the edges of the brain are sleepy and dry from the sleep medicine

the edges of the brain are sleepy and dry from the sleep medicine. they grate against my mind as it tries to ease its way back into its case. if i had the opportunity, i might drift back into sleep and not consider a damn thing.

it is almost early august, that time of year when the hopeful watch for fall begins. little memories of autumns past come creeping into the mind, especially on sundays.

i was six years old, living in colorado, and we were on the verge of moving. i had this innate sense of being poised to take on something epic and grand, something made for storybooks. the small missouri town and its inhabitants were quaint and charming and rustic, though i had no vocabulary to call them such.

i wonder if every parent and every child collectively dream of that child’s grand future–envisioning a sweeping narrative of conquering all the arts and sciences and being athletic and at ease in any sport. the child will have a future of roaming europe, russia, south america, asia with distinguished children of distinguished socialites.

of course, the child’s vision of her future and the parent’s own sense of what is possible or not are completely different, but the parent surely contrives grander things than any objective realist outsider would imagine.

but then, you do occasionally bump into the children of the very wealthy who are in their thirties finishing up their PhDs in psychiatry after decades of study while they travel about on a trust fund or stipend of some kind. you meet people who effortlessly sell their art and crafts to other rich people and start up clothing lines like they were starting a tab down at the local bar.

books, of course, are the best escape, though they become oppressive at some point in adulthood when the child reading them begins to realize that he isn’t going to ever remotely be like one of the characters in the books he adores. this, too, passes, and the adult comes to accept his lot in life and again find escape and respite from the oppressive banality of his existence inside a fantastical tome.

if i could get myself on top of what words actually do for me, to make them serve me better, to enable them as true vehicles to take me some place new. this is what i’ve always been thinking in the back of my mind every time that i write.

i am most certainly not the same thing as my words, but my words work better to represent who i am than photographs do. photographs are never as accurate as i would like them to be. i suppose that if i wrote constantly about whatever i saw around me and how i felt about it, i might start to form in the sum total of my words a most accurate representation of me.

you chide me for worshiping an invisible God, but that which is really you is invisible, too. when you view the corpse of a loved one, you know that the loved one’s real self is no longer there. that which is you, that which you really want me to get to know, is bubbling up from invisible places inside of you. your brain is a local repository/router for the information between your physical self and environment and your mind and the spirit world, but if i could extract all that was stored in the brain of someone recently deceased and re-animate it inside a complex virtual reality algorithm, i would have nothing more than a sophisticated series of images and words cobbled together.

the reason you don’t detect the life force is because you focus on the dead matter to try to discover where the living energy resides.

the life force in all living things is a powerful thing, a force far more powerful than the most powerful forces humanity has been able to harness and produce. even a nuclear explosion cannot touch the life force ebbing through the universe. if you want to discover the life force, you must focus on your own life force and the life forces of others around you, rather than their static things and artifacts that they leave behind. these things like words and paintings and sculptures only get you so close. when you focus on the Bible as a living, breathing text, then it begins to speak to you and engage with you in ways that it previously did not.

that which is of life seeks out like life energies. those who would seek to perpetuate life on earth and welcome and introduce new members into the beautiful experience of life are of a certain kind, while those who would selfishly hoard their lives and seize each moment and memory as if it were treasure that could be secured forever–those will be destroyed as they ultimately seek death, dead matter.

one who has life knows that she doesn’t have life in the sense of possessing it or owning it eternally–life is a gift, life is a thing that is temporarily given and meant to be freely passed on. those who gave their lives so that others might have life are the ones who gave the most–Christ gave his life in an eternal way so that we might have abundant life eternal upon dying.

when you begin with the premise: where is/was the life in this thing? (ie, when reading a book written by someone long ago or viewing a painting; but also when considering a house or city or even an old blanket) then, you are connecting again with the Life Force that ultimately created you and will decide the time and place of your death.

those who would pursue collecting material things as if they were living things or things that they could animate with their imaginations are ones who are caught up in a childish state of arrested development.

leaking into our consciousness, the collective one, is a sense that we can’t have it this good for much longer. our actions are destroying the planet, and we are turning up the heat each year. people everywhere can’t take it– they lose it in their own unique ways. some people may be doing things that have always been done–folks have been jumping out of buildings for bad reasons ever since there have been buildings–but you sense the insertion of pernicious thinking entering the mainstream channels of thought which brings about a lot of strange new forms of madness.

if you are not in love with life and its Source, you will inevitably lose your will to live.

