it is a discipline. Like Karate, and requires practice.
I don’t want things to get “weird” suddenly and committed relationships have a tendency to change friendships, and I treasure this one immensely. So I, and we, have kept it all above the waist, played a little , and felt things, but not done anything rash as of yet, which is the way I’d like to keep it, despite my desire for her, and her company, and to be closer to her.
I have no intention of becoming an emotional Icarus.

3: I have graduated the “regular dating” or “boyfriend and girlfriend” thing class, (blech!) and to be quite honest I find it to be a rotted, broken down, unserviceable, out-of-date, obsolete vehicle for the expression of love between two people. as is traditional marriage, engagement, and the light armored emotional combat gender war (whatever gender you are) that many people call “dating”
There is no way I am going to try to fit something as big as this inside something known to be small enough to smother one person alone, much less two people in love with a giant idea and universe between them which I think we might be.
I remember making that mistake nearly 10 years ago with a friend at her request, (I always listen to my instinct now) and basically, I lost nearly a decade of myself, not to mention her, my inner peace, my friends, my contentment, and spent years curled in an emotional ball, that I just came out of last year, to discover that a decade had disappeared. I have no intention of ever doing that again.
I like who I am now, and there is something else.
I am Latino. I know some of my cultural limitations here.

When Latinos love, we go big. like super bowl big. Like Novela De Amor big. like UFC big. It’s always for the championship.
And when we hurt, you can practically hear the sad guitars, violins, the pain passion, and glory of my bloodthirsty pirate ancestors, and the sadness of their Galley slaves, (literal) as we do what we always do and somehow equate the experience of love with God itself, and then in a vengeful rapture, massacre the entire populace in a blood-soaked orgy of lustful possessive pain, and bondage. (referred to as “Saturdays” around here) It’s just so dammed full of dramatic emotion.
Or as a coldhearted German friend, (by her own admission), who I love dearly said.
“You Latins are very spicy. so worked up about everything. everything is important. it’s hot”

She is right where I am concerned.
So when the only woman i currently love that way, asked me if I would come to stay with her in SoCal for a couple of months just to see what happened, which is something I have wanted to do for months, I cried, held her close, kissed her, and told her “No” and explained why.
She understood.

It’s about emotional math and the proper use of the word “no”

Today, from my scars, my burns, the broken fascia and mending bones, I learned discipline in myself, and simply don’t do every last thing I want to do simply because I want to do it. That is the discipline. That is me today.

That, is the emotional Karate of the school of shadows.

The Solo act: Drinking from a cup of stars.

Starsinthesky

 

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

 

The high price of truth: Unforgivable offenses of original thinking, 1999

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.

How to act right. The battle of the appropriate interaction with a platonic female in your life.

pla·ton·ic

adjective \plə-ˈtä-nik, plā-\

: of, relating to, or having a close relationship in which there is no romance or sex

(Merriam-Webster dictionary)

Pardon my old school gender binary-centric language here, but I am not authorized to speak from any other position than my own.

Sometimes, women, especially younger girls in this culture, will flirt with you as a way of showing friendship, or that they like you in general, but have been so conditioned by this culture to rely on their looks and their bodies as a commodity, that it is sometimes a default behavior for many different kinds of interest, and many men often think that we are being engaged sexually, when it is in fact, as my god sister put it, “one of the only powers that girls are encouraged to have in this society” and sadly, a way that many girls will try to secure the friendship and respect that they crave with older men or women.

This is sometimes not a good deal for them, or for the older adults, whose guidance, and support younger adults need, as it makes things murky and, lessens the chance of pure communication. (I don’t mean biblically “Pure”. I mean higher communication in general)
Not to say that I think all relationships with younger adults should be platonic.

The pressure on young women and women in general to constantly be “hot” for all to see, 24/7, as though it was their only value is a highly destructive cultural meme, and one that we as men should be aware of, and not play into. The Whole man, (a title I am working on in myself) , in my opinion, upon seeing this, and realizing that an exchange of sexual or romantic energy is not appropriate for whatever reason, is recommended to not respond in kind, and be polite, warm, still, and kind.
It has been my experience, that after a while, a  female in question will often become more relaxed in your friendship, and when that happens, the more authentic exchange of friendship, and actual spiritual dialog occurs. without the societally enforced flirting to keep your attention.
This is knowing appropriate boundaries for yourself as well.

That can be very difficult if you are as female crazy as I am, (I positively adore all things female, Flora, Fauna, and Fille) but highly rewarding, because you are actually being a friend to a human in struggle with her power in this society, and with her outward affectations, and you will be recognizing her power outside of the value that men or glamour put on her, and you can put her at ease, and be a real friend, and discover things from her perspective that are nearly invisible to other men.

