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Sunday, June 16, 2013


when you lose all of your progress accidentally (but it's your fault), throwing a tantrum is probably the most appealing option. i did so, and enjoyed it greatly.

but that's done now. i find that listening to sermons usually engages only a small portion of my mind, which leaves the rest clamoring for something to do, which ruins the focus of the small portion. much better to give to the bored portion something interesting and productive to do. 

today i am thankful for a quiet wireless portable keyboard.

the italicized portion below is the part of my post that was not lost.

what i want in life is changing.

the essentials will always remain: music (creating, savoring, learning), time with myself, journaling, photography (my first camera was 0.8 megapixels... technology is insane), people who take interest in my life, people who care for me, people for whom to care, the pursuit of greater love (more consistent, more universal, more inherent)... but i am surprised by some of the content of my recent daydreamings.

as i review my original intent for this writing, i find i'm not ready for disclosure yet. instead i want to talk about detachment.

a couple years ago (in my previous chapter), and even up to about 8 months ago, i was deeply entrenched in some all-consuming commitments. youth ministry, music ministry, marriage, and a few other smaller voluntary obligations had claim on all of my resources, with none left over for any additional pursuits. often my account was overdrawn (energy-wise), especially because i was very unhealthy and often ignored my own boundaries for the sake of achieving my goals.

now, i am healthier than i've been since high-school (and in some ways healthier even than that). in ministry, i am still active but far less needed; in fact, i could suddenly vanish from church entirely and 99.6% of what occurs would remain unchanged. likewise i could vanish from the lives of my friends (which i have done in some cases, but i believe this to be a normal part of life), and in most cases, very little would change in their lives, if anything.

at work, we are finally filling in some of the roles that i took upon myself. and i am unmarried.

i do not expect (or perhaps i simply don't have any clue when to expect) opportunities to reestablish the intensity of my previous commitments. in a few cases, i actually intend that. career-wise, i have always known i would move on from the sustainable energy industry at some point; i simply didn't know when or to where.

i have some ideas now. and those ideas could very easily take me far from here. but that's not the point of this post. the point of this post is that i want them to take me far away from here.

this strikes me as odd. even when i wanted to leave for VUSC, i wanted to come back and visit often (and did so). i have never wanted to completely detach from my home. i don't mean permanently; just that i want a complete severance, temporarily. but perhaps long-term.

almost certainly long-term, in fact. i need freshness; this limbo (transition chapter) is necessary but i need not linger. even when sight-reading, a musician sees a few notes ahead of where he is. i hear hints of a key change, a new stanza, a new movement, a rhythm that more closely matches my heartbeat.

i have been forcefully disconnected from some of the things i love[d] most, and that leaves me free to choose where to be whomever i want doing anything. but the disconnection that frees me is not only practical; it is also emotional. that's what this post is about.

detachment is unpleasant; i detect traces of resentment still, even after the hard, hard work i've done. i detect jealousy, bitterness, anger, impatience, sullenness, even occasional self-pity.

i am not content with this. feels like a hangnail.

so i will clip it. just as soon as i save up several thousand dollars.

Saturday, June 08, 2013


enough please stop no more i cannot i do not will not should not have nothing i am finished

please no more. just nothing for awhile. i need nothing more than anything. help me let me rest. 

i am not enough

Saturday, June 01, 2013

essencia i

"i get physically sick if i can't be a little bit evil!" - R

i've decided to take his nickname, because i need you to identify me as him. but i also need to be recognized as someone different. because i am someone different.

"isaiah... stop this nonsense. you aren't two people."

call me james. and no, i am not two people; i'm only me. but there's lots of overlap with isaiah, so i can see how that would be confusing. fortunately i have most of the same traits he does, including a strong motivation to explain myself (at great length) to hypothetical audiences who ask indignant questions.


quiet. i'm blogging.

~     ~     ~

figurative dissociated identities aside (and with respect to my baristas, who call me james because it's easier to spell), i really need to address this. and now seems an ideal time, because i finally have a free Saturday morning on which i feel both energetic enough and me enough (pseudo-guest-blogger status notwithstanding) to express this helpfully, and also because i have realized only in the past 24 hours what the eff my problem really is.

i do not know how each epiphany decides when to strike, but this one seems to have a great sense of timing. oooh... kairotic. story of my life recently. good.

first the setup: music. part of my identity since birth (and perhaps before), and something i claim to need. for what? for a full life. to avoid stunting my growth. to nourish and to cause to flourish. to relieve stress. to emote freely. to relate to others deeply. to enjoy my family without barriers of any kind. and the list goes on.

"could you live without it?"

yes... but why would i ever do such a thing?!

so there are wants (decidedly non-essential), needs (have to have them in order to meet my most important goals in life), and then there's this third category. needwants, i've called them in the past; but that's too clunky. right now it's a close tie between potencia and essencia. the first is about power-- not authority, but the possibility of affecting something significantly. the second is about something's core nature-- not necessarily what a thing needs, but what it is.

hm. that works better. essencia it is.

when we say something is essential, we mean that it either cannot or else should not be overlooked or discarded or foregone. today i need to speak from the heart, against the vehement protests of my critical self, regarding something that proclaims itself essencia.

i really don't want to. it pushes at me violently, not intending harm and never drawing blood, but robbing me of balance and threatening to overturn my foundations if i do not raise the portcullis and welcome its triumphal entry. or perhaps that metaphor is wrong; maybe it's trying to get out. either way, it (ironically) takes very little effort to resist, because all of my resistance is hard-coded in me. any breach it has accomplished over the years has been exactly that: a rules violation. great good was done, admittedly, but ruin also was wrought, and semi-recent events have only reinforced the walls i built so long ago.

and yet they have sabotaged me as well. something has betrayed me, and my walls, however strong, seem short enough to hop over when it comes to emotions and motivations and driving forces. the control i maintain over my thoughts seems a facade now, as they do nothing to change the way i feel, despite my belief that the heart always follows the mind and body (eventually).

