28 April 2008

Secret Romance

I've got a secret... when I dance with you, delight.
It's not the sound of the music that makes my feet light.
Nestled as you as are, in the crook of my arm...
the sweet scent of you is only one of your charms.
You move as I lead you, the dance a subtle retreat,
from the harms of the world, a three minute respite.

I close my eyes, as I'm want to do,
spin you around, yet I still picture you.
The touch of your skin, the feel of you close,
and my trembling hands, I hope you never note.

As long as I've been dancing, you would suppose,
I would no longer be nervous, I wonder if it shows?
My feet become tangled, no thoughts in my head,
trip and then fall? The moment I dread.
I lose the beat, but with you in this race,
you save me from falling, with all of your grace.

I close my eyes, as I'm want to do,
spin you around, yet I still picture you.
The touch of your skin, the feel of you close,
and my trembling hands, I hope you never note.

The thrill of you near, the thrill of the dance,
Your hair brushes my arm, our souls close the expanse.
For just a brief moment, time seems to fade,
the dance floor is empty, save us on parade.
A parade too soon to be over, yet when my eyes meet your gaze
the moment hangs in the air, my memory will save.

I close my eyes, as I'm want to do,
spin you around, yet I still picture you.
Together we move, the oneness of dance,
it's my secret with you, my secret romance.

24 April 2008

What Was I Thinking?

webcam 19990323
The date of the photo is March 23, 1999. We know one thing for sure about that date, it was not my finest day of thought. What was I thinking? Why did I look like this for even one second? I call it my Trent Reznor fronting Flock of Seagulls look.

I got a new computer, I got a new computer, Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

I was looking through some of the files as I was transferring them from one computer to another. This is what my head looked liked when I picked my own hairstyles. My ex-wife had one rule, I was not allowed to cut my own hair... I wonder why? I also wonder why all my hairstylists end up telling me I can't pick my own style. Oh yeah, and my new computer screams.

12 April 2008


"Reason, that pretty whore, comes in and thinks she's wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit ... who can help us then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because [reason] is the Devil's greatest whore." Martin Luther, Last Sermon in Wittenberg, January 17, 1546

"...lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin'..."
Lee Ann Womak, I Hope You Dance

This has been a week in which the Refiners fire has been burning all around me. At 0010 this morning as I drove home from the Friday dance, I felt it badly. The burning of the furnace, the pounding of the hammer, the cold, hard heart of the anvil. Hate and distrust welled up in and around me. I felt betrayed and unloved, felled by pretty words and self-serving concerns. I was reminded, as I have been so many times in my adult life that I am poison, my gifts are not wanted, I am not wanted.

At 0015 something changed, the Refiner finished the sword He had been forging all week long with the metal of my life. Still glowing hot, He plunged it into me to be quenched, suddenly the heat and the stench of it's forging were cooled, as the blade pierced my heart and pricked my soul, burning away my concerns, and replacing it with just one thing. Love.

Not just any love, but this, very specifically my love that I have for you. Yes, you. No, not some other person who reads this: YOU.

Let's cut right to the point. All of my/our pretty arguments, all of my/our reasoning, all of the Scripture quoting, finger pointing, infighting, posturing, self-serving, and politicking. All of it is just meaningless, because none of it is love. We are full of sound and fury ... signifying nothing.

I am left feeling like I am poison still, but the poison is Love. Love is poison to every earthly desire and want. It is senseless, reasonless, and as stupid as the only sinless man to ever live sacrificing His life, so that I might live.

To all who I have stonewalled, argued with, and in general been a donkey's behind to this week, my apologies my brothers and sisters, I will do better. I often wondered why Christ told the grieving man to let the dead bury their own, it seemed so cruel, but I understand now. It is because the living should be busy, and I plan on being busy, loving YOU more than I should, even if it is a mistake.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa

10 April 2008

The End of an (non) Era

I have a certain degree of affection for Hamlet. I am not so sure that I can completely identify with him, though certainly I fantasize that I can. Perhaps it is merely the idealized romance of the man. I once spoke to a friend, comparing a love that I desired to Romeo and Juliette ... my friend quickly retorted "They, (Romeo and Juliette) are both dead." Indeed, the story does not end well for the mad Dane either.

We go through life acquiring dreams and desires. We work on them, daring in hope that we can have what it is we desire ... some are achieved and are what we thought they would be, most however are not. Some fade with time, others, when we arrive at the destination of them, turn out to be bright, but vacant of anything real, like jewelry made of paste. Most dreams are broken by the realities of life ... crushed like grapes under the winemakers foot, some perhaps, age well enough to be called fine wine, but most leave us with the bitter taste of vinegar in our mouths.

Should we then cease to dream? What is a man with none? He is nothing, a corpse waiting to be. A shell of life, sucked dry by the dessicated world, withered, waiting to be forgotten. He has ceased to be human, a condition we dare not find ourselves in. So we smile at the rain, we persevere when we should lay down and die, and yes, we stay our own hand from deciding our own end ...
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, scene I
... for hopes sake, for a new dream upon the death of the old.

08 April 2008

Shaving with the Razor

all links will go to the Wikipedia article on the subject

I've had reason to consider Occam's Razor lately, although only a few friends are likely to understand why. The Razor is commonly given in English as: "All things being equal, the simplest solution is the most likely.", and it is used to help cut through superfluous arguments.

