Monday, November 8, 2010


Slouched in a uniform chair,
I lean my head against moving boxes
People search through for cheap treasure,
Throwing papers about and turning heads in serious concern for now and next and now,
all in hurried succession,
linear, always linear.

A symphony of racket bounces around walls of grey
by fluorescence,
And plastic coats aesthetic in
The name of
Efficiency and Fitting In
Jeans that don't even fit.

Swipes and beeps and sloppy cleavage
Ask me if I'd like to donate to the cause of
How The Lord Hath Done Us Wrong,
And militant MEs shake their heads in disapproval, missing the, missing the
Ugly all around while

kneels amidst tears in a church far away,
Letting beauty transcend all its woes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I lay in bed, eyeing ideas to the ceiling. He bounces them back at me, just as I sent them. And in the silence and the darkness of everyone-else-is-sleeping, I realize how lonely is alone.

A little scientist, curious and alert, spins from telescope to table, recording and processing the data in his little lab coat, he prides himself on discovery.

“And what do you mean by this?”
“Ah, how interesting”
“But I don’t think that’s it.”
“That’s nonsense indeed.”
“Of course.”
He rambles on speaking to the worlds of worlds listening to him,
Or so he thinks.
Or maybe not thinks but acts as if, assumes,
Assumes the ceiling listens.

Assumes the ceiling listens,
Do I but soon to panic
When he doesn’t.

The little vials of premises fall to a shatter like a whisper in comparison with
The great silence.
A bat squeals in the night outside the laboratory.

There is no way outside.

“But see, I need to believe in God.”
They say, we, I, say.
Scoffs from the classroom…
But is it such a faulty argument?
Perhaps, indeed, it’s the best one.
The only one that really makes sense.
The only one abstract enough and yet concrete.
Practical and yet conceptual.
Experience tells us, and so does theory.
Our childhood and our reason.
Our tradition and our war banner.
I NEED to believe in God.
For every fiber of my being demands so.
What being am I really, without Him?


I lie in bed and bounce ideas off a ceiling who can’t hold me or say
Or laugh until it hurts our stomachs but we keep laughing because it’s worth the hurt,
I lie in bed and curse the ceiling for its inadequacy as I realize
I don’t want to be alone.

But people go to sleep.
They die.
They leave.
And I don’t want to be alone.


And premises mix in little torrents down the hallways
Looking to their matches for conclusions
As the scientist soaks his lab coat in tears.


So there, Dr. so and so and kid with the heart of complexes
Too wound up in complexes to rid themselves of each other,
I need God. Need Him.
And perhaps I have the greatest complex of all.
But it’s the only one worth having.
Totally paradoxical, and all the more lovely for that.
Small it makes me, infinitesimally,
And yet greater than the Earth combined.
Dust, but of God, I am.
The dust of God? No.
The handmaid of God,
His dust and His child,
Of His life and His death,
His reason, and His reason for needing not a reason,
So much smaller than His reason,
I am nothing like I Am,
And yet but for Him am I nothing.
He makes me.
Woven through the tales of magic and fairies,
He completes the picture,
Explains why Santa Clause wasn’t real and that he is,
Why we die and how we really don’t.
But for God, I’m all alone.


I panic as I get caught up in thoughts about my mind and how it runs about in crazy twists and turns and won’t slow down. I panic, as usual, when I’m restless and it’s night, and it’s late, and everyone else is sleeping. Wake up, please, someone?


The scientist with his broken spectacles hides under his table,
Covered up with stark cloths and buried in a tomb of machinery.
He would have died there,
Could have,
Should have died there long ago, you see,
If not for a tap on the shoulder.
A very deliberate tap it was, only the scientist had been frantically crying and yelling and protesting in his little world too loudly, too harshly to notice.

“Who are you??” he turned around sharply.
No one was there.
He wondered how someone got in his sealed-shut walls.
For he had demanded for years that he was it.

The little scientist stood up and cleared out his fort,
Looking frantically for who dared to have invaded his privacy.

But it was to no avail.
He had searched far and wide, used his special instruments, looked in the in between spaces and studied them thoroughly.

He was just about to give up when he felt another tap on the shoulder and heard a voice whisper ever so softly yet ever so LOUDLY, LOOK UP STUPID!!!

