Post Hoc


“When was the last time your heart felt wide open?” She asked.

I was at work. A strange place, I know, and it puzzles me still. However, the chance for random occurrences increases exponentially (or maybe geometrically. I’m never sure which one) when new people are constantly introduced into your environment. It’s like the cliche of throwing a stone in a pond and watching the ripples. Only, this is more like throwing a handful of gravel into a puddle of rainwater in a street gutter.

“Chaotic?”

Yes. That’s an apt description.

“What happened?”

I could not tell you for certain what happened or any sort of causal apparatus that could have attached itself to that particular moment in time other than the relationship between customer and the service we provide. It’s an every day occurrence; people come and go but I’ve never really thought about the reason why or the rhyme scheme contained within.

Anyway, I remember this girl’s face. There is something soft about it. She’s a regular and, even in the short amount of time I’ve spent working there, there are some familiar faces. Some people just stick out more than others in my mind, though I can hardly ever remember their names.

“What was so special about this one?”

There was this intangible quality to her at first. It takes a moment to process my impressions of people sometimes, I’ll admit. She had soft facial features, a gentle smile but there was a weakness about her. I don’t mean that in a bad way; maybe vulnerability is a better term. I Don’t know.

She smiled up to her eyes despite, maybe, seeming like she had grown weary. Her eyes were unmarked by age or makeup, which is astonishing anymore these days. She was soft-spoken and polite, though hesitant to ask for anything she wanted, like she was afraid of being denied some basic service, even the one she had paid for by coming to my store.

“Why did that strike you so?”

That’s an explanation I’m still searching for myself. I think about these kinds of interactions long after they’ve passed. It’s part of my wiring, I suppose. I just keep playing those few minutes over and over again in my head. I wonder what makes a person the way they are; how they develop their personality into something that seems so meek yet endearing in some way.

“Is there something that bothers you about the meek types?”

Not always, but often. Being soft-spoken myself, I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. However, I do find myself cringing at certain social faux pas. Those who are anxious or nervous, they have common speech patterns and give away their tentative nature through the use of “um’s” and delays in answering.

I guess it was about the moment this girl spoke to me that I felt that overload of empathy I don’t always understand. I knew there was something there, something that affected the social capabilities of this woman but, in a work setting, you can’t really ask, nor do you have time to, ask customers personal questions. Certainly not a long dialogue to hear someone else’s life story simply because you have the urge to hear it.

That’s the problem with having asocial tendencies, I guess. I deprive myself of human contact long enough that when something strikes my radar, I can’t help but let that empathy flood into every circuit of my mind and I want to know who someone is.

I wish I wasn’t so jaded and cynical about people sometimes.

“What does that have to do with it?”

Trust. It’s hard for me to trust anyone. Ever hand yourself over to the care of someone else’s hands only to have them ring the emotion out of it like a towel? Not only have it occur once, but over and over and over again until you really don’t know what to believe and who is being sincere? Most people who talk to me anymore only do so because they want something from me. They’ve lost all interest in me. Or maybe I’ve lost interest in them.

Maybe there’s no loss of interest on either side of the equation. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

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Can you hear it? … Listen…

IMG_4598

I had the concept of subtext and underlying emotion when I was putting this one together. Like my previous track, this one grew organically and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the end product.

However, since this is a learning process for me I will unashamedly post and share it because I need to continue to access the courage it takes to create and put on display once again when it comes to making music.

“My heart is pounding… Can you hear it?

… Listen”

Drowned in this Place too Long

This song, this album, has been speaking to me a lot.

It’s been a while, you’ve been walking alone, it’s been a while. It’s been a while since your heart had a home, it’s been a while

You remember the way you came tumbling down. Down to your knees like never before. You’re at the bottom in a bottomless town and as you lie on the floor

The rain falls over your face drowned in this place too long. Well, I know that the sun shines and fights for your day. You hear it say be strong, and let it go… Just keep holding on. Soon you’ll see that you belong.

