Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Beast of Complacency

Why do people settle? Why do people forsake their dreams? Why do we compromise? Is it obligation? Is it lack of zeal? Perhaps disillusionment? I assert that it is the tenacious beast of complacency. It creeps into our lives, silently stifling our deepest passions and desires. It suffocates any trace of initiative. If we are not adamant about shirking this oppressive beast, it will consume and absorb all essences of self that dream. The beast is relentless and so must we be. So must I be.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The absurdity of people my age is...we assume people give a damn; or rather we are hoping, longing with every fiber of our being that someone does. Blogging, twittering, facebooking, etc. They are all testaments to this fact--we want someone to care. We believe somehow that other people care about the intimate details of our lives, or at least put up with them--perhaps I am being cynical, but I think not. Also, I am a member of, what seems to be, a most "self-aware" generations: personality tests galore, the emo-scene out of control--for example. However, despite our obvious attempts at understanding ourselves, I do not believe there has ever been a generation so at odds with itself. We are absurdly unaware and disconnected. We have more opportunities for connection (i.e. twitter, facebook) and introspection (i.e. personality tests) yet we live horribly dysfunctional lives...but who doesn't, right.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shells and pieces

The heart so quickly attaches. It is so apt to cling and hold on for dear life, to something, anything. As humans we so easily surrender ourselves to the unknown, to the unexpected. We so easily entrust our fragile shells to the abyss, only to be broken to pieces, by some unforeseeable force. Why do we trust...?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Life is never quite what we plan...We strive and contrive, attempt to formulate and set goals of grandeur, yet our plans seem always to tumble and we always to fumble along the way of the unexpected. We anticipate and hope, long and desire after fantasies of our own making, and yet reality always surprises. Such is life...unexpected.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Sea of Words

I am inundated in a sea of white and black.

Words surround, engulf, envelop me.
I cannot seem to escape.

I am swimming in the midst of p's and q's;
However, they are not minding me.

I pass a plethora of r's, who are getting a little rowdy
And shouting something about the Transcendentalists.

I latch onto a semi-colon, hoping to float to shore instead of swim;
Yet, it sinks sadly beneath a pile of o's.

A question mark peaks its quizzical head
Out from underneath a gaggle of giggling s's,
Wondering, I'm sure as to my presence.

Periods dot my view, one appearing indiscriminately after an M and an R.

I finally wade ashore and find Ralph Waldo Emerson
And Henry David Thoreau chatting it up with Queen Elizabeth and Thomas Middleton--

Something about women's rights and the importance of self, but I cannot hear their whole conversation over the clamor of the ocean behind me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The driving force

What drives us? Makes us tick? Often, I discover that it is fear. We act, decline to act, choose, refuse to choose, etc. because of fear. It is crippling. The fear of failure, rejection, denial. Fear of personal harm, whether emotional or physical--it's all driven by the same factor. Fear immobilizes us; stifles our dreams, hopes, desires and ultimately prevents us from ever entering fully into life, complete and alive. Fear is never a beneficial thing--almost never. A healthy fear of heights and razor blades is advisable; however, the daily fears which haunt us could be done without...I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The flood

Life ebbs and flows along; however, when it floods, there is no stopping the torrent. It seems that the old saying is true, "when it rains it pours." The floodgates of life are enveloping and cannot be escaped. The enormity of life is at times too much...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


We are creatures of a severe dichotomy. Flesh. Spirit--Opposed. Our two natures are contrasted directly and this truth is daily evident. We live in a paradox. Be in the world, but not of it--good advice, but maddening reality. We are to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh, but which will reign today? Denial of "self" is unnatural, but what is natural and what is "self" really? Which is the "real" us--flesh or spirit? They cannot be divorced. What then?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The tell tale heart

It is an amazing paradox, the heart. From it issues forth beauty and love, contentment and happiness, but equally so it has the power to spew forth hatred and malice, anger and covetousness. Humanity encapsulates a beautiful contradiction. How are we to reconcile such phrases as, "the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?" and "guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life." It is both beautiful and repulsive, capable of the most intimate, self-sacrificing love, and conversely able to experience the most vehement hatred imaginable. We are indeed a contradiction in terms...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The knife

Sanity is a balancing act. It is like being precariously perched on the edge of a knife. At one moment you are fine and the world is at rights with itself and you, but than the next moment, you plummet from your precarious perch into the depths of insanity. Sanity is but the width of a blade. I am amazed there are not more insane people in the world today...
I have these poignant moments in my life: when all my internal struggles are allowed to descend on my psyche like a drowning flood and cause momentary mental despair. Such is the knife analogy. Life progresses, seemingly well, and then--bam! reality, sanity is thrown into chaos. It always rights itself, usually by means of a good night's sleep, but for those moments, the knife never seems as if it will ever find equilibrium again...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The colors of the rainbow






All prejudice

in each


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i don't know...

i don't know why i'm white
i don't know why i'm privileged

i don't know why i have food,
and others don't

i don't know why racism exists

i didn't know I was racist

i don't know why people hate

i don't know...

i don't understand poverty
i don't understand privilege

i don't know the answers to any of these burning questions...i simply don't know, but knowing begins by admitting my ignorance--that is the first step--and the rest, well, i don't know, but I will continue to ask.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Pressure is crushing--both from within and without. Expectations surround and suffocate. I cannot escape my own failure. My strivings have come to nothing...I cannot bear these weights.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The seeking

Humanity longs for relationship. Community. Friendship. Romance. We seek to be connected to something--anything--we long to know we are not alone. The world, in its perpetual state of fragmentation, stretches out its hand to the abyss, feeling for life--for relationship. We are relational beings. And we exist in perpetual relationship with ourselves and with the world in which we find ourselves. Relationship begets relationship: two individuals produce an offspring, which grows up, mates, and produces another offspring, and the cycle continues. Humanity lives in a web of relational intricacy. Yet, we are still alone? Relationships surround, but do they fulfill? We seek, but do we find? It is like the analogy of an individual standing in the middle of a crowded room, but feeling utterly alone. Are we, as human beings, standing in the midst of community, friendship, relationship, yet remaining completely singular and alone? What have we missed...?

