Recipient of Reticence

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The morning sun rose like a humpbacked cat rising through the thick foliage of torn trees and sloped streets. A man arose as well, as he always had and as he always will. His life has been mundane, monotonous, episodic. The mattress on the floor seems to be the only support in his dormant life. Walls painted with sorrow and sordid quality dresses the atmosphere and toils with the man’s voice. Walls that have an uneven surface; a mirror to the man’s routine. There is little to no furnishing in this small apartment, and about the only noticeable piece is so because of its rotten smell, that of the chair in the corner of the room. The man ruffled his shaggy head of hair and scratched his ribcage, as he arose from the side of the mattress. Air slithered from the overhanging air vent above him and galvanized his senses. But he came back down to Earth with the scorching burn of his abdomen. He looked at the doctor’s business card that is pinned to the wall facing him, and scoffs. It’s been a constant nuisance but there’s been no financial levity in his life to make such an investment. Life trickles down a drowning stream and collapses into a monumental hole that bellows. Demons juristic the man’s subconscious, amd any notion that follows. He stares out the only window in his apartment, that constantly fogs and whistles in the night. Through the window he can see the main road that trails into the downtown plaza, where he can find gullible, vacant minded individuals to pick pocket. In the plaza, theres a center water sprout that superimposes any other financial investment that the small community has put their money towards. He can hear small children playing in the community playground right across from the plaza, and hears the morning song of the birds trickling through. The man dressed himself with his overcoat in his rather empty closet, and some jeans that have seen the worst of times. He walks out the creaky door and down the stairs and out through the front, where he can feel the stinging breeze of the start of Winter and the plastered dew on the knee high grass that dress the yards of the apartment. The plaza to his left, along with the playground, and foreward is the meaningless little road that few drive on. Above his heads the massive trees that are still upright although always seem to be on the verge of tipping over. Osstensibly, there was no auspicious value in notifying a soul, but he was always tempted to do so because of the ominous overganging tree right above his apartment window.

Unraveling a Story

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…That’s the silence, that’s the pondering, that’s the hesitation…there it goes again, you desire the words. The story, the plot, it doesn’t come. You write the first chapter, you feel brilliant, as brilliant as you can be. This the best work. Charles Dickens, Hemingway, and Albert Camus all would be jealous of my prose. But the thing is, they wouldn’t be. You wait a day, then a few days, then all of a sudden you’ve spent the last month working on a mere 5,000 words. You jumble some pretext of why you can’t continue on but really the only one  satisfied by your excuses our yourself. Where’s the sophistication? I must’ve left my tea at home. So the boiling entity that is creativity is befuddled by this thing called reality. The grounded culture that negatively pulls down your thoughts, covering the mass ideas with a curtain of blank stares, and obsolete personality. The curtain that drowns rich blood in the cold winter of the mind and the hot summer swelters behind. It’s the cold mess of mishaps that shred to pieces and the mostly wanted calls of hope that get lost in the mess.  Instead of being the captain of your own ship, the captain of your own soul, your humbled by all this, overwhelmed by all the; but that wouldn’t make sense, and what ifs, and the they wouldn’t like that.

I’m realizing that a good story does not go about being written. Rather it has already been wrote. You must unravel the characters, and stir up the thick clay to find the story that they find themselves drenched in. There is no repercussion for letting the story be found in your mind. It would be a tragedy for it not to be found. With that in mind I’ll let my ideas settle, let the characters speak for themselves, and tell me their stories. For there might be carping but that will be no real matter because this story is the one that should’ve been told from the start. It seems like a conundrum at points, the fact that you can’t continue, but it is whispering to you, it breeds deep within your walls. The story is inside you. Just let it breathe.

