Blogging Everyday in July|Last Day

It’s the last day of the month.  I made it.  This is it.

Today, I wrote a poem for someone wonderful that I haven’t known that long.  Marsha asked me to write a poem for her when I said I was gonna write one for her husband.  I’ve been wanting to write it for a while, but I’ve been so drained.  But today, it finally happened.

Mama Duck
Mama duck
With all her ducks in a row
Always having someone to care for
Because she was made to care

She knows her quiet place
She knows that there, she can find rest
Her empty nest is never an empty nest
Her heart is always full

Healed
Redeemed
As someone who brings healing
As someone who carries freedom

Mother, daughter, sister, friend
Both known and unknown
Safe in the mystery
Comfort in the open places

Holy
Loved
She reflects the Father
As she dwells in his gaze

No need to search for something more
More is already given
Overflowing
Find peace beneath her wings
Home.

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Blogging Everyday in July|A Poem about Someone’s American Dream

I had a friend who really got crushed before I met him.  It seems I tend to meet people in the aftermath.  Maybe because I’m constantly living in the aftermath.
Anyway, he came to mind after he told me his story about losing his American dream that snuck up on him.  He was ready for it, and it suddenly got pulled out from under him, and he’s still reeling in pain, he just hasn’t been able to accept it yet.
But maybe that was a long time ago.  I just felt like today was the time to share this.

Brick house
Picket fence
American dream

Had it all
Crushed in your palm
Can’t find it anymore

In your searching
It won’t be found
Your heart is still drowning

Time to dive into deep waters
Find yourself
Though this all is terrifying

Pull out your heart
Resurrection
What was lost will find you

It is far too easy
To be swallowed by anger
Especially with reason

You can’t just go back
To the way things were
The future lays ahead

Pride destroyed
Soul exposed
Let time heal you

It’s not fair in the moment
But someday you’ll look back
And smile

With your brick house
Picket fence
More than just a dream

Blogging Everyday in July|I Can’t Remember My Agenda Anyway

I keep telling myself  to write.  Right now, pen words, there are things that need to be written.  You promised didn’t you?  You promised the world, you promised yourself.  You keep calling yourself a writer.  But right now, right now I just want to sit.  I just want to be.  Be still.

I can feel my life catching up with my writing, with all the words I have written before.  And I wonder when it will catch up again.  I have a possibly amazing opportunity waiting for me; I knocked on the door and it is opening, I’m just not sure if they will let me in.  But I keep imagining what it would be like if they let me in.  I imagine it so much that I’m not taking the time to prepare my heart to be crushed.  I don’t have the experience or the degree that they are asking for.  I don’t think I am who they are asking for.  But I want to be more than that.  Because I know I can do all that they ask and more.  I’m just afraid.  I’m always afraid.  I live in fear, I swim in fear, I breathe fear.  But trying shouldn’t be scary.  Trying could change things.  If I don’t try, that’s where the real failure is.  And if I’m not chosen, if they shut the door in my face, that’s really okay.  I’m not losing anything anyway, I just didn’t gain what I wanted.  So I’m trying to train myself to be okay with whatever outcome.  Because I’m always okay.  There is always a bigger plan.  Always a better plan.  Always something happening.  Life churns on around me.

This inner dialogue probably isn’t something anyone wants to read.  Maybe I should have skipped today.  I just can’t quite create what has been asked of me to create.  I have beginning lines of everything, and although the beginning is a hook to draw people in, if there’s no substance behind it, it falls flat.  I often feel that I am falling flat.  And I don’t want to fall flat anymore.  I don’t want to be on my face anymore.  I want to fly.  It’s time to use these wings of mine.

Blogging Everyday in July|About Breathing

About breathing, take a breath.

Tonight we talked about breathing.  We talked about fear.  And we talked about courage.  And if you’ve followed me at all, you know that I talk about the air in our lungs, the breaths we take, probably far too much.  I reference breathing and suffocating and drowning in my poetry far too often.  Because when I am stuck in anxiety it’s almost too hard to breathe.  And I like breathing.  I like air.  I like life.
So here’s a couple more little unnamed poems about breathing etc.