Monday, October 6, 2008


Grey Green the sky weeps it hues
Yellow then orange tint the pews

Laden branches dance and sway
Allowing the season to give way

To another time and space
Where life moves at apace...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Time and Reflection...

Time is precious, yet how we waste it--or rather misunderstand it? We are given only an allotment and than it is gone. It is the same with life; we have only one life and when it is lived, that is all--the fat lady has sung--it is over. We live life, but most often do not stop to process it, chew on it, revel in it. Instead, we are pulled and stretched to the far ends of the earth by responsibilities and obligations, but we forget to go out our back door. Where are the pauses, the spaces for reflection? If life is simply a set of things to get through--why are we here? It will be little more than an endless mass of cyclical nothingness. We must stop. We must learn not only to live, but to be. We are here not simply to experience, but to sit and stew in those experiences. We must meet with life, but than we must also stop and allow it to meet with us. Current culture does not lend itself to this mentality, but we must fight. We must fight for space, for time, for reflection--for sanity. We cannot allow modernity to rob of us our right to be...we must rebel--otherwise, what is life?

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Life is intensely fragile, temporal. We are here and then we are not--thus is the nature of life and equally so--death. We blossom and live, sometimes until the winter comes and our lives are spent, but at other times our petals close or are closed prematurely, never to open again. It is not always predictable--death. It comes unwelcome and un-looked for, yet come it shall, for us all. But, victory it does not have--that has been reclaimed. Humanity--we mere mortals--are indeed fragile, but equally so are meant for a life beyond this bounded universe. We are meant for more, and death indeed releases us to that which we were intended...the sting of death shall not endure forever.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The giving tree..

My days are done, my life is spent
And at the pearly gates I stand

Brightly shining glory surrounds
Amazing, the beauty abounds

A voice speaks out:
"Did you believe
that I loved you?"
It asks...

What shall be my answer?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Inevitable moratlity and eternity

We are mortal, we must accept this. Although, it seems we spend much of our lives avoiding this reality. We seek means by which we may escape the inevitable--pain, aging, death, etc. Yet, it is these very things which make us human. We are made like a wheel, as said Mr. Tuck--and death is a part of the wheel. However, it is the portion after that part of the wheel that baffles and even terrifies my finite mind--eternity, infinity--forever. How does one even begin to grasp such a concept? I use to lay awake at night, in my childhood, pondering this idea of eternity and was often brought to tears by the sheer overwhelming vastness that infinity imposed upon my poor finite mind. I still cannot truly comprehend such incomprehensibility, yet I know this--I am mortal, yet immortal--how then to reconcile such a paradox? Perhaps this: live, die, and find out what comes next, for to wonder will only drive us mad...we can know only so much about the next life and the rest is simply conjecture. So live, but live well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The madness

The world is madness. School is madness. I love it, yet loath it simultaneously. I am at my best and my worst during these mad months of study and full life. How is this at all like real life? It's not, but it is. We are learning--learning to live, learning to live together, expanding our minds and growing up in the process. It is amazing to watch each other grow. It is amazing to watch yourself grow. But, oftentimes, as I grow and acquire more responsibility, I realize I am simply waiting for someone to find me out. Eventually the world will discover that I am just one big fraud. Adults, whatever that term means, feel similarly--or at least those I have discoursed with upon the subject. I have been told that this feeling of being a "fraud" lasts your whole life, we must, however, become better and more efficient at faking it. "Make it to fake it" as they say--whoever "they" are. Perhaps that is my best option--fake it. The madness will continue as life progresses and growing up cannot be stopped, and I must learn how to bear it all and somehow become an adult--no, screw it--I will grow old, but who says I have to grow up? Society--screw society and convention.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Facade

I am exhausted. I loath the front I don depending on the situation. I hate "being that person," whoever she is, that I am required to be--or rather feel I am required to be, depending on who I am around at the time. I feel as if I am playing a part, faking a role--always. Eventually they, and I'm not sure who "they" are, but eventually "they" will find me out and realize I'm one big fake--pretending to be something I am not. Who am I really? Where is the she that is me? Is she lost amidst the various persona's which I display on a regular basis. Is she struggling from split personality disorder or lack of exposure to the sun? Who knows. Social situations call for such things--right? We prattle on with our small talk, not really concerned about the question we just posed, or the person, but rather worried about the meeting we have later that day. We smile and feign laughter, pretending to care about the story being told. I'm sorry, am I being cynical? Forgive my honesty. People do care, I care, but humanity cannot care to the extent we let on--it is too exhausting. I know it's polite to express interest in all of those with whom you interact; it's a good social skill, but it's dishonest. I cannot truly decide which is more worthwhile: feigning interest or being honest? I just know I am reaching a breaking point, and sadly I have only just begun the process required of me. It cannot be maintained. But, a compromise must be had because I cannot be a total ass to my fellow human beings, but I owe it to myself and to everyone else to be honest with myself and them--I just don't care that much--or rather, I care enough not to pretend any longer...better? No, but honest. I feel as if I try so hard to care about everyone that I end up being fake with the world. Which is better?

