Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

You Already Take Me There

You already take me there. 
In the Here and Now.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pressing Through

Psalm 56: 3-4
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God I have put my trust. I SHALL NOT BE AFRAID.

Jude 1: 23-35
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the ONLY GOD OUR SAVIOR, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 34: 10
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Hebrews 12:6
The LORD disciplines those whom He loves, and He scourges every son he receives.

2 Peter 2:9
...then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgement.

Luke 1:73-75
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Proverbs 29:6
An evil man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices.

Psalm 149:3
Let them praise His name with dancing...

Psalm 144: 1
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle...

Romans 8:26
In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words...

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Magicians Nephew -
“Alas," said Aslan, shaking his head. "It will. Things always work according to their nature. She has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want; they do not always like it.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do what you can

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

There is a story often told
the tale of a rabbit and a tortoise slow.

The hare was hurried and scurried and panicked
While the other was slow and took no step for granted.

While the rabbit made progress by leaps and bounds
He often stopped to rest and lost much ground.

The tortoise on the other hand, poky and slow
Never stopped for a breather and kept on the go.

The rabbit would laugh in the tortoise's face
And said, "You'll never get anywhere at that pace!"

But the tortoise wouldn't mind his aching feet
Nor the laughter of the rabbit ahead in the street.

He just kept steadily plodding on
Mumbling a rather soulful song

And though his neighbors laughed and jeered
He kept his gait and persevered.

The rabbit, though fast, never got too far
He became distracted, sidetracked, and tired.

Its true that had he kept up speed
He would have won quite easily

But as it stands he couldn't keep on the go
Unless people were watching, unless he put on a show.

And since there was no one to watch or to cheer
Or folks to impress, or outrun, or to fear

And because he thought himself so far ahead
That rabbit said he would take a nap instead.

As the rabbit was sleeping on the green of the lawn
The tortoise kept plodding from dusk till dawn.

When the rabbit awoke he was shamed to find
That the tortoise surpassed him, that he lost time.

The rabbit took off like a speeding bullet
To catch up with the tortoise but found that he couldn't.

For all of his agility, for all of his speed,
He did not possess the most important thing.

But the tortoise knew just what it took
A thing that ability might overlook.

You may be the very best
But if you often stop to rest
and don't have gumption to persist
Who can tell what you'll have missed.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why Poets Are Crazy: An Analysis of the Artistic Psyche

Overstimulated. Obsessed. Introspective. Reclusive. Moody. Heartfelt. Calloused. Analytical. Impulsive. All of these words can be used to describe the persona of an poet. But why all the drama? What is it about the internal hard-wiring of a poet that makes him so easily affected by the world?

Firstly, a poet feels everything. They are like a nerve that is completely exposed. The slightest movement causes a reaction.The sky is not merely blue. It FEELS blue, or grey, or pink or whatever shade the sky might be at a particular moment. The ocean spray inspires a feeling. Relationships teem with feelings. A poet feels these particular feelings so acutely they are almost tangible. It is as though if they could be felt any deeper they might secrete out of the poets skin, like tears or sweat. In my opinion, this is why some people love to either make themselves cry or work out excessively. 

But many of these feelings are so fine, so thin and delicate, so one of a kind that they cannot hope to be accurately described by the broad brush words such as happiness, sadness, joy, loneliness, etc. Nor can they all be sweated or cried out of the system. Some of these feelings are so beautiful that the poet is scrambling to capture the feeling before it is forgotten. At other times, grotesque or wounding emotions gnaw away at the poets mind. In either case, the poet feels a deep need to get these feelings into something concrete, to get the feeling outside of themselves. If the poet does not, they may feel haunted by it until the feeling itself is replaced by that haunting itself. This feels similar to knowing a song, but not remembering the tune. In other cases, the poet may feel that they will simply explode if they do not somehow release what they are feeling. 

Because the human language is intensely limited, poets have found that by stringing words together, they can capture a rudimentary form of their emotion. Because of the limited nature of human vocabulary, poets have learned that not only the meaning of the words, but the meaning of the words grouped, or the sound of a word (even a made up one), or even the structure of words across a page can help to communicate their feelings more definitively. This is why you will often run across words that are not in existence within a poem, or you may find yourself confused by reading a poem "word for word."

It is not the words themselves, but the feeling and intention behind those words that make it a poem. If one sees a sunset and comments on the color of the sky, that is not a poem. If the same sunset made you feel a particular emotion and you began to write it down, it is a poem. That is why even a child can write a poem, and why many adults cannot. Poetry is another language all to itself. 

But speaking this language has a cost. Only a select few people speak it, and I believe that fewer people understand it. Much of real poetry (and there is precious little of it) is the groanings and utterings of souls that don't understand themselves. Church goers might relate this as a sort of "speaking in tongues." The poet's intense yearning to understand the world around them and to be understood at the deepest level makes them prone to intense moods. One minute their brow is all thunder and clouds, the next, they are laughing at their folly. Then all at once they are sad that no one understands them. Then comes the desperate trying to make the world understand. This can also lead to the callous and jaded nature of the "seasoned" poet. 

Because poets are so prone to feeling, they learn to quickly quell their feelings in order to avoid pain. They learn to reject before they are rejected, to laugh when they wish to cry, to run and hide before anyone can find them. Without stability, something strong to support them, poets deaden like trees or feel the rush and crash of the cruel waterfall of unending emotion. Of course, we know that poets often try romantic love as the bolster of their life, only to have it dashed out from under them. Some turn to endless circular reasoning to ease the pain of their low points. This is why Buddhism and other Eastern religions are so popular among poets.  Others turn to the deadening of the senses through alcohol and drugs so that they are not subject to their feelings. Some use similar methods to feel all the more, thinking that an influx of emotion will feed their inner thirst which they try so hard to quench. 

Whatever their methods for coping, whether they are a tender shoot of grass poking their head up for the first time or a frostbitten old oak tree, every poet must admit to himself that he has been searching for an invariable something. A something that will catch and cure him, pursue and understand him, explain the world and yet leave certain mysteries to be explored. He is driven into a sort of madness by this quest. Those who are scientific minded may think this a cruel psychological game fabricated by man's inner need for more, a sort of spiritual greed. They believe if man could only accept that he is an animal he would be forever content. 

And yet, any poet can tell you that he has almost glimpsed that something more. They saw it peeking behind the stars. They witnessed it in the glimmer of someone's eyes. They felt it in the stillness of dawn. And that tantalizing Something has almost touched them at one point or another. If the poet could be honest, if he could set aside his predactions and prejudices, if he could become comfortable with the uncomfortable, he might come close to peering into the fierce and gentle, untouchable and intimate, magnificent and minute. This is the cure for the poet's madness; an acceptance of that which he cannot understand, a humble yet adventurous spirit, and most importantly to rest inside the Something, dare I say, the Someone who knows what all his poetry means. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

every day

every day is a little battle lost or won.
             the pin pricks you feel are the finer points of victory

or defeat. 

not one chance that slips by is hopeless. 

            but if you should ever come to believe this 

you die. 

every waking moment is an investment in your soul.

          if you should choose to lie down before the dawn 

its lost. 

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