That crossroad we come to
in moments of stress and blocks,
the struggle choking rational thoughts,
the behavior, the actions – this is not me.

How did this happen?
How did I get here?

Change is subtle and patient.
One day we vow to find balance,
to live and act a certain way,
to be, most importantly, better than
our-self yesterday.

Then time takes over,
and one winter morning, awake before the alarm,
thoughts are consumed with the upcoming day,
week, and months, items and events beyond
control, but consuming, pushing
away everything that is important, that matters.

Closing eyes tight, breathing, trying to push
this away and overcome the thoughts, but it has wrapped cold bony
fingers around the mind and wont let go.

I am losing sight of the path,
I am losing focus of the empty fields.

Each day folds into another as the weeks
and months pass with little notice
and soon another year rises beyond the horizon
and I am forced to confront where I am in this life
and if this is where I want to be, is this the path
I started down before?

How do I break from this cycle?
How do I wrestle back control and stake claim
to the life I am meant to live?

Returning from an Alaskan retreat, I am different.

Nothing earth shattering and most likely not noticeable to most people I come into contact with.

Back home, the sky has not changed, the trees stand tall against the summer blue, and the grass is coarse from overdue rain.

Obligations, bills, demands, job – waited at the front door for the week to pass and my return.

Emails arrive in the overflowing inbox and the phone still rings.

Lines form at registers waiting for morning coffee.

But something is different.

I left here in a chaotic state, doubts of the pathway I built and have stayed on, despite the uncertainty. I was clinging to the next day or week, hoping that it will be different from today, that if I just hold-out, the answers and next direction will reveal themselves.  I had become complacent and stagnant.

How many years was I going to relinquish control of my path to outside forces with unknown names and unfamiliar faces?

Something is different now that my feet are on the ground here. What happened up there in the Alaskan wilderness?

I walk to the backyard and stand on the cement patio with coffee.  The morning sun rays begin to touch treetops and the golden glow is stark against the deep blue sky.  But I do not see this and I do not hear the ravens playing in the fields beyond the hill.

Lost in some thought I cannot place, my eyes close and I am back in Alaska with a river stretching to the base of distant mountains.  I am flying above glaciers and standing so close I can taste the cold.  I am riding an ATV through forest and open fields until I stand overlooking the river valley and and lose myself to the silence, the beauty, and the immense landscape.

That is what I see now that I am back home.  Now that I have returned from an Alaskan retreat, the burdens I left here with have been replaced with nature, tangible things I can see, touch, smell, taste.  Things that will my mind and push everything else out.  In return for this gift, I am more silent, thinking before I speak, and keeping more calm and control of myself as I attempt to cope with the present and push for a different future that I create.

 

Article from MIT Technology review.  It seems we will need to develop AI to control and understand AI.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/

Intelligent Machines

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.

by Will Knight April 11, 2017

Another year on the calendar has passed and we celebrate. A celebration of accomplishments and of moving beyond events and moments we wish to forget and gain distance between.

But time has a plan for us. In the day-to-day scheme of life and the normal cycle, time is always moving forward. Ticking away at the same pace, always giving us 24 hours in each day to accomplish whatever we need to take care of. However, as a certain unit of time passes and in specific moments, we feel that time is going more slowly or more quickly. Does time change, or are we capable of controlling time, wrestling it back onto our path, the direction and plan we desire to follow?

I think at the end of each day, we and time set aside our differences, rest, and vow to continue the battle the next day. But what are we fighting for? What is our plan driving our actions, desiring some result, barreling toward some endgame? And what is left behind, what are the consequences, and who is impacted by our sphere of influence?

Regardless of time’s plan, and no matter what we do and the struggle we exert, time will visit each of us.

What we can do during the time we have, is to strive to become a better human than we were yesterday. To realize the sphere of influence we have on each other, and to make the most positive actions and results we can with the precious time we are given.

fullsizerender5

fullsizerender8

fullsizerender10

Every day is a battle
to find more or slow down or move faster.

Yet time is not aware of our desires
and continues in one steady direction.

The very definition of time is based on
processes and natural events occurring

millions of miles beyond the grasp
of worn and tired hands.

Yet we continue to pin our decisions,
our careers, our relationships, and our lives on time.

We lose focus on now as we reminisce of the past
and wish for the future.

We forget how precious time can be
if we choose to accept our loss of control.

We can only control the present, the people,
and the moments we hold close.

alaska-20100729-20100807-150

In
a deep fog,
a wakeful sleep,
a field lit by ten-thousand lanterns
reflects the chaotic sky passing
through different sets of reality,
a physical manifestation of the
struggle, of the storm taking hold.

In
this clear moment,
a disconnected view of what is true
I let go of attachment and emotion
and take hold of my thoughts and actions.

FullSizeRender 7

The mirror is still and silent.
The mirror has no voice.

The mirror follows me
neither of us has a choice.

I watch myself
watching me.

The mirror reflects the sky
reflecting the sea.

Passing time has brought
changes and distance

the face grey with wrinkles
this person makes less sense.

How did I get here
where do I desire to go?

If the mirror is my reflection
what more must I show?