For Auld Lang Syne

Before addressing what will be the meat of my year’s end blog, I want to briefly rant that a previously unfinished blog, with a word count of 1200+ has been lost to the innumerable corners of the internet. Following the discovery and my failed attempts to recover the piece, I began fuming over the loss, consciously feeling my brain start down an all too familiar path.

Per one of my goals for the next year, however, I stopped myself and entered a brief period of meditation. The meditation’s purpose is to calm myself in moments of mental crisis and talking myself out of them. Crazily, I hold actual conversations with myself, questioning whether or not this irritation or anger is a good thing or will it help me in anyway? Most often I find myself saying “no, it will not.”

Okay, onward and upward, right? It’s time for my reader’s digest version of 2013, much of what I honestly have no recollection. It’s as if I entered a drug filled haze of marijuana and booze for much of it, though I only say that because I recall very few specific moments of it. Consequently, from 2013 I will address what I consider themost pertinent and briefly touch on my approach to 2014.

2013 in a nutshell 

My quantifiable achievements are few, as my shortsighted self observes. Pounds were shed, overall physical fitness was improved upon, the requirements for an associate’s degree in arts and an associate’s degree in science were completed, and my general disposition towards life has improved. Likely there was more for which I ought to be very thankful, but right off the top of my noggin’, nothing comes to mind. I could list to you the very negative things, but that’s something I really want to avoid doing, having made too strong a pattern of it.

Improved Physicality

Cutting into my consciousness, a friend spoke the words, “I can hardly recognize you,” after observing a not-so-old photo of me. Very aware that I my midriff had thickened considerably the previous few years, I was still crushed to hear a beloved friend say such a thing. The salt in the wound was my finding a photo of myself working out with my bare torso glistening for the world to see.  The homoerotic desire to travel back in time to seduce myself was momentary; the stark awareness that I had allowed myself to fall into such a poor state of health was more lasting.

Not wanting to wait for the New Year to make the change, I began moving my body more regularly in December of 2012. A couple times a week gave way to a higher frequency of workouts. With repeated soreness and cramp inducing efforts, I gradually found the strength to run, with increasing duration. I shift my efforts from strict cardio to weight training and cardio. My clothing loosened, musculature became more apparent, and I began to turn myself on again. There are measurable changes, but I haven’t really paid attention to them. Instead, I’ve evaluated my progress by how I felt in clothing, and, eventually, out of clothing. Already a fan of being naked as often as I can manage, it became pleasant to see less jiggling in the areas no one appreciates jiggling.  

Most pleasing, however, is the improvements in physical capability. From the word “go,” I could barely run for 30 seconds before doubling over. I’ve gone from running to less than a 1/10 of a mile to 5+ miles. At last count, I was able to perform 50 pushups nonstop, initially struggling with a mere 10. Mentioning to a friend, it’s the ability to do more that pushes me to keep at it. Granted, I enjoy looking better, but, when the time comes, I want to haul that backpack and my own arse over the mountainside when the time comes. Heaven forbid, if a zombie breakout ushers in the end of mankind, I’d like, at the very least, to not be one of the first to fall prey to the hordes of brain-devouring undead.

Schooling

By now, many people, myself included, thought I’d have been a murse for a couple years. Unfortunately, such was not that path laid out for me by the powers that be, and I find myself only recently having finished my final class at Jackson Community College.  It’s bittersweet to finally be done, though it’s more sweet than bitter, depending on the mood. The bitterness dulls with time and distance.

As it stands, announcements will be made in the coming months. I’ve thrown my name in the hats of a couple different universities and I await the final word one of them.  Course of study is still undecided, no longer sure nursing is the life for me, but I plan to utilize my ability to craft messages, write papers, and my penchant for communicating in what career I eventually embrace. Others might not be as thrilled with my ability as a wordsmith, but it’s clear many have been. I seek to explore this aptitude further in the hopes of….well, I’ll come back to this in a minute or more.

It has been said, “he who is a master of words, is a master of men.” This is a quote I take to heart, though not out of any desire to claim the one ring and exert my will over the hearts of all living things dwelling upon middle Earth. I want to influence others to do better. I want others to read things that will dance upon the cockles of their hearts. I want others to come to know me from my words, and from my words, come to embrace the world with arms wide open.

