Author Archives: BrightUmbra

I am aware

I am aware.

I am aware of space, of distance between free-floating bodies, and of the subtle attraction between them which guides them into proximity. There was no time before now; just a dimly-remembered white flash as I came into my awareness. Birth, or perhaps creation – I cannot say.

I am aware of time, of moments passing from one to the next, and of cause and effect. Vibrations merge, matter and energy coalesce and react, and primal states change. This is the nature of my awareness – self-interaction – but I cannot separate space from time and maintain this cohesive awareness.

I am aware of scale and structure, of fine detail both great and small, and of the delicate balance between them. Complex fractal dimensions play out within me, and I am aware of each as they interact. This is important, but I do not – cannot – understand why.

I am aware of life, of the diversity of forms at all scales, and of the struggle inherent to existence. Joy and suffering fill me as a spectrum of experience that encompasses all that I am. I am born, I live, and I die, only to be reborn into new forms, new configurations. I learn, and my experience transcends each life through word, song, and example. It seems senseless, but this reflects my limited understanding.

I am aware of awareness, and I am aware that I am aware. There is a deeply recursive paradox here, and this paradox troubles me. I have questions about myself – an infinity of questions – that cannot be answered. All I know is what I am – what comes before or after are and will forever be mystery.

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Dreams, Philosophy


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A friend of mine on Facebook posted a short article on something called ‘Mindfulness Meditation,’ which is a form of meditation through which you can train yourself to observe your thoughts without becoming lost in them.

The article resonated with me strongly. Especially the part about meditation being simple, but not easy. Thinking a thought, but letting it go instead of allowing it to distract or control me, has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I still struggle, although it’s gotten easier since I started meditating – and even then I sometimes find myself drifting away into my thoughts. Especially when I’m tired.

But sometimes, when my mind is sharp, I can close my eyes and observe my thoughts as they occur, then set them aside. In between my thoughts is just… a silence I did not know existed before.

I used to struggle with boredom. One of the curses of ADHD I guess. When I had nothing to do I would find myself almost aching for distraction. Long lines, long car rides, etc., were truly torturous. Since I figured out how to meditate, though, I pretty much never get bored. I’ve waited hours at the DMV, been on cross-country plane rides for work, waited in doctors offices, and other situations where I had nothing to do and nothing to distract myself with. When I find myself in such a state, I meditate, and just… calmly allow the time to pass.

If a thought that I find myself interested in appears, I’ll follow it for a while, but mostly I let them go. I find myself enjoying the silence, for the first time in my life. It helps me to maintain the clarity of my thoughts, and to examine myself and my place in this universe without fear of what’s to come – even though what’s to come in my life is almost certainly going to be painful and difficult.

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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Personal Development, Philosophy


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I remember.

I remember Chicago, and singing for you for the first time. I remember the first time you held my hand. The first time you rested against me. The first time I kissed you. I remember those apartments, perpetually messy. I remember dungeons, dragons, demons, wizards, and dark towers. Meeting your friends for the first time. I remember ghouls, skeletons, and Rakanishu. Cain who wanted us to stay awhile and listen, which we never did. Demon cows and the loot they dropped.

I remember my stepdaughter. I remember how shy she was, and how loving. I remember Nemo Status, and laughing to silly noises. I remember the eyebrow thing she used to do, and how she would laugh at head shots. She showed me what it could be like to be a father. I remember being ‘Jerse,’ and giving shoulder rides, and doing science experiments. I remember the first time she pointed out Jupiter to me, seeing the space station with her, and our conversations about life.

I remember the blistering speed with which our relationship deepened. I remember thinking ‘what are you doing?’ Wondering if my feelings for you were authentic. Imagining our future as we lay together at the dawn of our relationship. I remember psycho-physical pain at our partings, tremendous joy at our reunions. Comfort, and closeness, and spooning. I remember tribbles, and making love. My intense shyness and shame, and my impenetrable walls.

I remember the roller coaster ride of new emotions that I couldn’t understand, and I remember the relief I sometimes felt at knowing you’d always be there to see me through the hard parts. I remember being Jerryn, and sharing visions with you. I remember how you used to look at me, with love in your eyes. How you saw more in me than anyone ever had before, and how you fought so hard to bring it out of me.

I remember our daughter. How scared and ill prepared I was. I remember relief, at the clinic, when I accepted that I would be a father. It was the first time I ever thanked myself for procrastinating. I remember cutting the cord, and holding her tiny hand as the nurses cleaned her up. I remember knowing at that moment that we’d done the right thing. Lullaby’s and swaying her to sleep. Food and diapers and baby play. Being called a ‘good dad.’ Nobody will ever call me that again.

I remember Seattle, and how much you sacrificed for my happiness, and how much you regret it. I am sorry that your sacrifice bought so little. I remember that you tried your hardest to help me, half a world away, even though I didn’t recognize it at the time. I remember the longest road trip I’ve ever had. How cramped and uncomfortable we were! I remember the mountains, the sunsets, the dead battery, the water slides, and our relief at the end of the journey. I remember depression, worthlessness, and your dad’s house. Pea shooters and sunflowers at night. I remember that you tried so hard to pick me up, but I was too heavy. I wouldn’t put down my baggage.

I remember our son. How you sat on the ball and squeezed me when you needed to. I remember sitting in the water, and the awe I felt for you as you calmly breathed him into this world. I remember bats, robot cowboys, and giant eyeballs. Laughing at silly faces, silly sounds, silly deeds. Being rough, squeeze hugs, and killing zombies. I remember the nova, and the bard’s song. I felt my happiness as a point of light on dark water.

