Sunday, November 10, 2013

No such thing as normal

There's really not.  How could there be? Just because things have a certain pattern and just because people have been and are expected to continue following the pattern they were born into, doesn't make it any more normal.  Maybe even less.    Today, I met a man who wanted to kill his father, and all he wanted was to see a picture of his daughter.  Her birthday was July 11th and he never even got to see a picture of her.  I am sure that she is beautiful and happy and wants to see her daddy, even if it's just a picture.    The mother of his daughter told him that she doesn't care if he shoots himself in the head with a gun and dies.

He's sitting in a room right now, alone, with no warmth but his own heart and no company besides four blank, white walls that can't blink or speak, only stare.  He is lonely, hurt, addicted, lost, and angry.  He wishes his father wouldn't treat him like a child.   I took him to a friends house and he smoked some marijuana, which made him a little happier but not for long.  That's how those things work.  He has been smoking meth for a year and a half, and he can tell his organs are gurgling differently now, in a good way.  There's nothing normal about him, but he's treated like there is.  We talk about him behind his back and chuckle, with vague and silent wishes for his happiness.  We quickly grow tired of that and look for something else to give our energy to that won't demand as much of it.

Yesterday, I met a man who can't forgive his father.  It's not even his real father, it's his step father.  All he wants is the stuff from off of the floor in his mobile home, and then he would be happy. Also the signed picture of Bob Hope he bought from a used store, which is worth 100 times 2.  Do you know how much money that is?   I don't.  He just wants to be with a hot chick, he doesn't want to be alone.  Who does?   I don't. He's not a bad guy, but not perfect either.  His sister came and brought him some food and he started crying.  He knows that God will give him a hot chick.  Not just an average girl, but a real knockout, a real head-turner.  The kind of girl that brings jealous glances from all the other guys who also want a hot chick.   I don't care as much about that.   I want a girl that is just beautiful, in all the ways that can be found and all the things that can mean.  It means a lot more than you might think, and in some ways less.

Two months ago, I met a woman whose son murdered her mother.  I like talking to her.  Two days ago, her uncle died. She likes her house because it's peaceful, and she can open the curtains in the morning and not worry about anyone coming around to bother her.  I'm glad she can do that.

Three years ago, I met a man who wrote the Song of Songs by hand for the woman he loved. If he made a mistake on the page he would throw it away, so it was perfect.  She didn't really care about that, but she liked the sweatshirt that he bought her.  He had a girlfriend that he used to call Pancakes.   Really though, he did.

There is no such thing as normal.  People die every day, people die suddenly and tragically every single day, and we think it's okay to be content to simply fit into a pre-set category of behaviors, words, thoughts, and ideas.  I can't think of anything more absurd.  What is the point of living if not to find out what pieces of the pattern to disintegrate, to find out how and to do it, and to be better for it?

Happiness is only real when shared, he wrote.   I think there is some truth to that.   I also think there is some truth in saying that when you forgive, you love, and when you love, God's light shines on you. I think there is a lot of truth to that.  If running means that I'm running against the forces of darkness ... all the evil int he world, all the hatred, then I want to run.

She told me that there's really no right way to do it, but there are a lot of wrong ways.    The world isn't as scary as I have thought it to be, but it is bigger and more amazing.  

I like the idea that we can only become powerful when we know that we are powerless, and know that we always will be so.  I also like the idea that we will only be happy when we know that we can never make ourselves happy, and aren't worth the trouble anyway.

Good night.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Solitary, meager patch of dryness, eyes closed and head down

Cold wind around my face

Heart very much alive, upon this old familiar Earth.  The universal constant

Just another traveler no different from you, or from yours,

Caught up in the same patterns of breath, sadness, hunger, and rebirth

My voice makes its presence known,

 small,  yet vigil

 weak, yet purposed

 scattered, yet held together

 broken, yet defiant

silent in fearful reverence

silent, always

To all but one.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Generally, my posts start with a random flurry of ideas that quickly degrade into a meaningless mush of  emotionally charged statements and ramblings, which I in turn abandon into the embarassingly large abyss of my "drafts" folder.  I will try to not let that happen this time.

Life is so many things.  It is astounding.  Both strong and delicate, ordered yet completely absurd, full of glory and terror and everything in between.  One of the most amazing things to me is just how much different the experience of every person is.  People are shaped by each thing they encounter, each person and place leaves their print.

This season of my life feels quite a bit different than any previous.  For me, this is a time of undoing.  A time to let my life gently unravel in order to be rebuilt on a greater foundation.  A time for me to realize my mistakes, to place goals for my future, to seek what my purpose is and will be.  An important note is that I used the phrase "gently unravel" as opposed to "fall apart" or "implode."   The process has been a long one, and has been one small strand at a time.  There have not been any cataclysmic events.   Just a  process of God whittling away my stubborn heart one skilled stroke at a time.

