Thursday, February 14, 2013

OneVStep Closer

Some of you who enjoy symbols and Dan Brown novels might have noticed the V in the title of this post. I chose to play along with the same symbolic jester for this blog, because this is where we come to pursue God, no matter how right or wrong our feelings, and today happens to be a day of meaning in general so why not run with it? I've struggled with my faith now for a couple of years. Things have not gone the way I had hoped they would and I suppose I banked on My God to sort them out. My mother decided to stop speaking to me, unless I go to her first, which is both childish and lazy on her part. My writing continues to stall, which is both my fault and speculatively not in my cards. My job is getting heavier in the responsibility department, and my wallet continues to be anemic for my heroic efforts. My home-life is slowly getting better, which is the forefront of today's post- Family; specifically, the family that resides beneath my rooftop.

If God is a metaphor for one continuous series of events, be it coincidental or otherwise, and my faith the conduit to understanding or unraveling the truth to said metaphors, then I guess I am now beginning to understand Him, His Plan, and the infinite allusion of eternal life. See, for me, everything comes crashing down at once. I write about my tragic marriage. I complain. I bicker. I rant and rave. I even throw in sweet tidings. I hem-haw around and bounce off walls in search of something to go according to design, and I ignore those little things that matter. Those tiny sweets that keep your heart pumping and churning towards the finish line. Today, as I prepared my sweets and cards for the two most important Valentines in my life, I paused and smiled. I did this because I realized those things that sour my faith and devotion, such as my mother joining my father in abandoning me and my life, are cleverly woven into my immediate family- My wife and daughter.

As I strive to make these two guys happy, I am also filling a void caused by family outside my doorstep. With each new smile I get from my wife or daughter, the hurt brought on from losing my mother heals a little more. The reality of losing her becomes a little easier to shoulder. Therefore, within that tiny pause, I also see My God working from the sidelines, perhaps even from the stands. Without great detail, I see a plan unfolding. It tells me without saying, sorry about your mother, but here is one step closer to another mother who matters more. She matters more because she is the mother of your daughter, and her health and happiness grows within the little girl coming to take you out to lunch today. Here I am, always with you. Hello God, I haven't seen you in such a long while.

Today I find love in spirit, body and soul. Today I find love inside my home. Today I find love in the form of my daughter rushing me, "Happy Balentene Day, Maddy!" She is getting closer, isn't she? I will then say hello to my wife of eleven years. "Hello lover. It is also good to see you, for I haven't in such a long while." And as I throw myself into this day among lovers, I will also lay my head upon my pillow tonight and quietly say, My God, it was truly an awesome day. And we will connect, The Holy Spirit and my broken Soul, and that too will bloom. I'm beginning to understand. I am taking it oneVstep at a time.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Between the Lines

I have come a long way to get here. YOU have been with me on this journey for the most part, and it has had its fair share of ups and downs. My love has been tested thoroughly as well as my faith in you, none so now, more than ever; but, the dark continues to swell overhead. It's been this way for us for some time. I have tried to rekindle the fire we once shared. I have tried to repent for those sins I still have to bear. Nothing seems to work, these days. You have stopped listening to me, no matter how loud I beg, or plead, or pray. We are on opposite ends of hope, and that boat has long ceased to float. And God only knows I have tread water for so long, my head barely above the surface, but I am beginning to drown. My God, I am beginning to drown.

I am so afraid. Afraid of losing you entirely, to lose that connection that has uplifted my spirit and made me the man I am today. Afraid to watch, helplessly, as my world crumbles to the ground, everything I love and those things I have created in-between, turning into memories few and far away. Visitation seem a likely option, and yet I find myself asking why? Why must it be this way? Why must you forsake me, when I am trying so hard to light the way back into your arms? My God, show me some sign that there is life beyond the veil of vows, outside the compromises, the hurt and the anguish that has wedged all that we once had.

I am lonely without you in my life. I am lost without your presence, in a world filled with hatred and animosity. I no longer know the hand of my only friend. The spirit within, which has fueled me all these years, pressing me onward into salvation, finding the love inside the eyes of my daughter- our daughter has waned. What more must I do? My God, I have given, sacrificed my all, and I continued to bend on wounded knee and ask for your forgiveness. Like a dog that has bitten its master, I whimper at the doorstep of my home and ask humbly to be let in. My God, let me in.

