Archive

Life

Turn the page.

Something new is waiting for you.

Turn the page.

Text on text on text, letters assembling themselves into words and words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs.

Turn the page.

All of it lines and dots and swishes in a pattern of your language.

Turn the page.

You take in the patterns, you read, and you understand.

Turn the page.

It is your reality, your truth, your way of consuming and understanding the goings on within otherwise meaningless little symbols.

Turn the page.

Someone is telling you something with these symbols.

Turn the page.

With that page someone somewhere is conveying something to you, the reader, the watcher, the listener.

Turn the page.

They may be dead now, that writer, long dead and maybe even forgotten, but dead or alive here they are now speaking to you, conveying the message that they felt worth recording.

Turn the page.

Strokes of a pen, a pencil, the clicks of a keyboard, no matter the medium they took the time to tell you this, to pour out the letters that danced in their head, the very letters you read now.

Turn the page.

This is the contract you enter in turning the page, the contract between the writer and reader.

Turn the page.

Turn the page and you have given yourself, your listening ear your eyes your mind your time and perhaps even your emotions.

Turn the page.

Turn the page and in return they give you a glimpse into their heart, their soul, their reality.

Turn the page.

You may not see the tear stains there, blurring the words you read.

Turn the page.

You may not hear the subtle laugh, the longing sigh, the triumphant shout, but

Turn the page

And you feel them.

Turn the page

And the otherwise meaningless words start to truly mean something to you.

Turn the page

And the tear stains on the page do not have to be there, because now, they are your own.

Turn the page

 

I wish that I owned these walls.

I wish that every time I sat and stared at these blank empty walls I could do something about the ideas that jump around in my head. There’s colors and pictures and words that I could fill these walls with. They’re just so white, so clean, so inviting.

I don’t think you need to be any kind of artist to know the feeling. That overwhelming urge when there’s a blank piece of paper set before you and a writing utensil in your hand. Something should be there, something needs to be there. Doodles, words, scribbling, a magnificent piece of art exploding out of the fog of boredom and spontaneous inspiration.

Look at all of this room for activities!!

And here I am, inactive, staring at the walls that aren’t mine, at the walls whose owners wouldn’t likely take to my reasoning.

They aren’t even the textured kind of walls, the kind that look like someone just hastily splattered paint everywhere, no, they’re flat. They’re blank and flat and cruel.

I like to imagine what it’d be like if the walls and ceiling were all made of white board.

Dear me,

I noticed you’ve been having some hard times lately, so while I was around I thought I would leave you a message. A little pick-me-up, you know? I know that it won’t always help and I know that sometimes it takes a lot but sometimes it’s the little things that help the most.

You’re probably stressing over something. I know you. You do that a lot. Over little things, over big things. Over things you need to do and things you can’t control. I need you to stop drifting off to the past and stop staring off towards the future. Feel the now. Breathe in and feel your lungs expand. Breathe out and feel that breath leave, slowly. Feel your feet and your legs, your stomach, your chest, your neck. Feel your arms and your hands. Your neck, your head, your face. Stretch out move around. Feel the movement from deep down all the way out to your fingers and toes.

You exist. Today. Right now. In this time period of your life, the existence of humans, of life, of the Earth, of the Universe. Of this huge reeling time span stretching billions on billions of years you are alive. Right here. Right now. Whether it was for one specific purpose or complete and utter chaos the stars aligned the elements combined and made you. Infinite combinations of pieces of DNA littered across the world creating and defining infinite kinds of life and they combined just like this in such a way at this very time to make You.

You are alive. Elements floating around in tiny cells all linked together and functioning and living and splitting and dying, unconscious messages and movements and processes, tissues organs organ systems, all of this is working right now to create the life that you hold right this very instant. These same processes and relationships are going on all around you, inside of all of the people you have ever seen, and still there is you, different from anyone that exists or has ever existed or will ever exist. You are the miracle that is life and yet you are so unique that in the billions and billions of people that are and were and will be you stand out as an individual. No one will do exactly what you have done in the way that you have, no one will think in the exact way that you do behave or see or dream in the exact way that you do.

And I know that that makes you feel so small and separate and alone. You see yourself as a speck in a sea of life and ideas and you feel so intimidated and insignificant but you’re not. You compare yourself to the stars and the planets and the infinite expanse that is the universe that is time that is matter and you feel like there is no possible way that you could ever really matter to anything or anyone. The mistake here is that you see yourself as less than all of that, as less than the stars and the galaxies all around you.

In reality that’s you. You are seeing yourself in those distant towering mountains and waving trees. When you look up in the night sky, far away from city lights and noise, when you pick out the millions of twinkling stars in the sky, you’re gazing at a reflection of you. From the tiniest blade of grass to the largest celestial body, they’re made of the very same things you are. Elements, energy, warmth, life. That’s you. You are not a tiny piece of the universe wandering aimlessly, separately. You are the universe. You are a part of something so immense you can’t even fully comprehend it.

