Wednesday, July 28, 2010

twenty20

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Maybe it would be better for you if I kept all my thoughts in my head. But it wouldn't be better for me. So here we go, another list of twenty things I've been thinking about recently.

1. A Jerry Can kept in the trunk is a good investment. An even better investment? Filling up the gas tank on time.

2. My budget would be better served in someone else’s hands. Dear Jesus: how are you at banking?

3. I’ve decided that it’s probably a good thing I don’t have a camera, because I’d probably get stuck behind it, and people probably wouldn’t recognize me anymore without the black box in front of my face.

4. I know of a girl who is dating a guy who is dating lots of other girls. Even though she knows it, she stays. It’s a sad day we live in, that girls date guys that don’t really like them and guys date girls they don’t really like.

5. My good friend and I decided that we wanted to blow off some steam recently, and so went dancing. It worked, but I was surprised at how thrillingly hilarious a pub could be. Between the liquidcourageous-butstillentertaining pickup attempts, dranksomuchithinkimfunny dance moves, and frequent “ohdeargodivebeendroppedintoapiranhatank” dance floor moments, it was one of the funniest nights I’ve had all year. No offence to the drunk people who will be the stars of my mocking stories for years to come.

6. I’m trying to remember what we all did before facebook came along; though it’s been quite a challenge…wait…I’m getting a vision of things past…did we…noo…there was actual face to face interaction!? A necessity for social skill? REGULAR HUMAN CONTACT!? Shocking. How could we tell who our friends were without those blue buttons? What did we do with all the hundreds of pictures of ourselves? How did we brag share about our wonderful fulfilling lives with every person we've met since birth? Oh, we didn’t? Oh. Well then… what did we do?

7. Being wanted is more calming a remedy for the heart than simply being had, just as being with someone is better than being beside them.

8. I’d really like to live until I’m 95. No, 100. No point in making it all the way to 95 and croaking; may as well go all the way with it.

9. The honest truth about my life is that I don’t regret anything; I just don’t do things I will regret. The only choice I’ve ever made that goes against that philosophy is the time in elementary school when I did not hold the boa constrictor that visited our classroom. I’ve honestly thought about it for years, and every time I think about it a little twinge of something (regret?) pokes my heart and I am momentarily saddened. Thankfully, I’ve been able to remedy the situation. This weekend at the beach, there was a hippie with a boa constrictor and he let me hold it on my shoulders, and it was just as beautiful as I thought it would be. I even got a picture with it. My one regret in life has been satisfied – a feeling well worth the $2 donation to a stranger’s money jar. This has gotten me thinking that most of what we call “regret” can likely be fixed with the simplest of actions.

10. Everyone’s too cool to enjoy something, but nobody is too cool to enjoy fireworks, and that’s exactly why I like them.

11. Dear Saggy-Old-Lady-on-the-beach-in-the-fishnet-stockings-and-wet-seethrough-undergarments-and-nothing-else: I will remember you forever. You have left your mark on the world. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stare intently and at close range into a bright light.

12. Just last year I think, I was driving and my sister Holly was in the passenger seat. We’re just cruising along listening to music and chatting. At one point Holly reaches into her purse and starts fishing around, and I start to say (as I’m looking at the road in front of me) “Oh you know what would be SOOO GOOD right now??? One of those kinder cho…!” and the sentence didn't even make it out of my mouth as I looked at my sister: she’s holding one of those specific types of kinder chocolates out for me, with an odd sort of smile on her face – apparently, she too thought that one of those kinder chocolates would be sooo good right now and had gone into her purse to get one (where she just happened to have a few stashed). Without even knowing it, we had thought the exact same thing at the exact same time. I hope I explained that right, because it’s moments like this that make me believe in God’s sense of humor.

13. Faith without doubt is like chocolate without cacao – fake, and pointless.

14. It’s easy to judge the person until you become the person.

15. You know, if my follow through was even half as good as my Intentions, I’d be the most accomplished person on the planet. With the most friends. And the most home businesses.

