“Molding pillows to your shape in hopes of catching rest.”

Alone? I know alone.
People? I know fewer of those
As the days drag on into nights
Where the lights to the East
Coat the skyline like stars
That have yet to die

It’s lonely here, between these ears. From my patio, there is a car parked between two empty spots: numbers 9 and 11. These numerals are spray painted in stencil on the pavement so that every time I step out onto the patio, I’m one space away from being stuck in an emergency, so I stay between the lines and let the nicotine buzz.

There’s solitude in the songs that hit me like hammer hits nail. I don’t bend to its will but it makes me malleable in my introspectie space where, in the dark, there is no one but me and the background noise of my TV as I play the same song over and over again. I’m trying to make sense of this heavy burning in my chest; sometimes my emotional state escapes the rate of my cognitive abilities and so, sometimes I dwell in the miasma a moment to soak up the scent, to plug myself into that outlet. Or maybe an inlet. Depends on your perspective, I guess.

There are songs that make me miss people even though people aren’t exactly on my radar. When I’m running low on sleep, which I have been for days it seems, I think the doors open a little bit easier and I’m a little more susceptible to being set loose, but not set free. Emotions are sometimes an escape but, more often than not, a ball and chain and I’m chipping away at the stone around my brain to see what I actually think.

Tonight, I struggle to keep my eyes open and my heart steady.
These nighttime hours are the times when I miss people
When they’re the most inaccessible.
Maybe I miss them for the very reason that they are.
If that’s the case I would miss them all the time, though.
It’s the magic and solitude found only under the spell of night
Where I wander.
I wonder.

Now playing:

Artist: Sixo feat. Ceschi
Song: Christmas Past
Album: The Odds of Free Will
Fake Four Records

Lyrics:

Grind my bones up,
snort ’em through your pretty, big nostrils
’till your stomach expands from cuts to your guts.
I wrote a lot of bad from the depths of your insides
To sing you sweetly to sleep as you cried at night.

I’ll be your ghost of Christmas past
On a pillow of feathers all soaked as rags.
In a thunderstorm over skid row we’ve danced in dreams.
But in reality, I don’t dance or dream.
In reality, all my laughs are screams, emotionless,
And half the man I’d ever hope to be.

So, promise me you’ll pawn my guitar on a Fair Haven Street
And buy yourself a diamond ring with the hundred bucks you recieve
Near the crack spot near the bail-bondsmen there’s a gas station hest.
I swear to fucking God I tried my best.
But my best will never be good enough for a perfect guy that’s mess.
But as long as I’m alive I will be drenched in my regrets.
Tonight I’ll sleep in sweat in another bed
Without the warmth of your flesh
Molding pillows to your shape in hopes of catching rest.

Let’s make it through the winter
Without peeling off each other’s skin.
Let’s grow our hair and learn to live again
‘Cause spring is right around the bend
It’ll melt away the bitterness
It’ll grow new trees and pollinate the land

The king and prince are both dead
Drift away quick as snowmen
With frosty powder still in noses
Nobody left to hold them
Through the blizzard that left them frozen
I’m hoping that I meet a better end.

They’ll be our ghost of Christmas past.

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I Wear Craters Like Badges of Honor

Light In the Sky

The daytime takes the
job of the streetlights
like it relieves the moon
and the stars
from their stations in
the night sky.
In reality the sun simply
overwhelms the luminescence
of those bodies when he
steps onto the stage
of the morningrise.
You will never be the sun
to my moon
because your daytime
is just a waiting game
just passing time until
it gets overthrown again.
Despite what you’ve been
told, this light is not
a reflection of you but
the absorption of the best
rays you ever had
and never used.
We are as different as
the times in the sky we
occupy.

No Control

One thing most people know about me is that I’m, by nature I am an introvert.  As it has been pointed out to me, I’m also really good at being an extrovert when I want to be.  This is true and, on the whole, I like being around people and I like to socialize.  But, as with many things, there is a limit to how far that goes.  As it was also pointed out to me by my friendpastor Ben, I don’t like being in situations where I can’t control the chaos or the noise.  This was actually an apt perception on his part because, without realizing it, I do not like to abdicate my control of a situation so a small group, say 3-5 people is favorable to me rather than a group of 5-10.  When it gets to the latter extreme I start to lose energy from, what I surmise, is an attempt to maintain functionality and control.

