“The Existentialist” Meaning

Three years ago now I launched The Existentialist website, what I like to call my online art portal and still do. It started out as a beginners blog with a basic layout, but it’s not just a blog to me anymore. I’ve been making more of my art behind the scenes and have been redesigning the gallery so it’s updated with new works. My plan was to have the entire website redesigned by the new year but we all know how life can be.

Over these years I’ve changed a lot, the people I left behind taught me a lot. My environment changed a lot, the people around me too and the worlds I’ve had the opportunity to see I’m grateful for it all. These changes have pushed me to move forward with my art and my writing, just not on the public level… until now. Writers block plays a huge part too because some writers want their words to be seen and others write for their own sanity, for no one else’s opinion.

“At the end of the day, I have to keep moving forward with something because it’s better than nothing. I fear nothing, hence The Existentialist motto.”

emriyus, 2022

The Existentialist Meaning

“Life is what we make of it.”

existentialism

Very cliché to say, when the truth is hard to handle and most of the times we don’t know what to make of life. Living ain’t easy. In my mind that’s the reason philosophy was born, people had nothing much to do except learn to survive and live in the world around them. The battle between science and religion that’s never-ending.

We still do that today, on a more modern level which is why most of us forget the fact that “me and the people around me, the strangers I see on the street, driving, biking, walking, we are all doing what we need to do to live and I need to let that be. I need to keep doing my thing to survive.”

*art coming soon*

I don’t like making promises – I like teaching patience.

The Bigger Picture – A Short Story
The written piece below is a first draft of a future chapter …
The Beginning to The End
In two months time we'll be in the year of 2023. That …
Existential Threats
Climate change, civil warfare and overpopulation. Of course there’s more than those …
‘Long Time No See’
There are so many questions in life and about it that we …
Do You Mind The Mind?
The past month or so has been a blast, I don't want …
“LGBT Youth in Care” pt.1
It’s time to come out with it. I’m turning 21 this year …

Supporting The Existentialist Cost $0

Monthly newsletters are sent out to supporters the last day of every month.

acceptance art awareness becoming being believe choice communication culture decisions desire energy existence existentialism experience flow god human lgbt life love meaning novel novella partnership perserverance Personal Philosophical Theories philosophy poem Poems pyschology reality relationships shortstory social spokenword story theexistentialist thinking thoughts trauma water wiggles writing

THE EXISTENTIALIST © 2023

The Bigger Picture – A Short Story

The written piece below is a first draft of a future chapter in a novel I’m writing. I aim to publish for fall of 2023, depending on how things go maybe sooner, probably later. I want to make sure this story is written how it should be, not how I want it to be. For more information on my novels in the works check out this post here. Please feel free to leave comments on what you think, share it with your people! Anything helps 🙂 Enjoy the read…


The stank of the sewer water flowing under the bridge stimulated my senses more than this coffee. My fingers held onto the plastic cup, a few droplets of condensation stuck to my skin as I passed it from my left, to my right hand. The cold sent a shiver up to my arm. “You never rated the muffin, how was it?” Polaris walked step by step beside me, playing catch up with my long strides. She was slow and clumsy, yet I love that about her, for the most part. We hadn’t talked much since I got off from my real job and she had been in classes. What can I say? Rough day.

I looked over at her with a smile, “Muffin’s not bad. Dry though.” I sniffled, feeling the bits of chocolate chip fall on my tongue as I swept the inside of my mouth clean of muffin crumbs. My tastebuds picked up a hint of cigarette as we walked through Victoria Park passing an older man with a smoke lit. Impulsively I reached for my smokes. “Other pocket. Here’s the lighter.” Polaris laughed at me with a smirk, handing me the lighter she slung her hand around my waist like a lasso pulling me closer to her. “Thank you m’love.” My eyes said the rest and I kissed the top of her head. What would I do without this girl? Tingles went up my spine as her fragile flower hand brushed my arm to grab the coffee with her other hand. She took a generous sip as we walked in sync, rounding the bend where the park ended and Main Street started.

A bird call pierced the sky above, looking up I noticed a red-wing blackbird circling the Main & Brawne intersection. I stepped off the sidewalk to light my smoke in the LCBO parking lot while we waited for Joey and Max to show up. Cars tires making the sharp right turn onto Main kissed the pavement with passion to keep the car on the road, the city bus behind it turned the bend faster than usual down the street. The red-wing blackbird pierced the sky again with its call, this time diving in front of Polaris and I, then up and over the fence behind the LCBO. Polaris shrieked in shock. “What the fuck was that?” That bird did not look right… didn’t fly right either. The air brakes hissed from the bus as it came to a stop not more than three metres away from where we were smoking in the lot. The automated voice overflowed onto the sidewalk calling out “Next stop. Main & Brawne Street” The suction of the bus doors closing made my heart drop for a moment, then the bus pulled off. The bus number on the back read: “1002.” The same bus Cam died on. This wasn’t right, that bus was terminated from service months ago. People coming out of the LCBO seemed to be walking in slow motion into the parking lot and into the streets. The sun disappeared behind a thicket of dark clouds. My sun-kissed skin turned grey under the cloud’s shade and the leaves made a white noise as they danced to a halt. The music of life paused for a moment. Nothing felt right.

Polaris sensed my intuition was bugging out and squeezed my hand tight. “Talk to me, M.” Before I could speak my phone rang. Children screamed simultaneously as they biked by, my thoughts and nerves running rampant. I wait for the screaming kids to pass before answering. “Yo, it’s M. talk.” From the other end, rough static, faint cries and a sniffle. “Yo M… I know you don’t wanna talk to me right now… but I got serious news…” The voice trailed off, bottles clanged in the background and girls laughed. My whole body tensed up.“Talk!” I demanded. “M, Max is dead…and I just did blow for the first time.” 