16. I live in a vacation spot. …no that’s it, that’s all I wanted to say.

17. Pessimism: I just sliced my foot open on barnacles. Optimism: …on the sunniest most relaxing day of my personal history.

18. If most of my stories end with “yah… I guess you had to be there,” does this mean my life is boring, or that I’m just a bad story teller?

19. I think it’s funny that people will tell you that you’re a “one in a million” kind of person until the exact moment you buy a lottery ticket.

20. There’s a time to laugh and a time to cry… and a time to bring me a cookie. That time is now.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

conversation, tree.

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Today, in a breeze, on a cemetery bench;
in the shade that held the sunshine,
and underneath a tree
I heard, or saw, or felt something.
I think that "Something" was Grace;
though I can't be sure
(I think that "Grace" is the wrong word).
This thing I can't quite name was very
non-threatening, and boldly un-threatened
by the darkening night in my soul;
it just....was.

This feeling (or presence) of Grace (or whatever I've called it)
didn't pick a certain spot. It didn't claim any land
or loudly announce itself; it simply
(quite simply)
                   was.
As if It were waiting to be noticed. By me?
No. But maybe.

Oh! It seems...over there...that tree.
Is it the tree? Or is it the space in the air between that tree and me?
It's something....there's something here.
I'm crazy.

It's the breeze,
or the light that moves inside it,
or the air over the dirt below the bench and me.
Please; please
tell me I'm not entirely mad;
that perhaps I might not be
entirely crazy.

But would a crazy person
...feel stared at by a tree?
Or do the sanest folks feel
made aware of by the leaves?

No, I know that I'm not crazy
(not by professional standards, at least).
And yet, no matter how I place myself on the
cemetery bench,
the air seems quite moved
...to meet me.

I wonder if I see in the wind
what I want to see,
or if I see what's actually there.
Or if I see in a tree what
I want to see,
or if the tree (or the space between the tree and me)
is, truly, aware.

©afterthoughtcomposer
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

the contest

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my ceiling has ears
but no mouth;
eyes, but no arms;
no hands that hold,
no soul

my ceiling can listen,
I think.
I have told it quite a
bit - to be sure.
it doesn't avoid my eye,
no matter how long

I stare.

my ceiling has no voice though.
no soft acceptance of my
jagged speeches.
at best, it can be silent,
unmoving, and unbiased.
I can not be held by my ceiling,
or reassured,
or made less wary in
my search for reciprocation.

my ceiling has no answers for me,
nor any comfort,
nor any confirmation
that my words are heard
by more than just my ceiling.




© afterthoughtcomposer

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

crayons

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If God
has something specific
for you, you’ll know, I promise.
But
if He is setting a box of crayons down
in front of you
(a box of crayons called life)
then by all means draw.
He’s taught you right
from wrong,
good from bad,
beautiful
from profane, so draw.
He will be with you,
proud of you,
cheering you on,
so draw.
He loves you,
so draw in the inspiration
of the knowledge
of His love.
Draw a purple horse,
a red ocean,
a nine-legged dog,
it doesn’t matter.
Lets stop being so afraid.
Lets live…

Donald Miller
(source)


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Monday, July 19, 2010

belief

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When I was a child I thought like a child
and distinguished the wrong from the right.
I believed what I knew and I learned what was taught,
which was never to question the fight.

I was told to believe and escaped to the dream
that a Man came to save me and test,
whether I would grow old with his heart in my soul
or if I would deny his Requests.

The Requests he’d impart in my wandering heart
were not always the logical choice,
so I’d shut off my brain and I’d walk his own way
and forget that God gave me a voice.

At first the Requests were quite standard,
and fit in to monotonous faith;
but as time carried on the Requests left the norm
of the crowd that had taught me The Way.

It took years to arrange the eventual change
from the ignorant child that was shaped,
to the adult who knew what I heard was the truth,
though it carried incredible weight.

