Posted in Life

The Moody Writer

Yes, I am the classic moody writer. Spending time with me over a long period, can sometimes feel like a bit of…an emotional roller coaster. Some days the birds and singing, and butterflies are dancing about, and other mornings, “THEY ARE ALL DEAD! ROTTING IN A PILE OF BLOOD AND DESTRUCTION!”

Those that know me best, find my ups and downs….endearing (I think). At least humorous anyway. To make matter worse, I am a verbal processor, so those close to me, have to sit through my long extrapolations on my feelings.

I once told my ministry director that I had lived with for several years, that I was having an existential crisis.

“What is that?” she asked.

“It’s a crisis of existence,” I said.

“Okay, well, you exist,” she said.

I laughed. She had been through enough of those with me, that she knew the cardinal rule of moody artists–this too shall pass.

It’s not that I am bipolar or anything. I’m not. I’ve met bipolar people, and that is very far from what I’m talking about. I’m just….moody.

I think it comes from being a sensitive artist type. To me, life is all about feelings. All the experiences, people, possessions in the world mean nothing, without feeling. For example…why do we have friends? So that we can feel loved. Why do we travel? So that we can feel something different than our everyday lives. Why do we buy things? Because they make us feel better that we have them…more fashionable clothes, new gadgets, new cars…we don’t necessarily need these things. But they make us feel better. Life, is all about all feeling.

For me, I feel more deeply I think, than many people. Or at least I think about these feelings a little more. Every experience I have, is about how I feel about it. Every day I live, is about how I feel about what happened that day, and where my life is, and isn’t, based on that day.  This is a lot to carry around in this head of mine. Believe me. I know.

There are some days I am very happy with the day, or my life. And other days, I’m not so happy about it. It fluctuates depending on what factors transpired, or what is or isn’t happening. Many days I can keep a lid on it. But, sometimes I can’t. And those around me, run for cover.

This is why today, when I walked in to work, my boss eyed me with hesitation. I knew the look instantly. He greeted with with a tentative, “Good morning.” I could tell from his tone, he was testing the waters. Was I going to be a pill this morning, or was I going to be a joy to work with?

I laughed inside my head, before issuing him a chirpy, cheery response. The tension in his face faded, as he surmised that I would, in fact, not bite his head off. At least today anyway.

Over the years, I have traced my moodiness back to a few different factors. Certain things have to be in place. First of all, my writing has to be the center of my life. Anytime my writing can’t be the center of my life…I get weird. There is also small list of creature comforts I have compiled that I have to have in my life. Anytime I start to feel moody, I have found, that for some reason I have compromised myself in the area of those creature comforts. They are small things—like a sufficient, but very unpretentious bank balance. It doesn’t take much to make me happy in that respect. A quiet, private place to think…and to write. And coffee. Lots of coffee. There are a few others but you get the idea. Small things that make life work for you.

As long as those things are all in place, I can be a super friendly, cheery person. Most of the time.

 

 

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Posted in Life

The Shallow

What I shall I write for you today? I ask myself, sitting pensively, pen poised in midair. With not a thought staying long enough to be captured, I pull down books. Big, dusty books of poetry, rich with thought, laden with the timeless words of what it means to live, weighed down by the confines of human frailty.

I pore over verse after verse, and suddenly slam the cover shut. Poetry is meant to pierce the soul. I had forgotten that somehow. Now, faced with centuries old verse and metaphor, the thoughts run too deep tonight. They are too raw. Just below the surface there is a reservoir, begging to break free. And I can’t. I can’t let the wild animals inside run free. Because if I do, I doubt I could ever get them back. And what would we do then? 

So, here we are in the shallow. The shallow is where we belong. We laugh. We smile. We talk about food, and the neighbors, and the sales at Macy’s. Anything but what is real. It is safe here in the shallow. Nothing can get you here tonight. The shallow is where we belong.

Except when it isn’t. What will we do then? 

Posted in God

You, Me and Everything That’s Already Been Said

Here I am again, on bended knee one more time. Here I am again, crouched in some corner–with a pen and pad, bleeding my heart to you. Here  I am again, crying the same tears from yesterday.

I don’t know what else to say, because we’ve been here so many times. I am trying so hard to understand your ways, I’m told they are so much higher than mine. I believe that–most of the time. But at times I still wonder

I wish I had the faith that moves mountains, but I don’t. I wish I had the kind of faith–the kind they teach you from pulpits. You know, those people..