I couldn’t see my surroundings with the mass amount of tears pouring out from my eyes. Everything in front of me was blurry and the faster I tried to run the harder it became to see. Trees blurred together, creating a thick line of gradient greens. Cars flew by me simultaneously, blinding me with their headlights, stars of light taking over my vision when I looked at them. Dazed, my eyesight began to fade. I watched through the slits of my eyelids closing as my feet started missing the sidewalk and headed towards the road. In and out of sight, lost in blinding car lights, and the stars that they created, it was too late to see where I was going. I saw a glimpse of the curbs edge and felt a drastic drop in my step. My head swayed back and forth, the white dotted lines became one. Horns blared around me and now I saw the black river surrounding me. Walking down what looked like a flat white path that never ended, a runway with blinding lights came at me from all sides. I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, soon realizing I was laying on the road. Cars stopped around me. I jumped to the other side of the road letting one side of traffic flow, horns blared and tires screeched. The last thing I saw, before darkness, was the grill of that Cadillac blaring its horn and heading right towards me.


In the hospital again, my thoughts scrambled. Again. I can’t make sense of this fucked up situation. The smell of disinfectant, that distinct smell you can’t find anywhere else except the hospital. That same disinfectant smell went straight to my brain every time I came here, it was definitely stronger than usual today, someone must’ve died. Before I was even a metre away, the sliding doors opened and the coloured lines painted on the floors lead the way. Conveniently colour coordinated to lines on the walls with words reading ER in bright red, Waiting Room in blue, Nursery in pink, Psych in yellow. I stumbled towards the front desk, engaging my inner actor to get myself to the psych ward to avoid having to deal with the cops. After all, the Cadillac guy pressed charges and I can’t afford to waste that time, plus, my friend is dead and I don’t know why.

A nurse came running up to me with a wheelchair waving. “Hey there, my name’s Joseline.” She maneuvered the wheelchair behind my knees so I could sit down. “Can you tell me what happened to you dear? Your ankle seems to be bleeding, we can get that all fixed up. Okay, was it a bad game today? I think I saw you here last weekend, something about a basketball game at school?” Thoughts raced in my head. She remembers me from last time. Does she know what I’m really up to here? Why is she playing along? Joseline wheeled me down a long hallway following the Yellow line I remembered was listed as “Psych Ward.” Well, I guess I didn’t have to do much. Joseline talked the whole way to the psych unit which made me zone out getting lost in the maze of the hospital.

Nearing the doors of the psych unit, two uniformed police officers stepped in Joseline’s way. “Excuse me, ma’am may we have a word with Marillo please regarding a crime he committed last night. It’s urgent.” Joseline gave me a look and turned to face the officers again. “I’m sorry officers, he’s not in the right state of mind to be answering questions right now so you can come back after lunch time.” Without hesitation Joseline wheeled me past the officers, scanned her key card and the psych ward welcomed us with hysterical laughter, screaming and giggles. I turned and smirked at the officers as the doors locked shut between us. 

Polaris’ POV

I never wanted it to come to this, though a part of me is happy this happened. I’m free from Marillos drama and lies. They need to get the help they need and as much as I want to be that person, I’m not enough. They get mad at me for the smallest things, even my mother wouldn’t stress over; she’s the most religious, strict mom you could ever meet. I packed up the rest of my things into my bag, notebook, pen, and drawing book. I zipped my bag and was about to open my bedroom door to leave when I heard my father come out of his room. We haven’t got along since I met Marillo and although a part of me is happy they’re gone for a while (who knows how long this time), most of me is sad.

My father can’t understand the simple feeling of love, it mentally and physically affects you like a drug. No drug could ever compare to how Marillo makes me feel, I’ve told him this yet he still treats me like garbage sometimes. I get what he’s going through though. I sympathise and get lost in his mixed ocean blue eyes with flakes of green I could watch flicker forever. The way his faded blonde hair blends perfectly into the curls that stop right above his shoulders. I’ve been in awe since I laid eyes on him the first day of grade nine, he looked different back then, but still stunning to me. Marillo was a leader then, and a leader now. “IMANA!” My father screamed my birth name through the door. “YOU’RE LATE!” His voice made my whole body stiff. Moments like these, I craved Marillos hugs. I knew when I got to school though they wouldn’t be there to make me feel better. I had to do this on my own. 

The brakes of the school bus screeched to a stop and the doors swung open. “Thank you!” I smiled at the bus driver. On the streets, I switched my resting bitch face on. Smiles didn’t get you very far in high school or on the street, Marillo taught me that. They also taught me how to read a situation. Marillo was taken last night. His one text I got said he’d be out in 72 hours if this happened, for fuck sakes that’s 3 days minimum. I checked my watch, 8:51 AM. An hour late. Marillo’s text said he was taken at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning. It’s been 29 hours. No one believes Marillo except me. “OY!” Joey shouted from the school smoke pit. “Where the fuck is M?!” I ran over to Joey at the pit. “Explain to me why M hasn’t been answering shit and you haven’t said anything in over 24 hours which is against the motherfucking rule!” He shouted. “Keep your damn voice down.”

I looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping. “Listen. Marillo and I hung out all weekend. I stayed over. Shit went down on Saturday night that YOU know about. When you dipped, we argued about me staying over another night. He didn’t want me to stay. I left at 2:30 Sunday morning. I was leaving and saw feds going back to Marillos place and I tried to warn him, but the feds got there before me. He texted me he’d be out in forty-eight hours max. It’s been 30 hours since that text. I have to start running this.”