And it was then that the human being looked at its glass ceiling and saw what had begun so long before, when it had broken its little bottles in anger. A perfect conclusion pasted about in a mosaic. A mosaic of premises and far from premises—of photographs of trees and ants and grandchildren—of love notes and drawings done by five year olds—okay, no, premises indeed they were. The research of a life. Tears of joy ran down the face as the human stacked up its machines to climb to the beautiful, to the beautiful.

No, silly, not the pictures.


I lay in bed and I’m really restless and I’m frustrated because it’s late and there’s no one to talk to. I get to feeling kind of lonely in my little world. But then remember I’m not alone. No. Not. Ever. Alone.

So hey, God. It’s nice to know you never sleep.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


What a funny sight to see,
Sheep dressed in tuxedos,
Combing their hair and fretting about their
In a jumbled little line they play telephone,
Though to them it’s not at all a game—
Ordered by age and size and rank they
Pay heed to whoever is ahead
With unadulterated attention.
Turning in a dance of sorts
They keep straight faces
Too important to be laughing.
They introduce themselves
Introduce themselves
Introduce themselves
For what they’ve done and
What they’ll do
And dream to move ahead in
Ranks of “masters” and

Oh, yes.
(Hold your gasps and applause please.)

And dance they onward
Stepping, really,
Not dancing at all—
Out of rhythm,
Out of grace
But follow, that they do
Round about the worshipped space of
Nothing in between them—
Empty space, a world
Six feet wide
They cannot see beyond it.
With blinders on their eyes
They brag of insight nonexistent.
“Hey everyone look at me I’m such a rebel!”
They call to the leader ahead,
Tie their bowtie with such satisfaction,
As if it’s something new.
I watch them watch
I watch them copy
Watch them miss the sky above.
From the sixty year old professor
To the freshman just arrived.
Too proud they are, to be silly
And too meek they are to be wise.

In wishing of the mountain, they circle round the valley
And never see their circle only shrinks.
So they’ll glorify the ever-adolescent
Who neither child, nor adult, will cease to think.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


A happy poem can only come in Autumn
When death is in the air
And all of nature knows it.
That sweet and furious death
That winds its way through stable trees
Who may have thought them stable
And picks off summer's pleasures with her teeth.

A happy poem
Can only come in Autumn
When her cool air stings our noses
And we tend to forget to bring a sweater.

A happy poem
Is what I write in Autumn
For Autumn knows exactly how to kill
Whatever lies and misconceptions
Summer pasted over suntan lines
And smoke tinted windows.
Autumn knows what needs to die.

And sure, you'll write your love songs into May
And find that chirping birds inspire
And (fine I'll admit) I'll wish for warmth in early March.

but Autumn!!
Wakes me up with Christmas bells
And wraps me in a new stranger's embrace,
Suddenly not a stranger, not at all.
Surprises me as she coats this bare tree in
And whistles wind to songs I understand.
For I grew old and died along with summer's passing.
So long ago it doesn't phase me now
But I grow young amidst the open dying of
The breath of life I know will take me home.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I grimace at the painting
How it falls short
Missing something
A stroke or color
Something’s off.
Like playing a keyboard instead of a piano
Or lukewarm bathwater he said
Who wants to be friends when there was so much more before?
I understand now

It almost fits, the puzzle it does
But almost fits means nothing at all really
You can’t force puzzle pieces or they’ll break.
You’ve got to find the right one.

Ahh but there are millions and millions and millions
Of little pieces of dust and specks and confused looks and glances
It’s almost right
The painting is almost the most beautiful thing in the world
But it isn’t.
And that “isn’t” throws the whole thing off.

But perhaps it is that missingness,
That endearing lack
Endearment only because of its attempt,
That turns the tragedy to comedy
Imperfections then are rather sweet, and
Sadness, rather irrelevant.
The problem of pain, then
Is no problem at all but instead,
A bizarre glitch on the radar
We haven’t found the right piece yet.

And so the Earth’s heart beats steadily onwards
Always a bit off tempo,
Bleeding with its heavy heaves it begs to be complete
Cries itself to sleep
But wakes in the morning laughing
At us and all we like to pretend to be.
Apparently it’s all been overcome.
So that we may laugh too?
When we rise from our strife and loss
In the depths of our loneliness
We wonder how we made it--
Make it--
Will make it
Through the night.

