Thursday, May 1, 2014

Time for Soul Baring...

(This is the first chapter of a book that I started writing in 2007/2008 entitled 'The Prayer'... It's raw, but It's 7 years on; so not as close to home as it once was, thought I'd share it) ............ There was a peace as I rested amongst the puddles. Cold and saturated I stared, eyes hazed as the rain came down making circular patterns in the water. The feel of the cold rain as it seeped through to my skin felt like a new freedom. A feeling of release came over me, in that moment existed a world where the pain and heartache of this life was happy to dwell with the peace of the moment while the rain fell. I wanted so much to explain the feeling. I wished something so powerful could be put into words that could meet the thoughts. To the edges of human experience, emotion and to the edges of life I sat in that moment. All at once, contentment and reflection, fullness of life and un-satisfied longing. In truth I wanted to pass away, but stubborn hope gave me depth to live this human condition till its sad end; I found perseverance. If a picture could have described the completeness and contented sadness of that moment, I would have shown it to the person I think of the most, and she could know the stale peace that I had found. I travelled that night in a dark carriage on a train as silent hums of a make-believe orchestra played in my head. Music seems the only fitting truth with enough ambiguity to describe those endless wells of feeling. The entire trip I just stared into my own reflection, it was dark by then and the light reflected off the trains windows so that the blackness outside became like a mirror. I wanted to be comfortable with myself, to be okay with me, maybe even just understand me. The opposite of vanity, I leaned against the seats while giving this silent shadow my full attention. He deserved a chance to be recognised and understood. As the train approached the station in my home town, I began to smile and cry at the same time with a resolute bitterness. I was sobbing quietly with a strength that I could feel in the deep of my soul. The feeling was like turning the last page of a book ending in tragedy, when the truth is laid out undisputable and unchanging. The sad statistics of life laid bare to be viewed for analysis and contemplation. There is such a finality in my thoughts, I just want to be okay with who I am and where I'm going. Am I reaching my full potential in this life, are my pursuits shallow or vein. What do I do with my time. The years will continue to fade away one after the other, I must start now or who will I ever be? Creation, to create... something of worth, something of value... surely my purpose is in this! Wanting to write and express this frame of mind, to tell how the pain and mystery of creation works through all things to refine us into the great and fearful beings that some of us dare to be inspired. I wish the articulation of my words could be enough to motivate and drive the changes I need and wish to see in myself. But experience is the thing that will drive us to change. In the fullness of human experience, where thoughts and feelings are challenged and tested, there is a chance to find self-truth. What I mean is that often only in the margins and extremes of life, there is a forceful moving outside of yourself in order to grasp the reality of all our lives, I say 'all' because we are 'all' in this together and we 'all' have something to give to the world. Someone I knew once said, “at the beginning of time, truth was smashed up into billions of pieces, and a piece was hidden in each one of us”. I really believe this to be true. There are gems of truth in everyone; In the homeless man who lives behind the old run-down chemist, the addicted youth who fights in his anger and the old woman who sits lonely in the cafe. Each one holds an element or portion of that truth that we could never experience ourselves, but we can learn and share in that truth through quality time and conversation. There have been times when I have been physically and mentally pushed to and over my limit. But only to find that in those times there is a new limit I am capable of, a new understanding to reach. In order to know who I am, I have reflected on who others are, but have also tested myself in dire-circumstances and in the lives and environments of others, and learning will never cease. I have wondered how to be a 'better person', or how to be the 'best me', and I have found this to be true... To spend some time with people! Spending time with people whom I wouldn't normally associate, people I'm not used to, people that force me to re-think my life. People that are disadvantaged and marginalised, culturally different, socially contrasting, people that could make me uncomfortable... Challenge your ideals, and you will surely grow without any doubt. Push and pull on the strings of life until you find your place. I'm not sure if we'll ever find our perfect place. But often I have thought that perfection lies in the heart of the imperfect. The other night I sat in a dark room around a dim light, it was shining dull and eerie like a medi-eval torch upon a black frame. Inside the frame, a piece of artistic tribal drawings detailed in black ink. All I