Monthly Archives: December 2011

Heaven Is

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Sometimes amazing things happen to us which we can’t explain, but in my typical indomitability,  I’ll try to explain what’s happened. After all, how hard could that be? I realize I’m risking making no sense whatsoever, but it’s just an occupational hazard.

First, –philosophy before prose– I’ve come to believe that our ideas about heaven are merely our ideals of a perfect life we wish we could experience now. Eternity might be completely different than the scope of our mortal speculation allows us to comprehend. Heaven is a difficult concept to tackle with a priori alone, so having exhausted that approach, I’ll continue with a posteriori. I’m able to embrace the complete uncertainty about the afterlife, because my peace of mind comes from my convictions, not my reason.

Heaven is real. I know it because it’s happened to me. You can’t fool me now. I’m resorting to experiential intelligence as a means of understanding, having found reason to be dull and dry, yielding limited returns. You could say I’ve crapped out on philosophically handling questions about heaven. I’ve crapped out of methods which don’t serve me as well.

Heaven is the joy leaking through your fingers because you were the fool who thought they could hold it. It’s the moment you realize you’d waited for about five years, and it’s finally coming true. It’s the clarity in the air as you listen to the words which cut years of burdens off your young mind. It’s when the years of pain melt away into tears which are being shed on your shoulder, and down your back. It’s when you realize that your estimates of about ten years of drudgery on a path to reconciliation are inaccurate. It feels so good to be wrong. Heaven is when years of turmoil melt into a peace which comes from regret, retrospection.

Heaven is forgiveness. It’s real.

Heaven is lightheartedness slowly returning to a cynical, calloused, cadaverous creature of complicated concerns who’s been carrying crap.

Heaven is when burdens are being cut off, and you’re realizing that you’re ten times lighter.

Heaven is when the stupid humans get the hell over their petty drama, and drop grudges. It’s when people stop lugging all their crap around and spewing hate in the air about others. It’s when mortal arrogance ceases long enough to let heaven shed light on a situation.

Heaven is when NO ONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT JUST HAPPENED. Why destructive habits stopped. Why one person just gained the clarity and cool-headedness in the midst of confusion that you KNOW something changed. Someone let them in on the cosmic secret: HEAVEN IS REAL.

To those who are bent on backstabbing: fuck off. I have a life to live. I’m bloody well going to live it free, without the need for self-righteousness to assert some sort of order or justice. I don’t have the answers to any of your problems. If you wish that I’d solve the world’s problems, by attempting to hold people accountable to some code of conduct, take a reality check. Forget it. It’s my life. No type of religious claptrap  could convince me to play God and carry around a resentment for why people don’t act as they should.

2011 brought its fair share of good and bad. In retrospect, I think it was completely unfair. I was robbed of a gift I thought I’d have for 60 more years or so. but, I was given a gift –a big shiny one– that I didn’t think I’d get for years: reconciliation. Psalm 65:11 “You crown the year with Your goodness.” I’m really thankful for the ways God helps me get over the jerk side of my humanity, and works good things into my life, e.g., giving me peace which I didn’t think I’d have for about ten more years. I like how He pulls me back from danger by getting dirt under His fingernails with me, and showing me what to avoid, why to avoid it. I’m also really lucky to know His unconditional acceptance, no matter what trumpery I dabble in.

Thanks for tuning in.

BLOOPERS:

Heaven is more than 24 cookies eaten in less than 24 hours. [true story]

Heaven is when your mom is under your bed trying to find your owl. [true story]

Heaven is when people figure out the value of what they have to say, and then proceed to take the liberty of cushioning it with the most fitting expletives.

“Roses were red,
Back then at your visit,
The violets were blue,
Now they are wilted.
So long 2011,
You completely SUCKED.
If I didn’t have heaven,
I’d be royally (let’s see, what rhymes, out of luck?)”

If only I could bottle some, and give it to my family to cure them. I’d also give some of this magic medicine to a friend of mine. Here -this is what makes life life.

