Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Leave Good Footprints.

I’ve got a couple of mottos that I try to live by. One of them is. “Leave Good Footprints.” Another is “Cave Dei Videt” The Latin is medieval on the latter but since the meaning hasn’t changed, nor ever shall, I’ve left it so. In the case of the former, this does not also mean, “Never step in shit.” and “never piss anyone off ever.” Both of these are impossible to consistently defend against and shit does happen. It could be that you are destined to step in shit on occasion and it could be that it is impossible not to piss someone off at some point. Mahatma Gandhi pissed people off. Jesus Christ pissed people off. I think we can agree that most of us fall short of these two and many others I haven’t mentioned.

Leaving the footprints that you want to leave is very important. For those of us who believe in reincarnation and for some of us who KNOW that reincarnation is a fact, it is essential to smooth movement and a possible and necessary fixation of the volatile. Some might argue about my associating one of these with the other but, then again... universal agreement isn’t possible. What is important is whether something works for you. No one else needs to understand it at all.

Some years ago I was The Deli-Lama in an outrageous, twenty four hour, seven days a week culinary experiment called “Paradise Fruits” on Maui, HI. I worked there on and off for some years. The owners were friends of mine. It was a very successful venture until drugs, hubris and greedy landlords got the better of the movie. One day I was doing something in the public area and two people approached me. One of them said, “Aren’t you a friend of so and so?”

For these people to have seen me with so and so they would have had to have seen me in a small window of time, thousands of miles away in a place (Santa Rosa) that I was only in once for a brief time. What follows is not connected to this event.

During the time I was in Santa Rosa, I used to like to go to a fern bar/restaurant on the main drag. I can’t remember the name now. One evening, I was having a beer and the cook came out and sat down with me. While we were talking he asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Maui. His eyes narrowed and he asked me if I knew such and such a person. I did indeed know this person and said “Yes.” He asked if he was a friend of mine and I said, “No.” and I made a disparaging remark. He lifted up his briefcase and took from it a wanted poster with this man’s face on it. He told me that these wanted posters were up and down the California coast.

This fellow was a certain type of scam artiste that you see all too many of in the Hawaiian Islands. I wasn’t generally very nice to him because I used to be able to hear his rap through the kitchen window from where he was sitting at the outside dining area.

The cook asked me if I knew where he was now and I said that the last time I had seen him was where I had seen him a month ago at the place I worked. He was very grateful for this information. We actually hung out together for the final weeks that I was there and had some wild times.

Apparently this fellow had stayed with some friends of the cook in Las Vegas and worked for them trimming buds. They left him there to go somewhere for a weekend and he promptly stole 20 pounds of hi-end smoke from them.

Months later I was at Paradise Fruits and I ran into the man from the wanted poster. I told him what had happened and he said, “Oh, that’s all straightened out now.” I suspect it was not.

I could have been him if I behaved like him. It’s possible that the people who saw me at Paradise Fruits might have registered my presence and passed it on and I could have been in real trouble but I never did anything in the circumstances they saw me in to warrant that. It’s possible no matter where you are to run into someone you don’t want to see so... leave good footprints.

No matter where you are. No matter if you think you are completely alone. You are never alone. You are always on the screen; Cave Dei Videt.

The thing with leaving good footprints is that after awhile everything comes to reflect that. I have certainly not always left good footprints but at whatever point one may begin to consciously do so, from that moment things begin to change. Good footprints can make you invulnerable and immortal. That is how important they are.

It may not be desirable to always speak with sweetness and love to all that you encounter. There are some clever souls who operate in this manner and mean none of it. You might say and do things that are not appreciated but if your words and acts are true then it doesn’t matter what other people think. Other people don’t possess your reward and punishment. They may be an agency for it but they do not determine your fate, your footprints do. Leaving good footprints does not mean kissing everybody’s ass.

There is no hiding place. I sometimes wonder about how many people there are who are running from their footprints. The problem is that your footprints follow you. Good footprints can wipe out bad footprints by changing the person leaving the footprints into one unrecognizable from before. You can even leave deeper imprints. Good footprints also have the capacity to become the hardpan of an ancient way.

