Means, Plant Fish Tanks, and Concentric Circles

Time is a valued commodity, and much of it is spent either under the bed covers or under the spell of the workplace. Where is it that we find the realm where high excitement supersedes the humdrum? Very often, the process is interchangeable with humdrum, and this sacrifice never seems worth the paycheck or others’ nods of approval. Very often, we get fixated on an outside value, created out of others’ prizing. Attempting to attain this outside value, however, comes at the cost of often benumbing our creative being and smothering the notion that excitement is easily independent of familial-social constructs that shovel virus-like ideas of living standards into our mouths.


Return to your notions of living standards and temporarily banish them. Envision what brings about, as Bashar would say, one’s highest excitement. If there were any point to living, justified enough to mention, living one’s personal high excitement responsibly (to ensure plentiful years of acting upon high excitements) may just be reasonable enough to adopt. Because this sort of thinking may be in a state of suppression, I’d advise pondering over this while undergoing a nice hot bath in the dark with candles or even while taking some form of psychedelic. Self-reflection such as this is an open doorway to one’s inner voice of will, which the familial-social inadvertently mutes by keeping our mouths full of distraction.


The system we are often working with is a non-sustainable one. I am sure you have all heard of the fish bowls with plants in them. The fish are sustained by the plants and the plants by the fish. One’s byproduct is anothers’ sustainer. We don’t live like this. We live like fish whose byproduct (our sacrifice) does not sufficiently get used up (not worth the paycheck or others’ nods of approval), and we wind up swimming in our own waste which ends in indifference, despair, or regret. We can change this though. It just takes a reevaluation of concepts of living standards and even pride.

Make the means the end.

In a self-sustaining system, the process sustains us. It is my conviction that discovering one’s highest excitement will breed a form of one’s own self-sustaining system. To give you an idea of how a self-sustaining system works in the human world, I will mention the self-sustaining system I have created for myself.

Fantasy? Challenge accepted.

It began in searching for my own highest excitement and discovering that it had to do with movement–dance in particular. Ten years of anticipating the weekend for the goth dance floor gave me a clue that I had to pursue dance further. That I did. I’ve now been in dance training at the college level for two years. Dancing sustains my highest excitement. To keep the fire of highest excitement going–advancing in dance–I must eat healthy and exercise. In being quite healthy, I can sit for many hours writing papers and improving my writing technique without getting afflictions such as a stiff back (which I used to get from all the writing I did). From the resulting health and positive attitude (due to actually enacting my highest excitement), all sorts of things and even further self-sustaining systems open up for me as if destiny had woken up from her slumber.

My unicycle use even plays into this. Because I must be warm before my early Ballet class in order to stretch correctly, I unicycle to school every school day. In turn, I better my riding skills as well as attain some great fresh air and the meditation that is entitled by unicycling. This has a multitasking flavor, possibly conjuring up images even of concentric circles. With a self-sustaining system, is it much easier to form concentric circles in one’s life–getting more quality out of time? Does quality grow on top of quality? Is this the reward of having a strong self-sustaining base to begin with?

What base are you starting from?

Untitled: Cedar Tree

Illustration by Deborah Valentine
Illustration by Deborah Valentine

Theodore scratches his wrist and discovers a winning number. Balloons, flashing color, and metallic racket emerge alongside a decorated mule. Bzzzz. An audience grows until their buttons pop off like bullets. Three are wounded, having neglected their mother’s armor knit. On the scene, the police are arrested. Meanwhile, a table for two is prepared for Theodore and himself. The breadbasket has neither bread nor basket, only deflated expectation. The following day, yesterday returns. Theodore leaves a hefty tip in his pocket–a tip about checking his pocket. Without pants, however, Theodore decides to check himself into a hotel.

The room has a door but no entrance, a bum in the corner but no dice. Then luck arrives with a locksmith on a stallion. The horse throws the man off claiming she is no horse but a maid. With lustrous locks, she certainly maid his day. Theodore, in silent resignation, backs off, clumsily, and falls out of style. Stephanie enters, gives Theodore a quasi-sympathetic pat, and replaces him. Bzzzz. With high shoulders, she enters her office and finds the One. After firing him, she calls the operator and fires her, then places a donation to the central bank. Her smirk spawns bat wings and escapes like a gypsy curse.

A wave of mischief seizes the city. Stephanie waves back, summoning a cab. The man drives her to a restricted area of her mind. The glove box conceals an entire car garage with a fourth floor exhibiting an entire metropolis. There, firefighters torch their stations, gardeners harvest warts, and psychiatrists invoke dancing elves. A zookeeper escapes from his cage and throws a fistful of glass shards. The pieces merge back into a glass hammer and peg a passing catfish. The chef catches the fish in a frying pan, melting its plastic body into a hand shape that gives the finger.

Stephanie is insulted by the colors of the sky alternating through the primaries. She scuffs her foot, exposing binary code. The horizon wrinkles limp. The moon plummets to earth, bounces over a sand bunker, and slips into a hole-in-one. Per referee’s request, the sea lion spits the little moon out past the foul line, granting victory to the audience. Bzzzz. The crowd safely parades over past the cliff in time for their own funeral. The celebration bounces till the last slice of cake is eaten, prompting an instant migration to the bakery. The shop has a door but no walls, a duck pond but no manners.

The baker emerges from the pond with an iron lifejacket, stepping forth in five-four time without an elephant. The pattern unlocks a portal back to Theodore’s jackpot of a dozen can openers—all discarded except for their quantitative value. Theodore attaches the quantitative value over an improvised thought item, spawning twelve spoons. He eats his porridge in twelve swoops, each with a different spoon. A hundred thimble-sized teacups steep before him in the formation of the word “poison.” Theodore pulls out the dictionary but accidentally knocks every cup neatly back into the pantry.

On the horizon, a soundproof church bell sways back and forth as an apple tree falls from the sky. The apples are yellow, banana-shaped, and on sale for buy one get one free of spells. Without a fruit-eating permit, Stephanie loses interest followed by control. Immediately, the elf-invoking psychiatrists enter stage left but hypnotize themselves back to bed, undercover. Bzzzz. Under the bed, the baker and the bum play makeup as they casually consume a handful of mystery. Theodore discovers himself beside a Cedar tree with as many mosquito bites as unaccounted for minutes.

Raw & Black Woman


There is a type of black woman so alluring to me that I have to write a little note in honor. This alluring black woman to me is liberated and conjures up images of groundedness, heart wealth, and exotic beauty. This black woman has at one point grown nostalgic of some semblance of deeply imbedded roots and has acted upon the roots’ calling. Within herself she has fertilized a humble pride in raw and even animalistic essence which does not bear a negative connotation like the word “primitive” often does. She can be the wisest of the wisest all the while being implanted within the ground. For her, social expectation has taken a back seat. Finding herself in such a place has left and continues to leave lasting impressions on so many who cross her path.

Her black skin of natural youth-preserving oils is nearly symbolic of healthy soil. In finding those roots, she has grown stable, so that she is free to express herself as imaginatively as she wishes. Her hair, that she wears freely, is her own, not a China woman’s or Indian’s (not to say theirs isn’t beautiful too). Her body is often a sculptor’s paradise. She wears those wonderful array of colors, matching all the colors within herself. Often she smells as if she brought with her a Vanilla garden. Her rediscovered connection and gratefulness towards Earth brings me a sense of nostalgia, for the ways of her African ancestors were not much different than mine in South America.

Raw black woman, bring out that big cat in me. I see all that beauty in you.