Gotta Have Faith

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~Hebrews 11:1

When I was 10 I remember wondering what faith was, other than this nebulous thing no one could really quite explain when I asked about it. Either that or I got…

“Faith just is.” or “You either got it or you don’t.”

And I wasn’t sure if I had it, which is why I asked in the first place. I wasn’t stupid. I understood a lot about how the world worked. The problem was that the world doesn’t value faith. It values the solid, the concrete, what can be seen with our eyes.

I simply had no precedent for believing in the unseen.

And don’t tell my mom I was on the fence about god then too. Which is, of course, where it all came from in the first place. Belief in god presupposed you had faith, that even if you couldn’t see the divine being, he was indeed still up there sitting high and judging low. Dispensing judgement or grace, or some haunting combination of the two.

But that was so far removed from what I knew in my everyday life. That was so fanciful it seemed far-fetched. It seemed like the absolute antithesis of everything I saw and learned of in school. Continue reading “Gotta Have Faith”

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Not Standing Still

I don’t like standing still. I never have, not even when I was a little kid. I always feel like maybe I had some ADHD before it became fashionable to have ADHD, like I was some insane prototype who people just called “energetic” and “rambunctious,” for lack of any more accessible terms.

In short, I was all over the place, even when I was going absolutely nowhere. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same, because I’m still all over the place. Except now that’s okay. It’s okay now to be who I am without explaining why anymore. It’s not negative to shift from foot to foot, waiting for the next thing to happen, waiting for that ever elusive burst of excitement that will stead me for the next while before I have to search for it again.

I don’t like standing still because I feel like I’m static electricity, dormant until something comes along to charge me and keep me alive. That’s it, a feeling of being alive.

Our eighth grade class motto was, “Do more than exist. Live.” I’ve spent probably the entirety of my life since then trying to parse the meaning of that motto, trying to live my life to the fullest, to squeeze the most I could from this existence, to be the person I want most to see in the foggy glass every day staring back at me. Continue reading “Not Standing Still”

Shiftless

Cool air ruffles my collar
Shifts it into disarray
Takes a measure, then waits
For the oncoming rain
Just another comeuppance
In this long, restless night
As the clock tick tocks
Blending with the noises
That are driving me insane
Even though it’s silent
Outside the petulant room

She turns to face the wall
This shifting commonplace
These fragments momentary
Lost in strange frequencies
That never even out
I know she’s still awake
Her breathing uneven
Her inner voice keening
This cacophony preening
The window still open
To the chaos of the night

And this conscious sigh
Of the wind’s lament
These sheep move away
Quiet as church mice
Waiting for a miracle
A slamming of the door
A recognition in the dark
That will never come
So lies the restless wind
In the cracks between now
And the coming of the dawn.

The Dark Side

I was out and about yesterday, which is rare for me on a weekend. I tend to be a homebody, preferring to stay in and get some writing done than hustle off and “be in the world.” So, if you saw me, you are indeed lucky. Or not, depending on your preference.

I am decidedly not an outdoors person, and yesterday was spent in the great outdoors for the most part. I have quite a few bug bites to show for it, to prove that I was indeed out there, living life. Thank goodness I had my phone with me, so all was not lost.

Speaking of phones, now is the time to eat the words I’ve said so often in the past, because, as of a couple of weeks ago, I am now the proud owner of an iPhone (damn you, Steve Jobs), words I said would never pass my lips. However, after all the ribbing from my wife died down (she’s always been a proud iPhone owner), I explained that my reasoning hasn’t changed. My needs have.

And, lord have mercy, my needs at this moment can be fulfilled by an iPhone. Yes, I just typed those words.

Of course, as an Android enthusiast for “lo these many years,” it’s been a tough transition, and continues to be so. Continue reading “The Dark Side”

Chatting with Lexi: On Getting Up

It wasn’t my fault. I swear. It didn’t matter what it was, or if anyone had even scolded me about it by that point, I was in defensive mode. Because, sooner or later, everything would come back to me in some way, shape, or form, and I had to be ready. Not that being ready did me any good. My mom was still always at least 3 steps ahead of me when it came to everything I ever did, or was going to do.

I still have no clue how she did it.

The life of a 13-year-old is tough. They go through so many changes, both physically and emotionally. Their brains are processing information at a frantic rate, so no wonder we see them as paranoid bundles of energy. I never quite understood this until Lexi turned 13 this year, and boy, am I understanding it now! Funny how things do come full circle. My mom told me this about 3 steps ago, and I am just catching up now.

I hate when she’s right.

A few days ago I tried to wake Lexi up, to get the day going. It was the weekend, which is prime sleep time for any self-respecting 13-year-old (“Like, seriously, Dad!”), but after 10 am all bets are off. In my book anyway. Apparently, not in the Book of Lexi. Continue reading “Chatting with Lexi: On Getting Up”

Labeled

I often think about all the labels I wear, or have worn, over the years. First there was “son,” a dubious one indeed because I had no control over it. Indeed, I didn’t even really know it existed on a conscious level until I had been one for quite some time. I remember my mother leaning over me to tuck me into bed one time, and thinking: I’m her son.

Then there was “brother,” which has been with me just as long as son. I don’t know my life in any kind of context when I wasn’t a brother, when I didn’t have someone else who shared my experience growing up in that house. And we were close at times, while not at others. We battled for space, for time, for pretty much whatever spoils could have existed. That was the life of being a brother.

Next I guess you could add “neighbor” to the list, though I was a poor one. We lived a pretty sheltered existence, but there were others on the block who I connected with from time to time (large expanses of time between the connections). These boys and girls always seemed alien to me, like some kind of extra-terrestrials who lived completely different lives even though we lived right next door. Continue reading “Labeled”

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