Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Death Becomes Her

In an attempt to address all the adversity around us, I compose.

"Merry Christmas" doesn't ring with silver bells all the time. The year turning new isn't always happy. Seasons of joy seem to be peppered with suffering.

This is where we live.

This is how we are.

This is how it is.

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
-CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Why would we ever want to cease to be roused? If we are indeed deaf and sitting in a wallow of our own filth, but can see outside of it a world of clean splendor, then why would we ever choose to stay and not be drawn out of it? It doesn't make any sense.

Until we figure out what brings us out:


Who wants to be hurt? Who wants to not feel comfort or happiness? Thus, the paradox of our faith.

Jesus separated himself from his heavenly throne, from his Father, and from his Glory to take on the greatest pain, so we have no footing to stand on that will allow us to shake a fist at God for the hurt we feel. Still we do and still he allows it, but once the dust of anger settles we see where we are and where He is and we put our fists down.

If you are in the community of believers, hold the ones around you. Notice them. Ask them about things. We don't have any other source by which to maintain our sanity. We are the church. The most coveted bride. She has scars and beauty marks all the same, and is becoming in a gown of bandages. She is us and we are her.

Friends, if you're content with life, get ready for a storm to come soon. If you're not content, take heart that God is rousing you. If you are apathetic or unaware, I pray that God screams at you and you hear. I pray this for myself.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

musicful lyrics

when ever i listen to Bright Eyes my resolve to write a musically simple song grows exponentially. this is the outcome of a ride home blasting the "Lifted" album. thanks Conor. (recorded version soon to be posted somewhere on the World Wide Web)

there's a lighthouse by the shore
beckoning to keep us yore
the flashing light could tell a tale
of the one's that came before
that came before

there's a house that stands alone
on the road where we were shown
there's a hobo by the door
beckoning to keep us yore
to keep us yore

every little word that comes from
every little thought
all wrapped up into a perfect
needle through my heart
fairer skin has never tasted
as sour to my tongue
but how do i want this
and what do i do with you?

things are helping keep me numb
but my brains a little dumb
chemicals that quell the thoughts
of returning to your arms
to your arms

but all that wins is dreams of us just
layin' head to head
whispering "i love you darlin'"
bundled in my bed
escaping all the world's sorrows
for moments just like this
but then i wake up
and what do i do with you?

with you?..

there's a car that's parked outside
beggin' us to take a ride
there's the keys right by the door
of the place where we grew up
we grew up

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

musicless lyrics

Here’s fourteen days to look

You’ve got your time so keep it

But remember your papa shook

The world into its place

Just where it was supposed to be

And I see a million faces

Running to a hundred places

How’s it ever gonna fit

If it’ll never make any sense?

My day is a year

And My year is a day

Goodness fleets soon as it’s near

Clearly someone’s gotta pay

Just like it’s supposed to be

And I see a million faces

Running to a hundred places

How’s it ever gonna fit

If it’ll never make any sense?

Help isn’t coming soon

It’s already here

Stop looking to the moon

I’ve already been made clear

Just like I’m supposed to be

And we are a million faces

Running to a hundred places

It’s just gonna have to fit

Faith might never make any sense…

But that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a note from the observer...

i watched an amazing film last night highlighting the poverty in Guatemala City. surrounded by CEO's, Peace Corps volunteers, and socialites drinking my free Dos XX with lime (and a Sweet Leaf & vodka) i was the observer. i watched girls giggle about their new Gucci bags, listened to my generation's hippies talk about their trips to Africa, and was infiltrated by a film about a single mother of 5 who worked daily in a garbage dump that stores 1/3 of the earth's garbage.

that's right.

1/3 of the EARTH's garbage.

there was one moment in the film that hit me like Mike Tyson: a few short seconds of footage showing a woman who was working tirelessly to bring children out of the cyclical poverty they were trapped in. they called her Hanley. just a few seconds i saw her laugh, play with children and mess up her message into the camera with laughter. then a few more seconds of testimonials of how amazing she was. then a moment, "Hanley's car was hit head on by a bus in 2007." how little i knew of this woman. mere seconds of who she was, seeing her soul and love in her life so briefly. but when i heard she died, i cried. it was devastating. not only was that a true testament to how good this film was, but through the remainder of the film, hope was brought back into the picture by the lives she touched around her. and we saw that in this short film. in this beautiful piece of art. some of the people who Hanley touched took over her mission:

Pay attention to what is happening in Guatemala.

i'm proud to say that the guys of One Spark Films are my friends. they have amazing hearts for people and an unhindered talent to bring the less fortunate to the forefront. follow them. watch their films. support their efforts.

On Tumblr
On Twitter: @onesparkfilms

Thursday, November 12, 2009

11-11 on 11-12

So I was supposed to do this yesterday, but better late than never:

11 Things about me in random fashion

1. I have a completely irrational, but very real fear of driving next to semi trucks with my windows down because I think the tire may blow out and come into my window and kill me. I have seen the Mythbusters on the subject and it was “Busted”, but I’m still terrified.