I've long believed that it important for a person to have at least a vague philosophy, the more clear, the better. Although one might call my attempt to live my life according to the tenants of a twelve step program a philosophy, I'm not sure that it is actually a philosophy, it is more of a way of living. It might be a philosophy in the way that Buddhism is a religion. If one were to ask me what it means to live a twelve step based life, I would say it is one of continual self-examination and improvement.

This process of self-examination and improvement has a downside, literally, for it can bring one down, emotionally. Continual self-examination and a desire for improvement can lead one to focus on the negative aspects of ones personality. Although true self-examination would allow us to see the good that we do, and the good that we are. Honest self-examination would also remind us of how far we have come. In addition, twelve steppers can get caught up in living "One Day at a Time" can lose focus on the bigger picture of life.

I am also a Christian. This means so many things to so many people there is no point in even beginning a discussion about it. What it means to me (arguers, start your engines) is having a life based on the words and actions of Christ. WWJD sums it up pretty well, what would Jesus do? Those answers can be found in the Gospels, interpret or literalize as you will.

So, here I am, a Christian who attempts to live a life based on the twelve step program principles (for those familiar with the history of the twelve step program, I know this is mostly redundant). These two things taken together, or separately, still point to having a life of thoughtful consideration. This is a huge potential stumbling block, as it is so easy to get dragged into an overthinking lifestyle; I do it; many of my friends do it as well.

So now what? An interesting question. Thoreau said "...simplify, simplify, simplify...", Einstein said "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.", and of course there is The Razor sitting there, waiting to cut through all of the *insert smelly metaphor here*, and arrive at a conclusion. I have often said I got my thought processes from my father... 10 bazillion shades of gray, and my decision making from my mother... black and white. Life however is neither all grays, nor black and white, it is colorful.

Colors aside, life can be black and white, i.e. binary, in this way: you DO or you DO NOT. You take an action or you fail to take an action. You choose to support an idea or person, or you choose not to do so. Making no choice, taking no action, even if it is because you are paralyzed by overthinking ... is still a choice, it is still an inaction, albeit a passive one. I have found, both by observation and by my own experience, that my asserting a choice and or action is better in the long run for me, even if I fail, than it is for me to passively wait around and let someone else decide what my life is going to be like.

I love this story about myself. I was walking my dog early on a Sunday morning. I came around a corner, and there on the ground practically at my feet, was a $20 bill. My first thought: "do what is right according to the twelve step way of life". That seems simple enough, you give the $20 back to the person it belongs to. I look around and I see absolutely no one. Not only no one, but there are no tracks in the dew, and no wind so there is no telling where it could have come from. No problem, what would Jesus do: that's very simple He would ... um, wait, what would Jesus do? Jesus didn't need any money and if He needed money, He would just have one of His disciples go fishing and pull a coin out of a fishes mouth, or something like that. I must have sat and stared at that $20 on the ground for three or four minutes. I was paralyzed with trying to figure out the right thing to do with an unowned $20 on the ground. Cherokee tugged on the end of the leash and I snapped back to the world. I thought of a friend I admired, Mark. I said out loud "what would Mark do?" The solution was instantaneously apparent, I picked up the $20 bill and I used it later to cover (most of) dinner for a myself and a couple friends. Simplicity itself.

Life, my life, has many difficult choices, some of them very difficult, with convoluted ethical issues where right and wrong can be applied from several different directions (such as what to do about my housing situation), or some where neither right and wrong apply at all (such as what makes a good girlfriend), and some that paralyze me end up being a choice between two pretty good things (like donuts or pancakes for breakfast). On this last type, I would do well to keep in mind that despite what Buridan said, the donkey will not starve to death between two equally tempting piles of hay, it will, as nature mostly does, apply a reasonably simple solution: the donkey will go and eat one pile of hay, and then it will eat the other (probably switching piles back and forth several times). I admit I have put much time and thought into several issues in my life, including first two above, which if The Razor had been applied could have saved me considerable consternation. After all, the simplest solution is often the best ... and the least stressful.

07 April 2008

Scaling Back In Blogville

I have been writing on this blog for a little over three years, and I want to keep it. Frankly, though, almost everything I do is on Facebook now, and my blog entries are doubled over there as notes. I am not planning to abandon this altogether, but the reality is I do more over on Facebook and Flickr, and I only have so much time to allocate to such activities. Readership here, as judged by comments, is way off, as more and more friends go to Facebook and comment there.

When I started my MySpace account, I called it "my sellout", and I pretty much hated it as a necessary evil. Facebook has been a different experience, and although it has it's quirks and annoyances, it's been a positive change. Look for me there.

03 April 2008

You Can't Write Fiction Like This

public domain
Jesse Woodson James - b:September 5, 1847 - d:April 3, 1882.

While I was looking at the Wikipedia front page today, I noticed on this date in 1882 Jesse James was shot and killed. I went and read the entire Wikipedia article on him (click here). I encourage you to read it.

As I have noted here before, I love legends, and Jesse James is that, his story makes for interesting reading, in fact riveting reading ... but much more so the reality of who he was and how his life went. What makes a man do what he does? What of the men involved with his death? Is it possible to comprehend what people will say about you and your life 125 years from now? I wonder what, if anything, anyone involved with the life and death of Jesse James would do differently knowing what their legacy would be. Would we?