Gone in Vapor

Thank you, for coming and reading through this March. I was waylaid by life a bit towards the end, but I’ve still got all of those pieces and will be releasing them over the course of the year. I hope you’ve enjoyed thus far and continue to enjoy in the future. You are a blessing to me, and I can’t tell you how much it means that you’re here.

Thank you, and Happy Birthday.

-AT


I spent hours the other night during a heart-wrenching panic attack as I spiraled into the depths of a violent and uninvited worry that I am not the man I wanted to be at this age. My birthday is today, and I revel each year in the entire month where I celebrate my life and the incredible blessings I’ve been given, but I noticed each year that I usually fall into a panic around this time. Between allergy attacks and panic attacks, and the ever-looming threat of another year behind me in which I have not done what I wanted with the time I’ve been given, I fall into a spiral which I write about here.


I’ve felt this way often, like a pincushion with so many pins for so many projects inside of my skin and I don’t know how quickly I can pull them out and put them where they belong. Like most, I’ve wavered in my position. Some days I am the pincushion and others I am the seamstress, dutifully spearing through things in which I’ve hedged bets and hopes and dreams. Those days in which I find myself impaled upon my own passion are difficult, yet, not because I feel incapable. Not really.


I’ve always borne the worry that I would not finish everything to which I had tasked myself, that in some way I was capable of doing everything in the world like I held a Time Turner, or was Doctor Strange. Yet, as the years have passed and I’ve caught myself in a loop of purpose for the last few, I’ve slowly started to uncover the meaning behind my madness.


Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to make an impact in the lives of those around me. At times, I’ve strived for little else than to be an inspiration or to be someone honest about himself in as many aspects as I can so that those who struggle can see firsthand that they aren’t alone. Still, that being said, I have yearned for more. I am not pleased with the work I have done in my life. There is always room for more, I lament as I sit, a shriveling mess in front of my laptop, and stare at the daunting white screen. I yearn to be more, to do more, to be better in all things. In my relationships, in my marriage, in my writing, and in my work and when I do better it is still not enough. I refuse to accept that I am enough and go so far as to work myself into panic as I think of ways to do all that I want. To be all that I want.


And I am not, not yet. Perhaps not ever.


But I am more today than I was yesterday, and the day before, and all before then. I claw for personal progress as if it is the only thing that keeps me alive and still, this has little to do with writing and design. It has little to do with the worlds I’ve built and has everything to do with the man I am becoming. I’ve long held this idea that the person I am at 30 years old is the person I will be for the rest of my life. My intentions, my desires, my setbacks, and failings will be cast in steel when the imaginary clock above my head chimes 262,800.


Despite never being able to identify it, I have always been afraid of this day. There is some part of me that is afraid of being tied to any one thing despite my love of order and sensibility. I perch myself high above the forge within my heart and yearn to always be something malleable, sharp to a point, and careful with my words, my actions, and my thoughts. I have always held this fear that my fears and worries themselves will mold me into a sword when I’ve always desired to be a pen. Yet as the forge heats and the Blacksmith molds me into who I am becoming, I watch in fear for what I will soon be when I am thrown into the quenching oil.


My worry has given me a blade, my fear has given me a gutter for my soul to drain from within.

We all see this in some way, afraid of the metal that is used to forge us. Compared to many others mine is soft and misshapen, cared for greatly and tenderly watched as it melted down and broke into the fundamentals of understanding. A far cry from those who have been chipped and slammed against a stone to wear down their sharpness. I am not a man who easily admits my weakness, but perhaps my weakness is that I believe I am a sword at all.


Perhaps, we are not the sword or the pen. Perhaps we are not meant to be the prod or the crowbar. Perhaps we are meant to be and have always been the steam.

When the Blacksmith plunges us beneath the quench, and our bodies cool and collect, all of those methods used to tame us or teach us are freed from our bodies with a rush of heat. Who we are leaves our bodies in moments as our memory floats away, to dissipate around us into the air and join with others. Our lives so quickly turned and changed by the fires of the forge also so rapidly cooled in the oil quench. Perhaps we are in body, a blade or pen, or prod or stake, I have friends who are rail ties and I have friends who are shields, and I have friends who are still liquid hot and changing like I believe I am. I have friends who are drain pipes and I have friends who are daggers, and yet it is not all that we are. We were once nails, we were once letter openers and frames, we were once many things and still, those things are not who we are.


We are the steam that curls away from our past lives and moves on into the air where the rest of us exist, where we can know one another, where we can be free from the constraints of life and duty. Where we can feel the cool breeze as it carries us to a new village, a new pasture, a new world away from where we were forged. Perhaps, my life is not finished in the fire of my design. Perhaps, I made myself a sword by my actions.


If this is true, I have nothing to be afraid of. I may need to be a sword, for now, I may need to be a pen, but it is not who I am forever. I will be more things in the coming years and to worry what I am being forged into is in itself a fruitless effort. In the end, regardless of what I become in my life I will return to the forge and be made into something new, something that I need to be to make my way through life. I will, in between these changes, be plunged into the quench and I will become steam again. I may be formed into a tool for a purpose, but I am always, at the core, a vapor.


Here today, and gone the next.


When I am gone I will remember the memories and the things that forged me, and not what I became.


So, if I am a sword, I should cut well.


If I am a pen, I should write well.

If I am a shield, I shall guard patiently waiting for the day in which I turn to steam.


This month I’ve written almost every day. Unfortunately not all of it was at a place in which I felt comfortable publishing it, but nonetheless it is there. Everything will come in time, but if you’d like to know what is in store for the future of Modern Alchemy and myself, click the link below.

I’ll see you again soon.

-AT

2021 Air Quarter Bearscape


Lifeis :: Nothingawful


The purest gold is in the heart of a friend.

If the world is dark eternal, become a light.

When your light falters, there is always another.

But to another, we must free our hearts.

And find gold within ourselves.


The Grimoire of Finality

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