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    Thursday
    Oct042018

    The Lessons of Hedonism 

    Precious gems, minerals, and Mother Earth herself, are all formed by heat, fire, pressure, upheaval, and complex cataclysmic processes.

    So, in many ways, are we.

    My privileged and beautiful existence has been starkly punctuated by plenty of trauma. Trauma that has partially molded me, formed me, and shaped me, into who and what I am today.

    It’s taken me a long time to wrap my arms around that; to fully embrace the traumatic events of my life, not under a veil of cynicism and anger, but as a process of transformation.

    Strongly hedonistic by nature, my mercurial proclivity is fundamentally drawn to the indulgence of pleasure, sometimes regardless of consequence. Give it to me, give it all to me, and give it to me, right now. Fuck the torpedoes. 

    The hard lesson remains that life is not all about that endless pursuit of pleasure. Although I never want to lose that wanderlust, it does not define me. It will not continue to be The Tarot of My Life. I’ve tried that. The journey is fun. Then it’s not. I know where it ultimately leads, if given full, unbridled reign. And it’s a dead end.

    Pleasures of the flesh: oh baby, do I love those. Pleasures of the ego: well, those feel damn sweet. Pleasures of all of that which is outside of myself; you will hear no complaints from moi. But all of those have a shelf life. And a rather short one. Which means that, if unchecked, my life simply becomes about looking for the next buzz.

    These days, my life is no longer just a vehicle through which I can satisfy my desires. My life is expanding into a vehicle through which I can take those experiences and teach others the lessons I’ve learned, the insights I’ve gathered, the wisdom I’ve gleaned, and the knowledge of self I’ve stepped into. 

    I’m glad to have been there. I’m grateful that I know what it feels like to go way too far. I’m thrilled that it has taught me so much. I bask in the wisdom that, such precious lessons are meant to be shared.

    We teach what we most need to learn.

    Ay-fucking-men.

    Many of us go through life never embracing such wanton desires. Many of us never know what it’s like to push the envelope so far that it no longer resembles an envelope. If I’ve been on the other side, it’s because I’m meant to share the joys and pitfalls and wisdom of such a traverse. My journey is thus not just a vein attempt at self-pleasure. It’s a also a tool to teach something to the world, so that I can contribute something to the lives of others. 

    The message I keep getting, over and over again, through all my recent upheavals, is that Life is now asking me to Go Big. To share even more. To Step it Up. 

    The last two years have been a barefoot walk though fire. Like gems, like precious stones, like the very bedrock under our feet, I am constantly being formed by fire, by turmoil, and by upheaval. By the embrace of mother earth and father sky. By the very heavens and by the very ground itself.

    My metaphysical experiences of both crying aloud whilst burning through a volcano, and smiling hysterically as I careen down a smoothly paved road in a Ferrari whilst getting a hummer, have taught me more than I ever realized.

    Rumi said that “The wound is where the light enters”. I would add that, once the light enters, it becomes our calling to beam that light back into the world. Only then, can we truly connect. Only then, do we create from our hearts. Only then do we love in the way of the divine. 

     

    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

    Monday
    Sep242018

    Ah, Angel

     

    Ah, Angel

    We met

    She danced

    So I named her

    Dance-ala

    We fell in love

    So I called her

    Yoga-la

    Cheeky-la

    Laugh-ala

    Tipsy-la

    Feets-ala

    Sexy-la

    Hug-ala
    Kiss-ala
    Love-ala

    Angel-ooh-lala 

    Shewasamymumma-la

    Angel, ah

     A     n     g     e     l     a

     

              - SuperFly Clint

    Tuesday
    Sep112018

    A Love Letter To My Wife

    Hey My Love…

    I haven’t met you yet. Or maybe I have. Not really sure. No matter. You’re out there. I can feel You.

    You’re a brunette…..or maybe a blonde….possibly a redhead. Perhaps your hair is highlighted in a variety of colors - purple, pink, fuchsia - I really don’t care. I just love that you are all of you.

    I’m your’s, Mama. You have my heart. Which means, you have the very best I have to give. You have what matters most to me. You have the single most precious gift I can give you.

    What’s inside there is sacred; it’s tender, gentle, fiery, untamable, wild, passionate, powerful, sometimes misunderstood; it’s incredibly beautiful, romantic, authentic, and absolutely immense. And it’s your’s. Because that’s what love looks like to me. 