Where Are Your Hands

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There’s a thousand feelings to be felt, but I feel nothing, nothing, nothing, that shadowy sensation of nothing. I am composed of a set of clothes which promenade, masquerade a charade to fool the seas of people who claim that this set of clothes is a really strong person. Meanwhile I’m the gypsy begging for someone to please turn down the silence in my head. Let me feel again. Let me cry. Let me laugh. Let me look into Your beautiful face and find feeling there. Don’t be a Prince in shining armor, don’t pull the moon and stars from the sky. Let them fall, and crash in disturbing arcs of destruction. Don’t even change the stark and dreamless horizon. Just keep me company here. Leave the sun in its jealous sky. Leave reality cold and harsh, as long as I can hold Your warm hands. Don’t pretend with me. Just dream with me. I don’t need everything to work out perfectly, but I do need You. I’m living like I’m a voice which says the words I mean, and watches them hopelessly as they fall from the air, devoid of the meaning assigned to them. I’m the paintbrush living in a black and white world, wondering, where are Your hands? When can I do what I’m meant to do? When can I unleash colour on a dull insensate world? When I’m at my lowest, full of internal conflict, the appalling lack of emotion, and complete insensitivity to any touch, I wonder to myself, where are Your hands? When the questions come knocking on my door, who really dreams these days anyhow? Who still feels these days anyhow? What poets are still alive and writing these days? I wonder, where are Your hands? When someone is falling down a cave in a landslide of self-doubt or apprehension, I’m there and my hands are empty, ready. My mind is screaming LET ME! LET ME INTERVENE! My virgin hands are wide open, empty, ready, and where are Your hands? Your hands are reinforcing my own. I’m built to save lives, but not alone. I wasn’t allowed to recently, but that doesn’t stop me. It doesn’t deter me in the slightest manner, instead, it fuels my determination. I know who I am, and even more importantly, I know who I’m going to become. When life is  dripping from someone’s fingertips in red reminders of pain, I want to tell them: Don’t be afraid. Fear just isn’t worth it. People can slip away from your life, tearing a part of you away. I’ve learned how to live 150% more when half of you is torn away. Look inside yourself. Face your weaknesses, but don’t be blind. Inside of you is a hero, a warrior who WILL survive. I know that because it’s something we have in common. Life is silent, musicless, despite my numerous instruments. Where would I be without music? When my fingers on the black and white keys fail to bring back the feeling to my numb composition, where are Your hands? See the pen resting lifeless, drowning in the paper whiteness. Reach down, and save her, give her something to feel. Where are Your hands?

Willie

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Meet Willie. I love Willie. He was manufactured as part of a collection of trombones, but Willie’s a little different. He’s an outlier. He claims to be a trumpet. I willie love Willie. Saying that he gives me the willies would be superfluous at this point.

Willie has become a source of my philosophical angst. Is he a trumpet or a trombone? What is the essence of a trombone? What is the substance of a trombone? How does that differ from a trumpet? If we were to define a trombone too hastily, would Willie still be a trombone? Can we be certain that Willie is a trombone? There’s been a lot of speculation rooted in fallacy. Here’s the word on the streets:

“All trombones have a slide, Willie has a slide. Therefore Willie is a trombone.” (Affirming the consequent)

“If you’re a trumpet, you must make terrible sounding noises. Willie’s being quiet. He’s obviously not a trumpet then.” (Denying the antecedent)

“Calling Willie a trumpet is just as bad as changing the nomenclature on your compass! Woe to those who exchange north for south!” (Questionable Analogy; this whole entry is a questionable analogy)

“Honestly why are we having this debate? It’s absurd to think he’s a strumpet! Oh, trumpet, sorry.” (Reductio Ad Absurdum)

“Aw, poor little trombone. In my day, they just used to call them confused.” (Ad Misericordium; appeal to pity)

“Look, Willie has the slide of a trombone, so he’s clearly a trombone.” (Suppressed Evidence; The fact that Willie also has the valves of a trumpet remains unmentioned.)

“Willie the trombone is not allowed to sing, because even trumpets sound awfully bad.” (Equivocation; changing a word from one part of the argument to the next, using different words interchangeably)

“Telling Willie he ought to be a trombone is reasonable, we can fix him, unless of course he plays the jazz standards.” (Red Herring; decoy, unrelated information is made to sound relevant)

“You really can’t trust the storeowner’s opinion on Willie’s identity, he’s a guitarist.” (Ad Hominem; argument is wrong because of the person arguing it)

“Willie is a trombone! If you argue otherwise, I’ll pull out my bagpipes!” (Ad Baculum; appeal to force)

“After all, Willie is either a trumpet or a trombone…” (False Dichotomy; Whatever happened to Tubas? Trumpones? Trombets?)

“Why, almost everyone would agree that Willie is a trombone!” (Ad Populum; appeal to the majority’s belief)

“Well, Miles Davis says Willie’s not a trumpet, so I would agree.” (Ad Verecundiam; Appeal to authority)

“If we accept Willie as a trumpet, soon our trombones will all turn into bagpipes! The world will end!” (Slippery Slope)

Having played trumpet my whole life, I was disarmed one night when on a stage, I saw a trombone, and wanted to play it so badly. Oh Willie, Why must thou give me the willies? I don’t play trombone. I play trumpet. Willie needs a more versatile instrumentalist than me I think. This is a trumpet I’ll listen to, but I will not play. It’s a matter of will.

Personally, I just want to hear Willie sing. We’ll really never know what type of music Willie can make if all we do is sit around speculating about what type of instrument he is. Willie’s more that what you see. Let’s let him sing. Let’s free him to make the music which he truly wants to make. If we’re the ones calling it a choice, let’s let him decide. I just want to hear Willie sing.