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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Identity

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Polarity can dwell inside. It is easy to be philosophical when life seems to be evolving every second, every minute. Are we the only constant? Or are we stuck where we are set? Can an imperial force overcome a do gooder? Of course because by the force of nature, it only becomes an inevitable force, and then an inevitable entity is born. There’s addiction, peer pressure, ingrained motives, social cliques, and more. You wake up in the morning, and you don’t want to be known as a dull human being, one that stays still, one that is monochromatic, in every sense of your life. So you crumble up all your pieces and put them in a jar, hoping to call it art or something. In reality, it could be art, or it could be only your perception of potential. Maybe there is something more behind the curtain. With the intention of growing, you throw out that jar. What do you have then? What is there then? A plenitude of struggle? A battery on the verge of running out of time? Do you resort to the basic human instinct and look only for the simplistic qualities of life; on the necessary?

The thrill of the moment, and the adventure of the edge. That is a resort for some. There’s an addictive mind that caresses life with a fragile touch. A vulnerable touch. a touch that conquers many to lay still, to recluse the body to a state of solitude no individual should suffer. Do you become the former or the latter? Is there something different? If you throw out that jar? What could you do with this life? Do you stipple with the horizon and call out the sunrise when your hungry for a beautiful picture? Do you laugh with the moon out but whistle when the day comes? There’s despite, enrage, inspiration, treating the youthful rejuvenation of the heart that now beats fast in the rhythmic song of nature. So is there a time of peace? In this time of seclusion? I think that is when you can find inspiration. When creativeness calls home, that is where I can go. It is deeper than what you might think. It is deeper than that abstract painting, and that coiled tree. Henceforth if we want to find it we must go deeper, (it must be noted, some of this what I am speaking of, is inspired by many, most notably that of David Lynch) to find it. So do you run with it? How would you justify the madness that ensues? The extreme culmination of all ideas within. The creative mind bomb that explodes. Justifiably so, you research the answers, you attempt to find sympathy with the others, but the reality is, you can’t. Can you change? Is it black and white? Is it living alone or dying the most noble of ways? Killing a man within to grow a different one. Sure, why not? A rambling can only go so far. And this is that stopping point.

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It’s A Complexity

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A facade. A killjoy. A inevitable sunrise and the absence of light. It’s the call of the heart and the strings attached. It’s conflicted somedays and somedays it’s relaxed. Sometimes the beat falls off its rhythm, sometimes it’s very well tuned. It falls for love but then stumbles over rocky ground. An inducing eye wanders its way, and it feels a courage ensuing but in reality it’s a false hope. A pretentious cloud covers the story, and you find yourself slipping even more drastically. I’ll read to her. Maybe, give her an eloquent monologue on my emotion. The voice within tugs beneath, and you feel grounded. I’ll send a letter, I’ll write a poem. I’ll tell my story. I’ll color the moon with the wonderful vitality of life. That’s all it is to it. So I fly away. I call upon a hero. I grab a cape, and soar to the sky. Plenty of emotion fueling my undertaking, longing to be wanted, to be insightful, to be matured in all things, to be a sagacious figure.

False entities. The stars align and a voice calls back. It responds to my heart and reads a prelude to a manuscript I’ve never heard of. It drowns my knowledge for a moment, as it links its head with mine. An ocean of appeal. It laughs and smiles. It gives me back my knowledge and shouts; “Be your own man.” A twitch on the ear and the shivers down my spine, I smile in delight. I soar back down to Earth. I write my story. A director films it and distributes its meaning through the eyes and ears of millions. Gratitude, isn’t the word. I couldn’t think of anything to appease the moment, so I smiled. I found her under the dark night, sitting on a wooden bench, under a collapsing tree. My eye now can make contact with the one that I yearned for. The disconsolate sun rests its head on the night desk, and I find the same feeling rushing in. She closes her eyes, and the tree gives way. The crushing weight toils over her failing body. Her heart stops. Her eyes let loose and skin turns cold. A light jumped the curb and acted like a new born puppy, wearing an agog brow and a keen insight on what’s to come. The beaming light, foiled through windows, leaving stripes of light painting the street. An impaling force scrambled through the universe that night. I searched for the eyes but they were no more, and my heart no more. I stripped off the cape and said good morning to the sun. My legs felt numb and my fingers curled into a fist, I pounded everything in sight. The sun rose yet again, but now it had seemed I lived in a paradox of my former self. A foil to reality, and a juxtaposed man, hypocritical in every sense of the word, because as he crawls the underbelly of courage, and talks love through his head, he finds no courage, to voice his thoughts. He can no longer force himself to rhapsodize his writings, they are now grounded with reality, but imaginative in what should’ve been. But maybe there is still hope, maybe he says; “there is still a future, in what I make.” But his heart pounds to the critiques and the judgements, the ridicules, are analogous to a stampede of dark eyes, and lost hope. A kindled fire whistles in the wind. Yet, it is too afraid to voice any louder.

