Imagination.

One of the things I am doing with this site to keep me inspired even when I am not — is to find words I love and write about them. I want to take one word and turn it into something more.

Recently I was incredibly inspired and am feeling a bit drained. However, I feel like a difference between a successful writer, and a hobbyist — is that they can push through times of drainage and learn to force inspiration out of themselves.

So that is what I am doing today. I picked one of the tens of drafts of words saved during times of inspiration and am looking to find more within it. I believe I have chosen a good word for my first drainage since starting this website.

Today I want to write about the word imagination and what is has meant to me as a person.

My imagination has gotten me through just about every day that I can remember. From as early as nap time making finger fights between knights and dragons — which truthfully just looked like two hands kicking each other.

Imagination is something I never, ever want to lose. It’s something that I feel I have certainly lost sharpness to over the years. Even feel like part of me starting this website was to fight for it back. To not just sit on the couch and satisfy my creative desires by consuming others’ hard work. Not to say that is a bad thing, but I have spent a lot of time in the last few years just consuming media wracking my brain for what I could do with myself.

What I could apply myself to on my free time that could be supported with my full-time job, while not distracting me from it. I’ve needed a true outlet for my imagination for some time. I work in design for a living, but there are guidelines, and decisions that are not my own. I do not begrudge these things, this is part of being a working professional and I quite like what I do and how I do it.

I did need something that is 100% completely my own however. Where I make the decisions, and choose how things look, feel, and express.

When I first created this website I didn’t even know how it would be perceived. And I am not saying it is a success, far from it. However it is already a success in the way I have wanted it to be.

I have spent the last week crying, almost daily, about the things that have been written. I have broken through a wall of creativity that has been blocked (excepting small, important doses) for nearly 10 years. I’ve been able to use my imagination again.

I love to use my imagination in my writing, even when writing non-fiction. Which I seem to be writing a lot more lately and find funny. I grew up always wanting to use my imagination to write fiction, but believe I am better served using it to illustrate real things, and real perspectives. At least at this time, that’s what’s pushing me to write more.

I don’t necessarily think people deserve to or should read these things, but want to get them down. I want them out of my head for more space for more imagination so that I can continue to do things with these words that have been missed so much.

Words and imagination go hand in hand in for me. My parents spent a lot of time teaching me the value of money growing up — but one thing they also valued was books.

My Mom would take me to the book store to buy one any time I finished the one I was previously reading. No chores needed, nothing. They would buy me books without question while growing up and I cannot thank them enough for this. I was reading adult literature like the Lord of the Rings by around 11-12, and studying it.

That is how I learned to love words and how they can be used to paint any kind of picture for any kind of mind.

Books and books and books and books. So many books that I don’t even really read them any more. I read way more comic books. Almost 100% of my actual personal reading for entertainment comes from comic books these days.

One of the reasons for this is that I really don’t want my own imagination, and my own prose affected by another’s. I really need to keep myself away from those things if for no other reason than I am terrified of accidentally being influenced by something — and then being looked at as a fake because of it.

I know I am already influenced by everything I have ever read. Though now  I feel like I have a strong grasp on the English language, and would be better served by speaking to an editor to learn more.

Maybe this is a bad choice, I am not sure of it, but I am not interested in reading books so much right now. We still have a bit of a library in our house — sometimes I will pick up a book already read and crunch a good 250 pages into it before it goes on the stack next to my side of the bed, almost certain not to be cracked open again.

I’ve been trying to find some larger meaning here, but this time I’m not so sure there is one.

I just love the word imagination, and what it brings with it. I want to make sure I never lose mine, because I feel if I do I will lose a very large piece of what makes me.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
In featured photo from left to right: Alan Elms, Brian Capone, Kevin Perkins, Paul Perkins, Sean Capone, Trevor Elms.

 

 

Choice.

I love you,

I like you,

I choose you.

These are words my wife and I say to each other regularly. Sometimes we don’t like each other, and we will tell each other. We always love each other.

