The Game of [Loss of] Life

lifespinner-400x266

I do not like to play games
Sometimes it’s a distaste for the rules
Or I’m immune to feeling
The wings of levity that comes with
A round table discussion about nothing
But mostly
I don’t like to lose
And I don’t like to give up
Because to give ground to either option
Is to give ground to defeat
And the feat of that I might concede
Is more than I’m willing to allow to proceed
Beyond the guarding gates of my ribcage

But I’ve
Lost so much it feels, so many times
That I have to pretend I’m made of matter
Just to prove I exist when I look to the mirror
So I can feel like I, y’know… matter.

And I will fight until the very last note
Tangled in my vocal cords to avoid it
Like the time I showed up at a friend’s apartment
Red-eyed and tear-cheeked
Trying to imagine that he was still alive

A bottle of this and a broken blister pack of that
Double double toil and  trouble
You should never chase death
With a bottle of No-Doz
Because he calls you in your sleep
So when expelled the contents of his stomach
You could hear the reaper unhook his scythe
From under those ribs
Where it was written, the name of the girl
Who had taken his heart
On his ribs which resonated empty
When his heart kept beating.
Dark room and dim lights painted ghosts
on his high cheekbones in the wake.
Loss of the will to survive
Is to hollow out your chest
And surrender its contents to the sun.
Cursing God for your dilemmas
Son, God grieves with you when you lose at losing, too.

And there’s the piece of me I lost
The I hope I never find again
And that’s the naïveté of thinking
Everything’s gonna be alright again.

You can learn to lose, or
better phrased
Learn what it feels like to lose
So you can sense it in every movement
Of every person you’ve ever
Wrapped your heart string around like a last
Ruffled the secrets woven
In the strands of your hair for
Made copies of keys to your hopes and dreams
But when things start bursting at the seams
You will feel its clarion call
Your balance will become shifted
And you will always let the words
“It’s all my fault” rest heavy across your shoulders
Even if you’ve written fiction
And the ghost you thought had crossed over
Is merely obstructed from view
If only everyone knew
How heavy the cross
Is to lose.

Like when I lost the person
Who taught me the literal meaning of the word
LOVE
She inscribed it upon my sleeve
With my broken heart they day she was gone
And now I can’t erase the three words
She’d force me to say
In her voice
And I can’t lose them. I can never lose them.

And then there are those who are still alive
Who chose to step away into a dusty country sunset
And left me pondering loss
The meaning, the weight, and the taste of it
The iron in the blood, the grit of sand
Wind tumbling lightly against my face
In painted stone valleys that burn red in the sun
I have lost you somewhere and I don’t know
When
or
Why
But I’m trying

And if I gain nothing
I’ll still count it all as loss.

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Our Lives are a Motion Picture on Endless Reels

you-are-a-work-of-art

I came across this quote when I was perusing the internet for something interesting to do. I’ve written a post about this in a past life, but this just sums up my stance on art so perfectly:

“What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?” –Michel Foucault

Ruby soho

challenge-competitionBorn a precocious child, I coasted through the public school system without having to try in any subject, excelling in both literature and writing (no big surprise there, I’m sure). My GPA left me in the top 25 in my class and my courseload left me woefully unprepared for what would come for me later both in academics and in life in general. It’s a bold-faced lie anymore that high school prepares you for college. If I couldn’t find motivation or a need to study in high school, where were those skills going to come from when I got into college?

I’ll give away the ending for you. They didn’t manifest themselves at all and I failed out of most of my classes the first time I attempted college right out of the high school gate. What would follow would be a long winter that extended in my heart for a few years. I was undiagnosed at that point, so I was running completely on self-control. I was a complete wreck. I made poor decisions, I was impulsive, and I put myself through some not-so-great relationships. That’s my fault. It was my grand assumption that everything should come to me easily and, if it did, it meant I was doing something right.

Such flawed logic would bring me to my knees later. But it would bring me back to God, too. That’s another story.

So, here I am, ten years later. I got through college and graduated with a BA in Biblical Interpretation. It was one of the most difficult and trying times of my life, not just academically but spirtually as well. I hadn’t shaken my habit of poor relationshps, but I was learning the art of undertaking a challenge. I took two years of Koine Greek and two and a half years of Biblical Hebrew. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the challenge, but it was usually 4-6 hours of homework per day of class but the year they overlapped was one of the worst times of my life. I rose to the occasion, I think, considering they were some of the only classes I did really well in. I was 26 by the time I graduated and my whole mindset about putting forth effort had changed.

This still came back to bite me in the ass during college and after graduation when I put an unbelievable amount of effort in a long term relationship that ended with my getting dumped for another guy and then ghosted. I tried so hard to make it work and found out it was all for naught.

 

At the same time I became more persistent but relaxed. It’s easy to beat yourself up for your mistakes but it’s really all waste if you choose to wallow in your mistakes and don’tlearn from them. I learn the hard way. That’s the way it’s always been.

I took the path of least resistance for a long time after I graduated and then got dumped a month later. I followed the same routine every day, didn’t really go anywhere if I didn’t have to. I’ve learned through experience and a couple years of therapy my soul is not content to reside in a rut for very long. I tried, what I thought, was an easy fix to my loneliness and signed up for online dating services. I met one girl and she ghosted me. After that everything went silent. Realizing this was a fruitless endeavor, I deleted all my accounts and leaned on faith. I had nothing else.

This has bled into other parts of my life as well. I’m at a new church where, despite the number of people and my social anxiety, I’ve thrown myself into helping wherever I can, usually keeping silent. Serving in silence is not something I was ever really good at but I feel more connected that way then I ever did serving in previous capacities. In doing so I’ve abdicated my desire to seek out connections and let them come as they may. This takes more patience than one might imagine. It’s almost like meditation. I’m not forcing myself on an environment but allowing it to absorb me; focus on your breath, if a thought enters your mind, label it and let it pass.

Lately, this persistence has grown into my spare time. I’ve been teaching myself to code in Ruby on Rails. There’s something deeply philosophical about, an hard-learned lesson in linguistics. In the levels of communication, it’s essentially the development of a language using smaller bits of communication. It’s how the way we speak develops as well. It’s also a colossal source of frustration, which I love and hate. Fixing a coding issue in one area only to have broken one in another is a continuous process. Yet, I persist because it’s something I can’t do fresh out of the box.

I’m starting to embrace that feeling. Am I growing up?

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