I know nothing more I can say or do. My soul festers upon your delay. My heart continues to break for you every day. I am on a ledge, looking over, considering the fall, praying for a savior, and knowing all too well that I am alone in this decision. So I thrust myself against our doorstep again, and again. Knocking with bloodied knuckles, humbled tears, and salty swears. Let me in. Let me in.

Just. Let. Me. In.

Monday, November 19, 2012

By Definition...

Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being. Thus, Unitarians contend that main-line Christianity does not adhere to strict monotheism as they do, maintaining that Jesus was a prophet, and in some sense the "son" of God, but not God himself.

I've honestly no clue what all that means. I do know that I went to a Unitarian church over this past weekend that my wife seems to enjoy, and walked away slowly and very cautiously, like I was going to be abducted at any moment by someone who knew I was not "one of them." My wife has gone a couple of times and really likes the message preached that is a lot like me telling all three of you who read this that my way is the right way, but it's cool if you don't agree with that; but, please, help yourself to coffee and good conversation afterward. And that was the message I took from my own experience. The sermon was about "love" and how we all strive for it in various ways, all which are not exactly right, but not wrong either, which is very confusing to my child-like mind, and kind of seems redundant to even talk about it in the first place. But, I am new to all this "one in being" stuff so I will humor the weirdos for a minute.

When we sat down, the first thing I did was take a good look around the place. The tapestries that looked like some one's grandmother stitched together, hung around like tie-dye towels in smoke shops that play Grateful Dead music on repeat. The chairs all aligned like pews, but without the pews and the comfort and the little knee pads you can pull down, poked into my back, tearing at my tender flesh, leaving long mark that very easily could have resulted in another number not directly related to the beast. 911 in case any of you are wondering. Not that these knee cushions were needed, since no one knelt and there were no idols in the room that I could see. I did see a basket, which I assumed were filled with snakes or baby seals to club after mass, a vase filled with water and pebbles, which I will get to in a minute, and a tiny choir with real instruments. There was an oboe player too. Raised and baptized as a Catholic, the lack of God in the place was a bit of a worry. I've seen places like this on HBO documentaries, where people I would not normally socialize with tend to preach about Mother Nature's healing properties, and request to read your palm for a fee. But, I am an open-minded soul, so I decided to stick around a little while longer. 

Next came the introduction of the lead minister. A woman who might be gay, or bisexual, or just completely misjudged by my own profiling. She said how great it was to be her and the newest member of their cult church, and then turned the mic over to another lady who asked for all the children to come to the stage. Off my child went, with the rest of the lambs, and she asked them about big ideas, and how God's influence sparked such wonderful notions. They all then disappeared to "class" to discuss more big ideas. My wife went with her, which made me feel a little better, but then later returned without her. I was worried. Snakes come to mind again.  Then Pastor Butch returned and spoke about how people of the congregation asked that she place a pebble into the vase filled with water, which was symbolic in that the ripples are all the thoughts and prayers vibrating across an ocean of faith like waves in the water. Or in this case, a glass vase filled with pieces of the parking lot outside. My wife thought this was very symbolic and connected with the offerings, whereas, I simply wondered where God was in all this. I could not spot him on the walls, or in the sermon, or in the peoples smiles...There was a moment when everyone turned to say hello, like Catholics exchanging palm sweat with their Peace Be With You salutes; but, Strangely, no one said hello to me. It must have been my stench of Catholic that turned them away.

The guest speaker read from his notes on what love meant to someone who was either a writer, or a heart surgeon, or a basket weaver who loved poems. Anyway, there was a message in all of it, a few laughs from the crowd, some moments of silence, which was a bit like a moment of prayer only with old balding men looking around the room, with uncomfortable smiles about their potential mugshots, thinking about something they probably shouldn't share with anyone else. And with a final HA-HA he took his notes and joined the Lesbian at the exit to shake hands with everyone as they aimed for the coffee pot outside. I watched as my wife spoke to a few women about baking methods, never being introduced as her husband, which I found both funny and ironic, since I always get shit from the wife about not showing her any respect, and then it was off to find my daughter.