But the Earth turns round and smiles
With scratches on her face and wrinkles on her forehead
Years and years and life and death but
Just a sweet imitation
Her smile,
Just the only thing we know.
Half and incomplete
And we laugh together at the sun and moon and
Yes we dare to laugh at, with, the stars.
We laugh saying how silly it all is,
In knowing how silly it’s not.

We bury our hearts
When we bury our dead
In tears and hopes and dreams
And somehow walk away whole?
And keep walking?
Is it possible?
Is it possible,
That maybe,
Just perhaps,
We might be going somewhere?

We imitate to create
An imitation of an imitation
Of the most Beautiful Thing in the universe.

What a pretty painting, but comic really,
For we have yet to see the storehouses of the snow.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


"Bow your heads and pray for
God's blessing."
A thousand heads drop systematically and
Two thousand eyes stare at
Two thousand feet
Twitching slightly
To the tired rhythm of monotony.

What if vines wrapped round the columns, and birds sang in the choir? I wonder then if we might lift our heads, to beg
-No laugh-
With God's blessing.

So tired I lay in bed but soon hear
Santa's reindeer pounding heavy hooves upon my roof
-our roof-
I spring to the window
And I watch the skies fill up with
Sparks of mirth
His harp strings pulled almost to
The point of breaking-
Oh happy almost
Extremes and saves
And limits
With which
He toys
We giggle
like children- the animals and I-
At the thunder and the lightening
At the adventures
Me and all that isn't
Me and all outside of

But open and we trudge through another speech dripping with cliches and
Forced laughter
With lies
With everything we've already heard
With careless, reckless handling
Of the beautiful
And I long to run to where I may no longer stare at my feet.
Where I can chase the sleighbells
I keep hearing.

So I think as I lie in bed next to people I don't know
People I can't talk to
People who don't hear the
Footsteps on the roof.
I lay still, afraid to wake them
With my cough so judgmental
My shifting, such a burden-
I don't sleep, so they may sleep
In their misconceptions and
Boring adult-versions of play pretend and dress up-
Valedictorians and deacons
Girls with pomp and circumstance
Wrapped around their
Pretty eyes and bulging cleavage
In their connections and their
alcohol they hide.
Too old to be kids without it.
Hangovers heavy trudging into an ugly church in our ugly clothes
We bow on command
For sunday's duty of the masses
And we sigh as we pray to our

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

happy endings

Oops, we say as we almost hit a
Swerve and life goes on
For almosts are only almosts and
We laugh and turn the radio up
So drowning the world filled with
Weird connections and
Suppressions of their intimacies
To forget.

But what if our foot had merely
Asks the few sane ones
The pitiful gods enlightened by
Ever looking back to gates of Eden
Ever wondering why.

There's got to be some
Great magician
And spells of forgot and move on
Ignorance syringed in the water supply.

Life walks out dead
And life goes on living
And I don't know how
We keep living without
Half of all we had.
But I find myself in
Inner Chambers
Castle walls surround me
More a princess than before
More a princess yet
No prince beside me
Jewels around my neck
Sedate me with Your
Sing to me,
You hermaphrodite fairies
In a world devoid of sex
Way too good for sex
Though our minds can't see it yet.

Yet You dazzle
Dazzle and distract from our human
Our tragic humanness.

If only we knew how tragic it really was.
We'd decorate the trees
With our bodies.

But lucky the trees are so pretty
Their flowers tell us that maybe,
-tell the melancholy ones-
That perhaps its worth holding on.
Just enough.

I walk and angels pour their
Pixie dust in clouds around me
Shields of make-believe
To keep me going.

I sit in my bedroom from childhood
Going through books and letters
Of another time
Another me so recent and yet
So far away
And wonder how it is I don't
Fall through to the kitchen below
Wonder how it is we don't collapse this tapestry of breakable threads
It doesn't shred
At the mention of love and loss
At the mere hint of a thought
Of death
That dreaded idea
That inconceivable tragedy.

You tell us it's really a comedy
If we see it right side up.
Or upside down
Depends on where you're standing...
Crazy ideas they are
That its worth it: love and loss and death
But the trees, they stay empty,
For the most part
And for some insanity of mind
We believe.
I believe.

Oops we say and almost hit a
A whole person.
But we laugh and turn the music up because we've got to move on.
We've got to be sane.

Potential tragedy?

