Friday, April 13, 2018

The Quest

I feel old. I've lived a life from a child to an old man. I've died. Yet here I remain. As I read about history, I find snippets of glory saturated with the mere struggle to live one more day. Throughout the ages, people have found purpose in death and have pursued it knowing their end. I now seek the same. Instead of living one more day, I seek death today. Death to myself and my passions. Death to security. Death to the dream. Death to me!

The Lord told Adam in the Garden "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." We are already dead; merely waiting on the piper to collect his due. We've been dead since we were born. We were born into death and to deny that is folly. 

Life is narcissism. And as science seeks ways to prolong and prevent death, they simply perpetuate the lie that we ever possessed it in the first place. As if cellular regeneration could ever replace love. No, we are dead; and it is a good thing. For if this ragged existence could ever be defined as life, I should cash in my chips immediately and be done with it. But it is not! The quest is within arms reach! 

Follow the Lord. Ask Him to show you the way. Die today and live forever.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Who Am I?

This past week at welding school, a girl who already graduated returned to spruce up her skills on TIG. She was cute and everybody was flirting with her. I won't lie, I was attracted as well; however, I put on my armor and resisted all week talking or "flirting" with her. Tonight was the end of the week and I found myself in line with her to return our checked out tools. Somehow we started talking and I ended up bragging about my job. What the hell?! I never gave two shits about my status or the amount of money I make, but for some reason, all that flew out the window and I started bragging. For the remainder of the night, I was completely depressed. I felt like Michael Bolton from the movie Office Space. I let my attraction dictate my actions. I was no longer in control and I went down the same damn path I essentially preach against. I embodied the quintessential hypocrite. I'm getting over it now, but this exchange really showed me a portion of myself that I didn't know existed. I mean, hell, it's nothing to flirt with a girl (even though the situation was wrong), but compromising one's principles just to try to impress a girl (and fail at it I might add) is so wrong it makes me cringe! I really need to examine myself and build up that portion of my resolve to live what I believe. I'm glad I had the courage to call a spade a spade though and own up to my mistake instead of lying to myself and saying I was tired or some bullshit like that.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Dealing With Emotions

I remember reading a quote from an old jazz piano player from the 1940's. He said, "Whatever you do, do it all the way." I've always attempted to apply that maxim to my life. Not that I'm always successful in fulfilling it, but I try. 

I find a big thing I struggle with is understanding that other men and women I encounter don't think like that or even care, just so long as they're safe and comfortable. This puts me at a disadvantage as life's "quality control" if you will has waned to such an extent that people are used to substandard products and actions. 

I've done what I can after separating from my wife. The house is up for sale. I've done what leftover renovations were needed. I work days and spend my nights in welding school. Hell, I've even taken up the accordion which I practice on my lunch breaks. I feel more fulfilled at this point in my life than I ever have, which makes me thankful that the Lord has given me that hardihood to make the break and walk His path.

On the flip side, I see my estranged wife acting like business as usual. She still lives in the house and hasn't packed or moved anything out of it. Her son still lives there, leeching off her and doing nothing to build himself. She still takes monthly vacations to scenic places, posting pictures on Facebook. It leaves me reeling to be honest. Today, after reducing the selling price of the house, I sent her a text message letting her know. She didn't respond. I view her as a lost child, not knowing where to go or how to act. I wish I could help her, but I know I can't, as she's unwilling to help herself. I gave her multiple opportunities to aqueise, but she refused. So now it's only me dealing with my emotional turmoil.

It makes me think of how much the Lord does for us. And for all He does, we're unwilling to submit to Him. He loves us and wants us to come into His care, yet we're unwilling; acting like business as usual and sitting there like a bubble on a pot of piss. How frustrating it must be for Him. How helpless He must feel. It's so simple, and yet we're unwilling. I wonder how He deals with His emotions. I wonder if He cries at night and hopes we come around. All we have to say is that we messed it up and need some help. 

I've prayed multiple times for the Lord to take this burden from me, but I still hold it. I think now that I'm supposed to. I think it gives me His perspective on how hard one way love is. I know He holds my hand in the storm. But it's hard every day. I want to slap people sometimes and knock some love in their hearts, but I know I can't. I always try to help, but I find I just can't. And so it goes. Instead of mankind, we have individuals vying for power. We have the know-it-alls who do no wrong. We have death masked in glory. And there's nothing we can do but hold onto the hope that at some future point the scales will fall from their eyes and their hearts will soften to the point that they find they no longer matter; only He does.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Should I Continue Believing

Some things set me off. I get a bad vibe and just get turned off and even pissed. But, I'm trying to follow the Lord. He's leading me in a certain direction and I don't like what I see. I feel like a sellout. I feel like He's guiding me through the same door everybody else is walking through. I don't like it. I look at the thing He's showing me and I see a future filled with monotony and bland regurgitation of accepted traits. I don't like it. I was told at church today to persevere. Hummph! I've never been one to sit around in a circle jerk just so I feel accepted by the crowd. I've never been one to just sit back and smile about the good times coming in when I see all the trouble brewing. I don't consider myself a pessimist, but I see things for what they are.

