Thursday, April 5, 2007

We Shed Our Certainties Like Clothes*

"I never meant to return to the scene of my great disaster. But one day after a weekend among alcohol and adulterers, I took a wrong turn on the motorway and saw the sign to Starbridge. Immediately I tried to escape…1988 dissolved into 1963. I glimpsed again my Garden of Eden, and as I hesitated at the wheel of my car, the rope of memory yanked me forward into the past… I drove to the city but it was not as I had known it."

-Venetia Hoffenberg
From “Scandalous Risks” by Susan Howatch

I have a coterie of friends who are currently rediscovering their healthy boundaries. There is also a singer friend of mine (of whom I am very proud) getting accolades for a current single that is at the top of the charts with a song that propels us to reach out. It is a paradox. We are all truly enmeshed—identities, loves, enmities and acquaintances.

I am currently reading a book about a young, socially inept woman who embarks on a path of self discovery through the entanglements of love, spirituality and adultery. Sadly, I know the forlorn ending of her character yet only because I read the series of the Church of England books out of order. In this particular book, a man who perceives too much tells her not to go out onto the moonlight soaked roof of the cathedral one night. She tipsily defies him and spends her days after 1963 in the drunken defecation of her life.

If I would have known how my life is today, would I have embraced my life fully as it was? I reference this question frequently. If my friend the singer would have known she would one day have a song reaching the top of the charts, would she have counted the years between her childhood dreams and now differently? Would my boundary-rediscovering friends have couched their relationships at the start if they knew they would become driven so witless by their interpersonal relationships?

So many of my own life’s circumstances have been driven by hope, interfered with by human potential, broken down and restarted. I think that I can’t take any more way too often yet it is only because my mind goes into fright or flight and I look for the nearest exit door. I see the budding of spring on a crab apple tree down the block yet the snow falls on this Maundy Thursday.

"We got the news, Ithaca got snow
It was just that kind of day
All I know is that you've gone and left us here below
All I wish is that you'd stay
We leave this cursed city in the same way we come in
We trace the roads
On the way out, we shed our certainties like clothes
We thought this was our sacrifice
But the world knew otherwise
And took you from us
Before your time, right before our eyes"

Ithaca* by Peter Mulvey
from the album Glencree

I read the story of the crushing situation the disciples carried within the week of the passion today. They had this amazing miracle of a man casting his golden presence around them—living and laughing with them, loving them and reconciling them to God. At the last supper, he disrobes. He creates an awkward scene—especially with Peter—and asks them to preserve the solemnity of the moment by letting him wash their feet. What was going on in the disciples’ minds? He then inserts himself into the traditional Passover meal in such a macabre way by asking them to remember him, remember his flesh and blood. They must have trusted him enough to let him say what he needed to say and do what he needed him to do. Yet what could they have possibly been feeling inside?

"We think we're walking home
But you can't go there unless it wants you
You can stand on the streets
But still the destination haunts you
Is that where you are now?"

I may have felt like Peter, desperately trying to lead and assert a sense of control of the situation yet being rebuked and molded to form a better leader. I may have felt like one of the others who just knew Judas was up to something by the weight of his purse and the look of coolly managed guilt in his eyes, yet had been unable to say anything and confounded by guilt. I may have stood back to see the strange unraveling of community and felt powerlessness in the midst of all the destruction. Yet I can easily find the exit door and step back into my current reality.

How can we assert our proper selves into situations? How can we truly feel the history and growth of our gifts? If I knew what was in store would my heart be quieter or would it rear up in dissatisfaction and choose decay? Just how can we ever know?

Tomorrow we observe the cross. It gets bloody worse. Tomorrow we remember that he died. And knowing that death is the biggest unknown for us all, we embrace his. It doesn’t end it here. It just can’t end here. Our process, our pain, our love for him begs an ending to our stories, begs the unseen resolution of our past.

"To have believed, that's truest love
Ain't it clever now that we have love and we don't have you
It took this much to make me see
Still I barely understand
Love will always, always be larger and different than our plans
Love will never listen to us
And why should it?
Love knows the score
It builds better songs than we do
It sings a better metaphor"

- END -

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Consequences Under Pressure*


"past screamin' from the rooftops
we live to survive our paradoxes"

-Springtime in Vienna by The Tragically Hip

We sat with our CPA today to go over our taxes. He explained the state of the state--that being it filled with companies who are dumping and leaving for other states, the brain drain of young people who can only find jobs outside of it, and the harbinger of woe that the real estate market has slowly become. He said that we, being at the start of a marriage, should buckle down. Get things cleaned up. Put something away.

