The one Bull the China shop would invite back!
imagine the stories
around that campfire where they now sit
and the globe we float on
is but an ember in it…
no grief in their whiles
bass and vibrato, through all-smiles
a moonwalk’s own story
(seen only as glory)
…through beautifully, benevolent,
and happ-full slit-eyes…
now from ashes
each into a Phoenix become
and with limitless soul-torque
I’m pretty sure not much ‘rest-in’ will be done…
so why should R.I.P.
stand for ‘Rest In Peace’ – if anything?
surely no rest will be needed
whatever you believe, or believe in…
for wherever it is you believe, or know you will go
no grief nor trouble should be before you – nor in tow
so through beautifully, benevolent, happy-full slit-eyes
I hope your company there– wherever… is all and only about smiles!
Rollin’ In Paradise.
A STARBURST for sure
PS: The reason My Way is the Ed Sheeran version is very definitely deserving of its own post altogether… One that will without doubt be called I remember February.
© Dylan Balkind
So, you think you’re not into show tunes? Let me see if I can convince you otherwise…
You may be cooler than ice cold, slide-uphill slick, so much so that Chorus Line to you is what it means to be in the queue at Absa Bank… You may think that Music is a Sound that should be sans all and anything miserable – just for the Ra! Ra! and the shits and giggles.
But then you’ll go and add a soundtrack to your shitty… Gabrielle, Boys II Men, Mariah or Adele, age depending.
Because we do.
And – when we are really lucky – life adds a soundtrack to our giggles.
That’s a show in itself. Which makes us – and how we do that – the show of our tunes.
An artist becomes a giant at his game when he breaks your heart through the beauty of his brushstrokes. Your own giant-becoming is in the ways that you stretch with your heart thereafter.
And that’s a show in itself, which makes each of us and how we do that, the show of our tunes.
Or talked about.
We are the endless journeying jaunts on either side of a scale that has Giant on one side and Ghost on the other.
Both will ever be our burning in the fireplace, either as firework or blazed by the flames of our forfeits.
So tombed, token, or talked about – we are the show of our tunes.
It must be learned then, that the links between us are ensured their longevity when formed from foundations understated. Where untold and unseen are bigger than any and all bullshit. But where untold and unseen are that assimilated understanding to not be ever, the same as unsaid or unheard.
I have a friend.
Her mom died.
Only 11 days ago.
I am a friend.
My Dad died.
Only 77 days ago.
Now… ‘experience’ isn’t really experience when the Universe is a Size Small compared to the gloved-muffle of that melancholy. So even though just a Route-66 days between ours, the way my friend arranged the letters of her update when she did, punched my stomach something proper!
I haven’t seen this friend’s face since April in 2013. Like, actually seen her.
But you don’t have to look at the sun to know that it is there and that you are warmed by its Light.
And because what – or however God is – that Giant turned mine to Ghost on the morning she did, muffling my planet with the boarding call for him to go back. And the moment that I pushed that pain into my public, I felt every nudge of every person who sent theirs.
On my skin and in my soul.
Still… the comfortable-coward wanted my punched-stomach to take focus, selling myself a story that would convince (only) me that, well, you know, I’m sure it’ll be okay… I mean… it has been three years… and I am very sure she has people coming from everywhere to keep and wrap her to them under arms wide and warm…
And only because the Universe is a Size Small compared to how hot the flames in that fireplace burn.
At any level, and in whatever role you play, silence is simply nothing.
It’s not placed as sacred by the beautiful of its own broken.
It’s just bullshit.
It’s the smug ghost of nothing, from a place of nowhere.
And insofar as tunes of the show go, silence doesn’t make for a rad soundtrack – in any genre.
But, hey! This here is just my soundtrack, of the show tunes I tap-dance to. You may not agree… but like it or not, by the pulse of your personhood, you actually are into show tunes. Perhaps on a very different frequency to mine, or not…
That’s Hz, and right now, Kerry and I share the same.
She Drama-schooled as I did, but elsewhere (over another rainbow?). And then life schooled us together, inside a Limelight of Giants, Ghosts, and all the terrifying, terrific tap-dancing we did between them.
As Giants. And as Ghosts – as and when we journeyed our respective jaunts of each.
Naturally, this post had me thinking about the one I shared when my Dad died, and specifically my signing off with:
“You are The Light of the Sun.
Don’t shine it where souls don’t salute yours back.”
Well, I am quite the smarty pant then, aren’t I?! 😛
And this Ghost is getting his colour back.
