It swelled inside that guilty brain
For whom and to whom did I owe this cold?
Unrecognized carelessness
Climbing my walls like an ice water in a sinking ship
And it felt perfectly right
This bitterness belonged on my lips
Child, give yourself grace
You are all I could expect
Virgin brain to so many things
You are too young to hold this regret
Trying to decide which side to sue
When this grown man can’t protect you
Anger like a jagged stick
Scratching the melancholic itch left to grow inside
But it leaves scars the drugs can’t heal
So be gentle to yourself when no one else will
So much beauty in a dying world
So spread the love inside
Child, give yourself grace
You are all I could expect
Virgin brain to so many things
You are too young to hold this regret

The Perfect Creator

The perfect creator doesn’t rely on magic to correct the condition of their creation. There is no course correction. To quote the Beatles, “There’s no where you can be that isn’t where you were meant to be.” When we think of a creator, we tend to apply human characteristics, often envisioning “him” using “his” hands to give us form. One popular interpretation of the book of Genesis in the Christian Bible paints the creation of humankind as an act of God sculpting humans from “dust of the ground “. When envisioning the creation of humankind, I like to envision water sculpting rock over millenia. It is according to natural laws of our universe that the creator creates, not because the creator is bound by these laws, rather because they are the tools of the creator. But more than that, they are the creator. The creator doesn’t make the impossible possible. The creator makes the possible possible. The creator is not magic. Magic is the term we use to describe that which we cannot understand. But we must recognize the fact that we don’t understand the natural cause of these events, does not mean there is no rational explanation. We must not rely on explanation we have found to be illogical as means to describing that which we do not yet understand. Blind faith is an enemy of progress. It has been said humans used to attribute things like weather to spirits. We now attribute changes in the weather to the changing seasons and varying air pressure. These are all parts of the natural world. The creator does not want us to deprive ourselves the pleasures of this life in the pursuit of pleasures after. The pleasures we experience in this life are gifts, parts of the world we were given, and even the creator him/her/itself. The creator has no need for desire. Desire is a part of being sentient in this reality. Desire is a product of the balance between pain and pleasure. This balance inspires us to regulate our own and others’ actions. This is what inspires moral judgement. The creator is beyond the need for judgement. There is no need to fear “his” wrath. Everything is perfectly as it is. It could be no other way. There is no going against “God’s” plan. We and everything around us are parts of “God”.

God and Chocolate

God is like chocolate. And your religion is like your favorite candy bar. Some of us like nuts in our candy bars. Some of us like caramel. Some of us like peanut butter. Some of us like nougat. I don’t know what nougat is, but I’ve been told some people like it in their candy. These ingredients don’t make the chocolate any less real. They may dilute our experience of it. But it is chocolate all the same. Occasionally, or rather, quite frequently, the nuts or the caramel suggest the other would poison the chocolate. And, because our experience of the chocolate is so profound, we tend to believe our chocolate delivery system, our religion, is the only correct one. People die and kill for our beliefs. But this division is not of God. This division is created by humans. We are all parts of the same higher power no matter the name we choose to give him, her, it, or them. We must stop this division. One thing we can all agree on – those who like PayDay bars know nothing about God!

Eyes of God

Borrowing the eyes of God to see you are fucking beautiful
Interactive art and you don’t even know it
Laughing at our own stupidity
This illusion of separation
Atoms hurriedly bumping against each other
Hungry animals with divinity inside
Busy ants, we are one
Even as we struggle, all is as it should be


Your brain is the artist
Your body, the paint brush
Every stroke you make adds to the work of art we will call “You”
Other artists will have ideas about how to best make you
But, in the end, you are creating this masterpiece
And it is a masterpiece
Make art that is personality beautiful, even if no one else will appreciate it
It is up to you whether to focus on your mistakes, spreading them all over the canvas, or to recognize the beauty in imperfection and let them be
Don’t spend too much time looking at others’ works of art
This is not a competition
And many of them don’t even know they are in the studio
Have fun
Enjoy engaging in this act of creation
Take pride in every choice of color and stroke of your brush
Explore the canvas
This was never about following rules


Chasing happy chemicals
A sentimental trinket
Release them into my blood
Searching for another hit
I am not alone only
Swimming in loving waters
How the hell’d it go so well
Wearing scars of our fathers
Inevitable new life
Rooting around for comfort
Dirty mammals in this skin
Who knew how this life would hurt
We’re on our knees in prayer
For the power to save us
Now completely unaware
This was power they gave us
Inject this gift in my lungs
Nurturing new synapses
Liquid pain inside these walls
Until this world collapses
We make it and we break it
Sending warmth to our fingers
We are painting in color
Even as shadow lingers

Sunday 11/10/19

When I was younger (I’m still young and plan on being this way until I die of old age.), my family went to church together every Sunday. I believed everything I was told and even blindly quoted the leader of our congregation once or twice. As I grew older (Again, I’m still young.), I began questioning my faith. People close to me in my walk with Christ believed everyone who didn’t believe the things we did would go to Hell. I was told God makes himself known to every person on Earth and that many in other countries simply reject Him. I had trouble with this. If God loved everyone, why were so many people being punished for their beliefs?

