Tag Archives: spirituality

Poetry: The Truth and Personal Destiny in Never Settling for Less

Societal standards, set for success
We set our stories properly, but
Is there life in artifical happiness?

If life is turning chaos to tranquility,
What, as a whole, have we perfected?
Was it anything more than the astounding ability
To be miserable and get paid for it?

When we conform our dreams to man’s image,
Do we miss out on God’s perfect story?
Are they always at war or a playful scrimmage?
To know, do we have to wait til we’re forty?

I’m not a monk, nor a psychic or Shaman,
I don’t know if truth or personal destiny
Has a road or an open forum,
All I can suppose is that no one who knows
Follows formulas from those left before them.


Prose: The Balancing Act.

Every day I am faced with the same conflict in writing; To be personable and to praise G-d. The tension resides in the fact that I write both to write and be read. One challenge of writing about the spiritual side of Christianity (I don’t associate with the religious side, whatever that means) is you have to bring near-incomprehensible ideas into words. The product of this, as I’ve seen, is often sounding pompous, self-esteemed and “holier than thou.” Most writers, if not all, have a desired and geared towards audience, picked and chosen for them based on their subject field of writing. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Richard Dawkins, Anne Coulter. When you hear these names, you undoubtedly associate them with a genre of reading material. Problem with me is, I don’t want to be associated with the religion section of the bookstore. Even I don’t relate with most Christian writers and almost none of my favorite books are based on theology. I can’t ever imagine myself writing how-to’s for Christianity. The whole idea sounds absurd and degrading. On the other side of things, I can’t leave G-d out. I wish I could, believe me, I do. But He is ingrained in every fiber of my being. To not praise Him with the things I am most passionate about is to deny, essentially, the very essence of who I am, or who He has made me. When you love someone, you share your whole life with them, not just the parts that are convenient to share.

So, every day it seems, with my back to my bedroom window and my hands hovering in the air over the keyboard, patiently waiting for the words to come, I sit there and wonder how I might forge a connection between the spiritual concepts of G-d and more central, innate concepts. I can’t count the days I’ve been frustrated by the burden of holding both sides of myself in each hand, wishing I could find a way to grasp all of the madness in one giant gonzo fist.

Yesterday afternoon, I was at a friend’s house, watching my favorite Hunter S. Thompson documentary and pondering this idea when a spurt of inspiration came to me. I hopped up from the couch, making erratic hand motions until my fingers found a pen and paper. I wrote for two hours. I wrote until the thoughts weren’t even connected anymore. I wrote until every angle of the original idea had been exhausted. I wrote until the sentences became scribbles I couldn’t be sure were real words anymore. I wrote until my wrist hurt, and then I wrote until it felt like it might have some internal bleeding. I wrote until the only thing that made sense to me anymore was the pen in my hand.

Today, I looked at what I had. It was trash, absolute trash. I hadn’t managed to put my thoughts down effectively, the gap between my brain and my hand had been far too large and elusive. I couldn’t believe the waste it had been. I couldn’t believe the disillusionment I had felt in the process. I let myself down, and there is no greater defeat than that. I post this as a memorial to the idea that I will ever be able to make this connection for myself or for other people. I will simply have to continue on in this limbo, this erratic balancing act of praising G-d whilst simultaneously entertaining the many other facets of existence through every word that proceeds forth into the vast black hole dubbed the internet through my highly incompetent, yet wonderfully made fingertips.

The only peace I find is in prayer and in music. Thank the GRACIOUS LORD ALMIGHTY for music. I leave you with a wonderful Elton John song, originally wrote about and dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, but worldly famous for the re-make he produced for Princess Diana’s funeral… “Candle in the Wind.” For any writers out there, I hope this song inspires you as much as it has inspired the writing of both Hunter S. Thompson and I.

(By the way, that was not a comparison of quality. Just a random fact. I am not simple-minded enough to think any single paragraph I write, ever, might be placed anywhere near the calibur of mere phrases by H.S.T.)

