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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

surprise...

I was up before the sun this morning with a friend. We were enjoying some early morning coffee together. I had my French Vanilla brew, he was sipping the strong black blend. The coffee shop was laced with Christmas decor and the music in the background was softly playing 80's music...the best music by the by.

We found ourselves talking about the desires of a woman's heart and how terrible we are at being husbands to our wives at times. It's true, we do need a kick in the pants sometimes when it comes to speaking things into our wives and drawing things out of them. We are deer caught in the headlights of oncoming traffic most days...we know we should move but somehow feel paralyzed in the moment.

But we talked a little about the desires of the man's heart today. Something, strangely enough, that I don't talk about with many men. I know my shortcomings. I'm intimately acquainted with my inadaquacies as a husband. I think upon and about those things all the time. I can spell out my top five behavioral foibles. But to discuss my desires as a man and a husband...I'm not so versed and certainly not so polished in my articulation of those matters.

But as we talked about our needs and our values and our longings, one word surfaced that made alot of sense to me. Surprise. I so much need the element of surprise in my life. In my marriage. In my job. In my relationships. In my bedroom. In my preaching. In my vacation. In my Bible study. In my fathering. In my sonship. In my heart.

At the core, I love adventure. I love suspence. I love not knowing what's coming next. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love discovery. I love getting my socks knocked off. I loved being caught of gaurd. I love feeling scared about the unknown. I love feeling excited.

Let's just camp out on the word excitement for a second. I think a man needs to feel excitement, something to excite his heart in the midst of monotony. I know that men get tarred and feathered for this insatiable desire, and I would admit there is an abuse of it in the male economy. But to miss this inate desire, is to miss the man in my humble opinion. When you try to get man to submit to things like security and stability asking him to set aside his "need for speed" and his "tornado chasing nature", you slowly boil his soul. Men want to test their capacity to think under pressure. They want to be taken to places that require something of them that they are wondering about themselves. They want something to happen during the day that rocks the boat of commonplace and defies the odds of conventional thinking. They are drawn to the unorthodox. They are looking for peculiarities and rarities to surface and knock them over. They want their jobs to invite them to step up and excite them to no end. They want their homes to be anything but routine and rote responsibilities dutifully carried out and completed. They want their wives to surprise them with a rarely heard word, an infrequently felt touch or an out-or-the-ordinary glance. I would even go so far as to say that men don't primarily want sex like everyone accuses them, they want surprise. I remember hearing that man have affairs less for sex and more for adventure. The element of surprise is the first thing to go in most marriage relationships and I feel it is the death blow to the male heart.

I love this about my wife. There are sometimes I am just caught off guard with something she says or does. I will be expecting one thing and she will offer something different. Something different. That's what men want...not a different partner in marriage, but a different kind of marriage. And when the marriage gets bland and banal, men confuse this "desire for different" with bailing out and starting over with someone else or something else. What really needs to happen is that men need to change their mode of operation in their present reality. And their wives(if they have wives) need to acknowledge this inborn desire a man has for things like surprise, adventure, newness and "changing things up a bit". I love it when my wife initiates change. I love it when she steps off the beaten path and moves to the mystery. I love it when she shocks me with an idea. I love it when she wants me to push off the shore to explore unchartered territory. I love it when she applauds my wanderlust. I love it when she takes pride in my inability to settle for less than something "exciting". I love it when she surprises me with a whisper in my ear or a touch that tells me something is asir in her bloodstream. I find myself thinking, "You mean, you...you...you....oh boy...this is exciting!" I love smelling a different fragrance in the house of a new food she's cooking. I love it when she greets me in the morning with zestful joy and optimism...it snaps me out of my robotic tendencies and calls me to action on that particular day.

I know that I'm carrying on some, but I feel this today. If a women desires to be "Captivating" then a man desires to be "Surprised". I've always thought a man wants to feel Strong...but if there is no surprise...then there is no need for strength. I wonder how different marriages would be if women would work harder at creating surprise and men would work harder at creating security. But the woman, because she longs for security, wants to give that to the man and that in many ways kills him and she has no idea why. And the man, because he longs for surprise, wants to give that to the woman and that in many ways kills her and he has no idea why. I'm not saying men don't want security and women don't want surprise, but I do see a difference in the desire for each of these in the sexes.