I think Donald Miller described it best in his book when he said he was like the battery-powered drill that needed to be charged for 24 hours to work for a mere 10 minutes.  Please know that I’m not that socially handicapped but the concept is more or less the same.  There are some people who are energized by being around the right kind of people and then there are people, like me, who expend energy to the point of exhaustion in the presence of people.  It’s usually caused by a larger group of people in a short amount of time or a smaller group of people over a longer period of time.

The perfect example would be my current living arrangements.  This is not going to be me on a complaining bent about my roommates and how annoying they are.  I’m not that kind of person and this isn’t what my blog is about.  I actually enjoy being around my roommates most of the time but there are those times when I need to recharge.  There is an inherent logical problem with all of that because I live with 6 other guys and whoever else happens to be over visiting.  But I know it’s starting to get to me when I feel that fire building in my gut.

There are two solutions to this problem, I’ve found.  One of them is to get out my notebook and just start scrawling out every thought that’s going through my head to try to figure out what it’s thinking.  When I don’t have the patience, space, or the ability or whatever else I can think of, I go for a walk.  These aren’t your normal walks because normal walks are done during the day time and sometimes you take other people with you.  I don’t know, the only reason I walk is to save gas because I usually drive around when I get restless.  It’s the idea of being in motion that I like, I guess.

One specific time earlier this week I went on a walk to get rid of some pent up frustration I was having with what felt like a waste of my time and that there was nothing I could do about it.  So, I put my headphones in and went out for a walk.  It was about 10:30 PM if I recall correctly so it was dark.  My way was lit only by the streetlamps and the occasional headlight of a car passing by.  Why do I do this at night?  Partially because it scares me.  The night is unknown and, while I live in smaller town, the absence of control as to where, during the day I may have some semblance of control.  But, what I realized this evening was that I never was in control and I never will be.

It was a great relief, this realization.  That, if nothing else I had no control over myself.  You might say, “Well, duh, didn’t you know that all along?”  Of course I did!  But I wasn’t living it and I guess I didn’t believe it, at least not fully.  All things are in the hands of God.  My every step, my every movement is part of something greater than myself and how dare I be prideful enough to say that I can do anything without Him who created me?  The wave of this thought overtook my body and I was calm.  I was really calm for the first time in a while.  I can distinctly remember what I was listening to at that moment and it was amazing:

Lord I feel I’m struggling through this battle
Long for one peaceful day that I can call my own
Anger cast out and left for dead
These lies echo with no remorse
Shadows are a content plague
A Reminder of every failure
I will lay down my soul at your feet
God I feel your calling healer, you are my healer
Worthless and filled with anger
Here’s a chance to prove my worth
Surrounded, I’m surrounded
By sorrow choking the life I praise
Anger is setting in
I’ve lad claim and called you out
Fear starts to battle you with honor pumping through your veins

War of Ages
“My Resting Place”
Eternal

Under Night Brightless

I am ghostlike
Cloaked in nighttime
And starblaze
Twinkling eyes
Shadowed against
This wall,
Fitting in with
The shadows.
I am disappearing…
I had wished to disappear
And the absence of
Sunlight
Absorbed the pigment
Of my skin and
Took me in.
Watching from the corners
I am constant
Avoidance, spitting
Meteors from my teeth
With the moon in
The place of my face,
I am marked with craters
From life taking it’s
Best shots
At me.
And still I stand
Under the night,
The absence of anything
But the light inside me
And here I sit,
And wait
And watch
And
Think.

