May I have 7m55s of your time please?
Having been inspired by a friend's PechaKucha presentation in Grand Rapids, I put my own together. The gig was on Devil's Night, 2012 at Stella's Lounge. Below are the images and the "scripted" text I put together. If you prefer to just skip ahead, you can watch the edited video here, or just click on the YouTube vid below. I assure you that in this instance, the book rivals the movie...
1. Altar Boy
|St. Thomas church, Grand Rapids. 1988?|
Eleven years old. Brought up in a Catholic community but not in the schools. This is when I was still innocent enough; still believing what I was told. Close to a community of love but still removed from the practicalities of the "real world." Not just due to schools and growing up in East Grand Rapids. It has all shaped me.
Does this knowledge affect your perception of me or my words?
2. Prison Picture
Jump ahead eight years, to nineteen, and I am in prison, which brings us to this spot. Age twenty-nine and in the tenth year of my incarceration. Out of whack, had been for a long time. Alcohol, drugs, confusion about my sexual orientation -I am not that person anymore, but it is still me, still Ryan. Does this knowledge affect your perception of me or my words?
3. Manure Photo
|Everything has its place.|
But the bullshit stopped a while ago. Things became clear. I opened my eyes, heart and soul, and realized/remembered there is beauty everywhere. In connection with ourselves, with others, with nature and food, honest communication with children and establishing a pure signal flow with all you come in contact with.
4. Left/Right View from Fuller Ave
|East/West. Left/Right. Rep/Dem. Truth/Lies.|
After a radical shift in perception, I now look at the world in a different way. I step outside my house and look right and see yards and yards of telephone wire, and chemical trails from the multiple airplanes. I look left and see the sun beaming off the changing leaves and catch the moon through the trees. But are these my only choices?
|Best buddies off the court.|
This guy. No, this guy. No - same guy. Blue tie/red tie. Left/right. Surely we all understand that these two are not the only options. It is not enjoyable to live by the 'lesser of two evils' motto. But we must continue to seek answers and always question the status quo to find the real truths. Our chains are being pulled and it has to stop.
6. TV Head Pencil Drawing
|Turn off the idiot box. Do not worship this deity.|
TV is a babysitter. It is being used by the government and other nefarious parties on you, as it was used on me in prison. Mind control through adverts telling us all we are each fat and ugly and must change who we are. We also believe that enjoying the quality programming is exactly what we should be doing with our time. This is not natural evolution, as our minds are not focused on ourselves and our passions and dreams. It is called "programming" for a reason.
7. Brain Wave Graph
|Hypnosis via your flatscreen.|
Just thirty seconds of TV causes the brain to begin to produce alpha waves, putting you in a very susceptible state. Alpha waves affect the limbic system which is largely responsible for developing long term memory, and is involved in decision making, reward seeking and addiction. Studies show that the time spent in front of a TV is akin to smoking opium as far as your brain is concerned. Seems like the messages are getting through LOUD and CLEAR!
8. Repeat After Me!
|Walk your own path. Always.|
Get a job. Go to work. Get married. Follow fashion. Act normal. Walk on the pavement. Watch TV. Obey the law. Save for your old age...Now repeat after me: I AM FREE! I AM FREE! I AM FREE!
|Poisoning your body, one gland at a time.|
In 1945 Grand Rapids became the first city in the world to add fluoride to the public water supply. It is now believed that fluoride causes calcium buildup in soft tissue therefore hindering glands' abilities to produce natural chemicals which help to regulate our systems. This includes the pineal gland, causing the retardation of melatonin production.
10. Water Crystal
|The Healing Power of Water.|
"Hado" is a Japanese word meaning vibration. Vibration is the intrinsic "thing" found on an atomic level that allows all matter to occur and exist. Dr. Masuru Emoto conducted hado experiments with water crystals, and photographed their response to both positive and negative outside stimulation. This is a crystal exposed to the thought of 'thank you', and is beautiful complex and clear. Our energy is powerful and affects others. Praise equals beauty and health.
11. Pineal Gland
|Follow the guide. Trust the signs.|
The highlighted area is the pineal gland. This is our third eye, which helps guide us through our physical life and assists us in reaching the stream of consciousness we reintegrate into, after our physical form expires. The pineal gland gets its name from the Latin 'pineus', meaning pinecone, and allows us to "see" what our forward facing eyes may be unable to fully process.
|This statue itself is impossible to miss; its meaning is far less obvious to see.|
The Vatican has a very large pinecone statue very publicly displayed in a courtyard. Millions of visitors see it every year, but few realize the the Catholic Church puts this symbolism in plain sight as a tease, as a joke, as a reminder that they have a knowledge of something even the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide do not have. What are they trying to hide? Freedom.
13. Pinecone Fibonacci Numbers
|0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, etc.|
The pinecone is one of the many natural occurrences in which we see the expression of the golden ratio, known as phi. The closest we humans have come to being able to represent this perfection is with the sequence of numbers know as the Fibonacci Series. This sequence also dictates the branching of trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruit spouts of a pineapple and the nautilus' shell's growth and appearance.
14. Golden Spiral
|Φ = 1.618033988749895…|
This is a representation of phi, or perfection. We are able to trace this line back to its source, allowing a deeper understanding of the necessity of dissecting events, interactions and our life experiences down to the core. In retracing our steps we can access and reveal knowledge found within us, therefore arming ourselves with the tools necessary for any given situation we may find ourselves in.
15. Pirate Ship/Sun
|Fairgrounds in Wisconsin.|
Beauty abounds! The freedom we seek does not come lightly. We must continue to question and conquer our fear. That is the only thing in our way and that fear comes from us. We are in control of our reality. Only us. We always have everything we will ever need, right in front of us, at all times. We need only look around.
|Rockies or Sierra Nevadas.|
More beauty! I have found my place. I am no longer in my way and I am free. My ego has been shed and I incorporate joy, passion, desire, drive, and love into all I do. There is no place for fear. Fear does not "fit" into a free existence. Removing fear and focusing only on love removes society's nonsense mindless opinion.
17. Control/Happens for a Reason
|A strange fact.|
Both true. How do we explain the paradoxical existence of these conflicting statements? As I said before: you create your reality. Your reaction to anything is a choice, physically, mentally and emotionally. Yes, you did make the decision to come to Stella's tonight. Your decision. But what you hear, what you take from this could be a surprise. Maybe you are "supposed" to be here tonight. Ultimately, we decide how we spend our twenty-four hours.
18. Slayer Shirt/Sign
There is a gentleman who carries a sign damning all sinners to hell, who shows up at Festival each year. Some of you may have seen him. I countered with a sign of my own and stood by him for many hours. His life experiences shaped him as they have for all of us. But none of us are damned. Maybe slightly unaware of certain truths, but the answers are out there if we are asking the right questions.
19. Flower of Life
|A powerful guide, providing a bright light for our conscious path.|
The Flower of Life is a symbol of sacred geometry. Another guide to get us all back to the truth, through the acknowledgement of beauty and perfection. We must not allow others to negatively influence us. We must push harder. We must not fear. We must not allow ourselves to be subservient. We must not allow ourselves to be passive and we must not continue to stand in the line we are told to stand in.
20. Goethe Desk Mask
|Weird but cool.|
Goethe, the German poet said: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
Life begets life. Our existence allows other existence. That truth should lead us to the realization of our own omnipotence. I urge you all to question the status quo, evaluate your life and evolve as you should. Shed your fear and let's talk.