P.S. This sort of was a self motivating speech to myself, but I am happy that you guys are here with me. Hope this helped 🙂

The Word About the Big Church

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-OK HERE WE GO-

 

I’ve been attending a big church (Elevation)  for a while now (I believe since Jan.) and I have found great love, great worship, great involvement within church and fellowship come out of it. But what I have also found, are the people on the outside (and a few on the inside, not naming any names) have self perceived their own image out of this church that is morphed in this microcosm bowl of mixed feelings; despise, contempt, and others. You can’t let your own personal grudges boil over into belittling animosity. IT becomes a game of over exaggeration, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation (on both ends). I’ve heard many complaints that have come out of peoples mouth (obviously), connecting a growing church to a cult, or even the sign of the times. I’ve heard complaints about a large church pastor not having the compassion (that’s the vibe I got) to come down to the attendees level, such as; a pastor coming to see a sick person in the hospital, or answering a request to the church. It just so happens I read something from this here Bible and in fact it talks about this, in Acts . In Acts 6:1 it reads:”Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.”

And this seems to be the general consensus in terms of the critics of a large church. The critique is a logical, rational one. I can see where it comes from. And I partially agree with it. My thoughts are in short two fold. First and foremost, also formulated logically (that sounded aggressive, I apologize for that, all love here) a pastor at the head of a growing church does not have the necessary time in a day to please all the needs of every church member. Our Pastor specifically, goes out and involves himself in the things he pushes the church to do, for example, volunteering, spreading love, giving money to the right causes, and having a healthy, growing, ever evolving, relationship with God. He must not only balance these duties with church but also with his family. That is why we have multiple campuses in my opinion. Yes, it is not the main man up on stage, but the campus pastor and all the staff would be more than willing to talk to you about anything going on, and the volunteers, and the attendees. We are all taught to be open arms when it comes to building a person up, and pointing them the right direction. Secondly, I believe that our church is growing in a healthy way. A way that is different yes, but different doesn’t always mean bad. We aren’t just going to a church to watch TV. It is not physically possible, as of right now (unless someone can invent this) to be at multiple locations at once to give a sermon live. And to keep that personal feel of a smaller church but involved in a larger mission, the plan has always been and still is; to leave space for God to grow, that is why the campuses while full, still have empty seats. When a campus fills up they find room, whether it be opening up a new experience time, or a new campus. So to keep these things happening, and things running efficiently is to broadcast from one location to all the others. I believe that our seed is good, it was a mustard seed placed in the rich soil of God’s choosing, and has grown, and is still growing into what it has become today.

In Acts 9:31 it reads: “So, the church throughout all of Judea, Galilee and Samaria was multiplied in number, enjoyed peace, was built up [spiritually] and lived in awe of the Lord and was comforted by the Holy Spirit.” I believe this is the direction we are heading, and I believe that these qualities are rooted in the soil of our growing church. So this post was mostly, well firmly for the purpose of distilling the misinterpretation from real, personal thoughts after attending a big church. Yes, there are some false prophets out there. Just because one dresses differently and speaks a little louder than the others, doesn’t mean he is one of them. There are people you should beware but I mean let’s look at Matthew 3 for a moment: “4: John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5: People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6: And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.” John was a different guy, he stood out but he was a man of God, and spread love his own way. We all have our own gifts, some a little more quirky, some more personal, some extroverted, some introverted, some speakers, preachers, caregivers, some people take people to church, musicians, volunteers, (and many more) but all of us love God, and want to spread His message. All of us love what mankind can do when we band together under Him, with one praise. Let’s not raise a false conspiracy, or false advertise just to self fulfill an inner void, rather fill that void with righteousness, self love, gratitude, humbleness, and a yearning for more. If we try to wrap our heads around interpersonal stuff that is sparked by the  created ideas within it only leads to false criticism. All it leads to is specious voices looming in the background, all the while they could be a part of the body of God, and join hands for a greater good.