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Developed Characters

There’s Pulp Fiction, The Shining, E.T., The Dark Knight, Sunset Boulevard, and many more. The films that I most enjoy, take the time to invest in character development. Whether that be through the script, the actors or actress’s performance, the camera work, the lighting, the tone. Whatever it is, there is a comfort in knowing that your audience is along for the ride. If you don’t spend the necessary time making sure the characters have a presence, then your film can easily tumble. To me a great foundation for a sagacious prompt that benefits towards a functional film, is grounded characters. A couple films employ this virtue and grasp a hold of it. They squeeze the extravagant juices and attempt to squeeze some more. They set their characters as the setting. The characters are the progression. A daunting task for a screenwriter, but when done well, you can see how sufficient character development, can be in progressing a film. Look at a film like 12 Angry Men, or the Hateful Eight. These are character pieces. These are films that are emotionally connecting because of how well the characters are portrayed. Life, can be looked at as a unique ever changing character. The people living in this wandering beast, lean towards their comfort, their tendencies, their diversifying characteristics. If you can harvest this life and delve deep into its pores, then you can start making a good movie. You can motivate an audience to be on the edge of their seats, watching 12 men fire back at one another in a room for a couple of hours. That’s remarkable isn’t it?

The common mantra in modern film making is to think the progression is and only can be moved through action, explosions, bland dialogue, shaky cam, overexposed lighting, light flares (I’m looking at you Michael Bay. I am only addressing the modern Bay, not the old-fashioned gritty one, that we love.). No one will be invested in a close up, dim lighted shot if you have been neglecting that character previously in the film’s exposition or through the proceeding sequences. This seems like an obvious thing, but it can be a tempting overlooked aspect if you let the scope of the task, of making the next big thing, get to you. It’s an artifice of film. A fragile crack in the gold mine. I would love all films to be character pieces. As an introverted individual, I enjoy being in the character’s mind. I understand this cannot be the case because the charm of these films, will eventually diminish, and dwindle into a collapsed artifact. This would be a catastrophe. A sulking tragedy in film. So what I am suggesting, or encouraging is a sense of focus, a sense of awareness to the way one tells a story. The human spirit should be found in your film. Even if its animated. Look at Zootopia, Toy Story. Heck even Cars, I’ll confess has decent characters that one can see vitality fueling them (pun intended.)

Just keep that in mind. I will and always will love films that do and hope to create art like a Spielberg, Tarantino, or even a Zemeckis (Back to the Future, and my favorite Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). Once you have a great character, you can put your artistic touch on them and the frame around them. A film such as Drive displays this. A character we can invest in. A character that is mysterious and unique, so much so that the director chooses so intellectually to follow his ride (again pun intended) so closely with the camera. His heart pounding journey. This sculpure molds in front of our eyes, so easily observable through the lens. The noir that masses the surroundings greatly articulates subconsciously the dreary, mysterious life our guy lives in. I love this stuff man. I love this stuff woman(?). (Didn’t want to come off as sexist. Odd thought? Maybe. This is too long, so I’m going to drop this subject and get out of these parenthesis. Again, another odd thing to say. Hopefully I can wrap this up well.)

Have a good one. (Darn it)