Expectations and attitudes

Expectations can ruin life. We enter situations with preconceived notions and understandings, only to come out disappointed, at least I do. I always have expectations--despite adamantly attempting to avoid them--and I am always disappointed. These lofty expectations, because they are always lofty, raise me up to the heights of anticipation and generally plummet me into the depths of despair, with equal weight and gravity. Accompanying these feelings of expectancy, are specific attitudes, which are directly related to the aforesaid expectations. I hate, rather I despise that I allow the delicate balance of my psyche to be determined by circumstances. It's maddening. I am not determined by my circumstances (this is self-medicated jargon). Yet, I cannot seem to escape the expectations that affect my mood, which result from my circumstances. "Life is a choice," a phrase which I have often heard quoted and misused, but it is truth. It is a choice to develop expectations, although I am beginning to disagree with this more and more based upon personality differences. But, it IS a choice how one chooses to respond to said expectations, which results in a certain attitude and outlook about life. I am not my circumstances and I CAN choose not to be controlled by them...easier said than done. Solution--don't have expectations--no. Solution--learn to react to said expectations according to reality--yes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Embrace

It is the most difficult thing in the world, it seems to me, to fully embrace where and who one is in life--holistically speaking. This idea is somewhat a compilation of the "the grass is always greener" notion and the "what if" philosophy. It is not only about not coveting, but rather loving and fully embracing who and where we are--who and what I am. My God how easy it is for us to question our purpose, our course, our decisions..."what if this?" "why not that?" "WHAT IF?" I feel as if I have been asking myself this question often as of late--why is my life not_______? I find myself second guessing my life severely in these periods. It forces me to look deep within myself and evaluate who I am becoming and whether or not I am happy with that person. Often, I come back dissatisfied. Who is this person I am becoming? And do I like her? What if...? Just when I feel as if I have convinced myself that I am who I am--and no one else--I begin to slip back into the depths of doubt. What if I had made different choices? What if I had pursued different passions? What if I had cultivated different skills? What if...? The infinite "what if" will drive me mad. I cannot live this way, rather I must--must--seek to fully embrace who and what I am...damn it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I hate them. I loath them. These things called generalities force, shove and push people and things into predetermined positions of horrifying uniformity. I am not saying generalities do not exist, but they are overused and abused. We prescribe boxes for everything and place people inside them for safe keeping. Generalizations leave no room for uniqueness or unpredictability, but rather ubiquitous sameness; they are like smothering blankets or stifling fumes. Humanity has taken general truths and run pell-mell. For example: women are more relational and men are more technical. Thus, at a given lunch outing, the women confine themselves to one side of the table and discuss "relational things," while the men sit across mulling over the opposing "technical jargon." Why is this so? Is it that women are incapable of conversing on all things "male" or "technical," or conversely do men not understand "relational" issues? No, neither claims are true, in my opinion. Generalities have created this false dichotomy. Yes, generally speaking, women are more relational and men are more technically inclined, but again the divide forces a false assignment of roles. I realize that human beings fit and function best within the confines of generalizations which are neat and tidy, clean and orderly, but life is not so, thus I say--shall we defy generalities...?


This is a very transient period of life: these college years, these twenties, these years of continual change and growth, fluctuation of place and people--always progressing--or are we? Or, are we simply experiencing an acute period of forward motion, in which we mature and come into ourselves, but then abruptly stop when we all-of-a-sudden "grow up." I wonder...because right now, at this point, and from this perspective in my life, I can see only change, only new adventures and only every wanting just that. I can imagine nothing worse, at present, than a steady eight to five job, a car payment, maybe a mortgage and God forbid--adult responsibilities. I want to change the world, I want to travel, I want adventure, change, unpredictable living. My friend David told me the other day, "I want a mortgage. I'm tired of my twenties..." He wants all of the things which I cannot imagine desiring. When will the time come that this dynamic period of life ceases to be? Or will it cease to be? I realize adult responsibilities and changing the world are not mutually exclusive, but I must believe life does not end upon entering the real world. I was told the other day that "we all grow older, but we do not necessarily all have to grow up." I agree with this sentiment...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Sad Disillusionment of Reality...

A Knight disrobed
Stands exposed

The truth undeniable
Is indelibly imposed
And weighs unbearable
Upon the soul...

The shiny new cast
Is now tarnished with
Whispers from past

The world around
This Knight revolves
And spins and pounds
The souls involved...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The incongruities of youth

It is intriguing--what we do. The inconsistencies abound. The incongruities amaze. It seems to me, being of the "youthful generation," that we are extremely inconsistent. I feel the authority to say this because, well, I am inconsistent. Because of our youth--my youth--we believe we are, in a sense, invincible. Because of this fact, we also believe our actions now will not impact our lives later, or at least we act this way. The current pleasures prevail over the unseen future. I can attest to this madness of mind. I bake in the sun as a lifeguard, acquiring a golden brown tint for the brief months of summer, not considering the consequences, only the immediate results. I do not consider the sun spots that will most likely appear gradually and cruelly as I age--I simply think of now. Other examples: we smoke, drink, sleep around--OK not everyone does ALL of these things--they are examples. "We" universally. The present always prevails. We inhale smoke for the pleasure of the moment and for the sake of socialization and conversation, but then spend $$ on expensive creams to keep our skin looking youthful--inconsistent? I think so--and I know so--because I do so. We seem to be taking two steps forward and one step back, knowingly. These thoughts are not meant to condemn, for if so, I condemn myself, but rather to comment upon the amazing incongruities of my generation...and myself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The power of one

It is amazing how one thing, one person, one moment can alter a whole life. It takes just one fatal mistake to cause a car crash and change forever the course of a life. It takes just one person to alter a whole universe, where every thought, desire and purpose are bent towards that individual. In one moment life can change as we know it--it takes only one...