Joey looked me dead in the eyes. “M is complex but simple. Please don’t take this personally… I am the right hand, you’re his girl. What happened last time you tried to take this shit into your own hands? There’s a reason you need to play your position, we’re a team. I’m going to handle this, now get to class and learn that medical shit!” Joey ran off before the principal could say anything. I didn’t even see her coming, but once we made eye contact I was done for. 

Marillo’s Monologue

Oh I know this feeling… oh yes I know this feeling very well in fact like this just yesterday who knows if it will ever end oh but I am kidding myself if I really fucking believe that I’m immortal. Marillo laughed aloud to himself in his hospital room.

I’m going to die one day and all of this will come to an end they have always said that every story has an ending and I’ve always thought life in terms of stories the people that I meet are characters and there is no telling what page they are on in life so who is to say we want to live? This agonizing feeling that no one is aware that suicide really is an option it’s almost as if we pretend it’s such a terrible terrible thing but a choice was made how could the living be suffering so much well somehow we feel this obligation to defend the dead? I mean in certain circumstances I could understand but definitely not suicide. Oh my… if I died today forget all that my mind can’t comprehend I’m never sober only growing older I’m never going to figure this out [no you listen up sissy you’re going to figure this out you ain’t no fucking quitter] everything is temporary nothing is permanent and I cherish the moments when I had the chance in between scaling trimming bagging and oh boy the profit counting and watching the stash because I don’t trust no fucking buddy ok ok!

The nurse walked by the window with a clipboard, the doc was with her. “Marillo, you’ve done well here. I don’t see any reason to keep you here longer, if you sign this you’ll be free to go.” The doc handed me the form and I signed it, not wasting any time.

As if this is what needed to happen right now I stay the fuck out my feelings for a reason I’m not that sensitive one I will burn his house to the ground if I see him again. He’s not going to be able to hide in his room with mommy forever because the day he comes back from daddys house I’ll get word through the grapevine as planned I can already count on him camping inside when I show up peeking out the window its fucking hilarious plotting against who I thought was my brother, someone I looked out for and looked up to me, I thought… ive seen him do this before with other opps, opps I’ve scare to death and worse because he would never fight shame on me I should have seen it then [you did asshat you just think you can fix everyone and you cant] all this little fuck wants to do is play games and steal shit well since he abandoned all of his belongings for two weeks actually his whole fucking house will be mine once I get out of here Where is he now? I’m home alone brothaaa!!!

Marillo laughed hysterically aloud as he gathered his few clothes together, walked down the hall to the nurses desk to sign out and get the rest of his things. The nurse, looking over-worked and out of it, reached behind her going through big clear plastic baggies of other people’s belongings. “Last name again?” She asked me. “Richter.” I replied. Brushing her finger over the baggies she scanned the name tag on them until she found mine. “Here ya go sweetheart! You take care now, I don’t like seeing you in here when I know you can do so much good out there!” The nurse at the desk smiled at me, gazing down at her name tag that read “Lilian” I know she meant well. However, Lilian will forever be known as the Nice Nurse and all the other ones there can kiss my pretty ass. I smiled back to be courteous, and skipped my way down the hall to the door where the security guard was waiting to scan me out of the building. “Peace and love motherfuckers!” I yelled down the hall into the psych ward, my voice echoed the walls as the door locked automatically behind me on my way out. There’s only one place I need to go right now before it’s too late, and that’s back to Joey’s base. 

Fuck you fuck you fuck you! Fuck you Joey we were fucking brothers I slept on your couch yeah but I gave you a job I made you popular just like you wanted I got you friends and helped you get your girl back after she cheated on you oh how you begged me to put myself in that position yea we fought about that because she’s no good for you who the fuck wants make a mother at 14? Let alone himself a father at 14? I mean he looks up to his dad so much I know that little rat couldn’t be a decent father if his life depended on it they’ll figure their own shit out and I’ll try to figure out mine… I’ve worked for what I have and used my resources to the full extent worked the graveyard shift while he’s done nothing so he is nothing and should be nothing no more no kidding… oh I know he is screaming right now wherever he is cause he forgot something… anything I know bout him he always forgets his bag. I bet he’s crying to his daddy right now that I stole his zip oh poor boy cried wolf too many times, don’t you know no one will believe the wolf that cries ha! ha! Your daddy gonna tell you he taught you better when you know he didn’t oh my this is a bittersweet moment but I suppose that’s how he likes it well I told him people get hurt… I told him you will bleed one day and it won’t be so funny when you see your own blood spill oh I remember how he laughed after I got beat bad why would he care he’s never fought or ever stood up there’s consequences when you get caught and you’ve been caught ha! I’ve never been caught and for a reason… I gotta move this now.


 I didn’t hesitate when I got near Joey’s base. Vetting the area from the sidewalk I noticed the top floor of the house had no lights on, lights in the kitchen were though and outside since the sun was starting to set now. Sure, I may have been kicked out just a few days ago, except Joey and Ms. Muppet, his mother forgot I’m the one that’s been paying half their bills, legally you guys gotta give big M some time to move out now, 2 weeks to be exact I thought to myself.

I took Joey’s house key out of my pocket and entered the house through the front door. I was careful not to make too much noise in case someone was sleeping around, so it wouldn’t surprise me. I closed the door behind me and looked at the shoe mat first. All the daily wear shoes are gone, no one’s home. I started up the stairs walking as natural as I could and went straight for Joey’s room.

This kid thought he knew it all, yet he left his house key outside for anyone to take and more importantly could never flip what he stole in time. I knew this kid like he was my younger brother and over the years he’s shown me that all he’s street dust. Under his bed I started grabbing one zip, two zip, three zip and four more zips Joey had stashed underneath his bed. Four of my zips. Fourteen hundred dollars of profit this kid had a full 72 hours to make yet it still sat here under his bed and he was likely out on the streets right now getting high thinking he a real g out there. It’s on sight, I thought to myself and the thought of curb stomping this motherfucker never left my mind as I ransacked his room recklessly.

