On the Twelves

(written on 12.12.12)
Today, I celebrate my 39th birthday, surrounded by a few friends and a celebratory social network of people that I’ve mostly never met, or have known from a different chapter of my life. I appreciate the kindness of all, nonetheless. It is a pay-it-forward time, and the social experiment of Artemis Sere is dedicated to educating and enriching the lives of others; it is nice to know that it is working, in some respects.
It is a crisp winter day, the local community recovering from a dumping of a foot of heavy snow a few days ago. The wheels are beginning to spin as normal again, unlike this day two years ago, when I was completely snowed in. Life is a bit like that on a regular basis these days: the weight of it all can make the roads impassible, slowing the gears of us all to a crawl.
I know I am a victim of my own ambition. My focus on evolving Artemis Sere has driven everything real from my world. In this fake space, time flies, and there is no spectre of dying. Maybe this is the infinite answer to pushing away atrophy, or maybe this is just the most efficient path between points A and B. No myth. No faith. A handful of doubt and a Bible of more questions than answers.
I live, without reservation and without looking back. I allow the alien to take over completely, and learn to appreciate the mysterious middle of nowhere, place my escape in the path of totality and singularity. This is an unknown landscape.
Maybe, like the Pilgrims, I escaped here to avoid persecution. But then, as a virus does in the landscape of its violent host, I fight for stability and survival, for control of resources necessary for survival and replication. In time, the virus evolves and adapts.  Through bloodshed and symbiosis, compromise and gnosticism, it hangs on. Finds away. Claws and crawls its way out from under the weight of chalky fallen skies. Inching towards the light, ever toward the primordial and comfortable pockets of heat. 
And give thanks for surviving the fight, seldom acknowledging the death that went into life.
I spent roughly ten years fighting to survive, against medical and spiritual odds. Like a virus or a Pilgrim or a kid tasked with carving a foot of fallen snow, we’re all working against gravity–both physical and meta. Our resilience and security assured with every child that grows up to know how to shovel, how to be strong when the heavy years bear down.
On this intersection of twelves, I am thankful for my renewed strength to fight. You cannot appreciate the integrity of a human life until it’s taken from you and replaced with faulty bricks and imperfect mortar. While my fate may fall in line with that of Fortunado, cask in hand and walls slowly building around me, I am not afraid. 
This shovel buried in my heart will never break or rust or fall to splinter.

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