Or miracle?
Depends on where
You're standing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

bread of angels

Her hands move in a fury of excitement as she talks and
The rope
Swings round about
Tattered and frayed,
Shriveled and twisted,
She forgets it’s even there.
I ask her, “Did you wear that when you…??”
She laughs a bit hesitantly,
And my insides get defensive
And long to take it off but
I’m no better.
No I’m no better.
Throwing stones inside my head then I wonder
Just a bit,
If maybe He didn’t mind so much.
Maybe in the middle of it all the guy looked down
And wondered why a Cross hung round her wrist
Who am I to know?
Isn’t that why He came?
To bathe in our sins?
Maybe then we’d notice.
I think in the bathroom
At a Walmart
I really wonder if there is an uglier room in the world
With its plastic walls and smells
I hear the stalls lock and open,
We wash our hands and carry on our business never stopping
To look at where we are,
What we’re lying in…
A little girl sits beside me,
A strange divider between us where we see each other’s legs and share
A commonality we don’t like to speak of.
But she sings in Spanish
And I know enough Spanish to know she’s singing
Nothing at all
Lifts of her voice in sheer nonsensical delight
Her little shoes move back and forth
In the ugliest room in the world she makes a wonderland.
I check out in a hurry and behind me
Is an old man in a wheelchair
Humming softly
Familiar words of Grace
With milk jugs on his lap.

One night I awoke and heard a strange noise
And wondered what in the world it could be
Stayed up worrying…
Worrying I placed my hand on the chest of a
Much beloved dog
To make sure, always,
Of his breathing.
Checking everyone
Hearts still beating
I have deemed myself
The guardian of disaster.
They tell me not to worry
Of the strange noise in my nighttime
But silly them, I say
Don’t you know the dog
Will die?
So imagine our bodies in coffins, my friend
To prepare for the worst of all.
The utter shock of empty eyes
And drooped face
Like seeing a towed car
Without the truck
And you think he’s driving
Without a driver
To drive him
And you wonder if maybe
The world has really turned
Upside down?
Except the car keeps coming and
Blows you into a
Million little pieces
Death, a backwards car with no driver,
Turns the world
Upside down.

Stuck in a line of awkward bodies
I take a
Body from an
Almost dead man
He falters as he tells me what it is
Body gets stuck between the rings on my finger
And sticks, soggy, to the roof of my mouth.
In front of me tennis shoes squeak.
I take my place and half-kneel out of nausea.
And we sing sounds like grunts and moans
Compared with angels
Panis Angelicus
I wonder,
Could it be?

Outside, men scrub
Graffiti off a cross.
People drive by
And nobody looks to see
What might be written…
They wrote above His Sacred Head
By lust and white lies.
By gossip we laugh about at lunch
Laugh at the Man who thought He was God
Crazy man they say
Panis Angelicus
Spends the night in my house
And suddenly I see
I believe.

In a trendy hamburger joint
We talk about the boy who almost died
Till we get a call that tells us that he did
And suddenly death is something
More than cartoons and thrillers
More than old people we forget about.
Suddenly we realize
The Fairy Tale must be real
For how can we go on without it?

But we forget the villains and tears
And saviors when we ride on busses
Crammed in smelly crowds
Watching the bus driver’s massive stomach flop against the broken seat,
He smacks his double bubble gum with a sinister smile
And rejoices in the great

I get off the bus and my socks fall down inside my boots.
In order to pull them up I have to take the boots off and I don’t have time
So I walk on in annoyance at the lack of transcendence
That I search for in a keyboard that can’t play like a piano,
Besides they chastise me for playing way too loud.
How it hurts, this world, how it hurts.
Panis Angelicus.

But one day I’m driving and I notice on my windshield
Something that looks a little bit but not so much like rain.
And it’s not rain.
Stretch my arm out to feel the ice I smile with delight,
I look back and see the girl behind me.
Her arm is out too.
And we share a moment.
Not so far from the girl singing Spanish in the bathroom.
Or us, gathered at a funeral for a boy who
Almost died.

They say there are six degrees of separation between you and me
And everybody else.
But sometimes I wonder if there aren’t any.
Not at all.

For I see Bread of Angels in the stormy sky
And the chocolate dessert
In the kiss
And the Mozart Requiem.
And Bread of Angels is in the homeless man and the king
I sit beside Him.