I found her in a small room with the rest of the impressionable children, holding a stick with a turkey face on the end in one hand and a tiny apple in the other. Ah! I knew there was something snakeish going on, and the tiny apple proved it. Where there is an apple, there is always a snake. If I wasn't distracted already, a little sign sitting on a table that read, "Gender Acceptance For All" further grabbed hold of my Catholic upbringing. This is a church about God that manages to remove God, or the ideal of such that I thought of as "God-like" from the room and replaced it with "Shared Ministries" also holds classes, I assume, on how to deal with being gay. Fine. I am open enough to accept some people need other people to show them how to be all right with being liberal enough to accept people whose values differ from their own, no matter how weird it is. I'm just not sure I am okay with having all of it offered to me, under the premise of god's people, and yet not really about god or the spiritual Lord I am used to. They did say Amen a couple of times, but it felt more like a light sneeze after sex than a blessing of the masses. Then again, it was themed around "love" so maybe it all fit together perfectly and I just missed it waiting for the snake charming to begin.

Will I go again? Not sure. I feel like someone needs to stay behind in case the authorities need to be alerted. You never know about these places. My wife says Benjamin Franklin was a Utilitarian  Unitarian. A UU member or whatever. Judging by the people who were present, I think there is another acronym they go to after the UU sermon that champions the letters AA. But that is my opinion...For now, I think I'll stick with the child molesting Catholics, because that somehow makes more sense than a pebble being dropped into a vase filled with water. I did not get a chance to taste the coffee, but I think I will have to get over images of idiots all collaborating mass suicide, because they were going to board a passing comet, first, if I am going to have a cup of joe with these people. My daughter ate the apple, much to my chagrin, and still loves to run around the house naked, so maybe I will try it out next time.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FAIL: Forgive. Amend. Insecurity. Love.

I haven't been around much lately, for that I am sorry. See I started this blog to search for something, which I am still not sure what something it is I am after, and I have not yet found it. I have however discovered a few things that I did not, at first, expect. I am not sure how I did so, perhaps my life, marriage and fatherhood have assisted with this. Perhaps it was always there and I am just using these things as a crutch for my insecurity and curiosity. It was my intent to be honest as I can be to you and the handful of people who read this; therefore, I tend to remain true to this promise.

My God, I have turned on you. I have set you aside for the tangible chaos that life so mercilessly dishes out to everyone, at least those people I know. It is without prejudice. Cruel, intentionally so, and as precise as a surgeon's scalpel, when it comes to making that first cut, deepest of all cuts and the prelude to a long healing. I FAIL.  I kneel on a bed of nails, searching my heart with penance, in hopes that you still hear my prayers, even though I ignore your signs. I do this not to disrespect, but to adhere to the defeatist within me. The distractions are numerous and, with technology, convincing. Your "Gospels" are outdated. Your commandments are common and logical, but who, in their right mind, would not abide by such rules. They are not the laws of My God, but the moral laws of a common decent man. Admittedly, I need more. Selfishly, I demand some prevalence that is not a direct threat to my mortal coil.

Why is it, you are found, most times, in life and death struggles? Is Faith a connection to you, or an extra life in this game we all play of the same name? I FAIL. I do this through you, even when I am questioning your presence. I FAIL. And here is why.

Forgiveness is an aspect of mind, in other words, if it fits the occasion then it becomes forgiven. I do not have time to pray. Forgiven- Sorry Lord, I was too tired to think of you. I cannot attend your church. Forgiven- Sorry Lord, I cannot sit in the same room with a priest who is more likely to sin than I am. Voting on a man's religious beliefs. Sorry Lord, I cannot allow the blind to lead the blind.  Distractions. I know them well. I know you have nothing to do with these distractions, and yet I cannot ignore them.

Amends is a progression to forgiveness. It can be the fueling element in changing a life completely around, or the linchpin in bringing one to an end, be it literally or metaphorically. I know you're out there. And yet, I know nothing at all. I must trust the word of man, who has a thousand years of lies to make amends for. I am better off starting over and making my own opinion. Doing this, I have sinned. And since I have too many to ask for forgiveness. I will simply try to make Amends.