As I grew into adolescence, I began rejecting my father’s faith. Dad told me, despite my philosophical perspective, the morality taught in the Christian bible was true. I was made to go to church with my family even as I rejected their faith. I recall feeling so uncomfortable. I tried making light of the ceremonies in my head. I recall an instance in which the church was to take communion. The head of the church asked parents to keep their children from engaging in communion if they believed their children were not good with God. I smirked. That was me he was talking about. The speaker said, if I was not good with God and engaged in communion, I would surely die. As the tiny plastic cups came by, Dad shook his head at me. I wasn’t to engage in this ceremony. When I couldn’t feel good about making light of the dogma, I ended up feeling rather uncomfortable. I was lead to believe this discomfort was the result of my knowing I was not doing right, that I needed to accept Jesus Christ to be okay. But all of these people whole-heartedly believed something that seemed absurd to me. Further, all of these people believed I was going to an afterlife of damnation, constant pain for an eternity. This discomfort was enough to inspire me to want to believe even as I felt as though I were not being honest with myself. It seemed at the time my options were my father’s religion or nothing. I chose atheism over absurdity and condemned my father’s blind faith.

Then, and if you’re reading this, you likely already know what is coming here, I was told I had a brain tumor. I began searching for anything to give me peace of mind. My old faith was means to that for me. If I was going to die, I was going to pray there was a God. although my brush with death inspired a resurrection of my old faith, it was also means to my trying to reconcile the problems I found in christianity when I was younger. As I went, tediously through the Christian bible, I found things that did not align with my understanding of God. I still took great issue with the idea that so few would see God’s mercy. I then came to in my mind a simple test – two questions: Is God not powerful enough to save everyone from Hell or is He not willing? If God is not willing to save everyone from Hell, then he is not the compassionate God I was told of when I was growing up. If God is not able to save everyone from Hell, then He is not as powerful as the God I was told of when I was growing up. In my mind, there was plenty of evidence for the existence of God. But the God I was told of when I was growing up could not exist without the story of Jesus’ sacrifice to keep me and those like me from suffering.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to attend church with my mother-in law and wife. My mother-in-law is a firm believer in Jesus Christ and would seem to want her daughter and me to share this with her. I’ve felt anxiety both times. I’ve recognized methods used to make visitors susceptible to the message and felt sorry for my brothers and sister who so whole-heartedly believe this message of fear, this claim that the only path to avoiding an eternity of pain is belief in something for which there is little evidence. Further, they believe they are the chosen, that everyone else is going to see God’s wrath. If this isn’t means to division, I don’t know what is. There was a moment in the speaker’s talk when he asked us to pick up a sealed envelop and commit to following the instructions inside before seeing what they were. I thought of Jonestown episodes in which the leader regularly had members drink Kool-Aid as an act of faith. If you don’t know the story, the last time they did this, the Kool-Aid was laced with cyanide.

Blind faith is not means to enlightenment. It is means to servitude. We must open our eyes. We must recognize we are not to divide against each other. God is love. Any message to the contrary works to divide us, keeping us in fear. Ironically, fear and love are often in contrary and opposing states. Please recognize you are not special. We are all beautiful parts of God, each part deserving love as much as the next. It is time to stop the competition and rise up with a revolution of love. Love is the only force strong enough to pull us up and out of servitude. Religion gives us reason to stay in our place. But logic will pull us out of that place, inspiring us to love everyone and demand those we love be given everything they need to live happy lives.

Yawning Stretching Waking Me

I’m alive
I scream into the sky
I’m alive
The night fills me with fire
I’m a light
No longer laying down
I’m a light
I’ve come to inspire
I am life
Of many hold the torch
I am life
Together voices choir
I am fire
This gift within I see
I am fire
Keeper of this empire
Remove the tape
I’ll not be bound
Flying again
I’ve left the ground
Brothers and sisters see my light
There will be no sleep tonight
We are awake
We are a wander
We will not again go under
This song in our hearts resounds
A peace that simply profounds
We took a nap
Where did we go?
Remembering what we all know
This gift of life
This gift of peace
This pain inside I now release
Perfectly as we are to be
Never forgetting we are free
A life
A love
A heart
I see

Fear, Familiarity, Religion

We tend to be scared of that with which we are unfamiliar. Things and people that and who appear different from those with which and whom we are familiar pose a threat for one simples reason – they are unpredictable. We may understand past events tend to dictate future ones. This may be why our justice system tends to come down so harshly on repeat offenders. One incident may be symptomatic of unusual circumstances in the perpetrator’s life. Once a trespass has been repeated, we may come to see this behavior as approaching normality. The individual’s pattern of illegal activity may prove as an indicator of potential to engage in future illegal activity. But the unfamiliar is trickier. The unfamiliar puts us in a place of uncertainty. We tend to lose control when we do not fully understand our surroundings. We become less likely to predict outcomes. According to psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D’s. Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, an estimated 11 percent of people living in the United States are afraid of the dark. Perhaps our tendency to fear foreigners and our tendency to fear the dark are closely related. It is the unknown that inspires fear. When we see the world as a callous place, we may view anyone who does not belong to our tribe as an enemy or at the very least a rival. But when we see past our continents of familial origin, the ways in which we speak, the colors of our skin, we may recognize we are all far more similar than we are different.
Here would be a good place to address a giant contradiction in many religious perspectives. Fear of the unknown may drive us to religion as most of us have never been dead and religion tends to offer an answer to the ultimate question – “Where do we go?”. As being enables us to hold our current perspectives, the absence of being may be difficult to understand. But a shared answer to this question helps to build a tribe. This tribe provides a sense of safety. If this many people agree with me, how can I be wrong? This tribalism is often promoted by a joint sense of fear. Ironically, many of these religions’ sacred text teach love over fear. But fear continues to motivate us to divide. We pick and choose parts of the sacred text that we prefer, while ignoring the parts that may inspire us to step out in faith and treat others as our brothers and sisters.
Letting love motivate our actions can be a scary experience as is requires us to make ourselves vulnerable. But fear will close us off to enjoying all life has to give us. This life is a gift. Please don’t squander it being afraid.