Still think you’re not into show tunes?
Prior to this, was Act 1… for more show-tune-context, should your toes be tapping and want for more 😉
© Dylan Balkind
A lot happens in five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes. That many ago, I was all sorts of angry about the Religious Freedom Act being passed in the US, and used my birthday to amplify those feelings – loudly.
Ergo… a lot also doesn’t happen in five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes.
Funny that… and how life works… from the catapulting of compassion to the clichés of comfort…
Funny that that’s also how addiction works.
At any level, and within or outside of any legitimacy.
It’s my birthday – or reborn-day as some would say – so here… I’ll start:
웃 I have been addicted to excellence, and only being seen as excellent.
웃 I have been addicted to peer-endorsement, and only being celebrated within the best of them.
웃 I have been addicted to social media, and addicted to how unsociable that media allows me to be.
웃 I have been addicted to wanting to heal those who look lost; and then those (who look) lost in self pity.
웃 I have been addicted to being lost, my own self pity, and then addicted to the feeling of losing myself in my own self-pity.
웃 I have been addicted to processing, unprocessing, and processing again within the polar opposites of both solemn soberness and substance-abuse.
웃 I have been addicted to going between the Light and dark of those polar opposites, and back again.
웃 I have been addicted to the again and again.
웃 I have been addicted to benevolence – and then fighting the bombing of its opposite.
웃 I have been addicted to how much noise I can make about how the bomb-opposite was such unacceptable bombing of my being.
Because, wouldn’t anyone?
To be bombed is to wake up in a world you hadn’t planned to wake up in.
…it’s the getting-used-to what looks like a war zone that is the real siren.
Sometimes, it’s the sound of that siren that we will not hear.
And then ‘I have been’ often really means ‘I am’.
That’s how addiction works.
At any level, and within or outside of any legitimacy.
All behaviour is beautiful – whether bent or bright – but only as long as we are learning what it is, where it comes from, and/or where it is we are going because of it.
And knowing that you are learning just one of these is fine. Well, to me, anyway.
And if you know more than one at any one time, then that’s the epitome of a moment – and you should marvel at its magnificence!
Don’t let your addictions scare you.
But don’t let your addictions succeed you either.
Here, this year’s bee-day ‘mixtape’ on sides A and B… For Perspective, and for Party – as and if you choose you’d like to. 😉
© Dylan Balkind
It was 1990. Just a random year. Because they are when you are – as I was – waiting in the wings before the big. final. year.
I was in Standard 4.
And when you’re in it, that is the biggest thing you’ve had to look forward to – ever.
Will you be made Prefect? Will your friends be made Prefects? And if you are not made a Prefect, will your friends still be made Prefects? Where will you go to High School? Will your friends go to the same High School?
These are big-deal things that are well-suited to being on the brink… waiting in the wings of the big. final. year.
And you’re eleven going on twelve, so you know.
Transferring into our school then, came one Pam Doyle.
She was a cool-nerd.
Can’t be sure how, but I could tell straight off.
And, as life has shown – has done well therein.
Because it has been scientifically-proven that cool-nerds are far cooler – and with more longevity (at all sorts of the all sorts) – than just ‘cool’ or just ‘nerd’.
We both ran for Junior Mini City Councillor.
I didn’t get it.
And because I’m so all-encompassing and stuff, I can’t remember who did and what they did about it.
We did both go to the same High School though.
And as she grew up (which I am yet to try), she demonstrates exemplary patience, grace and benevolence for keeping me close inside her orbit.
Not every day.
But in every way.
Giving. Of herself.
Her ideals. Ideas. Perspectives. Personhood.
The nineties too often miss out on what we trump in the throwback, because the eighties usually win out – and then came that boom of everything we’ve known since.
But it was a great time!
People said hello and listened for what you said when you answered back. We had MC Hammer and twins Boudine and Gerhard Hametner with Candice Hillebrand and Jenna Dover for our go-to every afternoon on K-TV. You were allowed to like Gloria Estefan – for more than the time it takes to type a tweet stating same – the Prince was Fresh, your Garden could be Savage, Mariah was all only about talent, and the kind of silence you sought was Delirium’s…
And the friends you made we’re keep-worthy.
Maybe because how you made them was based on the ways in which they still connect with you?
Through considered, conversation.
The last time I was at hers, dinner came in this box:
Cool packaging, but they obviously have no idea how holistic happy can be.