The voice that he gave me had grown tired of arranging
the words to deny the Requests;
but Explaining was worse, for the Voice that I heard
was opposing the crowd’s very best.

The instruction he gave? “You aren’t walking my way;
what you’ve learned isn’t what you believe.
To distinguish the best from the worst isn’t yours,
…it is Mine; My sole task to achieve.”

Now, the older I grew there began to ensue
a brand new and quite challenging fight;
could I prove to the world that the voice that I heard
was still His, when it didn’t sound “right”?

So discerning I was, from my birth through my youth
and so trusted from those looking on.
But as soon as I heard this remarkable word,
I was “lost” and was suddenly…wrong.

There are those who assumed (with their holy-book proof)
that my life should more clearly define
where the people all stood; who was right, who was not,
who had clearly stepped over the line.

“It’s our right!” They declared (holy-book firm in hand)
“It’s our right to decide where they’ll go!”
But that’s not what I’ve heard (and that’s not what I’ve read);
I don’t think that we get to know.

When I was a child I believed like a child,
I was told I was taught I was right.
There was no steady hand, just unspoken demand
That I run to, not question, the fight.

We have killed in His Name; we have run unrestrained
into war and abuse and neglect.
What has caused us to leave such remarkable grief
in our wake, and so quickly forget?

How is it that we are the ones who can’t see
how far off we are from where we start?
What belief have we breathed that allows us to be
so incredibly blind in our hearts?

At first the Requests were quite standard,
They fit in with monotonous faith.
But now the Request has put Faith to the test,
and is bringing my head into play.

Can I put my whole heart in a system
that so brazenly acts in disdain?
That refuses to see past the People;
to the person, the eyes, and the name?

There is no condescension so fully perverse
as the one that comes “From God” through me.
Who am I to decide that this person beside
me is hell-bent as they’re meant to be?

To assume that I’m right and rush into the fight
without wisdom or knowledge or grace
is absurd and na├»ve, as I’ve been taught to be:
"Worry not how you get there, just finish the race."

I believe in the Man that has shaped me,
I believe that he was who he said.
But this doesn’t negate the impossible state
that a Question has left in my head.

I am crazy by most of the standards;
an apostate, by some marks as well;
but I’d rather ask too many questions
than accusingly preach what they sell.

My faith is a child, and I am a child;
through my questioning I’ve come to see
that belief is an easy way out,
‘less you educate past your belief.


© afterthoughtcomposer

Friday, July 16, 2010

quiet summer

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Hi,

You, perhaps, have noticed? My summer has been quiet, at least on here…at least in writing. The soil around the roots underneath my heart has recently gone through a significant upheaval, and a violent washing away. The roots are still intact; but instead of being planted they’re dangling conspicuously in midair (trust me, they look as awkward as you imagine they might). My core beliefs are still my core beliefs; sort of. The things I know are true are still true…for the most part. But essentially, I have recently started to feel like the plant life in my chest cavity: just as bare, and just as unprotected. So as an act of self preservation, I’ve gone into hiding. Sort of. At least, in words. At least until I feel a little less like a shit disturber.

I feel as though I’m being created all over again. As if the rough prototype I was before has been disassembled and left to wait while a New Master Plan is sketched out on the drawing table. But as I’m watching myself be rebuilt, I’m realizing that the New Me is nothing like the Old Me. The New Me is also nothing like the Should Be…and that scares me a bit, but it doesn’t scare me as much as it comforts me – I’ve never fit in anyway. No reason to start now.

The paradigm shifts and perspective switches, at first, felt like a shotgun to the chest; abrupt, surprising, and painful. Now, after a few months’ time, I’ve gotten used to their presence. They’ve become houseguests – I make them tea, chat with them at bedtime, read them stories from my journal. They tuck me in at night. It’s a good relationship. We’re learning each other, and how not to piss each other off.