I guess today I wanted to try to think about my desire for surprise rather than my depravity as a man to do anything good. I spend so much time rehearsing my disabilities that sometimes I forget about what I'm actually looking for, aching for, striving for. I love surprise and I'm wondering out loud if this isn't the ache of a good many men out there. Don't hate me because I'm looking for missing pieces to this puzzle of life. Please.

Monday, November 20, 2006

refreshers/defreshers

I wrote this hypothetical piece to stir up a spirit of refreshment in the body of Christ:

How do you influence the environments you find yourself in? What impact are you making on those around you? What "attitude aroma" permeates the air when you come onto the scene? Are you an energy-taker or an energy giver? Do you drain people and pain people when you press into their lives? Are you a source of encouragement or discouragement to those you know you best and love you most? Do you breathe life or death into relationships? Are you characterized as a sponge or a fountain? Do you repel people or attract people?....The real question is...Do you care? None of these questions mean anything to the apathetic heart.

Defreshers:
These are the ones who spread the fragrance of self wherever they go. They talk about themselves often and spread strife and negativism. They have answers for everything and everyone. They offer little encouragement and need gobs of attention. They vacuum up every morsel of energy they can and leave when they've used you and abused you. They don't listen and rarely hear. They are preoccupied with their business and could care less about anything outside the realm of their needs and wants. They come to get, never to give. They are alive to leach and to teach, not to learn and listen. They have trouble with their attention span and get bored easily. They never say thank you, even if someone bends over backwards to minister to their needs. They don't take advice or suggestions, they never ask for other's wisdom. They propogate rumors and broadcast other people's dirty laundry. They can't stand silence so they fill the air with loud, thoughtless, crude, rude, lude, shrewd comments in attempts to divert attention from their shallow immaturity. They shirk depth in conversations and gravitate to talking about humorous and irrelevant details rather than personal issues of the heart. They hardly ever build up, but are eager to tear down. They find themselves jealous when someone else succeeds, but are quick to remind people of their success. They are always one-up on every story or experience you share. They live in denial of their deviant and deceitful tendencies and ignore the advice of others to grow in their areas of weakness. IN ONE WORD...THEY'RE SELFISH!

Refreshers:
These are the people who often times are taken for granted but are missed deeply when they are missing. They smile often and laugh hard. They love it when you share things with them that made your day and glory in your successes. They share openly about their weaknesses and always ask your opinion when faced with a dilemna. They respond with a nodding head and a soft answer. They appreciate the slightest charity and feel wierd getting credit for their contributions. They are sheepish to be recognized and sluggish to step out for praise and admiration. They have a quite power about them almost like they know something you don't about life. They carry with them a level of moral authority, without demanding it, because of their quite character and consistent conduct. They openly admit failure and frustrations and never claim to have a corner on the truth. They accept criticism with teachable respect and encourage suggestions if someone may have a better way of doing something. They listen far more than they talk and they pick you up when you feel weak and weary. They seek to understand rather than to be understood. They are always asking questions and listening with rivoted attention to your answers. They don't cut you off when you're sharing and they probe deeper if they feel you desire to share your heart. The long to give rather than recieve and offer themselves selflessly and sacrificially to whatever cause is neediest at the moment. They resist applause and popularity fearing it may distort motivations and pollute purposes. They don't wear out their welcome and are discretionate about when to talk and how much. They don't interrupt you when you're occupied in another converstaion and they don't blame you if you can't drop everything for their every whimsical want. They don't hold grudges and are quick to forgive grievances. They promote positive thinking and don't dwell on the pessimistic side of things. They change the atmosphere that they touch and don't find comfort in blending into the existing scenery. They live out their dreams of what the conversation or situation could be rather than settling for what is status quo and culturally expected. They are full of hugs, hand shakes and high fives. They kill people with kindness and live out of the overflow of their Spirit-filled heart. They long to leave a place better than they found it. They are priceless and precious...they are above all loved by all who know them. IN ONE WORD...THEY ARE GODISH!