could think about is how I might never be the being I desire to be. I love to think when I dabble with fantasy, that somehow God will reveal exactly the person I aspire to be and that when I die to the next life, the next step, that I will become exactly that person, exactly the person I always wanted to become without failure or temptation. My life at this point looked remarkably similar to the state of my room at the time, utter confusion. In some ways, each of the things or should I say each part of the mess, told a story. Each was a series of events that have become a part of my life and now served as a metaphorical view of the current disposition. Each part explaining and connecting the many reasons for the point I had reached, struggling for meaning and purpose, struggling for any rational thought really. I would hope that I had been good enough at acting normal up to this point. Either that, or good enough at not sharing details with those close to me about my mental health and stability. But after lengths of constant inner struggle, you just get bored of talking about it! And occasionally, you get bored of people pretending to listen. Most often, no-ones real story and struggles captivate us amongst all of our distractions or entertain us like our favourite TV shows, or the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Not to mention the often un-met or sometimes un-meetable needs of the individual, the vast difficulty in finding solutions and the patience needed in serving any lasting answers, if any. A photo album lies within arms reach of my bed. In it are pictures taken with an ex-girlfriend, almost 2 years worth of memories, tightly packed into a leather covered album. It's big, and only half filled (I guess she assumed, as I did, that there were many more memories and photos to come). It was a present from her, she wrote comments all though it with funny remarks and sayings, and some that only made sense to us. Many nights I have and still do lay awake, staring at the photos in self-torture, imagining what she might be doing. The depth of loss and hurt, continuing to dwell on what she and I have, or might be throwing away. The floor surrounding the album is collated with notes and letters that I will never send, and she will never read. Next to this lay various open books (mostly theological), now semi-covered with various electrical cables and wires resembling wild thorns. They're obsessively layed out with the intention of being studied. But sadly and predictably, like most things at that point of my life, the intention was short-lived. There's a month worth of clothes on the floor and the couch. Most of them are clean, yet have been kicked into less obtrusive corners of the room hoping to be put away at a later point; much like my insecurity and identity issues that I found too tedious and weighty to wade though just yet. Amongst and around the clothes were an array of half finished writings and studies that have been tossed aside due to my lack of discipline and commitment, even at the best of times. About the only thing that remained in working and managable order was a bunch of beer brewing equipment and bottles hanging neatly on a bottle tree. It's the only thing I was consistent with. This was mostly due to the fact that alcohol making and consuming had become a highly ranked priority on the to do list at that time! It seems as logical as the necessities of shelter, warmth and food! Particularly for its' ability to escape and numb a mind that thinks at an unhealthily obsessant level. I felt a general sense of unwillingness for my mind to deal with the complexities and depth of life I perceived at the time. I would have labelled it almost as emotional laziness. I no longer wished to engage with what I saw as false hopes and empty visions. At this point I came to an important realisation, “i'm depressed” I thought in my inner speech. I always knew I was, and had been subject to its feelings most of my life, yet in this external and objective view, it seemed quite a new and insightful realisation. I question myself if others have this self-dialog, or lengthy conversations that sometimes struggle to reach resolution. I find it like having a bickering angry couple arguing inside my head, with just as different and simultaneously real personalities, these people yell and scream to be heard and to out-speak the other. So I realised I was depressed and generally mentally unwell, and thus begins my story in these writings and my journey for understanding, healing and redemption . I couldn't really remember the last time I was truly happy, for more than a few minutes, or even the last time I didn't just pretend to be happy so that people would assume that I was okay, or so they wouldn't ask any more painfully annoying questions that cause a problem/solution, worker/project relationship further accentuating the agony of forced self-help, introspection and weighty shame of having a problem, particularly around mental health. Funnily enough, knowing for the most part that you both don't sincerely care or want to talk about it. I think that what I was, and maybe others out there are searching for is a saviour in the flesh. I have made a life of casting people into in-human, unachievable roles to fill the