2. I’m hairy. And I hate it. I feel self conscious about it. One of many reasons I’m a “winter” man and not a “summer” man. Despite the name.

3. The first time I ever played drums was in 4th grade and it was in the newly started church Children’s Orchestra. We only played one song, and I think it was about Mary, but that’s all I can really remember. It could have been about the one with the lamb, or the one with the Jesus. I don’t know.

4. One of my biggest pet peeves is people using the word “literally” like it’s the only word in the English language that adds emphasis to a phrase. If you’re not using the word for what it means, stop it. Seriously. Or I will literally shit a brick. (prime example of how not to use it unless you want me to punch you.) Also, I hate it when girls call me "man" or "dude". It's weird and it makes me feel uncomfortable.

5. My parents didn’t ever take video of me as a child (it was the 80’s and video recording equipment was for people who ate caviar and drove Rolls Royce’s) but they did take quite a few pictures of me. There is a box of photos in their attic full of pictures of me and my brothers. I tell you this to lead into this stat: 68% of all those photos of me are naked.

6. Last year I got bronchitis and was laid up in my house for 8 straight days. Once I ran out of movies I wanted to watch, I started watching Lost to see what all the hub-bub was about. After 3 episodes I was officially addicted. Over the course of the next 8 days, I watched Seasons 1, 2, 3 and caught up to the current episode of Season 4. You may not realize how much Lost that is, but the only other thing I did besides watch the show was sleep. Seriously. It’s the ONLY thing I did for 8 days. And when it was over and I was healed, I shaved my head because I wanted to be like Dr. Jack. Also not kidding. I seriously did that.

7. I have a higher than average amount of patience, but there are some people that really bug the hell out of me. Like the lady that sits next to me at work. She has so many annoying quirks. I won’t try and list them, because it’s too much, and also, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the annoying-ness of them via blog.

8. I was off work yesterday for Veteran’s Day and made a breakfast for myself that I’m now going to tell you about. A delicious 2-egg sandwich on toast with lettuce, tomato, mayo, cayenne pepper sauce, and bacon, along with a bowl of granola (or bowlnola), a glass of chilled filtered water and a Granny Smith apple. It was amazing. I love making breakfast food. And eating it.

9. Kara “challenged” me to do this list thing and she lives in Philadelphia, PA. I miss her a lot.

10. I’ve had 4 major head injuries, one of which scalped me. I had 8 staples in my head for a few weeks. I also have dealt with depression in the past (and still a little) and my doctor told me it’s highly likely that those are connected. Apparently so much trauma has happened to my head, that it was “re-wired”. Something else my head injuries did was give me two weird growths on my ears. I believe it’s called “cauliflower ear”. Wiki that shiz.

11. I always look at the clock when it’s 12:34. Seriously. Noon and midnight. It happens so often that I feel extremely weirded out by it. Like maybe something huge is going to happen to me at 12:34 someday. And this is just times way of “counting up” to it. My own personal Armageddon. Jamesageddon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hump Day Inspiration

sometimes i feel the opposite of inspired to create. whether it be writing or playing or singing, there are days that the luster of creation is a little lack. but this monday i was curious (as i often am) and was googling things (as i often do) and found out that "inspiration" is another word for "inhalation". so really, i just need to breathe to experience inspiration.

just a neat fact that got my fingers moving. happy Hump Day folks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

maybe this one makes me an official blogger

so i don't really use this venue as a "here's an update on my life" sorta thing, but

here's an update on my life:

my job rocks.
my title is Record Technician in Intelligence and Counterterrorism at Texas Department of Public Safety. yeah. i know. and its just super easy. and pays me money. so yeah. it rocks.

my friends rock.
i've gotten to spend so much good quality time with my best friends lately and its been rejuvenating to say the least. you all have so much that you give me with out even knowing it. just being around you and talking with you (esp you long distance ones) gives me hope that what we were meant to be is slowly taking place.

rock music rocks.
first the sad part: my last show with Paul Banks & the Carousels will be November 11 at Mohawk playing with The Rocketboys. there's numerous reasons that this is happening, but ultimately its good. 1. there's no way i'd rather my last show with a band go. we're playing at one of my favorite venues in Austin. we're playing with a band that i respect like CRAZY and the members of which i love dearly. it's just going to be a great show. 2. (and this is the happy part) this is forcing me into a position that i've wanted to be in for so long with music: in the drivers seat. (cue Carrie Underwood) i have been scheming hard in the last few days about what i'm going to do with music now. if some of you don't know, i've got a solo project that i've been working on for a long time now called Picardy III (that's picker-dee the third) and now that its my only project, i have the time and energy to put into that it deserves. i will be working for the next year (ish) on my first album. i'm going to spend a lot of time (and money.. thanks DPS!) on it which instills happiness, excitement, and contentment... to name a few. i'm working out all the details still, but its going to be awesome. and once the year is up, i will have saved enough money to take it out on the road for the first Picardy III tour. stay tuned for more...