I kept finding things of mine that had gone missing over the past year. A few old burner phones, a rolling tray, some papers, my custom lighter set that my girl bought me. Things I questioned him about and he helped me look for. GODDAMN this bitch wanna be me so bad he gotta hoard my shit. I took a picture on my iphone of everything in the spots I found it before throwing it all in a backpack he had laying around. One backpack can’t hurt, can it? I couldn’t help but laugh aloud and in doing so I heard a faint knock come from the adjacent room. His mom’s room. 

I scanned Joey’s room, felt satisfied with my bag and inched my way down the hall to his mom’s bedroom door. With force my shoulder broke the hinges of the door and it flew to the ground. It’s empty. Right below the dresser was a baseball, my guess it rolled off the dresser and hit the floor when I was banging around in Joey’s room on the other side of the wall. On top of the dresser was his mom’s laptop and a jar filled with coins. That couldn’t hurt either. I threw the backpack down to organize what I got. His mom’s gym bag hung at the end of her bed. I grabbed that, split the weight throughout both bags tossing the zips in the duffle and the rest in the backpack. Perfect. I checked my phone for the time, 5:58pm. His mom’s coming back any minute now, ain’t no time to chill. Slinging the bags over my shoulder I ran down the stairs, and walked out the same way I came. No cameras. No people. No witnesses. 


It wasn’t the first night Marillo had spent on the street. Victoria Park and the memories of him coming here to sleep haunt him as the sun goes down. Things used to be so different, Marillo sat on the steps on the gazebo he called third base and pictured his younger self walking from the trails beside the river behind Mama’s. The trails led through from the streets, from the parking lot, behind the outdoor pool and up the stairs. Around the pond and two rivers, it was endless. People got lost, not Marillo though.

It was an old routine for Marillo to grab the classic king size cones from West End Convenience and keep on the path. If he took a right from West End down James street the dead end would start the west trail into the more public area of Pavilion park with the outdoor pool and kid playground. Things were good at P park. But. A quick left from West End, across Main street and down Brown the dead end came to a diagonal path cutting V Park into 2 triangles. The gazebo in the middle on one side and across from it on the left was the fountain. He sat on the concrete steps on the gazebo and stared across the park to King street on the other side at the Mayor’s house.

In between Marillo and the house was the playground, daydreaming about sliding down the old steel slide he played on as a child.  Now a whole new playground stood there, safer maybe, but not the same fun. Marillo would spend hours in the grass area running around collecting as many chestnuts as he could with his friends. Trying to see how many would fit in the pouches they made with the bottom of their shirts. Max always got the most when we were kids.

Sitting on the gazebo steps together counting them out, now Marillo sat on those steps alone. The infamous chestnut tree that covered the grass with nuts in warmer months looked dead now, drained of life. It will never be the same as it once was. The wish fountain in the middle of the park was surrounded by a circle of thick thorned rose bushes and a two foot steel gate with spiked tips to deter any thieves from stealing the change dropped into the fountain. At night the park changed. The town was too cheap to have security or decent cameras. Hoodlums and hooligans of the streets came to life and what was a nice, calm, neighborhood park in the daytime became a wasteland for outsiders of all ages at night.

Marillo sat there staring at the fountain, lost in a trance he couldn’t get out of. Checking his watch, it was almost time for the fountain to turn off. When it did at midnight to drain, he could see himself jumping the cage before anyone else had the chance. The people started to wander into V park to collect the change before the feds showed up at their usual time, too late. Marillo was the youngest living here at Victoria Park, only thirteen years of age, but he was smarter and braver than he looked. The oldest he ever met was an 86 year old army veteran.

Their first encounter was when Marillo saw him kneeling at the war memorial, tears coming down his face. Careful not to scare the old man, thirteen year old Marillo offered all the support he could, forgetting about his own childish worries for only a moment, because that’s what this park did to the people that lived here. They took care of each other. Victoria Park held secrets only Marillo and few others knew about the small town of Tremaine. He remembered the old war vet pointing at the lines on the cement, one was labelled “The French River” and there were symbols of trees painted into the ground. That was the day Marillo learned his own town had fucked up the war memorial facts. They painted lies of Canadian history on concrete, engraved it in stone and never agreed to change it because it would cost too much. Godforbid this war veteran live in peace.

As the fastest growing city in Canada at the time, there were so many people who didn’t know the truth about Tremaine. Dangers not talked about and corruption beyond comprehension. A huge gust of wind woke Marillo up from his flashback on the bench, eyes still wide staring at the mayor’s house across the street. Windier now that the sun is gone and the darkness of night has settled in. Tiredness washed over him as his body registered the concrete steps as ‘home’ again and he started to unpack his blanket in the gazebo. Every tomorrow is a fresh start.

END

“The Existentialist” Meaning
Three years ago now I launched The Existentialist website, what I like …
The Beginning to The End
In two months time we'll be in the year of 2023. That …
Existential Threats
Climate change, civil warfare and overpopulation. Of course there’s more than those …
‘Long Time No See’
There are so many questions in life and about it that we …
Do You Mind The Mind?
The past month or so has been a blast, I don't want …
“LGBT Youth in Care” pt.1
It’s time to come out with it. I’m turning 21 this year …

THE EXISTENTIALIST © 2022

The Beginning to The End

In two months time we’ll be in the year of 2023. That is something we all take for granted, thinking we will be around for another year. Regardless, the last two months of anything feel like the beginning to the end.