"Twist My Arm" is filling my ears via the nano right now. Each phrase paints the vivid picture our past and present life in the city in which we live, from Jacques Cousteau's boat once being once parked on the river, to the ominous knuckles from union and corporate sides, to the shots of tear gas flares into rioting crowds, and the hounds of the Dow Jones. I sit writing under the protection of the Presbyterian church I attend. It has endured 154 years of the flux of it all. Wars and riots. Wounded times and closures. The gutting by the mob of community relations because they just could not get enough from every one's pocket. The bleeding out of lost dreams.

"Men here of the secret
the pass in upholstered silence
they only exist in crisis
they only exist in silence"

And the manufacturing of dissent. Michael Moore is from my home town. I used to have one of his old jobs of showing movies at the local university. He is sometimes seen as a hero but more often as a devil. A schmuck. Wasn't he supposed to have done something a while ago with those two movies? Was it GM's inaction that made Flint seem a pathetic, undone wasteland? Or was it the shifting of the sand in the litter box of GM's fat cat ways to reveal exactly where the crap happened. I don't understand. It was so long ago. I exchanged that beautiful, tender, broken town for another one.

I can sense the worry of the governor quite strongly. The look on her face when the big pharmaceutical pulled out. She is in Germany courting business now. My CPA is right. Things are getting bleaker here. Outsiders shake their heads. Denizens can't wrap their minds around it either, yet it is because we are so accustomed to it.

"Instructions from the manual
could not have been more plain
the blues are still required
the blues are still required again"

We push into this bleakness, so depressed we can't recognize a remedy. So confused by remedies we can't foresee a resolution. We hear the inglorious stories of Coleman Young. We witness gruesome unfoldings of marital bliss leading to murder. Our friends seek ending careers as industry packs up and moves to other states and countries. It won't hurt if you don't move. Are we moving? Because it still hurts.

The grit settles in. The sludge takes over. The flood overwhelms. The sun bakes everything nearly dry. We emerge defiant as thorns, lost as Israelites in the desert, bereft as the young Moabite widow in a new land, crazy as a profit soaking wood for a sacrifice. Just desperate enough to believe that we can create good and a future from nothing but dirt and feces and seed. We are only 60 seconds on the dial and that takes a while, says Gordy.

I can see out from the stone and glass of this old church. This edifice covers me in hope. It holds me still when I don't want to listen. It moves deeply when my heart is numbed and resistant. It plants its message deep withing me. I can only go outside when I know I am accompanied by this great force of comrades. After all, there is no simple explanations for anything any of us do*, says Gordy.

* from Courage by The Tragically Hip

- END -

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dusting the Shelf


I am marinating in these writings. Feeling a bit of satisfaction again.

For such a long time my words felt like names and faces I couldn't connect. I had gotten used to them being there to call on for support, comfort and expression for so long. Then a wonderful shift in my life happened. I was being with someone new and not hanging around them so much. Yeah, once in a while I'd scratch something out when I needed them, yet for long periods of time they waited so patiently in the dark.

I recently Googled myself. (There was a stranger with the same name that wrote alternate episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...they weren't so wonderful, so there is no mystery as to whom they belong. If they were palatable, I'd leave it a mystery.) I was surprised with what my curiosity found. There were reviews and titles I recognized, yet did not remember writing. Odd, because they rattled off so easily in my second story apartment on Court Street not to long ago.

I had a hero of mine find a poem in one of these reviews. It was years ago and I have the poem packed away with other important papers. It was such a rush receive token of literary affinity. I also remember seeing the moon rise as a translucent tangerine slice over the mountains in Acapulco Bay. I've caught those simple, golden threads twining the divine, artistic expression and my own reality. I felt I was holding a mystical secret.

"As artists, we do not often marinate in self-satisfaction. We do not often say to ourselves, 'This is the greatest' --although it might be.
- Julia Cameron

I know that somewhere in the shadows there are words and more words. I will find that poem so I can post it where I can see it often. I will feel the moonlight juice from that tangerine drip down my chin again. I will hold tight to those secret, golden threads. They are my accolades, my trophies and my ribbons.