life isn't easy, but it still kinda rocks.
there have been moments of torment with glimpses of freedom. and i don't doubt it will continue this way, but i'm in a glimpse now, and it looks good.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

a note on notes

sometimes i worry about how its going to play out
this song i'm singing
i know there's a high note coming that
when i hit it
sounds so good but when i don't
could cause water to curdle

i know it's coming

i know it

now i'm thinking about it

but i'm still singing the notes leading to it
but not thinking about those
i'm thinking about that high note
i'm missing the notes i'm singing now

i'm not feeling the music right now
i'm not experiencing the song at this moment

i'm worried about that high note

and now that i've worried myself into a tizzy
i'm almost certainly going to miss that note

if i felt what i'm singing now
maybe i'd hit that note

but i'm not

i'd like to stop worrying and start enjoying this song.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dear God,

I like to take Your words and pick the ones I like for tattoos.
I think what You say is nice but I think I can arrange the context a little better.
So thanks for trying, but I got it from here...

Monday, October 19, 2009

monuments and mercy

here i raise mine ebenezer, hither by Thy help i've come
and i hope by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God
He to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

my dreamgirl

you're who i want
you're who i need
when i think about the end, i want you there

you like who i am
you like who i'm not
when i think about what i want to be, you will be there

someone to love
someone to love me
when i think about anything, you're the one that i want to be there

i love you
you love me
when we think about God, let's thank Him for us.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Christmas Lost

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

i'm a child and she was my Christmas lost
i ran to the tree for the only thing i wanted
i tripped over a table and didn't bother to hurt
she was underneath in my dream the night before
but lunging at the present alter i found nothing
no one could convince me my dream wasn't real
i could feel her and even smell her hair
so you can imagine my disappointment
i wallowed for a bit then stumbled to pop's lap
i crawled up in it for a glimpse of relief
but i could feel his heart skipping as he held back
tears for my lost Christmas

but still i could feel his love
it was just that i'd have to wait another year or so

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Orange Juice is a Black Man

this all started last week at Spider House over a $7 pitcher of Lone Star with a friend i hadn't seen in weeks...

i think we're given things in life. some more than others. i, for one, have been given amazing gifts:

1. a family that loves me unconditionally and supports me financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually... basically in every way possible.

2. friendships. unbelievable friendships. friendships that will never end. the kind that inspire, antagonize, and nurture all in one motion.

3. life's necessities. with no worry about them ever going away. shelter, food, water.

4. talents. things i can do that i'm not sure why i can do. music. writing.

5. a million other things that just make me absolutely rich in comparison to 95% of the world.

but thats not my life. i am not my gifts. i am not what was given to me. my being doesn't exist by those alone. life CANNOT be just about getting things and then being thankful for them while we squander them. because mark my words, they will not always be there:

my family and friends will die.

our earth will die, and along with it, all the things that sustain life.

my talents will die with my age: i will get arthritis and my mind will go.

all my stuff will go quicker than it came.


they are gifts. and from God no doubt, but there's more. living isn't just sitting and receiving. there has to be an element of movement. living is an action word, and so life is.

so what am i doing? how am i reacting to the constant grace that keeps me in a state of ability to do just that?


not too much. i could be better. i could live better. but the struggle for me is: "well if there's grace, and God has ordained it all to happen, why bother?" which worries me. what if, that's not true? what if my actions actually dictate what will happen in the future, whether mine, or worse, others'?

but i don't think it's as much about Him and "the effect we have on the universe" as we think.

which sounds selfish, but don't stop reading because i think i can dumb it down to make a little bit of confusing sense:

God gives us gifts.
We recognize that.
We then live like a child who got the Sega for Christmas in 1990, and use it all the time.
In doing that we're acting. We're using the gift, which is why it was given... to be used.
In our action we find fulfillment. We're pleased and feel complete.
In our completion He is pleased. Because He loves us.
He made us to love us.
So in our completion we are pleasing Him, AKA worshipping him.

use your Sega's friends. don't just like them and talk about them and write books about them. USE THEM. live your life. work at it. that's where the completion is that you're all looking for.

that being said:
i think i'm getting old because 9 years ago after my first 8 o'clock college class, i never would have thought that work was something vitally important to my souls well being.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hip Hop Holy Land

I turned my eyes to the east and saw drumming lights going away from the night. I leaned closer to try and feel a breeze from the fleeting candles of my comfort: because if they weren't shining, I at least wanted to feel the wind that blew them out.

and the breeze felt nice.

i can remember how nervous i was in 4th grade when i sat behind my dad's 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. i saw him play them every sunday morning in the church orchestra, and occasionally on weeknights he would come home from work and play along with his Chicago tapes. All of it seemed so cool to me.