Pam – for a million-million reasons and more – you are my soul sista! And when I say ‘soul-sista’ – I mean SOUL. SISTER. The blessings of your being here and on this journey at a time with me and mine means that what I get for it is beyond beautiful.
Moreover, you are my reminder that faith in humanity still has its place.
Ergo, 1990 was very far from random.
I love you like Light.
© Dylan Balkind
“Nothing you do could disappoint me,” was her reply.
I’ve never forgotten the way those words warmed what had me feeling so cold.
We’ve been through some life-changing things together.
The biggest just three weeks ago.
Between the happy memories and the tears is a taught tendon of sibling steadfastness that remains because trust is reciprocated from a place of respect.
She – not by telling but by showing – has taught me a lot about trust. That telling someone that how they do X, Y or Z is wrong and that because it worries you, they should stop or change those ways is actually the opposite of trust.
That trust is showing someone you see them. You hear them. You know them. And that both of you can learn from each other because that channel is open.
Trust isn’t always about how tightly you tied the knot.
Knots come undone.
Other people fiddle with them.
Trust is knowing you’ve got my hand when there is no rope. And that if you let go, it’s because you knew you could.
Thank you for being there, and for being you, there.
Lotsa love! Your lil bro.
© Dylan Balkind
That 90s rom-com aptly titled because seven billion people have their own inroad to how true that is.
True. But not timetabled.
Reality is also really, really rad! We just don’t amplify the arcs when they’re upward.
Consider this: inside your happy and your heat, your heart does its thing. But to those on the outside of that (them, non-lead, supporting roles on your billing), it all just looks like blah blah blah blah blah. And when you need to stop because you pulled the muscle that is your talent, the musts and the meetings don’t.
And the harking by those who are still there; that venerable team who haven’t had the vantage that embarrasses how we hang onto sums like they are the light of the sun, your ‘stopping’ will still just look like blah blah blah. Because it should and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong or untoward with that.
It’s called perspective.
The contrast is that there isn’t any, if those who see your big as blah go home to the catatonia of Kardashian-ville – or the likes.
Ah… Reality TV.
An oddity I’m bemused by… or was… And yes, sure, the shift is because of where my soul stands now. I’d never cared much for it – and still don’t really – but I think I finally get what the originator had in mind when she/he wrote the rationale for what they wanted to respect…
I grew up loving and looking forward to lounge-nights because: Knight Rider, MacGuyver, Air Wolf and Magnum PI. Imagination’s inspiration was injected by the heroes and the wins I witnessed when I watched. Ergo, TV’s tales added torque to my tiny-tot truth.
But, while the global gallivanting is very definitely amazing, it is on a philosophical (cynical?) level that I say no thanks, don’t put me down for that.
There is nothing Amazing about the Race we’ve been programmed to rate as something we have to be a Survivor of.
Those start and finish lines are drawn because the system needs us to keep running between them. And the only real hurrying we do is in the horror of regret when we realise we fell for it… albeit too late.
As kids, we allocate so much time to make-believe, and shelve it as soon as we participate in the never-resting current that “society” tells us we must swim with.
What happened to make-believe?
You believed them – as they expected you would – that the beauty of your belief in how and what you make should be slotted into that ‘free-time’ hobby-hole on the roster under a magnet on the fridge door.
Whether your happiest vibrations are sequinned, service or systematic, remember that your purest invitation is to play – and then share that with your world.
There’s no business like Soul business.
We run around thinking we’re Superman Lovers, because pedestals are things painted for us. But believe me when I say that your telephone booth quick-change isn’t something you know you’re doing when you’re inside of doing it.
You are a magnificent making of capacity-to-cope that someone who struck while the iron was hot wrote into a script, and called him Superman.
And it’s as super as it is supposed. That’s life.
My pocket full of kryptonite beats in my chest and runs through my veins.
I know because with it, I am alive.
Torture is alive.
Talent is alive.
Telling the truth of how you experience the difference between the two, to those you talk to – or the mirror – is a service you owe your soul.
Thanks for coming to my telephone booth quick-change. However you did, or what you do with the rest of your day, please take this with you:
You are The Light of the Sun. Don’t shine it where souls don’t salute yours back.
RIP Daddy. I miss you much.
And Mom, thank you for making me the best
Superman cape I flew with when I did!
You are Superman, aren’t you?
© Dylan Balkind
I hadn’t thought of this or planned to mention it at all, but here at the “end” of this love-labouring, where – because of the way I wander to weave – I rewind backward through the collated / collected content, which turned up this:
It’s probablythe first of us – and apt beyond!
That’s Kim and I.