You know there’s still darkness ahead, you know it. And I know you heard the things that they said, you try not to show it.

You remember the way you came tumbling down. Down to your knees like never before. You’re at the bottom in a bottomless town and you can’t see the door.

You belong, you already belong, you belong.

You remember the way you came tumbling down. Down to your knees like never before. You’re at the bottom in a bottomless town and as you lie on the floor…

 

Joshua Radin
“Belong”
Onward and Sideways

Bright, bleached, dazzling white.

With spring-time rolling in I feel the pressure increase but soul is prepared and rising to meet the challenge.  I have shaken the snow from my shoulders with the winter on its way backwards as I make for the door away from that frigid season and all I have associated with it.  This winter did not come without its tragedies and casualties but I have purposed to forget all of that now, I think.  And it wasn’t really a conscious decision, I’ll have you know, but it is as if God finally turned on the switch after erasing the great distance I felt from Him over these past few days/weeks/months…

I am not afraid of the future because I know it’s not me who makes it and I don’t do a whole lot without thinking and asking about it first and it’s as if I can see the hand of God in everything.  I felt it in the wind today.  Today.  It was like I emerged from a cocoon with my gloves off and I was ready to go at it.  The way I have been the last few months has been severed from my being and I’m not guaranteeing that I’m not going to hit lows time in and out but I must accept that as reality and not so much as a disadvantage.  I have learned the meaning of God’s time and His sovereignty and I don’t get it and I don’t understand it completely but that’s fine.

I was driving home from work last night and I don’t remember what I was looking at but I wasn’t looking at the road.  Don’t worry, it was only for a split second but I looked back to the asphalt or pavement and I didn’t know where I was for a few seconds.  I’ve driven that road hundreds of times maybe more in the last year so I was floored that I didn’t recognize this particular stretch of road.  But I crested a hill and on the south side of the highway was the Omaha skyline as seen just after you pass highway 50 going East on 370.  And in thinking about it today and just now I think that’s a good illustration of how my winter was this year.  I had no bearings whatsoever, I took my focus off my mission and turned it to something else and I lost my bearings for a good while.  Long enough for me to realize the absence of direction in heart, in my soul.  But as this nice weather has rolled in and Spring has officially put Winter to death, I saw the bright lights of the skyline and it was as if God had shown me just a glimpse of His glory.

As a result of the Transfiguration Jesus’ clothes were “white as light” (Matthew 17:2), “radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:3), or “dazzling white” (Luke 9:29).  I can just imagine Peter and James and how they must have had to shield their eyes from the brightness.  I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at anything that is pure white but if you know your basic physics you know that white is not really a color but an absence of.  And to stare at something bleached perfectly white as it says in Mark it would serve almost as a mirror by reflecting all wavelengths of light in the spectrum. I kind of felt like that today.  In reflecting on all the garbage that has happened to me in the last few months I feel that brilliant white cloth was ground to dust and scattered across the skyline and that is where I see the light.

I’m sure that you think that is an odd parallel to make but you must understand something about me.  I know I talk a lot about my problems and depression and anxiety but I’m not as black as my clothing makes me look.  There are a few things on this earth that bring me calm, just enough for reflection.  One of them is trains.  That’s a long story but if a train goes by I can’t help but watch.  There’s just something about all that weight in motion being pulled by one lone vehicle.  Another is seeing skylines from an unpopulated area.  I cannot explain because I don’t know why but I can show it to you if you ask.

Bearing the Silence Well

I have beared this silence
Across slumped shoulders
I hope you heard
The words I screamed
Into the silence next
To your ear
So only you could hear.
It’s been difficult to
Hold it all in
But in the process I’ve been
Letting a lot go.
I miss the days
Now gone, forgiven
With you.
I miss my friend
And that I must carry daily
It will be hard waiting
However long it takes
To tell you what’s happened
In the last couple of days.
The hurt and the healing,
The forward progress.
I’m reaching up
Instead of out and around,
Tearing out
Instead of storing up
I wish that you could see…