We have not always wanted to choose each other, however. Yet we continually choose each other over and over again after we make mistakes, or otherwise. This is the definition of marriage. A lifetime dedication to growing with one another. People do not stay the same, you must accept and support each other for who they are and whom they grow to be if you want the relationship to succeed.

This is going to be about choice and the story of me falling in love with another woman while I was just a few months away from getting married.

This story does not go anywhere sexual, at least not physical in any way. Though I could tell, and I’m sure she could as well, that the tension needed to be cut with a chainsaw. The woman whom I speak about in this piece will not be mentioned by name, though we are in touch and I am fairly positive she will read it one way or another.

We have never overtly spoken about these feelings that I believe were always mutual.

She is a woman that when I met her — made me feel emotions that I hadn’t at times even felt around Megan. She has a smile just as bright and captivating as Megan’s and she is an extremely intelligent and driven person.

This woman challenged me mentally and meshed with me intellectually maybe more than I think anyone else ever has. I would be lying in bed next to my fiancé thinking about her and how I would get to see her when I went to work in the morning. I would think about how I would get to spend all day just talking nonsense and laughing.

We held our gazes too long, too many times — often with laughter. It was incredibly fulfilling and uplifting.

Some of my favorite days working in my life were in tandem with her. She understood me very well as a person and was able to get the most out of me while we were working together. She inspired me, to say the least. I very easily fall in love with people when they inspire me. I love to be creative but I find it hard to just bring it out from within. I need some one, or some thing to pull it out of me.

This woman pulled a lot more out of me than I could have imagined any one but Megan could, and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Even on my wedding day I was slightly concerned out about it. These are feelings I was having that I hadn’t even gotten to experience yet. Was I sure that I wanted to link my life to another when I was also in love with someone else at the same time? Is that possible? Is it okay?

It is possible; it is okay.

You see, feelings, they are not something that can be easily controlled. Love is the most uncontrollable emotion of all in my experience. Even when we want nothing else but to not love, we do so regardless.

It is perfectly acceptable to be confused and be in love with multiple people at the same time. This is what happens to us throughout life. We meet people that just absolutely enthrall us. We feel like better people around them. Their warmth makes this reality palatable in a way it would not be without them.

Feelings cannot be controlled but actions can.

Megan has known about my love for this woman since I first realized it myself. One thing we promised each other is that if we ever found feelings for someone else, we would tell the other person. So I told her, and our marriage counselor, not long after our wedding.

I had major feelings for this woman, still do, and always will. There’s a part of me that still believes I could live a life with her just as assuredly as I can with Megan.

But I don’t know —

and I do know that I can, have, and will with Megan. There is a bond there that now goes beyond attraction, beyond desire, beyond the superficial things that draw us together as people in the first place.

No matter the strength of my feelings for this other woman I never once acted upon them. I had already made a choice to be with Megan for very many reasons and she is one of the largest reasons why I am not dead in an alley or stuck in prison for the rest of my days.

There is a very sure chance that had I not met Megan this woman and I never would have met. Megan helped me find the job I met her at, even!

Only children make whimsical decisions like abandoning importance, because they don’t know any better.

I am a man. I can stand by that sentence in part because of my ability to choose Megan over this other woman years ago. But if I didn’t, what kind of man would I be? Could you even consider that type of person a man? I would have up and abandoned everything Megan and I had built together and were building together, for what?

For an idea of what else I could have instead?

Is that not greedy? Is that not egotistical and immoral? Were I to do that, regardless of how it would have turned out for me, I would have abandoned someone who I literally just helped crawl out of her own depths and madness. Megan and I are our own separate people, but we owe a lot of who we are to each other. If I had abandoned her it would have made me the definition of a scum bag.

Megan had done nothing wrong but love me, why would it be right for me to spurn that love for a chance with another? Especially with no idea, truly, if it would work out.

I think what I am trying to say here is that while a choice may not always be easy, there often is clarity about what choice should be made in a given situation. My mind may have been jumbled in all sorts of thoughts and emotions — but I still knew what the right choice was for me as a good person.

