So let’s review. With “Grant Me the Serenity”, I was shown some fundamentals for establishing a relationship with my emotions. To some extent, the earliest stages of a foundational comprehension of emotional intelligence were seeded. I was shown a process, that if I were to see it through, I could make some real progress with and maybe be a bit less scared and sorry all the time.

I started this one as I just left my career in the culinary industry to move to another state and be an artist amongst a caravansary of people I was being inspired by. The beginning of my diving into a current of expression, creativity, and community. Driven to give more of this process that had given me so much already, this one taught me an honesty I wasn’t ready for and introduced me to the concept of emotional accountability. I began to dissect each reason I believed the world was “happening to me” and assess whether it actually was the world, those around me, my environment, my choices, or myself that had created these complications, contentions, and detriments.

I had to be more present and absolute in my recollections than I maybe ever have before then. I had to digest bites of experience that I had tried to hide deep and far away. I had to accept guilt that I had blamed for a long, long time. I had to forgive blame that I had accepted for even longer. I had to accept that most of my world view was through a stained glass window of jewel tinted memories leaded with these caustic coping mechanisms. I got to see that to be in the authentic and nurturing light of what I wanted, I had to grow out of my need for this glass and the deep, romanticized relationship I had established with how it ended up there.

From this point, I could begin having a more conscious role in what influence these cracks and bumps get to have moving forward. Instead of having unbalanced expectations and miscommunicated resentments happen to me, I could acknowledge that I wasn’t participating along the way. Guilt and shame that I had worn as a condemned building symbol could be used to connect with and lessen that same hurt in others. I began to find that developing these conversations within myself helped me to more clearly communicate with others. Helped me grow into a healthy rapport with someone more than to experience them like an opiate until I inevitably O.D. Most importantly, it helped me blame them less for them not softening my edges more effectively for longer.

I accepted that not all of my wounds are because of me. I accepted that many of my great conflicts were. I accepted that it’s not the world’s fault that I’m exactly where I’m at. I accepted that it’s not the world’s responsibility to move me forward from here.
A Ceremoniously Contrite Balter:
To Accept the Things I Cannot Change
I find that fall is my new years.
Every year, 
as far as I can recall,
as the crisp, new season has it’s way with the treetops and temperatures,
so it does,
as well,
with my life.
The final notes of a performed, procedural marriage one year.
The next in the same apartment as a born again bachelor,
leaving a pageant of unrequited affections hauntingly crooning their derelict dirge,
as I fell the final foundation pillars of my castle,
haphazardly made of cards and on sand;
for like a dear friend, mentor, and brother had said to me,
“the only truly solid foundation to build up from is rock bottom.”
I felt that I had hit it before,
but apparently I bounced to close to the sun again.
Then a year in the kingdom by the creek,
where I learned the act of connecting and the art of love.
How to accept it,
internalize and draw from it,
not just feel it for another.
I grew into and with a family for the first time.
I grew into connections that were so overflowing with inspiration and goodness
that I found myself cutting out and casting away any that were not as such,
and that was a tall order.
Without them I wouldn’t even understand the bewitching hum of the hive I stumbled upon.
Without what I learned from them,
that gratitude is an action word,
I would’ve disregarded or squandered away any of the opportunities I’ve been so harmoniously blessed with since.
So now It’s fall.
At the end of my first month living amongst said hive,
this caravansary of progression,
and the beginning of my new year again.
There are things I could play grown up at and complain about.
Things I could certainly whimper over,
but I can honestly say I am grateful for the tide that has me drowning in such brain waves.
This current has taught me that I am a passion junkie,
and my addiction can be insatiably fickle yet jaundiced.
That my artistic process is audaciously voracious and jealous,
almost covetous of any energy not cycling toward it...
and that the scratch of a pencil on paper,
the way the sound of a brush on canvas travels up my spine
and through my me
is a dragon I will gladly chase to the ends of the universe.
For whilst actualizing these compositions,
these connections to the ether,
I am granted a release,
a satisfaction,
a peace
no plunger or pulse can contest,
leaving another good, good soul feeling like an afterthought,
steeped in a palpable magoa,
and myself covered in paint,
melodramatically singing “Boa Sorte'
in an attempted key of penance,
yet again.