My estranged wife always lead me down those paths and I acquiesced. She'd want me to wear designer clothes and so I did; always feeling like a schmuck. We'd go on vacations and take about 1000 pictures to post to Facebook so that everyone knew we were having the time of our lives. Of course, it was always, "Thank Jesus for all the blessings!" I am thankful, but after finding out that we were almost $70,000 in debt, I really doubt Jesus was blessing us; we were just forcing a good time. I refuse to do that again.

When I see people having a good time and taking pictures of themselves, I immediately get a bad taste in my mouth. I know it's presumptuous, but I've been burned. I've been burned bad. People don't care about each other and I have a hard time seeing happiness as just that. I see it as narcissism.

So what is a guy like me supposed to do? I know exactly where I'm supposed to go and who I'm supposed to meet. I want to walk that line. But I also see the bland monotony gazing at me from the rafters, waiting to descend on me.

So I sit around a lot wondering what joy is. People at church seem happy, but do they have joy? What is joy? I want to be happy, but it's not the most important thing in my life. I'd rather be miserable and in pain knowing I made a difference than to be happy and amount to nothing. Happiness is bunk compared to purpose! For some reason I feel I can't have both. Like they oppose each other. Maybe because so many people put on the mask of happiness without actually possessing it. Does that mean that if I'm actually happy it will brand me as a poser, even though I'm true to the core? Why should I care? Am I the same as everybody else, just trying to prove my worth? I don't know.

I will follow though. I will persevere. If I settle into the slime of comfort and carelessness, I'll know nothing was ever worth it in the first place. I'll know following the Lord down this path was just another one of my fantastical adventures to gain understanding and purpose. If I settle down again in some suburban wasteland of isolation and salaciousness, I'll know I deserve the future burning tortures of hell.

War is hard, but peace is unbearable.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Next Step

I remember one Easter morning my siblings and I got up before our parents. We immediately began looking for the hidden baskets that our parents prepared the night before. We found 4 of them sitting on the kitchen countertop. We knew it was just too easy, but each of us grabbed one and began munching away. My little sister wasn't awake yet, but we didn't care that she wouldn't have a basket; we were just happy to have the candy. When my parents woke up, they asked why we grabbed the baskets without waiting for them to hide them. We told them we found them on the counter and just thought that that was where they hid them (yeah, right). My Mom was especially disappointed in me. Opening the microwave she revealed a basket I made in school the week prior filled with twice the amount of candy as the others. She gave it to my sister. Drat...

Flash forward to today. I realize I've done it again, but this time with a wife instead of a stupid basket of Easter candy. I met my wife when I was in the Navy, reeling from being desperately alone. Then I met my future wife. She was without a home when I met her and her kids had to live with her sister.  She was the first girl that took an interest in me. I'd never kissed a girl before, much less done anything else. Not only had I started dating this girl with 4 children not much younger than I was, I sallied forth after learning she was still married. The guilt of copulating with her was too much for my conscience and I brought her to the courthouse to finalize her divorce and married her the next day. It was selfish of course, but I appeased my feelings of guilt by taking her and the kids in and even buying a house for all of us to live in. 

I was never happy, but I always tried... and failed. Vacations always left me the odd man out and when advice was asked, it was towards her in Tagalog instead of us as a married couple. Over the 10 years of being with her, some deep seating feelings of regret and desperation once again flooded over me as I realized I should never have married her. But I put those thoughts away and accepted the adage that I had made my bed and was obliged to sleep in it. 

Things progressively waxed more tense as our dilapidated house neared the fully renovated stage. Fights over money and hidden credit tested my commitment to "laying in the bed" and when my brother Lars visited me, a chink was found in my armor of solace. After she left me and returned during my brother's stay, I was so backwards and depressed that all I could do was go to work everyday and come home to sit in my shed to drink beer and smoke cigarettes. 

Nearly a year passed and my shed routine had become firmly established. I thought to myself one night sitting in my shed while on my fifth cigarette of the night that I needed to instill confidence in myself and persuade my then family to believe in my leadership. I immediately took control of the helm again and began to finish getting my affairs in order to fix that house completely and help her family to fix theirs as well. 

I remember having a fight with my wife about the room that her son stayed in as he didn't pay rent and only wiled away his time playing computer games in his room like a hermit. He was in the smallest bedroom, but began sleeping in the downstairs master bedroom. I told both of them that due to the heat, I didn't mind him sleeping there for the time being, but that once the house was finished I was going to rent the room out so we could begin paying off the massive amount of credit card debt that I had found out about. 