- END -

The Dragon Princess from The Mexico Diaries


I have often asked myself "What am I doing here?" Somehow, I have created a bit of a solitary existence during my time here. Most days I sit studying and writing. On others I head into town for exploration. I haven't met many more americans. I don't think they trust people here. They often resemble elephants in packs--large, oblivious and clearing a path for themselves whereever they go. And the mexicans, well, let's just say I am still in culture shock. They have the same human habits that we americans do--they mumble, have slang and use speech patterns all their own. (Don't worry, I am trying.)

Today I took an excursion. About a 35 minute walk outside of the center of town is one of four places like itself in the world--"El Salto de San Anton". This 36m cascade of water has deeply cut itself into a gorge. The white water falls in the company of exotic greenery and birds that find lodgings in hollow rocks. The only thinks that make it not look like a postcard are the playful dinner-plate size white butterflies and the sad amount of trash at the bottom of the gorge. The sound of the water has a tranquilizing effect on me. I want to curl up onto on of the rock benches and fall asleep for hours.

I packed a small suitcase full of friends for the trip and the one I brought with me today is Mr. Rilke. He's bee teaching me about love and the solitariness of humanity. Today he told me,

"We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we only we arrange our life according to that which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us will become what we most trust and find most faithful."

I am going to go to the botanical garden, "El Jardin Borda" on Sunday. Apparently many people, foriegners and nationals, crowd there and walk. Don't worry. I'll keep trying.

Yours truly,

The Dragon-Princess

Tangerine Moon from The Mexico Diaries


Last night I saw the moon rise over Acapulco Bay within minutes. It was huge and hung like a transluscent orange slice over the water and making the water shine like fresh mango.

I am not sure what I was expecting when I came here. It’s all so busy here and there is nothing relaxing about it at all. My Tia Modesta and I are staying on the 14th floor of a hotel overlooking nearly the entire bay, with a palm tree laden boulevard of big city traffic separating us from the beach. Don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed the crashing waves, large jumping fish and pelicans. It all just reminds me that I have tiny, freshwater seas at home that are more placid and in their humble, Michigan way more of a tropical paradise. They only thing that makes it worth being here is that I am with my aunt and enjoying her.

I wonder sometimes what this trip means.

The traffic has me missing Detroit. Yet there are things I will miss about here, too. The dark, shiny, laughing eyes of my cousins. The way that volcanic ashes, knowing the secret language of snow, float into my room and onto my arms when I open the window in the morning.The elegant shapes of primary-colored birds. How the green velvet mountains stand firm around you like guarding soldiers. Seeing lime, grapefruit, and mango trees with heavy hanging bows of fruit. I have a little over a week left here in Mexico.

I feel as if I will wake up in a few days and find myself at work. I want to preserve of this restfulness I feel so I can remind myself with these images not to take things so seriously. Maybe that is why I am here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Eterne Primavera from The Mexico Diaries

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

When you get to Mexico City and the polution sears your nose, take a long, deep breath and let it cut into your lungs a little. Don't worry. The acres of roses will come later. Careful to watch for cowpies on the way.

Greetings from Cuenavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Last night:
Here I sit watching a fabulous storm with thunder, lightning and buckets of rain, wind whipping itself through the great palms as if they were dandylions. What else would I be doing at home, anyway? Pining for things just out of my reach and frustrated, that's what.

Today I got so frustrated with my spanish skills that I quietly thought that everything my mother, high school teachers and college professors taught me was a lie. HUGE lie. People don't speak as they do down here. And my mother intuits what I say anyway. There are so many colloquialisms I had no idea of, that I have been taking notes from the subtitles of Dawson´s Creek and not-so-new Brendan Frasier movies (both of which are strangely abundant on cable down here).

I woke up feeling like a viejita (little old woman) today. Yesterday I explored Cuernavaca by myself just to get oriented and on the long bus ride home (I had taken the wrong one) I think I put my hip out.The pain woke me in the early morning hours and was to the point where I didn't think I could do anything today. When something like that happens, you have to get up and move. Endure the pain. Let it work itself out. At the end of the day, it might nag a little, but at least you did something. I washed my clothes and wrote.

So far I've met four americans and two english people. I met an american couple with a blanched, mid-western look shopping in the cathedral plaza. Minnesota or Wisconsin, I'd say. I helped the english couple negotiate a deal for an alabaster carved mejican god, which ticked of the sales lady, because they didn't buy it because it was chipped. The other americans I met on that long busride-Patrick and Leah from Ohio. Schoolmates at one of the spanish schools here. They invited me to go to where the americans hang, but I didn't catch the name. Alcabres? Too bad, too. Patrick was easy on they eyes. He had nice glasses, too.