1. Boa Sorte
“Nao tem mias jeito, acabou, boa sorte.”
“That's it, there's no other way, it's over, good luck.”
This deity character, haloed by the kaishakunin's seal, with no identity other than ingredients for the stew of the ether and his perception of it bubbling in the cauldron below, sings this observation with understanding the implications of and being considerate to how it could, and likely would be taken as an impact or infraction. I feel it's shown with the context of the rest of the song.
"Everything you want to give me, is too much, is heavy."
As seen on the banners wrapped around the weights, my connection with this song being the beginning of an understanding of what it could mean for my art and my process, had to go into this piece. This song speaks to my learning, processing, accepting that the moment I understand that someone has deep and genuine romantic feelings for me, that I'll probably leave them, burdened by the ability to inflict pain and suffering upon them by being ignorant their needs or simply ignoring them. When I can honestly review my history, I see that this has been a pattern for some time now, and It's one that I've noticed since the first composition in this series (Serenity Prayer) being completed in spring. I've seen my body of work lash out at me when I try and give my partner what they deserve, and I've seen the 'good soul smashing against concrete' eyes of a loved one when they recognize the energy they feel for me is absent, almost off in a hotel with my art.
But, as I've stated, the unapologetic nature of the song, my connections with it, and this composition come from this being more of an observation of a process rather than an acknowledgment of a problem. However, this is still an issue I have to understand before I could ever hope to direct it. What I have control of is the communication of the process, what it seems I cannot is the presence of it. When a relationship requires this part of my me, and it feeds from my work it becomes “too heavy”, so goodbye and “boa sorte”. The more I try and articulate or control a contrary case of this story, the more energy that's expelled to fuel conflict and camaraderie of the ravens, Huginn and Muninn.

2. Across the Universe, by Fionna Apple
“Nothing's gonna change my world.”
I use these lyrics on the paint and brush bottles that are on the weights. They're keeping the weights down, and keeping the gate closed. “To accept the things I cannot change” is for me to admit that I need this relationship. I need to get lost in these brushstrokes to try and have any kind of positive connection with myself. What won't change, at least for now, is needing to find myself in these compositions and finding my center with them. What won't change, it seems for now, is that when I'm not working on them, I can very easily fall into my more familiar and destructive habits to try and satisfy such an appetite.

3. Iron, by Woodkid
“I want to feel the pain and the bitter taste/Of the blood on my lips again.”
Logically, I want it. Emotionally, I yearn for it. But, either way, I can identify with craving the conflicts and contours of courtship. I can sate the need for the taste of salt from the hunt with social and spiritual connections, to an extent; but just as the rhythm of this song marches you into a conflict, so does this rapport into a battle of my own, having me nip at the ankles of my spirituality with a big, aleatory smile.

4. The Birds (Part 1), by The Weeknd
“Don't make me make you fall in love.”
At a young age, I learned about rage, hate, and helplessness. I learned of this hot tar that one can course through their veins over 20 years before I learned of the fire that one can fill their heart with to warm themselves and others. The only examples of powerful and honest emotions I had been exposed to before 2 years ago were malicious and hungry, and I've found myself craving the familiarity of this spectrum.
I would watch people attach themselves to me so fully and the part of me that doesn’t want to consume the prayers of this prey want's to tell them “no”, wants to tell them that it's all just like a bird who takes their meal high into the sky before dropping it to eat. I've known that at the core of my intention wasn't simply to be emotionally sadistic yet would find myself standing before another field mouse, warning them about my appetite, and picking at another meal shortly after. But what I feel I was picking for wasn't their anguish, simply their authenticity, and that was the only way I knew to receive it.
What I can't change is the yearning, the desire for strong emotions, but what I can is how I evoke them. What I can't change is how extreme my own spectrum feels in, and how much of myself and my partner they get to learn about so fully, but what I can change is feeling guilty about it if my intentions are pure. I'll always be a bird of prey, and it will always take me consuming a lot of energy to work, to connect with my work, but I can also choose to fly with someone versus picking them up from a field, and be symbiotic with my aerial affection.

5. On the Next One, by Jay-Z
“I move onward, the only direction./Can't be scared to fail in the search of perfection.”
Being fearful of loneliness—of a life lacking in the romantic waves of waltzing and wine—I'm understanding, has been an instigator for the aforementioned chihuahua-like behaviors. It can hinder my process when I think too much of the great teachers this world has had, and how lonely they could still feel. So many other artists, professionals, leaders, gurus all finding difficulty with connecting to someone like their work; or more to the point, wanting to. This song speaks to me finding the courage to accept that, for me, the furnace to heat my me with art, and my me with somebody, come from the same woodpile, but opposite sides of the house. For me to heat either one effectively, I must feed what I have to it. Understanding that, as the scope of what I wish to have my artistic connection influence and be influenced by grows wider, it will only take more and more wood for that fire to glow.