You feel it sometimes. I know you do. When your fingers lightly brush the petals of a flower, or you place your palm against the bark of a tree. During those small moments where you just sit and enjoy the warmth of the sun. You feel it there. That oneness. That joy. Even if only briefly. You feel those pieces of yourself in the Earth, you feel those elements of the Earth in you. And in those moments you don’t feel so small. You feel big. You feel excited. You feel a thrill of happiness because you realized what you truly are, you realized what sets you apart.

You are experience. You are seeing and feeling and discovering the universe. You are discovering and experiencing yourself. In the infinite expanse that is existence you were created on this planet, with life, with movement, with the ability to see and to know and to learn. You were given this time to experience yourself on this corner of the universe. Right here. Right now. You are in the universe and the universe is in you, seeing through your eyes, tasting through your tongue, feeling and shaping through your hands.

Sometimes it scares you. How much there is to do and to see and to learn. How little time there is to do it in. You stress and you worry because you fear that you won’t get the chances you seek. You fear that you’ll be stuck and limited in how much you get to experience. Instead of fear, you should turn it into inspiration. You have a drive, you lose it sometimes but I know it is in there. You have an infinite potential too. You downplay it, you doubt yourself, you even talk yourself down, but in the end you can’t deny it. You are a human being you are alive you have the capacity to Go and to Do and to Be. Stop fearing how little time you have you are only wasting it. Use it. Use every little tiny second you’ve got and do every single thing you can to take advantage of it.

In the end just do your best not to get so overwhelmed. It’s okay not to be running and jumping and exploring mountains every minute of the day. Remember that your own mind is infinite as well. Sometimes it’s okay to just lay down, get away from the world, and think. Take your frustrations and your worries and lay them out. Go through them one by one, explain them to yourself, get them out into the world. Recognize that some of them need to be let go. Recognize that others just need to be taken care of to be done with.

The more that you can allow yourself to stop and clear your head the more can enjoy the happier, less stressful things in life. If this means breaking down and crying it out, the sooner the better. Stop holding things in. Stop pushing feelings back. It’s a terrible habit of yours. You pretend to be me and you trick others, even yourself, into believing it. You and I both know, though. In the end a fake smile is much more painful than just letting it out. It doesn’t make you any less than what you are. Your capacity to feel so many things at so many times is just as much a blessing as it is a curse. Sometimes those feelings get tangled and stretched and you can’t help that. No one can. The best way to deal with negative feelings is not the shove them down out of sight, but to flush them out and start clean. Let yourself feel. Let yourself react. Allow yourself to be sad so that you can soon be happy again.

I worry about you. You know I do. I know that sometimes you feel like I’m never around or that I’ve even left. You get so scared that I’ve left that you resort to that habit, to pretending nothing’s wrong to bring me back. I swear to you I haven’t left you, I never will. I will always, always, always come back. You have come such a long way from where you are. You know what it’s like to lose me. You know what it’s like to be trapped in the darkest of places. That’s not you anymore. You’re out, you’re in the light, and I’m here for you.

Love always,

The Happy You

I’ve heard that there are some who refuse to see a loved one after they have passed on. They want the image in their mind to remain that of the person while they were alive and not have it overridden by their death. It’s a concept I wish I had thought of early last summer. I wish I had stopped at the end of that street, turned my bike around, and continued pedaling home. Well, not home, just to my mother’s house.

No, on that day I did go home. For the first time in two years I was riding my bike to the only place that had ever been home for me. I don’t know what brought me there in the end, but I think it was denial. It was stumbling on the listing online and seeing these real estate websites describe it in such unfitting, foreign words. It was seeing the pictures of what it had become and disbelieving that any of it was really true.

Two years prior, when my Dad first made us leave this house, we took only a bag of clothes each. My siblings and I were promised that we would come back for the rest of our things. However, every weekend living at my stepmother’s house brought another excuse and another way of pushing it off. It was our Mom who told us in the end.

“I drove by, there’s a bunch of stuff and a dumpster in the driveway?”

We begged, but he wouldn’t let us go and see, he wouldn’t tell us what was going on. It “wasn’t our business.” It wasn’t long before the magic word was finally revealed: “Foreclosed.” By the time we knew, it was too late. By the time he finally quit the lies and the excuses, everything was gone. Sold or thrown away, we didn’t know. It didn’t matter anymore.

As I stood there staring at the corpse that was once my childhood home, sixteen years’ worth of possessions and memories came crashing down on me. The photos online were generous, they must have been old. On one side the grass had been ripped from the yard, and on the other, weeds and tree saplings had grown into an untamable jungle. The mouth of a front window gaped open in the expression of one who had been brutally betrayed just before death. Through it I could see inside the body of the house, stripped bare and entirely empty.

It is one thing to have to let go of a house and get used to a new one, but this, for me, was different. This home was a symbol. It was the anchor at the end of a rope that I had held onto for the past several years of sailing through otherwise impossible waters. It was the only proof of simpler, happier times. It was the only proof that once upon a time my life, my family, had been whole. Now here I was, having pulled up the rope only to find nothing at the end. This should have been my chance to say goodbye, to shut the door once and for all and move on. Unfortunately though, this door that had been shut for me and taken briskly away.

