That’s Life Though

AustenTaxi3-12-12As time goes by, I keep going back to Austen’s writings and find that I am able to read the words now more slowly, more carefully, more calmly, not afraid to breathe them in and let them flow out on their own accord. The excerpt below is from a 20-page document entitled ‘Writing,’ that Austen created on September 5, 2012 and added to in 2013, while he was a student at Indiana University.  It is not clear when he wrote this passage and the poetic lyrics within, but they are laced with tenderness, resignation, and a feeling of resurrection. And then here are the little gems like, “Inadequacy demands action not satiation of sadness.” He ends the passage with the last line from Bob Dylan’s song ‘Like A Rolling Stone’  – “When you ain’t got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose.” I am happy to share this with you and to share my love for a beautiful boy with a luminous mind.

I may not be pure, but my intentions can remain that way. I was blessed with a soul that can feel, a blessing and a curse truly. I let it get out of hand in the past, I swerved into the ditch. My drifter soul is what I need now, my artful essence is what will save me, my expectations thrown out the window, my systems disestablished, the system disassembled. I just have to be me, I just have to live and whatever happens is the story and I accept it. What has already happened has taught me a million things, hurt me a million times, stole from me all the innocence and glee of youth at too young an age, but I am here now, I am here now. Tomorrow I will appreciate the little things, and approach with the eyes of an infant. There is good within me, that’s why I haven’t given up hope, or given into my worst impulses.


Austen walking down W. 54th Street in New York City, March 12, 2012, on his Spring break from Indiana University.  We were staying at The Warwick hotel.

I’ve walked on the softest of streets and the rockiest of roads, I’ve swam in the darkness and laid in the cold, I’ve wondered and wished and waited without you, I’ve called into nothing with hatred and spite, I’ve been told that there’s things that should be left to the light. I’m just trying to live, but to live is to suffer.

I’m hurting, I’m really hurting.
The knife is sharp but not unfamiliar.
I’m crying I’m really crying.
Maybe dying the time moves faster and faster.
I’m talking over what I need to listen to.
My feeling is one in a billion.
The scale is grandiose.

There is no grand transformation.
The steps are bound to be bound by indignation.
A great leap forward’s met by a stretch of retardation
And I can’t see clear with the past in my eyes.
And I can’t hear you dear when all your words are replies.
But I’ll keep running even though this life I do despise.
Aint that dark, aint that cold.


Austen in Central Park in New York City, March 12, 2012.

That’s life though, that’s the brunt of it. The rest is now open. There isn’t nothing I can’t love. There isn’t a thing I can’t change. My heart’s still beating I tell you that much. I ain’t afraid, I ain’t afraid. Inadequacy demands action not satiation of sadness. When you ain’t got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose.
Austen Berj Brooks