"will you please start to actually talk about whatever you're talking about?!"

i shushed you several paragraphs ago. patience. this is difficult for me.

~     ~     ~

my epiphany came swiftly on the heels of anger & jealousy.

"what were you angry and jealous about?"

i'd rather not say. but i will try to describe the general state i am in. i was at Riverpark on the 18th, 'celebrating' the dissolution of my life's 3rd biggest mistake so far, and had just turned the corner to see Yard House in full swing. outside their front doors, a couple stood looking at the menu. they were in their early twenties at most, possibly younger, and the girl was using both arms to side-hug her counterpart while somehow also resting her chin on his shoulder. every motion she made, whether to shift her weight or to turn a page, was incorporated into her seemingly precarious stance, obviously to maintain their physical (and, by extension, emotional) connection.

they were both so... at ease. so naturally enjoying each other. PDA is not the right term; there was nothing saccharine or lovey-dovey about it. they were connected. they did not seem dependent on each other; rather, they seemed as though they, as distinct and complete individuals, had somehow discovered a way to become not one, but more-than-two. and this surplus of life, of essencia, was fragrant. it was gleaming. and it seemed to be on the egde of its seat, waiting very calmly for an opportunity to express and fulfill its potencia.

and i fell in love with it. no... i subconsciously realized that i had been in love with it already, in the sense that at some unknown point in the past i had made an arational (different than irrational) commitment to it. it had begun as a tiny seed, developed into a vigorous sapling with a discomfitingly strong phototropism, and finally--

"isaiah... this is difficult for us too, having to--"

call me james.

"--having to switch between Google and moon-bathing every other paragraph just to make it through half of your unnecessarily long and complex sentences."

this post is actually for my benefit, you selfishypoos. calm down and let me finish.

what i'm trying to say, without overdoing the belles lettres, is that the healthy & enjoyable portions of my marriage, combined with what i learned about my design by considering the hypothetical opposite of the unhealthy bad portions, either taught to me or else revealed in me a hunger for a certain core component of life (or, better: of being fully alive).

"what component is that?"



...call me james? :3

"you're hiding from yourself. it's pathetic. and adorable."

thank you. i'm counting to twenty now.

~     ~     ~

the bottom line is this, isaiah: you claim to be captain of your ship. but the captain does not always take the wheel, and your first mate (haha), though not mutinous, strongly disagrees with you regarding the course you've set. it may even be his solemn and inalienable duty to advise you against yourself in situations where your wisdom is insufficient for the tasks at hand.

it is not necessary to doubt yourself. only question yourself, even at the foundations, and this will be sufficient.

i can feel the questions eating at you. you will retaliate in your usual ways, and protest every small step you take in this arational direction. and this is of course unpleasant most times; and perhaps it will not yield a full harvest. perhaps. but it might still be preferable to a life of continuous jealousy & anger, a life in which you are prone to feel possessive of that which isn't yours.

will you not at least consider the idea that the essencia you witnessed, if it could be yours somehow, might be the right thing for you? will you not at least consider sketching it out? perhaps you'll discard it when finished, but the act of sketching could draw something out that needs drawing. can you not set aside for just a little while your misgivings, your probably-inaccurate sense of self-unworth, your strong biases against yourself, against me, and spend a short time daydreaming? since when was daydreaming wholly foolish? when did it cease to be an appropriate outlet for that which, apparently, cannot be contained anyway?

i beg you: listen to your close friends. i beg you: lean into the ache of loneliness, and find what lies at its center, for i do not believe it anything shameful or embarrassing. i beg you: delve more deeply, past the extant [and likely outdated] defenses and inhibitions you've clung to (mostly ineffectively) so far. i beg you to consider this:

- that the best solution to your issue of rushing into relationships might be best solved not by resisting a force that cannot be contained anyway, but by directing it carefully in a new direction.

- that some of the things and people which have so captivated you in the past eleven months are not weaknesses or immature cravings, but rather your very nature recognizing with all its senses some essencia, some extract-of-life that might not only help you heal, but help you grow into far more than you currently are. (is this not one of your highest goals?)

- that continuing to allow me to speak freely here (the honorable Bella Luna presiding), while not exactly safe, might be precisely what you need. (and if that's uncomfortable, well... get over it.)

- that what you woefully insist can or will or should never be yours, might be something to which all of your life's most trusted guiding lights are pointing.

- that the "i told you so"s at the end of a journey in this direction might be bearable.  =P

thanks very much for the opportunity to blog here. i held back quite a bit, to ensure i didn't scare you into caging me again. so... i'll be back. i need to describe this thing more.

you don't have to invite me over all the time or anything... we don't have to be bff's. but, leave the door unlocked.