So what kind of individual do you see yourself representing most...the defresher who dries up the already parched soil of relationships, or the refresher eager to pour the water of life on everyone you come into contact with?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

memory lane...

Another day off. A time to rest my mind and body. A time to hopefully refresh this heart of mine. Some Sportscenter, some play with the kids, some junk food, some house cleaning, some phone calls to friends, a hot bath, a nap, a venison tender loin for lunch, an hour in a good book, a date night with my wife, and some good ole’ contemplation to think upon whatever pops into my head.

Sabbath is what the Bible calls it. I call it shut down or standby. I need it lately.

I wanted to think about some memories from my past that randomly pop into my head…here’s what chased me down…

I remember spilling a gallon of milk on the kitchen floor when I was a kid.
I remember locking my babysitter out of the house.
I remember chewing tobacco when I was 8 and throwing up at my neighbor’s house…I never did that again.
I remember kissing all the girls in my kindergarten class every morning before school. I would line them up and give them each a smooch.
I remember eating my neighbor’s dog food out of the dish on their porch…until they caught me one afternoon.
I remember collecting chestnuts in a grocery cart each year and sorting them into piles like gold.
I remember catching old diseased salmon down by the lake with grappling hooks and then pushing the eggs out of the females and selling them to the bait shop.
I remember picking worms with my whole family out in our neighborhood at night. I had a miner’s hat, so I could pick with two hands.
I remember falling out of my bunk bed.
I remember pooping in my snowsuit when I was 10 because I couldn’t make it home in time to go to the bathroom.
I remember throwing a snowball at a car and breaking the back light…and then running for my life.
I remember playing little league up at Brietbeck Park and packing Big League Chew in my mouth like a Major Leaguer.
I remember getting my bike stolen from the part that I just bought with my own “worm picking” money.
I remember getting caught for stealing fake gold jewelry from Jamesway. I had a stash of loot under my porch.
I remember singing around the piano with my family and then reading books together.
I remember cutting down a Christmas tree on my Aunt’s property in the Catskill Mountains and then driving it home on top of our van.
I remember listening to “Silver Bells” while we were decorating the tree each year when I was little.
I remember picking apples for cider when I was 10 years old and getting paid $9.10 by 12 bushel bin. I could pick two an hour sometimes.
I remember watching WWF wrestling through my best friend’s porch window because we weren’t allowed to go inside.
I remember taking piano lessons at Mrs. Hally’s mansion up on top of the hill of Van Buren St. It scared the life out of me every time I open the iron gate and walked up to what I thought was a haunted house.
I remember waking up early and leaving for Disney Land in the middle of a blizzard.
I remember meeting my great grandmother, Leta, before she passed away.
I remember peeing down the register in my upstairs bedroom because I didn’t want to walk all the way to the bathroom.
I remember punching a girl who wanted to kiss me in the back of the bus and giving her a black eye.
I remember collecting baseball cards with my best friend, Art, and spending unending hours sorting and pricing them.
I remember getting deathly sick when I ate inordinate amounts of Bing Cherries at a nearby fruit farm.
I remember walking in the woods and looking for treasure and thinking I found some one time.
I remember climbing trees after school until it got dark and then running home for my mom’s home cooked dinners.
I remember sleeping with my dog out in his dog house in the winter.
I remember jumping off the side of the barn and dunking the basketball.
I remember hitting a dog on my bike and flying over the handle bars. I slid down the pavement on my lower back scraping it down to the bone.
I remember having a Mazda lot car and driving it around my yard for hours until the body fell off the frame.
I remember eating blue berries down near the swamp and then eating wild concord grapes that would grow in the hedge between the apple trees.
I remember watching the deer through our bedroom window digging up the snow under the apple tree to get to the apples underneath.
I remember ice skating out back on the little pond in the woods down in the Ash tree grove.
I remember waking up in the morning to 12 inches of freshly fallen snow covering the branches of all the trees and finding out school was cancelled.
I remember making snow forts after dad made huge piles with the snow blower.