And in my heart of hearts, I truly believe she did too.

Not shortly after my wedding this wonderful woman made a choice. A choice that ego wants to tell me is in part because of our mutual affection and inability to pursue it. It’s not an answer I ever intend find out or spend any time on beyond this writing.

But I do like to think that she did us both a favor when she took another job opportunity and moved away. I do not know if we both could have stayed good people for too much longer. I like to believe so, but you can never know these things.

The love we shared was unspoken, but I can still feel it and grasp it within me today. She still inspires me, in a way, and when I said we are in touch earlier I did not mean that we speak often or even interact regularly online. We both still know what each other are up to at all times — just based on  my knowledge of social media. We support each other professionally.

I think I want to end this piece by repeating myself:

…what I am trying to say here is that while a choice may not always be easy, there often is clarity about what choice should be made in a given situation.

Do yourself a favor and listen to your mind as well as your heart. Put all things into perspective and take serious time to reflect on a decision before you make it.

Decisions like the ones that are relevant to this article are not the kind that can be made any more than once. Be sure you are confident in being comfortable in your choice for the rest of your life.

Because living with regret is a poison that eats us from the inside out.

I may still and forever feel loss. I will never feel regret.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photograph taken by Derek Lofgreen ©2013

Friendship.

I want to preface this piece by saying that I have a good amount of friends and I care for them all deeply. Moreso than I can express. This is about one friend, though. The one whom through most length in my life has always accepted me for who I am and loved me regardless. Without him I do not know what I would do.

Not shortly after my mental break with reality I told my friend Alex Thiessen.

Alex Thiessen is not just a friend. Alex Thiessen is the closest and best friend I have ever had in my life. He is not the only person in this category, but he does have a category of his own within it. Just as each of my friends does.

Alex Thiessen literally owns a piece of me, and not by choice.

He is someone who I am uncontrollably myself around. Whom when we do not speak for days, weeks, or months at a time — it feels as nothing. We are the same as always. Like a rock in the sea. Life bashes against it and it changes over time, but in the end it is always the rock. Ever the rock.

It was not but 60 seconds into the phone call that Alex told me he was flying himself to Hawai’i.

You have to understand — I was a nineteen year old recently bailed out of jail/mental rehabilitation center dragger on, and he was an eighteen year old hard working, putting himself through college badass.

Friendship 3
Pictured from left to right: Neal Radia, Jack Russel, Kisa Vanderford, Austin Haigh, Trevor Elms. Photo taken by Neal Radia in the Lexus February 1st, ©2009.

Alex didn’t think twice about dropping everything to come and see me. And I didn’t have to wait long at all. If I am remembering correctly, I was able to pick Alex up in the used Lexus that was purchased with one of the last drops of my college savings — which wasn’t going to legal fees, less than a week later. That car was too good for me.

One of my favorite things about Alex is that whenever I get around him I just want to spend time with him. We were always using our imaginations and playing trading card games. We can talk about video games, Pokémon, comic books, really any kind of media that until recently wasn’t all that accepted in pop-culture — for hours.

Even though Alex and I are odd ducks that got into real trouble in our teenage years, we never got into any with each other.

I think, mutually, we never wanted to be a bad influence on each other and we never wanted our parents to dislike us spending time together. So when Alex and I spend time together, we spend time together. It’s almost like no one else is there, because honestly I don’t think in those moments they are.

I think something that people don’t understand about true friendship is that it is true love.

I have a relationship very similar to Alex that I have with my wife. I tell him everything. Everything. 

Friendship 2
Photo taken by Alex Thiessen in Honolulu ©2009

Alex is one of the friendships in my life where I have true love for him, and him for me. We always try to end the phone call by telling each other we love one another. There is nothing subtextually or overtly sexual, but I love Alex Thiessen with every fiber of my being. He is one of the greatest people I have ever gotten to know in my life and we have both helped each other improve as human beings over our time together.