 

Growing up in a church culture, I found that all my church experiences were in no way shape or form the written definition of that word. It was no experience, rather it was a by the books message, delivered by a tired preacher waiting for Monday to come, and a uniform crowd of people with lethargic tones, and a band that plays music from the stone age. I am not trying to bash those churches, some of them have good messages and a great body of people growing in Christ. The ones I have experienced though have been riddled with conformity, and a monotone spirit. I wanted to feel revitalized. I was saved, and baptized but I wanted more out of Church and more out of life. That is exactly what I found when I started attending church at Elevation. At first, yes, heck yes I was hesitant, but I didn’t want to hamper the ability for the church to move inside me by influencing a personal bias to conclude a false judgement. I knew a prejudice would be unfair to the ones who invited me to see the church and would be unfair to the church as whole, and to God, because I believe, I had an opportunity here, I was in the midst of my life, at a point where I could grow, and see growth around me rooted in God. A glitch is the sign of a kismet. That was the overall message I got from this church. You see many who walk in the doors, who can look different, maybe would look like an outcast in a typical church but here they are welcomed, and rejoiced, and directed to Jesus. I think all these would only  betoken that this is a church for all. In short, the comments stated about the church critiquing the roots of the message its going for, the thoughts on the pastor, the thoughts on the overall “system,” are not outlandish per se, but reasonable on the surface, but after involving myself in this church I feel I have found a home. I have hindsight, and you know what they say about hindsight.

There is no hidden message here. We are who we are. There is no surreptitious secrets (new word I recently acquired) behind the curtains.

But you can go wherever you feel lead to go.

God bless.

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Victim

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A discriminating sunrise hits the peak of the hills every morning. It hides behind a large tree, with branching limbs.  Now there is a cry in the night and a weary eye the next day. Now there’s a flash of emotion and a lost soul. It’s difficult to say when it will end or when it had begun. The world has diminished the very essence of life to a polarizing tool of destruction. A broken soul is now washed away because they have no comfort in the open. A young mother wakes one morning and drowns in toil, because she can’t feel the presence of the son she had held the day before. A father comes home from a long day at work, and has no idea what is happening. He calls for his son, and has that anticipation in his gut of the image of his face. He laughs and calls out for his son once more. A game of hide and seek, he assumes. Like always. He looks all around the house, through the pantry, around the corner, in the garage, in the laundry room. He’s smirking. “You’ve gotten good boy!” He decides to look in his room up the stairs. His shirt stained with the long work day’s work, and his eye’s wandering like a gracious young man receiving his first kiss, or his first car. The stairs heavy on his legs and back. He’s a young man, married just a year ago. When he sets foot at the top of the stairs, he smelt the perfume of his sweet wife. He heard commotion, and a clangor behind the closed door of his son’s room. He was now worried. He heard tears and felt the fear. He opened the door cautiously. On the floor by the bedside was his wife, the mother of his son, in tears, choking under the weight of the moment. “What’s wrong?” She closes her eyes and points towards the TV screen. The news channel running, he collapsed when he saw it. It was the name of his son, identified as the victim of a terrible destruction. He lay there next to his wife, holding her tightly. Hoping that he will come back. That maybe he will be given back from the heavens, like he is a stolen soul, a hopeful restitution that would never come.