A lot of people are starting new jobs, meeting new people, cutting ties with others and one of the biggest changes you could face in life, moving. We are all moving somewhere, either towards or away. Humans don’t like being still for too long, it’s not our nature.

I thought of writing this because of the guilt I’ve been feeling lately, the guilt of not posting to my blog everyday, my initial goal when I started The Existentialist. With all these changes going on in the world today, I have been too caught up in my own thoughts to even get them down on paper. I know I’m not the only one. There is no excuse, shit happens. I’m not sure where my vision for The Existentialist has gone… in the previous posts I mentioned giving the website an update which I am really wanting to do, like any human though we struggle to know what we want, what we really want.

With all that said, I put an end to my writers block by beginning to write again. Slowly, one word at a time. Things started flowing again when I stopped feeling the pressure of posting for people, this website is mine and for others to support if they so chose. I write. I create. I exist. That’s the motto, can’t forget it.

To wrap up this post here are some tips to start the beginning of putting an end to your creativity block. It’s not guaranteed to end your writers block or boost your creativity, the fact is… change of any kind is okay.

Tips to Kickstart Your Creativity
  • reflect on habits – grab a piece of paper and pen (use your phone if it helps more) and list the 3 things you do the most on your free time. Reflect on how do these 3 things help you towards your creative goals, and how they don’t help you.
  • rearrange your bedroom (if you can) – even the small things like moving the bed or facing the desk a different way can help stimulate your brain to “work” when things are in new places, it can also act as a change of environment to possibly relieve stress related emotions
  • change of environment – this could be adding more greenery to your work space or adding pictures of things you love that can look at to motivate you while you work. In my opinion this is highly underestimated since the eyes are directly connected to the brain. What we see, and how we interpret it strongly influences how we act/work.
  • mantra mantra mantra – there are studies out there that have proven saying things over and over again will train the brain and create a path we call ‘a mindset.” Often used by religious and spiritual people, we use mantras in our life almost everyday without noticing it. Easy examples of this repetitive thinking are, “I can’t do this.” | “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay.” | “Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” These examples show how easy it is to train our brain into a specific mindset. You could already imagine the outcome of a person who repeats these thoughts/mantras everyday. Talk nice to yourself.
  • FEAR NOTHING – this is The Existentialist slogan. The meaning behind it is a constant reminder to fear quite literally, nothing. It gets deep.. and a bit dark… but I want to be honest in all my blog posts. If you never create anything again you are leaving nothing behind, fear that. There are so many what ifs you could think about, well what if you really do have something no one else has, and it will be nothing without you. All love, thank you for reading this far if you have found this post.

“The Existentialist” Meaning
Three years ago now I launched The Existentialist website, what I like …
The Bigger Picture – A Short Story
The written piece below is a first draft of a future chapter …
Existential Threats
Climate change, civil warfare and overpopulation. Of course there’s more than those …
‘Long Time No See’
There are so many questions in life and about it that we …
Do You Mind The Mind?
The past month or so has been a blast, I don't want …
“LGBT Youth in Care” pt.1
It’s time to come out with it. I’m turning 21 this year …

Supporting The Existentialist Cost $0

Monthly newsletters are sent out to supporters the last day of every month.

acceptance art awareness becoming being believe choice communication culture decisions desire energy existence existentialism experience flow god human lgbt life love meaning novel novella partnership perserverance Personal Philosophical Theories philosophy poem Poems pyschology reality relationships shortstory social spokenword story theexistentialist thinking thoughts trauma water wiggles writing

Existential Threats

Climate change, civil warfare and overpopulation. Of course there’s more than those three, but they are the ones that come to my mind the most.

There’s so many existential threats that we all have to live with right now. Choosing just three to talk about seemed like too much, especially the three I chose.

Where do you get your food from?

Climate change will change all of that, if it hasn’t already. The weather is likely changing where you get your food from. How, or when you get it will change also. Your local superstore won’t have the freshest produce anymore because its being shipped from further away. If it does have ‘the good stuff’ you can’t afford it because costs of everything go up, rarely down.

We are past the industrial revolution and have broken through the wall into a technological revolution.

Hydroponic gardens are becoming more popular, especially in big cities. It’s more common to have grass on the roofs in the sky, not the ground.

We are so eager to explore new planets, in a sense abandoning Earth, when it is all we have.

“Money is no good on Mars.”

Emriyus

The majority of the population can’t afford to live on Earth itself, how could we thrive on another planet? The ones who know have a secret they are not willing to share because every secret pays a price.

Do you talk to your neighbors?

If you can’t afford the best, organic and fresh foods you’re not alone in that. Chances are the house closest to you could be going through the same thing, if it’s not food it’s something else.

I mentioned above that we are in a technological revolution, electric cars, electric doors and wifi connected doorbells. There is so much more I just don’t want to get into all of it right now, because my point is that there is no limit to what humans can make. We crave creation, new things, love and freedom because we get bored very easily once we’ve solved a problem. We look for new problems to solve when we can’t find solutions.

Once we realize we are not alone in this life, it’d be easier to solve problems together. Talk to your neighbor, because at the end of the day.

Have you ever been homeless before?

We are all victims of a life we never asked for. That sounds dark and deep.. mostly because it is. Despite how much our lives are different from one another, we are all still out here doing the same human things to survive. Food, water, shelter, connection. Without even thinking about it sometimes we gravitate towards those four things the most. We take them for granted everyday because without them we wouldn’t survive. People haven’t survived without those four things, this post was made to make me think about my life without those.


‘Long Time No See’

There are so many questions in life and about it that we won’t have answers to. It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I’ve played this game with myself, and my life chasing down answers I’ll never get. Focusing to live in the present moment can distract us sometimes. Especially when the present moment isn’t what we want, or doesn’t feel good to us.