Like the lady that didn’t have grocery money, so she went to the store, and loaded up her buggy, and stood in line. Then  the guy behind her bought all her food, with no clue she had nothing. Or the guy that gave away his rent money to the poor, and then a long forgotten check showed up in his mailbox. You know, that kind of faith, for those kinds of stories. That’s what they teach you in churches.

And sometimes, I think that’s what you are supposed to be. You are supposed to send me random checks in my mailbox, or give me divine appointments. Then, I don’t understand when your hand is more subtle. So subtle that I am not even sure if it’s your hand or mine.

I give you credit, all the same. But, still I feel a little hurt, and I wonder if you love me just a little less than others. And I know that’s silly, because you are…God. You love everyone just the same. So, I push away the doubt, because it’s not good to entertain such thoughts.

But I wish faith looked like that for me. For me, faith looks like Puritan work ethic. Try, try, try, and try again, and eventually, some day, you will probably get what you are after.  I wish I could catch a break here, God. Because it sure is exhausting this way. But we’ve been down this road, no need to traverse it one more time.

So, here I am again, sitting here in the pregnant silence–just you, me and everything that’s already been said.

 

Posted in Writing

The Little Bird

The little bird rode the wind, trapeze somersaults and mesmerizing ten point leaps gliding on the surface, like skaters glide on ice.

But once the gust died down, the little bird was earthbound–a tiny creature, vulnerable, bland, and ordinary. There was nothing left but faded memories, repeat playback tracks of days gone by.

Be free little bird, to once again ride the wind. This dead and dusty earth is not your home. You were meant to own the sky.

 

 

Posted in God

Promises

I hold a heart full of promises. They are lodged so deep I don’t know where they end and I begin. From time to time, I take them out, and admire them, beautiful, shiny, grandiose.

And I don’t doubt your wisdom, I know it all must be in your time. But today I sit here, it’s just you and me, and my hearts bleeds just one word, “When?” When, God, when?

I mean, you said it yourself, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” My heart aches tonight, with the weight of a thousand unfulfilled promises. And I know you’re not supposed to be “slow in keeping your promises,” so it must somehow be something wrong in me that I feel this way. But, it sure seems slow.

There is no lightning rod from heaven, no singing angel appearing at my door. There are no booming voices, sending me to my knees. But, in the silence there is a peace, a calm. It wasn’t really what I wanted. But I guess I’m alright.

A thousand promises I’ve got tucked away in my heart, and I sure you need you to hear me here tonight.

Posted in Life

We Are Surrounded By Gods–Yet We Remain Mortals

Today I was listening to some song. It was a love ballad from the 1990’s that achieved significant success. I like the song. It was a simple, guitar driven piece that rose and fell in in its proper time, and still remains a good solid song.

I started thinking about this song, and how it must have started. It likely began as scrawled lyrics penciled into an ordinary notebook. Then, the artist sat around his house, messing around with a few guitar chords, stop and start not even sure if this one was worth pursuing. Finally, after a number of tries, he realized he had something.

Then, one day, when he decided it was time, he unveiled this song to his bandmates and inner social circle. The song would have hit them as pure magic. And everyone talked about “the new one.”

Then “the new one,” got played in a few small shows–an as of yet unrecorded and unrealized hit. The song gained a cult following, –something only the super cool and initiated knew about.  Until one day, the time came to record an album. The “new one,” along about a dozen old “new ones,” was doctored, and tweaked, until it was finally produced, recorded, and mastered into a slickly marketed CD.

The song exploded onto radio, and then the whole world was singing “the new one,” (with the original cult followers having had their taste soured, were over it, and onto another “new one.”)

The artist made millions off that song, and now it is a veritable classic, relegated to grocery store ambiance, and easy listening Pandora playlists.

I think about that. Here is this song, ever at my disposal, that turned an ordinary man into a god. And the song wasn’t that complex. It was some heartfelt lines of love and devotion, ultimately against some simple guitar chords (with the complement of a full band). Really, anyone with some decent talent and training could have created that song. Yet, it turned him into a god, an immortal, with an entry, albeit small, in the annals of rock history.

I think about that, and how hard I work to make my mark upon the world. Yet, here I am,  here we all are, surrounded on every side by geniuses, and the gods of our time, all at our constant disposal. With the click of a trackpad, or the push of television remote, here are some of the most creative and innovative ideas the human race has concocted.

And we live amongst them day after day. We mindlessly consume them. We discuss them.  We critique them. We admire them. We put them in YouTube montages, and splash them across our desktop wallpaper. And yet, we continue to live our ordinary lives. We continue to wish, and hope for something extraordinary to happen to us, while the gods live at our fingertips.

How is it that we can live, surrounded by gods, and yet still remain mortals?