Until i was sitting behind the kit that sunday afternoon.

That day it felt like shaking and sweating and i thought i was going to either puke or poop or both.

It wasn't until 9 years later that the bugs of public performance starting to turn from death-ridden fear roaches to excited fluttering butterflies.

Now i'm a junkie looking for his next fix.

Using every limb and moving my being to the beat it makes is one of the best hits i've ever had.

There is rhythm in all things.

In the way a tree's branches break to all the crickets crying when the silence is too much to bear: its all got rhythm.

i make my own rhythm. And in doing so (and now to my point) have found a deep love for Hip Hop. From the original oralizing of The Sugarhill Gang to the present poundings of Aesop Rock, there's something inside of me that can't deny the calling of my soul to move to their beats. i won't troll on about how the greater part of the hip hop community has darker skin than mine, but i will stay there long enough to say: I'm very white. But it doesn't matter. Willie Nelson wouldn't deny there's rhythm in everything, nor would he deny the pure skill it takes to sculpt words in with beats in ways to move peoples souls and bodies. So i don't feel ashamed to confess to all of you that:


And I will until the day I die and go up to Glory where there will no doubt be a DJ spinning and angels dancing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Going To Name My Son Clive Staples Summers

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." - CS Lewis

I read once in a Book, or was it that I heard a man tell me... either way, once it was presented to me that once a man is in heaven, should that be the eternity he is to receive, then he will no longer be the man who he once was on earth. I have come to believe that this would mean he would also no longer be a man. Not even an inkling of what he was in the physical would translate into the the hereafter. Now, I understand that if that is true, and it being Heaven, then the alternative must just be so beyond my comprehension of "goodness".

That being said, I still wish I could meet CS Lewis. Meet who he was on earth. I'd like to sit with him in The Eagle And Child, share a cask beer and maybe a good Scotch, and just listen to him. He could tell me the lineup of suits that he has and where they came from and I would still probably be blown away.

All this begs the question though: Will any piece of me be left in who I am once the other side of eternity? If not, then what's all this for?

If any of you theologians out there have some insight, I would love to hear it.

for the record

i'd just like to say that i don't know where life goes sometimes. it's somewhat of a conundrum as i'm in it. i live what is life every moment that i breathe. i am alive. but where does this life go? where is it that i'm heading? i'm not so sure.

i had a sinking feeling when i was driving home tonight. i've had this feeling a few times in the past few days.

so what to do with that?

i guess we'll see, but what is my life has been such a disgusting mess of good, bad and i-don't-know-what-the-hell-to-think-about-this, that i'm just tired.

it's 2:44am and tired is a reasonable response.

so i'm going to sleep. i'm going to dream. i'm going to let my head and heart rest with hopes of a clearer state tomorrow.

i know it's been a while since i've posted here, and i'm sorry for the diary-esque-ness of this one but i just needed to get it out there. thanks. i love you. goodnight.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lord I Was Born a Ramblin' Man

as our nights are washed away by the whites of a fresh new day, i'm certain that we could stand to be reminded of a few things.

1. the rest
2. the grace
3. the forbearance

these things that relegate us into our freedom, into our life. they don't give us breath, but they keep us breathing. and from whence do these and so many more life sustaining elements come? i believe God.

Jesus Christ.

not a feeble non-existent "being" that floats above and outside of us. not a thing that's sole absolute attribute is to have none so as not to offend.

no my friends, mine is a God that offends. who speaks a Gospel that terrifies. who for reasoning beyond my capacity, has seen fit to allow me the 3 items above and so many more to keep breathing. He will certainly tighten my chest at times, restricting the flow into my lungs, but He won't suffocate me.

i wish that i could understand how a God, a being who was made by nothing, would want to make me, let me go, only to break me, then take me back for His own.

it's all so painful.

and in my fight against the pain, i medicate with a confusing mixture of truth and lies. as many steps forward as i have taken, it feels i've taken twice back. i throw my words to the skies hoping to feel absolved of my wrong. but i don't feel it all the time. i tilt the bottle back to numb the grief of life's certainties. but i wake up with a guilty headache. i go to liturgy hoping to energize my spirit only to run it out in the first hours of leaving the building. i hold conversations of significance to distract myself from the inward reflection that is so necessary. but i see inside all the more.

a confusing concoction indeed.

but because of Him, i can still breathe in, then let it out.


and over

and over

and over again.

we all want to know why. i do. but i just don't know if i'll ever get that answer. at least not in the form of words related to the questions we're asking. maybe it comes in the form of something that pauses your heart.

a sunset or a symphony.

when we see a child's tears screaming the life that can't stay inside them, we want to know why death must be. but if we could just notice... if i could just notice, the fact that the child's life can't stay inside of her because it's just too big, well, i think i'd feel more comfort.

keep breathing because you can. and don't stop 'til you can't.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fictional Dream

Last night I had a dream. I'm standing in repose at the end of a road that has been long and trying. I can remember every day of that journey.