I stayed for a few days at the ranch my aunt and uncle oprate for a few days. No fue mi tazo de te. For sure. Many goats. A few horses. Chickens, ducks, and a turkey. Three mean bulls and the cows they are separated from (hence why they are so mean). Sheep, too. Not many cowpies but lots of goat and sheep tarts. Talk about hoscotch. The back forty where we rode the horse smelled like freshly burned mesquite.

So on the way to Curenavaca I realized why they call it the 'lugar de eterne primavera' or 'place of eternal spring'. Just past the cornfields I saw them-fields of green dotted in red and white. As the bus drew closer, I saw acres and acres of roses. They might sit in a vase on your table someday.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Indigo Kings


I’ve been meditating on King David lately.

King of Israel or manic depressive?

I think both.

And I also think there may have been so many other men in the Bible like him. Elijah, Saul, Moses and Jonah. Maybe more.

David showed the signs of a repressed artist. It seems he was never so happy as when he was tending sheep. In between shepherding and protecting them, he explored songwriting and his skills on the lyre. He had been focusing on the meditative quality of his work with his sheep and developing his level of performance before Saul. He had had a soul mate in Jonathan, someone with which he could honestly relate.

Jonathan died. Saul, King of Israel, was his adversary. It must have been an abrupt change for him. He was pulled out of his solitude and called to be king because of those leadership and warrior-like qualities. His only outlet thereafter, after all of this change occurred to his identity, seemed to be the Psalms.

The mantle of his king-calling must have put him on edge. Not having his solitude must have compressed him. No wonder he danced naked. He just wanted to be free. No wonder he took Bathsheeba. He had been stricken with grief…someone had been taken from him. His acquaintance with despair was very real. He acted out—not able to process fully the power he held as king. He made mistakes. He succumbed to his chemistry, his broken humanity, his irreconcilable differences with truth.

Who was this David? I see him in the men around me. All kings of great callings.

- END -



“And God said to me, Write,
Leave the cruelty to kings.
Without that angel barring the way to love
There would be no bridge for me into time….”

- Rainer Maria Rilke

I have been taking the time still my soul in these last glories of summer days. They are filled with balmy, ripe-fruit, blue skies where the trees only slightly tire into autumn. The sun caramelizes my skin while the breeze gives the breath of coolness. The grass is there to put my feet into.

The contemplative is an investment, I must remember as I conjure the dividends. The bank is a study of the ordinary. I long to continually be of quiet notice. No more ringing of hands and desperate want. The taking on of something quite deeper. A trust in the King of time. More days in stillness.

10/24/04, 11/03/04

“…incorporate the Eucharist into your own life.
In this we can connect others to Christ.”

Everybody seems to be searching for a hero. The English have the Royals and we in America have our celebrities. Both sets of exalted persons symbolize what is really desired in life. English: tradition; wealth; history; controversy. American: money; material gain; fame; sex. The truth is that all of these groups are just people. People have insecurities, bathe, make mistakes, eat, are selfish, dress themselves, and try to do good, yet mostly just end up being selfish. It taints every action. Should we not have examples? No. Should we commit apoplexy because they fail us? No. To look at it a different way, does someone fire the potter because the vessel is broken? No. Conditions of brokenness vary. Someone may have just simply dropped the vessel. Sin is a condition where pedestals aren’t allowed.

- END -

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Birds without Wings

(from 2002)

“Wishing something would happen
A change in this place
‘Cos I’m tearing of the fancy wrapping
find an empty package”

- ‘Birds without Wings’ David Gray, The EP’s ‘92-94

At the end of 2001, I stopped writing in my journal for about six months. I was tired. Tired of myself. I had this way of turning everything into some sort of whine and cheese party, and I was sick of being sick of everything. It wasn’t supplication I had been writing before then, it wasn’t anything but dribble. I don’t even want to look back at it to quote any of it to illustrate how bad it was. I even promised myself I wouldn’t write anymore things that resembled my cocktail pity party. And what do you do after feeling like that? I did mostly nothing about it. I waited for that voice to die, trying to let things work themselves forward and push that selfish ache away. Yet at the back of my mind I was constantly finding things to do, thinking if I did a little more of this or that great thing my life would get better. What I found out about myself was that I was mostly doing these things to fill time, and this compulsion edged me into anger.