There are thousands of books that purport to teach wisdom. There are seminars where luminaries hold forth on realizing your potential and becoming like them; shining masks of brilliantine and come hither slither. If you are a pretty lady, the Roger Nietzsche (Rajneesh) yogis of Goa might ask you to write your cell-phone number on their thigh. You might get that Tony Robbins/Marianne Williamson thing and fly first class on New Age Airlines. There’s going to be a whole lot of footprints and some of them are going to be yours.

Most people don’t realize that when they are walking, they are walking on their faces. Their faces become the road map of their journey and the eyes tell the tale. The sound of their voice and its resonance tells the tale. I think conviction has a lot to do with footprints, which is why ten people can say the same thing and you’ll only hear one of them because the others lack conviction. Conviction comes from being able to speak from the place where the essential thought exists and footprints take you there. If you’re not speaking ‘from’ the place then no bell rings, no bird flies by, no dog barks and you don’t suddenly get that déjà vu feeling from the combination of sights and sounds reminding you that you’ve been here before.

Being here before means passing this way again and your footprints will tell you if the circumstances will repeat in reverse or whether something changed in the interim. Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be and we are exactly where we are supposed to be according to our footprints. It’s a spiral in either direction. It is possible to move into greater and greater bondage until the urge for freedom becomes an imperative where no cost is too great. It is possible to move toward greater and greater freedom until you disappear into the absolute entire and become the thing itself.

Immortality has a lot to do with being relieved of a personal history. Personal histories are prisons of mortality. Your footprints can lead you to the place where you walk away from your personal history. After that there won’t be any footprints at all.

Visible sings: Long Kesh Lovesong by Les Visible♫ Long Kesh Lovesong ♫
Lyrics (pops up)

15 comments:

kikz05 said...

sage advice.

big hugz* :)

Wayne said...

Well said, Les,

Now we're getting somewhere! ;) Speaking of footprints, I find it really helps to have a path of mastery to focus the attention. Almost any activity will do; these days, my path is making espresso. My guru is an Italian barista; after pulling shots for 40 years, he does it as easily as I tie my shoelaces. We don't have to talk about it anymore. He makes it; I watch, then drink.

Ciao,
Wayne

annemarie said...

Wow. That's awesome. thanks for it.

"I could have been him if I behaved like him." There but for the grace of God go I?

Walking on our faces? lollll That's hilarious. And I can see how it's true. Though I'd never thought of it in that way before, now I won't not think of it that way!

More musing: *Face the music* means much more, now that I take in what you said.... and Jive talking. Like the disco song. And a dance as well. Layers and layers of meanings...and some people "talking" out their asses. Talking crap. Delusions. Lies. No thanks. I have no appetite for shite. Whoa-oh Merci, mercy me! Whoa-oh. Things aint' what they used to be. They sure aint. Isn't that so.

"Leaving good footprints does not mean kissing everybody’s ass." Leaving good footprints does not entail kissing anyone's ass, including one's own. Why, even God has never asked/wanted me to kiss his/her/its ass. That stands as good enough proof, as all I need to know about that. Besides, a little sincere gratitude goes a long, long way. Thank you, thank u very much.

I really needed to read this. Immensely enjoyed it too.

Thank you Les.
Later :)

p.s. Can't recall if I asked this yet, but have you thought of publishing a book, a collection of some of your essays? Sure, I can print them out if I want. But I'd prefer to purchase one, and have a book to hold and read when I'm not online, and also to share with others. Perhaps others might also be interested in such a thing? Anyhow, it's something I've been thinking about.

Alonelywanderer said...

Thank you.

Visible said...

We can't have the Village Idiot's comment go up on one post that is then replaced by another post on the same day so I have taken the liberty of reposting it here as well so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. I'm sure everyone will thank me for that (grin).


Written by The Village Idiot

Like others have already commented, metaphysics is the subject that I prefer to focus on more so than politics or culture, though they're all connected in the same sense that wrapping paper is connected to the gift inside. Politics is the paper that obscures the surprise and culture is the ribbon that initially draws our attention to the mysterious box of existence, and if only more people were aware of how they've been mesmerized by the packaging all this time while neglecting to open it, then... Well, I can't even imagine what could be accomplished if that happened on a grand scale, but I'd like to find out.