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Life is a waiting game. We wait to grow up and reach the milestones of our life: we wait to get our license, to drink our first beer and experience our first kiss. Life entails waiting--waiting to live and then waiting to die--it's all about waiting. We wait by the phone, hoping, longing--nothing. We wait in line at the grocery store. We wait for the delayed flight at the airport. We wait for the next stage: "after I graduate, after I get a new job, after I meet that perfect someone." We wait for life to arrive, but realize too late we will wait forever...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We are what we are

I can be no one other than who I am--that is true for all of humanity--we are who we are. Often though, we fight and strive towards identities and life situations not our own. We are discontent and want something different, for whatever reason. The saying goes--"the grass is always greener." Why is that? Why is it that someone else's life is seemingly more desirable than our own? Is it the malady of all humanity to be perpetually discontent? Or rather, has society enforced this mentality? I cannot decide, but it does appear a common trend--discontentment. We are continually assailed by the demon of discontentment. "If I only..." you fill in the blank. This tormenting flux cannot be maintained for sanity. I do not have the solution, but I do think the topic should be faced and the demon ought to be fought--continually. We must learn to accept who we are...

Beautiful intimacy

"In every man (or woman) lies a zone of solitude
that no human intimacy can fill:
and there God encounters us."

-Brother Roger of Taize

The absurdity of assumptions

Assumptions carry weighty ramifications. People function so often from this paradigm of assuming that the wonderful saying--"when you assume..." was invented--and everyone knows the rest. Assuming is a part of life. We cannot escape its necessity. But, it is truly amazing to evaluate the problems such a habit incurs. Kingdoms are divided, marriages are destroyed, and friendships hijacked--all because of wrong assumptions. Consistent communication aught to replace this bad habit of humanity...but it never will.

Let it all go...

What is within

"Keep it secret...keep it safe."



Lines define--I drew them
Boxes detain--I made them
Self-imposed madness

Chords choke--I crafted these
Boundries entrench--I sick deeper...
Where have I arrived?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Politics Shmolitics

"Euphoria in politics is an invitation for disappointment,"

I formally loathed politics and all that it entailed; however, I am slowly beginning to understand the need to be educated and aware of current events--a thing I have overlooked for far too long. I am a citizen of this world and all that occurs does concern me in some way, whether or not directly. I do feel continually frustrated by the pettiness of politics, the idiocy, the short-sightedness--all of it, everywhere. But, I cannot ignore it simply because it infuriates me. A fly might infuriate me, but I cannot ignore its presence forever, at some point, I must deal with the fly--perhaps a poor illustration...nonetheless, it is here and I am here and we must coexist and effect each other--me and politics.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Only one

"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."

"It's a shame that we have to live, but it's a tragedy that we get to live only one life."

-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


The tragedy of life is that we only have one. I know, or rather I assume, that every human being lives with some amount of regret. We are only one person, and only capable of doing so much, seeing so much, accomplishing so much, striving after so many goals--we are always left with things not done, not seen, not accomplished and goals not had. What are we to do with these maddening regrets? The knowledge that because we chose to live one life and thus missed out on another life that perhaps could have been is--in short--insanity. If we live thus, rather if I live thus, I will go mad. I do feel it is a constant battle, however, to embrace the life one has chosen. There is always the haunting question--"what if?" That is the nature of regret, but that does not have to be the nature of life...we are left then with choice--the demon that began it all. We must choose.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A look

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and that is all too true. The eyes communicate great depth of emotion. They betray the looker and divulge infinitely more than words could speak. A single look can impart extreme love or extreme hatred and every extreme in between. A glance of indifference can send an anxious lover to the grave. A judgemental eye can pierce the heart of a friend and wound the soul beyond repair. There is a great deal encompassed within a mere look, the scars of which are not easily erased...a look is worth a thousand words.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


All things have associations. You associate being sick with that Chinese food which induced two days of vomiting. You associate that tattered grey T-shirt of yours with your best friend who selflessly gave it to you despite its importance to her. You associate the smell of pine needles with Christmas and cold weather. Everything possesses some sort of an association. I place keen associations on many things, but two things specifically--music and clothing. I strongly mark the periods or eras in my life by my clothing and the music connected with that time--and it is always progressive--it is always moving forward, never backward--that's the rule. I tend to buy, wear, grow and discard. My growth as a person, as an individual prevents me from retaining the clothes of a "former era" due to the fact that it has been "tainted" by my past and equally so by my former-self. I grow and I must change--literally. Making sense? No stands thus. Music, in my mind, possesses a similar quality of association. I am, however, slowly learning to overcome this neuroticism regarding music. Driving for me and listening to music formally "tainted" by past experiences, relationships, has become a very cleansing experience--clearing my palate if you will--allowing the music to exist new and unmolested by the past. All things possess associations, some normal, some not.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Being sick...

Being sick is a funny thing--sometimes. I am not very sick at present, only a little sick, but still sick. Nonetheless, this "being sick" creates a mindset which permits people certain freedoms that they would otherwise not allow themselves--it's true. We think, "I can eat that" or "I can sleep as long as I want" or perhaps "I don't have to go to work today--because gosh darn it--I'm sick." As we walk along the grocery store aisles looking for medicine, throat mildly sore and body feeling weak, we spot chocolates, sweets--things we would not consider if we were not, well--sick. "Being sick" somehow creates this pathetic sorrow for oneself--because, we say, "I'm sick. I deserve it." It's not true...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Sleeping Monster

They are odd things--insecurities. They lie dormant and silent, but lethal and waiting. They are tricky in that they often make you believe you have bested them, subdued their ferocity, but you are sadly deceived. They have only lulled you into a false sense of security, when truly they are growing in power, might and intensity while you function and live unawares. Then, one day, they arise more tenacious and ugly than you ever could have expected and crush what you believed were strong spirits. They can arrive with a new person, a new place or a new swim suit--doesn't matter--they will take what they can get...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Lady in Red