Most of us burn out from being good or turn out to be completely selfish. “...if you are really going to try to meet all the demands made on the natural self, it will not have enough left over to live on. The more you obey your conscience, the more it will demand of you,” C.S. Lewis says in a book that has recently haunted me. “And your natural self which is thus being starved and hampered and worried at every turn, will get angrier and angrier.” I would be the first to admit that I put myself on an an anger management program years ago and have backslidden frequently. The guys at work call me crabby and I am glad it is just grouchy that I seem to them. It doesn’t take long for my parents to goad me into a lather. Even a few members of clergy have received “the glare” and my personal threat of intended dental harm. I sat Kaldi’s on Main Street in Cincinnati recently, and instead of enjoying one of my favorite spots in the world, a cup of the best joe and a musty book, I found myself doing what I promised myself I would no longer do – angry about a life that wouldn’t work itself out the way with which I felt comfortable and writing about it in my journal. Choosing to do what was right over and over again was the worst way I could humble myself. My anger management program had consisted for the most part of stuffing things all back inside where I had chose to be outwardly silent. I was burnt out, angry, and wishing I had been more selfish.

This Lewisian literature onto which I had stumbled caused me to come to a complete pause. It asked of me this: What are some of the reasons I fear giving my life completely to God? I can’t remember not knowing Him, and yet can find many reasons. So I asked myself the seemingly easy question. The fears, word for word, were something like this.

1. I will do so and be left with nothing but wait. Empty, frustrating, unbelievable wait.

2. All of the things I have worked so hard on about myself would become nothing. Complete crap. All the really great parts of my soul that I have come to like and the others I have learned to live with in peace would no longer mean anything to me, and I will ultimately have to relearn to like myself all over again.

3. I would end up having to be thrown into a duty of a “holy emptiness,” and not experience anything I desire, and these desires would mean nothing to anyone, not even me anymore.

4. I fear my natural self is my real self. I don’t know who I’d be without it.

5. I don’t really know who I am in God. I have an idea, and beliefs, but often can’t find the faith to actually know.

In reflection of what Lewis stated, I asked myself yet another question, which dealt with pointing out areas of my life am I reluctant to give over. These, though few like rooms in a house yet in which to be lived, were such large places in my soul.

1. Being a wife and mother.
I hold onto this dream so tightly. I work at my inward and outward beauty with self-criticism and little benefit thinking I might be noticed by someone. And it’s a horrible and unhealthy cycle. A cycle with which I am completely done.

2. The direction of my life.
I’ve planned. I’ve projected and worked hard. I’ve said I would do things I haven’t even started because I’ve I managed to find myself lost in the day-to-day shuffle, and over time this doesn’t match up with my plans and dreams. I have spent too much time at the hand of my own expectations, and I am done with this frustration, too.

3. My anger.
I work too hard. I try to be good. Yet find I am only an unpleasant shadow of myself. With this, I am done as well. What I had also found here in answering with these three confessions were the reasons why God wants to kill my natural self. Like him, I wanted to kill these reasons. My own “doing” had created nothing but burden.

“But across the fractured landscape
I find the same things

Tired ideas
Birds without wings”

I have been guilty, as I think we all might be, of pouring myself out only to present Him an empty package. When I look, I see more than one devoted mother/insomniac/people-fixer, including my own, taking pills to keep themselves together. I see men without fathers, again like my own, in a quest for fatherhood yet losing themselves in the abstract of dealing with who they are. Day after day, my friends, as I have done, press themselves through the meat grinder of their dreams at jobs they detest believing they would merit something back. I see other individuals I love choose to stay alone because of their fear of love. All of us “do.” We scrape the bows of trees for twigs and bark to gird the fragile nest of our own making. We give him only the part of that tries dealing with the whirlwind of confusions that snap at us like wild animals in this nest of our minds.

“Angry sun burn down
Judging us all
Guilty of neglect and disrespect
And thinking small”

I went back to that disturbing piece of Lewisian literature that struck me so, and I have started to care a bit less. What I have found is the opposite end of being and its bearable lightness. As birds without wings we don’t need nests. We shouldn’t begin to care about the feathers on our back. “Love God and do whatever you wish,” as Martin Luther says. As I wake in the morning, I have found that my only job, when I find those wild animals bounding at me, is to push them back, to welcome the slow concentration of presence, and to let His voice come through. And while I let my dreams and desires fall from the nest of our own making, tumble from my tree to be taken on the wings of eagles. Maybe I am that much closer to insanity, but I am not sure what my fears mean about me now.

