Today I had the type of day that makes me want to live and live till Iím a thousand years of age,
till rank on rank of friends is dead and gone yet I remain the same,
till leaders-nations!-rise and grow and I can see the change
till every child from the crib runs crying at my name and every man will clamor for my fame and all the women clutch their babes up to their breasts and pray they can avoid my fickle†empty games.
And then I think of all the men who wanted just the same.
Itís frightening how quickly all our plans are derailed when the shit hits the fan
Or our head hits the van and we spin and are broken, crushed by the haste of the man simply trying to get to the job heís in danger of losing and now that he stopped here heíll lose it for sure and though yes he did hit you heís sorry he did and insurance will cover the part that it can and what did you really have in your plan more important than breathing, just living at all?
Remember that feeling?
Remember them all.
Music is the spice of life, it is, and though I try and make it happen, I can sing it I can play it, but I canít make it grow and build and soar. For me it goes then falls and dies upon the floor of every building I have sung in is just that, building small or large it sits I canít raise the roof or split the walls and though I want to I donít think Iíll ever be a great and thatís what scares me thatís what keeps me up at night and what keeps me writing.
I see life through thick lenses of glass, well, fibersomething magic glass. Without these frames I am just as helpless as I normally am, and I also canít see.
Life is complicated, but it does get easier because I admit that. I need my glasses and I need some rest and I need friends to prop me up when I am tempted just to be a corpse.
I think the biggest problem facing us today is not our inability but our inability to admit our issues. I have issues, so does everyone, and I pay quite a bit for glasses.
My coach is a wonderful man. He thinks and cares as deeply as I would like to think and care. He has a story ready for every situation, from cross country flights to ripped shoes and overzealous policemen. He knows his way around life the way I know my way around my hometown, loving familiarity makes nothing surprising but everything beautiful. We share a dislike of Hillary Clinton and both Bushes, as well as an affinity for tennis, soccer, and black and white tv shows.
The world is unkind to kind men. Even in the darkness, there is light. Blessings.
As the sun rises I know it will set
Start and live and end
At the sunís dawning I wait for the dusk
Birth and death the trend.
As the kiss flowers I know she will leave
Love will end in pain
Tears on the face of a girl I once held
All the toil in vain.
Darkness is coming and darkness will win
All the light a lie
Promises, promises wonít help us then
We go down to die.
All the toil in vain
Weeklong bustle, constant hustle
Swinging doors and learning minds
College blues, a fading bruise
We push across the lines.
Roofs of shingle underfoot,
We get caught, weíll get fined,
Itís Ice cream punching neighborhood
To thrill-seek weíre inclined.
Cold wind blows but we donít care
We know that weíll survive
Milkshakes on a winterís night
Itís good to be alive.
Late night movies till the morn
Broken by the light
Morning classes till day passes
Awakeness is a fight.
Soon weíll leave so soon it's done
Time has run its course.
The filaments of history
Unite us at the source.
Unfortunately, father, this trip was not very well thought out. Weíll find some things to do together, though what, Iím not quite sure, and I must admit I have lots to do in terms of homework even though youíre here.
Letís see...we can play some tennis, watch some soccer, call the family back home on skype...
We can go out to eat! Panda kitchen is only open to me when you are here, so Iíd like to make the most of that. Ten bucks ainít tons to you.
I guess we can plan for the next time you come.
In the end theology cannot be about you, it must be about others. It must be about the way that you relate to others, because others hold the spark of God that only you can see. It is our call as believers not only to nurture our own spark, but to nurture that spark in everyone and make it grow until they, too, are on fire for God and for the light inside of everyone else. Allowing the powers to deny the light of Christ in people of other races and religions fundamentally denies the light inside of yourself.
The date was June 1, 2010. I was fourteen. My sister was long gone, off to save the world, but my twenty-year-old brother had come home from college for the summer. School had let out just three days earlier. Dad was ready to get us boys to work. Lucas and I were not ready to go. It was an annual struggle, and though Mom was always on our side, Dad always won. His knack for business and the Old Order community had clients booked through the month, and, as he was so fond of saying, the barns donít paint themselves.