It has been my experience that the sisterhood opens its doors for respectful men, and that has saved my life over and over again, Young men often have another version of this that involves swaggering, and boasting, and acting threatening, and badass, and I do much the same thing with them.
A lot of young people in general, actively seek mentorship, and advice,  the stable friendship of an established older person, and they often lead with the traits that society tells them are important in themselves, (sex, money, looks, bravado, clothing, etc)  and it is here that one can show real spirituality by keeping it very clean and clear and being helpful, by staying on point emotionally.

Sloppy exchanges are the responsibility of the person with more knowledge, and more experience, and there just as there is emotional incest among some families, there is also friendship incest among inter-generational friendships, that really should be kept spiritually platonic.
Again, This is not to say, that all relationships with younger adults should be by default, platonic, but that knowing when it is and is not, is a matter of great importance and subtlety.

I had a friend, a  much younger lady I met in acting class several years ago when she was all of 21. We became fast friends, and for me it felt like family, and I hadn’t really felt like I had a regular  interaction with a sister figure in a long time, and we saw one another through a couple of years of craziness for us both and became really close.
She is beautiful, idealistic, and possesses a lot of the qualities I admire in a woman.
Also like a little sister, she kind of grew up. We stopped seeing one another. And she simply didn’t respond to my calls and emails. Our paths diverged.  At first I felt a little betrayed because I had always been there for her when she needed me, and when some of the worst times of my life hit, she just kind of vanished.  Later, seeing her on the street, I realized that it wasn’t personal,  it was just that like a sibling, or a daughter, she just didn’t need me any more. Strangely, this brought me a great deal of peace, and in letting go of my friend, I was accepting change.
I include this example, to illustrate, that just because you keep something platonic with another person, does not mean it won’t pull on your heart-strings, and put you through emotional changes. Platonic love can break your heart a little, too.

This was a strong lesson for me about my relationships with women in general, in that attachments platonic or romantic, especially when you are dealing with young people, are attachments with people in a state of change.  We still love each other like family, but have both accepted I think, that we are headed in different directions.

Having said all this, this is often difficult for me, as I am a terrible flirt, and that is why I have had to reason this out for myself for years now, because I love flirting, and engaging with women when it is appropriate, and knowing when it is, and when it is not appropriate, separates the men from the boys in my opinion.
Females have the power to make my blood rush, and it is there that I have to take a breath and say to my self, “OK, what’s really going on here” Sometimes it’s just my blood rushing, other times it is far more complicated and I have to navigate emotions, PTSD, my fantasies, a burning desire, conflicts, and the massive distractive power of a beautiful female. I have after all this time, begun to develop a stillness that is beautiful and I can find what I am really feeling, and why, and act appropriately around 90% of the time, (which means doing absolutely nothing) and I am still working on this.
I know for a certified fact that I am not alone and that this is a major issue for all heterosexual men I know, or men of any orientation for that matter when dealing with younger adults, however, I only know my own experience, so I only speak from it.

 

To sum it all up, what I mean to say is that, sometimes seeing the special value in a person that they do not even see in themselves, is an art, and a gift, and a good thing for both you and them in the long run. Raise your aim, and your spirit, and theirs too. This is being appropriate. We have all been distracted, but this is looking out for the women in your community in a responsible way. Step up and be there for the women in your life without playing into clichés.

©Piero Amadeo Infante, 2014

Why your perception is not to be trusted

At least not all of the time.
How you can get clear information, clearly presented, and verified scientifically, understand the concept, & yet still have no power whatsoever over your perception.
It’s called “top-down knowledge”. The brain dictates how information is processed, regardless of your understanding of the subject.
This occurs in Love, Politics, religion, & everywhere else.
Think about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbKw0_v2clo

 

©Piero Amadeo Infante, 2014

Letting go: Oh no you didn’t. Oh yes I did.

Has something like this happened to you? Sleepwalking into a bad relationship, and then suddenly waking up, going “WTF?”
Happens to the best of us.

Several months ago, for about 6 weeks,  I had a brief relationship,  that despite my vows of bachelorhood, looked promising in a more LTR kind of way.
I am not really an LTR kind of guy anymore, (I got the memo. Did you get the memo?) but I don’t push nice things away when they feel right and this did.
A little closer to my age and with a sordid family background, and ultra smart, we had a lot in common.  We started spending a lot of time together, when things started getting weird.

She had what you might call a “default negativity”, in that she constantly misread my actions, and that there was some bad motive hiding behind things that people, (like me) did or said.  (PTSD) I didn’t  really overreact at this at first, and thought we might even “work things out” when I noticed another disturbing fact.
She just didn’t listen or seem to care about what I chose and wanted for my life. If I told her I had a horrible day and needed some quiet time, she’d pick a fight. When I told her I was not ready to meet her daughter once, and that I was in one of the worst moods ever, she promptly came over with her daughter, and completely ignored the fact that we were not communicating well. When it started dawning in me that we were not a good match, and I told her so as respectfully as I could, she called that “bullshit”  Once when we were having a communication problem, she accused me of ogling some girl on my cell phone, and flipped  a serious conservation about our inability to communicate,  into a guilt and shame festival, with her as the victim. I am intimately familiar with this strategy, and right away, made up my mind to make changes.

