Thank You for Coming.

Lord, why can’t I let you fill the emptiness in me?  There are so many times that I just feel so downcast and anxious about my actual position with regards to You.  I wish that I could have been the Christian that I wanted to be, but I guess that’s also within Your will – trying on my own just seemed to complicate things.  You showed me joy and happiness and I felt free, but I was shackled when You tested my heart with struggles and shortcomings.  Perhaps I’m finally learning to seek sufficiency not in others, but in You.  It’s a lesson that I’ve needed to learn since high school, and You know that.  Sometimes, I think maybe I deceive myself as a last-dtich effort to fully turn over my life to You.  I think that I try too many times to apply the “if you tell a lie enough times, it becomes truth” idea to my walk, and it hurts that my human perception of devotion is so intertwined with deception.  I don’t understand – and I’m not sure I want to understand – why I feel like I’ve grown so much in my faith, yet am stumbling over the same problem I had before.  It’s like an uneven growth in my Christian life, and it just so happened that this fault in the ground that I stood upon was what ended up shaking my beliefs.  I don’t know what to do, where to go, and who to turn to anymore.  I just need You to reveal Yourself in me because I have no one else to really rely upon.  I fail other people, and I feel like other people are always so burdened by my issues.  At the end of the day, only You are sufficient and my all and in all; I need You to set a fire down in my soul again so that I can burn for You and only You, and not be obstructed by the things and thoughts of this world.

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Storyteller.

A shattered hope of vision come,

Ridiculed by others who were numb.

Hopeless romantic, a label they gave

when it was a lifestyle that he tried to save.

His own story telling, an end he sad came,

walking with hope but ending up lame.

And so the flame flickered, a fast dying resolve;

perhaps a new time came and he had to evolve.

A mirror reflecting on the past scenes,

wistful thoughts on past fulfilled dreams.

And yet none of these tales were of his own

but through the lives of others was his skill honed.

Sinking feelings, desperation

of the quicksand of mere narration

began gripping the soul of the poet.

A clawing despair lived out, but show it

he did not, for too much was at stake.

On his shoulders he bore friends awake

though the strength they saw he failed to see;

Lord, he turned this story to Thee.

Then, when dark night shrouded two,

the words he sought did now ring true.

And the embers buried beneath the ashes

did this story strike with fluttered eyelashes.

A marred moon rose, from yellow to white

as the life once hazy was again made light.

The reflection twisted upon the sea’s surface

as he listened and pondered his life’s purpose.

The story now finished, renewed hope in love;

hopeless romanticism granted from above.

But now, he saw from a new perspective

that his life’s purpose was defective.

He lived to tell the stories of his loved

and the ones that the beloved did love.

His own tale was one of telling

instead of in sadness dwelling.

Like the Legend of the Phoenix.

Like the legend of the phoenix,

All ends with beginnings,

Gambling with high stakes

hoping for some winnings.

But the phoenix fire rages;

A flame licks out of control.

And slowly fire burning

Scorching with its vitriol.

Self inflicted burn marks

now to erase from thinking,

a slow and murky process

to try and avoid sinking.

From ashes past I now rise,

not waiting for an answer.

I’ve striped myself with lashes

and life had become blander.

A fire borne from sadness,

Tears of smoldering magma

come streaming down in fullness

steals breath like worst miasma.

A cry resounds from ashes

a gift that keeps on giving

for in those sinking embers

is a lover of the living.

The fire is rekindled,

the life within is regained

a newly formed creation;

none of the old has remained.

Remember to Smile.

Being cheerful is a blessing that may come and go.  But when you’re cheerful, it’s always important to cherish it because it is something that is capable of changing the countenance of every person it touches.  Life becomes so much more vivid when the heart is uplifted; the sun shines brighter, smiles are more genuine, and the overall outlook on life becomes much more positive.  The moon becomes full and no dark side is visible on it, and the oceans swell with overwhelming peace that floods the heart.  Birds sing songs composed for you that are comprised of the sweetest melodies and harmonies unheard of prior.  Imagination engulfs reality, becoming intertwined in a divine melange of life’s full ecstasy.  Joie de vivre – a phrase I so rarely use though I wish it were otherwise – is lived out when one is cheerful.  A hopeless romantic’s tale is told no longer as a fairy tale, but it becomes an autobiography.

