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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dr. Spaceman (that's Spa-chim-in)

Remember Xanga? Me neither.

I have a hard time committing time to things that don't involve music, making money (because a boy's gotta eat) or being with the ones I love. But I had an epiphany today: I am a writer. I write music. I write poems. I write in my journal. I write all the time. But something I don't do is write as a discipline. I just write whenever it "comes to me".

Well, there have been large lulls in those creative times. Many large lulls. So in doing this blog again, I am forcing myself to pull the creativity out instead of hoping that it will come from some other source.

Do I believe in inspiration? Hell yes I do.

Do I think that inspiration only comes from without? I'm beginning to lean towards: no.

My soul is constantly at odds with itself and with the outside world.

I am a guy, and as I'm sure any guy can relate, there are plenty of times in a day that my head is completely void of thought. COMPLETELY. But equally as sure am I that the space in my head is probably more occupied than most mens' spaces.

So don't ever get the urge to call me a "spacey" person. It's false.

I have a lot of friends who you could most certainly consider "spacey" and I enjoy them very much. The lightness of their concern for mundane things is inspiring and pleasing. Sometimes I try to imitate it to avoid my own filled space.

But it's false.

My space is highly occupied, frequently vacated, but quickly filled by new tenants. And most of these tenants are relentless. They stay up 'til all hours of the night and cause quite the ruckus with the neighbors.

Tired of thinking about this analogy?

Me too.

I think too much. About a lot of shit. And it effects all of you. For good and for bad. Thanks for sticking through the bad and I hope you enjoy the good.

This blog is going to be a struggle for me to give some order to all the tenants in my space. (F you Tom for making those two words incite evil thoughts among my generation)