Monday, December 26, 2005


I've always been a rather cautious person. Sometimes, I want to run away and have marvelous adventures and take risks and feel the rush of blood as I carve my own path through fate and forever mark the world with my passage. And then I start to wonder how I can do these things in the safest way possible. How I can fight the dragon and rescue the princess and save the world without ever being in danger of losing everything. How can I possibly be so naive? We can't hold on to what we have in this world. It's all lost anyway, right? We can't take it with us? Some day diaomonds will be dust. Then what? So what am I holding on to? The very shame is that mediocrity is the safest existence there is. I'm reminded of the book Robinson Crusoe, a story I have as of yet not finished reading, though I started it once about two years ago. But Robinson Crusoe wants to sail the seas, He's tired of living the boring life on the mainland, the safe life. He wants adventure. He wants to be a hero and find treasure and have amazing things happen. His father tells him, quite sensibly, that he should be content with the just above average life. Not scraping by in life on the brink of poverty, but not living in excess either. The whole desire for adventure, that unquenchable thirst for something more, he claims is just an illusion that will never really bring him happiness. But his pursuit is more likely to bring him suffering and poverty.

I think about these things and I cannot believe a word of it. How could anyone be content to live comfortable? Well, really, I know how they do it, but I have not accepted it yet, and I cannot see how they can do so. Acceptance of the average life is... I can't even say. I just know that truly happy people have done something, achieved something, found something to make them so. A piddly job and a half a life watching tv and going to bars is not it. I can't say exactly what it is. I think it's different for everybody. But I think I should finish reading that book sometime, and see if there's anything I can actually take away from it. I'd like to see how the author ends up on those ideas.

I'm tired now. I can't think straight. I'll go to bed.




They thought I'd shrink away and hide.
But what do they know?
What do they know?
I sing a song they never thought to hear again.
I play the game with the best of 'em.

They thought I'd lose it,
thought I'd miss it,
thought I'd soil myself with fear like so long ago.
But I play the game with the best of 'em
I walk the path they didn't think to find me on.

They thought I'd be crying,
thought I'd be running,
thought I'd be losing,
But what do they know?
They didn't think the floods would come again
They didn't think the torrential winds would rise.

But what do they know?
They thought I'd hide.
All that time in the ground, and they didn't think I'd grow.
But I play the game with the best of 'em.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'll show them.

It's really strange, because in the past few weeks I think I've been more emotional than I have been in years. And I really don't know why. I mean, I know what things I have been emotional about, but they're not exactly events or situations that I've never experienced before. Things like disappointment, frustration, and difficulty tend to be basic run of the mill things in life, and I have usually taken them in stride and did my best to continually move on. Whether I've done a good job on that in the past or whether I am now is beside the point. It just seems like I feel all the emotional whirlwind much more acutely than normal, and I have no explanation for why that is. I wonder if I really was cutting myself off from my emotions before. And then I wonder if I did so with good purpose. I know people who are basically bipolar. Every good thing is extremely good and every bad thing is extremely bad. Their emotions tend to rule their lives and their thoughts and patterns of existence. It's definitely not the kind of mentality I'm going for. How can I let emotions be the integral part of my life that it is without simply giving in to any emotion that settles itself on my mind.

For that matter, how can I be the thinking man that I want to be, if every fanciful notion that comes my way becomes a centerpoint of truth for my perspective and worldview, at least until I reject it. I want to mend the reality of my daily existence into something positive and healthy and all-around beneficial to everyone and everything. But I sometimes feel like a slave to my patterns of thought, and even though I break through sometimes and feel the sweetness of existence like a soft breeze, it seems that only one stray thought can grab hold of my entire being and enslave me again into whatever stupid mindset I'm a slave to.

For some reason I relate what I'm talking about to the disciples' question to Jesus about how many times they should forgive their brother. seven times? seventy x seven? I know it really isn't the same question. But the idea of forgiving people is similar to what I'm talking about. Someone does something wrong against you, you live in bitterness and anger until you decide to forgive that person. For a sweet moment of freedom, you have let go of that bitterness and forgiven the person who has done you wrong. Then a day, an hour, a minute or a moment later, and one stray thought, one idle reflection brings it all back. All the pain and bitterness against that person. And so you have to forgive again. And again. And again and again. Until you no longer think of those things, no longer dwell on the injustice or the stupidity or the indecency.

It's the same, I think with many other situations in life. One deals with disappointment, then lets go of all the expectations and dreams and hopes that went along with that disappointment and feels that sweet moment of freedom. Even years later, one stray thought about what could have been brings back all those dispairing feelings.

The question for me, then, is why do some of us have to fight so hard to maintain a bare minimum of that sweet feeling of freedom? It just doesn't even seem like the sides are even. You've got to have a billion positive thoughts just to block one negative one. It's like when people said that if you insult somebody you should compliment them seven times to make up for it. I just don't see why the negative should be so powerful, while the positive should take such work. I've heard it isn't that way for some people. That's really not fair either.