    I will love you in a way you may never knew even existed before we met.

    And, there’s something else you need to know:

    I ain’t gonna be easy. 

    For one thing, I’m prone to sometimes wrapping that tender heart inside a slab of stone. And not just any stone: Granite. I consciously chose Granite. Because Granite is hard as fuck. Granite is also textured, colorful, and rich; formed by the fire and brimstone of the earth and heavens themselves. Granite is really beautiful. There’s nothing I would rather have to protect that soft handful of precious tissue. That Granite has helped me survive.

    But sweetness…..

    I’m so tired of being that way. My heart is lighter than air. But that Granite, fuck, it’s heavy. Sometimes it hurts my chest, burdens my body, just to carry it. 

    Let me know that I don’t have to be that way with you. Let me know, I can just let that Granite go. Let me know that I can save my Granite for when I need it. For when we need it; like when anyone or anything means you harm. Let me know that I can just be myself with you: in all of my glorious, mecurial, strong, sensitive, wild, passionate, splendid, creative, powerful, one of a kind, exquisite, messy, flawed, boyish, silly, life loving, fucked-up, glory.

    Let me draw an analogy. Some men are like a blue Buick, or maybe a black Mercedes, cruising down a well traversed interstate highway. They are very stable. Predictable. They don’t swerve much. They stay inside the lines. They rarely pass on the right. They go over the speed limit, but not by much. They stay on course. Minimal bumps. All four wheels, always on the road. Radio never too loud. 

    And, they rarely look under the hood.

    Baby, that ain’t me.

    I’m more like a metallic purple custom GTO convertible, speeding down a road I carve myself, full of swerves, and surprises; passing on the right if the left ain’t open, going well over the speed limit, radio volume often on 11. I pay attention, but I’m in constant awe of my incredible surroundings. 

    I stop, frequently, and soak it all in. I relish the sheer experience of it, and take a fuck ton of pictures. 

    What’s most important to me on this journey, is that I share it. All of it. With you. 

    And, I love looking under the hood. I love looking at what’s inside. 

    Different? You bet. Complicated? Yup. A tad harrowing at times? Absolutely. 

    However……

    I got you, baby. You’re safe with me. One arm is on the wheel, and the other arm is wrapped lovingly and securely around your shoulders. 

    Because I’ve made a choice: I don’t wanna do this ride without you. Not anymore. I don’t wanna live this magic unless you are by my side. For you are the other half of one soul. You are the other piece of something far greater than both of us. So I’m not letting go. Ever. No matter what.

    I make you this promise: We are gonna be fucking amazing together. I will fiercely guard your path. I will have your back, your front, your flank. And you are going to feel so loved. You are gonna be so exquisitely cherished. You are gonna be so preciously honored. I am gonna rock your world, dent your universe, drop your jaw (and your pants), and curl your toes. I am going to do whatever I have to, to take us where I know we can go together. We are gonna have one incredible connection. We are gonna have one incredible life together. 

    I know, doll. I’m a bloody handful. Probably two. Maybe even three.

    But I am so fucking worth it.

     

     ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

    Thursday
    Jun212018

    The Magic of Questions

    “We thought we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong."  -  Bono

    Long before I ever heard the song, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock, by U2, I was seeking answers, but sometimes asking the wrong questions. No matter. What was important was that I was damn fucking curious.

    We’ve all heard that “Curiosity killed the cat”. Bullshit. I would rather be a cat killed by curiosity than a cat so asleep at the wheel of life that he never ventured deep into the unknown; never questioning, never looking, never seeking, never bothering to go beyond the limits of his own metaphysical peripheral vision. 

    Ultimately, the questions we ask are more important than the answers. Because we may never get the answers. But at least we can be clear about the questions. Answers are more ethereal, more subjective, and more determinant based on their source. Questions are actually more concrete, more definitive. Paradoxical, but true. 

    You can tell a lot more about a person based on the questions they ask, or don’t ask, rather than the answers they give. When you have a conversation with someone, pay attention to the questions you ask, and pay attention to the questions they ask. What are you curious about? What are they curious about? The breadth and the depth of the questions define the conversation, not the answers. 

    Even today, I’m as insatiably curious as a child. Curiosity is one of the cornerstones of my personality, one of my definitive traits. I love being surrounded by curious people. They feed me, and I feed them, with the questions we ask. Looking for the answers is often more satisfying than actually getting them. When I am immersed in the process of discovery with another person, I feel a deep sense of connection. At its best, the experience is spiritual.