Human nature itself seems to be designed to often seek out truth

Human nature itself seems to be designed to often seek out truth by running in the opposite direction from whatever it initially intended to seek. Some random dude in conversation telling me I was contradicting myself–this was once a great insult or a terrible thing to be immediately corrected. Now, it is a truth and a truth to be accepted. The question isn’t whether you are still stating the same thing you originally stated, but whether or not your intent was to deceive. My intent has never been to deceive anyone, anywhere, ever.

I can’t even pretend to know what you are going through.

I can’t even pretend to know what you are going through. The only thing that we have in common is that we are both human beings on this earth. Beyond this, I can’t assume that you share a common sense of what really matters. If I were to presume I knew what really mattered, and attempt to convince you to agree with me, I might be accessing some area of privilege or asserting some kind of arrogance to tell you how and why you need to change your life.

Instead, I will simply assume that you are a human being who knows how to read these words. Within these words, I hope to inject some kind of sense of my own living humanity–I don’t want these to be dead words, distant words, or words that present an obstacle for you to understand.

When I spend so much time describing what I have been through and what I’m going through, I hope not so much to paint the portrait of a narcissist as to place before you possible common human things that we both share. It’s up to you to decide what of it is something relatable and what doesn’t speak to your life.

How many of the great problems of life have I solved? I’m not sure I’ve solved any. I managed to convince myself of the utter worthlessness and wholly negative impact of smoking cigarettes, but then, perhaps the Lord was helping me come to this ultimate conclusion. As for some of my other ongoing vices and proclivities to sinning, I’ve continued to struggle and slowly improve and get away from carrying around so many unrighteous thoughts all the time.

My first thought when encountering people in public–be it in an elevator or on the road–is no longer a thought of how I can get ahead of them and maximize my own success at “winning” in any particular social negotiation. Nor do I approach these situations with any great fear or affected temerity. I try to hold back and let others have their way, get what they think they deserve, and slowly ease in and move on without becoming a burden to anyone behind me. Of course, there are no real winners in life the way we so desperately hope there will be. We all know, when confronted with the absurdity of it, that at best most of us will get a brick on the alumni walk or a plaque on a bench or a nice obituary. Our great-grandchildren won’t remember us, and no one else from their generation will, either. The world simply doesn’t work the way we’d like to think it does–to memorialize and cherish our ancestors and keep flames of love burning for them long after they have passed.

Yet, it would seem that we are always pushing and pressing and hustling to get just a little bit more for ourselves and our children, no matter the heartache we might be causing someone else who must suffer at our expense.

My goal is to try to minimize my footprint of hustling, though I know that it is quite large. My wife consumes much less than I do. I suspect that if we took a sober look at our expenses, we would see that I spend more money on booze and books and food than she does on clothes and other things for herself. Ninety percent of the time, I can place myself into a state of mind in which I am content to read the books I own or the books from the public library or the free ones I’ve found online. I am content to watch the movies that show up in our streaming subscription channels, and eat the food we purchased at the grocery store. When the beer runs out for the week, I don’t feel the need to go get more. But it’s the other ten percent of the time that really gets me–the times where stress is at a great high, or it’s the time of year when it first gets really dark and I start to feel incapable of lifting a finger to do anything at all.

Starting over, that’s the story

Starting over, that’s the story. Nothing special, there is no glory.
Some say to life, “I can’t stand it.” I just revolve like the planet.
There are no guts or grounds for meaning.
There is no semi-fertile soil for the gleaning.
I’m wearing, more or less, the same pair of shorts and shirt,
Yes, I’m pretty much dressed the way I was when I used to flirt
With dreams of abundance and poems of innocence and expectation.
These days I drive for distances beyond this Lone Star fence and call my drive a vacation.
These days I get excited about entering a brand new apartment with a pool;
Finding a few new coworkers who haven’t heard yet that I’m just a fool.
These are the years where fears have left me but the business that remains
Is based on minimal losses and marginal gains.
This is the story that I am required to tell, just outside of heaven, but closer to hell.
I could have been a burned out wasted fool, or some kind of pervert,
But instead, I chose to be a flea on a dog munching crumbs in the sun of a dying universe.
An unwelcome guest, a visitor to a realm, a tempest at the helm of a ship bound for Neverland.
And so, starting over means less than lips could speak or leak into the unyielding shifting sands
Of the desert that is clearly an ever-keening ecosystem wrought by my peculiar plans.