I love the fact that I need glasses. I donít love it in itself, needing glasses all the time is quite annoying, actually, what I love is daydreaming about what life would have been like for me it I hadnít been born in a time with correctional lenses. I would be the town idiot, unable to do much other than sit and talk about nothing that really mattered. I would have been a shitty farmer, unable to see the weeds killing my crops or the wolves among my sheep. At least today I can actually contribute to society, or whatever.
Tonight I reached the roof above a place Iíve been a hundred thousand times.
How many people live their lives only down below, stuck in patterns formed on accident and walking past experiences waiting just two yards above their heads?
How do I know if Iím doing the same in my life, missing countless adventures just because I donít want to take a chance?
Do I want to alter my lifestyle in search of thrill, or is the thrill of monotony the only endorphin giver I will ever embrace?
Well, if all else fails, I still have my winning personality.
It is part of my job as a human to live
To do the things that should be done
And immortalize the acts that should be forever.
It is part of my job as a human to die
To live a life of grace and duty
And relinquish my hold on this world when required.
It is part of my job as a human to question
To ask the things that should be asked
And remember the things that should not be forgotten.
It is part of my job as a human to know there are duties we all hold.
In the whispered dark before the college students sleep there is a pain that permeates the silence. Tipsy stoners stumbling through the pools of streetlights feel the perpetual longing that they dream of voicing. Itís stuck in the haze of ganja and nicotine, holding down the emotions they donít wish to face.
We are the new lost generation.
Cut off from our human past, marooned in the present with nothing to point to, ahead, behind, but mounting debt and a world so full of shit that if we make it to fifty weíll be lucky.
We are young and lost.
Do you know how it feels? Really? You do realize Iím not just looking for someone to spend a night, a week, a month with, right? Iím looking for someone to take care of me. Iím not just a boy, Iím a boy with a ticking timebomb between my ears. It may get me places but some day itíll get me to a mental hospital and I want to find someone who will come pick me up when I get out, over and over again if needed. Do you really want that for yourself?
Can I ask that of you?
When I lie at first it feels a bit funny, I know Iíve made a mistake.
But Iím good at it.
And when I see I have won, that Iíve tricked them (the world! society canít hold my genius!) then the feeling bubbles from my belly to my brain, the effervescent majesty of trickery and misdirection has fired me into the limelight of wherever I need or want to be. I am building for myself the world that I want, the world that I need to tell me I am special and that I have the power.
And I do.
They say that when Ham looked on his father's naked body and laughed that he was cursed. They say his sin, shaming his father, ruined his future and the future of his children for ages to come.
And it is clear his curse came true.
But do not think he was cursed with some magical, spiritual hex, but rather that he was cursed with brothers that enslaved him and said they were doing it in the name of their God, and then denied it all.
I will own it. I, a son of Shem, wronged you unjustly.
And I am sorry.
When the lights go out at the end of the day, do you see me the way that I see you?
I sleep; and there you are, you stand upon the brink of worlds. Eyes ablaze on the edge of consciousness and madness your hand slips into mine and together we conquer the magical lands my subconscious provides.
I want that five minutes between going to bed and greeting you again in my dream to be the only minutes of the day I am not with you. I want the day and the night to be equally grand. And happy.
I donít strive to be rich but I do wish I was.
Iíd like to be modestly wealthy, able to putz through the days. Iíd have my pet projects--a man needs to work--but Iíd only pursue them when I felt like working, so Tuesday through Thursday of three weeks a month.
Iíd love to own a bookstore and sleep above the shelves where the musk of the pages and odor of learning reminds me of all the places Iíve been when Iíve reached into history on pages of white.
Iíd also like a house in Paraguay for November through March.
In the brightness of the night I can see the way your chin meets your neck. The bullfrogs sing with me a chorus of hesitant happiness and I desperately want to kiss you.
You are not the girl I love--or rather, hope to love--but I bet that I could love you. In this lovely dreamt up evening, would you blame me if I forgot I knew the difference for a little while?
We laugh, and point at the sky, asking what is cloud and what is shadow. The stars shine through both in the translucent noon of Kansas full moon.