Insecurity is a weakness in all man. It is where fear festers. Not being secure in my Faith, I have lost my place in your kingdom. I am trying to find it. I have already stated why and how I plan to do this. The immediate issue I have is that I have no confidence in anything anymore. I am losing my marriage. I am losing my financial assistance, which will directly impact the life I want to give my daughter, and my moral is low. I am old. I am tired. I am aching in places that no 34-year-old should. My wife lost a child and her job in a span of six months, I cannot imagine what she is going through, but I do know what I am going through, because of it, and it takes its toll. I am not only making amends for this, I am also forgiving myself and my wife for a great deal of things...I am just not very confident that it is sincere.

Love is what makes the world go around. It drives me. It means more to me than the air I breath. From all accounts, you are the purest of love and I need to be loved by you. I also need to be loved by my wife, but I am not sure she feels the same way about me. I am not sure I love myself enough to make it last long enough to find out. I Love so much and so much love is withering away inside of me. I have stated the reasons for this. So I FAIL. Each and everyday I FAIL. So, for the sake of argument, when will I start to Produce Anything Self Serving?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's Just Us Now.

My God, whose Heaven looms somewhere over my head, dangling above my spiritual body like a carrot from a string. I know now that my belief in you has never waned, but the institution in which my faith resides has crumbled at my feet. The foundation of love and enlightenment, stained by the juices of sin and tainted by man's rules in how to be just one step closer to you. I feel cheated, slighted by an uncertainty that only becomes reality once my own reality comes to an end. "Believe in me and you shall live forever." It sounds so easy, so why am I having such a hard time accepting it? 

When truth bleeds into the fiction preached to me by countless others, over time, the wholesome lining of that belief begins to break down. Once my limitless wonder had been sustained only by the beauty and the peacefulness of my church. My neutral ground, where I could escape to and just listen to my own heartbeat and connect to you. Now that ground is filled with the screams of innocent children exploited by the same men I broke bread with, indulging in the ceremony of your son, my saviour, and his boundless love for me and those I   too love just as much. My family (those I can touch and hear as well as those I can only imagine inside my earthly constraints) soured and disconnected by public opinion on those who swear by you and serve you openly a few times a week. Is it much to ask? To trust in people who do their due diligence in washing away the distraction of modern advancement, to pull me back down to my knees and help remind me why I am here and why I should be thankful for the opportunity to take this life into the next and be with you, by your side, in Heaven? 

Where are you now? Is this where my faith takes over and guides me back to you? If so, how long do I have, before you decide I too am lost, like all those children who had their faith torn from them, physically and literally, by the same people who have also trampled upon my sacred ground. My God, I ask you, "What is Faith without its proper place in my life?"  Is my own home enough to punch my ticket when its time to check out from this life for good? Will my nomadic faith bring me back to my family when I am gone, or has this forced path of solitude also taken my earthly family from me too? It's not that I do not believe in you, this you should know, it's that my tools and their symbolic practices have left. My soul remains intact, for it has cosmically fixed itself to you, wherever you dwell, however I am supposed to get there...I just need a little more than Faith right now...I need some tangible proof to convince me that my fictional plane with you is more than just a story book fantasy. I hope you understand. It not you, it's not me, it's everyone else in-between us.  

The clock is ticking, I know. I just have to work out this mess and connecting the dots...draw the line and blur it back to a safe place, inside me, where it belongs. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Old Friend- Revisited

I have nothing. I had nothing when I first met you and along the way I lost something dear to me, and I am once again empty. Empty on the inside, rotting away spiritually and condemned to this personal hell. I could speculate how I got here. I could even assume it was all your fault. I could make excuses for myself that could just as easily be thrown back at me, blamed for everything I've ever done that has lead me to the here and now...empty, without you in my life. I could blame technology and the evils driving our human thirst for the unknown and the knowledge it contains, influencing my consciousness to consider a lack of authority in my life and the universe surrounding it. I could just shout obscenities at the masses and fuel the growing machine of doubt, rebel against you and make a stand against your continued silence and lack of public showing but where would that get me? Hell. I could do a lot things, question you and the entire gospel of faith, until I near my last breath, and accept you into my heart and be saved. I guess I am saying, My God what have I become?

