Monday, March 18, 2019

Sleep


A marked machination miles away
As she cries through the morning and into the day
As heaven and earth, both on timid display
They bow to her tireless wonder

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Wonder of it All

This intimate proposal of the wonders of my being
This calculated leveling
Inches and meters and miles, swelling in controlled circulation
Here, i rest beneath the quiet of the morning

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Trying: What I want for her, what I want for me.


You’re a good dad. Despite whatever discrepancies I might notice in what an
ideal consciousness would involve, let me say that you’re a good dad. I say
“are” because of the present reality of your ever-evolving love and pursuit of
us. It’s not a textbook perfection by any means. It’s convoluted and contrived
at times. It’s awkward and haphazard and clumsy. But it exists, this particular
perfection you carry around inside of you. You try. That’s the core of it. You try.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Productivity

Productivity is a peculiar thing. It's a simple shift of approach. I spend hours reading news headlines or scrolling through social media feeds, but the time spent doing such always feels wasted. Reading, writing, creating, or fulfilling those pesky responsibilities that pile up always feels more satisfying to me. It's like I have this enormous potential, as we all do, to build something worth building, but that potential is squandered away as we watch youtube videos and play video games. It's no wonder the world seems so despondent and hostile, it's full of people that are wasting their potential on mediums that don't bring them any satisfaction.
I'd like to commit to productivity, but I know how it will go. I'll have a good couple of days where I get a lot of things done, motivated by the ecstasy of productivity, rewarded by its rewards. But then I'll slink back into focused isolation, distracting myself from the reality of my lack of access. I'll run to screens and sleep and things to consume and end up back where I started.
But, what the hell. Let's give it a try.

I'll miss this place after I go

I'll miss this place, after I go
all frozen in the summer snow
as howling wind, relentless blows
chattering my teeth

I'll miss this place, after I leave
as oceans swell and mountains sink
and everyday's like  Christmas Eve
set waiting for the dawn

I'll miss it, as her glory fades
as rolling, tumbling on my way
I stand alone, and try to say
we knew it all along

I'll miss this place, all said and done
when winter reigns, and spring unsprung
makes wake of all that we've become
awash in fading dreams

I'll miss this place, will it miss me
a vagabond, doomed to be free
to live with no one else but me
to pat me on my back

And if the wind still softly blows
and if the trees and grass and snow
become all that there is to know
only then will we be free
to live accordingly
as ancient memory

Friday, February 08, 2019

Plea for Admission, or what I was really thinking at the time

Summer's lost momentum as the day slips into night
I take a sip of coffee as I memorize my lines as it all unwinds
Oh, Lord won't you let me make it through the night
Oh, Lord won't you let me make it through the night

I've taken to my rambling in hopes to clear my mind
and when I get to heaven I'll tell God I've done my time on the railroad lines
Oh Lord won't you let me wander on inside

I am falling
I am falling into space
As I'm fighting to be free from what is chasing me
but it's me

Everyone is beautiful, everyone but me
"cause when I look within myself isn't hard to see the iniquity.
Lord won't you help me shake these chains from me

Stars are something sacred as I bathe beneath their light
Let it wash right over me as I shout into the night, something's not right
Oh Lord won't you help me put up a better fight
Oh Lord won't you help me put up a better fight

I am falling
I am falling in to space
I am fighting
I am fighting to save face
As I'm running
to be free from what is chasing me
but it's just me

Serenade, or postcards from the isolates, or Yay! Patriarchy!

Sun sets low, sings a silent serenade
Treetops glow, set to dive on the grenade
Fortune fades, sets my heart to wander lost
Speak my name, in a language I've forgotten

Sun, sun, stay right where you are
as I succumb to my thinly-veiled scars

Walk with me, there's so much more to say
Or let it be, and those feelings waste away
We're okay if we tell ourselves we are
But, I've yet to say it but I'm leaving.

Oh, sun, sun, stay right where you are
as I succumb to my thinly-veiled scars

We anticipate salvation
We are looking to the skies
We abandon superstitions
but we have no compromise

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Photo Negatives

While I was at home this weekend, I caught a glimpse of my father's Facebook feed. First off, I have tremendous respect for my father. He grew up in a very specific cultural context, and has political opinions that reflect his cultural and contextual acquisition, as well as the breadth of his life experience. He and my mother raised me to ask questions, seek answers, and draw my own conclusions, but to always respect other people, even if their opinions are different than my own. While many of my father's political opinions differ than my own, I am grateful for both him and for the experiences that have shaped his life and his understanding of the world.

Walls


This weekend we traveled back home to St. Louis to see my family and to celebrate my daughter's 1st birthday. It's a peculiar experience, traveling home for the weekend. I haven't lived anywhere near my parents for 15 years now, and though I see them several times a year, our visits are always short, lasting only a few days at a time.

See how long it lasts

The great challenge of writing for is mostly an issue of competition. I like to write, but the time that it takes to do so and to do it well usually drives me to instead play video games or browse amazon for board games on sale (I like board games). But, it's a new year and that means that we tend to make decisions about what we want for ourselves in this new year to come.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Reflections on the start of a new year

August, tomorrow is my birthday. I will be turning 32. I am married with a child on the way. I'm losing my hair and gainfully employed. I have degrees and certifications and job experience. I'm an adult. But, at the same time, I still love to play with Legos and have a pretty impressive Star Wars toy collection. I've got plans for the future and history to reflect on. I've got a good idea of what my limitations are and what people think of me. I've seen the world for what it is, and I've decided to be one of the good guys, as best as I can understand it. I try to remember what I would have expected from myself at this age when I was 17. I think I imagined that I would be successful, as far as I could have understood success at the time. Atlanta was never on my radar. It still isn't, really. I probably expected that I would have beaten my addictions by now, and that I'd be writing books or making speeches about one thing or another. But, here I am: average in most ways, clinging on to some false narrative that I'm Daniel Boone or Kit Carson; an explorer that knows no fear and strikes out on his own in search of adventure, to put his name on things. There was this tradition when I was working at a camp in Colorado. Every Tuesday, the staff cooked made-to-order pancakes right in the dining room. I remember putting in a fair amount of effort into getting the staff to name a particular mix of pancake batter with strawberries and white-chocolate chips "The Mondo." It never caught on.
But age is a funny thing. We live in a time when adulthood doesn't exist like it used to. My generation cling to our childhood desperately. We're afraid to let go, to grow up. Growing up is a curse, it's boredom, it's insignificance. We thought we saw these traits in our parents and we want nothing to do with such characteristics. So we cling to the past, when our expectations for the future were lofty, to say the least, if not impossible. I still imagine that I will live a life of adventure and excitement, not submitting to the reality that my adventurous days are behind me. Now, I settle in. I raise my children and provide for my family and learn to love my wife more and more. I give up on the dreams and aspirations that I was never capable of in the first place. I fade.
It sounds hopeless, but I don't feel hopeless. I don't feel despair. I'm optimistic, I see a new world, a reality that is more true than the lies I believed when I was 17. There is good to be done, there is a world of hurt surrounding me that I can speak into. There are refugees that need community. There is family that I can soak in love and mutual experience. I have students that need a man to admire and respect. I have a system in which I work that is broken, and I can fight for justice within that context. There is a God that swirls in and through the corners of my being, making life worth living. I can chase that. I can swim in the potential that his plan whispers, anxious for the coming about of something better, of life that is more full than the one I currently experience. Jesus has reached out to me and invited me into a better story. And though I'm terrible at taking whatever step is required of me, the invitation persists. I want to learn how to accept it.