6. Sober, by Tool
“I want what I want.”
My favorite warning; a disclaimer put into a song. The most difficult thing to do was to find just one part of it to use in the composition. Using the loop of wanting on the gate is to say that this won't relent, that this Rashomon will continue to house a great oni with a great appetite. I'm addicted to being addicted; itching for this energy, this life force, by the gallon. Just as with many of the other songs and imagery used, this is another that admits and accepts my role in these previous predatory play dates. Using this song is to also admit that I understand the wickedness of these methods, finally; to accept that I am where any guilt comes from; that I am the only one to blame. It's easy for me to fall into these patterns again: I'm familiar with and rather good at them, actually. With the same fluency and confidence that is used to express the subject matter of this song, I would use this song as a token of accountability, as an “I told you so”.

7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, by Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan
“Guide us with perfect light/Tidings of comfort and joy”
The kokoro are singing this to the deity-character, asking for his guidance and direction. Being an entity of the seventh chakra, this shepherd carries a lantern to try and light a path that is at the very least authentic, if not beneficial to others as well. When I allow myself to be drowned in this light I find each step more clearly laid before me and each step more easily taken. The same energy that compels me to draw blood, when directed constructively, is also the energy that allows me to help others find their path as I'm doing with mine. They are pouring “comfort” and “joy” into the vat of tidings, filled with the energy of Sahasrara, to try and provide another source of sustenance, to keep the dead issues they represent buried.

8. 3 Libras, by A Perfect Circle
“Apparently nothing at all”
Rarely do I know that what I've dove into is a pool and not an ocean. That is to say that it's manufactured, but I don't go into these hunts looking for such. In the wake of another brain wave effected by this process, another that I was sure was something, I find myself humming this song; no longer with disappointment in my tone, but with more of the “oh well” used in the song, more as simply an observation that I was incorrect, again.

9. Please Me like You Want To, by Jack Johnson & Ben Harper
“Was I just your habit?”
There have been times when I'm watching these encounters from almost a 3rd person perspective. I know these tendencies are part of myself, but I'll watch them run rampant with little to no concern with how I'd like a situation to pan out. It's almost as if I'd wake up to someone being with me, used to me, because it would take being that detached for me to remain connected with my work. I would maintain a connection with the person out of habit, because I've adjusted to their frequency, learned to tolerate them as a distraction, insulting their efforts and presence. I used it in this composition as the card used for animating the golem for accountability purposes. I can't change these habits in terms of doing art or not and needing these vast pools of energy to do as such, but being aware of my tendencies to procedurally proceed with a partner allows me to at least begin to take control of my relationship with how to be present both with myself and said partner.

10. Take a Bow, by Madonna
“How was I to know you'd break?/You'd break, you'd break, you'd break/You'd break my heart”
I'd found myself getting yelled at again. I understood why, yes, but they couldn’t understand that I thought it would all pan out differently. Mostly, it's assumed that I knew that eventually I'd just eat this mouse after being done playing with it, and spit out the bones as if I never desired for it to be genuine; as if it never was. In most cases, I can't honestly say they were wrong.

11. Tourist, by Yuna
“Hanging onto nothing, I wouldn't change a thing./Hanging onto nothing, I'd do it all again./Oh, my dear, you fear too much.”
These lyrics are wrapped around the weights that keep the gate closed to express how usually it's me that insists it isn't working, or it's hollow, or that it's not enough. I feel as if I've had others express these feelings to me enough times that they have become their own encumbrance. It's that it's okay that makes it not okay, usually. That so much can be given, with so little given back just makes it more difficult to proceed without guilt. As I learn to be present, as I learn more and more of what it is to be involved in a relationship, I see more of how I never had been, truly; yet I'll always fear that, if I'm deeply involved in my process, that I'll leave them with nothing to hang onto, usually causing the distressed distance anyway.


Vesica Piscis (“Universal Womb”)
Earlier in the summer, a character wearing a circle as his face began showing up. I had only used the yoni in these compositions in fire, balancing Sun Wukong's Ruyi Jingu Bang. It appears that begotten of that drive and balance is this character wearing the birth-way of this internal revolution/evolution as its identity.

Avinu (“Our Father”)
One of the shem used to activate the golem. To be a golem is still a good and bad thing, and still a card held in place by others, mostly. Out of the 6 names of God I chose “our father” given the nature of my imagination and it's connection to the art gods in this piece. I understand that I'm am still not this energy's peer, by any means, or even it's student: I am its child to be disciplined and praised. To be animated earth can be to behave as a blackguard; to proceed without class or tact, with the sense of a stone. It is to consume, mate, and assert territory. When I allow my “me” to behave as a peer or graduate of this energy, I find such behaviors simple to execute and gratifying, although rarely satisfying, and often times costing a great deal of imagination and light. To be animated earth can also be to operate outside of complications and connotations. To experience without expectations. To indulge with intent yet without implications. To behave naturally, organically, honestly. I feel that for some time I'll be a golem, and for some time I'll be that with the help of others. Mostly, I feel for some time I won't have any idea what side of that card is facing out either.