I’ve been walking through this state of detachment now for several days

I’ve been walking through this state of detachment now for several days. I am cut off from feeling tethered to any particular plan, goal, end game, etc. The end game is back to what it once was, but there’s no “I have my little side project going” thing to accompany it. Am I about to do what I’ve really wanted to do all along, or what I was really supposed to be doing? I don’t know. I don’t even know what that means, anymore. Maybe it really is what I want to do: have life be utterly predictable so that I can fill my free time with family time and my time–running, reading, writing, painting.

There is no need to exult myself. That’s what I’ve been very good at–imagining so many life scenarios where I am suddenly placed on a pedestal above others. Exulting myself means that I inevitably end up setting very high expectations for myself that I can never fulfill.

See, look at this shiny thing over here

See, look at this shiny thing over here. Now, wait, look at this thing. What about this, don’t you want to have this, do this, be this, too? An enslaved person is one who has been divided and conquered so many times that he/she can’t recognize all of his/her so-called passions and interests for what they are: presentations of a systematic attempt to divide and conquer the being.

We love being amused and entertained. We are bored by the thought of sitting around with our thoughts. We welcome these diversions and distractions.

Imagine for a few minutes that you are drawing all of your little pieces of self back toward yourself to become again one solid giant. Your voice will begin to drop into a lower register, deep into your chest, because you are resonating with yourself. What you have to avoid is any sense of self-worship or narcissim, which is simply obsessing over an image you’ve made of yourself–no different than obsessing over any other shiny, distracting thing.

It feels good to be, to be a being in this world. It feels great to be able to breathe and have thoughts and read books.

What you also must do on your path to becoming bigger and bigger is keep your ways a mystery to others. They needn’t know how big you’ve become. If you start to try to take on every single individual you meet, to assert your bigness over theirs, you will be mixed up in foolish distractions of the moment again.

It is foolish to worship any thing, or even give presentation that some thing is the object of your shining and your desire.

It is also foolish to bask in any adoration and attention that others provide you. They are not worshiping you–they are worshiping some image of you in their minds that you and they have worked together to craft and deceive yourselves into believing really is you.

I wish to follow Christ, but I long to know Christ as he truly is, in and of himself. I don’t want to follow an image or a word or an idea. The true Christ, the bringer of Love and endless self-sacrifice, is impossible to describe in words or images without making him into a static thing.

The challenge then is obvious: I only have my words here to communicate what is happening inside of me, but even as they drop onto the screen, they become fixed things that may or may not be precise representations of the living force I want to share.

i don’t like to drink heavily, anymore

i don’t like to drink heavily, anymore. such activity brings on the dark fear of complete and utter doom. i wake up feeling like i have passed the point of no return and will surely die and go to hell soon. of course, the recovery moment from this state is one of great peace and catharsis. i feel like something deep inside me has been cleansed, and i am now ready to drink only the most purified water and eat raw fruits and vegetables.

i don’t like the person i become throughout the week when i add one more drink each night to the drink total from the night before. i lose control over my ability to recognize the difference between a mountain and a molehill. soon, i am lashing out about little things and forgetting big, important things.

every part of life starts to feel like it has some type of cyclic component to it. i don’t ever return completely to the same place i was before, but i keep coming back around to things that are familiar and chewing the cud of them, ruminating and moving on. perhaps the overall trend is upward or downward in some fashion, but many times it just feels like i’ve been running around the same track my entire adult life.

i don’t get depressed like i used to. i used to be incapable of getting out of bed some mornings. i didn’t like this part of myself and so i killed him. i saw no need to kill my entire self, when the act of dismissing the unsavory parts seemed to be good enough. of course, i let go much of the exuberant boy in the process. i no longer get excited about a new mexican restaurant, band or used book sale. i don’t anticipate ever undertaking an exercise regimen that will have me running three minute miles for hours on end.

my expectations were lowered to nil, and what remained was just the abiding stream of life. it was what it was. it flowed on, even as i tried to dance in and out of the waters and make new streams. but, no, my stream was my stream. there never was another stream for me to be in, no matter how hard i tried to prove that i was somebody else.