Godless. I have become godless. I do not wish to be, because I do believe in you. I have for the longest time, ever since I can remember. Like when my mother stepped out the door, promising me she would be back, and I asked you to be with me on that day and have her there for my return from school, only to learn that she had run into the arms of yet another man-again. But that was not your fault. Nor was it your fault on the countless other let-downs in my life, the lack of a father, mother, family, friends...clearly I am not easy to get along with. But you brought me my wife-the woman who is the mother of my child. The child whom I love more than life and the air that I breathe. And it was within her that I saw something special, something magical, legendary, even miraculous. My God, I found you in her eyes. In the way she smiles when I come home and how she saddens just a little when I leave. what I had thought was lost was only missing, and now that I have found it again I can grow it. I can Love it, unconditionally, knowing that it would not be possible without your blessing. I cannot explain why I know it's you, but I don't have to. I do not need to explain the love and thirst for life that you represent in all of your silent promises. You may have not answered a specific prayer, but you answered another I never needed to ask for. Somehow you knew, before it was and that is what makes you God. If not as a whole, then as a very important piece. So, yes, I have become Godless and more blessed than ever before.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Year One: Perspective in Faith and Absolution

When I looked at the bedside clock, the digital semicolon blinked in and out the final seconds of 2011. I was in bed with Kina, my daughter was sleeping easy in the monitor and it was calmer outside than one might expect for an approaching New Year. Within those precious few seconds, the world, my world, came into focus for me. I've prayed, real hard, many of nights that the magic finger of God wag its mystical digit in favor of my direction. bless my heart, my wife's heart and seal our holy vows with a kiss to ring in the New Year, and remove any doubt the moment that clock turned over. 11:59.00 and counting and still doubts linger. I cannot blame myself, for I can only lie for so long until one lie, once covered up by a stack of more lies, finds its way back to the forefront. You are wasting your life away to someone who will never be anything more than the cold, distant, baggage handler who refuses an honest apology in order to nurture the poison that is her vicious and vengeful bite. 

Kina is watching some music videos, drinking her wine, working out in her head how she might convince herself of the same doubts roaming freely in my mind. All I wanted LORD was one woman to love for life, why is that so much to ask? Don't worry, tomorrow is a new day. be thankful it will come, for it could all end with a quick simple stroke, perhaps a random heart attack? You have been under a lot of stress lately. Good point. And the momentum that had been building, the confidence to take the next step in my life, call it a day with my wife and shake hands that we both came out of it all with our dignity intact, suddenly takes a step aside for commonality. Go with what I know, what I am used to, what is definite, regardless of how negative an impact it may have on me. So I reach for my glass and tip it back. We both drink in silent remorse, for she has apparently made the same decision I have. Stay. Give it just a little more time. The old is about to fade into oblivion and the new limitless year will be upon us. We eye one another and smirk. "More wine?" Yes please.

Hope has packed its bags. Look, if you are going to continually ignore the signs because you are afraid of change, I am just going to head out and find someone who can use me to the fullest. Good luck, schmuck. I am now hopeless. Fitting, considering the theme running around my brain. Just say you have had enough and move on. But...I haven't. My God, there is still so much to give and experience with her. So much can come if we both just let go...hell, if just one of us let go. Shut up and drink your wine. A thought derives from the pain, just drink until numb there is no shame in that. No shame. It does help, the wine, the alcohol of any kind, to quieten the thoughts. A stupor has more use than just making a fool out of myself. Because what you now read before you, comes out from my head like fcnwsoeifwoihf ewofhwufhwrui fiuffhiu fhsdoisoiu sofdvhsigvh oshvoisduhvodsiuf gvhw0gvhwseovhseo9vhe9ouvbhfpd oiudouif do. No wonder I cannot concentrate.

wggferouhg will all be over...soon...A clean slate, start anew, make the most of tomorrow and be the husband and father you respect. She will come around. It will take some time, perhaps more than I want and willing to give, but she will see the good in change. Save her, Scott. Save your wife and do what no one has ever done for you. Right. Here we go. More wine. A little more. Feeling better. Numb. Thoughts slow. Breathe. There you are. Drink up. Atta'boy.

Happy New Year....Schmuck.