The pain. The tears. The agony. And my repose slowly turns.

But scattered among those memories are small glimmers of goodness.

A hope here. A laugh there. A hug ever so seldom, but sovereign.

Now that I'm at the end of this thing I'm curious to know what is next. I'm standing with cracked teeth and calloused heels asking my Maker "What did all that mean? Because I'm still hurting. I'm still broken. I'm further along on this road, that's for damn sure! But, for what? What have I done?"

The next moment in the dream is something that I've wanted for so long it hurts to think it. A burst of light knocks me down. I've never felt a light. It was hot and it was painful. The deafening effect of it all is what terrified me. I could hear the voice of every man that's ever lived. Some crying in pain, some shouting for joy. Others were whispering softly their love to another, while some were just breathing.

Imagine listening to 4,000,000 people breathing in unison. Imagine how that would pierce your ears.

I held on tightly as the light of all men rushed past me. It lasted for what seemed like an eternal second. Maybe a day. Maybe 4 minutes. But once it passed, on the other side was the repose I was missing. Once it passed, I could see Heaven. I could see Eden. The garden was beyond what I could describe. It left me breathless and I collapsed. While I was sobbing in the soil a Hand reached to me and lifted. He was a kind faced man. I've never felt more in love with someone I had never seen. But I had seen Him. Something about His face felt like home. His Hand around mine was too familiar to reject as new.

And then my repose turned to realization. Then to rejoicing.

My Lord had no answers for me. He had no words to settle all the questions in my head about the last 84 years of my life. And there were so many. Instead, all He had was a Hand. And once it held me, it was over. All the agony. All the crying. All the seldomness of good. It was finished.

And I was home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

St. Beck

"Standing on the last legs
Of a dream that walked away"


Sometimes in the mess of nonsense, a light peeks through and casts a shadow over the things we don't need to see. Such is the case with this line from a great, but kind of vague-in-meaning song.

Now, to be clear, I'm not perched preaching on the soap box about the necessity of lyrics to make a song great. I have a theory about music that I won't go into now (but will later) that basically states: "Music is a gift from God. All of it."

But in this case, I am dealing with the lyrics. Or... the lyrics are dealing with me...

I think about these words as I think about my life today. There are dreams that I have. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish and be a part of. But today I find myself assessing which of those dreams are right for me to hold and which of those are right for me to let walk away. I honestly don't want to admit which ones I feel I should let walk away, but I can't deny it either. Because regardless of how hard I try, if I'm not supposed to grip tightly onto any of my dreams, if they're not supposed to be in my hands, well, then they're going to leave my hands. I think I'd rather let go than have them yanked from me.

But what about dreams having legs in the first place? What if dreams are constantly evasive and moving so as to keep our attention? To keep us on the move. We hear a lot about "pursue your dreams", but I think I always assumed that it was a steady prize that once had, was there to stay.

Maybe they do have legs. Maybe we are supposed to keep chasing them.

Maybe I'm tired of chasing sometimes...

but maybe too bad, because dreams are walking away. Like Strange Apparitions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chapter 1

So I started to write a short story while I was flying to Paris last year. Then I stopped for a long time. Then I started again when I was in Nashville a few months ago. And then I stopped. But I want to continue, so I'm putting up the first section of it here for you to read and give me feedback. Thanks :)

Disclaimer: Any likeness to actual people or events is purely coincidental and in no way reflect by any inference the beliefs of the actual person, place or entity as described in this story.

Jack and Florence and How They Fell In Love

If there was a day of the year that could beat Christmas, this might the one.

Florence had resented her parents for years. Let's be serious. Who names their daughter Florence post 1943? But despite her disdain, today could not have been better. It more or less started when Jack tripped over her purse.

Jack may sound bold and daring and somehow gentle and caring as a name, but not this Jack. For the last 20 summers, Jack didn't leave his house. And over the course of 20 winters, he never threw one snowball at his non-existent friends. So he figured after a quarter of a century out of the womb, he should probably birth himself out of his current cave.

Jack was a day trader who worked from home. He spent the majority of his adolescence playing online poker. Little did he know that he could utilize those skills to make an honest (sort of) living.

If there was a day of the year that was scarier than Halloween, this might be the one.

Jack didn't just lack social skills, he was completely inept when it came to human interaction. Words didn't form sentences when they fell out of his mouth. His hands shook as he would force himself to use them. He would shift eyes constantly, never looking up, just side to side behind the rapid fire blinking. But he came into the world for a reason, so he tried to keep his focus as he moved towards the local coffee shop.