physical, mental and emotional gaps in my life where I feel someone else has not been sufficient. I call on people to play out twisted roles in my invisible plays where nothing ever changes, I just find a way to become more lost and spoon-fed into a will-less, characterless, machine-like existence where all my needs are met and I am never challenged, never find integrity, never journey a path of learning, understanding, and ultimately healing. And Its hilarious how we only tell people certain things in our lives, or we intentionally omit certain details with certain people. Maybe because we look up to them, maybe because they look up to us, or maybe just because we don't want to look bad (or what I would call normal and human). I've grown to hate pretences, even for my sufferance's under them. Why must we create this illusion of ourselves as supernatural, un-challengable, un-rebukable beings... surely it must create relationships between two or more people that are fake, made up! Not based on truth! How can that be good? How can that person really ever know you, the real you. Not the commercially edited, cosmetically altered, visually appealing version of your false self. One of the greatest mysteries I journied during this time of life was love and relationships. Not in a romantic way, just in a way that sees the flaws in my thinking and the flaws in my desires... For a young guy, the push and pull pressure to find a partner and 'make sense' of this life are heavy, so heavy it consumes mental space and time distracting me from being present in my current reality! I'd like to consider the whole thing fantasy or Hollywood rhetoric, because then I could attack it and dismiss it from my life. But it doesn't help having a personality that is so admit on right and wrong, black and white thinking and everything or nothing motivation. It is always easier to destroy something than it is to create. Our culture seems to scream relationship from every tower, wall and microphone. In a world that has lost or is quickly loosing its sense of identity, it can so easily be replaced by one simple thing... partnership. Don't get me wrong, two individual people coming together to take part in life's learnings and happenings is a beautiful thing, but too often it is replaced by a watered down version of comfortable co-existence and insecurity. In me is a dark idea that without someone to validate my existence, a significant other who lives as visual proof that another person is in direct approval of who I am, and what I look like... then I am nothing! I do not count and can-not contribute. People find that gaps in their identity and choose to fill it with the first best thing that comes along, remarkably similar to a visit to the shopping centre for milk and bread. The only downside Is that people are not consumer goods, and if we treat them as such, we not only leave behind a trail of discarded wrappers, but we further the abyss of emptiness and void inside ourselves, never dealing with the real issues, or the lacking that we feel about ourselves or our lives. The heart yearns for someone to love and to hold, it is at the core of who we are, it is our essence as members of humanity, those who do not feel its promptings have allowed themselves to grow cold, lacking compassion for others and courage to deal with the pain of our reality. I have swayed between some of the extremes in the time I've had, what I speak, I speak to myself generally, as a reminder, as an encouragement. People long for a trust and an accountability, a deep sense of understanding and one-ness with someone else. The beauty and mystery of the relationship coin is this; that male and female are complimentary opposites, one coin, two sides. Once united and there is one-ness between the two, they relate, interact and form an even more holistic impression on the reality inside of each other, and they can continue on the journey of becoming more human, with new revelation and insight that each can learn and grow from. I can certainly see and understand the rightness in a loyal, loving relationship but for the sake of our own brokenness this is often not the case. For this reason, the mirror of my own reality rejects the idea on whole and acknowledges my inability to cope and operate as a positive model of this. I found that emptiness is the thing that filled me. For a particularly painful period of time I can recall this feeling as I often lay awake. I could not hear, not even feel the beat of my own heart, there was perfect silence inside me. It seemed all I could do was stare blindingly up at the moon as I lay on my back night after night staring through the glass of my bedroom window with such abandon. In the moments that I held, I forgot for a scaring space of time that I was alive. At moments like these, I had to see that even in my reflection, I was caught in a sense of loss, my thoughts fell for a girl I had known in my life. She had held such dramatic weight in a formative few years , it was easy to see at times that she had been, and even justified by the time I'd spent dwelling in memories, my temporary substitute for God. And sadly, for a long time, that's exactly what she had become...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This one's for you...