She hobbles along the side of the road, her small frame bent with age. Her lower jaw is set out and forward, determined yet patient in her course. Her face is a weathered brown, decorated by deep set wrinkles about her eyes and mouth. Her gait is painful; she seems to be favoring her right leg. She is wearing red. Everyday she wears red: a red skirt, or red blouse, or red shoes, or jewelry--everyday something is always red. Each morning I observe this her tranquil journey past the streets of downtown San Antonio and I wonder, who is the lady in red...?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nose rings and dreadlocks

She stooped down on her hams, balancing expertly on her toes. She was speaking to a young man with chocolate hair, who wore a mint green shirt and tattered jeans. I attempted to walk casually up towards the body wash and soap section of the health food store and catch bits of their conversation. She was calmly, yet enthusiastically speaking of her favorite all-purpose oil cleanser. Her voice rose and fell with intention, energy and force. She loved this stuff--all of it. She spoke of its many all-natural purposes and the attractive features of its fair trade quality. She was the epitome of the nineteen-sixties hippie embodied in real flesh. Her many dreadlocks were swept up into a neat bundled heap atop her head by means of a decorative scarf--blue and white I think it was. She wore white linen pants that swayed and gave with her graceful movements. A small, golden nose ring shone in her right nostril. She also wore a large jade pendant around her weather-worn neck--complete with an old hemp band. Her multiple earring holes bore dangling bits and pieces--a small golden cross hung from her left earlobe. Her bare, beautiful face wore little if any makeup, perhaps a dash of eyeliner. Her slightly yellowed teeth peeped through the lips that seemed to be continually playing at a smile. She smelled of lavender, oatmeal and body order. Her unpainted nails and general appearance testified to her natural philosophy about life...her name was Melanie

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ugly bits of distorted truth,
Shrouded in a guise of mock reality
They speak to the innermost--the scared...
Resonate they do within the mind--poison
Echoing, echoing, echoing their bitter refrains...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Body

The Body of Christ is a beautifully ugly thing. We are redeemed and live in the Freedom of Christ and his shed blood, yet we continually turn our back upon His sacrifice with our lives, our complacency. The hypocrisy of the Body shouts louder than our love. The world sees liars, bigots. I am the worst offender. I read my Bible and become enthused with zeal for the cause of Christ and read books like Irresistible Revolution that speak about radical love, which fire my passion, yet I do not take action. Lord Christ forgive my complacency! I condemn with my heart those who live in comfort and luxury, but where is my sacrifice? Where lies my transforming passion for the poor, the outcast, the least of these? Even in the midst of these questions, Lord, I feel your forgiveness and am utterly humbled by your incomprehensible love--it is this love Lord which wil transform the world--how then shall we live? How then shall I live? Thank you Lord, for the Body--the beautifully ugly Body that is your Bride. We are depraved and broken, lost and in such need of You. May we, may I Lord show this brokenness to a broken world and scream your life with my life of hypocrisy and inconsistency, that by it some might know You...may we challenge each other--as iron sharpens iron--let the Body challenge and be challenged. We are your Bride, Lord, but I believe we are sleeping--wake us up! Wake me up, Lord Christ...


I do believe it is growing--Ireland--it is impressing itself deeper into my heart and soul as time progresses. I hear the sounds of ocean on the beach--I can see the sun rising over the Mournes. The pub across the road is blaring its karaoke music--it's Friday night. The tea draws in the kettle and conversations remain to be had. Michael Longley is sitting in our living room casually dropping bits of poetry in his normal, everyday speech--wonderment. The green countryside evokes life with its vibrancy. The accents of the land tickle the imagination. My love of that land is growing, growing steadily with time and reflection. It's mark is deepening and I hope it will burn itself into me until I can do nothing but return--Ireland has indeed left its' mark...

What was and what is to come...

The mind is funny thing...pieces, fragments it holds and intermingles with the past, present and possible future. The beauty of firsts, mingled with the regret of the same. Recollections sweet and precious evoked by the shrouded moon or starlit sky. Melodies bring memories of the past and draw ones soul backward. Words, snatches of a conversation, a touch, a hand, the rhythm of a song engraved upon the heart forever...the mind does not soon forget...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The small boy stands stiffly beside the sparkling blue water of a swimming pool. His legs are bent at the knees--ready. His vibrant yellow swim trunks hang new and dry upon his small body. His tongue protrudes out of the side of his small mouth--his green eyes are focused intently upon the strong outstretched arms which await his small frame--he hesitates. Slowly he clenches his hands into little fists. Releasing one, he clutches at his sun burned nose and with one defining movement, leaps from the side of the pool--letting go then, he simply jumps...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Upon two fronts does this concept face me at present. First, in my summer geology course. San Antonio community college is proving a means by which I am coming to appreciate JBU in an entirely new way and gain perspective upon many fronts. My geology professor teaches and explains evolution as undeniable fact. It is not so much the "evolution" part that bothers me, because I am extremely open to its possibilities and that God perhaps used such mechanisms to propel this world; however, I find her dogmatic method maddening and insulting, for some reason. She speaks of science as one speaks of religion--odd?

My second is the concept of novel to film adaptation. I watched a particularly terrible adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time tonight with my papa and loathed it entirely--I honestly felt embarrassed for those who spawned the film and for the author of the book. I do not handle well the adaptation of a book or novel to film--perhaps I'm a purist, but for the love of all things good and holy--please do not insult a great work of literature by butchering it completely, please. The novel is overtly Christian and I fear perhaps that was a minor cause for the films failure. Why does it seem that most "Christian" productions, films, etc. are horribly cheesy, poorly made and not creative in the least. Is God the creator of all beauty, creativity? It is the church that ought to be producing greatness, but instead the world dominates...what are we going to do about it?