Smiling is a singular action that can be performed to break the surface of the lake of cheerfulness.  It may not feel right if you is not inherently happy at the time, but somehow by putting on the mask of a smile, it forces you to consider the positives in life.  Smiling sad smiles seems similar to silent sounds in that both are in opposition to one another, oxymorons of sorts, but in reality, life’s oxymorons are the greatest kind.  Smiling is infectious, and why not spread the joy?  At some point of time, we cannot but helplessly fall in love with life again.  Life is so irresistibly charming, with its winsome smiling sun and its winking stars.  It’s often difficult to hold onto any sadness or disappointment you’ve had in life when you understand that, indeed, life goes on.

And so, you go through life with a smile on your face and no one is the wiser; after all, why change the world around you when it’s all in your head?

Bury Me.

Sitting here, with heart heavy as lead

Forgetting all of the verses I’ve read.

Uncomfortable with the very chair I sit in

Uncomfortable within God’s own presence.

His light burns bright within my soul

Boring into me a fast growing hole.

Fleeting thoughts of fury fast flutter

about the concealed deeds of another.

Why had he not told me straight

what he did behind the closed gate?

I thought I made it clear to all

that I showed every place I might fall.

Yet this transparency, it seems,

is only truly achieved in dreams

where men all think and do as I.

Oh, how I scorn my own pride!

Yet, of my own, nothing can I do

to try and become wholly true.

Self-hate soon blossoms, a thorny rose

Turning sweet poetry into dry prose.

A slower pace of life, a weight upon my heart

a constant taste in my mouth that seems so tart.

What is art, but a means for me to flaunt

my ego and my “skill” in showing what I want?

Kill me, O God, bury my sense of self!

Put all my past memories on a bookshelf.

I hate what is within me,

I cannot let it go.

Yet what is found so simply

I cannot seem to know.

How desperate a mess I’m in

Surrounded by my vile sin,

not seeing a clear way out

barely room within to give a shout.

So now I ask, oh God above

fill me with Your own pure love.

This heart of mine is filled with defect

and only Your life can fully resurrect

the will to live again.

And so I ask, bury me now

That I might not live out “Holier than thou”

and learn to love again.

I’ve Said Enough.

What a dramatic title. A bit overly dramatic for the relatively uninteresting topic I am about to make commentary on.  That relatively uninteresting topic I am about to make commentary on is the fact that I’ve had conflicting feelings on the lengths of my blog posts. Perhaps it is because I recently went through (and added tags to) all of my old, longer, more labyrinthine posts filled with convoluted thoughts and tormented emotions.  Whatever the reason, the average length of my blog posts seemed to have gotten shorter and shorter as time goes on.  Why was this?  Was I getting lazier?  Had I simply run out of words to say, and could no longer generate ideas on demand?

I put these fears behind me once I considered the medium that I was conveying my thoughts through.  Had I been attempting to write a novel of my life’s experience, blog posts would nary be enough, but for the purpose that they serve as outlets of my ponderings for the day, blog posts serve well enough.  I considered the possibility that I came to this conclusion as a way of justifying myself in my lack of loquacity, but I immediately shrugged it off as the beginning of a very nebulous and frustrating path of thought.  And so, I plod along in this blog, unsure of the myriad things that may be lacking in my writing, but hopefully coming to terms and being at peace with the way that I develop as a writer.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
            Latest read.