“Take for a while
The trumpet from your lips
Loosen your hold, loosen your grip
On your old ways
That have fallen out of step
In a changing time
Hoist a new flag”

- E N D -


(from 2002)

“We are poised by the superstition of our ego.”
-Ellsworth Toohey, from Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’

I drive to Port Huron often. The long drives pull me through pasture and rolling farmland to the shore another country, a place were no one knows who I am. For the past year or so on these steady, streaming flights I’ve been listening to the soft, fluttering voices of the Cocteau Twins and letting their ethereal melodies lift the air beneath me, bringing me to a high that can only be compared to feeling of being in love. Yet when I return, I approach home through the mudslide of the declining sun, restless soul pressed into the melancholic spindling of the Counting Crows, barely moving at full throttle with Adam Duritz’s voice as the gravity. I run away in search of some sort of wonder-filled peace only because I have found the still small voice of God there before, yet many times I return feeling shaken from a deep sleep, my subconscious bare and my emotions irresolute.

I did this today. After making the trip more worthwhile by spending a few hours with a college friend and her sires, I drove to a park near the Blue Water bridge, sat my chair in the grass and watched the white caps wrestle with the tiny boats in the St. Clair River. I opened Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead,’ and became consumed with the justification of dynamics within it. Lawsuits about the misappropriation of ideas. People marrying people for which they never cared in order to serve other people. Others losing jobs because the expendability of artistic reason. The selfcentered anguish of life decisions gone wrong. My blood pressure went up, and I got anxious. I realized that I was escaping back into reality. Yet I stopped only to pick up my own pen. Something was circling. Something was moving.

There is a small section in the book where Ellsworth Toohey’s niece, Katie, comes to him in a tearful crisis, wanting to know why all of her noble choices have turned into the unfulfilled efforts and the hatred of others. He listens paternally to her rants of self-centered anguish. When she is finished, her uncle he told her to forget who she was, her name, her soul. He told her to do anything to kill the stubborn roots of the ego. And then only when she had let go of everything she ever knew, the spiritual gates of grandeur would swing open before her. She asked innocently who she would be when that happened. He told her that she actually would not have lost her identity, and at that time if she didn’t think too hard she would truly believe. Then she would be part of something beyond herself. She understood. I picked up my journal and scribbled hurriedly as Adam sang:

Fading everything to black and blue/you look a lot like you could shatter in the blink of an eye/you keep sailing right on’ve been waiting a long time/you’ve been waiting a long time/to fall down/on your knees/cut your hands/cut yourself until you bleed/and fall asleep next to me.”

I have a friend who can’t understand my masochism, takes a hit of Zanax when things are out of control, yet has this amazing grasp of reality. She doesn’t understand why those of us who have grown up together, desperately endeavoring not to be the one in the every four crazies of our disheveled, fundamentalist beginnings, try so hard to do something which should be so easy. I see both sides of the manic-ness, only to remember the look in Jesus’ eye in the film ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ when the angel came to him and said he could get down from the cross. That filmmaker’s Jesus knew too much. That Jesus made a decision to get down. I am glad my Jesus didn’t. He stuck it out, struck through by metal and wood, suffering with wet lungs and nakedness. He traveled to hell and back, a place were we often flippantly claim to go, to obtain a life beyond what we could offer ourselves as well as procure communion with the living God.

I sat beneath a concert tent a week ago with a friend who is not unlike a unique vintage from God’s secret wine cellar. My friend ferments, bettering with age, and at least once each year I try to pull a bottle of him off the shelf for a tip up. And he thinks that I am cool. As we talked in our lawn chairs, I told him I had noticed a change in him, that his sharp edges were worn down and he was smoother. He said that he was more comfortable in his own skin, and he knew the depths of his pridefulness. He was happy with who he was and was contented in the surrender to his current life status. I spilled my dissatisfaction with the chaotic circumstances that surround my peaceful innerworkings. He smiled as he remarked about how interesting it would be to see where my life would be a year from that night. We grew quiet about how much more there would be to say.

The following is what I wrote in my journal today. “I think my vintage friend has found a secret most ignore or are never brave enough to experience. Eggs must break to have the finest of pastries. Old bricks and small stones become concrete. Self-deconstruction must happen not just to know the compass of your pompousness but to know the “I” before you say “I love you.” Post-adolescent angst, pain, and suffering must happen. The deconstruction of unlearning must happen to everything in order to bring not just a grasp on who you are in your own skin, but the realization of belief in the truth. Being the truth.”

- END -