“Bigger, faster, better! More! More! More!”
Try to motivate a flower or any other natural thing beyond the human mind, and watch how it reacts… does it rise to the occasion, freeze with anxiety, or cower in fear?
Perhaps we aren’t yelling loudly enough…
Let’s shift gears and try to reason with it… whisper all the motivational stories you can think of, and watch to see if it hurries up to fit into your schedule.
See how it moves to meet your whims…
One of the many reasons that the natural world is so beautiful is because it uses time wisely. The great wisdom of nature does not cheapen the value of time by rushing. Nature exists fully in each moment, and it passes this wisdom to all her children which is why every flower will take just as long as it needs to bloom.
The flow of nature is patience…
A natural thing will not rush, and cannot be rushed. It is the human creature who invents deadlines and demands that the world fit into its tiny box of perception. Our greatest strengths as a species are our abilities to create, communicate, and cooperate but our constant pursuit of “new and improved” has caused us to forget the natural wisdom we once knew. Some would call this “forgotten knowledge” ancient wisdom, but I will name it timeless truth.
It is a truth that remains hidden in plain sight because most people aren’t looking… but anybody can know it for themselves by breathing into the core of their very existence where they may eventually discover that this timeless truth is encoded into the energetic fabric of our being. It is quantumly entangled with our consciousness, and ingrained in our DNA.
For the more pragmatic among us, it may take a delicate study of the contrast between ancient architecture and our modern manufactured buildings, or an exploration of why a distinct juxtaposition exists between an object created by the skilled hand of an artisan and a similar object made on a machine assembly line. What is the essence which makes the average classic car feel miles apart from its modern equivalent when it’s parked just inches away?
From handmade to machine made, or slow cooking to fast food, the consensus of the modern world has been to trade diligence for convenience. For too long, we have incentivized “just get it done” over doing things with passion and purpose. We have constructed a reality where most people tend to make decisions focused on “what’s in it for me” instead of “how can I help improve it for others” and the gravity of this choice is as immense as that of a black hole. A conscious shift in perception combined with a long enough pause will allow us to feel where this trajectory is taking us. Each one of us owns the choice to change course, or to continue with business as usual.
For those who haven’t noticed… my trajectory is quite different from the usual.
Like anyone, I have my struggles, and one of my biggest is balancing my determination with my patience. Fortunately, I came to this world with a lot of patience but my resolve is gargantuan and this creates an interesting duality. For instance, my goal was to release this writing a few weeks ago, but as is apparent from this admission, that did not happen. Although I was busy beyond belief, every day that went by without posting this felt like another failure to accomplish this mission, but in looking at what is unfolding as I write, time was an essential ingredient.
One last pinch of time is what it needed to fit my taste…
Sometimes pausing to reflect is more productive than pushing through, especially where quality is a major focus. Since writing is a form of art to me, creating quality content is high on my list of priorities. To me, quality demands that I am impeccable with my words so that my integrity is intrinsic to each piece of work, and my humility lays the foundation for each story to develop a life of its own. It is patience which allows me to be true my standard of quality. With the currency of patience, each word is chosen, every sentence crafted, and paragraphs constructed, creating the story which manifests itself.
And with that, we arrive at the heart of this piece…
Let this be the official introduction to a character who is integral to the story that is unraveling before you. Meet Steven Michael Kaczmarek, a color blind synesthete on the autistic spectrum who is better known by his moniker “Dichroic Glass Man.” Despite the challenges he lives with, Steven has inspired thousands of people around the world with the art he creates, and through his heartfelt video tutorials on social media.
How we came to meet is an interesting story in itself. It began when I decided to follow inspiration from a vision which guided me to learn how to create art with the medium of glass. It was probably around a month or so after I wrote the note to myself to “learn glass art” when I began researching techniques from glassblowing to lampworking and fusing before eventually stumbled upon coldworking. The coldworking technique is one of the least commonly known, but if you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy you may have seen the crystal cube made by world-renowned glass artist Jack Storms. Coldworking is shaping glass through cutting, polishing and other methods that don’t rely on heat.
Coldworking is where I decided to begin my journey into glass art, but surprisingly, it’s one of the few skills with not much written on where to begin or how to progress. Part of the reason being that glass artists tend to use coldworking as a supplementary technique to help finish pieces after they’ve been flame worked, and many don’t use coldworking techniques at all.
After scouring the internet, I eventually found myself searching through hashtags on instagram to see what I could find… and this is where I found the Dichroic Glass Man. While scrolling through the images on his page, I noticed a comment by someone claiming to have a friend who wanted to learn coldworking but didn’t know where to start.
The Dichroic Glass Man had responded asking if the friend wanted to call him, and I took that as a sign that I should send him a message and see what he had to say. He responded in a similar fashion asking if I wanted call him. I didn’t know it yet, but things were about to get a whole lot more interesting than I could have ever imagined…
The Phone Call
While walking my dog, Sir Lix-a-Lot, around the neighborhood, I decided to give him a call. We began chatting about the coldworking process, tools required, space, time, etc. He had a passion for glass art that you could feel through the phone, but there was a very special type of glass that he was really excited about! This is the dichroic glass which inspired his moniker.
Dichroic glass is a composite glass that has micro-layers of metal oxide coatings which create changing color effects depending on the angle view and source of light. It is impossible to capture the true depth of experience that dichroic glass offers from pictures, or even with video. The characteristics of dichroic glass are amazing, especially when the glass is stacked and layered because there is a surreal depth and ineffable dimensionality which fluidly changes as the object is rotated about.
If you get the chance to hold a piece of dichroic glass in your hand, you should and see where your thoughts wander. In the meantime you can check out some pictures of his work with dichroic stained glass panels and gazing stones from his website www.dichroicglassman.com which I helped build for him.