I don't know what is happening, I don't know why we are finding this so hard, We both fight but no one wins, We both hurt but no-one can ever find the wound, Love is here but it's hard to breathe, Love is here but we still weap on our knees, If I could I would make it right, If I could I would change the way we feel tonight, We both try but always seem to fail, We both try but we let our hearts become stale, I hope this love does not die, I hope this love does not die

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A poem I wrote to God in December 2008 (aged 23) which fit me well tonight... my wishes upon his face I met weaping in the searing heat eyes ablaze, into his reflection I gazed burn me alive I hoped you would blacken the depths futher than I ever could but rain you did softly onto my soul falling like forgiveness from so close yet so far treasure these memories you had me speak and into these fears must I linger for relief

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I miss you God...

Friday, September 12, 2008

...

Violent tragedies tear through unbelieving eyes,
unveiled minds cradle the bitter remorse.
Pursuit of truth left them broken,
it flooded over the headstrong.
Now seasoned with rage and torn with malice,
they impersonate impersonality.
Falling into dreams of nothing,
they wait for the many sunsets to come.
One after the other they come,
filling the silence with colour,
blood and tears making the paint.
Years roll over and darkness enters life,
as graceful as a pirouette.
Like shadows in streams linger,
they collect the memories thrown across the shore,
by devils disguised as treasures.
Time continues to creep on,
like love,
it fails them also.

-Michael Harris

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Consume vs Create

My eyes open wider when i let myself be taught. When i let the spirit of God work through my experiences of light and of darkness, i can see and feel more clearly with a heart and mind of revelation. God's truth, once meshed with the life and experience of a human being acts similarly to conscience. The thing about God though is that he does not often force us to change into a deeper sense of knowing, he waits upon those who will respond to his call to live out His kingdom. But the truth is somehow written on our hearts, that it makes sense to those whom God reveals it. One of these unspoken or hidden truths has come to me tonight as a culmination of feelings and errings over this year, a general theme in my thought patterns that now has a name and identity.

In life, we have two options, to consume or to create. This will generally apply to anything involving people and the kingdom. The worst type of consumption i have discovered to date is the consumption of people as commodities, something to be bought and sold, as inhuman material objects, as resources. The first and most obvious disgrace is that of the slave trade, in which people are bought and sold as sex slaves, cheap labor, militia, illegally adopted children etc.. (for more information, visit www.stopthetraffik.org) But even in our everyday lives, we take and take and take from the people we meet, and we value them by their equivalent worth to us by whatever need or deficit we have. Just for a few examples...
*The employer who treats a staff member purely on an input/output basis without any recognition of them as a human being
**The man/woman who satisfies his/her sexual desires with pornography at the expense of the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers that produce it.
***The musician that only appreciates his fans during a show, then later disregards them
****The many of us who continue to buy tea and coffee at a cheap price at the expense of poor farmers/producers over the other side of the world.
*****The person who uses others as pawns to gain social status or position, whether it be in business or in their personal life.

These kinds of thing have become very apparent to me lately, but the thing that i realised about all these and similar situations is that they can all be redeemed, there is another side to the coin, in each scenario, there is a chance to create! I encourage to seek for the opportunity to create...

You imagine what it could be like if we saw our relationships a bit differently, if we treated people with dignity and respect, if we escaped from this cultural mindset and world view of dog-eat-dog and profit margins!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pain brings us closer

This recent month has brought me through something deeply painful in my life. The kind of pain that cripples you and brings you sleepless nights, agony and sorrow. One thing that i have discovered about myself or my life i guess, is that there is only one undeniable thing that seems to keep me hanging on. Even if hanging on looks remarkably like hopelessness and depression. The one thing that somehow sustains me is that God IS... He IS... People and relationships, circumstance and status, worth and value can all fall away, but one thing that will never change is God. Because he just IS, and always was. For me, He will always become, right at that last dying painful moment, the certainty that keeps me going... It is at points like these, I believe we are closest to God, in our moments of utter dependency. At these times, there is such a clarity and honesty about the way we relate to Him, and how we feel about Him. If anything, this must give us hope. My wish for all of us who are hurting and lost in these moments of life is this... that we would find God's Peace, and learn to become at one with that peace. To let go of all the things that we attempt to control and manipulate, no matter how painful. To just sit, and feel His presence, and in that moment to know, that He IS...