My socks fall down in my boots as I walk to class
And I laugh at the losing

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So at the request of a friend, I started writing out why I believe everything I believe. I realized it was quite a helpful exercise and I highly recommend it. :)

I decided to ask myself questions, starting fairly broad, and eventually, hopefully, narrowing it down to specifics. I'm going to post what I've got so far, and then the rest as I continue.

1. Why try to figure out the truth?
Because we are, in the long term, happier if we do so, and so are those around us (I’m not going to argue that we should try to make ourselves and others happy-- this one's also assumed.)
It is clear that we have a drive for understanding. It is also clear that we have a drive to understand what is right and wrong. We have a drive for justice. We have a drive for truth. Now, of course simply possessing a drive does not in turn ensure that one should follow it. We may have the drive to kill someone but it doesn't mean we should follow it. But some drives we know have been driving us for centuries and millenniums. We can see from our own histories and the histories of others that following those certain drives leads to certain outcomes. Following the drive to seek understanding has seemed to fulfill us, if not temporarily, long-term, and if not individually, no question collectively. It is obviously inherent to our human nature, and it brings about more good than bad. It enriches an otherwise bland life. It has brought about literature, poetry, art, music, conversation, cities, philosophies, etc. Most importantly, when we understand we find purpose. We clearly naturally have an affinity for purpose. We like to direct our lives towards something, whether it be another human, or simply our own being. Finding truth leads us to a greater purpose. Purposes make us happy, as we can determine through experience. Purposes which do not fade (i.e. truth) make us even happier.
Now you might say, "that's not a logical argument for why we should seek truth. It's more like a sales pitch for it." Well, I don't really know where else to begin other than with simply experience with being a human. Trying to argue that we should seek logic by using logic is kind of difficult and circular-argument-esque. We have to start somewhere. I start with the most basic clue we have, which is our shared experience. So it is a sales pitch. I think figuring out the truth is so worth it, and I hope you will too.

2. How do we find the Truth?
So we haven’t been given a whole lot, and yet in many ways we have. Depends on how you look at it. But regardless, there’s no use arguing over whether or not we know enough or have enough to find anything. We’ve determined we’ve got to look, so we have to work with what we’ve got. First things first, what have we got?

I would say we have three mechanisms through which we find understanding. Blatant perception, logic, and intuition. I put these in order of how we should most effectively try to approach these problems. If we start with intuition, we are likely to contradict the first two. Intuition is like our most refined sense, and because it is so refined it often misses the most basic elements of life. Perception—the observation and acknowledgement of what we see as existing as it is, is the foundation of the pursuit of Truth. Without this willingness to perceive the world as it is we cannot go anywhere at all. I exist, and you exist. And the things that we see are as we see them. Now, yes, they might not be, but quit reading if you are going to say that. Because it will lead you in a never-ending circle. Here lies, then, our first necessary leap of faith (these will come up because the world has holes in it and as I said before, we haven’t been given a whole lot.) Leaping is going to become a requirement to understanding. Please jump.

So, we have accepted perception. She is going to be our most primal teacher in the pursuit of truth. Next we come to logic. Second leap of faith—that our logic is reliable. This is very difficult step to take because we have seen our own logic fail us so many times, and we watch everyone else fail too. It makes you want to give up sometimes. If I’ve been wrong my whole life about different things, how can I trust that I am any more right than I ever have been or any more right than anyone else?? Well, all I can say, again, is that if you’re going to say that, you won’t go anywhere. Like the world we perceive, our logic has holes. We are fallible and imperfect. But perhaps to make things a bit more optimistic, it isn’t as if we are every second of every day changing our beliefs—realizing everything we believed prior to now was wrong. Most of us have very few, if any complete moral turn-arounds. It is significant to us when we change our beliefs and so we sort of act as if we are more variable than we are. In reality, most of the time our beliefs remain the same. Not only that, but if you think about it, the majority of the world shares most of the same beliefs! What sane adult believes that the ants are going to revolt tomorrow and take over the world and rule us for all eternity? Perhaps one or two, maybe more, but I can assure you most of the world does not believe that. Most of the world believes that flat out murder is wrong, and I could continue. Point being, we agree more than we act like we do. And most great minds really do think alike. If that were not the case all the smartest scientists and philosophers would completely disagree on everything. Often, the disagreements between the great minds are rather nit-picky in comparison with the big picture. And, of course, as with perception, it is worth it to trust logic anyway, so we can continue onwards in pursuit.