She seemed committed to projecting onto me whatever she wanted see, good or bad, and who I actually was and am did not figure into the picture, and by this time, I had already  opened my home to this woman, introduced her to friends, let her in my house, gave her money,  and basically invited her into my life.
Mistake.

Now I have “been through it” once or twice in the past few years, and I know when it is time to depart. I learned harsh lessons from not leaving on good terms when I could in other relationships, and paid a huge price.  So this time, I told her I had to go and wished her the best, and meant it, and that we might communicate another time under better circumstances.

So, she just as promptly made my closest female family member her “best friend”, sent me dozens of texts, and emails, despite the fact that I specifically asked her to leave me alone,  continued to send me communications. Then she stalked my dating profile on a popular dating site, and passed on private  private information about it, to my elder female family member in an attempt to shame me.
My elder female family member becoming her “best friend” has changed things in my family dynamic, because you simply don’t do that where I come from,  and I now don’t feel like sharing anything with her about what I am doing, or where I am going, or who I am seeing, for fear of it getting reported back to my, “ex friend”, or whatever you want to call her, and just on general principle, that I don’t feel safe anymore with this family member anymore.

I wanted to keep my ex friend in a good way in my thoughts, but her subsequent actions obviously did not include plans for any kind of respectful disengagement, and she promptly turned my family into a host, and began calling my family member Her mother. Really psycho type shit. In her final messages to me, most of which I didn’t read, there was more of her telling me what I wanted, and calling my words and thoughts “bullshit” and other things a totally misguided person might say.

But unlike times when things like happened before in my life,  I was surprised by my healthy reaction to it.
I just left, and have no intention of ever going back.  I am already gone. I saw what was coming and departed, and truthfully, fell out of love, faster than I have ever experienced it before. It was amazing, and freeing, and now seeing how she has manipulated my family member, I feel utterly grateful that I dodged this freight train of toxicity. There were times in my life when I stayed in these prison relationships for years.

There is a freedom that comes with knowing yourself, and what you are worth. When you really come to know it, and your own self value, you learn to say “no” a lot more often, and keep your life a clean and safe place for you first and foremost.

All in all, it was just an experience that lasted a few weeks, and with no ill side effects for me directly, because I learned how o say “No. I deserve better”
Evidently I can even go to some of the dangerous places I did before, and navigate my way back to sanity, all using the word “no”.

Try it sometime. you might be amazed at the results.

 

©Piero Amadeo Infante

Growing up and moving out. Disconnecting from Facebook.

Internet-Disconnect

So far, my disconnecting from Facebook has gone well.
I will admit, though some serious mental and emotional withdrawal,  from deciding to only post links to my blog.
For someone hypersocial like me,  It is kind of like leaving the party early. I have used Facebook for the better part of 6 years, really utilizing it heavily for the past three. It replaced Craigslist as the place to find stuff, replaced OK Cupid as a dating site,  and sometimes even replaced Wikipedia, since I know experts a a lot of fields and was able to directly ask them question.

I just can’t deal with the shifty, sneaky, dishonest Zuckerberg machine, that experiments on us with the help of large think tanks and prestigious colleges, constantly changes policies on us to trick us into less and less control over our personal data,  and it disturbs me a little that most of my friends seem fine with it.
I often hear the rational that “Hey, why complain? it’s free
Actually, it’s not.
Your personal information is traded and sold like a stock on the NY stock exchange regularly between companies, and the industry is a multi-billion dollar business, wherein everyone makes a profit except you.
Things they know about you, go beyond your personal information and into the lives of your friends and family, how you interact, what you recommend to one another, your IM’s, texts, locations and their proximity to local businesses, and trends in your group of friends you don’t even know about yet.
The bottom line drives everything towards the dollar,  and these new sales models, require a deep knowledge of your buying habits, food preferences, sexual orientation, and a lot more.  For those of us who live in the public spotlight, this is nothing new,  it’s just that you think a com[any making that much money, and with that much power, might display a little discretion and at least let you message your friends freely, without charging you to reach your own friends.
Sadly, that is not the case.  It is for this reason, that for me, Facebook is past it’s expiration date  and rotten, much the way MySpace was when I left that social network.

For people who grew up on social media, and those of us born a little later, who were avid users of Friendster,  MySpace, tribe.net and then Facebook, there was always a little discomfort switching platforms and learning to use a new social networking site. This will be no different, and you could say, at this point, that and aversion to using Facebook, (which has become as loaded with garbage as MySpace ever was) is simply a sign that you have grown up a little.
When you’ve grown up, there’s only one thing left to do, and that, is move out, and seek greener pastures.

©Piero Amadeo Infante, 2014

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