Social media clammers, his son’s phone lays at the head of the bed buzzing. Facetious talk down newsfeed, some sympathy, some cruel tweets, and a revulsion amongst a majority. The father’s ears ring and his throat feels tight. A tear falls onto the bed sheets and slithers onto the newly installed wooden floorboards. The tears feel like a piece of his life escaping him. His arms grow heavy, as does his wife’s. They lay dead, void of life. Any more indication of their boy’s death would be superfluous, because they’ve gone through it all, but the TV, the men and women on the screen continue to discuss. Then in a matter of days, it passes over like a terrible storm. The heart still torn but now another story is out there, but there boy is still that constant missing piece. The deluge of raining fear settles within the household, and the tears now blood. The compatibility now gone between the couple. They gather their things, and burn down the past. The wooden panels crumble and the TV collapses. The screen of flames mask their emotions at the moment. They both feel empty, that is about the only thing they feel they share. The only thing they had taken with them out of that house, was the family gun. The morning was young that day, they stand before the burning house, gripping each other with envy of their past selves. A few tweets are sent out around the friendly neighborhood, and the clouds converge overhead. The man holds the gun to his wife’s forehead, and she tightly shuts her eyes. The slither of sunlight that slithered through the small voids of the clouds, had beat down on the outer coating of the weapon, exuding the morning heat onto the palms of the man. His palms now sweating, and his heart beating through his chest, he obliged with the inevitable evil that was to commence. A pulsing indention when he pulled the trigger and a recoil that turned the man’s wrist back, as his wife’s body propel backward. Birds fly from the foliage in the front yard. He blows out some air and swallows his fear and turns the weapon on himself. The end had come for him as well. His eyes fixated on the barrel of the gun, then he did it. Two dreaded, lost souls shredded to pieces, lay on the uneven pavement. The heart that was thumping through the man’s chest no more, and the tears that fell from the woman’s soul only hidden beneath the surface. It was only expedient now for the aid, the help to come, but they did not come for some time, only the bad weather did. The storm drew it’s sorrow onto the two figures down below. Their skin now wizened in the broken moment. They were buried by their son. Only a few attended their funeral, but many implied they would be there in spirit.

The grass lay still the next morning, as if it had some things to figure out, and the sun now seemed dimmer. The burned house was still as it was. It stuck out like a sore thumb, and the wind passed by it with no worry because life went on, or that’s what they say it does. It was difficult to tell if there was any remorse, any melancholy that was real. It felt real but nature did its turn as it always did, following its own schedule, and washing away any evidence of the past. The flames drew away, and the phone that lay on the head of the bed wash away with it. It now is set on the head of the tomb stone, gravely staring at its owner, waiting to be held, to be in a position of comfort. Dappled stains of blood lay on the curtain of society and everyone attempts to wash it away. Not all the scars are perspicuous, some are hidden. So riots fight, and things continue. Protests take hold of the moment, and take influence by history’s notions, but still it continues. An omnipresent guilt reigns supreme over everyones head, and a ominous eye watches the field of yielding crime. But here comes the sunrise again, and the moon hides behind.

 

The End

We slowly moved closer. Our warmth surrounding us. I thought I was an intruder in their worlds, but I was mistaken. I was welcomed. So we sat and stared out into the horizon. I had reconciled life and performed its duties. I had escaped the masked culture of my mind and could now proudly step into whatever I wandered into. I was quite content with where I was now. I loved it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on where it was going to take me but I think that was the picture I was looking for. I had found compassion in the oddest place. I had found love. The one feeling I had thought too fragile to compassionately hold. It was in my hands now. Her body lay next to mine. Her sister Harley pretends to barf and I laugh. It is done. My life is done. It is whole again. If it was ever even whole in the first place.

 

The roomy air of the library had commenced my emotional reconnection with reality.

 

“So how is it?” I asked

 

The librarian smirked.

 

“It’s wonderful. It’s perfect because it’s yours.”

 

I settled my pencil down on the desk.

Chapter 5 Emanate

So I touch the sun. That is apparent. I voice my appeals and the stars write my story. Remarkable the light. Remarkable the delight it gives me. The frolic clouds below. I can see them with an eery eye. I feel at home in the darkness. I still have a part of me at that island. That island out at sea. The slave that wandered the island was a companion I wish could see this. This view of the world. He seemed to like things like this. I wonder what he is up to now. Maybe I will never know. Maybe the friendship was just in my head. Maybe it was just another appeal in the court of thought. The jury was my eyes and the judge was my heart. I had always walked the road. The road of rhetoric. The rhetoric nature of life. It spoke to me in a soothing manner. An umbrella of thought had always dissipated any motivation to step out into the real world. I had always enjoyed the stories I read. The authors, the writers. I wanted to be a storyteller just like them. The world I could create. The stories I could share. I wanted to be a part of it. I wasn’t sure of where I would start. This is a mystery for which still conquers me today.