The Bitter roots

Window cracked
midnight driving
I feel the wind moving through
my hair.  I can feel it
brush my neck, getting longer
like the days of this season
as it reaches through
spring into summer
and I’m back there again.
I can taste the words
on the tip of my tongue,
bitter.
I can feel my heart in my
hands,
eating it once again
and all it takes is a
flash photographic blast back
into my memory to recall
the whole reason I wrenched it out
and I tell myself,
“Son, you should be over this.”
And the truth is I want
nothing more than to forgive
and forget
you.
But, truth is, I’m not wired that way
never gonna be, so it’s back
to that slow healing process
I know so well
where I try to will myself into
a sort of apathy towards
whatever broken connection we had
and I’m sorry to even be feeling
this mixed up and bothered
But if nothing else, I’m trying
blinded by the oncoming headlights,
I swear…
If life hadn’t been a battle
I’d never have had the strength
to keep fighting through it.
If my heart wasn’t continually broken
I wouldn’t be so good at
picking up the pieces
And if I hadn’t spent so much time
talking and running my mouth
and if I hadn’t been myself
I wouldn’t be
screaming these words
in my head right now.
So, I will be thankful for this feeling
and I will swallow this awful taste.
And when my tires hit the asphalt
late, late at night
I breathe in the starlight air, cool and sweet
And sing along with my heart
turned upward,
one-by-one ripping out the roots
that held me there,
the bitter roots.

 

Of the great many things I still struggle with, bitterness still likes to rear its ugly head.  The problem with bitterness is that it mingles far too many of my least favorite emotions and I can’t control it.  It stems from something I suppose is unresolved between me and this girl I sort of dated for a short while.  The problem was that i got all my hopes built up into this person, really set them up for failure and then she dropped me hard.  And I had to deal with that to the best of my ability.  We exchanged pleasantries, she said she’d still talk to me, etc.  That didn’t happen and I thought I was okay with it.  It’s probably a year or two since this happened but without resolution, these types of things leave me alone until provoked. 

The worst part of any kind of bitterness is that it just erupts without warning and I can’t do anything about it.  When it hit me tonight, I drove around listening to music for two hours.  While that was extremely calming and I do feel a lot better, I would like to just get rid of this garbage that doesn’t seem to want to leave.

I did some searching.  I didn’t go real in-depth but I was able to, as always, find some good things regarding bitterness:

Deuteronomy 29:18 & 20

Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit… 

20 The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 

And…

Hebrews 12:12-15

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 

I quickly got the point.  God does not like bitterness.  I don’t like bitterness either but it’s almost like a knee-jerk reaction, something that drags out the dead bodies of past failures and bad memories.  And when they bring out their dead it is as if someone has put fire to the fuse and the sparks fly and in trying to get away from it I run into this brick wall and there I stand tasting it.  The anger wells up and the depression keeps me rooted and, for a moment, I am a man on fire and I have to get away.  So, I put myself in motion.  I have to keep my mind on something while I try and clean up the mess, so I do what I did last night and I drive.  I don’t go anywhere in particular but, for some reason, seeing things pass and putting them behind me helps me clear my head and heart.  I put on music to sing and scream away the anger inside me and the roots of bitterness are pulled up and out and I can think clearly again.  And now I pray for the calm to fight this and the strength to work past it all and remove it.

Paul says this:

Ephesians 4:31,32

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The idea is to put all the negativity away and be genuinely nice, to love each other and, above all, forgiving one another because Christ died for us.  Paul is exhorting the church in Ephesus to stop butting heads and to get along and so I could see how this could be used with a pointed finger saying, “You need to quit being a jerk and forgive your brother.”  But I think the hardest thing to do sometimes is to turn that on yourself.  I read that verse and my heart just aches in knowing that the issue, especially in this case, is with me and not towards the one to whom I am bitter.  This failure I feel is not anyone else’s fault but myself and, just like learning someone as yourself goes both ways, I think forgiveness can go both ways too.  You can forgive your brother but how easy is it to forgive yourself for what you consider a grievous failure.  It’s hard to deal with ourselves because we don’t want to look in the mirror.  On a personal level, I haven’t mastered this either so my hope is not that anyone takes this as anything but mere contemplation.

But it’s the truth.  In this case, I set my expectations to an impossible level for this person and when they failed to meet them I became angry and disheartened.  So, realizing that, I have to forgive myself for setting the whole situation up for failure.  And with that, perhaps my bitterness will dissolve.  They say that time heals all wounds, but I think we have to rework that.  Time may allow the wounds to scab over and stop the bleeding.  But with God and the work of Christ on the cross, in which our sins are forgiven, the wound will heal.