Prose: A Call to Coexist

“There’s battle lines being drawn, nobody’s right if everyone’s wrong.”
– Buffalo Springfield

What appeals to Christian spiritualists is not what appeals to those who understand the life they live and the world around them in the most present and innate terms. Someone who spends their day thinking about the complexities of the Spirit of G-d making manifest in them the fruits of the spirit is not someone who would easily communicate that idea to someone who spends their day thinking about current events in the light of all the world’s chaos. The problem doesn’t lie in their beliefs or lack thereof, but instead, it resides in the absence of understanding and too many existing prejudices of “the other side” to see the context in which the other thinks and exists. Oftentimes, remaining in a state of disconnect results in judging others by disposition instead of seeing them as an individual in a unique and unknown context. This manner of thinking, which characterizes much of western culture, leads to a lack in sympathy and empathy, and an even more dramatic increase in apathy and tension. This pattern is dangerous, and all the great minds in history knew the people divided is a people conquered. So, why is it in a day and age so advanced as ours, we still resort to petty schoolyard mindsets of the ever-present “us” and “them”?

The darkness of the human spirit, and more directly, the American spirit, lies in that we have no qualms in destroying what is unfamiliar to us or that which makes us spiritually uncomfortable. I think we secretly abhor the idea of tolerance, believing that ideas are infectious and that no one need even know about an idea or a belief system that is not central to our own. I see this a lot, not only throughout religious groups, but inside atheist households as well. The key to unity and harmony is simple, so simple, in fact, Paul McCartney had a good handle on it – live and let live. But in order to really ALLOW all people and all beliefs to coexist with each other, we need to understand the individual. We can’t mass market and we can’t mass judge, either. From the religious bigot to the spiritual hippie, there is context there. We need to see people as more than just ideas that we do or don’t find common ground with; We need to see the person behind the ideas. At such a point of outward growth in society, we need to balance that with an inward growth by recognizing that hate and contention is childish, and we need to begin loving one another to allow enough room for everyone to be different. When we don’t, we set ourselves up for another holocaust. So, please, I beg of you, don’t disarm yourselves of love and acceptance – They are our ultimate offense and the strongest defense to allowing history to repeat itself.

A Journal Entry: The Vow of Silence

For the past three days, my voice has been becoming more weak and more hoarse, my breathing made labored, and the amount of times I’ve coughed and had to clear my throat have increased at parallel rates. I did some quick self-diagnosing and found that I was most likely developing laryngitis. Further confirming this diagnosis, I woke up just before midnight today, and found that I could no longer speak at all. My thoughts frantically searched for a way to communicate with the friend whose house I had woken up at. There was no paper, no pens, my phone was dead and I do not know sign language beyond the alphabet.

I came to a rest in a chair by the bedroom window. Hours passed as I sat and watched in a calm stillness as the rays of the early morning sun began slowly filling the room. I thought to myself of the deaf and the mute, romanticizing the idea of never being able to speak again. I began to think of the series we’re currently covering at Sunday School; It’s on the value and the impact of words. For months, I have become more and more agitated by the sheer vanity of the things that proceed from my heart to my mouth, so this series is timely and fitting for me. It seemed like a natural conclusion to come to that I would take a vow of silence in this time, and perhaps it is a cheap sacrifice with my current condition aiding the choice, but it is a matter I feel strongly about pursuing nonetheless.

I noted that if I was serious, I needed to think about what it was that I wanted to gain out of this. It came pretty quickly to me that I wanted to reinstate an awareness of my words and the impact they have on others; I often offend people without intending to, due to a lack of premeditation, and frankly, out of carelessness. I also have a tendency to speak out of anger, sadness, or jealousy and in the same breath, wishing I could take back all the damaging words I’ve said. Even more frustrating is that I’ve found a way to cause harm to others when acting out of joy, too, by speaking faith and encouragement into areas of their lives where I didn’t have any business poking my ruddy fingers into. Obviously, I need to learn to take more time thinking about my responses, before releasing them out into the world. Ultimately, I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to the Lord.

Thirdly and lastly, another desired outcome I conjured up out of my subconscious was that I wanted to hear G-d in stillness. I have heard Him in noise, in the voices of others, and in music. I have seen Him in the Word, in a sunset or a circumstance, but very rarely, if ever, have I heard Him or known Him by and/or in silence. I often sing that song, “In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness, You are there,” and have felt His presence in the song, but not genuinely related to the words. I am excited to see the ways G-d will move in my silence. I am excited to be reminded that He knows my heart and therefore hears the prayers of my heart, even when I choose not to place them into words – a simple truth that I so often forget.

My progress and any unexpected outcomes will surely be noted, as I will probably be documenting any change or progress through this blog, manipulating it as a journal of sorts… for the time being, anyways.

Scriptural References: Psalm 91:1, Psalm 37:7, Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34, Psalm 19:14, Psalm 44:21, Proverbs 15:1, so on, so forth.