In the beginning, before my abrupt dismantling, I didn’t know what I knew. Now that I know more, I know less. It’s horribly agitating, but entirely necessary. And as much as I am uncomfortable here, I’m much happier now than I was before. I finally feel like I might possibly be starting to know myself (for real this time); and that, my friends, is a good feeling. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

In the beginning, God created.
I like that part.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3am, awake.

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Figured out? Yes, I have it all. The wobbling center line is steadied. My feet know where I stand, my heart has picked a side. I am ready for everything; elusive definition evades me; my suitcase is packed neatly and standing by the door. In a line of choices, the best mistake is obvious. I am well rested, well educated, and self assured. I am decisive, certain, and kept in perfect balance. Belief is a given. Faith is what leads. My hope is built on nothing less. Left and right shoes: match.

With this, I accept the Most Brilliant Actress of the Century award.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ah

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If good days are measured by
how many times
you get to pee in the ocean,
then yesterday was twice as good
as any other.




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Thursday, July 8, 2010

defibrillated

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lyrics? yup. musicality? yup. 


life,
re-breathed
through song.
...yup.





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How I've gone this long without hearing this band I'll never know.


Dear Florence,

...yup.

a.


(ps - want more? go here)

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Monday, July 5, 2010

flatline

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Normally, I write because there’s something on my mind; pressing, brooding, poky. The thoughts will set up camp in my subconscious, gathering allies and troops as the days go by, until eventually they’ve made a case – whereupon they present themselves to the forefront of my head, forcing me to get them out in writing before they take over. So I have a thought, the thought builds up, and then that thought processes itself onto the page. Once that thought is gone, another one is usually making its way into formation (and so on). This pattern works quite well… until it stops working.


The system fails when there’s too much going on at once to filter life correctly; those little workers in my head begin to throw punches, yell obnoxiously, practice sarcastic hand gestures, and loot the village storehouse. At this point, my brain will misfire (and my blog gets filled with random, funny-only-to-me bits of drivel) – dealing with the chaos and functioning at a sensible level are two things that do not go well together. The stillness you hear after the mob-mentality has quieted is not peace and quiet at all – the workers have simply gotten too tired to win the argument rightnow – so they settle instead on doing nothing. The union goes on strike and the workers set up camp in their barcaloungers; the only cerebral activity to be noted is that little white surrender flag you see waving in the corner on the expansive pile of rubble. If you listen hard enough, you will hear the sounds of palpable tension, shuffling card decks, and whisky induced slumber.

Currently, I’m experiencing Option B.

The amount of energy I’m currently able to muster allows me to blow puffs of air out the side of my mouth and nothing more. Oh, I can blink, too. I still have the energy for that.

What’s a girl to do with such a small amount of mental capacity (amidst ever increasing stress levels)? Smile nice for the camera. Say please. Laugh at all the right moments. Disregard the fuzzy hair and the dark circles that grace the mirror each morning. Disregard them again at each reflection-stop throughout the day. Resist the temptation to eat meals through a straw. Wear matching left and right shoes. Avoid ticking clocks and fake accents. Switch pillows. Sleep naked. Or at least, sleep. Or try to. Remove the heart from the sleeve; figure out what to do with it later. Practice acceptance speech for “Most Brilliant Actress of the Century” award. Show up to work on time. Accept free coffee drinks. Pray for more free coffee drinks. Cancel appointments. Swear at least once daily (bonus points: swear out loud). Evade direct eye contact. Popcorn for dinner (but only on occasion). Laugh maniacally as the to-do lists burn. Breathe in after breathing out. Find the damn pause button and press away! Flirt with Insanity, mislead Stability, disregard Apprehension… but be careful. Practice the art of retail therapy. Open the bag of cookies, devour, finish with milk. Live vicariously through former self. Bang the hell out of the lid on the pickle jar until it opens. Remain insatiably positive. Survive.
..
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life in pictures

...because pictures are easier than words, and have more to say.
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