Florence was studying the classics. She wondered almost everyday why in the hell she ever picked that as a course of study, but she was consistently intrigued by it all. The deeper she got into her classes, the more intrigued she found herself. So in her comfortable wingback chair in Portland Brew, she was lost. Double carmel macchiato in one hand, Anne Bronte's "The Tentant of Wildfell Hall" in her lap, she was lost. But after what only seemed like minutes but was actually hours, she was found.

Jack stumbled from stairs of the bus as he attempted to look like a normal human being who could exit a bus. Didn't happen. What did happen was a bag thrown from his shoulder, an awkward noise thrown from his mouth and a bruised ego that was already in bad shape.

If there was a day of the year that hurt more than April 14, this might be the one.

Jack proceeded to gather himself and his things and make his way into Portland Brew, the local coffee shop with the most mediocre online reviews. His hope was to find a non-Starbucks place that served fair trade coffee but didn't have too many patrons. He was throwing himself into a pool to learn how to swim and figured that was enough. That it wasn't necessary to jump into the ocean on his first day. Although it was already feeling like the chlorinated waters were rising into a huge squall.

As Jack made was walking up the entrance sidewalk to the shop, face down, he arrived to an opening door which was a quick reminder of why his mother always told him to watch where he was going. Jack missed her. But at that particular moment the only thing going through his head was the door that just hit it. He was too far to turn back homeward now but was questioning this venture more and more with each act of clutz he perpetrated. Once he collected his jarred thoughts he continued into the shop, resolved to watch where he was going. His head up, looking at exactly what was in his way. But his focus on the above-the-waist area of the world blinded him to where his feet were, and it wasn't long before his steps were fatefully interrupted by a purse sitting next to a wingback chair.

Florence was surprised to say the least. Her mind was so swallowed in the novel in her lap that not much shook her. But this did. Jack did. Her novel quickly closed as her legs reacted to the man tripping next to her, and her hands tried to deflect his bag which was barreling towards her face, but they weren't fast enough.

And with that, with the cold sting of a book bag to the face and the harsh burn of falling face first next to a beautiful girl, the two paths of Jack and Florence met.

She could've gone the way of a younger girl and focused on the pain. She could've let the anger take hold. She could've given into the baser desire to scream. But she didn't. In her refinement she didn't. In her compassion she didn't. Instead, she quickly jumped to her feet to help the poor man up. And he, flustered in his down state was surprised to say the least. His mind was so swallowed in the situation of yet again falling that all he would notice was people noticing and laughing. Not so with her. She noticed. She did not laugh. She helped. This angel of a lady cared.

"Oh my God! Are you ok?!"

"Ummm, yeah, I.. I uh .. I think so," as he took her hand. He wasn't sure what to make of her. In the last 35 minutes of being away from his nest, his chick heart hadn't seen anyone this gentile. His mother always kept him under her wing. Protected him. Shielded him. But this was a different feeling. This felt... freeing.

He brought himself to his feet again but now with angelic help, tried to brush off all his shame, but he couldn't. She could. She did. With her smile. Which he noticed immediately was dripping blood from the corner. Then it hit him like it hit her. "Oh geez! Your mouth! Did my? Did I? Oh geez! I'm sor.."

And before he could get the ever so important word out she stopped him, "No no no, I'm fine. It just startled me, really." And with that wiped her lip with a napkin and handed him his bag. He didn't know what to make of her. Of this. So he just took the bag and awkwardly started to step away only to be stopped again, "Wait..." She wasn't sure what to make of him. There was something that captured her about his being. His existence sort of, amazed her. It could've been her novel. It could've been the stark contrast he seemingly held to the entire world around him. Not sure what it meant she offered, "can I get you a cup of coffee?"

Mornings for Me 101

Get out of my dreams and into my car. That's what I always say.

Except I don't.


What I do say is, morningtime is grumpytime. There have been countless times that I've heard the words "rise and shine!" and for every one of those times there have been at least three malicious thoughts towards the sayer or the actual words for ever having existed to form that phrase in that context.

I just hate waking up.

Sunrises are beautiful. Morning air smells good. Newness is exciting. But if all of that could just happen after about 11AM that'd be great.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Link Fest '09

What do a bicycle, the ghetto of East Austin and a satchel have in common? I mean, besides the thousands of hipster's gentrifying Amercia one east side at a time...


I biked from Yellow House to Cooleto this afternoon. Currently I am manning the front desk at a small church in Austin as a source of income. This affords me not much except gas money and 3 hours a day to hulu, blog and do other things computer related. So in efforts to conserve the little dough that i do have, I bike.

I am not a hipster. I think I possess some qualities of what you might call a hipster. Namely, I like to wear cool things. When it comes to being a slave to trends, I'd say I'm a 2%er. Not immune to it, but not bound by it.