Met (מת, “Death”)
To deactivate a golem, one would wipe “e” from “emet (truth)” to make the word “met”. The kokoro wear it on their heads as punctuation, as a diploma.

The word means “the most real and honest aspect of one's heart”, and I can say that's their role in my work. These floating heads and torsos are parts of myself that have already experienced the kaishakunin's act. They are the dead issues that collectively make up what one is and isn't. Just as always, as these gonzo cherubs pour “comfort” and “joy” into the vat of “tidings”, they call for guidance and know that in light all will be well.

Kaishakunin's Act
When one was to commit seppuku, they could appoint a second to behead them at the moment of agony. That person would be their kaishakunin. The winged deity character is acting as the kaishakunin for the bottom student character, who is executing the act with the 2-person saw. In this instance, the character accepting defeat is the facet of myself that has been unaccountable, or more so unwilling to accept my responsibility for these defects. By being unable to accept them, I've been unable to grow from and be through with them.

Kaishakunin's Seal
“There's nothing left but to admit that…” as a circle. In this composition it's used to express that if I wish to grow from this point I must be finished with the conflict depicted. The only thing left to do is proceed. Figuring out who won what and when will do me no good, but focusing on how I wish to live outside of these detriments is how I'm to flourish.

It came from the sky and morphed into whatever nourishment you needed, but would turn into maggots if you took more than necessary. In learning this light, in seeing this trail, I need to learn to pull energy as did others with manna. To hunt for it and consume it from people taints its energy and I find it less nourishing. When I myself am exuding conscious energy and inspiration, I find I can draw it out of people and feast off of it.

Golden Cupcake
This is my manifestation of manna, of sustenance from the heavens. The Greek believed a golden apple was the crux of all arguments. When the ingredients of each individual mixes and bakes from the heat of connection, these energies can become the crux of all healthy connections.

The character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to their downfall. It's used on the gate to express how I understand my bug-zapper attraction to attraction. I understand that I'm the constant in these experiments; that I'm the only part of these interactions that's the same each time. The term “'hopeless romantic” comes to mind with this composition as I continue on with it. To want nothing else than to give of myself, but also knowing that to do so results in me oftentimes losing the self in which I've been giving, seems to be my biggest strife and worthiest of opponents.

Huginn & Muninn
Represented by the two female spirits with the lower disciple/deity character. My relationship with thought and memory, nostalgia vs. logic, continues to be my hamartia, my downfall, and the closest to a yin and yang I've attained thus far. Muninn is bitter she can't cut the thread of life used in the kaishakunin's act. Huginn is keeping the card to animate the golem in place.

“To accept the things I cannot change”
I’ve learned that to accept something is different from defeat. To take a blade to the belly of a facet of oneself is not given up or being taken by, but quite the contrary. It is to make peace with knowing that it’s no longer fruitful to continue fighting; that one’s quality of life will greatly diminish as the conflict continues. It takes honor, conviction, and self-respect to accept. It takes honesty and knowledge of self, it takes humility to see that your opponent has won. Just as it takes literacy to comprehend punctuation, one must see when a sentence is finished. To persist, be it from pride to rage, is to balter abound like a blackguard, allowing said conflict to control the rest of ones contrite consciousness. All that would be left is suffering. There’s no reward to be won for that; for falling into the abyss, for giving oneself to the fears of their ego.
To accept the things I cannot change is to not become some monster, feeding off of these placebo validations that “I may still have a chance” or more so “I still have control”. I will never discredit the value of cracked ribs and broken thises and thats, no. Please, wear them as great medals of valor and zeal. But I don’t wish to wander through space, grasping for another light, so sure this next wayward star will be different.
About this time last year I learned what it was to unknowingly be made to play the role of “the other person”. I then understood an empathy from this, in knowing what that look was I’ve seen in the eyes of so many I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to care about. They stand, processing the blow of knowing that they are “someone else”, when all they’ve yearned for is to have the place in my heart that I do in theirs. The eye’s of accepting that won’t happen.
That place in my heart is filled with charcoal dust and jars of paint, only existing at the tip of a brush. I’ve seen how my body of work reacts to being made the mistress, and I cannot be that me anymore. I can’t see me right if not through these works. I still haven’t figured out if that’s vanity yet, or if I would care if it were; but I cant love someone either, not if that’s where it comes from as I’ve seen. I can’t say that I do and have them play that role. I can’t tell someone that they have my heart as I learn that never has it pounded more lovingly than when diving into this process.

I obviously have not yet learned a balance… but the conflict has become if I even care to.
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