I dreamed myself alive

There are a lot of things I don’t understand. That is obvious.

When people tell stories, or even talk about what they do with their days sometimes they try to justify their lives in conversation.  At least that’s what it feels like.  I don’t think it’s just the people who are so unusual either.  It seems to be some sort of deep seeded insecurity found with almost everyone I meet.  Of course this doesn’t come out of no where.  People are searching for how they should live their own lives.  I know I often recognize things are wrong.  Do more of this, do less of that, do the right thing.  It’s hard trying to do what’s right, and failing, while also continually seeking and hammering out what that even should look like, what that right even is. I’ve made enough complete turnarounds in my life to both give me some sort of great hopefulness and leave me hopeless at the same time.  We could be suffering from the expectations of others, but even that could be rooted in the expectations of ourselves.  How can we be expected not to be self centered when we walk around every day looking from our own eyes onto an ever-passing scene, yet how can we not be ashamed if nothing else then for our own inconsistency.  It’s hard enough to love each other in spurts as we do.  Imagine if our friends could see the full line of our ups and our downs.  Imagine if they could see our hearts, sometimes.  We trick ourselves into thinking we are shallow beings.  Each one of us that flashes by holds within them the depth of life, and what can I even say about that?

I am not an especially skilled person.  I do think I can be imaginative, but when it comes to a tangible creative force I’m lost.  A couple chords on the guitar, a few elementary looking doodles in my notebook, some mediocre food, and I’m spent.  I don’t know any real skilled work and the things I do, do are slow paced.  There’s really not much that I do.  I have plans to change these things, but of course I have had other plans to change these things.  I do suppose I’m good at making plans, if you can call uncompleted plans good. Despite the childhood adage I think fast and steady wins the race, and I am neither.  I’m not complaining, I am trying to be honest.  I want to be honest, though I’ve found myself shockingly dishonest lately.  Maybe not so much dishonest as confused.  There are a lot of things I don’t understand.  That is obvious.  Honesty can bring out reality, and  reality is the only  place  we can really find healing.   Otherwise we pretend until reality  sweeps in, then we suffer.  If  there’s a chance  for goodness in  the  world let’s  honestly reach for it.  If there’s not a chance for it than I would have been gone a long time ago.  Either way my point is more to that I have peace in my inability.  I have met people that are good at things.  I have met great artists.  I have seen great mountains, but that doesn’t make me them.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make anything different.  What  I want you to know is that I am not ashamed of my inability and I don’t feel like less of a person without these things and you shouldn’t either.  I know it’s hard to feel stable a lot of times.  This world makes me feel crazy.  I know it’s not right.  I  know things are messed up and I also know I’m not the one to fix it.  I have these ideas in my head, but there are a lot of things I just don’t understand.  That is obvious.

There’s noise rushing in our minds: people, sounds, entertainment.  Our community was supposed to be different.  We were supposed to be able to speak and to listen, to truly communicate.  What are we now? After the last five simple years what has happened to the ideals and form of our collective body?  When will we be above pettiness?  What of those that have been tossed aside?  We give up so much, and for what?  We are divided and splintered, bitter, cold, and afraid.  Even places which have been refuges for me, seem so full of noise so often, without harmony or depth.  I know it is there if we can call it out.  Each one of us that flashes by holds within them the depth of life, and what can I even say about that?

There have been times, including quite recently, when I get so frustrated with people’s shallow ways it causes my body to want to split into a million pieces. I can be pretty shallow too.  That is obvious.  What I say, what I think, what I do, what I eat, what I wear, where I am.  Sometimes I want none of it.  Sometimes the feeling and even the thought creeps into me that the only right way to exist is to never exist.

We must become like the moon for when we see the moon we see only the sun held in a body, like wine filling the frame of its glass.  It is not the frame but what it holds that brings life.  We know that.  Sometimes we paint a fire on our chest, but when the poor come near for warmth they are met only with death.  May we then speak less and be more.  It is sickening to dwell in ideas of ideals.  I have certainly learned that, if nothing over this past year.  I want to be an instrument of God’s peace but I always seem to tune my strings until they break and I never seem to get notes out.  I have forgotten how to love people and also my self.  I am sorry.  I have been so hard, pushing the hands and neglecting the heart.  I’m sorry friends.  I forgot the people I love.

In Russia, Tolstoy idealized the peasants.  Their simplicity and humility was more valuable to him than even his own learned theory and idealism.  I realized for my own relationships, and life these are the things I need more of.  For now these tricky words I say only serve to make me sicker.  I’m sorry I only speak in metaphor.  If I had something good to give you’d think you could see it in my life!  People always think people who believe differently than they do are being tricked.  I agree.  I think we are being tricked!  I think they are being tricked, and I think we also trickers ourselves, even if we don’t intend to be.  If I could describe God to you I would say God is everything that is not a trick.  Some things are easier said than seen, or said than heard, or said than understood.  Speaking is for understanding, but why speak to people who can’t hear?  How many layers of circumstance must a word go through to reach our ears?  It’s no wonder we can’t seem to hear anything.  It’s hard, pulling the weeds and looking for the fruit.  It’s hard knowing what is real.  More and more I have learned to bang the gong of mystery in the great song of life.  If this brings peace so be it.  I saw a baby pause and stare in wonder as she saw the face of a bear stretched across a pillowcase.  I thought what mystery it must be for her to see a face like that.  I knew she knew, I could see it in her eyes.  Then she surprised me.  She began to laugh and rub her beautiful little face right into the pillow.  May it also be with me!

We don’t need to understand the ground we walk on to stand on it, or so I tell myself.  Humility isn’t the suppression of reality as some people treat it as.  It’s the realization of the reality of how small and passing we actually are.  It’s nothing to be afraid of.  I feel it’s something to celebrate.  Allow it to set you free.  Religious peoples of the past gave away a tenth of things to others as if all things didn’t already belong to God.  We didn’t make the ground we walk on or the air we breath and how can we deserve it or own it.  We are passing.  There was a time I didn’t see meaning and beauty in anything.  These days I see meaning and beauty in the birds and the fields and the nice things, and when I have it most together I can see the beauty reflected in silly things that should probably go like sidewalks and this silly plastic crap I’m typing on.  God is the seeker and we are the sought.  Some people look for God in holy places and other ask God to come and I see this too, but where are we that God is not?  The kingdom of God is here.  There we can let go of both pride and shame, and we’re just left with peace.  Find rest in this life, and take heart.

Do not turn your hearts to theology.  Turn your hearts to God.

Salaam Shalom.

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