The morning after Alex arrived, the first thing we did was take the car for a walk to go to the rental store.

I can’t remember if it was a Blockbuster or not but I do remember that we grabbed a few movies and video games. The games being Prince of Persia (2008), and Infinite Undiscovery. We also grabbed an unhealthy amount of junk food and soda.

This was further rehabilitation for me, support.

Something that I believe anyone from any walk of life who goes through a hard time needs. I had a lot of support from a lot of people, which a great many people unfortunately are not afforded — and that is a tragedy. There is a lot of self-fulfilling prophecy that goes on in a person like myself’s head & life when we do not seek and gain the support we need to function.

Alex’s support was exactly what I needed at that time.

I’ve been trying to find a meaning within the words to end this piece on and support is the word to focus in on. I could probably write 30,000 more words just about Alex, but I think being as concise as possible can more often than not get the point across most clearly.

Please support your fellow humans, you do not know who they are or what they have gone through.

I feel if we spend more time supporting one another and less time judging one another then maybe we can accomplish more than we already have as a species — and that is a pretty cool idea to think about.

Give a homeless person extras while walking to your car, give a glass of water to a person working in your home, give a person who looks alone just a little bit of your time and introduce yourself. Just a little can do a lot. I have seen it and experienced it myself.

Support and give to your fellow human beings, you never know when they need it most. Give them friendship. Give them love.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured Photos taken by Kathleen Thiessen & Edited by Trevor Elms

Experiences.

I had a tattoo session recently where my friend as well as tattoo artist Jayce and I got to talking about all the stupid shit I signed myself up for as a kid.

We got to talking about this because I legitimately was about to jump into another stupid idea on a whim. Graham, another artist at the shop who I have gotten to know pretty decently over the last ~40 hours at All Sacred — made mention of something. He just blurted out while Jayce was adjusting his machine for going too fast –

“You should just do it. Check it out, get tatted with it going that fast.”

I responded without a second thought:

“Fuck it, why not? Let’s do it.” — though immediately pivoted and asked a pertinent question,

“Wait, if you actually try to tattoo me is it going to mess up the tattoo?” There is no stupid questions, only stupid answers — but I think we all know the answer I got to that question.

I told Jayce to just keep working on his stellar artwork and we’ll revisit the idea after the session, because I truly was interested.

I was interested because it was an experience I had not gone through before.

This is a very big part of my personality that I very much embrace within some bounds of personal safety. The motto “try everything once” is a creed I believe in.

I believe we can often gain wisdom and learn more through life experience than anything else. And the more we experience the more we can gain empathy and be able to put ourselves in one’s shoes.

Growing up I opted to do things like take an XL water balloon sling at full blast in the back — point blank.

I opted to to be taped in a cardboard box and slid down a flight of stairs, rolled down Niblick Dr. in a garbage can, as well as sled over a large cactus patch (we all did that one, multiple times).

My earliest memory of something like this — I don’t think I could have been much older than four or five. My cousin Kevin who is a little over a year older than me and absolutely brilliant, convinced me of a grand farce.

If I were to ride my Mongoose bicycle down my grandparent’s wooden stairs a magical fish would give me three wishes. I’m not sure where he got the idea of a fish, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t matter what he told me. All I needed was a cool thing to do and a reason to do it.

One thing I need to mention about the stairs, and this memory. They led to my grandparent’s driveway down a very acutely angled hill. The driveway is not very wide, and the stairs are perpendicular to it.

Did I mention there was a flatbed trailer on the opposite side and a partition of very old, very stoic pine trees behind that?

You can see where this is going from here. I ended up flying ass over handlebars across the flatbed to land softly in a bed of pine and branches. Thankfully young children don’t have much mass, so I got a scrape here and there as well as a way cool story.

Actually, how could I forget when my brother had me take the snow tube down the back of the house? I hit a log going at a decent whip and backflipped into an olympian-like landing.

I was two years old.