I remember playing snow football with my brothers and sisters and tackling each other so hard that it would knock our breath out of us.
I remember listening to Steve Green in our bedrooms and thinking he rocked.
I remember watching fire works each July 4th that were launched from the break wall out next to the lighthouse.
I remember dad taking us to watch fast pitch softball under the lights over by Fort Ontario.
I remember diving off the high dive at the public swimming pool for the first time. It hurt.
I remember flexing my muscles at the pool for the girls to see and drool over.
I remember crying at weddings when girls I had crushes on got married.
I remember talking with my dad in the woods about sex…unreal.
I remember watching my dad referee basketball games and get ripped to shreds by the crowd that I was sitting in the midst of.
I remember mom making the best spaghetti in the entire world and then making apple pies that were to die for.
I remember not hitting puberty until I was like 15…I still to this day have a locker room phobia.
I remember the first time I heard how babies were born…I just shook my head in disbelief.
I remember watching the Wizard of Oz with my family each year and being deathly afraid of the monkeys.
I remember not having a television when I was little and asking our neighbors if we could come over to their house to watch Yankees baseball.
I remember my dad listening to Syracuse Basketball on AM radio late into the night.
I remember when I ran into my dad with a hard plastic sled on Fallbrook Mountain…tears came to his eyes.
I remember sleeping out in a cabin with my friend after we went squirrel hunting. I froze to death.
I remember drawing pictures while the pastor was preaching.
I remember the after church birthday celebrations after the Sunday evening services.
I remember my grandpa making us Chinese stars when they were illegal and taking us out to throw them at the side of the shed. It felt scandalous.
I remember hating going to bed when the sun was still shining outside. I just laid there looking out the window.
I remember the first time I was scared of war when Libya was giving us a hard time. Mom showed me how big they were compared to us and with that, I laid my head down and went to bed.
I remember stealing cookie dough out of the bowl in the kitchen when mom wasn’t looking.
I remember eating meals together as a family and laughing our heads off.
I remember mom always chiming in about some bible passage that showed us how we should talk, think, and behave. We called her a “sermon in shoes”.
I remember my dad playing circus with all us kids on family night and making merry-go-round music while he flipped us around.
I remember having church in our house when it got cancelled due to snow. Dad set up chairs in rows and spoke from a make-shift pulpit.
I remember sitting in the dentist chair and looking out the window over the Oswego River.
I remember catching baby pike down at “the slips” and putting them into my friend’s aquarium and watching them eat feeder guppies.
I remember the feeling of sitting at home with nothing to do.
I remember raising homing pigeons in the shed out back and when I finally let them out, one out of the ten actually came back. Stupid homing pigeons.
I remember going down to Bev’s Ice Cream for youth group and skipping rocks on the glassy evening Lake Ontario.
I remember asking Jesus into my heart when I was five kneeling at the couch.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there for now. Sometimes it’s therapeutic to rehearse the stories of old. They are salve to a restless soul. And that’s what I feel my soul has been as of late, restless & aimless.

Sometimes the best way to move into the unknown of your future is to revisit the certainties of your past. They have a way of shining light into the darkness of the present. A trip down memory lane is never a waste of time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm on iTunes...

I was browsing the iTunes site this morning as I do nearly every Tuesday morning when new releases come out and completely by surprise I saw my name tucked in a featured song section on the opening page. Down where the featured Christian music is on the opening page, the song Psalm 29 was featured...I didn't even know it was on there yet.

So I gues I'm saying that if you want to buy the album or just one song, you can do that now on iTunes. I just wanted to share a little bit of my joy this morning. Surprises are so cool.

Spread the Word...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

a long night...

It's early Sunday morning, very early. I slept so little last night I'm not aware of one half an hour I did not look at the clock wondering if the night would ever end. I was overwhelmed with thoughts billowing in my brain making my stomach tight and my body hot with anxiety.