I picked this book up at the UCen Bookstore at UCSB a while back, but never really got around to willing myself to read it all the way through.  Given the inordinate amount of time I had on the Amtrak today, however, I used three hours’ worth of time to read the book cover to cover.  Having been exposed to a little bit of the culture from Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, it wasn’t as shocking of a read as it might’ve been had I not been adequately prepared for the times.  It’s a pretty interesting read of the David Kammerer murder event told by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, each of whom are characters within the book (Mike Ryko and Will Dennison).  The main takeaway that I had from the book was the power of image, and how each of the characters was really consumed with the image they were presenting, going from the costumes they donned to the places they were seen at – all of these affected their image.  Definitely a very quick read, but it was well worth the time, in my opinion, for a glimpse into the culture of Kerouac and Burroughs and Ginsberg.

Night’s Light.

Idealism in and of itself isn’t harmful.  It can push idealists to pursue paths that people grounded in their cynicism aren’t even capable of conceiving.  At the same time, however, it remains to be seen that an individual who lives out his idealism has ever truly attained the full potential of it.  Thoughts of invisible substance can only be fulfilled by actions of equally limitless bounds, and as human beings who are constrained by various pressures in life, such as societal norms and expectations, there’s simply no way for us to meet those infinitely stretching standards.

And it is that very limit that is so frustrating.  It’s the mistake of trying to live out my idealism mixed with the fact that the world’s reality is simply not my own.  That idealism has worked out well with the realism of my academic major, providing me with refreshingly strange concepts that seem to please my professors.  As for all other aspects of life, I seem to be continually disappointed by what I construct within the realm of this world’s reality.  The timeline that I work with is entirely off in comparison with that of this world’s – I seem to be moving in a hazy, slower state that requires close attention to detail in order to see the manifestation of what my own reality is.  This unfortunate circumstance causes inordinate amounts of stumbling in my own journey of discovering who I am; what I think I know or am, I am not, and what I don’t think is going on in my life is actually happening before my eyes.

At night, it’s up in the air what could possibly be running through my mind.  Maybe all of the convoluted thoughts that are passing through my mind are merely figments of an exhausted, exasperated imagination.  But somehow, it’s in these dark hours that the most genuine light shines forth.  There’s only one thing that I can really glean from my reflections at this hour, and it’s that I guess in this realist world, there’s just no more space for idealism.

Escalating Descent.

A decent descent into an attempt,

a heart’s lament into life exempt.

Innocence, in a sense, credit to my cousin

is a kind of thing that “can” when all else is just “doesn’t.”

The wild winds of justice twisted

Saw a chance to fly, but missed it.

The mind distorted, heart escorted

Adamant and brash, the romance snorted.

Scoffs at thoughts of love ne’er lost,

It held the sorrow and out the window tossed.

What thoughts through my mind can I venture to explore

when I only see the doorknob to a sealed off door?

Unlock my soul and shackles rend

before my head and neck should bend.

I bow to no man who in flesh reigns

Doing what he says and cleaning up his drains.

My thoughts alone propel me forth

May sixth be always before the court.

A justice seeking, none it finds

Only shudders shuttering behind the blinds.

Marred visage, I envisage another

Pray tell, what lies have stumbled my brother?

The flow unruly, unkempt, and wept

Swept beneath the rug he stepped

On when he cried out in agony’s voice.

Oh, what a mistake, what a terrible choice!

Meditations on life he continually wrote

until the savagery within he smote.

Not by rote, but by experience alone

Not knowing what to shun and what to condone.

Sleep overcomes every kind of pain

but in sleeping, one sacrifices possible gain.

So prick me rose, and blood you shall see

Til it springs forth enough to receive.

Take it away, the pain for the pleasure

until the two are equal in abounding measure.

Sacred treasure, the sweetness of a rose’s scent

is countered by a slow, escalating de-scent

of thorns behind morns, as the child mourns

forlorn the sad story of how fury scorns.

Forced Growth.

This is going to  be a short post, but from now on, I am going to try to add a book per month (week if possible) that I enjoyed and maybe writing a short summation of my thoughts on it.  This is to motivate me to keep reading – a late addition to my New Year’s Resolution (which I have not broken yet! :D).  If I’m going to be successful…I’m going to need to buckle down and do my time in reading!