I am unusually welcoming of the cold months to come this year.  Winter and fall are the seasons to withdraw, to meditate, to gather and prepare and wait.  To sit, and think, and watch, and read, and be silent.  I have been doing a lot of each of those things lately.  It feels very right.  Typically summer is my favorite season, because it is the time to go, to do, to laugh and be active and go swimming and be outdoors.  Perhaps that is why I felt so out of place last summer - because the season of my soul and the season of the year did not coincide.  Another interesting thought is the extent to which our body language reflects the state of our inner being.  Even our clothing plays a large role in this.  Fall clothing is modest, is more concerned (generally speaking) with comfort and function than style.  Our behavior generally follows suit, so to speak.  Interesting interesting.  We are undeniably woven into the rhythm of the seasons.  It is what makes us so excited to get into our best jeans and hoodie and get rid of the t-shirt and shorts.

I am not at peace with the way things are.

All my dreams have turned to ash in my hands, and how true it rings that I have been "grasping for the wind" my entire life.  I have been so captivated by the shadows dancing on the wall of the cave that I have neglected to look at the actual substance that is casting them, much less be concerned about what lies outside of the cave.  It scares me how true that really is.  It scares me even more to think about how much it must cost me to follow Christ, and how little it has cost me thus far in my life.

I can honestly say two things, for which I am grateful and blessed:   I am thankful for the path that God has led me on in my 23 short/long years, and am genuinely excited for however many more He has decided to give me on this earth.

This post feels much more put-together than anything i have written in a long time, and that is rather satisfying.   And I will leave with this scripture, which is one of those little statements that is deceptively small, because it holds infinitely huge implications for each life it speaks to.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Into the Fray

I have lots of thoughts and i'm lousy at putting them into words.  

Death is the craziest thing.  The one thing that we can't ignore, that turns all of us to ash, that we try to ignore but we can't ignore.

Beautiful things come out of dust, out of nowhere, out of the womb, out of heaven and the world with all its glory and all its terror.

There is something very important and profound about the thing we call love.  No one can quite figure it out but it is powerful.

There is something amazing that happens when people get shaken up.  When their world gets completely destroyed and they have to reconstruct everything they know.  They have to ask what and who it is that they truly love, what they care about, what claws its way inside of their restless, despairing heart and ignites that fire that we always talk about but don't understand.

They have to ask what it means to be alive, what it means to die, and why the world is the way it is.

Love seems to be the one thing above all else that keeps people going, that gives them a reason to live.

I kind of like it when things stop being so pretty and proper and fun and turn nasty, ugly, real, serious, and important.   Part of why i like the music that i do.

Once more into the fray...

Into the last good fight i'll ever know.

To live and die on this day...

To live and die on this day...

So who do you love, and why are you alive?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

There is nothing as beautiful as grace, forgiveness, and love

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honest Encouragement

All of these young men dying of old age
To feel alive could cost you everything
It's hard to hold onto your ideals
When you lost your innocence

When the dreams you've caught
Aren't the dreams you've chased
Now your hearts are bleeding
To keep this pace

The kid you were
Hates the man you became
You can't remember what you wanted
You just can't
Feel the same

Remember what you wanted
Remember what you chased

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


365 and nobody knows
What's waiting in heaven or each place below
Blue dusty footsteps with big airy smiles?
Liquid bugs and inflatable wing-balloons?
more hairy poems through orange kazoos?
No such thing as future news

Nothing left but to get in and go, still. again. to go
palms up chips down chest bare
heart with a so desperate and happy prayer

365 more of who knows how
many left I'll have
to lay down lonely, stand up crippled
Hungry for truth, not cheese.
This stuff is important

Steady the treads, ready the heads and make extra soft the beds
For the faltering, wandering, stumbling, wondering, hurting
beautiful feet that you love.

Silent thunderblasts, you know the ones
Stabbed straight through and swept under the lungs
A fragrance of just the right colour (the one without a name) whisper of just the right shade image with just the right..


Those three that remain, they're all we got left
And we all know which one is the best
The one we all so often confess
Make it true, root it down deep
When it's not, well we all know the stories
Of slippery slopes that tend to be steep

It's all we got left, so God...please.

Take all the world away. These shiny, wonderful shooting stars
that are literally made of poop.
The trash we never wanted that we can't even keep
even if I tried for each of the
365 and who knows how many
more we'll get

Humbled and uplifted all in the same
Ideas that keep us believing and (in)sane
Like throwing all the doughnuts out the window of the van.

Dying all the time is the only way to live
And i'm way too alive to be able to give
What needs to be built
Enabler, do your stuff
Love your love, cause that's all we got.

Steady... steady.. steady as she goes

365 and nobody knows