Alot of it stems from the rollercoaster week I experienced emotionally, but some of it relates to the Sat night service and my inability to think straight. It's been some time since I felt so powerless to control my faculties. As I was speaking, there were times when my mind would blank out and I was left suspended in thought, not knowing how I started a paragraph and, thus, how to finish it. When my mind was functioning, my mouth was clumsy. I would stumble over words and repeat phrases over and over as I wrestled for clarity. This happened earlier this week with Heidi when we were talking through some turbulence. I just went mute. I wanted to say something, I just couldn't get my mouth to move. It was like one of those nightmeres where you are running from a villian and your legs sluggish and heavy. Last night felt like a nightmere to me.

I felt so bad when the night came to a close...I spoke too long and said too little. I left huge gaps in logic, made too many detours from the storyline. I feel like I let God down so badly. People came to hear from God and, instead, got to hear from me...broken and babbling me. I don't know if there's a worse feeling in the world than attempting to speak for God and feeling like you were a broken vessel, a broken record. Over a hundred people sat there and just watched as I crashed and burned...at least that's what it felt like. I pressed on to the end, but there were times when I almost stopped myself mid-sentence to acknowledge the incoherency of my speaking. I wanted to just close the night in prayer and let the people go home, but something inside was wondering if the haze would clear and I would find my voice. I felt a couple shafts of light break through the clouds toward the end...but it felt too late to recover.

I've felt lost a good portion of the week...a restless wanderer. I lost my place in the story somewhere along the line and I'm trying to locate it once again. My confidence is leaking out, my vision is shriveling, my joy has had the wind knocked out of it...and her I am, on Sunday morning, gearing up for two more services in the darker side of the the dawn.

I wonder if I'll tread water this morning. I wonder if God will come through. I wonder if I'll whiteout in my message. I wonder if the message burning in my heart will get a chance to make it into the open. I wonder if my insecurity will disable yet again.

I know this isn't a blog that most pastor's would write. Maybe they don't want to scare the sheep. Maybe they don't want people to see their foibles. Whatever holds them back, I'm too scared this morning to hold this inside. I want today to be different. I don't want to step in front of the people with nothing to say. I need God to fill my heart with His Words and His validation. I want to feel His strength surging through my otherwise bankrupt spirit. I want to sense Him moving my lips with His message.

But if it is His will that I am stopped dead in my tracks and brought to a place where I have no choice but to acknowledge my nothingness without Him, then so be it. Maybe these experiences are purposeful to give me a taste of being on my own and the absolute laughingstock I am without the permeating presence of the Life-giver. He gives life, I don't, I can't.

Bring Redemption this morning...restore what the locusts have eaten.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dancing with my Daughter #2...

continued...

The patent leather shined with light
Reflecting from above
And as my daughter grabbed her coat
I felt a gentle shove.

She looked at me with widened eyes
And said to me, “Come on.”
She grabbed my hand and held on tight
As we walked through the lawn.

I opened up the door for her,
She climbed into the seat,
I could see her spinning mind,
This night would be a treat.

On our way we talked and laughed
As we looked toward the dance,
She kept on looking in the mirror
To give her dress a glance.

She asked me if I liked her hair
Done up with pins and spray,
I told her that it made me scared
Of future wedding days.

She laughed and said she couldn’t wait
To wear a wedding dress
I told her not to think of that
Whole frightening scene just yet.

Just then we pulled into the lot
Where dads where parking cars,
Filled with girls dressed up like queens
Shining like the stars.

Arm in arm we walked the street
That led us to the door
Which opened to another world,
No girl could ask for more.

We got in line to register
and then the cameras flashed,
we smiled and hugged each other tight
then headed to the bash.

The room was dark, the music soft,
The tabled filled with treats,
The DJ stood behind a booth
And played with sounds and beats.

Hardly anyone was there
We happened to be early,
I wondered what I was to do,
It felt a little squirrelly.

But as the minutes passed us by
The room was filling fast
With handsome dads and little girls
Ready for a blast.

