I dare you.  I dare you. In the words of Pete Murphy, I DARE YOU to touch a flickering flame.  And that flickering flame is the vast ocean of silence, clarity and peace lying beneath the surface.  It is beneath the thoughts, behind the thoughts, between the thoughts.  When you take your thoughts and strip away all the ideas, beliefs, feelings, assumptions, emotions; like a burlesque dancer you strip and strip and strip it all away, once all that fluff and glitter and zippers and polyester is gone, just like with that dancer’s beautiful body, there is something that remains in the absence of all those things.

Amid all the wounding, trauma and angst on display at the Poetry Slam, I would like to submit that becoming happy is a subversive act. 

1) Happy people make lousy consumers but more significantly…. 

  1. Happy people are fully separate and apart from and I should say better than the delusional clowns and sociopaths holding the positions of power in the world.  They are better people because happiness emerges not from the seething cauldron of wounding, trauma, neurosis and various other thoughts and beliefs that characterize our minds, not from the convenience driven conformity to the rigors of business, politics and the free market, but from the vast ocean of silence, clarity and peace lying BENEATH that seething cauldron of shit that we call our minds.

I went through the same shit that a lot of you did.  My parents were both alcoholics.  My Dad used to come home drunk and start smashing up everything in the house – including my Mom.  But fuck him.  He’s dead now.  He went to his grave a bitter, lonely old man with a knot of shit big enough to choke a horse tied up in his heart.  I, on the other hand, have had the good sense to resolve my knot of shit.  It has taken me decades to do it and no doubt there is still work to be done, but I encourage all of you to see if you can’t do it considerably quicker than the time it took me.

So, I DARE YOU.  You gotta get in there.  Use your microscope to tease apart the high tenacity fibers of regret, shame and self loathing that are woven together into the bullet proof kevlar of denial, delusion and avoidance.  Use the sledge hammer of courage and determination to demolish the wall of impenetrable inertia – brick by brick down comes the fact that your father was a jerk, the fact that your mother didn’t attend to you, the trauma you got here, the wounding you picked up there.  Clench your fingers around the pastry bag of consciousness development to apply the sweet, rich, creamy, warm, tingly, soothing frosting of silence on the bittersweet chocolate cake of your life.  Make it into a fabulous, towering desert worthy of a top-dollar wedding and the sweet life you wish to sculpt for yourself and lavishly devour it.  I dare you!