As the conversation continued, he wandered into sharing some of his philosophical thoughts on glass and people who are drawn to it as a medium. This led into a conversation about perception and seeing the world through filters… and his filters exist beyond the limits of logic. It’s a bold statement, I know, but try to imagine what the world might look like to someone who is color blind with synesthesia, and on the autistic spectrum…
That’s a paradox wrapped in an enigma for you to ponder…
For those who don’t know, synesthesia is a condition where the senses essentially cross input and output signals. There are many flavors of synesthesia, but for instance, a person with synesthesia might feel colors, taste textures, or see sounds. I was already familiar with synesthesia, so I had a good frame of reference to work from. Part of Steven’s synesthesia allows him to see colors in the sounds of a voice, and feel the energy of letters, words, and names.
This is where things are about to get really interesting…
We’re about to take a turn into another dimension, but first I need to provide some perspective on my frame of reference because it’s important to understand why I might still be talking to a complete stranger on the phone for more than an hour as the conversation spirals further away from the original reason for the call…
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big phone talker, but this was all extremely interesting to me. I’ve been fascinated with consciousness as far back as I can remember.
As a child, I spent most of my free time alone running around in the the woods, and exploring my imagination. I’d often climb high up in a tree and hang out on a branch for hours, quietly observing the animals moving below, above and all around me. The trees creaked and rumbled, swaying synchronistically in the breeze which sang its song through the leaves and needles on every branch, erupting into a chorus. Squirrels bounced from tree to tree as woodpeckers played percussion, and songbirds landed in nearby branches to sing their tune. In these moments, with insects crawling around me, and clouds floating overhead creating a dance of shadow and light, I felt deeply connected to the earth. We were engulfed in the experience of life witnessing it sing its song for the universe.
I wouldn’t have described the experience like this at the time, but looking back, I can see that I would enter hyper focused meditative states. In this headspace, I pondered the nature of existence and where my thoughts originated. I reflected on the enormity of our planet, and yet how tiny it is floating in the universe like a speck of dust in the ocean.
Over the years, as my thoughts wandered in and out of these states of awareness, I developed my own very unique filters for seeing the world. They didn’t provide me with much common ground to make friends growing up, but my wandering thoughts became the mental lubrication which allowed me to dive deep into the exploration of my own consciousness. I don’t claim to know how Steven sees the world, but I could feel that some of our filters were similar.
We had probably been talking on the phone for twenty minutes…
…which is about nineteen minutes longer than my normal phone conversation, but this is when things took a turn into the realm of the unexplainable. I honestly don’t remember exactly how the conversation transitioned into this next part because it just started flowing out after he asked me my first name again.
He began talking about how M is an inventive letter and how when combined with the A it is extremely creative. I’ve always been an open minded skeptic, so I listened as he kept going…
“R is a very hard worker,” he said, “…and K is the most existential letter. It devours information, but it gets bored easily.”
He continued on about how he sees names in a circular fashion where the last letter meets the first at the 12 o’clock position to create another energy frequency. He mentioned how I probably work so intensely that it can be overwhelming for people in my life, and how I’m constantly seeking new information, creating, and on and on…
There was no pause in his speech as he unloaded a tremendous amount of information about me, as if he had read a volume of books about my life, and this was all based on my first name. What I expected was going to be a quick phone call turned my normal twenty minute dog walk into more than an hour of wandering adjacent neighborhoods as I listened to a waterfall of information without uttering more than a handful of words myself the whole time.
Toward the end of the call he told me that he was sorry for taking up so much of my time and how he really didn’t have anyone to talk to. He mentioned feeling invisible, like he doesn’t exist… how even with all the people who follow his YouTube and Instagram channels, nobody really knows him. People assume that because he has a following and creates videos and art that he’s got it made, but because of his autism the reality is that he struggles tremendously to interact and make a living.
I think we should all take a moment to pause and consider that the people who exist behind the profiles of social media pages are often vastly different than what we glean from our fleeting glances of perception. Steven Michael, the Dichroic Glass Man, is a man of great passion working diligently to create beauty in this world. Through his art and videos, he helps people see more of themselves in each of his creations, and I believe his story can provide profound perspective for anyone willing to listen.
I knew there was something special here…
From that first conversation, I knew there was something special that if crafted into a cohesive narrative could greatly benefit humanity. It would shine a bright light on the perceptions we have of our own consciousness, and soften the shadows of our relationships with others, and the universe beyond the veil of our current understanding.
Synchronicity must have been standing in front of me, tapping me on the forehead because throughout my life I’ve felt an increasingly intense calling to write. This urge to write also goes back to my childhood when I would spontaneously freewrite abstract stories in elementary school that would stop my english teachers in their tracks. Over the years I have been told by many people that they see me writing a book one day, and I felt it too, but the right topic wasn’t clear until now.
Those most familiar with me know that the only thing you can be expect from me is the unexpected, and this book will follow in that same vein. It’s in my nature to be elusive, and my language is often ambiguous, but my intention has never been to impose my thoughts or beliefs upon others.
It is my intention to create various lenses through which you might notice the minutiae that hide beneath the surface of perception. The words I write are intended to act as a lubricant for your own thoughts so that you may see beyond what you believe to be possible.
For those with eyes to see and hearts to feel, this book will become a portal into a novel universe that will provide a unique vantage on the infinite dimensionality of consciousness.
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share with anyone who you think may enjoy it or find value here.
You can see more of Steven’s work on his Instagram and watch his videos on his YouTube channel:
Please leave him a comment if you find inspiration in his work as I know it would mean a lot to him.
Steven Michael Kazcmarek aka “Dichroic Glass Man” for the title of this piece.