Adaptation...oh my.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wide Open Spaces...

The weekend was unforgettable. Kansas and a cabin offered me more solitude, rest (well, not so much rest:) rich conversation, fun and friends than I could have asked or wished for. I was loath to leave it--all of it. Jill's wedding was precious, quaint and very traditional. She was a beautiful bride. The weekend was filled with friendships revisited, wild peacocks, golden fields of wheat, outdoor showers, gardens, doughnuts at midnight, home rolled cigarettes and more. I felt as if I was in some haven where nature reigned and real life was kept at bay. I enjoyed deep laughter, no sleep, intriguing conversation and horrible eating habits. The wide openness of the Kansas sky spoke to my soul and stirred my imagination. My heart was deeply awakened by those wide open spaces and I do not believe it will ever be the same...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

And the tide rolls on...

Summer progresses...and with it--my life. I am settling into work at the pool, its routine, as well as a fairly settled pattern of daily life. The days no longer stretch out before me like vast expanses of nothingness, but rather as venues for life to take place. It is, however, easy to slide mindlessly into a routine in which one loses all perspective and desire for growth...monotony and routine can indeed foster stagnancy. The daily battle is then to fight madly against this ever-pressing flow towards "stuckness." The natural progression of life tends towards this position of being stuck--stagnant in a place, a mindset, a routine--so stuck that one cannot be free. It is an odd paradox--I personally desire routine, sameness, consistency, yet I loath it all at the same time. My own nature tends towards the former and it is for that very reason that I fight against it...

Well, the routine will be broken this Thursday at a bleary-eyed 6:50 a.m. when I leave for Kansas, a wedding, and revelry. My dear friend Jill is getting married and I am fleeing the terrible heat of Texas, for a time, in order to partake in the festivities. I cannot wait...but then again, I can. Life is here, now--the present--not then. I refuse to live forever in the future, or for that matter in the past. Life is here and it is now...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I feel as if I have only been just scrapping the surface in these recent posts. I have just been touching upon the bare surface level issues of my life. It has been cathartic, good, worthwhile, but ultimately unsubstantial. My Father and my God reached through such shallowness tonight and reawakened my spirit. Jesus is gracious enough to allow me these revelatory moments and for them I am intensely grateful. It is like living always in a haze and then for a moment the haze dissipates and I can see clearly; I understand my purpose and my heart breaks for how I live my life. All else seems to fade away in importance, in significance and it is only me and my heavenly Daddy. My earthly daddy showed me a video from the Internet tonight. It was about a soldier coming home from Iraq and surprising his little boy. The video showed the little boy's reaction and it broke my heart. As soon as he saw his daddy his face broke into blissful, unbelieving tears. He saw no one else, but ran straight to his daddy and cried into his shoulder, clinging to him for dear life. It is during these revelatory moments of my life that all seems stripped away and I just run to Jesus and cling to Him for dear life. But it breaks my heart that it takes these moments to truly allow me to see my Daddy. Perhaps He gives me these moments just often enough to remind my insipid mind that He alone is sufficient...

Perspective and a job...

I went to see the second Chronicles of Narnia this evening with my parents and sister--for the second time. I saw it initially at the midnight showing with my best friend before she left for Africa--I loathed it--it deviated too much from the book in my mind, and I am a Lewis purist. However, the second viewing lent itself to a new perspective. I saw the deviations in a new light and understood their presence, like a bad politician, and allowed them to settle in my psyche, like a good conversation. There is beauty in new perspective...

The job search is finally at an end. I have ceased striving and fretting, seeking and filling out applications. I have instead resumed the occupation of many a past summer--life guarding. This was not the job I desired nor looked for and in fact I avoided adamantly, but nevertheless it found me. My boss from last summer called me, seeking employees and his offer was difficult to turn down. The hours will be conducive to my summer school schedule and the atmosphere is relaxed and I know all of the family's that visit the pool. The only downfall is the sun exposure--what is skin cancer really? I'm only kidding, but seriously...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Modern Christendom and Church

I am truly struggling with church at present. I have not quite formulated why, but I simply have not been able to take church seriously, as of late. I do not believe I enter church every Sunday with a cynical mindset; however, almost instantly I shut down. I am in a sever period of questioning (alright, perhaps not "sever," but still...) Many questions arise in my mind, such as--why do we worship as we do? It feels like forced, uncomfortable choir practice, with no emotion or spirit of worship or adoration. We stand and sit mechanically, at the ushering of our worship pastor who leads us through hymns of monotony. Clapping occurs only when initiated by the worship leader and seems unenthusiastic and artificial. "Fellowship time" feels awkward and equally forced. I had to leave the sanitary during the service today in an attempt to quell my cynicism. Why was I responding this way? During the period of prayer and reflection I could not even pray--I felt it was almost a matter of principle--foolish perhaps, but legitimate. If God is not present, worshipped, learned from in church--why go? I am learning that I despise boxes and the pressure of fitting into specific categories--I loath it in fact. I believe my response to being forced into a box that dictates how I worship God causes me to revile it. The odd thing is that I have never before felt this revulsion. I think in many facets of my life I am pushing to break the boxes and resist generalities norms. This is perhaps a dangerous place, but I do not fear it, in fact I rejoice in the process. I desire discernment simultaneously, and do not want to climb to high atop my self-righteous pedestal of enlightenment, but rather question, seek and find wisdom, ultimately. I think church and I may need a break from each other--at least for now. I need to know--why?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Job interviews and dark chocolate

