patch notes 23
📍 writing indoors from Boulder, CO
We’ve officially entered winter. There’s snow piling up outside, I’m drinking hot chocolate again, and going outdoors is a bit like going into outer space. Though living in New York did expose me to snow, it was urban snow, where the subway never needs to defrost and the heat island effect takes care of much of the rest.
It’s different here. Not everyone clears their sidewalk (bless those who do), biking is more hazardous, and my outdoor morning routine is no longer feasible without frostbite. Venturing out after a snowfall is like stepping onto another planet; the world re-colored with a beautiful, delicate brush; a medium which imprints the passage of time itself.
The new season has brought other changes as well. I’ve turned 26, celebrating with my sister and friends during our week-long San Diego Relational retreat. I’ve started taking polaroids (thanks Margaret!). And most excitingly, I am dating a special woman I feel incredibly lucky to have met; each day revealing just how rich and wonderful and meaningful a relationship can be.
There are a lot of plates in my life spinning right now. Some are simple, some complicated, some fun and some not very fun. Most mornings though I’m waking up in awe of life, amazed by fact I can think about things and climb up rocks and write code that makes rock think. Life can be challenging and frustrating at times, but it’s never dull. I am filled with gratitude for the incredible people in my life, helping me bring forth things in my life I would never have thought possible.
Three weeks prior to meeting her I was writing in my journal, exploring the uniqueness of relationships and how I intend to spend my time until I find myself in one again.
feeling hopeful. sure, a relationship might not come into my life immediately. but that’s no reason not to enjoy the meantime. to work on myself to prepare myself for that person to come into my life. to explore my interests and enjoy life. more art, more music, more reading.
that’s so weird to me. that everyone just has these different romantic languages. there are no rules. there are no standards. there are rules but they’re basically the base level societal rules: consent and respect. everything beyond that is up to you. the words you choose, the timing, the places, the actions.
I guess it’s kinda invigorating and encouraging. everyone is unique. everyone is weird. everyone is looking for something they want to have.
from yesterday’s Waking Life;
~ “finding the thing you love involves finding all the things you don’t love”
~ “Life is a continuous process of saying ’not quite yet’ to god’s invitation to join into eternity”
Then on September 26 we matched on Hinge. Ten minutes later we began sending voice notes to each other, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
she seems to have that thing, that care, that desire to spread care, to teach people and help them better come into their bodies and minds and worlds. that is rare and beautiful and I want to understand her more
[a healthy relationship, like the one I’m looking for with Savannah] comes down to relative perspective, trust and safety and consent and mutual desire, being open to connection, manifesting the energy one wants to see in the world, trusting it will be recognized, perhaps appreciated, and maybe – just maybe – reciprocated
[the possibility of a relationship that is] emergent, organic, sacred. someone to wander the earth together with. To dream things into existence, to create those things in the world together, to help bring a world more beautiful than this one into being
[I hope] to continue exploring mediums and forms with her, to develop these tools to help us understand each other better, and help other people understand their own relationships and partners and lives better
Each day is a gift and I’m so excited for what we get to share, build, learn, and enjoy together.
I love you, Savannah.
An excerpt of some writing we did together:
they lay with their bodies and minds and hearts connected with one another, connected to the world of sand, water, earth, and time around them
the energy of life swirling through them, as them, animating their bodies and minds, gently swirling between them
and what an artificial intelligence sees when prompted with those words:
On ritual and creativity and time:
feeling the presence of something I’ve been feeling more often. by making space for it, I invite it in. by letting go of it, I seem to find it. a stillness, a perfect beauty in the chaos of the world.
it’s always nearby, we just have to open up and invite it in
watching the seasons change, I become the observer, I become more in tune with the environment and its subtle evolution, versus just moving through it or visiting it a few times and seeing static frames of its change.
the environment is always changing, it’s always in motion. as we all are. nothing is static. nothing is set.
social media short-brain effects
twitter was not good for my brain [today]
too many thoughts, responsibilities, things I need to respond to, things that need my attention
After a month of zero dopamine-producing social media (short-brain media: Twitter, Reddit, Tiktok, and most of Youtube) I’ve slid back onto most of the apps. There’s a chaotic party happening on the internet (read: twitter / free speech / attention / ownership / platforms) and it’s hard to resist front seats to the bonanza.
During my month off the apps the days seemed longer; the world seemed calmer, and there was less demanding my attention in the evenings and that time would naturally be filled with longer-form content (long-brain media: books, articles, movies). I got re-acquainted with being bored and it was beautiful.
It makes me wonder whether something between these two extremes might be possible. Something with the serendipity potential of the entire internet and the materiality of a single paper book being handed between friends. A way of exploring the most interesting things in the world with the people that care about then most; in whatever medium feels best.
(shoutout to Dave & the Relational crew for the short/long-brain terminology; so good)
This past month has seen certain people beautifully entering my life and others painfully leaving, in rather cruel and accusatory ways. It’s served as a reminder of how precious and rare genuine companionship is; companionship that can withstand drug-induced reality distortions or insular religious idealogical worldviews.
As someone who tries to extend a bridge of love to as many people as I can, it hurts when people set it on fire. I am not one to leave doors closed forever though; the world does not make sense without forgiveness. When I zoom out, I am reminded of the vast majority of people in my life who love me back, choosing to play positive-sum games with me, deciding to improvise and riff to create beautiful things together. And to you I say thank you and I love you!
what really matters in my life right now?
publishing more of my writing. becoming looser with the sorts of styles and genres that I play with. experimenting more with internal family systems, creative journaling prompts, world building, blog posts, and writing about those things I care most deeply about: what is goodness, how to live a good life, how to love, about religion, faith, how to have meaningful psychedelic experiences, ideas for the future, stories about my adventures
September in Review
how much power [organized religion] can hold over us. over how our psychology evolves. over what we find salient, beautiful, important, dangerous, disgusting. what we’re afraid and not afraid to say. what we think we will be judged for, what is taboo, what is “the way” things are done. how to act in front of the other sex, and how to judge them
not everything religion teaches is unhealthy. And not everything the secular world teaches is healthy. But my worldview changed in complex ways over time. And it’s hard to express everything clearly
Love is the most beautiful, power force in this world. It creates life, it supports life, it is life.
How we love ourselves, love another, express feelings and emotions, how we define consent and trust and boundaries, what we consent to, whether we feel safe describing how we want and need to be loved; such questions are core to what it means to be human; to have a body, mind and sexuality. Every single person deserves to feel free and confident in answering these questions without fear of social, religious, or legal repercussions.
draft: on relationships, sex, and love
I’ve also published a few posts recently:
A meaningful life consists of many ordinary, simple days. Days that might not be easy or smooth, but conclude by laying down in bed with a sense of satisfaction and excitement for what follows in the morning. It is filled with practices approached diligently, repetition compounding depth and clarity over time. Consistency and commitment.
Cerro Castillo is a small town sitting on Route 7 in Chile. There is neither a station for gas nor one for police. Busses to the neighboring towns run on some days and not on others but nobody seems to know the full schedule. All who work here also live here and everyone who lives here welcomes those who don’t. Tonight is night number five in this quiet abode.
Till next time!