“Live and learn”

My mother said this to me repeatedly, in good or bad situations. Growing up this has stuck with me, no matter what the situation is, you are living it. No matter what the situation is, you will learn from it. A lot of people interested in philosophy might say “there is always more to learn…” means the same.

We will never learn anything about ourselves, let alone other people and life itself if we aren’t living. Whatever living may look like to you, the object of the game never changes. Stay alive.

Do You Mind The Mind?

The past month or so has been a blast, I don’t want to believe it’s May…. almost half the year is gone. Another part of me does want to believe that we are halfway through the year, not even six months in yet and most people I talk to are already wanting the new year to start.

This idea that our minds work, work, work, to please the tiny little hands on the clock (time), we live a lot of our lives on default because being mindful of our own mind is a definition of too much work; but it’s necessary work.

If you take a minute to write down, or list in your head all the things you can remember yourself thinking today that is an action of mindfulness, I like calling it ‘minding the mind.’ Most people would call that reflection but that’s just too simple for me. I like having existential thoughts about the world we live in and how my mind works within it, don’t you?

“You don’t need to be a doctor, or scientist to have a general understanding of how your mind interprets the world around you.”

– emriyus, theexistentialist.ca, 2022

How do I talk to people? What time is it? Do I listen more than I speak? How can I respond without hurting this person’s feelings? Why am I thinking this right now?

Our minds are on a constant race to solve the problem, whatever that may be, we are built to ‘find the answer.’ Since birth we learn more about ourselves from the people around us than by doing it alone, if you tried to find the answer alone you might go insane. We sit with our thoughts to much and don’t know what to do with all of them, that’s why I became a writer. Although writing helps it gets draining when there are thoughts about writing my own thoughts down. There are other ways to mind the mind that I see a lot of people doing when I’m at work or on the street, the most common one is that deep sigh. aghhhhhh.

It sounds weird when its done on command but you get the same sense of relief as if there’s a weight lifted off your shoulders without you doing anything. All your doing, all day no matter what else, is breathing. Less than a two years ago you would have heard me screaming about how focusing on my breath is the biggest waste of time…. well… I’m on the breathing bandwagon now, this shit helps.

As humans, we go on a giant roller coaster ride of emotions in life and sometimes the only thing we can do is breathe. Even when our mind doesn’t know what to say, even when we are hating on ourselves or living our best lives, we are breathing. If there’s any way to take a step back from any situation it’s taking a deep breath and letting that big sigh out. If you forget the big sigh it’s just doesn’t feel the same. It also doesn’t give you that extra 5 second break you need in your day. The more deep breaths the bigger break you’ll get from your default life and a chance to sit in the present moment. You might think some of the same things…

How do I talk to people? What time is it? Do I listen more than I speak? How can I respond without hurting this person’s feelings? Why am I thinking this right now?

The last thing I’m going to mention is a phrase,

“Woosah”

Woosah is a slang expression variously used to indicate or achieve a state of calm and relaxation.

Ever since I was in elementary school I had been saying this on and off as a way to stop myself from fighting or acting on my anger. I grew up around the hippie, farmlife type of living so hearing that around me when someone was going through a hard time was more common than gossip about the problem. I think back on this a lot and will take it to my grave as one of the greatest life lessons to ever learn; don’t gossip, woosah. It is a way of letting people know something stressful is happening while getting that stress out in a healthy way.

If you got anything out of this post you might be able to answer the question, do you mind the mind?

*drawing coming soon*


© THE EXISTENTIALIST 2022 

“LGBT Youth in Care” pt.1

It’s time to come out with it. I’m turning 21 this year and have been in and out of care since I was a child. Being in the system as a child is a challenge all on it’s own, then add being queer¹ on top of that it’s an extra weight that no one would take seriously. My intentions of this article are not to spread hate or judge the system and the people working within it.


queer¹
Queer is an umbrella term for people who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. Originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”, queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. In the 21st century, it has been reclaimed by the LGBT community during the rise of PRIDE activist movements.

For a long time I have been reflecting on being a youth in care, and when being asked to write a short reflective piece on my experience being queer in care, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fit everything I want to say in under 900 words… regardless, someone needs to tell it how it is and I am definitely going over 900 words because this is important to me.

Being a part of the LGBT+ community and in “the system” takes a toll mentally and physically especially at such a young age for most of us out there. When offered the opportunity to write this piece I was asked three questions that I’m going to answer below. 

For the first one I felt it was only fair that other LGBT youth in care (and former youth) have a say in this as well. I know my white privilege and personal situations have an affect on how I am treated within ‘the system’ and that other LGBT youth do not have the advantages I have being white. Below are me and two other LGBT youth answering:

What it is like to be queer and in our system?

“Although there are downsides to the system, the people working within it are doing the best with what they have, just like us. Once I entered care, it did feel nice to have someone that would listen to me talk about my gender identity and the abuse my mother put me through. I didn’t have any supporte before I entered care, but I’ve made a few strong connections through being in care.”

– genderqueer youth in care

“Agonizing… I don’t even know how to explain that. ”

– POC queer former youth in care

“It’s like being torn between who you want to be and who they want you to become.”

– trans non-binary youth in care

“After coming out in care I felt pressure from the system to advocate for the other queer youth in care when I’m still on my own self discovery path and it shouldn’t be my responsibility.”

– POC queer former youth in care

“I don’t know how to explain it… in a way I felt like the teacher to the adults. When I came out I had to answer all their questions almost like they had no experience or education on the topic whatsoever and were misinformed on what living queer is actually like; we’re human just like the rest of you. Our likes and dislikes shouldn’t be on display, when straight, cisgender people don’t have to endure that.”

