Pseudocide

Darwin CBD Sunrise

Ken Kesey committed pseudocide after being sentenced to prison for the possession of marijuana. He left a suicide note in his truck, parked it at the edge of a cliff in California, and took off with his friends to Mexico.

Huck Finn also committed pseudocide. He wanted to get away from his alcoholic father and go on adventures. There’s a brilliant scene where Huck and Tom hide in the rafters of the funeral home during Huck’s funeral. That scene made an impression on me as a kid. (What will they say about me when I’m gone?)

A pseudocode is a little death, and death is good for us in small doses.

The pressures of life expand like steam in a chamber and they need to be released or else. And sometimes man, a two week vacation just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes a vacation is a torturous little tease. The first dagger is a dreary life, but the second dagger is gazing into the future and realizing that nothing’s likely to change.

The doctor tries to patch you with pills, but really what you need is a micro dose of death and rebirth.

For some it’s a breakup or a divorce. For some it’s a new job, a new town. A psychedelic trip or a road trip. Quitting the habit you never thought you could quit.

These things feel like death. But now you’re reborn, and what will you call yourself? Maybe you’ll leave your iPhone in the drawer for a week and who cares? Time is on your side. The rainy days are even lovelier than the sunny ones. You suddenly realize that time travel is a waste. Because the men in black flashed a red light in your face and erased the past. People still warn you about tomorrow and her army of troubles, but you take it all with a grain of salt, because anyone who purports to read the future is a liar.

You’re like Huck Finn in the rafters, or Ken Kesey crossing the Mexico border. You’ve got $5 in your pocket, a sunburn on your neck, and a backpack full of apples. Once your soul is weightless, then baby you can really fly.

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Guardian Angels: Thursday, June 4th

You are never alone when you write. Your guardian angel stands behind you, holding sword and shield, gravely bowing his or her head.

Guardian Angels vary in size and personality. In general they are tall, which makes it easy for them to see over your shoulder and onto the page. They are not the cutesy cupid breed of angel, nor the white-robed, halo sporting type. They are warriors who direct their people with a firm hand.

There is only one thing that Guardian Angels care about, and that is Truth with a capital “T”. They know, better than you do, when you are being true to yourself. And they know instantly when you start holding back because of fear, insecurity, or laziness. They serve as the “Quality Control” branch office of your soul. When you make an excuse about having to run some errands, your Guardian Angel pushes you back into your chair and says, “first finish your work.”

Guardian angels despise commercials and advertisements. They generally like documentaries, as well as blogs and autobiographies and quality fiction stories. They are big fans of the first draft, and the stream-of-consciousness approach to writing.

The author Ken Kesey once said: “The job of the writer is to kiss no ass, no matter how big and holy and white and tempting and powerful.”

That was obviously Kesey’s angel speaking. Because guardian angels understand the simple secret to success that people never can quite grasp: We respect and adore originality in others, but we are too afraid to demand it of ourselves.