The next Wednesday her parents called me to let me know that their sewage pump had pooped out and a tree had fallen on their house due to the hurricane force wind. After I got off work at 5:00, I went over to their house, installed the sewage pump, and began chopping limbs off their roof with a chainsaw in the wind and rain. It was nearly 10:00 when I returned home. Both my wife and her son were in the downstairs bedroom having just finished moving all his stuff into it. 

After another fight with her we didn't talk for 3 days. I was about to go and stew in the shed again, when I thought better of it and reviewed the facts. We should have never got together or married. We should have never bought that house. And I should have finished my tenure in the Navy and returned home to Oregon. But, instead of waiting for the Lord's blessing on my life, I grabbed the candy on the countertop. 

I'm thankful for God's grace, as He forgives and restores. A peace is on me now; one that took over 11 years to restore to my soul. I'm still working on forgiving myself for hurting her and her family, but I know that the Lord has. The next step is laid out. Now that the shackles are off, I'm able to walk it.

Lead on Lord. Lead on.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Why We're Gone

It's pushing six months. I'm alone. I mean, really alone. I feel, think, walk, move, talk, alone. And I have always been this way. She was never there. I mean, dammit, I wanted to help; but you can't help someone who doesn't want to be. You can't help yourself. All you can do is trust. And that trust will be broken, just like us. Broken into pieces to be fed into the machine. Nothing united as the glue is all dried up. I met her when I was really alone. Crying myself to sleep. Standing at the edge of the world with Tom Cruise. She was walking in a line of ladies and didn't seem all that special. But after that black chick said we should date, I took it to heart and within six months later we were married. She needed me for my money and to fix her stuff. I needed her warm body to lie in bed with so I wouldn't feel so isolated. Now I'm ready to get out of bed. And she wants to stay there. You can only sleep so long before you get a headache and grow restless. So here I am, alone; pretending to get along. Painting the smile on my face everyday I walk out that door. The worst part is that the only reason for doing so is so that people don't think I'm an asshole. It's not because I want to hide the fact that a marriage of 11 years was a useless sham. It's because I know they don't give a fuck. And the only reason I know that is because I don't either. But something in me wants to. I guess I just don't know how. Nobody ever taught me how to care. All I have are stupid emotions evoked from the FM radio I listen to while driving to nowhere. Time for bed asshole. Gotta get to sleep so you can wake up tomorrow and fix other asshole's expensive, worthless, heaps of junk that they don't know how to take care of. Their codpieces. Then we can all kumbaya in a circle jerk talking about how nobody cares about anyone but themselves. And we can show each other stupid fucking pictures on our bloody smartphones about other assholes crave attention and do stupid fucking things for 5 seconds of royalty. And I can walk around bragging about how I've "rejected the system" and don't own a smartphone. I'm stronger than that. The only real reason for getting rid of it was because I watched too much porn and I want to believe I'm better than that. I tried admitting it to her years ago, but she told me to fuck off and just get over it. Thanks babe. I know you never gave a shit. I guess I never did either. Maybe if I did I'd know how to wake you the fuck up. I'll just keep floating through unconsciousness looking for the crack in the ice. Can somebody give me a damned hand for fuck's sake?! Yeah, I've been praying. I've started going to church again. It seems a little better. Nice pastor. Looks like Eddie Rabbitt. He wants me to come to donut breakfast on Tuesdays. Sorry man. I don't trust you. I don't even trust me. All I know right now that there is a Truth out there. I'm going to find it. I don't much mind dying right now, just so long as I can find that Truth. I have nothing to lose. It's already gone like me. Living in the corner of a rooftop and bumping my head everytime I try and stand up. I'm just a fortune cookie. Get beyond my mellow yellow shell and all I have inside is a canned message and some lottery numbers. Throw me away. Don't worry, you'll get another one next time you order fried rice and chicken. Until then, go fuck yourself. At least you'll be doing it instead of some other asshole looking for a hole to fill. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Taking Care of Each Other

Recently, a white board was posted on the back wall of the shop. It tracks daily hours turned for each mechanic. While this may seem like an effective way of tracking hours, it actually serves to pit us against each other. I believe that management knows this, and seeks to egg us on, as if that's going to make us more productive. Unfortunately, it's a well known fact that a disgruntled employee is essentially good for nothing.

While speaking with one of my co-workers, it was told to me that the management seeks individuals who are in debt. The reason being is so that they work harder to pay off the debt. It truth, it creates a hostile work environment; and if the work doesn't materialize, gossip starts, and friendships are ruined.

These few recent experiences have got me thinking about the importance of the golden rule. It seems that more and more people are looking to take care of themselves, and whoever gets in the way of progress is steamrolled right over. But while this may seem immediately effective, longterm success is hampered (or dissolved) and people end up hating each other. I understand that we all have to make a living, but what is life without relationships. Please understand that I don't mean to complain. I just wish that people with more clout than myself would use it to better other's situations instead of bolstering their own.