Despite all, I'm trying, and I'll get through it all. I'll show them.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005


As I write this, I feel a strange sensation that I can only describe as feverish. Nothing in the sense of a sickness or injury, but a feeling of uncontrollable energy, welling up in my brain and rendering me unable to think clearly, focus or do anything else but struggle through putting my thoughts down on "paper". I truly wish I knew where such feelings come from and how to deal with them. Because I have no desire to be worked up about nothing. And when I say nothing, I really mean nothing, not some actual issue that I shouldn't be worked up about because of its unimportance, but actually nothing. I cannot point out any thoughts which are currently bringing me anxiety or excitement or any other emotional vibe that one might experience enough to disable ordinary functions. So what is it? Something I ate? Something stupid that nobody could guess but would turn out to be something we'd think of as inconsequential? Or am I simply being lazy?

Hmmm. Right now, at this very moment, I will attempt to wrench myself out of this frenzy into a controled, focused and determined state of mind. This is really a question of whether we actually have the power to do such a thing as control ourselves.

Funny thought, but that is so often in question with all of us.


After some meditation and sifting through thoughts and feelings, I feel a little more relaxed. Still not exactly mellow, but more under control in my own head. And with that... I'm going to go work on some music.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I watched the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tonight. Strange thing seemed to happen. As the movie was starting, I got an overwhelming impression that watching this movie would impact my life immensely and I better pay attention. I proceeded to forget all about this feeling as the movie progressed, but I was, of course, paying attention. Then it happened. They were talking about hope and good stuff like that, and Aslan mentions "deep magic." I was suddenly struck, at these words, with a sense of profundity I had never placed on them before. I had read the book and seen the PBS specials (horrible things I wish I could erase from my head) as a child and had always merely thought of it as a fantasy world type of thing. As if God had created Narnia with a little more magic and wonder than he did our own world. But it strikes me now that no Christians I know really believe strongly in magic. Sure, they believe in evil powers that work in this world and maybe even charms and spells are somehow connected to them. But how often do we think of the magic with which this world was created and put into place.

It's hard for me to really say what this idea does for me, or really how it does it. But I feel a sense of restoration in the way I view the world. Like it has restored my faith in the foundation of the very fabric of existence, in which is all the goodness, beauty, love, and joy with which God created the world itself. This "deep magic", the magic of love and hope and faith, really does go deeper than spells and charms, deeper than machinations, deeper than the wisdom and heroism of this world. To think that there is something powerful and amazing, wonderful and holy, at the very core of life and existence. To think that the breath of God really does work wonders in the world. To think that hope and faith and love work a magic that is groundbreaking, revolutionary, and entirely marvelous. These things satisfy my soul and sing to my spirit, songs of bliss and peace like I have not known.

Also let me add a side note. It may seem very weird for me to just suddenly think that some movie, however wonderful and brilliant the story, is really going to change my life, especially a story that I've heard before. But strange to say, I have had dreams about Narnia in the past month, which have been... well, not exactly meaningful in a way that I could extrapolate anything close to what I have done in the two previous paragraphs, but nonetheless quite poignant. This is, of course, not to say that anything really adds up to anything, or that I have the understanding enough to measure all of these events accurately, but perhaps they are like signs. One must learn to pay attention to the messages life throws at you. After all, the deep magic from before the dawn of time resides in the very fabric of that life. From now on, I will not only dream of, but will believe in magic.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


do I murder
when I forget you from afar
too drunk on the poison of endless roads
and the countless smokey bars

but tension is to be loved
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful, beautiful chord

do I murder us
putting pavement in my veins
shooting in special heroin
for the seeking and displaced

but tension is to be loved
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful, beautiful chord

but tension is to be loved
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful, beautiful

tension is to be loved
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful, beautiful chord

written by Matt Slocum, Published by Squint Songs

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I'm happy today. Things are good. I'm not letting my imagination run too wild, lest I suddenly want too much and become sick with it. But I enjoy my good memories and then live in the moment. Making plans and getting ideas without raising my expectations sky-high. What will be will be, and today I'm happy. Just thought I'd let you all know.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

heart's desires

I've thought recently about how Abraham was commanded to give up his son for God. While the very idea is appalling to us in our day, still there are mystics and spiritualists who would suggest that the idea of giving up the things we treasure in our hearts still holds a lot of weight. Several phrases scattered throughout holy scripture come to mind. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Seek the Lord with all your heart. Your life is now hidden with Christ, in God. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Set your hearts on things above.

But what also comes to mind is the idea of God fulfilling the desires of our hearts, when we put our faith in him. It seems that it would be silly for us to always have to be giving up what God gives us to enjoy. Nor does it seem right that we should not seek these things from God. But I suppose that's exactly what Abraham went through. Even though his son was the fulfillment of God's promise, he still had to sacrifice him. What if, when we are at our happiest and most fulfilled, God asks us to give up what he's provided. The call, of course, is not some kind of holiness achieved through poverty or any such thing. It is rather to have faith and believe that God will continue to bless us as we trust in him and let go of the blessings. We should be grasping at nothing, for his blessing is constantly before us. Some of it is nothing we could ever achieve, merely by working harder or willing it to happen sooner. Abraham and Sarah could not conceive their baby any sooner, not forcibly. It either happened or not, and they had to live with that, faithfully awaiting the promise of God. I hope to do the same.