When I Don’t Care About the Science Involved


There’s supposedly a therapeutic
side to all of this,
a suppression of the sympathetic
nervous system.
An instant rise in panic, and a
drop in pulse
is your physiological response
I can’t remember, quite honestly.
I just know after all of this,
this wading in the deep
I felt human for the first time
in almost a year.
Like Duke Ellington used to say,
‘I love you madly’
and I’m fucking proud of you, kid.


Living Rhythm

I’ve been fascinated with music for a very, very long time. It stems from being raised by a mom that didn’t think housework or travel were ever to be done in complete silence. From a very young age I learned how to operate a cassette player and put in the tapes she and I always listened to. So, I can remember listening to all sorts of music from the 70’s and 80’s from a beat up black boom box.

I loved that thing. They don’t make them like that anymore. It was one with box speakers attached to each end. We actually still have it.

Anyway, the habit of never being able to sit in silence, to always have music playing somewhere continued on and now I even go so far as to break the rules at work and listen to my iPod while taking phone calls. It actually helps me to focus if you can believe it.

With my love of music came a natural desire to want to create it, to learn it. I picked up the guitar and have played poorly for about a decade. Music has been a powerful force in my life, putting me in three or four bands in the span of about 5 years as well as dabbling in writing my own music at home. Music teaches you melody, it teaches you harmony and it teaches you rhythm.

And if you pay close attention you’ll notice there’s a lot of rhythm to life.

It used to be that I would stay up until 3 AM watching something on NetFlix or a movie from my vast collection. It’s summer, so I figure there’s no point in being awake in the morning. So, I’d wake up with enough time to get ready for work, suffer through 8.5 hours of nonsense and then repeat. Every work day would be a repeat of that rhythm.

Then my rhythm got disrupted completely a few weeks ago.

Since then I’ve had to reassemble my rhythm and it’s been strange to realize the difference it’s made once I start sticking to those changes. I’ve since started getting to bed by midnight which means my body naturally wakes me up by 9:30 every morning. I shake it out and work out 60-90 minutes and I feel good. I made mention in a previous post how odd it is for me to have a good day and to feel good. That has been a really big help. And, of course, I have to listen to music while I work out. On days I work, I go to work then come home and I listen to a radio show my mom and I used to listen to in the mornings when I was a kid, hosted by Delilah.

Through all of this it’s been nice to feel in step with that rhythm every step of the way. As a friend pointed out it’s good to find this now because I know it’s not going to be like this every day. So, before I go to bed I listen to Delilah until she signs out at midnight and go to bed. You’d have to listen to the show to understand and, even then, I don’t know if you will.

Ultimately, I think God created the earth to operate in a specific rhythm which is why we have days, months and years. He gave us an organ whose function depends on rhythm or it ceases to function and we die. I think the first musician in the history of mankind was the one who first discovered the rhythm of his heartbeat. And when we discover rhythm I think life becomes easier and we can see things a little clearer.

The Violins in My Fingertips

My heart is fueling a storm in my head. Conducting electrical currents like explosions in the veins in my eyes so I can understand the red I see when the elephant in the room takes a seat on my chest. Now if only I could get him increase his altitude just slightly so I can breathe out the so many words contained in the bottom of my lungs.

Now listen to the silent violins in my fingertips…

If I wanted to tell you the truth I’d need your ears to open to it first.  My feelings are not meant for the tiny space you’ve made by pushing junk back even tighter into the space more of your stuff already consumes. You don’t want to take the time to connect to my heart so I guess that’s fine. You’re one of millions in a one-in-a-million kind of way.  This shouldn’t surprise me. However, it does disappoint me. A lot. It feels like the elephant sat directly to the left of center of my chest, like he was able to focus his weight in that hand-sized space, snapping ribs from the sternum like stripping branches from a sapling. That’s what it means when I tell you my heart feels heavy.

Heavy in the ways you are not.  In fact, when I see you, I see light and it’s the strangest thing in the world y’all because, normally when you see the light you know what it means.  Yeah, I see you, I see light and I don’t know what to think of myself. Maybe it’s because you bring out the best and the brightest in me without either of us trying and I wish I knew what that meant. But more than that I wish there were people like that around me all the time so maybe I wouldn’t have to resort to tears so much. It’s just that, right now, I feel like I don’t have a whole lot of choices. So, I fight.

It’s like that scene in Say Anything when Lloyd is sparring at the gym, practicing his kickboxing skills.  This is after Diane has claimed she loved him and then pushed him away because of daddy issues.  Lloyd, at this point, has tried everything he can to get her back including that famous scene where he holds up a boombox with that Peter Gabriel song playing loud outside her bedroom window only to get to response from her. Y’all, he has tried everything and you’re left to believe that he has decided to live with it.  This all converges on a scene of him kickboxing.  It seems all his focus is in the moment, on what he’s doing and that’s where I feel like I am.  The gloves are on and I’m fighting and, while it would be easy to give up, I am not even close to there.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Diane walks into the gym and he loses focus, gets his nose broken and hope is restored in his life. I’m waiting for something to take my focus off the fight.

I suppose now I should talk about God and how he is working in my life.  The answer is that I don’t know.  I don’t get why 9.9 days out of 10 I feel like life is treating me like garbage is an appropriate means of getting me somewhere and I’ve asked why but I’m ok with not getting an answer. That still has not stripped away the fact that I continue to live for Him the best I can because it’s what I do and I can’t do anything else.  Call that blind faith or ridiculous or what have you but I would first ask that you take a step into my shoes and walk a mile or two and see what it feels like to get discouraged by almost every facet of your life.  Let’s see how your heart holds up.

It’s back into the ring next week. Maybe it’ll take my mind off the fact that there’s an elephant on my chest and he doesn’t want to move. Maybe I’ll forget the friends I miss, the pursuit of my own happiness and maybe, just maybe I’ll survive another round.

I hope.