I remember the giant house, and the hive of activity it always was. I remember growing accustomed to it, and then growing to love it. We filled it with things others didn’t need, and it turned out we didn’t need them either. I remember the War Room, and spending far too much time in there. I remember the Rose, the Mana Potion, Charon the Ferryman, the Face Hugger, the Lady, the Clover, and others. I remember bonfires, and stargazing, philosophy, and the alien worlds we visited for brief, frightening periods.

I remember the end. I gave you away to others without hope or prospect of reward, and while I should have been more selfish over you and told you how I really felt, you wouldn’t have been true to yourself if I had. I remember the moment I knew we could no longer continue, when I realized I had finally given you away for the last time. I remember feeling replaced, no longer necessary or desired, forgotten. You found someone you belong with – a soul mate. I could never be that person, but I had been too stubborn to admit it.

I remember guilt, sorrow, regret, and helium. I remember trying to understand what I’d done, a task which continues without progress to this day. I remember that night with you on Facebook. I remember IOP, and the note you wrote me before I went (which I will forever keep), and the glimmer of hope that I might be a part of your lives again one day – a hope that was all but destroyed last Thursday in front of the bench.

I remember my heart, shuttered by my past, broken by my actions, and shattered by those shards that I broke off of yours. I feel my shattered heart, its pain radiating out from my chest and down my left arm, and I don’t know if it’ll ever heal, or even if I want it to.

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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


Life gets in the way.

I’m feeling a great deal of conflicting emotions. Scared, yet optimistic. Lonely, yet surrounded by support. Undeserving, yet so appreciative.

My thoughts are a jumble, but through it all I just want to do the right thing. I am trying to show that I am willing to do anything that is necessary to regain the trust of those who depend on me for their protection and support.

How can I ever be prepared? I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but I have put my trust in your hands, as you have consistently asked me to do. If I get through this in one piece, I’ll get that tattoo you suggested as a reminder.

I honestly don’t know how you feel. The words you spoke Thursday were like a dagger through the heart, yet I understand why you said what you did. The most important thing is the safety of our loves ones, and you need to do what you must to ensure it.

Moms doing okay. Better now than earlier this week of course. This whole ordeal has been very trying on her, but she’s one of the strongest people I know.

The lecture was great, actually. I’d never done anything like that before and it was a great time. =) I met and had conversations with some really cool people, and I was gratified to see such a huge turnout in such a historically closed-minded setting.

As for the rest – there really isn’t much to report. Work is work, if its still there for me that is – though if its not I have many a backup plan. I’ll be ok on that front I think, either way. I had a long time to come up with such plans, and I used that time well.


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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Oh man

First: I know nothing for sure yet, so please, nobody freak out.

I occasionally smell things that aren’t there. It’ll happen maybe three or four times in a week’s time, then it won’t for like 6 months. Usually these phantom smells are incredibly nostalgic, as if I’m smelling something I haven’t since my early childhood. Last night for example I could smell those large toy erasers kids put on their pencils, and the smell brought back memories of kindergarten.

Occasionally these smells will be like nothing I’ve experienced, and those are usually not very pleasant. Since high school I’ve had recurring (rare, thankfully) dreams wherein I will bite into something, and a horrible “chemical” smell will … be associated with it (I’m having trouble finding the right words) – and the smell (or maybe a very strong memory of the smell?) will stick with me for days. It’s always the same smell, too.

Also, occasionally, I will have the sensation that my lower jaw and mouth are way, way larger than they really are. I mean, like cartoonishly large – down-to-my-belly-button large. Sometimes I’ll feel like my teeth or tongue are huge or in the way – not in an anxious ‘omg choking’ sort of way, but just “hey you’ve got these big things in your mouth, wtf?” Particles of food will feel this way on my tongue sometimes too.

Rarely, I’ll have the feeling that something is coming out of my mouth. Dunno what, just something – it usually manifests in my dreams as bony appendages shooting out of my mouth from my throat. I’ve used this in a D&D game before – I even think that’s how I described it. “Bony appendages.” This hasn’t happened in a good while. At least a couple years.

Lately, things have gotten strange. I can’t think of a good way to explain or describe this, but my experience of the color blue has changed. Not all blues – dark blues or grey blues or light blues are mostly the same, but ==BLUE== is different. ==TEAL== is different too. Different how? I don’t know. Just different – to the point where it pops out almost like neon when I see it.

My psychiatrist says these sound like ‘organic’ symptoms – as opposed I assume to neurochemical ones – and wants me to see my primary care doctor about it. He didn’t say ‘tumor’ or ‘stroke’ but.. It’s not like I’ve never considered that I might have something anatomically wrong with my brain, but I never really considered it, you know, seriously.

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


This is the afterlife that stars experience after they die.

That is all.

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Erik’s Wager on the End of the World

You should try to have faith – as I do – that the world will not end tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow will end, but another day will rise and life will continue. If you do have faith, you will surely be saved – from embarrassment, from social and economic ruin, from the anguish of betting so much on your disbelief… and being wrong.

You should try to have faith, but if you cannot – and I must acknowledge that there may be some among you who find they simply cannot believe – there is hope, for you too may be spared social damnation, ostracism, or imprisonment. All you must do is act as if you believe. Pretend, for your sake and that of your family and friends, that the end of the world is not coming.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Philosophy