She is three months older than I am (though I’m obviously way more mature).
That proximity has proven to be:
a) the ultimate life-lotto silver-lining, and so
b) really impressive coordination by our parents
Just look at how besotted I was!
And nothing has changed.
We are fierce in the way we care. So we will rally and rant with unmitigated volumes.
In her (now) 38 years and my 37 – but staggeringly more mature I am, I am – we cycle through rhythms where we speak several times a day, and others where we don’t – or aren’t! – speaking for months.
Like I said: nothing has changed.
That’s how besotted works. Because if you aren’t – at either end of affection’s appreciation or dumbfounded derision – you don’t care to notice or be affected by anything contrary. Ever. Either way.
Not that I have ever engaged in any passive-aggressive behaviour, ever (and especially not in cases where I have / was / am / may have been in love with someone unavailable… *cough* I only know about how this works because I read someone else’s story on it in the agony aunt column in the YOU magazine), but if I did… my theory stands: even the pubescent-level of pouring over everything but each other, is the promise that our commitment to caring about how the other one is really doing… is really DNA-deep.
For as long as I can remember, this supernova-soul has been ever next to me; my pre-made VIP. Us two the ever Second-in-Commands to our older sisters… who… no doubt saw themselves as Second-in-Commands to the respective parental units – only.
The parental units have no doubt seen times where they were unsure that their brilliant coordination was such a good idea. Like when – despite loud objections that they couldn’t have wanted it less – the four of us would perform “elaborate” productions (preceded only by hours of prep, dess-up, some sort of coordinating whatever music we had with a story about Jesus) for them every. single. time. our families got together. And because nobody should work for free, we charged them for it too.
We haven’t changed too much. The singing-every-word just happens a lot later at night these days. And I’m not saying we definitely did trade the Oros for something stronger… and I’m not saying we didn’t. We’ve laughed, cried, rewound and repeated to all of it. It’s a blessing to have memories like I do with you Kim! I love you more than you will ever know!
PS: Being Kim’s birthday, I have made every genuine effort to not highlight the vast spans of difference in our maturities, which – even though denied by Kim – is in fact something that everyone talks about.
Like, all the time basically.
But I didn’t want to use her birthday to draw attention to myself in anyway whatsoever.
I’m not that guy.
So I thought all this:
…which got me to this…
…and celebrated it all with this.
Err… because I love you madly.
The symbolism of New Year’s Eve is more nurture than nature, right? The hoolie (at whatever height you do) is mostly habitual, because the calendar says we should shunt our shit for a hopeful serving of something more silver than sludge. Why we can’t invoke this enthusiasm on any of the other 364 days in the twelve month cycle isn’t the point.
But that’s called a long bath or a walk in the park – by any other name.
Habitual is homed by the hands we hold while we do; in shared spaces or through those midnight DMC* phone calls.
Think about the millions of conversations that are happening right then just as yours is. It’s really quite magical!
One I remember like it was yesterday was when I came out to my sister.
Why didn’t I invoke that courage on any of the other 364 days in the twelve month twenty three years that we cycled before that night?
The time that was on-it to testify what everyone already knew wasn’t only big for me because of the gravity of the (Dutch) courage that accompanied it, but because that conversation on that night about that part of me that went the way it did is something that Niki and I have together.
Both loud and listening, those moments made of minutes were ours while we lived them, which ‘habitual’ gave forth in that hand-holding we did.
Some hand-holding will stay with you forever. And because acquaintance means knowledge or the experience of something because of contact before it means someone you know slightly but who is not a good friend, well… ergo! Lest auld acquaintance all begot.
All over the world, people dance through DMCs like my sister and I did. Maybe not like in terms of the same content, but like in terms of the big they mean, by the toll of their then-and-there when they do… on a New Year’s Eve or any other.
General consensus is that 2015 was a right fucktard. Whether yours was mammoth fucktard or more fine-side (lucky you!), I wish you much magic for the incoming year.
I hope you dance it in with a romance all your own rhythm – however you do.
Here’s some momentum for the way I’ll be – DO RE MI FA D K B! There’s nothing von Trapp about it.
Happy New Year!
Lots of love, Dylshki ♡
*Deep and meaningful conversation
© Dylan Balkind
Underdogs and my loud-hailing are a harem. And because the only people who read the things I put here are blood related or less than one hand’s fingers of friends, the reasons don’t require any research.