Thank you parents for raising me to know what is stupid and giving me a chance to follow through with things that matter. Yes we are privileged, yes we are white, but not only that we know how to roll with the punches and make amends for mistakes.
I have learned to be content with my lot in life and that is more valuable than any fun day or night or experience can ever be. I am content with my friends, my family, my faith and my future. I have a path to walk and that is all that matters.
In making them laugh who did I just offend? In having a blast whose career did I end? In dressing for fun in a wig and a skirt is it I who am causing more transgender hurt?
I am a white man, Iím sorry, itís true. I donít always realize that things that I do are whatís causing the pain for the non-privileged masses, yet I am offending them; Iím the pain in their asses!
Please know that Iím trying, please show me grace, and when I forget hit me square in the face for all of your beautiful race.
Growing up they told me it would be easy, that the girl that was right would walk into my life and I would see her and know and my search would be over. And I thought I knew, well still think I do, about her, but she doesnít think that way about me or Iím too loud sometimes or bla bla excuses look I get it she must not be the one. I guess. Now what, though? I am a suave fast talking son of privilege with my life in order and a dreaming heart. What am I looking for?
I wake up in the morning and Iím waiting for the day to end, but Iím up, not sleeping in, passing out in class again.
And every day is different but every dayís the same, meet the same old people and we share the same old blame, keep on filling bubbles for a shot at power and fame, someday I will conquer and the world will know my name, but until then I am stuck here and now every dayís the same.
And as the year comes to an end Iíll live in memories with my friends.
Us, my friends.
I walk my path of shame and sin, this darkness that Iím living in it traps and taps and slices skin. It happened once, and then again.
Iíd just got done caring, Iíd just worked it through, Iíd just reached the place Iíd forgot about you.
And right away that is just not good enough and my body and God and the fates up above shove another girl towards me, another to hurt, another to grind cruelly into the dirt.
My apologies, world, to each girl Iíve done wrong. This is my lack of commitment song.
Glistening, pandering, desperate song.
I miss the rain as it would fall on streets and roofs in days gone by, when soaring drops brought happiness and sleep to me, a child of wind and wild city. I was washed by the tears of joy from nature poured upon the concrete prison built for me by those who wanted better for their children.
No matter where you go the rain will find you. Does it clean or does it burn upon your aging soul? Does it bring memories of childhood laughter? or of days when its monotony found unison within your whole?
Rain still falls.
In the stream of time and space I wish to find an anchor, something, someone standing firm to point me towards the light, towards tomorrow, to a world where I can breathe and hear the crickets sing on Tuesdays.
You have made me realize that I failed to realize just how painful life can be--you broke that spell for me--and though our time is clearly finished I still thank you for your kindness and your gentle smile will stay with me and I will still remember that you opened up the world for me when I was cold and empty.
I will miss you--and I just met you, truly--and that is silly--and I know it!--but knowing doesnít change my heart.
Itís strange to think the flow of time is static. I feel whispers and eddies and currents, not a solid stream, no marching rhythm, but a dance. I must ask myself, how can this week have been the same length as every other in my admittedly young life? It seems impossible, and yet it is proven every second by the ticking of each clock on the face of our little spinning world.
I will miss you. I will.
In the late spring after I have been fooled into thinking summer has come I make the simplest mistakes. The warm sun wakes my skin and warm grass tickles my bare feet and the warm air spins my head and I find myself once again happy.
And then the spring returns one last time, to remind that I am not free, that winter will come again though the summer may say otherwise. I am found out, barefoot, in the pouring cold rain.
It doesnít feel good to realize you have made a mistake, but spring always reminds me.
What are old plans but ghosts of lives that will never be? Do we abort our dreams?
We went for a walk again tonight, though we had decided we shouldnít anymore. Someone saw us. The old fears of last semester return. Iím scared your name will be associated with the bad side of mine, but Iím more afraid to waste any of the few minutes I have left with you doubting.
My uncle and his wife met their sophomore year of college, fell in love and out of contact, till last year. 20 years wasted.
What if that is us?