Story after story keeps popping into my head but I think I’ve illustrated enough here. This is a part of my personality that I now know I was born with. My experiences go beyond daredevil nonsense though, and that is just one of the extremes that I had the penchant to explore.

I want to share my experiences traveling the world and exploring different cultures from as early as five years old.

I think one of the greatest things my family ever did was move outside of the United States to live in Asia and discover the planet. My father took an opportunity to succeed and support his family in a promotion that meant he had to leave the U.S. behind — and he packed up his family with it.

This was in 1995 and he was working for PictureTel which was working on (and succeeding at) video conferencing over the internet before the majority of people even had it. We moved to Hong Kong and our lives were never the same. It was the 1990s, which I think in the future will be remembered a lot like the roaring 1920s. What I mean by this is when we moved to Hong Kong PictureTel didn’t just set us up there and that’s where we stayed 100% of the time.

PictureTel regularly paid for my father to take his entire family with him across countries and continents.

Places like Australia, Bali, the UK, France, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines (though we couldn’t leave the resort), & Thailand. All before I turned 9 years old. I think there’s a couple more in there I am missing, but just those blow my mind when I think about it.

With those three years in my early childhood alone I had seen and experienced more parts of the world and more cultures than most people will ever get to. This gave me a level of wisdom about acceptance and tolerance for those different than me that is now just inherent in me. I cannot understand not being accepting and tolerable of those different than you. When it comes to race, religion, rehabilitation, gender, sexual preference, personality disorder, mental illness, learning disability, birth defect, or beyond. If it is not affecting another person directly, negatively, I believe “Live and Let Live” to be a commandment of life we should live by.

It is my thirst for experience that gives me a lot of happiness in life.

It has also handed me plenty of strife. However, the biggest lesson I learned from reading “What the Buddha Taught” is that Life is Suffering. We cannot have the good without the bad. We cannot feel what truly makes this world and this life beautiful without understanding and experiencing what makes it dark and foreboding.

That doesn’t mean you need my experiences. Everyone’s are their own. But we do need to try and glean as much knowledge and wisdom about our experiences as we grow so we can continue to learn from them. All of them, not just the ones we like to remember to make ourselves feel better.

The ones we remember whether we want to or not.

I leave you by repeating this:

I believe we can often gain wisdom and learn more through life experience than anything else. And the more we experience the more we can gain empathy and be able to put ourselves in one’s shoes.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Photo by John Elms

Pages.

Written in November of 2008, probably late at night. This is another from that time period of my life I am okay with sharing.

Pages

I have yet to count,
How many pages are left,
How many have been tinkered with,
Or how many were blank beforehand.

Because a page is no longer that once it’s been personalized,
It has a spirit branching off of its creator at that point.

A finger print…

Left in ink,
not dripping, sorrowful ink.
But thoughtful.
Calculated.
Primal, pure, and

Powerful.

©2008 Trevor Elms

Bus Stop.

I wrote this with another piece I no longer respect as much in August 2008.

Bus Stop.

I used to walk this street every morning.
The long slow wind down my parent’s street to the bus stop.
In the spring the crab apples would fall to the ground,
They’d get all squished and I’d step over them.
Something about a flattened, oozing, crap apple – never invited my foot.
And now I sit here,
On this exact spot I would stand.
It has an energy,
this place.
I feel a comfort here,
It may be because I spent every morning watching the sun rise before I got to school
On this
Exact spot.
I wish I had actually appreciated that sight back then.
During the winter, before everyone turned off their water sprinklers,
Water would run down my street and gather in a shallow pool at the bottom.
By morning it would all freeze in a thin sheet.
I’d rush to the bus stop before everyone else!
Just so I could break all the ice on my own.
It had the most gorgeous texture to it,
Sometimes different shades of white would be bursting in shattered lines all across it.
The crunch the ice made when my foot made contact, was extraordinary.
It echoed within my eardrums in a soft light crinkle.
I appreciate many of the odd little things I would do for self-satisfaction when I was younger.

Curiosity is a great door to adventure…

©2008 Trevor Elms