– POC youth in care

“I honestly believe the system is uneducated on lgbt and queer life and this severely impacts how youth engage with the system, including the programs offered.”

– trans youth in care

What has helped?

The mainstream support offered by the system does help to a degree.

When I was under 16 years old (pre-covid) I was told about the Positive Space Network (PSN) groups and weekly LGBT drop ins they had in almost every city. For someone that was social back then, it was a way for me to make new friends and get away from home.

I really want to acknowledge that the volunteer drivers and mentors provided make a huge difference between life and death for LGBT youth that are in the system. I don’t want to discredit all the work that has been put in to change the system but it really is ‘pick and choose’ on who this helps.

This next point is between help/not helped because for some youth they can connect with people of all ages where as others are uncomfortable with that.

The LGBT groups that do happen are usually all ages 14-21. The benefit in this is that all ages can learn from each other and in the best case scenario support each other, creating a friend for life.

In my own experience at these drop ins, ages 17+ are going through a lot of changes that the younger youth wouldn’t understand and it causes problems. If there were more LGBT programs that targeted certain ages and “stages” of (what I prefer to call) self-discovery there would be a lot more room for these kids to grow and understand from peers their age and not risk being exposed to problems older youth face.

That said, the groups that are in place now are doing what they can to bring LGBT youth together in a time when we need it the most.

What has not?

The programs and services I mentioned are not individualized for each youth, rather every LGBT youth in care is treated more or less the same. We are all given the same LGBT groups to go to because there aren’t that many in certain towns like Milton and Georgetown.

There are not many group homes, or host home type programs either and if more were added it can benefit the youth in care right now. (possibly creating jobs and co-ops for older youth 14+)

The PSN programs and drop ins for us to go to are great and help for some youth, but that’s not what we need all the time.

Of course, every child deserves a friend and a loving support group because that’s ultimately what helps us grow into adults and learn as people. Unlike straight youth in care we are glamorized for being queer in a way that is almost unsettling if you step back and look at the big picture.

That becomes the main focus when it shouldn’t be all the time. We are still kids, with feelings and other life problems just like any other kid would have. We change and grow everyday, and most of the time there’s more than one “coming out.”

When I entered care I was not out as non-binary, but rather a “trans guy” or “ftm” which I notice now caused a lot of issues and confusion for the people trying to help.  Only once I was out as trans was PSN brought up to me. 

When I was out as queer they understood that to the basic level, but I had to explain everything over and over to each worker I met. That didn’t help; being asked about what all these terms meant was mentally exhausting because I am just like every other kid, I’m still learning about myself everyday.

I’m also going to bring up the caseload of each individual worker, whether it’s BTG, VYSA or CCSY. As youth in care, we are aware we are not alone in the system. The problem we worry about is how many youth do workers actually care for?

In my earlier years in care (and sometimes now) I was often told by my workers that they were too busy, they had too many kids to see/talk to that day and that if it wasn’t an urgent problem it could wait. This in itself has not helped youth in care feel like they can be open to every worker about what’s going on in our lives.

This needs to be addressed, and when it is more supports can be given to the workers that our helping us, so they can do their job to the very best; without worrying if they are doing enough to help every youth, queer or not.


Side Note:
As a white person I’ve had some workers mention the LGBT groups to me, but when I talk about these groups with other youth in care that are people of color they aren’t aware of them. It seems like the system doesn’t appear to mention these supports to queer youth that are also people of color. This makes it harder for POC queer youth in general to embrace their identity while facing systemic racism.

I highly recommend watching these short youtube videos to learn more about systemic racism in Canada, and how it can affect the youth in care.

Systemic racism explained

Is systemic racism a problem in Canada? | Outburst

As well as this video about the first LGBT group home in Canada, highlighting how it’s helped queer youth. Also how important it is to invest in more of these so LGBT youth can finally have a place to call home.

Canada 1st Group Home For Homeless LGBTQ Youth


This post was written by Kyel Black, a trans non-binary youth in care, who is also known as Emriyus on their blog, THE EXISTENTIALIST 

Stay Rad,

emriyus


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The Zebra Analogy

I’m sure this idea has been brought up and talked about a few times in history, probably more than that, but I wanted to make a post about it from my perspective. Since I was young my grandmother would always tell me that when things are bad, there is good right around the corner; vice versa.

There’s a lot of talk about the “good and the bad” of life. If your more logical thinker, the “positives and the negatives” of life. Now, not many people seem to care about the grays of life, when most of us are living in it right now.

In my post, the Image of Man, I explained how the gray areas are the most important part of our lives, not the “good”or the “bad,” it’s what gets us to those points. At the end of the day theres nothing out there I’ve read that really drills this analogy home how I’ve thought of it. So here goes nothing…

“The Zebra Analogy” KEWB 22’
The zebra analogy is as ‘simple’ as this:

as we all (hopefully) know, a zebra has a combination of both black and white stripes, a unique pattern passed down from zebra to zebra but never staying the exact same. Each pattern a zebra is born with is never the same and neither are we.

The pattern on the zebra is a black and white pattern, no color, only grays where black and white don’t exist. To me this represents the positive and negative parts we go through in our lives, in many cultures the animal itself is a symbol of a peaceful and balanced life. If you look closely in any animal though, there is always a fade of some kind, there is no definite cut off point for either color. The same goes for human lives as well, there is no definite cut off to anything “good” or “bad” going on in our lives, everything is just a happening, as Alan Watts would say.