As I was biking with my satchel through east Austin, I was struck with a thought:

I was sweating. I was moving. And if you know me, you know I HATE being hot. I mean, when I say I hate it, I mean anger envelopes me and I turn into something only comparable to the character that Colin Hanks plays in Orange County. But only the scene when he gets pissed at his mom for being a drunk who he is embarrassed by and his druggy brother and then a huge horrible situation happens and he gets so fed up that he hurls himself into a pool with hopes of drowning and leaving all the shit behind that he's had to deal with. Don't worry, its just funny in the end. But today felt different. It felt good to sweat. It felt good to be pedaling through the humid air. Maybe it was the journey's end that was pushing me, or maybe it was just a moment of therapy for my mind and body. Either way, I enjoyed it.

And I want to enjoy that more. I want to enjoy the struggle. For the end, and for the process.

We'll see how that goes...

hmhmhmhm (its the new hahaha, but the chiller, mouth closed chuckle version)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

3:10 to Yuma

i see singleness as a problem. an issue. something bad that needs to be eradicated. but not in a way that may be smart throughout it's progress, but just anything to accomplish the end goal. the ultimate end is more important than the means.

but it's a hairy situation.

this thing of romance. this thing of love. it somehow is a thing that possesses the qualities of what are traditionally, starkly different roles.

the means
the end.

somehow it is the means by which you get to the end of itself. (don't worry, i re-read that two dozen times, it totally makes sense.)

so here's the deal: i want to love. i want to be loved. my motives are pure, so why would it have not happened right by now? maybe it's Grace. that i am to have what is absolutely the best thing regarding love, and i just can't see how to do that, so it's being done for me and to me and around me.

you see, i am, everyday, inside of myself getting lost. worried. thinking. stuck. held captive. but i can love by Love's hand. i just don't do well at that.

i am who i am being made into, not what i've known myself to be.

so i will one day love.

i will one day be loved.

and on the road to that day, will love all the way.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

concentrate. there's too much at stake.

Jibber Jabber

sometimes i just write. i don't know where it comes from or what it means or how it's applicable to me or anyone. but here is one of those times:

forgive me if i don't stand
i've only had a bit to drink
but stretch to me what is your hand
and i'll give you reason to think

hope down and ante up
we're all waitin' to fill our cup

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hollywood Horrors

Hollywood horrors don't necessarily involve a monster, blood or gore. I've often found myself terrified by the aspects of Hollywood as they have been attempted to be played out in real life. As I have attempted to play them out in my life.

I believe that we are pivotal in the writing of our own stories. We have the amazing gift of free will.

We have the option.

But danger makes its appearance in the moving-picture frames when we take it all on. When we become autobiographers. As powerful as my choices can be, they don't ultimately dictate the plot. No, the book that we're in is a complex masterpiece in which the Author's pen is uncomprehendingly being guided by His hand and ours at the same time.

i think.
Maybe it's less like a book being authored and more like a dance between us and Him.

He's leading us and we're following. But we have the ability to step on His toes, or let go of His hold. Not as fun. Not as good.

Whichever analogy suites your fancy doesn't really matter. Because either way we're moving.

The repeating question is: what is the balance between His moves and ours?

I don't know. I think I'm finding out.

Just pray before you plant yourself in one particular camp. Because it's highly likely that the camps we can align ourselves with could be heretical or misleading at best.

Just keep moving in the realness of what's around. Of life. Real life. And who knows? Maybe our stories will look a lot better than anything Hollywood ever puts out.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Good pay?
Set schedule?


I'm totally growing out my mustache.

Ripley's Reminders

Believe it or not I met a girl named Ripley today. She is the granddaughter of one of the volunteers at the church I'm currently working for as a part time administrator.

What does a part time administrator do, you ask?

They blog.

Anyway, back to Ripley. She was small. Probably the smallest human I've spoken to in a while. But her size wasn't unbefitting her age. She was somewhere between the ages of 7 and 10, I'd say.

Small people, namely: children, they just make me happy.

I don't know why. Maybe it's the fact that they enjoy the simplest things. Ripley pulled a small scotch tape dispenser from her grandmother's purse, her eyes widened, and you could hear Christmas in her voice. She was so excited.

I wish I would still get excited about things like that.

Here's a list of things I wish I still got excited about on a regular basis:

-Saturday morning cartoons (i would still get excited about these if 2 things happened: 1. the cartoons weren't creepy anime-esque freak shows and 2. if i woke up before noon on Saturdays)
-Hearing about Santa being spotted by air traffic controllers on Christmas Eve
-Luby's fried fish and mac and cheese (damn you studies-that-tell-me-about-how-dirty-Luby's-is)
-Finding quarters on the bottom of the pool instead of pennies. TWENTY FIVE CENTS!

Just to name a few.

But here's what I'm resolving to do:

I will remember what is great in this world. I will recognize the sweetness inside of everything that holds it. I will get excited even if it takes convincing myself that I should.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Therapy 101

Welcome to school.

Welcome to my monoblogue.

Good Morning America said this morning in an interview with...