Fear, have no fear
Suffocation, you can breathe
Pounding heart, settle
You were made for this

Wings of doves overhead
Promises fulfilled
Home.  Here.
Enhancing the blend

Community
Satisfying cravings
Whole, unbroken
Anxiety reconciled

 

Breathe every breath with intention
Your thoughts fill your lungs
And you can rest here
On your father’s breast

Every moment is not fleeting
Be aware of your reality
It’s not always easy, not always hard
But it is always real

Welcome to emotion
Holding back, letting go
Drowning in vulnerability
You are safe here

Life is not an accident
Live it on purpose
Take a breath of courage
Take a step in bravery

 

Blogging Everyday in July|Celebrity Distractions

Have you heard about all the beef going down between Taylor Swift, Kanye, and Kim Kardashian?  I guess they’re in a fight.  Why do we care?  Because they’re famous.  Because it gives us something to focus on.  Because we don’t want to focus on the conflicts in our own lives.  We need a distraction.  We need a distraction from the hate in politics and deaths in the media.  We need a distraction from the war going on on the other side of the world.  We need a distraction from the war going on on our own soil.

A coworker brought up to me that he thinks celebrities and Hollywood and the tabloids are just a ploy to distract us from political issues.  He compares it to the gladiator battles from Roman times.  Those caught public eye, so they didn’t notice that Rome was collapsing.  And I’m not saying that our government is collapsing.  But I’m not saying that it’s not.  I’m not saying that there aren’t issues there to be addressed.  I’m not trying to point out that our voting decision seems to have become a choice between the lesser of two evils.  It’s just easier to get upset about one celebrity calling out another celebrity than it is to take a stand for our brothers and sisters losing their lives and living in fear because they are of a different race, religion,  or sexual orientation.

Yesterday I felt like listening to Macklemore.  Did you know he had a new album?  I’m not good at following artists or anything like that, so I hadn’t noticed.  But it’s fairly amazing.  Same old fighting words, same old spoken word rap feel, same political lyrics mixed with upbeat funny songs.  Really, it’s worth listening to.  Anyway, the song Light Tunnels is a song that I can’t stop thinking about.  It has to do with going to the Grammy’s and winning their award.  It has to do with the falsity and cravings of the commercial public.  We crave controversy.  It’s a distraction from what is real in the world.  Go listen to it.

Do you remember the Hunger Games, the books and the movies?  The Capital?  I like to think it’s a statement on what the world is becoming.  We like to just watch.  We like to make ourselves crazy and beautiful and beautifully crazy.  We like to have something to distract us from the wars and the hardships.  We like to be sheltered from reality.  Give us something to talk about.  Don’t tell us that another airport was bombed.  Don’t tell us that someone ran a bus through a parade.  Don’t tell us that cops are killing innocent people because of the color of their skin.  Don’t tell us that we’re privileged.  Just tell us that Tswift and Kanye are fighting again.  Tell us that Hiddleswift is real.  Tell us that Miley and Liam got back together.  That’s what we want to hear.  We don’t want to be forced to deal with what is actually real. It’s just a distraction.  And pretty soon, an orange man might be our president.  Snow.

Blogging Everyday in July|Social Media

Do you ever log onto Facebook and see someone’s post about something great that happened that day?  Do you log onto Instagram and see photos from some new and exciting adventure?  Do you see tweets on Twitter from all your friends who appear to be hanging out without you?  Can I let you in a secret?  It’s not real.  Not really.

Yes, great things are happening in your friends’ lives, but that’s not all.  Think about what you post on social media.  You only share what you want people to see.  You of course share the good times, the fun times, the spontaneous jam sessions, and midnight adventures.  How often do  you post the dark times, the lonely times, the times you feel left out?  Exactly.  Because when people are negative on social media, they look annoying and pessimistic, unless they find a way to do it in a funny way.

And I’m not saying any of this to point a finger.  We all do it.  I do it.  Go through my feed and you’ll see photos from my adventures and posts about how great my friends are.  I once had a friend from college say that I only take photos in scenic places.  Which is only true because that’s what I share.  I do my best to make my ordinary surroundings look extraordinary.  I go out of my way to find something beautiful.  I push myself.  And I think for a while it became less about the adventure and more about the photo.

When I lived at the camp in Mammoth, 85% of my photos were taken in the same location, but if you didn’t live there, you’d never know it.  I could walk less than 200 feet and get a completely different vantage point.

I took far too many ski lift photos to show how sporty I am.  Except I rarely skied more than three hours at a time, and I usually went up for less time than that.  But that’s only because I had the luxury to do so.  I want my life to be an adventure, so I did my best to show that I really was adventuring.

In reality, I spent a majority of my time at work, and the rest of my free time drinking, sleeping, or wasting time with the boyf on Netflix.  I’d probably ski once every week or two.

I gave the illusion that I travel a lot.  I’d post photos of Costa Rica or Ireland like it was no big deal.  But those trips were life changing, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to do another one.