This here blog of yours is an effective tool for helping accomplish that very thing, and I find it inspiring on many levels. There really is some kind of psychic internet that we're all connected to, and I continue to be amazed at how often some new line of thinking will enter my head shortly before I'm suddenly reading or hearing some form of that thought everywhere. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake may be on the cusp of a robust, testable theory explaining this, and it's clear he's on to something big (I highly recommend checking out his work).

In this case, I've been pondering the Light/Dark thing again lately, and your statement "Angels and Demons are a matter of perception" sums up where my thinking has been heading. It started after I read Hunter S. Thompson's book about the Hell's Angels. If they are Angels, then they are the best in some arbitrary sense. And if they are of Hell, which is the worst place in some arbitrary sense, then Hell's Angels are therefore the best of the worst, or the worst of the worst depending on one's perception, though they mean the same thing in this case.

I really liked the parts in this post about footprints since I'm an avid tracker, and tracking is the embodiment of an enlightening question: What happened here, and what is this telling me? I look back at my past tracks and also can see where I veered from the Path, and there is still some dried mud stuck to my feet and ankles from those past missteps which now serves to remind me that not all ground is equally firm. So I guess the lesson is that when life hands you mud, make mud-aid.

As I explored the perception of Light vs. Darkness, it became apparent that some of my missteps weren't. They were simply a matter of the inevitability of pissing some people off with the very best of intentions, a phenomenon with which you are vividly aware and that's been circulating around the psychic internet lately. While mulling all this over, all of a sudden an epiphany gelled in my mind: I am a member of a lesser-known gang known as Heaven's Demons. The moment that phrase popped into my mind, the whole spectrum of its metaphoric implications was instantly self-evident. Too bad it's not quite as catchy a phrase as "Hell's Angels," but given time this might change.

As I said in a previous comment to one of your posts, sometimes love has blood on its hands, albeit reluctantly (and usually metaphorically, fortunately!). This is easy for martial artists to understand; we learn how to maim and kill because of the love we feel toward those we wish to keep from harm. Heaven's Demons will gladly do the dirty work and even mop up afterwards to spare those we care about the darkest of life's illusions, or at least that's the desire.

I suppose this may well be an ignorant desire, just like all the rest. Can some desires be less-ignorant than others? Can they?!?

Questions like that are WAY above my pay grade; I'm still having trouble just being here right now. Fnord!

Anonymous said...

Annemarie,

About a year ago I asked Les's permission to print these essays out and have them compiled into a book just for my own personal use. Of course he had no problem with this. But...I've never done it because the essays keep coming, thankfully!

It does need to be done though. This stuff needs to be in print. It's just a matter of when and how.

Ben

Anonymous said...

I suppose you know that your words appear elsewhere under a different 'name'.

http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/930476/ShowThread.aspx

Visible said...

That shook me for a moment because I've been getting people who are doing that with my Smoking Mirrors posts. However, in this case, that is also me. It's the one forum that I post on regular and all my work goes there. Don't ask me why I still post there as they are a largely unappreciative lot but I do.

Thanks for letting me know though. At the moment I'm more concerned about the theft of my mucis royalties as well as my book royalties. I've had bad luck in these areas. One of these days I suppose an agent or a record company or a publisher will show up who is not a criminal but I don't know when that is going to be.

annemarie said...

It does need to be done though. This stuff needs to be in print. It's just a matter of when and how.

Ben



Hallo Ben :)

When? I don't know. As for how? Well, I've got an idea...thought you'd never ask! haha ;)

I've discovered that there's a place on the net precisely for self-publishing. It's called Lulu dot com. I've spent some time there researching the logistics for doing a book (of some of my own work) and the process is relatively simple and pretty straight forward. Also I've read about other bloggers (elsewhere) who've published books at lulu and they seem quite satisfied with the product and results. Oh, and I did purchase one paperbound version (the cheapest available example) of a children's book, by an author whom I'd not heard of before, just to see what the quality was like. Paid $11 U.S. (plus shipping and handling as I recall) and it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. Bottom line? It's okay, good enough. I like it. But then I'm not fastidious, high maintenance or princessy about these kinds of things. Others are. C'est la vie.

