We’re reaching the end of the year, and I’d say we’re in ‘that place’. We’re in the limbo circle– much like the new year haze, it is the disorientating space between the end and the beginning, where there’s a bit of a veil over reality. If you don’t know yourself to be coming or going, and too like you’re in an overheated room waiting on a key for the window, then you’re probably struggling to healthily produce right now. As am I, obviously. There are few things that refresh me more than thinking about things that are well able to refresh me.
A very small number of things have given me exactly what I needed when I’ve reached for them this year. They are physical things that have transcended themselves, things I have absorbed as mind and heart fuel. The first is hot showers and killer hot baths. The second one is homemade juices, and the intermittent periods spent drinking those over eating. The third is Metro Boomin’s ‘HEROES AND VILLAINS’ December album. These three have said things to me, have worked with me in carrying on.
If I’m having a day that is leaving much to be desired, I ask myself the question. There is only one right answer, and if I cannot say yes in response, then the solution is so black-and-white reliable that I instantly feel at ease. There is a hot shower in every pleasant day, and it is so efficient in righting many wrongs that it feels full of placebo. But, so? There have been many times this year where I thought I was going to fall off the edge, and then I had to ask myself ‘do you even feel clean?’ Do you even feel clean, or are you dry-faced and musty-mouthed, trying to make big decisions? And if the answer was no, or ‘yes my breath stinks and I’m writing important emails’– then it’s time to shower and restart the day. This occurs on days where life starts to run away from you on a day off, and you’ve tricked yourself into a ‘slow’ morning that doesn’t have to go anywhere specific. A hot shower saves such a day, if you’re like me and feel the need to ‘save everything’. And scary hot baths just wipe the entire slate clean, I like to replicate the feeling of having just been born again.
The juicing stuff is exactly what you suspect– the stuff of LA legend, suburbia legend, with an element of delusion and denial, if you’re presumptive. But it’s really helped me I fear. I don’t remember why I started doing it; it likely started as an adventure down another road of unendurable-endurable endurance, much like calorie counting and writing for you each week until further notice. I wanted to see if I could live on something thin and liquid for two days a week, and then see if it would help with living on nothing more than what was good for me for the remainder of said week. No coffee, no chewing for two whole days. I did it, and still do it. After a year that I could not complain about more, I wanted to see if it was true that there is a super saiyan level of strength that can only be gained after you’ve hit the wall, and it was. It also feels like a secret hidden at the earth’s core– how focused and wise you are when you are empty. It’s a great way to start the week. I keep a juice to last for the remainder of the normal eating days because I so crave what is good for me. My parents have been doing it for years– juice fasts that last weeks to a month, and I am someone who now comfortably takes their advice as I journey ever closer to becoming them. I use it to remind myself of my own strength and ability to operate at maximum potential. Very shortly, I will then be able to unlock the very same in others. Which leads us seamlessly onto ‘HEROES AND VILLAINS’.
This project came out with 26 days between now and 2023, and I don’t know why but I’m usually a bit of a lame duck when it comes to approaching anything new. I did play this one though without hesitation, and my sister and I danced to it to really lock it in. There are ways to speak about this album, but I’m not licensed to write technically about music, so I’ll talk about it in the only way I know how. I have great admiration for the self assignment of great responsibility. Metro Boomin’s great assignment for this year was to squeeze the nectar out of the artists he worked with, to show us that multiple resurrections can be performed, as well as all manner of miracles when we lean on our supernatural abilities. People were on the album to bury past versions of themselves under the command of one man, who was under the command of something greater still. And I said to myself, ‘it seems, in spite of the year we’ve all had, that mastery is still a non-negotiable’. It cured my burnout and pushed me forward, because good work encourages good work.
See you next week.