Some days I awaken cruel, with mud-caked eyes, peering out upon a dirty world, and bitterness springs up within, like weeds.
Wishing hard that I were weedless, I fix outward instead, looking to see what weeds there are in the garden of others.
Oh what weeds I can find!, for they are always there, and a fire ignites within, like the sun.
“You are all full of weeds, and you are choking the world!” I can say.
And for a moment I am weedless, dizzy and light.
When I was 14 years old, my mom took us to a church where everyone spoke in tongues, and the pastor made you cry by acting out the crucifixion.
He was up in the front of the room coughing up blood and crying and yelling, “God why have you forsaken me?” Just like Jesus, while he was being murdered with nails.
It gave me an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt especially guilty. I was masturbating all the time, and couldn’t stop.
I didn’t know what to do, so I told on myself, to my mom…
“Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.”
― Joseph Campbell
Attention is what we use to achieve understanding and make meaning.
Without it, life would be a special kind of hell. Our brains would hollow out and waste away.
The ability to focus our attention enables us to string moments together and create the fabric of understanding.
As we learn to focus our attention for greater lengths of time, it unlocks a richer understanding, as if we’ve turned…
We don’t know, and then.
It’s a miracle.
When it happens, we’re in a tight spot.
That’s one of the tricks.
All the stakes get raised whether we like it or not.
Which is to say, we are forced into making a decision.
And there’s no back button.
Whatever you do here is big.
The door’s closing.
Want to become miraculous?
I’ve asked myself this question before. A few times. In seasons where I’ve gone numb. I was in one of those times a couple of years ago. I lived in Nashville, TN. It was 2009.
My whole life was heavy. I could feel all the wasted time, accumulating. Like I was building up my own shadow. It was like a cloud I slung over my shoulders. An oversized straight-blanket.
I was in Nashville to get right with a ghost I found inside. It was always asking dangerous questions. About me, about music, about money. …
“Prove it then. Do it.” I said back.
I was arguing with myself.
Noah says to James, “Go to a coffee shop and ask for 10% off. Order some stuff, it’ll come to around $5, and then just say ‘I would like 10% off please’.”
“Any coffee shop? I can’t imagine a Starbucks would allow me.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because they have…
My blues are white
Plastic tears of feather bone
Eggshell foam of cresting waves
From an ocean that is sea and sky
All my blues are white
Twisting clouds upside-reverse
Confetti echoes in a cotton field
To the godfingers on a glassy globe
If you need to learn something real quick or need a brief overview of a particular subject: knife sharpening, smartphone advice, financial tips, an overview of World War II.
Try this first:
Ask yourself, “Who do I know that has a better grasp on this than me?”
Instead of a Google search engine, try “googling” your friends first.
Use your knowledge and skill gaps as tools for connection. For five minutes, be a student, and make a teacher out of a friend.
Allowing your friends to be experts helps both involved. 1. You’ll get a need met, and 2. Who doesn’t like being the expert?
You’ll both feel good for the interaction. Better for it, even.
Stand up for what you believe!
But don’t always feel you have to.
There may be moments when your beliefs will be called into testing, but putting them on trial is never the point.
Beliefs don’t exist to be defended, or even believed in.
They exist to be experienced, lived, and breathed. To restore dignity, and to increase quality of life.
It’d be a pity to miss their other qualities because you’ve only seen them while they’re under the gun, in a reactive flex of protection.
For you and for your belief’s sake. Relax. Ease the pressure you put them…