But then, on Day 336 of the most dustbin year I can remember, a little
distraction-seeking from the demons online meander turned up this nugget:
Here’s what I love about this underdog story:
Is that, first-off, his “handicap” is only handed to us through the high-on-life Light that is Jennifer Lawrence, who – rather than tiptoeing around his only last-minute-shown situation – rides in on the back of it! And that this – together with his authentic adulation of some show I’d never heard of (I know… they must be proper worried. As above: the only people who read the things I put here are blood related or less than one hand’s fingers of friends), is such genuine benevolence… it kinda makes “underdog” seem like a bit of a whine, really.
Because: says who? Not this Duchene Muscular Dystrophy champ – Dylan.
Thanks Day 336.
While I headless chicken-chanted my hard-done-by hurting via (mostly habitual) histrionics, I set out at full speed on the open road of shrill Dyl-amplifying-Dyl, and asked Dave for permission to use one of his punch-powerful photographs as the cover of the #WritingStoriesDiffrently piece I was busy with then.
He said yes. I started its dress.
And then, suddenly I couldn’t…
One little square made me very aware of my being so.
It’s not easy to walk yourself down the plank you’d pressed upon the people you’d allocated all your pains to…
Anyway, being near enough to the end of the year, I guess introspection isn’t completely unexpected.
It doesn’t have to be all-bowing though, but it does have to be deliberating, which in turn gives you the landing gear you’ll need… for that new gear you’ll be in.
© Dylan Balkind
One random day when I worked at Gloo, my friend Natasha and I went to get my lunchtime Simply Asia fix. We hadn’t been in the car two minutes, when she pointed at the music controls and said: “What the actual hell?!” My initial premature blush was based on assumption that she was calling out my 9.5 nerd-level. She wasn’t. And the back pat became brevity to make something longer. Something louder. Something I’d love because of how it proclaimed and, yes, even if passive-aggressively, told of my own. That’s what started this whole #WritingStoriesDifferently journey, which has been better therapy for me than any amount of money could ever buy. As with every journey, there is a place where it starts – and another where it ends. I have loved every minute of the thousands of hours poured into each baby borne here. I salute myself for the sentiments I have invested and the way I have danced my diary out for anyone who wants to ‘read’ it with me. Thank you if you did. And now, that diary, with all its earmarked pages, softened by the touch of a hundred turns forwards and backwards – is full. This is what I leave on its last page, the only space left for anything to go.
I guess that means I have to go out now and get a new diary, doesn’t it?
So my niece turned 14 the other day. For many people, 365-day cycles aren’t much more than a passing of pained and/or pride-filled time. For the sentimental saps (yes, like me) it’s a little more: it’s that handing over of homeliness for time, always hoping for more — and then some! From squawk-siren to surreptitious sovereignty, my Hannah sure is one girl, uninterrupted *
(Your) contradictions are what courage is before it is collected. To connect the one so that it becomes the next, you have to see them. Without makeup. Lighting. Or as versions volumed as you deem to do. No reverb. Adverb. Or truth bent for pretense. And here’s why: no one actually cares. Everyone is focused on their own unfocused hocus pocus.
But on open road, with toothy grin or tear stained skin, wind in your hair or bloodshot glare, only you know what’s true-truth, rare, and genuine dare, because you’ve stripped the seasoning to really go there.
To unwind from the ways your rewrote
When you wronged
When you hurt
When you masked your own mistakes with that too-quickly thrown dirt
Connects a confidence undaunted
That can vaporise bogus from yours – and any of the hocus pocus you propel or path cross…
Dispelled by a genuine that you can same-way expect to get back in…
the smell of the breeze after it has rained or the grass has just been cut
that mood so good that feels new and endless and soulful
sunny spots in the winter
thunderstorms in the summer
days with that different light that dances like love
crisp new shirt
hot new skirt
It’s that you want to –
take a hand
make a stand
own your shit
live true grit
fresh hot pie
A few of the humans you walk with will hold your hand – even if they don’t ever touch you. Luckily, I’ve met and know a few like that. And just recently, I’ve been blessed to re-meet and know one beauty who reminds me that wanting to be kind just minutes before or after wanting to kill is actually totally okay.
It’s all good.
Because, why mask what makes you magical?
That magic should go from dark to Light and back again in all sorts of time-stamp variables, whenever… and as and when ‘whenever’ feels so.
Being broken and beautiful in the space of a Universe blink isn’t that rare…
Sure, the variables and their extremity will vary, but their presence in your everyday doesn’t make you a delinquent (unless denial runs yours).
For best results: play loudly!
© Dylan Balkind