In my case though, I hit a brick wall and not because of lulu publishing, but because I need an illustrator to draw images for a couple of children's books which I'd like to publish. About a year ago, I thought that I had this problem solved, but the illustrator with whom I was going to collaborate didn't deliver, in spite of promises and meetings. It was a real let-down, though perhaps it wasn't meant to be (yet) since the original mock-ups he drew of the main character in (what I hope would be) my first book were too Japanese anime-like and not at all how I picture my character/s. btw, that might sound like sour grapes, it really isn't.

Some silly, loving souls suggested that I might illustrate it myself. haha! I can't draw a straight line with a straight edge! Though I can do some really crooked ovals, circles, wonky stick figures and one truly "naif" fish. Also, I've noticed that some ancient Christians appropriated my fish drawing. Hmmmph! My mistake though, cause I clearly neglected to trademark it wayyy back then. Also, I've noticed that some of the simplest, crudest and naive cave drawings found at Lascaux and elsewhere were done by me at another time. Trust me when I say that I won't get fooled again! haha In any case, at this point it would take me several more lifetimes to accomplish such a thing as illustrating my own book.

Anyhow...

I think lulu is American based. There may be other similar self-publishing ventures on the net, but I'm not sure as I haven't researched it much beyond this. Anyone else?

Anyhow, that's also what I was thinking of when I made my request yesterday. Since Les' copy/content is already ready, it seems that the only remaining steps would be: to make selections; upload the text/pages; pick a title; choose a format (paperback, hardbound, etc); select font/s and spacing and pagination; determine a selling price; and announce the book, here, there and anywhere.

As far as editing goes, I've been a professional editor for years (as well as a bookworm all my life, btw) and I would not edit any of Les' essays, with the exception of (copy editing) ensuring that specific references to e.g person's names, book titles, and such were accurate. In my personal and professional opinion, I feel that these essays are perfect (ready and complete)as they stand, even when or where they might not be letter- or word-perfect. Get ma drift?

If you know anything about style editing, which is what upper level editors do (it's the editing that is above/beyond proofreading and standard copy editing. For instance, style editing doesn't typically involve spell- or grammar-checking, or pagination. It involves discerning and checking the tone or style of the writer's voice, and ensuring that it's consistent throughout a piece. Also, a professional would never deign to remove or add a word or phrase, not even a comma, that might alter the writer's voice, style, tone and intent.

Anyhow, that was a crash course in copy and style editing 101. haha!

Still, I too would love to get my hungry eyes on a print-bound version of some of these essays. Volume 1, perhaps?

Hint, hint. Hallo Les? ;)

latah,

Anonymous said...

For book printing I like http://www.lulu.com, its especially good for written work and I have been very pleased with the results. Thanks for the posting Les.John

Visible said...

Hi Annemarie;

I appreciate your interest in these things. I know about lulu.com although I haven't looked into it but I might because there's no point in my continuing to get ripped off by publishers; one of the reasons that I have four more books written and they remain just PDF and Word files on my computer.

I keep thinking that sooner or later someone is going to show up and take it off my hands. I prefer to be the writer not the marketer but I am slowly coming to realize that it is better if I sell my work. Probably in the coming months something is going to materialize. I'm also going to be doing vieo versions of my blog and extemporaneous commentaries on whatever.

Here is a friend of mine who is a pretty good artist, though she might not be what you are looking for she is very good at what she does. It's worth knowing her and looking through her illustrations anyway.

http://theoddneighbor.blogspot.com/

She also might know someone. if it's anime you want there are a lot of those people around.

I think there is someone out there that already knows someone who would publish these essays but just doesn't know it yet. We'll see.

Wayne... I'm so glad you've found your path (grin0

annemarie said...

Hallo Les :)

Wow. Village Idiot's comments on your essay ARE worth highlighting. I notice too that s/he sounds a lot like you (grin). What an influence you are having. Or is it the other way around? Or just more of that good ole' fashioned synchromysticism (forget where on the Net I tripped over that good word)? Or more of the connected or universal mind?