Just kidding. 2 things I'm not a fan of:

1. People who use the word "irregardless". IT'S NOT A DAMN WORD!

2. Blogs about news shows. Why do I need one more stranger/feaux celebrity's commentary on what's happening in the world?

No no my friends, today much else will be monologued about.

I was on a Bible website this morning searching through scriptures hopefully to find something relatable or applicable to my life today. It's not very hard to do that, especially when you have the power of a search engine at your finger tips.

I wanted to see what the Bible said about my soul.

There's always been (at least in my past) references to our "spirit" and God's Holy Spirit as I've grown up in the church. But not really a lot of talk of our "soul". I just wanted to see if there were differences in how these words were used in context throughout the Bible.

Question: were there any differences?
Answer: yes.

I won't go crazy and get super theological on you. Don't worry. I'm just going to mention the one thing that stuck out to me. Well, maybe two...

1. The majority of the time the word "soul" is used, it's almost always siamesed with the word "heart".

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul."
"Love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul."

And so on...

2. In the uses of the word that weren't paired up with "heart", the word "soul" was used in referring to the author's state, which was usually in torment, or anguish.

"My bitter soul must complain." -Job
"How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul." -David

And so on...

I don't know what any of that is to mean, or was meant to mean, if anything. Just interesting to see it.

I may speculate on it some other time, but for now, I'll let you think about it and I'll think about it. We can meet about it later.

Say, 3 o'clock at the monkey bars.

Be there or be square.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

just a great quote

Have you spent so much time in the trenches that the walls of your rut are starting to look like the horizon? - Gary Hamel

and now for something completely different

once there was a boy who grew up.
he wandered, globetrotting for decades.
all of his wants seemed just ahead of him.
so he pressed on.
every day he would rise with the sun.
every night he would go down the same.
sun times he was moving.
moon times he was still.
greatness was what he was after.
not to be called great, but to find greatness.
greatness is more like a lion and less like a sun tan.
the tan he had.
walking, bussing, hitch hiking, they all gave him that.
but he didn't set out to become, he set out to find.
for years on years he roamed, looking for the lion.
directly behind him at all times was the unnamed voice.
pushing him.
to move forward.
"stop listening and start feeling.
stop looking and start breathing."
most days ignorance of the voice was easy.
caught up in the moment, it's quite simple to translate it inwardly.
not so simple to see what it really is.
not so simple to be what you really are.
but there were just enough days that ignorance escaped him.
drawing on his tendencies to withdraw, he had to feel it.
pushing him.
to move forward.
from outside his mind he could breathe.
and all it really took was a half dozen days or so to make him stop.
stop listening.
stop looking.
and to start feeling.
and to start breathing.
the lion escaped him, but at the end of his road was a lake.
ready to refresh he bent down to be startled by what was reflected.
it was him. he was a lion.
he found what he had become.
and he jumped in and enjoyed it fully.

Spare Me

SPOILER NOTICE: The following blog posting was not intended to contain any amount of admittance of guilt or acknowledgement of my weakness as a human. But as is the case in any act of pouring, trace amounts found its way out of the bowl and on the carpet. This could get a little messy.

On a scale from 1 to 10, last night ranks: super weird and "what the hell happened"?

Without going into too much detail (refer to post title) here's how it went down:

1. catch up with my best friend Trey Low and spend hours talking about really hard things. Really good things. Really bad things. Really, almost all things. A very challenging time that pushed me to think about my current state in a way that I haven't.

All in all: a great start to the evening. (zero sarcasm)

2. Go meet other friends for $1 Tecate's at a little bar on the east side near where I used to live. Met some new people, had some great conversations that were uplifting and encouraging to my faith.

For #2 it ranked well. (baby amounts of sarcasm)

3. Throw myself off of a cliff and call someone I haven't called in a really long time. Someone I haven't called for good reason. Which led me down a path of wanton disregard for all things around me, thirsting insatiably for my own desires to be met.

A fantastic decision. (nothing but sarcasm)

4. Those desires? They weren't met. (back to zero sarcasm)

5. I tossed and turned all night, wallowing in my sick sense of self because of how I chose to end my night.

What is wrong with me? What is wrong with us? That I so quickly forget the forgiveness that gives me breath? That we so quickly run to the shiniest toys?

In my head, there is no way God isn't pissed off about this. I mean, there's just no possible way that He, having given us His son... His ONLY F-ing SON... to die a miserable death, isn't just wringing his Hands and turning certain shades of red.


I'm not one for outlandish "signs" or physically manifested miracles, even still, I would put up quite the bet that God would never say such a thing.

Here's what's true: God's grace and His love and all things about Him are too big to be swayed or effected by my baby wrecking ball tries.

Here's how I feel at the moment: stupid. disappointed. well destroyed by my wrecking tries.

But I'll refer back to my title now.

If you've read all this I guess I'd like to say: just go after something better than what you want after drinking 6 Tecate's. Because there's a lot that falls into that category. A lot of really great things.