Ah, the poet of the three. Intuition. Intuition is hard to defend without using herself as defense. She is, I suppose, the hint we have towards understanding. Not feelings, per se. Not just the knack we get about something. Intuition is what happens when we take perception and logic and jumble them up in the blender of the human psyche. What comes out isn’t really explainable by prior mechanisms. The previously separate ingredients aren’t discernable anymore. But it works. And like a smoothie, intuition really is more satisfying than the ingredients by themselves. It is the one of the three that makes us feel most human, most fulfilled. But, as I said before, we must be careful. Intuition can be tricky. Sometimes what comes out of the blender wasn’t mixed up right. We have to make sure that what we’re accepting doesn’t contradict logic or perception. But intuition can come in handy as both a resource when logic and perception simply will not give, and also as the icing on the cake of understanding. Intuition is by all means a leap. And it is a leap that necessity may eventually require. Happy necessity, at that.

From now on, I’m going to use these three tools, perception, logic, and intuition in explanation. When I don’t tell you what I’m appealing to, I assume you can figure it out for yourself. If you prefer not to listen to anything but logic, or vice versa, just ignore the rest. But I think there is a prevalent tendency to discredit facts and figures, and on the other side of the spectrum, a tendency to discredit symbolism and inclinations. Again, we have been given a world with holes, and it is our job to find the path. We find it through more ways than one.

So, on to my first question of Truth… the big one.

3. Is there a God? Or make the question simpler. Is there a spiritual realm or being?
Well let’s start by looking around us. Look at nature. Look at the nature of humanity. Why do we ask this question? We clearly have a reason for our inquiry. We have, for whatever reason, gotten it in our heads that there is something out there. Now we know that this can’t be some silly fantasy someone made up in a cave one day that just happened to spread all over the world. Perhaps the specifics are silly fantasies. But the idea of a spiritual realm is something inherent to all cultures that we have ever known to be or have been in existence. Something drives us to the idea. Is it biological? I don’t know if we will ever know that. Evolutionary perhaps? Again, we don’t know. But we’ve got to work with what we’ve got. It is obvious that we humans naturally have an inclination towards the spiritual. I would even go on to say that we have a desire for the spiritual. “Well not everybody feels religious,” one might say. Yes, this is true. But every one has considered it. Every one has felt that pull at some point, even if it was just a pull of curiosity. Something pushes us towards it. Now, it could be that we have absolutely no reason for this push. But don’t all of our functions have some sort of purpose? And if they no longer have a purpose or they are not in use, they nevertheless had a purpose at some point. Our desires are rooted in the things we desire. We hunger because we have tasted food and our bodies know we need food. We want sex because our bodies know that they need to reproduce. All of our desires, for companionship, warmth, cleanliness, security—they are all attainable in their essence. Sure, we can’t always get the things we want. But the things we want have existed at some point in time. Otherwise, why in the world would we want them? How would we know of them? How could we know of them if they didn’t exist? There is nothing we want that doesn’t exist somehow, somewhere, sometime. Sure, you could say, “a child wants a unicorn and a unicorn doesn’t exist.” But the unicorn is rooted in things that do exist. The unicorn is in a sense the merging of two real ideas: the horse and the spiritual realm. Point being, yes we imagine things that do not exist. But they come from something that does exist. Just as we cannot imagine a seventh sense, we can’t imagine something truly new. Everything we want, everything we think about, everything we talk about and experience, is rooted in something real. Something that exists. Perhaps we could have imagined the idea of the spiritual. But that would be a first. We haven’t truly invented anything else. Everything else we desire exists. It would be so very unlikely that the spirituality we desire is the one desire that is unattainable. In fact it would be incredibly foolish to believe that it was—a much greater leap of faith indeed, would it be to say that spirituality is a fraud.