In any case, I was nodding my head throughout VI's commentary. Except for this one thing:

And if they are of Hell, which is the worst place in some arbitrary sense...

Arbitrary? So, is good or evil always relative then? I'm not convinced of this, though I can see how it could be, but only to a degree. Which would make everything relative. Right? Again, in a sense. But, I'm leaning towards...ah fuhgetaboutit, this is/could be one of those endless philosophical arguments. Stop being so damned arbitrary. Ok! Ok, fine... hahah

Talk about yer multiple personalities (grin) haha! I once had a "friend" who earnestly told me that he thought I had multiple personalities, as in a real disorder. Funny thing was, he actually was neurotic and an almost perpetual liar, but that's beside the point. Anyhow, he was correct only in that I have multiple facets to my essential character, my essential persona; which depending on my mood (and/or other stimuli or external or internal factors) cause me to behave or react/respond differently from my typical or essential behaviour, at times. Well guess what, this is actually normal, ordinary and healthy human-animal psychological behaviour, as far as I can see. And as far as psychology goes, well that area of study has been hijacked by liars, charlatans, manipulators, profiteers, and even garden-variety dimwits for ages now. For one prime example, think of Freud. In fact we might all be far better off (and ahead) today had we never heard of and from that twisted fucker. Talk about hijacking human minds! Mind fucker extraordinairre is what Freud/fraud is really all about. Anyhow...pardon my little rant/elaboration.

On that note...thieves and liars, eh? Trouble makers to a wo/man, they are. Piss me off they do. As far as I'm concerned, lies and liars cannot be justified. Though I can think of some rare exceptions (arbitrary much!). But for the most part, not! Likewise for thieves and theft.

Gotta' go now and look for your email (again), if I'm unsuccessful, I'll be back here to ask for it. Doh!

Thanks again for the space/time Les. You sure do know how to strike up the band, stir up the chorus, etc. ;)

Angels and daemons. What's it gonna be babies?

p.s. All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong? having an Eleanor Rigby moment right about now ;)

Latah ever'one,

annemarie said...

Hey Les,

Thanks for the link to


http://theoddneighbor.blogspot.com/

I'll check it out. But noooooo, I do NOT want anime. Too pointy, too angular, too something? for my tastes and characters. My characters are more classic or "old school" haha.

Fwiw, I definitely think that self-publishing is the way to go.

ciao,

susannah said...

There is the desire to leave no foot prints or good foot prints but the strangest thing is it is really beyond my control.
Let us say a situation arises and a certain amount of awareness is present enough to alert me to the fact that I am responding through defensiveness and anger and that pettiness is rising full scale. But even with that awareness the foot print splodges in that squidgy mud and an action and eternity of consequences are spun out.
Foot prints everywhere - none of which were desired by me but all of them were supposedly "made" by "me".
Good, bad, right and wrong - I don't know how to be a better human

Anonymous said...

Ways to look at this essay:
Keep a low and lower profile.
Or
Do we like ourselves? Do we like someone else's accounting of our behaviors? Does the accounting flatter our us in the tale? Or does it smear the idea of how we see ourselves, past and present? Is the tale so off-point in your own memory the immediate audience is far more comfortable going off-point as well? Yes.
Why is that? Why do the majority not like themselves? Why the big bum on this journey as compared to any other journey? Its because we are conditioned, which became self-enforced, to be in a state of bum.
Susannah, you make my point so well. We've been over the right, wrong, good, evil paradigm so many times here.
Good, bad, right and wrong - I don't know how to be a better human
As Village Idiot might take it to the mirror for us, riffing in reverse, angels, daemons, heaven and hell -
You are now, Susannah, already that better person. You were always her. You made your past - tense. I've been reading about it. You are in the Mirror now so you are making your present not tense.
Its okay to love yourself as you are now and as you've always been and as you will be.
When we are comfortable with ourself, the self of our actions, our footprints are cherished timelines, hand-colored postcards, of how we traveled to where we are today.
Nina