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.

No Horse. No Flies

Work Sleep Repeat
Work Sleep Repeat
Are the slaves happy?
They’re happy enough
We need to stay them complacent
Celebrity gossip?
Are the slaves tired?
Yes, very
We need to keep them busy
A new Iphone?
Are the slaves broke?
Relatively, sir
Print more money
Work Sleep Repeat
Work Sleep Repeat
Are the slaves afarid?
Of each other. Yes sir!
We need to keep them divided
No horse. No flies today

Selfishly Dream Alive

Give me those chemicals
Make me your animal
A goat in uterine wall
We machines alive

You and me
Your words like knives
Holding hands
Trauma past wives
We sleep and dream
Of things to be
Bloody faces
You and me
Flared nostrils
Mumble stutter
Eat me alive
Sweat and shutter
Remove repeat
Rebar ringlets
Like a glove or
Something that fits
Foreign flesh
Busy hands
Mammal cub
Slowing sands
Sharpened teeth
Hold on to dreams
Eyes stay shut
Or so it seems
Ribs retract, bend and break
What we are given and what we take

Give me those chemicals
Make me your animal
A goat in uterine wall
Selfishly dream alive

When I Stop Trying to Control It

Either this world was made for me or I was made by for it
Perfectly in my place, so easy to forget
Creating pain to paint with contrast to bliss
Blurring memory of all miraculous
As we breathe, and sleep, and hope, and dream, and be
Wonderful wonder of life alive, and perfectly me
I was made for all that I have known or will know
Every obstacle is another chance to help love grow
We were made to experience this splendor all around
A closer look sees seeds sprouting life out of the ground
Beautiful miracles in every breath we’re whole
Warm atoms sends a vibration tingling in my soul
When I stop trying to control it and just let it be
I am well enough for you to get back in the swing of things here

Goodbye Love

Goodbye love
Goodbye love
Came to say Goodbye love
Just came to say goodbye love
Goodbye love

Most everyone here, I’ve met only once or twice. They loved her, but not like I do. On my knees, the wet grass is sure to stain my suit pants. The last time I wore this suit, was our wedding day. But I’m not thinking about the stains or our wedding. I’m focused on this gigantic hole in my heart, this empty, black space that was only so very recently filled. How can I go on without you? But to think of the future is not wise. Focus on the moment. Get through this. I’m not here. I’m disconnected. I can’t see straight. A steady stream of tears clouds my vision. It is cold today. You would’ve liked it. I squeeze bright green blades of grass between my fingers as I close my fist and I pull, collapsing onto my forearms. This, for some reason, reminds me of making love to you. I know I’ll never know that feeling again. The words of the song playing in my head are too real. I don’t want to say goodbye. I try to find the silver lining, some semireasonable twist as means to feeling okay. But all I can see in this moment is that emptiness in me. A kind pair of arms pulls me from the ground. Your mother’s face is red, her makeup running down her face. I’m reminded of your lipstick, how it never stayed in place for long. It was just as well. I couldn’t really kiss you when you were wearing it anyway. Oh, kissing you. It hurts so much just to imagine touching those lips with mine. Part of me still expects to go home and find you there waiting for me. But I haven’t been home in days. I don’t know if I can still call it home. It’s just an apartment without you. Goodbye love. Goodbye love. I just came to say goodbye love. Goodbye. You were, you are so perfect for me, my other half. I will find you again. Au revoir. Goodbye until we meet again.


When she looks back, she sees stale dreams caught in the rearview
Never the life she wanted
So hurt now, everyone is suspect
I hate you, Please don’t leave
She thinks I’m angry because she is
She begs for stability and then tears it apart
Please don’t ask me to forgive you
Because you know I will
So easy to leave the Band-Aid stuck
And watch infection spread
You know you are inside of me
And I know healing will hurt
Is it better to speak or die?
To let a dream or myself cease
I’ve said it’s not living if it’s not with you
But this is killing me too
Playing with fire I thought was mine
But we can’t keep a phoenix caged
For the love of Magnolia and for the love of Pi
I hope I find the strength to send this bird back into the air


I’ve lived here all my life
You make it feel like home
Who knew she held my wife
A pairing chromozone
Knew names for these colors
But never understood
Life of the light within
Open eyes feel so good
The mundane seems so new
A child’s iris sees
She will give me pupils
A magnolia tree
Your pain
Your ecstasy
I take it all into me
Your love
Your insecurity
I will not let you fall
Now you can sing off key
That voice could do no wrong
It sounds lovely to me
We’re painting our own song
The sky is of interest
Now because we can fly
Wings borrowed from angels
I’ve never felt this high
Passing over structures
I’ve known since I was nine
Looking down, my home town
Until now was not mine
Your pain
Your ecstasy
I take it all into me
Your love
Your insecurity
I will not let you fall
Your fear
Your bravery
Are now all a part of me
Now finally
In you, I found it all