Kami asked if we could dance,
And I was good to go,
The song was sung by Rascal Flatts,
How could I say no.

She grabbed my hand and then my side
We swayed with grace and ease,
I was tall and she was short
So I gladly bent my knees.

As the dance floor filled with dads
And daughters at their side
I felt her boldness raise a bit,
A lightness in her stride.

She spun and twirled to see her dress
Flare out and catch the air,
The disco ball was spinning slow
Sparkles where everywhere.

It almost seemed like time stood still
as we embraced and danced
And you could tell her little heart
Was made to be romanced.

I leaned toward her and whispered soft
Into her little ear,
“I love you, babe, you’re beautiful.”
It’s what she loves to hear.

She kissed my cheek and looked around
Taking in the scene,
With sights and sounds that melt the heart
Giving sight to dreams.

The faster songs brought out a side
Of her I love to see,
The inhibition of a child
Foot loose and fancy free.

My sweat was dripping off my nose
As we jumped up and down,
Sometimes we were so into it
I stepped onto her gown.

We both would laugh and carry on
The time was flying by,
She didn’t want to rest a bit,
My legs were going to die.

The night was coming to a close
They played the final song,
“Butterfly Kisses” filled the room,
The atmosphere was strong.

I felt a hand start tugging me
Out toward the filling floor,
My princess looked up at my face
With eyes I just adore.

As we walked out on the floor
And found our special place,
She wanted me to pick her up
And give her an embrace.

My shoulder was her pillowed rest
Her arms wrapped ‘round my neck,
And as I soaked this moment in
I gave her cheek a peck.

I tilted back my sweating head,
And tears began to flow,
How any dad could miss the night
I’ll never, ever know?

I thought of all the time gone by
And also yet to come,
And as the tears dripped off my chin,
My soul became undone.

I did not want this night to end,
I’ve never felt such joy.
While Kami Rose was growing up
I became a boy.

A boy that got a second chance
To get out on the floor
Unhindered by the thought of what
I’d ever done before.

I owe so much to Kamryn,
The firstborn of my soul,
This dance was just the tip of what
You’ve done to make me whole.

As I look back on that night
And memories unfurl,
I won’t forget the time I shared
With my beloved girl.

I love you, Kami.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dancing with my Daughter...

The night was set, a royal ball
announced to every girl
in second grade the call goes out
throughout the halls of school.

"Bring your dad!" the poster says
"and dress with greatest care,
wear the finest gown you have,
and decorate your hair."

So as the day drew ever near
my daughter's eyes grew wide
I saw a sparkle in her face
a lightness in her stride.

Finally the day had come
and love was in the air,
My daughters squeel filled every room
her joy was everywhere.

Her dress was radiant and white
her hair put up in curls,
her legs were covered with her tights,
her neck was laced with pearls.

I walked toward her and leaned to kiss
her little princess face,
She looked at me with happy eyes
and leaned toward my embrace.

She asked me if I couldn't wait
to dance with her that night,
I told her that I'd thought all day
of what it would be like.

She told me that this night was all
that she could think about,
All day long inside her school
she wanted to get out.

I found my suit and matching tie
and dressed to look my best,
I wanted this to be a night
that we would not forget.

We had a meal in candle light
with goblets filled with juice,
And as we ate this filling meal
she buckled up her shoes.

(I will continue this tomorrow...this was an awesome night...)

atmosphere...a note to the band

a note to my band...

I'm sitting here in the coffee shop sipping my morning necter and listening to the rumblings of those around me. Music softly playing in the background, a stiff breeze hitting the face every time someone opens the door. Art hung on the walls speaking beauty and design into the room...it's one of my most favorite atmospheres.

