Sunday, November 26, 2006

I have quite the case of writer's block. So instead of squirming through a mediocre post, I'm just going to put one of my nonfiction essays from this spring up. Hopefully, I'll be able to write something interesting soon.

Product Warning

I needed a break from the stresses of life. I found one. I just wanted to lose myself this evening.
Instead of hitting the bars to drink and let loose, I opted for solitude. Strolling through Judah Park, I smelled earth. The smell of chopped wood and summer heat clinging to the air made me drowsy. Content but lonely.

I’m losing my Christianity. I don’t think this is a bad thing. I’m finding more happiness, more acceptance, more forgiveness in the nameless beliefs I’ve adopted. The virtue of selfishness, denying any preconceived notions in order to appease myself. I decide what I believe.
I lay down on the hard pathway and stared at the stars. Drinking cheap vodka, I stared at the motionless sky. Nothing moved. It was perfect peace. I took in the smell of the fresh soil and though about my past.

The scent of wood chips triggered memories of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the stacks of lumber that eventually formed a house. I thought about the beach of Lake Superior and the bitterly cold, strong waves that toppled over my body. I thought of life fighting the freezing waves and the soft sand that welcomed me where liquid met solid.

I wanted to lose myself in that border today.

Now my faith is as fleeting as the tiny rivulets of water that streamed between the fingers of my closed hands. I can do nothing to stop the escape of my faith.

I tried for a long time to stop it, but it was fruitless. For the two years after you died, I devoted myself wholly to God and to living a moral and upright life. I was met by silence. I felt no stirring of the spirit. I felt no divine presence that comforted me. I felt cheated.

As I lay on the cold, hard ground, I felt some sense of peace. I understand a little better that life is not responsive to human pleas and my piety will have no influence on that. The calm air settled down on me like a blanket, and I closed my eyes. Insects buzzed in the night, and in the distance I could hear traffic. I was alone. I thought about death then—yours, mine, others. I always think about death if I’m left to my own devices. They say a key factor in development is the social condition at age 13-15. That was when death most closely lived with me, and when I was most dedicated to the silent god. I still want answers to the mysteries, but I don’t expect anything. I ask, but silence follows. It’s always silence.

In my daily endeavors, I find human kindness but not divine presence. I find beauty in nature, but I don’t feel any omniscient, benevolent force. I feel the pulse of life—individual life in balance with itself. Peaceful chaos of existence. I think about rebirth. There is too much to live in just one lifetime. I think about people who end their lives. I think it’s a lousy escape, but it’s what is right for some. I hope those people find the right path in the next life. I think about fate and repetition of history. Who we are forms what we will be in the future.

I spent a lot of time dissolving into the silence of Judah Park. The cold, hard ground became comforting as I stared into the pinpoints of light in the sky. I held a conversation with silence.

And I eventually emerged from the peace that had settled around me. I came back to my apartment, which was full of people laughing at inane conversation. They were awkward in their Christianity to me. I heard them laugh and wondered if they knew some secret to hearing divinity. I sat in the same room with them for awhile. I was silent. I was still a little drunk. I wasn’t ready to tell them I hated their faith.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Insomnia...inshomnia

I definitely feel tired, but don't feel like I can fall asleep. Maybe I should go drive around for awhile, since that always makes me feel like passing out. However, 'tis not a healthy thing to sleep behind the wheel. Rather than taking full advantage of this late-night, I've been wasting my time surfing around the internet and organizing my documents. I have a pretty comprehensive shopping list for tomorrow's errands, at least.

I want to complain about work, but I don't really have any other options right now. Believe me, I've looked around. I look around every day. It's times like these when I really dislike living in the middle of nowhere, College Town, USA. Sure, there are a few part-time positions in the area, but nothing that actually requires any of the skills that I learned in college. Basically, the last three years of my life are proving to be of little value right now. Sure, I'm going to earn a more advanced degree (pending acceptance into a program), and I'm not at the terminus of my career preparation path, but it sucks.

To end on a positive note (seeing as how I'm trying to be positive), it's not the end yet. It will get better.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Life Post-Stroller

It's Thursday, which means this week's edition of the Northwest Missourian is out. I've only glanced at one issue since graduating from NW this spring, but for some reason I thought about it this evening.

As many people have learned, I was the Stroller this last spring. There are a few statements I hope impacted the students and faculty, but let's face it: writing an anonymous editorial column every week is just a constant fight against spewing forth pure suckage. So here are some of my favorite clips from this past spring. I haven't read the Stroller since I left, but I hope it's providing something for the school.

"If you want to go to AFTERdark, go to AFTERdark. If you are a Christian, more power to you. If you can’t accept non-Christians, reassess your faith. Why is it so important to make sure others believe the same things you do?"

"Did you know that if you search for the Mods on the Northwest Web site, it turns up only one hit for the actual buildings?
It seems the administration has simply chosen to gloss over the fact that for the past several years they’ve considered that doublewide trailers are suitable for students. Why, they’ve even added awnings outside."

"We live in a society where we talk about freedom of speech and the First Amendment, but most people can’t even tell you all the rights granted to us in the amendment.
Religion, press, petition, assembly and speech. Memorize that. Although we are a nation founded from Puritan ideals, must we continue to base our governmental actions on a strict moral code that denies the rights of many of its own citizens?
Your Man doesn’t think so. Although things might be a little different and alarming at times, the best way to new ideas is new standards. What was once unspeakable is now commonplace, and the censorship of today only denies the progress of tomorrow."

Just a few thoughts I wanted to revisit.