For a long time we’ve associated white with being positive and black with being negative (racism ring any bells??) anyways… The zebra analogy can be used to help cope with our daily lives. Reminding us that our life is one big beautiful pattern full of gray areas within the positive and the negative happenings. Nothing is permanent. And nothing is only “black” or only “white” because the gray area does exist, even if it’s barely visible.

As my grandmother would say, “it may be a dark time now kid, but always remember the bright side is through the gray and the gray will bring back the dark again.” I can still see the vivid memory in my mind of her pointing to the zebra painting on the wall above her old couch. The gray shading of the animal was almost the entire painting with thin stripes of black and white layered over the zebras body. Ever since I was young I would ask “what is black and what is white? Who decided that to be “true” and why are people afraid of the dark and dark things?

“I suppose it’s false that we are afraid of what we cannot see and true that we are afraid of what we cannot comprehend.

Of course it’s plausible we cannot comprehend all that we can see, and possible we cannot see all that we can comprehend.”

emriyus 2022

“The Zebra Analogy” KEWB 22’

With younger generations becoming more glued to technology and material items, they are becoming less aware of the reality we face as human beings. Generally speaking, children born and raised with the technology and social media we have today are either “too smart for their age” or “too young to act smart” at all. The divide amongst youth and adults is growing, as each town starts to border each together.

That said, I usually end my posts with some kind of rhetorical question to get people thinking about existentialism, but is it too much? Is there such thing as “too much?” We’re all the judge here.


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© THE EXISTENTIALIST

Writers Update 2

In the last writers update, I mentioned I was signed up for writing workshops and had been slowly getting the handle of this writer/small business lifestyle. I have a lot going on behind the scenes in my personal life, yet I’ve managed to go to the workshops, earn certificates online and also get a bit further in my stories, so for that I’m proud. *pats self on back*

The past 6 months have been hectic. I’ve been enrolled in an online Creative Writing Specialization course and am less than a month away from earning the certificate. I have been working on renovating The Existentialist website which has been a challenge but I’m not giving up on it.

The Existentialist store is going to have a new look and I’ve been working on some new product ideas I hope to release soon. Here’s some of the designs for those products that I’ve been working on:

“Religion in a Nutshell”
KEWB 22’
“Consciousness”
KEWB 22’
“Mirage”
KEWB 22’
“Soul Searcher”
KEWB 22’

I’m pushing my vision to have these “one of a kind” original designs available in many different sizes and varieties. These card-stock style designs are bagged and sealed as originals. Personal choice of framing it or hanging it by string from the loop in the bag.

“Image of Man”
KEWB 22’

I know I haven’t posted in well over a month, which trust me, I don’t feel good about. I’m not going to be hard on myself though (at least try my best not to) because I am doing the best I can with all I’ve got going on. I have been drafting posts like crazy, just not publishing them for you to see. Call me crazy or lazy, but I think maybe I’ve just lost my confidence in myself and started caring about what people think all over again. It’s a never ending cycle of existentialism; recreating the meaning to (my) life through my experiences.

Image of Man Part 2 is just about ready to be published, stay tuned for that if you’re really into existentialism. Words of Wisdom by Alan Watts is also another post I have been working on. If you are more into the art that I’ve been working on rather than my writing, I am also open to commissions.

Feel free to contact me through my contact page if you have questions about commissioned art 🙂 stay rad


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© THE EXISTENTIALIST 2022

A Sneak Peak of “The Dishwasher”

If you haven’t read my writers update, I’d suggest reading that first and then come back to this so you have an idea of what is going on behind the scenes of the artwork! 🙂 Here is the rough draft of the synopsis for “The Dishwasher.”

This short story of Clarence Clemens, the #1 dishwasher in the small town of Tremaine is one of mystery, suspense and a lot of drama. As Clarence grows up, settles down and takes dishwashing jobs around town, he finds himself confronted with many different problems on the daily. Not all problems can be solved, especially with some people. Most residents of Tremaine love him but others hate him. He’s been to every restaurant, gets free meals, all the people know him and the locals always tip good when he’s around. Clarence thought he knew everybody in Tremaine, but someone has been lurking in the shadows, watching patiently. Somebody is jealous… and jealousy kills.

This sneak peak of my writing is a more lighthearted side to the story of the main character, Clarence. From his perspective, he is writing an ‘SOS’ letter to his friend the Dr.(Burden) who specializes in bird studies. They have been friends for many years and have a common interest in the strange occurrences that happen in Tremaine. This letter is going to be a big part of the story once it’s published and out there for you to read; I hope it intrigues you…


Dear Dr,

You’re not going to believe it, I think I’ve spotted the real deal. The goose is back. Remember that day we walked the boardwalk at the conservation, the wild goose appeared alone in the weeds. We named it Duck the Goose remember? Dr, you’ve got to remember, if you haven’t dropped this letter and left for the boardwalk by now you’re probably far too late. You have never been able to identify Duck because of its colors but I’m telling you they have changed again. You know where to find me on the Mill side of the Boardwalk, dead or alive.

Love,

Clarence


As I keep building on Clarence’s character I began to realize he is a generous, caring and loving old man, but he would never sign off on a letter like that. He doesn’t speak that way to his friends in letters and has never told anyone he loved them except his wife, Joan.

This means trouble. Clarence is in grave danger of some kind and without another Clarence in this town, who’s going to solve the mystery?


“The Dishwasher” is not ready to be published… YET! I have set a goal to have the final draft complete by fall of this year and published for 2023. 🙂 that said…

If there are any writers reading this that would be open to editing stories back and forth, that is always a great help to writers starting out! Don’t hesitate to contact me HERE if you are interested in sharing stories (or art)!! Thank you for reading this, and as always, stay rad.

ROUGH IDEA OF COVER ART – NOT FINALIZED
Daily Reminder: there is no other human like you! 🙂


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