Now many will say they believe in God because of the sunsets, or babies, or love. This is a very intuitive-y type of argument and it really isn’t an argument at all. But it is nevertheless still worth looking at. It is not so much that a sunset proves anything. Well, perhaps on an individual basis it does, but not necessarily collectively. But it’s still interesting for us because taken as a whole, this tendency to see God in the world around us is very important. Awe—I would call it. We see the Beauty around us, the Goodness. And we are often filled with awe. That awe then points us to the Truth. Why is that? Why do things move us? Why do we have those moments where everything fits—where we “just know?” Clearly, there are things of this world that transcend the mundanity of simple daily tasks. Perhaps they themselves are irrelevant to the pursuit of Truth. What does a tree really tell me about philosophy? But the point of relevance is the fact that they transcend. Something happens to us when we witness Beauty. Something happens to us when we experience love. And it isn’t just a good feeling, although it often can be simply that. We perceive and our intuition takes that perception and decodes it. We decode for a reason. Again, there are no things without purpose. Why in the world would Beauty and Goodness arouse in us a desire and perhaps insight into the spiritual, if there were no spiritual at all? Animals do not need to worship. Animals do not need to write poetry. They don’t feel that drive for something more. Why not? Because they don’t need that something more. So why in the world would we seek it, if it wasn’t meant for us to find?

Friday, April 23, 2010

held back

“My high school teacher said we can’t have an original idea till at least our masters,” said the listener in her eager smile and notecards…
“Oh goodness! Not even then!”

We go on learning what a thesis is,
As we did ten years ago—
Little children learning to write
—still there—
Learning to follow.

“What are you going to do with a Philosophy major??”

So lecture me, lecture me, medaled god,
Till the womb has nothing to give.
Pride in our rebel push-up bra,
But look at us—
too scared to move.

Too young, until we’re too old
* gasp *
“You’re not going to grad school?!?!”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

speaking up.

"There are degrees in idealism. We learn first to play with it academically, as the magnet was once a toy. Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments. Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true. It now shows itself ethical and practical. We learn that God is; that he is in me; and that all things are shadows of him. The idealism of Berkeley is only a crude statement of the idealism of Jesus, and that, again, is a crude statement of the fact that all nature is the rapid efflux of goodness executing and organizing itself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


When I was little I was "into everything." If I felt like painting, I was an artist for the day. If I felt like writing, I was a writer for the day. I was a dancer, an actress, a teacher, an explorer, a pirate... we all were, weren't we? In the days when we assumed we'd be taken seriously, and yet were the first to laugh at ourselves? I once had an art show and sold my paintings to my parents' friends. Funny I actually thought they'd want my work, and now, I'm hesitant to pick up a colored pencil. Don't we all know this feeling? Struggling between vanity and self-deprecation, overcome with the obsession over how good or bad we really are-- so obsessed that we bottle everything up, picking and choosing when to be ourselves and when to not? We dance in our rooms alone, and we crumple up that poem we wrote in the middle of class. We're desperate for approval, and yet we're convinced that no one will approve, and so we decide that we might as well just shut up. Previous rejection tells us it's not worth it-- dreams and ideals-- they're not worth it.

Who did this to us?

Yet still, despite our embitterment, through "degrees in idealism" we float-- up and down and all about. It's fairy tales when we're little, and romance in our teens-- we're constantly re-adjusting to our surroundings and experiences and disappointments. The prior ideal fails us and we move on to a new one, yearning for meaning. We know there's got to be meaning. Often, perhaps, this is the only thing we know. But it's enough to move us onward.

So I find myself contemplating, daily, in awe, this "rapid efflux of goodness executing and organizing itself." I grab my computer and type-- searching for where I am today, who I am, what it all means...


There are only like three people I consistently share things I write with. And it pretty much stops there. I've been told I should start a blog but my hesitation has always been that "I don't draw, I don't sing, I don't dance" impulse-- that fear that maybe what I have to say is nonsense. And it very well might be. But who cares then? What's the big deal? The paintings I sold weren't worth a penny my parents' kind friends spent on them. But what harm did it cause? If anything, it did good. I spoke, and even if what I said was useless, the speaking was not. We need expression, and we need to be comfortable with expression, no matter the result. For through expression we participate in the "rapid efflux." Perhaps no one will recognize the beauty in our words, notes, strokes, and this is a scary thought. But how much scarier is it to imagine a world where no one ever expressed out of fear that they would be misunderstood? If not a poet wrote, and not a singer sang, how sad and lonely and confusing a world would this be.

And so I've started a blog, an avenue through which I may express my "degrees in idealism"-- ever-changing and yet all united by the belief that they're worth pursuing, worth sorting through, and worth expressing-- my jump back into childhood, with the silly hope that I might have something to say.

We'll see how it goes.