A lot of times social media can bring depression.  We feel alone or sad or lost, and people post about how their lives are so great.  You’d never know that those same people have struggles too.  If social media is getting you down, maybe you should unplug for a little while.  I know I’m thinking about it.

Because social media isn’t all negative.  It has a way of building community.  I am able to keep in contact with my friends from literally all over the world.

So we have to take the good with the bad.  Step back, look at what you have.  And maybe, the next time you get annoyed at how great someone’s life appears, think about what you’re sharing.  Because you’re probably comparing their positive with your negative, and that’s never a good idea.

Blogging Everyday in July|Connections, Choices, and Everything in Between

Something I think about a lot, and that I was definitely thinking about yesterday, is how everything is connected, and how if one choice was made differently, than not only would my life be changed, but so would the lives of so many other people.  One of the biggest things that makes me think this is when I get snapchats from one of my friends that I’ve known since I was in high school, who is now very close with my best friend, who I met in college.  She posted one the other day that had friend that I knew in elementary/middle school, and have seen from time to time since then.  And my college bestie was in the snap too.  My mind was suddenly blown at that random connection.

My parents first moved to Bishop in order to go to Church on the Mountain in Crowley Lake, CA.  They attended that church until my brother was small, because it was quite a drive from their house.  They started attending the foursquare church in Bishop, which is the church that I grew up in.  The pastors of that church were an influence in my life from birth.  They both attended Life Pacific College when Pacific was still Bible and the location was still Echo Park, CA.  So I grew up hearing about this school.  And because we attended this church, I attended Old Oak Ranch, a camp I grew up in love with.  Because of loving camp, my first job out of high school was at that camp, which has led me to work at 2 more camps.  That camp also always had reps from Life Pacific, so that was another influence on my college, besides God telling me to go, which happened at a convention that I went to with the youth group from the church I grew up in.  But I only went to the convention because one of my friends who also attended the camp, but was from a different city, was also going to be there and I wanted to see him.

Anyway, I often think about what it would have meant if I had waited to go to college, or if I had chosen a different college, because I often wish I had my degree in English, or literature, or creative writing.  However, although I have always been a writer, I didn’t realize that that was what I wanted to do with my life until I was already in college.  And I may have never figured it out, had I not attended Life Pacific.  Also, it is because of my friend, Aaron, and his Yarning in the Round parties that I realized my love for story, especially other people’s stories.  That was where I realized how much hearing other people’s stories can build community.  If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met Aaron.

Another person who I never would have met, or who would have never met me, is my best friend Michelle, had I never attended Life.  If I had chosen a different school, I never would have met my best friend.
If I had moved to Portland when I graduated from college, I probably never would have moved to Mammoth.  Had I never moved home to Mammoth, Michelle would never have been compelled to visit me, thus, she would have never moved to Mammoth and found her happiness and home there.
Also, if I hadn’t moved to Mammoth or started working at The Station, I never would have done the School of Supernatural Ministry, which would have meant that I never would have seen a blind woman healed in Costa Rica, nor would I have met Ray Hughes, so I never would have gone to Ireland.  If I hadn’t gone to Ireland, I never would have moved to Alabama, and I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.

If I had chosen to move to Alabama right when I got back from Ireland, I never would have made a lot of choices that I made leading up to my move.  But my brother probably wouldn’t have gotten his first house as quickly as he did.  However, if I had stayed longer, my brother wouldn’t be constantly looking for a roommate, and I probably wouldn’t have moved into a 2 bedroom apartment because there probably would have been a one bedroom available somewhere.

If I hadn’t started working for the resort, I wouldn’t have the confidence that I can find a job no matter where I move, because there are hotels everywhere.  But if I hadn’t worked for the resort, I wouldn’t be convinced that I like working in hospitality, which I have learned that in the South, I don’t, because I am not Southern, and Southern Hospitality is a whole different game.  However, if I hadn’t gotten the job at the hotel, I wouldn’t have known about another opportunity for a very fun job, which I interviewed for, and am really hoping that I get.
I also never would have met two of my favorite people in Alabama outside of my Ireland pals, had I taken a job somewhere else.

I could go on and on about connections and choices.  Because they blow my mind a lot.  If even one thing in my life had been different, I fully believe that nearly everything in my life would be different.  And maybe that’s a conversation for another day.  So I’m both miserable and happy.  I am thankful for my choices because of their connections.  And I’m disappointed, because choices sometimes bring hardship.  But life is a journey, and it’s a learning experience.  It’s nice to see how far I’ve come.  And it’s nice to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned.  There’s no point in dwelling on how things could have been different, because really, do I want them to be different, or do I just like to have something to complain about?