    My father was incredibly curious, and he planted that seed in me. I recall a very poignant moment with him one day about 25 years ago. We were sitting in his office, where we had many great discussions together. On this day, we were talking about success, and how we define it. I asked my dad what the word “success” meant to him. He told me that it wasn’t about how much money you make. For my dad, it was about how much one is loved, and how much one loves. He rattled off a slew of adjectives that defined the parameters of success for him: respect, kindness, integrity, generosity, being the best friend, husband, father, uncle, you could be. He basically, without knowing it, described himself.

    But when I then asked him if he considered himself a success, my father shocked me with his reply: “Not really” he said. I came back with “Dad, do you realize that you just described yourself?”. 

    Then, my dad paused, and did what he always did when he was deeply pondering something. He squinted his eyes, stared off into space, leaned back in his office chair, and gently picked his lip. My dad was, for a moment, speechless. I had nailed him, and he knew it. After a few moments, he said, “Yeah, you’re right. Let me get back to about that.” I loved it when I asked my dad a question he couldn’t answer. He respected and valued my curiosity, and my intelligence, and this was vindication of that.

    Dad never did get back to me on that one. If he came back to life, that is where my first discussion with him would begin. Right after I hugged and kissed him like there was no tomorrow. 

    When I was in school, During tests, I would routinely make up the answers to questions when I didn’t have a clue. My philosophy was, if I couldn’t make an educated guess, I might as well have some fun. 

    Join me for part two when I delve into the creative mayhem of that.

     

    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved. 

    Tuesday
    May152018

    The Phantom Of The Opera (Me & My Monsters - part 2)

     

     

    One Saturday night, when I was about ten, my folks left my twin brother and I alone in the house to go get the pizzas they had ordered for dinner. It’s the first time I ever remember my folks leaving us alone at night. 

    They picked a doozy of a night to leave Mike and I alone. Because, on that night, for the first time in my limited lifespan, the original silent version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney, was airing on Channel 2, one of the two local Public Television stations in Boston.

    I was familiar with the story of The Hunchback, and had heard so much about the movie, but had never seen it. That was back during a period when even iconic cinema was not readily available. This may shock some of you younger readers, but if you wanted to see a movie that wasn't in the theatres, you had to wait until it aired on television. And you may have to wait for that for years. This was at a time when there were only a total of maybe eight stations you could get (three major networks, three UHF channels, and two public television stations. And even that lofty number was only available in major markets). This was the true age of PC: the archaic time of “Pre-Cable”. 

    The real gem of the evening, for me, however, was not even the movie. It was the highlight real of The Career of Lon Chaney, when they showed the unmasking scene of arguably his most famous movie, The Phantom of The Opera. 

    The face of The Phantom of The Opera is possibly the most frightening face in the history of moviedom. Incredible, when you consider that it was created in 1925, in black and white, during the silent film era. There was thus no spoken dialogue to augment the visual. Although, there was music. One could argue that such a limitation as no talking, and the only sound being music, actually made what you saw on the screen all the more impactful, all the more terrifying.

    And, even more amazing, The Face of The Phantom was created by the actor himself, using nothing but makeup, greasepaint, prosthetics, and very effective lighting. No post-production special effects. No CGI. No real technology to speak of. 

    The unmasking scene had nonetheless lived inside of me ever since my Aunty You-You told me about it. 

    The Face simultaneously scared the crap out of me and drew me towards it like a moth to a flame. I had only seen The Face in still images and artist’s impressions. I had never seen the the moving image.

    In the early 1970’s, you never knew when you would actually get to see an actual movie, or even a clip of it. That created a completely unknown time frame of anticipation of when, or even if, you would see it. That anticipation created a potential impact that doesn’t exist today, when virtually any image, be it moving or still, is virtually always at our disposal. 

    When I finally saw that scene of unmasking, it burned itself so far into me that it made it’s way into my sub-conscious. For years. I remember being scared to death, seeing The Face it in all it’s glory, not turning away, and being so riveted that I literally froze. 

    I had nightmares about That Face for years. It would wake me up screaming and crying, thankful that it was only a dream. 

    But was seeing that face worth it? Fuck yeah.

    We Monster Fans are A Rare Breed.

     

    © 2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.