Looking ahead to 2014

The year ahead has many things in store: continued work for Starr Commonwealth, an eventual transfer to a new school, opportunities to connect through disconnection*, an improved state of mind, progression of the relationship with my Special Lady Friend, and much more. Wanting to expanding further on each, I’ll hold off for now. Keeping this to a bare minimum sounds prudent, since this is as much for myself as it is others, and I feel like I’m boring myself with my rambling.

Keep your eye on the horizon from further word, or don’t. I’ll write when I can, though I hope it’s more frequent that I put thoughts to form. If for no other reason, I hope I find the will to write for my own reflection, to help collect my thoughts and have a record of things. My memory isn’t the best in recent years, being too often lost in places contrived to shield myself from certain painful realities. 

The Waxbitch

My girlfriend looks down,
as I lift up the gown.
Her eyes and mouth agape,
hardly believing I manscape.

With my rear in the air,
at my hands I do stare.
Highly dreading the rip,
of the cooling wax on the strip.

Body shaking from fear,
I know the pain draws near.
Breathe she tells me,
you’ll soon be hair-free!

Choices Feared

Another year gone,
no closer to knowing what,
or where I travel.

Failure filled life,
good intentions gone awry.
doubt lined future.

Too afraid to act.
uncertainty my ally,
anchoring my growth.

Is she the right choice,
can she mend a broken mind?
Help me know my path?

Will she wait for me?
It seems unfair to ask;
share my spirit’s hell.

Rekindling

Months have passed,
my hands have forgotten their purpose.
My Brow furrows,
trying desperately to remember.

Perhaps too long,
nary a spark of imagination.
My very will,
my purest desire struggles in searching.

My gaze lifts,
jealous of the productivity abound.
Eyes watching others,
jealously wondering what they’re accomplishing.

Left to right,
I see eyes consume words of a hand worn book.
The pupils dilate,
in what might be excitement known only to them.

A palette drops,
noise startling all but the artist.
Stretching her back,
her eyes assess her hands’ labor.

The musician continues,
fingers strumming with practiced comfort.
His voice reaches,
song gently touching the ears of all present.

All minds calmed,
save for my own restless mind.
Exercising my consciousness,
mining the depths for precious jewels of creativity.

An ember grows,
a smile appears in sought after contentment.
Joining the din,
the tapping of keys answer the gentle fervor of fingers at work.

Tapping translates to letters,
the letters begin forming words.
Hiatus coming to an end,
the words begin to accumulate…

…filling in page after page after page…

Lost and Found: Inspiration

Inspiration ignored is but a wisp of a memory.
Though the pleasant emotion remains like a depressed shadow,
close your eyes and remember.
Remember the taste of a favorite candy,
the aroma of a place and time long gone,
the voice of a relative having moved on.
Reach for lost inspiration.
Sensation so vivid, a moment lost.

When it chooses, inspiration makes a grand entrance.
Opening the doors unannounced,
making itself comfortable,
giving our creativity cause to dance,
challenging us to grow.
It is the force behind rediscovered writing devices.
It dares us to stretch a new canvas over a wood frame,
pick up a cold instrument and strike a tune.
The heart swells and mind becomes restless.

Fickle at best, inspiration leaves us as hurriedly,
sooner still if the welcome cold and uninviting.
Desiring a comfortable seat, it begs to be entertained.
Offer all that is required.
Read and write, write and read.
Draw, erase, and draw more.
Fear not the splatters and smudges of paints.
Embrace the mistakes,
learn and forge ahead.
Pause only to consider what direction your actions should take.

Melancholy Imagination

This isn’t really happening.
Eyes not daring to leave the corner of the street,
I wait for the school bus to bring them to me.
Waiting to hear the faint sound of the motor,
the familiar sound of brakes sighing,
dying to see the red stop sign reach out to protect the children as they exit the bus.
My heart constricts in familiar anticipation,
dying to see their bright, shining faces.
That won’t happen, not today.

What purpose did this serve?
Only a monster could have done this.
A monster takes their life with a finger twitch.
Steal from them their hopes and dreams;
remove from me my hopes and dreams.
Never again to see them at play,
to hold them when they hurt.
Never know what sort of adult they would become,
nor know what sort of parents they’d become.
Never to cry with their child,
or to wipe the tears from their face.