The weight of everything settled heavily on my shoulders. I could no longer hide from the daily storms that life brought me. I couldn’t fall back on memories and wish that somehow everything would go back to the way it was. This was the undeniable nail in the coffin telling me that those days were up and I could no longer turn to them for my happiness. It was a painful realization, having the door closed and gone. As I got on my bike and began to ride away, however, I also knew that this was my chance to seek out and open new doors. Sure, it still felt like that happiness had been taken from me, but now I had no choice but to go out and make my own.

I had seen the end that had been forced upon me, and it was time for me to finally make a new start.

There is light in those green eyes

With so much time yet to brighten.

They’ve still seen too few years to be called wise.

 

Sometimes it rivals the sunrise

With ambition to move a mountain.

There is light in those green eyes.

 

Other times filled with only tired sighs,

Hopes that have been let down too often.

They’ve still seen to few years to be called wise.

 

Seeing so many hellos, so many goodbyes

Seeking new ends and places to begin.

The light in those green eyes.

 

To some there may be a surprise,

Seeing the scars when they were forced to darken,

They’ve still seen too few years to be called wise.

 

As discouraged as they may have been by lies

There’s still so much to see in this world of men.

There is light in those green eyes.

They’ve still seen too few years to be called wise.

I know that many people find it impossible to be a person of faith and a person of science.
A person of prophets and of professors.
I manage it. How? Because I can say that I know that I know nothing.

I’ve met some who don’t bother with school because “my reward for faith in the next life is all that matters.”
I’ve met some who don’t bother with church because “what I learn in this life is all that matters.”
I bother with both because when I die, I want to know what questions to ask.
I want to know how to go about pulling back the rest of the curtain and knowing how He did it all.
Because I will never be satisfied.
Because I know that no matter how much I read and no matter how much I think I know, I don’t.

Every time I believe I understand the contents of a room a door is opened in the back that I hadn’t even seen before.
A door that leads to other rooms and other hallways filled with other doors.
A new way to understand this Earth.
A new way to understand why we’re on it.
A new way to see everything, and a new way to question it all again and again.

This isn’t the hard part, though, the questioning.
The hard part comes in between philosophy and practicality.

I know that chairs are for sitting on and that if I sit on one, one that is sturdy, it will be solid and it will hold me.
But I also know now that if I were to sit there infinitely that, eventually, the atoms that make up that chair will arrange in such a way, that I will fall through it.
I should fear chairs.
Logically I should fear that at the moment I sit on one it just might be that moment when those atoms are going to let me fall.

Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is sanity.

Apples come from apple trees, the biological purpose of an apple is, like many fruit, to provide nutrition for the seed, give it a way to grow and change and eventually become like its parent.
Apples are placentas.
I know that don’t want to eat a placenta.
But as I bite into an apple I don’t consider what I know comparatively about apples, I remember that I know that they’re healthy and that I’m hungry.

Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit, because I do know things.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t because sometimes it’s nice to eat artificial raspberry candy without knowing that it might have been flavored by beaver gonad secretions.
Sometimes I wish I did because it’s hard to learn a new program when I keep clicking some unknown button that ruins the display.

No matter the case though, neither frustration or cringing can warrant a stop to discovery.

I recognize that knowing things is hard.
The effort to get there and the consequences of arrival; both can bring headaches but both bring progress.

Maybe I’m greedy, because, like a hoarder, I am never satisfied with what I have.
I always want more.
Maybe I’m a philanthropist, because I want to share what I’ve got.
Even if it isn’t much.
Even if it’s a weird fact you didn’t actually want to have on your mind.

There’s a fear in having your mind blown, in glimpsing the depth of your own ignorance.
You can take that fear in a couple different directions, but I often take it in both.
There’s sadness in realizing that, for all of your work and effort, there’s concepts and ideas that you haven’t even scraped at and perhaps never will.
A feeling of inadequacy and small insignificance.
But there’s another feeling.
A feeling of happiness because there is so much room for growth because you understand further just how magnificent and big you really are.

You’re a child of God with a unique spirit and the potential far beyond human understanding, a potential that stretches far beyond this life.
You’re a conglomerate of atoms and materials from countless galaxies and stars that blended together to create the miracle that is life.

Regardless of what anyone does or does not believe I know that we as humans are magnificent and capable of doing and knowing so much.
Good and bad
Big and small.

So.
In the end, what do I know?
I know that layers in Photoshop are essential to using the program.
I know that it took me a long time to master them, and I know that I can still master them further.
I know that there are some things that I probably shouldn’t talk about while people are eating, especially if it’s a raspberry Jolly Rancher. Or an apple. Or an oyster from the Rockies.
I know that I want to be as open minded as I can both about religion and about school, but I know that no one is perfect.

Despite it all, I know that I will never stop exploring.

I will never stop asking.

I know that I know nothing and I know that I know some things.

And I want to know even more.