Finally--an interview. I called the natural foods store, near my house, this morning and the manager told me to come in for an interview at two o'clock--I instantly agreed. I showered and made myself presentable, but sadly forgot to brush my teeth--great first impression. I entered the store eager, ready, nervous. It's a grocery store! Nonetheless...I inquired at the nearest register, "Is your manager available." The woman I asked proceeded to call him loudly over the store intercom. Interviews are such strange things--I felt as if I was trying as hard as I could to sell myself (figuratively speaking) in order to get the job--but, I suppose that's the road of employment. They look at countless applicants and you must set yourself apart somehow. Nonetheless, I don't enjoy prostituting myself for any job (forgive the terminology). The manager told me they (the proverbial "they") would evaluate my application over the weekend and let me know about the job on Monday or Tuesday--thank God.

I spent another enjoyable evening with my parents. My mother allowed me to cook dinner--a simple meal of tamales, brown rice and salad. It was oddly gratifying to simply cook. We ate, and talked, sipped wine and talked some more. There is something so pleasant in stimulating conversation--despite differences in opinion. We then took our evening walk around the neighborhood, which is turning into quite a chore as the heat and humidity of South Texas rapidly increases. Tonight I was assigned the job of walking the dog (usually Alie's job, but her absence forced me into the role). Loretta (Alie' dog) is an incorrigible animal. Let me just say--she does not respond to other animals very well--I eventually let Dad walk her. Upon returning home, we then spent the evening reading together in the living room, sipping tea, exchanging excerpts from our books, attempting to concentrate on our books and nibbling bits of dark chocolate. No job--yet--but still life...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sunsets and Motorbikes

Still jobless, but learning...I believe I am finally settling into the routine, or un-routine of home. My usual routine driven self is being chased away amidst the structureless nature of my life at present. I am learning to appreciate minute parts of a day, things for which I usually pass over and take little notice. Meals eaten together as a family and savored over conversation are daily events which I now look forward to with annticipation. In addition to the walks following, which are taken with pleasure. A cup of coffee in the morning is drunk with thanks and consumed slowly, with relish. Chapters in a book no longer pass drudgingly by in expectation of the next, but are instead studied and pondered, underlined and thought through. Letters written and received hold the beautiful weight of love and care. Phone conversations with friends far away are laced with the joy of connection.

I experienced one small joy of life tonight as I walked around my neighborhood with my mother and sister. We went out a bit earlier than usual and the sun was just setting. As we rounded one corner and turned to come home, I stopped, awe struck. My mother's favorite colors were encompassed in the canvas of the sky. Cotton candy pink clouds lay atop the robin egg blue sky. The colors mingled together in beautiful harmony. I stopped and gave thanks. Perhaps some of the purpose this summer lies in this--awareness.

Another beautiful facet of life presented itself in the form of a mini-motorbike. Also on the walk, mentioned above, I witnessed a grown man precariously situated and driving a miniture motorcyle. It was beyond hilarious. I felt as if I was watching a circus act and half-expected a fat woman or an elephant to emerge from somewhere. The quirky bits of life and wonderous, when noticed and appreciated.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


My heart aches at present. I have been torturing myself by looking at pictures, which all of my friends at JBU have just posted, who have been on choir tour--in Northern Ireland. Oh, how I wish to return! I know I am foolish, but I feel as if it were my trip and that they are somehow stealing it from me--utterly foolish, I know. As I look at what was my home for three months, where I grew and experienced so much--my heart could just burst for want of going there again! How I long to return to that time and relive it--the conversations, the indescribable beauty, the people, the times of solitude...all of it. But, that was then and this is now and I cannot return; I cannot go back to what was. I am here now, but now what...?

Monday, May 19, 2008


There is great irony in my present situation. I have been home from school exactly two weeks today. These days that have felt like an age have been a mixture of initial rest and relaxation proceeded by mounting anxiety as my jobless, friendless, structureless-self stared bleakly toward a long, hot, Texas summer. Today, however, began differently. To start, I met with Jesus for the first time in many days and read through Psalm 130, especially verse 5, which reads, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His word I hope." I also read Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest and was, as usual, blown away by its timeliness--by His timeliness. I also made a new friend last night--April--she's the wife of one of the youth pastor's at Community Bible Church and I foresee a true friend in her (she likes ultimate Frisbee, how can we not be friends?:) I still have no job, but I continue to seek and wait now, not anxiously, but with expectation and hope. I am beginning to surrender to the beautiful openness of summer and am learning to revel in all of its possibilities, rather than allow them to weigh me down. I know I am here, at home, in San Antonio, for a purpose--I just need to discover what that is--but how can I do that if I am too busy worrying? I instead choose to resign myself to two hour naps, late nights of reading, guitar and piano practice, phone calls, letters, time...things I only fantasised about during the school year. The irony is this then--now I have time, but I chose to worry about the future, rather than surrender to the endless possibilities of the present. I wanted time, now I have it--shall I not then use it until further notice. Be content, I say...

The vice of technology

Technology plagues our lives, yet sustains our means of modern living. We cannot live without it, but with it comes the superfluous trappings of the current age. Technology enables us to be instantly "connected" with our friends via venues like facebook and myspace; however, these virtual reality interfaces offer only a farce. We are sold the gimmick that we are really interacting with our friends and remaining connected, but sadly it is a lie. Ultimately, such interfaces are simply time wasting avenues that lead to discontentment with ones life.