Name your price, oh Lord!
The now empty home, I’d give up.
Everything I have is yours to give away,
just give them back, please.
Take my home, my career, and even my own life.
All of the time I have left alive, I offer.
Take me, oh Lord. Take me and give back to them.

Our home a mausoleum,
filled with cold relics and memories.
Empty of it’s greatest treasure.
No laughter to be heard.
No voices to echo through the cold halls.
Dust gathered on forgotten belongings.
Toys no longer in use.
A puppy sick without a center to it’s universe.
Arms that ache to feel the warm pressure of a hug.
Dry shoulders longing to feel the moist sting of tears.
A room empty, but full of pain;
a reflection of my heart.

“…disrespecting my spiritual beliefs…”

Okay, this isn’t so much a concrete exercise in putting thoughts to paper as it is to put on display an example of something that has recently become more of an issue. That issue, to which I’m referring, is an off and on again debate with people who happen to be atheists. Not that I find anything wrong with atheism at all. My faith does not require that anyone else believes as I do, and in many cases, I’ve preferred the company of non-believers over the years. It really boils down to a matter of politeness and non-judgmental attitude. 

Anyway, this post is a copy and pasting of a brief interaction between a (subjectively) good friend and I. He does have the capacity to be a great friend, but as I distance myself from my formerly antagonistic and judgmental mindset, he appears to have embraced it more fully. Maybe it’s not that he has really embraced it, but he definitely has begun to pick the wrong battles and shown a certain obnoxious quality.

Anyway, read on. This is but one example of many of discussions we’ve had over the years. Yes, I’ll not show the name, but for there are some closer friends that may be able to guess the name of this person. Yes, in this case he doesn’t chime in as often as usual, but it’s the most recent I have. If you think any of my words rude or inappropriate, then so be it. Without further ado:

*My Initial Post*
I have enough questions regarding God’s actions (or lack thereof), so don’t expect me to be able to answer your questions reserved for him.
*Their Response*
You really think some imaginary figurehead had anything to do with it? It was the actions of a whacko with a gun, that’s all.
*Me*
Umm….Yeah. That I know.
*Me* 
Why do you feel compelled to enlighten anyone on the folly of their thinking? It was more annoying than pertinent. Also, read my post again. Did I blame anyone for anything?
*Me* 
Why is it so important that people accept your perceived truth? Why must I accept it? Do I cram it (my truth) down throats? I’ve said before that if I could stop having faith, I would. It would much easier to live without it. I am no more proud or happy that I have faith than I am for being white or hazel eyed. I just am. Lastly on the topic, if my resolute faith doesn’t appease you, move and ignore me.
*Me*
I value diversity in friendships, even your unique brand, but, more often than not, you’re just plain rude.
*Me*
Also, even if I was on the cusp of abandoning my “imaginary figurehead,” I wouldn’t turn to atheism based on your asinine example.
I posted another commented directed at this person’s example, and the example of others with whom I have dealt similarly over the years.
*Me*
As much as Christianity makes me want to eschew religion, recent atheist interactions make me want to embrace religion with open arms.
The reply I received:
*Their Response*
good luck with that, hide your head even deeper in that cloud and continue to blame things on the boogie-man.
This has gone on for years. Different words, not always questions, but dialogue bordering on rude harassment. Some of you (my Facebook friends reading this) will likely know of whom I speak and also have no doubt that I speak accurately of this person. This is also reflective of more recent interactions between others and I concerning my faith or their non-faith. 
I don’t care if you have faith or don’t have it. All I ask is that we be excellent to each other, and display respect for another, not that we do either because the other deserves it, but because we are worthy of such. If you want someone to value you enough to learn from you, then live in an admirable way. Condemnation of one’s lifestyle isn’t going to earn you any admirers of the condemned lifestyle, that’s for certain. By not respecting a person, you’re only going to put distance between yourself and them. 
[Edit] I took the time to omit certain statements that would otherwise give the person away, and I collected everything into an easier to read paragraph format. Originally posted via a social media platform, I didn’t want to give too much away and have you hunt this person down, as I likely would have done were I the reader.
Final thoughts, I don’t want you to hate this person. I don’t hate them, even if I become infuriated at them from time to time. What I want to illustrate, is that even a person I call a friend, has no problems disrespecting my spiritual beliefs. That bothers me more than the people I don’t even know.