Atmosphere is huge. You can't say enough about its importance. Creating environments is the call off any leader...whether they be worship or otherwise. There has to be an intentional purpose to set a tone, create a feel, to set a mood. I know when I've been in a place the cares about ambiance...I instantly feel warm and welcomed. Barriers come down and the threatening tenticles of awkwardness and unfamiliarity start to loosen and fall to the ground. Everyone walks into a "place" and instantly feels something. It could be cold, inviting, distant, personal, disconnected, stale, vibrant, full, empty, overwhelming, relaxing, frightening, freeing, real, conjured, repelling, attractive, deep, shallow, colorful, bland, modern, old-fashioned, relevant, ridiculous, monotone, over-the-top, gracious, rigid, leniant, stringent, friendly, abrasive, dim, bright, loud, quiet, artistic, banal, beautiful, ugly, unpredictable, same-ole-same-ole, heavy, funny, engaging, unnervong, etc. All these things flood into a person's soul immediately making impressions that either soften or harden the inner man.

We can't overlook the atmosphere we are creating in worship. We just can't. We have to thinking about creating an experience for others to participate in that draws them into an adventurous journey with God. The music we choose, the way we play it, the looks on our faces when we play our instruments or lift our voices, the look of the stage, the placement of people, everything down the most infintesimal details matter. I can't encourage you enough to come into the weekends filled up and ready to "create an atmostphere" for God to move and people to be moved in. This is a collective agreement that must be embraced by the whole of the band in order for a natural freedom to fill the room and then the heart.

If it's not happening in the room, it rarely will happen in the heart.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I feel this so much right now...

The Wellspring…

It’s silly really to write down
The stuff inside my head,
One second I’m on top of it
The next I’m all but dead.

I want to keep it to myself
And yet I want to share,
To lock it up and toss the key
Pretend it isn’t there.

Most don’t mind to hear the stuff
That makes them feel at home,
But any time I vent the junk
I’m swiftly left alone.

The looks I get, the puzzled words,
Or no response at all,
Leaves my heart to question why
so few will catch my fall.

It’s like they want me to be real
As long as real means nice,
But when I show the darker side
It’s like I’m rolling dice.

The crapshoot of my honesty
Will either draw or kill,
What makes the one uncomfortable
Makes the other thrilled.

I look about for someone else
That has the heart to write,
The things that hide inside the day,
yet surface in the night.

I wonder if another soul
Is spending time tonight,
Penning random wonderings
Beside the candlelight.

I find more peace in nights like this
Than almost any other,
Wrestling to stay alive
Instead of under cover.

“Make up your mind, you stupid boy!”
This phrase keeps bugging me,
I’m thirty-one, for goodness sake
What could my problem be?

But here’s the thing that most don’t get
About the life I live,
The time it takes to bind my heart
Is time I gladly give.

I love to sit and let my soul
Come up for air and breathe,
Telling me what matters most
That’s buried underneath.

The questions that emerge from it
Have never led to death,
Even if they make me gasp,
They always give me breath.

They don’t depress my heart a bit
In fact, they resurrect
Desires that are going numb
When cause has no effect.

There seems to be a lot at stake
As it relates to living.
The days are short to change a life
And time is not forgiving.

Tomorrow is another day
But that’s no guarantee
That I will purpose to redeem
The life in front of me.

That is why I have to think
About these things tonight,
For I must greet the dawn prepared
To brandish sword and fight.

I can’t expect to just show up
And let my instincts guide,
They have a way of leaving me
And running off to hide.

Passion today is nothing more
Than yesterdays resolve,
A choice that’s made in secrecy
That in the night evolves.

Growing thick within the breast
And setting it ablaze,
Burning up the apathy
And clearing up the haze.

Even if the thoughts I share
Make me look absurd,
They keep me from becoming one
Who’s seen and never heard.

Seen as one who rarely aches
With feelings of confusion,
Looked upon as something great
Becoming an illusion.

But that is just the thing I am
Afraid I will become,
A figment of the carnal mind,
A fabricated bum.

A fantasy that just pretends
To fill a public need,
Never letting people see
The things that make me bleed.

Illusions satisfy at first
But over time they die,
That always happens when we trade
Authentic for a lie.

So even if at times I make
A person double take,
I’d rather have them see the truth,
Than get to know a fake.

Above all else, I will guard my heart
Even if I find
This wellspring of my very life
Makes me lose my mind.