Our lives seem inexorably linked with technology, yet man evolved and advanced without it for centuries. Advances in technology provide means of saving lives, but also possess the ability to waste that same life. A type of virtual interaction has just recently been introduced into my life--introduced, not accepted--it is called twittering. It is a means of continually updating ones "status," as it were. This can be done via your cellular device, facebook, email, etc. It is, in a way, like a mini-blog, but much creepier and evolved. You can constantly update your status, so as to inform your friends of your day and activities. Example: "I am going to eat then heading home to watch a movie." Twittering is like the lecherous hand of technology gripping more firmly on humanity and its time. We must not allow this beast to consume our lives, we must fight back.

I realize the irony of this post exists in the fact that I myself am benefiting from this "beast" called technology in the form of this blog and, yes, I fully admit my hypocrisy on this front; however, I believe technology can be employed wisely and temperately, yet without excess--which is the tendency of our culture. We must not to excess tend...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reality bites...

Reality does not truly bite, but sometimes, and when it does--it really does. The job search has not improved and neither have my spirits. I believe I am experiencing a mild form of depression--very mild, mind you. I am not handling well this adjustment to summer, this dichotomy of experience. I have not been away from school and its structure, its daily routines and friendships for two weeks, yet I feel I am suffocating--suffocating for daily challenge, both of mind and spirit. I yearn for deep conversations that cause me to ponder further my place and purpose in this world. I miss keenly the proximity of dear friends who strengthen, challenge and encourage me. I miss the academic rigor of papers and class discussions--in all its facets--I miss school. Perhaps more than that, however, I miss a community of people joined together towards a common purpose...

Returning to my parent's house is always a strange thing and the other half of this dichotomy of experience. It is my home--rather, it was my home. I think, perhaps, much of my struggle centers upon this front. I lived here, I grew here, but I have left here for there...this period of life and existence is strange--extremely nomadic and ever-fluxing. Where is home? San Antonio was my home, but is no longer. John Brown is my home at present, but will be no longer in one year's time. There is beauty in this transient lifestyle, but also "unsettledness." I long for adventure, to travel, to be free of constraint and responsibility, but on the other hand...I am not sure what the other hand is actually.

I do not function well without structure (which I loath about myself) but it's reality. This fact makes coming home all the more difficult. I transition from daily consistency: work, classes, meetings, etc. all with a purpose and each day with a goal or goals to the structureless days of summer. I always attempt to create daily routines for myself, in order to keep myself sane, but feel as if I am accomplishing nothing. I loath this concept--accomplishment--yet I am forever plagued by its constraints. I unconsciously gauge my days and their "worth" based upon what it is I accomplish--sick. How can anyone live like this? I fear I cannot, yet I do...

I believe the state of mind I am in would be what Anne of Green Gables calls the "depths of despair," well, something like that...but perhaps a little less horrible sounding. I believe I need to cease striving after some set notion of life in my head, surrender, and simply live...just maybe--oh, and get over myself, that's what Alie would say.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The job search and conspiracy theories

Apparently acquiring employment is not as simple as I originally assumed. Starbucks does NOT hire part time, which basically kills my dreams of ever working there--who cares--they are way over commercialized anyway...right? Well, upon this discovery, I then inquired at a much cuter, local coffee shop up the road from my house. Upon inquiry, the lovely woman behind the counter, named Judy, informed me with a sad look on her face that she "was not hiring at this time." The story of my life. Either, too little time, too much training required, or simply no availability. Am I then doomed to waste my summer days away in meaningless anguish? (Dramatic sarcasm intended). Oh, and I have officially decided--the entire world is one huge materialistic conspiracy. Everyone, and I mean everyone is trying to sell you something, and they will do it by lying to you, schmoozing you--anything to convince you to purchase some unnecessary something for a purpose that our material society has foisted on our collective Psyche--ridiculous, I say. We have somehow convinced ourselves that we need these things: new underwear to match the new shorts we just bought, or new running shoes, or a new cell phone, a better computer, or perhaps another pair of superfluous earrings that we will never wear--nonsense, I say--despite my own acknowledged weaknesses. So, no job and thus no money to buy unnecessary things...perfect. And to add to this perfection, my best friend just left for Africa, and will be gone the majority of the summer--shall we say elated? I think not, but as Scarlet from Gone with the Wind declared--"tomorrow is another day." And so it is...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Summer heat

The heat of a Texas summer is a depressing reality--both literally and figuratively. It weighs upon the body and soul, threatening to deplete one of any creative desire or pursuit. I feel drained of all energy and inclination--I am void of life in the sweltering heat of the South. The sweat which pores down my body and soaks my hairline ruins a good shower. My exposed legs stick to the leather seat of my car and threaten to peel the skin from my bones with great force. The air conditioning fights against the heat that rages outside and creates an indoor Arctic region--my haven. Any hint of a breeze or wind lifts my spirits to the heavens. How have I lived in this place for the majority of my life? I think it's time to move...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Greater understanding...

I came to an interesting realization tonight. It was not monumental or life-changing, but significant. I am a task oriented person. I think inwardly I would like to imagine myself strictly people oriented, but as I survey my life, my days, my priorities-tasks dominate. I have a passion for people, but I function well when given tasks, or have a goal to attain, something to complete. I despise this about me, in a way. Why cannot I be free from such constraints? I know it is a personal choice, how one orders their life, but can I go against the grain of my nature? Upon reflection, I detest how much pleasure I gain from finishing a given task-it's strange, I think...who knows-I am who I am, but perhaps one can change thoughts upon which to chew.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

And it spreads...

Gradually it begins-the drawing of the tea leaves into the clear, warm liquid of the mug. Slowly it disperses throughout the spacious cup-from clear to amber it trades it hues. Always tainted it will be-this water once pure and clear, but tainted not with vileness, but beauty it will be. Such is the way of life-touched by things unchanged then forever we will be-by life and its many tea leaves...